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  1. #21
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Since you're working with medium format film and will ostensibly be enlarging your negatives, I would avoid pyrogallol based developers, such as Michael and Paula use. Their negatives are too dense to be printed on enlarging paper.

    I think your best all around choice would be Pyrocat HD, which has already been suggested. It can be tailored for negatives to be enlarged and has the extra advantage of also being good for contact printed large format negatives with a little fine tuning. If you ever decide to contact print bigger negatives you'll have your developer.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    Since you're working with medium format film and will ostensibly be enlarging your negatives, I would avoid pyrogallol based developers, such as Michael and Paula use. Their negatives are too dense to be printed on enlarging paper.
    This is simply not true. I print PMK pyro negatives on enlarging paper all the time. I believe Michael and Paula use ABC pyro which I think tends to have more general stain than PMK does.
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;None but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

  3. #23
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    PMK, Pyrocat, and WD2D+ negatives all print fine with an enlarger, in my experience. YMMV.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 12-17-2007 at 02:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24

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    Fresh mixed ABC has almost no visible stain if used with an acid fix and stop. PMK has tons of general stain if an alkaline fix and water stop are used as often is done.
    ABC would be a pretty grainy developer to use for enlargments, unless you like that look.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brook View Post
    Fresh mixed ABC has almost no visible stain if used with an acid fix and stop. PMK has tons of general stain if an alkaline fix and water stop are used as often is done.
    ABC would be a pretty grainy developer to use for enlargments, unless you like that look.
    I have found that PMK used in an inversion tank does not produce much general stain. I don't have a lot of air in the tank, and I don't agitate a lot.

    The OP needs more general info at this stage, I think. The articles by Sandy King at unblinking eye are a good place to start.

    Introduction to Pyro Staining Developers

    http://www.unblinkingeye.com/Articles/articles.html

    If the OP is going to use variable contrast papers, the effect of stain colour on achieved contrast needs to be studied.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    I believe Michael and Paula use ABC pyro which I think tends to have more general stain than PMK does.
    Not necessarily. How much general stain ABC Pyro produces is dependent on the condition of the sodium sulfite stock solution. If fresh, the general stain of ABC Pyro is quite low.

    The problem with ABC Pyro for enlarging is that it gives very large film grain. This is not completely bad because in some cases film grain can enhance image sharpness.

    Sandy King

  7. #27
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    This is simply not true. I print PMK pyro negatives on enlarging paper all the time. I believe Michael and Paula use ABC pyro which I think tends to have more general stain than PMK does.
    I guess you haven't seen their negatives. I certainly couldn't print them on enlarging paper.
    What I really meant to say was "Don't use ABC, which is what M&P use".

    PMK has other problems, not the least of which is much greater general (aka fog) stain than ABC.

    I still believe the best developer for both enlarging and contact printing purposes is Pyrocat.

    Personally, I don't use either pyrogallol or pyrocatechin based developers for 90% of my negatives.

    Nothing has been as overhyped as pyro developers, except perhaps Azo.

    BTW, I used PMK for many years and think it's a fine developer for enlarging paper. Hutchings is a true pioneer, but there have been many improvements made in the years since he developed his breakthrough. Ask Sandy why he developed Pyrocat in the first place.
    Last edited by c6h6o3; 12-18-2007 at 08:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    I guess you haven't seen their negatives. I certainly couldn't print them on enlarging paper.

    What I really meant to say was "Don't use ABC, which is what M&P use".

    PMK has other problems, not the least of which is much greater general (aka fog) stain than ABC.

    I still believe the best developer for both enlarging and contact printing purposes is Pyrocat.

    Personally, I don't use either pyrogallol or pyrocatechin based developers for 90% of my negatives.

    Nothing has been as overhyped as pyro developers, except perhaps Azo.
    Their negatives are dense because AZO has such a long scale that they need to develop them to a very high contrast. Clearly they are not suitable for enlarging paper, but this isn't because of the developer they use - it's because of the development time they use. If they were using another developer like D76, their negatives still wouldn't print well on enlarging paper.
    I use both PMK and Pyrocat and find little difference between the negatives other than the color of the stain. My PMK negatives certainly do not have significantly more general stain than my Pyrocat negatives.
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;None but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

  9. #29
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    My PMK negatives certainly do not have significantly more general stain than my Pyrocat negatives.
    You must know something I don't, then. Maybe I'll give it another try.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    You must know something I don't, then. Maybe I'll give it another try.
    The general stain with PMK depends on the film. I find that Delta 100, Delta 400 and Pan-F Plus have very little general stain, FP-4 and HP-5 Plus have more, and Tri-X and Plus-X have the most, of the films I've tried with it.

    Despite the general stain, I find that negatives from any of these films (except the Deltas, which I haven't really dialed in yet) are very printable. The quality of the image from the negative is not inversely proportional to the general stain, despite what a person's instincts might be.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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