Pyrocat HD: I'm loosing patience.
I bought A & B solutions from Photographers Formulary to work with Pyrocat prior to mixing my own. I'm using a JOBO CPE 2 with lift.
The first negatives (FP 4+) developed were printable and suggested some revisions in development from 9 minutes to 8 minutes to see what I would get. What I got was nothing. The negs were duplicate exposures made at the time of the first exposure but these negs were blank after 8 minutes. I mean there was nothing on them, they are transparent with a hint of an orangish fog.
My immediate rational was that I had waited a week to 10 days to develop the back up negs and they sat at fluxating room temperature for that time.
So I set up again today with one film holder and exposed side A and immediately exposed side B. Went back to the darkroom and used the 1:1:100 ratio to make 100 mL to process the A neg. The neg is BLANK.
My procedure has been:
Plain water pre soak 2 minutes in rotating tank. Water returns from tank black or thereabouts.
Rotating Pyrocat for determined time. Developer returns very dark.
Rotating TF 4 Fix 5 minutes. Fix returns clear
Rotating water rinse 5 minutes.
I don't have a clue of what to address. My neg B sits in the film holder waiting for someone to come along and make suggestions.
Ouch! Sound like the Pyrocat has gone bad. Any chance of contamination?
I've been using this stuff for over a year now and have never had a failure.
Are you seeing the A+B mixtures turning colors when they are mixed? If not then it is NOT working. You need to buy the materials and make it yourself. Brice-if you need to I'm only in Ct. and you could come up here and we could make the solutions for you and develop some film. Just let me know. This a fine developer and worth persuing so don't get discouraged.
Best, Peter Schrager
When I add B to A the combined amount takes on the color of the B. When added to water the color is diluted. The A has no color coming from the bottle and the B has a color, I guess I would call it a transparent grey.
Originally Posted by peters
I'm on my second set of bottles from Photog's Formulary and have never had any failures such as you describe. I see a slight color change when I mix A & B together. It comes out of the tank deep brown. I'd phone Photog Formulary and just ask them. Sandy King might also have some suggestions if you PM him or he sees this thread. I recall that Sandy recommends a 5 minute pre-soak, and you are meant to wash the negs with water between the developer and TF4, I believe. But neither would account for a blank neg. And I don't think my B solution comes out with any tint I would call a 'color'.
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Bruce, maybe you are mixing too small an amount of developer? In my unicolor drum I always use at least 300ml of developer even if i am only developing two sheets of film. I found that in using pyrocat you have to be very accurate in measuring out the amounts for consistant results. First you need to check the pyrocat is working. How i do this is make up my usual amount of developer( 300ml) and put a scrap piece of exposed film in it and time how long it takes to get dark. if it builds density in about the time it would take for development it's ok.
I have also found to get consistant results that you need to be real accurate with the temps of all the solutions. I standardised on 72 as it's easier to maintain here.
Two final things I always shake the bottle of part A before use and you are using distilled water right?
hpe this helps
Bruce, with my "from scratch" mixed Pyrocat-HD, the B solution is colorless and the A solution is amost colorless, with a very slight yellowish tinge.
Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)
When I mix the A and B solutions together in water, the resulting solution is a pale peach color. The used developer has a stronger and more saturated peach color. Heavily agitated developer will turn brown or black.
What is your water source?
How are you storing your stock solutions?
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)
The only time I have ever gotten clear negatives with Pyrocat-HD is when I failed to add both A and B solution to the working. If you leave out either the result will be no development. If I had to bet I would bet that you somehow managed to do this.
Tom's description of the color is pretty much what I observe. The Stock A and Stock B solutions are almost perfectly clear, with maybe just a hint of pink in the A. When you mix them together the working solution should be a very pale amber.
The color of the spent developer should also be a clue, in that it should be about the color of light tea. If colorless, the solution is no good, most likely because both stock solutions were not added to the working solution.
Interesting how everyone has some of the same comments...I was using the Formulary Pyrocat-HD (liquid) and just started using some from raw chemicals from ArtCraft. Now granted I am using Efke film and that might account for the difference in the colors...but my A and B are pretty much like everyone else has mentioned (the color mixed is as pale a straw as you can get without calling it colorless). Wash for 5 min (the wash comes out a very dark blue) develope (now I have to use 2+2+100 or I get the same blank negative - anytime I use 1+1+100 with everything working by changing the to the 2+2+100, I think Lee had the same problem - could it be water Sandy?) Anyhow, here is where my results seem to differ from everyone here, once the development is complete and I pour the spent developer out it is PINK. Yep, very nice dark pink. So I don't know what to tell you Bruce, I did find I saw much more general stain with the Formulary Pcat, than I do with the ArtCraft. In fact I was testing exposures with the Formulary when I realized did not have enough to complete the testing with and found I could not compare results of it vs the ArtCraft. So this weekend will be spent re-testing with only the ArtCraft.
Could be the Formulary stuff got to hot in transit (it was July and this is Texas) or could be difference in my tap water (used to mix up working solution). I did use distilled water to mix the dry chems with, and mixed up 1 Liter of A and B stock solution. The densitometer reading I got (blue channel - don't have UV) were base+fog of .44 with the Formulary, .32 with the ArtCraft - this is reading the edge of the negtive though, I intend to process a fresh sheet this weekend (no exposure just processed) and will let you know what I find then.
Don't give up, it really is worth it and it is a very cheap developer once you get the stuff to mix it yourself. Keep us posted on what you see and try the 2+2+100 and see if that helps.
Sandy, Mike, etal......
...thank you, I've developed the B neg from today at 1:1:100 to make 300mL working solution, thinking it might be the total volulme but, alas, the B neg is equally BLANK.
I like Mikes idea of 2:2:100, seems I read about that somewhere, unless it was Lee in Ft. Worth.
If tomorrows foray goes bust I'll chuck the PF brand and move onto scratch.