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  1. #21
    gainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    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.
    It is said that the overall stain of PMK that gives so much problem with printing is the result of returning the fixed negatives to the used developing solution, and that Hutchungs no longer recommends that. I have also heard that Pyrocat MC has the least overall stain of current staining developers. As you may know, I had a little to do with that formula, but seldom use staining developers. When I wrote for Photo Techniques the article "More Pyro Tecnics" I bleached away the silver part of a PMK negative and made a print from the stain image using VC paper and maximum magenta. It was not a good print, but it showed that there was a printable stain image. I did not use the stain intensifying process IIRC.

    The best way to intensify the proportional stain IMO is to bleach the silver back to silver chloride or bromide and then redevelop in the staining developer. I tried that also. But if there is an overall stain density, like a fog, it might only compound the problem. It's probably best to look ahead and make two negatives of the same scene.

    If the filtration for properly simulating graded paper with VC paper could be found, it might make life easier for users of both alternative processes and silver printing.
    Gadget Gainer

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    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
    Thanks Alan, I'm easily confused.

    I only use 120 now, but have used Prescysol on 5x4 and 35mm in the past and would describe it as a fine grain developer. That's not to say there arn't other equally "fine grain" developers available, but none that couple the advantages of an off the shelf staining developer with fine grain, easily printed results. Sorry if I sound like an advert for the stuff.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    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.
    Dear Sandy,

    We are saying exactly the same thing. Staining developers are a useful tool, not a magic bullet, and there is no such thing as a free ride.

    I'll add one other thing, not for your benefit as you no doubt know already: a finer-grained film in a speed-increasing dev usually gives finer grain than a faster film, in a fine grain developer, and the speeds may be very similar, eg. FP4 in DDX 200 or so, HP5 in Perceptol 250 or so.

    I should have been clearer in the original post. The stain adds density, allowing less development than if you were using the silver image alone, allowing finer grain -- BUT, even the more recent formulations are so inherently coarse-grained that even a less-developed neg is roughly comparable, from the point of view of grain, with any normal developer, and not as fine-grained as fine-grain developers (which are not as sharp).

    Cheers,

    Roger
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  4. #24
    gainer's Avatar
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    We should remember that one of the primary reasons for using a staining developer is that it allows use of the same negative with printing processes that require a negative that is high in contrast to violet or UV light as well as processes that require a lower contrast in yellow light. A user of large cameras who would like to be able to print the same negative on platinum or silver POP as well as on VC paper would have more use for the stained negative than I would as a user of 35 mm, which is not likely to be used with any contact printing process except for proof sheets.
    Gadget Gainer

  5. #25

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    My starting point is the "look" I want to achieve in the finished print. Format, film, developer, paper, enlarger type etc.are chosen with this in mind.
    When I want to make grainy atmospheric prints I choose 400 speed 35mm film and develop it either in Rodinal , which gives very crisp grain, or Pyrocat HD which gives a more variegated expressive grain that I find very pleasing.
    To refer back to points made earlier about Pyrocat being a fine grain developer: if it was, I wouldn't use it. I love the subtle, variegated grain that it produces.

    Alan Clark

  6. #26

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    It is interesting to see how people who knows lots about something are having hard time to talk simple language when explaining things

    Please don't get me wrong, I warmly welcome all yours contributions to this thread, but...

    As completely ingorant about staining development, I hoped for simple answer like:

    1. Staining developing is...

    2. Reason for using it is...

    And maybe next:

    3. Way how to use it is...

    4. Staining developers are...

    5. Best films for it are (film size, not film model, I belive all b/w films are suitable for it, as I understand)...

    But, those last three are optional because I simply wanted to know what it is, I don't plan to use it (atleast not) in near future

    As I understand from answers in this thread, staining development is used to get finest grain as possibile, right?

    Thank you all for answers you gave me.

    Regards
    Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
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  7. #27

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    It is interesting to see how people who knows lots about something are having hard time to talk simple language when explaining things

    Please don't get me wrong, I warmly welcome all yours contributions to this thread, but...

    As completely ingorant about staining development, I hoped for simple answer like:

    1. Staining developing is...

    Creating a stain, in proportion to the silver image


    2. Reason for using it is...

    Tonality, or searching for magic bullets

    And maybe next:

    3. Way how to use it is...

    A developer that stains the emulsion at the same time it develops the silver. See 'Book of Pyro'


    4. Staining developers are...

    Whatever you want them to be -- useful tool, magic bullet...

    5. Best films for it are (film size, not film model, I belive all b/w films are suitable for it, as I understand)...


    The bigger the better, though I've seen superb 35mm FP4 in PMK (by Ed Buziak)

    But, those last three are optional because I simply wanted to know what it is, I don't plan to use it (atleast not) in near future

    As I understand from answers in this thread, staining development is used to get finest grain as possibile, right?

    Wrong

    Thank you all for answers you gave me.

    Regards
    Free Photography Information on My Website
    http://www.rogerandfrances.com

  8. #28

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    "As I understand from answers in this thread, staining development is used to get finest grain as possibile, right?"

    Not necessarily. If I want fine grain, the first thing I do is to find a larger format. I would then go to a slower film, but in either case, proper exposure is essential.

    I find the grain from staining devs to be different from those of a so-called "fine-grain" devs. I don't think the grain is smaller, but perhaps "smoother", "more even", "tighter"; it has a different look than say D-25.

    IMHO, it's the complete package that makes staining devs unique; the grain pattern, tonal scale, controlled highlights, hardened neg, etc., without one being more important than the other.

  9. #29

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    Not sure if I can add anything new to this thread, other than to reinforce what some people have already posted. One choses a developer for a whole collection of reasons (tonality, grain structure, acutance, etc.) and as Sandy King pointed out, a number of these factors work at odds with each other, so in the end it is a matter of personal preference which "look" each of us wants. I use PMK on 4x5 and 120 (6x6) negatives (HP5+) because I prefer the look; I stick with D-76 for 35mm, because personally I found the grain distracting when I use PMK. But Gordon Hutchings, who developed PMK, feels it is an excellent 35mm developer - again, it depends on personal preference. Going back to the original question of "why use a staining developer," since "look" is an abstract answer, one concrete reason is that the proportional stain is something of a "self-mask" for highlights, meaning that stained negatives provide prints with a greater range of highlight values than non-stained negatives; of course I suspect that a well-exposed non-stained negative has the same values, but may require more manipulation to bring them out in the final print (i.e. I find stained negatives easier to print, but I can't say that holds true for everyone). By the way, one of the older issues of ViewCamera magazine had a panel discussion on staining developers, unfortunately I don't remember which issue it was; there might be a reference to the article on their web site.
    Regards, Pete Lewin

  10. #30
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    Returning to your original question I can only answer the "why", and "how" I use Prescysol, for I have very little chemical knowledge. I do not like grain, so I do everything I can to reduce it; hence my liking of this particular developer. It does it's job at the same time as maintaining full film speed. I usually use it with Ilford Delta 400. As for the how, well I bung all my films of whatever type and make in the same pot and give the recommended 10 1/2 minutes development. I often refer to it as the duffers zone system because I find my negs print with the minimum of manipulation.
    Refer to my gallery for the type of pictures I indulge in.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


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