Here is the reply to my email to Paval about the use of Ilford Delta 400 and Pyrocat-HD. I asked him if it was ok to reproduce it here and he was happy to let me.
Yes I’ve tried it and it is actually a very nice
combination. I am still on a learning curve, but quite
close to be done with all tests. I really recommend to
shoot some clouds during sunset to appreciate this
developer, it is really amazing. Here is what I do
and you should experiment to try to find if it works
I am doing silver-gelatin printing on graded fiber
Presoak film for 5 minutes (distilled water).
Develop in JOBO on lowest setting [around 25 rpm (10
to 20 is even better) – this is important when I had
rpm around 40 my fb+f was way up!] @ 70F, amount of
developer 800 ml, dilution 1:1:100 . Delta 100 @ EI 50
for 11 min, Delta 400 @ EI 160 for 12 min.
/You should do your personal film speed test to find
out real EI of the film with your technique. My
numbers look lower in comparison with others./
Use a plain water stop bath for one minute or a bit
more changing 2-3 times (tap water).
Use a TF-4 fixer dilution (1:3) for 5 minutes.
Wash in running water for 20-30 minutes.
Check out these sites, that’s where I was starting
--- eric <email@example.com> wrote:
> Sandy suggested I contact you about using Pyrocat-HD
> with Delta 400. Have
> you tried it? If so do you have any recommendations
> I could follow if it was
> successful? Also do you have a website I could
> visit to gain more
> information without having to bug you?
> Thanks for your help.
Since there appear to be some interest in the correct working dilution for Pyrocat-HD I thought that some of you might be interested in the following comments.
As noted in my email message to Eric, my general recommendation is 1:1:100 for silver printing and 2:2:100 for alternative printing. This works well for modern films with tabular grain (TMAX 100 and 400) and with medium and slow speed traditional films such as Ilford FP4+. There is nothing sacred about these recommendations, however.
Some recent tests I have conducted indicate that films with very thick gelatin layers, such as HP5+ and BPF, which tend to develop high levels of general stain, or b+f, with long development times in rotary processing, will benefit by changing the dilution to 2:1:100 (for silver) or 3:2:100 (for alternative). What this does is increase the amount of preservative in the working solution, thereby cutting down on oxidation during development, which as we know is the primary cause of high general stain. The logic is as follows.
Pyrocat-HD consists of Part A and Part B concentrates. Part A contains the reducers, Pyrocatechin/Phenidione plus the preservative and restrainer. The preservative (sulfite) in Part A serves to control the amount of oxidation. Increasing the amount of sulfite in the working solution reduces the amount of stain, whereas decreasing it will lead to more stain. So you can reduce the stain just by increasing the percentage of Part A in the working solution. You can also decrease the stain by adding a small amount (say about 0.4g per liter) of sodium sulfite to the working solution but I think it is easiest to just increase the amount of Part A.
Part B of course is the alkaline accelerator. If you increase its amount in the working solution you get faster development times, to a point.
Increasing the ratio of Part A in the working solution should not be necessary when developing in tray, or when using tabular grain films and slow and medium speed films. However, when developing with rotary processing emulsions such as HP5+, BPF, Forte, and perhaps even TRI-X increasing the amount of Stock A in the working solution may lower general stain, or b+f, and significantly shorter exposure times.
Hope this all makes sense.
Thanks for adding the extra info Sandy. Was in the darkroom tonight and followed your recommendations for HP5 and they turned out very nice. At least the negs look nice. Will try and get them printed maybe tomorrow night.
Had one little oops however. Had 1 litre of working developer mixed up, used 250ml for the rotary processor and the rest in a tank for MF. Made the mistake of developing the LF first, so didn't get to pouring in the developer into the MF tank for about 1/2 hour after mixing. The solution looked a bit cloudy but I figured what the heck. Well the negs came out totally blank! Not even the edge numbers. I guess when they say mix it up just before you use it their not kidding!
Some have recommended pouring the exhausted developer back into the tank after fixing for about 2 minutes, pour out and then wash. Have you found this to be useful? I tried it on a couple of negs to see what would happen but without printing them it's hard to tell.
Thanks for the extra info. I just ran out of Pyrocat-HD and mixed up some more yesterday, and the next round of negatives will get 2:2:100 instead of my normal 1:2:100. I mostly shoot FP4+ and APX, and really like the results I get with Pyrocat-HD in my contact printing. When I get a chance, I'll share my results if I find anything interesting.
When developing with Pyrocat-HD I do not recommend pouring the exhausted developer back into the tank after fixing, nor do I recommend any kind of post-development alkaline bath. Any additional stain that may result from this kind of treatment is mostly general stain, or b+f, and does nothing to enhance the printing qualities of the negative.
My post-development procedure is:
1) Stop bath, in water with several complete changes, or in an acetic acid stop bath diluted to about 1/2 normal strength.
2) Fix in an alkaline fixer such as TF3 or TF4 for 4-5 minutes.
3) Wash for 15-20 minutes in running water.
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Thanks again Sandy. For some reason I seemed to have a mental block around pyro. It seemed so exotic. The mystery has been pushed away and now I'm a devotee.
I'm glad to see someone using APX as it is one of my favorite films. However in the past I have always found it to be to contrasty when developed in Xtol.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (EricR @ Mar 27 2003, 08:58 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I'm glad to see someone using APX as it is one of my favorite films. However in the past I have always found it to be to contrasty when developed in Xtol. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Contrasty APX (or anything else) isn't bad for me, I just use Azo and alternative processes! But, I really like APX with pyro... too bad it isn't in 8x10.
Someone was telling me that Agfa was going to disco APX in 4x5. I hope this isn't true! What have you heard?
I first got on to APX in MF as it singed with my blad. I am hoping the pyro will give me a bit more tonal range than Xtol or HC110. It's probably the sharpest film I have ever used.
I'm going out this weekend to shoot some old buildings (ya wanna come Aggie?) with the APX and then process in pyro. They say it should be a sunny day so we will see. I will use the 1:1:100 ratios as I am projection printing.
Speaking of using pyro with a jobo processor. I have never heard of pyrocat-hd. where can you get it.
Also I have understood that if you are going to use a drum like the jobo to use the Rollo Pryro Kit.
CAn anyone help me this?
Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph, I think, maybe not, well I think so, or do I.