After reading this thread yesterday I decided to act on my long term wish to buy and try some Pyro HD. The only place I could find in the UK which appears to list the chemicals was Silverprint so I called them and asked if they stocked ready packaged HD or if I would have to buy the chemicals. The lady who answered the telephone said she had not heard of it and asked me again to explain what I wanted. I explained again and again she did not know, so asked somebody else at their store. She replied that she she had some ready made up Pyro or some 'experimental' Pyro in bags. Further questioning elicited that the first stock was PMK and the 'experimental' stock she could not explain further. I was becoming slightly amazed but exasperated and explained that PMK was different from HD and I wanted HD. She asked somebody again and said that nobody knew what it was asking for and they didnt sell it!
Linhof appear to stock PMK but not HD. Bostick and Sullivan want 80-90 dollars for shipping. Lotus View Cameras sell it in Austria and will ship for approx 20 Euros. Is there no-one else in UK I can buy ready mixed HD which seems readily available in US? If not I'll need to buy scales etc and self mix - where do you UK workers get HD from?
I believe they mix their own. But you can try Prescysol (www.monochromephotography.com). It behaves quite similar to Pyrocat HD.
After trying Prescysol I ended up buying a scale and mixing my own Pyrocat.
Sadly Geoff there dosn't appear to be anybody as yet who supplies ready mixed Pyrocat-HD here in the UK. I mix my own from formula; raw chemicals purchased from Silverprint.
Originally Posted by geoff billett
I've used various pyro developers over the years, including most of the ones mentioned in this thread, but the only one I'd recommend to a beginner hasn't been mentioned. 510 pyro. I bought my first bottle on ebay because the claims made for it by the designer, and the testimonials from the users seemed just too good to be true, and because the seller was willing to ship internationally. I thought it a little on the expensive side when I paid US$25 with shipping to Jakarta for 100ml of concentrate, but the seller did tell me that it's much cheaper to make my own, and advised me to do so if I liked the developer. The developer arrived in a red plastic bottle, with a home made, very generic label that didn't inspire much confidence, and a measuring syringe taped to the bottle. There was no list of ingredients or mixing directions of any kind on the bottle, but after unpacking the shipping box I found not only complete instructions for use, but the formula, instructions for making the developer, and contact information for the designer, who would "be happy to answer any questions" about the developer! On reading the instructions for use, I found instructions for "reduced agitation techniques" with a 1:500 dilution! Yes, 1:500, not X+X+X, 510 pyro comes as one solution, like HC110. This I had to try, despite the fact that I normally process all of my film in a Jobo processor, so I followed the included instructions for FP4+, I believe, even though I was using Neopan Acros 100. Adding 1ml of syrup to 500ml of water seemed laughable, and I had very low expectations for the results, but when I finally pulled my film off the real, after something like 3/4 an hour with practically no agitation, I was stunned by the apparent quality of my negatives. Not only did it work, it appeared to work beautifully! Contrast seemed just about right, there was no base fog or general stain, no streaking or mottling, and the negs appeared to be quite sharp, indeed. Too excited to wait for my film to dry, I put a hair dryer to them, and a few minutes later I was ready to print. The first thing I noticed when focussing with my focus scope was that there didn't appear to be any grain! Most of the pyro developers I've used tend to accentuate grain, and some truly glorify it, but not this one. Luckily, the edges were quite crisp, and provided a good focus registration. Print after print I was delighted with the smooth tones, crisp edges, well separated shadows and restrained, luminous highlights. I found myself chuckling aloud as I worked those negatives. Not only had this developer lived up to the designer's hype, to my mind, it exceded it. I couldn't wait to contact the designer and congratulate him on his acheivement. I expected a very "I told you so" attitude from him, but what I found was a very humble, modest and appreciative man. I asked about ordering a large quantity of 510 pyro (I was hooked), but instead of making a sale, he made a suggestion, "make your own, it's much cheaper". I'd never compounded my own developer, and was apprehensive, but over the course of several emails, he assured me that it was simple and safe to do at home. I didn't have a scale, and didn't really want to buy one, so I ordered my chemicals pre-measured, which might have cost a little more, I don't know, but provided me some peace of mind. A little paranoid about pyro, I decided to make up the developer out of doors, and used the gas burner of my barbecue grill as the heat source. It really was as simple as he said it would be. I just added the chemicals to about half the TEA and then topped up to the final volume with TEA all at room temp, well, air temp, and then heated with stirring until everything was in solution. Nothing more to it than that. I grinned like a Cheshire cat the whole time. When the finished concentrate cooled I transferred it to its final storage container and viola! I had a full liter of 510 pyro! I've been using it exclusively ever since, and keep in ocassional contact with Jay, who is always helpful and inquisitive about my use of his developer. I actually found this site by a google search for 510 pyro. If you've been wanting to try a pyro developer, but don't know which to try first, or if you're curious to try 510 pyro but put off by the hype and extraordinary claims, do yourself a favor and give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
Pyrogallol and pyrocatechin are notorious for rapidly deteriorating in an alkaline solution, which is what is required to activate them as developers. What is special about the 510 formula that permits the developing agents to survive? What is the life of the stock solution?
Most pyrogallol developers (and I presume pyrocatechin too) have the developing agent in a slightly acidic stock solution to preserve it. The second solution is your alkali and once mixed, the working solution is appropriately alkaline. The working life of the working solution is measured in minutes to a couple of hours at most.
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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In the United States, where do you purchase your Pyrocat HD? I've wanted to order from B&H, my normal photography supplier, but they will not ship it. Because of this, I was preparing to start my pyro experimentation with WD2D+ because they would ship that. I may start there anyway, but would like to try the Pyrocat at some point.
I get my Pyrocat HD from Bostick & Sullivan. I have had no quality issues with it, and they pre-mix and pre measure the part A solution dry in the same bottle, part B solution in liquid, so all you have to do is add warm distilled water to the part A bottle and shake vigorously. If you order from Photographers Formulary, each chemical in the part A (and part B) is packed separately, so you have to deal with powders and possible chemical weight loss due to chemicals sticking to the plastic baggies.
Both Formulary and Bostick & Sullivan will ship anywhere within the US.
The extremely long life of the 510 Stock Solution (and the Pyrocat developers mixed in Propylene Glycol) is due to the highly oxidation resistant nature of the organic solvents in which these developer stock solutions are mixed and stored:
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
510 (mixed in Triethanolamine).
Pyrocat/Glycol (mixed in Propylene Glycol)
Of course, when these stock concentrates are mixed with water to make the working developer, the working developer begins to oxidize.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
This is not correct. Formulary will ship both A and B already in glycol solution. Very handy to use and stores forever. You can order just the powders but why bother unless you are concerned about shipping weight.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
However, both Pyrocat-MC and 510 Pyro contain ascorbic acid, which slows down the rate of oxidation and lengthens the useful life of the working solutions compared to pyrogallol and pyrocatechin formulas that do not contain ascorbic.