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  1. #11
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Another formula called Rollo Pyro allows these benefits using the Jobo processor for developing roll and sheet film. The benefits of pyro are often connected to alternative processes such as platinum and palladium printing. However many of us are happy with what it brings to silver printing, in my own case Kentmere variable contrast paper using a cold light head.
    Enjoy,

    John Powers

  2. #12
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    Grain is not so much of an issue when you are contact printing. I use pyro on all my LF and ULF films. But these are aimed at contact printing in PT/Pd. I also use a pyro developer for intensifying glass plate negatives to achieve a higher density for printing with albumen. Now if you want to see grainless negatives... check out glass plate negatives

  3. #13

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    The only staining developer that I have used extensively is Pyrocat HD. Because the stain is said to fill in between the grain some people seem to assume that it is a fine grain developer. In fact it is as grainy as rodinal, but the grain has a different pattern.
    Anyone who thinks it is fine grain should expose a roll of 35mm HP5, cut it in half, develop one half in Pyrocat,and the other in ID11. The ID11 half will yield noticably finer grained prints.

    Alan Clark

  4. #14
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    I use the two versions of Prescysol with Ilford films, generally Delta 400, and would describe it as remarkably fine grained. I had been led to believe by others here that it is the same formulation or close to Pyrocat HD, so I'm puzzled by the references to course grain above. Can someone please clarify the issue?
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Dear Ian,

    I fully take your point about early Pyro developers, and how much better modern ones are; but even so, I was talking about such things as PMK, and I'd not call them remarkably fine grain. They're not bad, but they don't live up to the promise of 'something for nothing'; there are non-staining developers that deliver finer grain and sometimes more speed as well.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Two points.

    First, grain is about 98% a film issue. Some developers do deliver finer grain than others, but the trade-off is sharpness. There really is no free ride on this, though people are always offering you tickets to nowhere. You want finer grain, choose a finer grain film. You want sharpness, choose an acutance developer.

    Second, many persons, perhaps even a majority, (though not on APUG of course) are developing film to scan. Scanning throws the grain issue way up in the air because of the masking effect of the stain, which is even more pronounced in scanning than in regular silver printing. I have tested and verified to my own satisfaction that if you compare scanned Xtol 1:3 and scanned Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 negatives the Pyrocat negative is as fine grain, but sharper. Not by a lot, but definitely sharper. To be fair, Xtol does deliver a bit more film speed.

    Sandy King
    Last edited by sanking; 08-24-2007 at 02:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16
    lee
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    I have used PMK and now Pyrocat HD for the last 10 or 12 years now. Pyrocat HD and is brothers are a much better pyro developer than PMK. If grain is an issue then do as Sandy says. With larger format films it is not as important in my opinion.

    lee\c

  7. #17

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    Dave,
    I think you are getting confused here. Roger Hicks used the term coarse grained. But he never mentioned Pyrocat. I talked about Pyrocat, but didn't say it was coarse grained.

    When you describe your results with prescysol as fine grained , is this with 35mm film?

    Alan Clark

  8. #18

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    I used PMK for a couple years. After that, I used Xtol exclusively for about 8 years. Now I'm using Pyrocat-HD. One of the issues with these evaluations is how long you develop your film. For example, on graded silver gelatin paper the pyro stain gives density without cause a loss of contrast in the highlights. With variable contrast papers, though, I found that I had to develop significantly longer to get good highlight separation with PMK. So my PMK negatives developed for VC printing have large but sharp grain. The xtol negatives give finer grain. I mainly scan my Pyrocat HD negatives, and so I don't need to develop near as much as for VC paper.

    Btw, I recently paid for a 5000dpi 16bit RGB scan of a PMK developed neg. The different color channels show significant variations.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    I used PMK for a couple years. After that, I used Xtol exclusively for about 8 years. Now I'm using Pyrocat-HD. One of the issues with these evaluations is how long you develop your film. For example, on graded silver gelatin paper the pyro stain gives density without cause a loss of contrast in the highlights. With variable contrast papers, though, I found that I had to develop significantly longer to get good highlight separation with PMK. So my PMK negatives developed for VC printing have large but sharp grain. The xtol negatives give finer grain. I mainly scan my Pyrocat HD negatives, and so I don't need to develop near as much as for VC paper.

    Btw, I recently paid for a 5000dpi 16bit RGB scan of a PMK developed neg. The different color channels show significant variations.
    Did you use contrast enhancing filtration when you printed on the VC paper? A stained negative that prints well on grade 2 paper should print well on VC paper with grade 3 or higher filtration. The blue in the filter attenuates the yellow that the graded paper sees as black.
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    Did you use contrast enhancing filtration when you printed on the VC paper? A stained negative that prints well on grade 2 paper should print well on VC paper with grade 3 or higher filtration. The blue in the filter attenuates the yellow that the graded paper sees as black.
    Hi Patrick, Yep I used both a color head (changing settings to change contrast) and under-the-lens Ilford MG filters. PMK's stain effect on contrast is density dependent, as I'm sure you're aware. So simply upping the contrast filter on VC paper will not give the same results as the negative on graded paper. In particular, using the higher filter will increase mid-tone and shadow contrast on the VC paper more than those areas on the graded paper.

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