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Thread: Rollo vs PMK

  1. #1
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Rollo vs PMK

    Anyone who has used both of these care to comment on the staining characteristics of Rollo vs PMK. I'm very partial to the PMK staining characteristics, but I've picked up a Unicolor drum and reversing motorbase, and I'd like to use it for 8x10. Anybody using PMK in drums by modifying the ratio?

    Fine as it is, I'm not interested in Pyrocat BTW- I'm after the green/yellow stain.

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    I've used both for many years. Very similar staining characteristics. I prefer rollo (in trays or rotary) due to shorter development times and less base fog on films like the older HP5+. I only use PMK if I shoot a contrasty film like FP4 in contrasty lighting situations - i.e. not very often. I shoot HP5+ when the light is hard and FP4+ when the light is soft. BTW, my negs are intended for pt/pd/gum printing. I did some brief tests with Pyrocat HD a few years back and decided I liked the Rollo results better. If it ain't broke...
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    Another option that some people say works, if you want to stick with PMK, in a drum is to replace the developer halfway through the development time with fresh developer. I don't drum process in general, so I haven't tried this myself (or maybe I did once while I was experimenting with processing in print drums, but don't recall how it turned out).
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    Or, upgrade to a Jobo and use add a nitrogen tank to put an inert layer of gas (nitrogen) in the tank as the developer works. One time expense of a tank, regulator, and some simple tygon tubing and all you ever have to do is get your tank filled up occasionally. As long as you remember to turn the gas off after the developer step, even a small tank will last a long time.

    Not only will you be able to get plus development levels that are not possible with PMK (or Pyrocat, or WDd2D, or [filll in the blank with your favorite pyro based developer]) in rotary tanks that are open to the air, but you will even get shorter development times as the developer holds it's activity when the nitrogen keeps the oxygen/air away.

    I haven't used this with Rollo, but I have with PMK, and Pyrocat, and WD2H.

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    msage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    Anyone who has used both of these care to comment on the staining characteristics of Rollo vs PMK. I'm very partial to the PMK staining characteristics, but I've picked up a Unicolor drum and reversing motorbase, and I'd like to use it for 8x10. Anybody using PMK in drums by modifying the ratio?

    Fine as it is, I'm not interested in Pyrocat BTW- I'm after the green/yellow stain.
    Jason
    I have use Rollo Pyro for a number years and like the greenish/yellow stain. I compared the stains a few years ago and I found them very similar. The Rollo is easier to use and has good keeping qualities. I have followed the basic intructions and dilutions, they work well for me.

    Michael

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    I don't know about the Unicolor drum, but when calculating times for the Jobo tanks you need to remember that there is 20 second pour stage that must be counted in your development time. My normal Rollo Pyro development time at 72 degrees F is 6 minutes 25 seconds, plus the 20 seconds pour out, plus 20 seconds pour in water to stop development, plus pouring that wash out, plus a second wash of water to stop the development, and pour out, then pour in Fixer. No other steps in the Rollo process are critical, but those are.

    John Powers

  7. #7
    nze
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    Rollo is less tricky than PMK but both have the same stain. I am a PMK User but as a trick for any way I develop.
    In tank for 35mm and 120 it is really better when you agitate every 15 sec.
    for 8X10 and other sheet film I develop then in small drum and do the same with great succes. I always dio the after treatment , but never do the long watr bath , my fim are already enough yellow green
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    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great info everybody. I'm going to order some Rollo, and see how it does for me.

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    Here's the results of the first try with Rollo. I'm pleased with the stain. Should increase a bit with as it dries. the bad snap shows more contrast than there is(the eyes aren't that dark), i'm mostly looking at the stain, which is very PMKish. Yippee! I'm gonna print one of these tonight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0430081136.jpg  

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes View Post
    Or, upgrade to a Jobo and use add a nitrogen tank to put an inert layer of gas (nitrogen) in the tank as the developer works. One time expense of a tank, regulator, and some simple tygon tubing and all you ever have to do is get your tank filled up occasionally. As long as you remember to turn the gas off after the developer step, even a small tank will last a long time.

    Not only will you be able to get plus development levels that are not possible with PMK (or Pyrocat, or WDd2D, or [filll in the blank with your favorite pyro based developer]) in rotary tanks that are open to the air, but you will even get shorter development times as the developer holds it's activity when the nitrogen keeps the oxygen/air away.

    I haven't used this with Rollo, but I have with PMK, and Pyrocat, and WD2H.
    I second Kirk's nitrogen gas recommendation. Not only are times shorter but base+fog is considerably less than without the gas. In rotary, PMK works so well with nitrogen that Rollo is not necessary. While the Rollo stain is quite pretty when observed backlit on a lightbox, a print from the Rollo neg. is no match for a print from a similarly exposed PMK neg.

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