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  1. #1

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    Torn on Pyroct HD w/35mm TX

    I've been using Pyrocat HD for my 35mm TX negatives for most of my work in the year, year and a half. I've pulled my best results from TX using this developer. The liberally exposed, full range, negatives I like have given me prints I am very happy with. This is a great combination for 35mm, period.

    What is giving me cause for doubt, however, is that I am not perfect. I do not always estimate my exposure correctly. I shoot in difficult lighting. Ocassionally I even "push" my negatives.

    Printing less than ideal negatives sometimes requires making prints with accentuated grain. Printing at high contrast grades from weak negaives for example.

    What I'm driving at here is that although the perfect print from the perfect Pyrocat/TX negative has a very minimal, "masked," grain sructure, that grain, when unmasked is, well, clumpy, confused, unattractive. To be blunt.

    I can say the same thing for Pyrocat HD and HP5.

    I thought I would share my experience with you and inquire as to your overall experience with Pyrocat HD and 35mm films.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Why use only one developer? If you like Pyrocat-HD under certain conditions, then stick with it for those conditions. If you need more speed for other conditions, try a developer like Acufine or Microphen for more speed.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Why using one dev ? I do, to have the same result and feel on my prints.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    And you think another developer would give better results under these less than ideal exposure situations?

    You are missing the point. "Better results" for me equals attractive grain structure when grain structure is an inherent part of the image. The grain produced by Pyrocat HD and the films that I use is unnatractive to me when it is rendered apparant by exposure/printing cercumstances.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Why use only one developer? If you like Pyrocat-HD under certain conditions, then stick with it for those conditions. If you need more speed for other conditions, try a developer like Acufine or Microphen for more speed.
    Good question. I don't. There will always be a time when I reach for one of several developers. But I do have a need for a standard that a body of work is base on. The nature of 35mm being what it is, you can't always pick and choose how you will handle every situation. That is one long roll of film, and as I said, I make mistakes.

  6. #6

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    Why not try a roll of Delta, Tmax or something else? For that matter try another developer too. I like Xtol.

  7. #7

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    My rodinal negatives have big, attractive grain, like boobies at spring break.
    Seriously though, it is hard for me to imagine that you would be happy with any underexposed negative.

  8. #8
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    The best rule of thumb to produce glowing negatives that minimise the underlying grain structure is to overexpose slightly and under develop.Try rating TX at 200ASA and cut your dev time by 20% as a starting point. You should then find the kind of negs you seem to prefer are easier to achieve. Have a look at the late James Ravilious pictures, made using this technique and ancient Leicas with uncoated lenses. Tri-x was his favorite film and handled this way,the results are stunning !!!

  9. #9

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    If you are going to choose a different developer it should be for a reason. Ask yourself this question: "If I choose a developer that is more forgiving of poor exposures in difficult lighting conditions what will it do to the negatives that I have properly exposed and developed?" I would recommend learning how to control your exposures in the difficult situations before switching to a different developer. Seek out those difficult conditions that are giving you problems and learn how to handle them. There are good reasons for using more than one developer. One reason for changing may be to secure a different type of gradation. I can not recommend being less than competent with 2 developers as being better than being less than competent with one, although it can be recommended as a way to confuse youself.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The two-developer solution (one for general use, one for speed) works for me. I limit the materials I use in general with the goals mentioned above--to attempt to produce a consistent body of work--but trying to make a certain developer/film combination do something it can't do isn't really a better solution, if it produces only negs that aren't worth printing, or that require adjustments in at the printing end to make up for problems at the shooting end. Of course you could decide that producing a consistent body of work means not shooting under certain lighting conditions, but if you want to shoot under less than ideal lighting conditions, you need to figure out how to produce a printable negative.

    For large format, I find that ABC Pyro and RAF pyro-metol are nicely matched, giving similar tonality but with RAF producing greater speed (and grain, but for LF this isn't as much of a problem). Both of these developers are too grainy for 35mm, unless you're after that effect, but you might try to find two developers that have a similar affinity.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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