Sandy King has graciously provided us with information to develop film with Pyrocat-HD using the divided development technique. I have started working with divided Pryocat-HD and I am happy and excited with my initial results.
Here is the procedure that I am using with for divided Pryocat-HD:
1. Film and exposure: Ilford 4x5 sheet film, fp4+ @ 100 ASA and hp5+ @ 250 ASA
2. Processing Equipment: Jobo 3010 Expert Drum rotated continuously on a Beseler motor base
3. Development: Pyrocat-HD at 1:20 dilution for Part A and Part B, a developing temperature of 75 degrees, 3 minute pre-soak, and development times of 5 minutes for Part A and Part B
4. Stop: Water rinse for stop for approximately 30 seconds
5. Fix: TF-4 for 5 minutes
Anyone else using divided Pyrocat-HD? Any hints, suggestions, successes, or failures?
Does anyone know what increasing the Part A or the Part B developer concentration, i.e., effect on grain, stain, density, contrast, etc.?
Originally Posted by Jay Decker
In considering changes bear the following in mind.
1, I would recommend that you simplify matters by not changing the time in either Solution A or Solution B. But if you change the time stick with it as it will simplify the other adjustment you can make.
2. Contrast is controlled by the amount of reducer that can be absorbed by the emulsion in Solution A. Assuming you stay with 6 minutes and 75F, using a stronger dilution will increase final negative contrast, using a weaker one will reduce final negative contrast. In other words, if 1:20 is the norm, a 1:10 dilution will give you more contrasty negatives, a 1:40 dilution will give negatives with less contrast. I think 1:10 is a good starting point for tank development with intermitten agitation, 1:20 is for rotary agitation.
3. Effective film speed is controlled by the time in solution B. What happens is that the reducer in the emulsion is quickly used up in the highlight areas, and since it can not be replenished as in normal single bath processing, the negative builds contrast rapdily when it goes into the solution, but in about three minutes all of the reducer is used up so that the build up of density in the highlights stops. However, the negative will continue to build up density in the mid-tones shadows throughout development, which increases effective film speed. So if six minutes is the norm for Solution B, four minutes will give less effective film speed, ten minutes will give more effective film speed.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by sanking; 07-19-2009 at 05:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I've used it and it is great with Plus-X; haven't tried it with other films yet.
Thank you, Sandy.
About a year ago, on the LF Forum, you mentioned that you were working on a refinement to the Pyrocat HD formula for 2 bath development. Did it pan out?
Also, have you tried Pyrocat MC as a 2 bath?
An update to my previous post regarding using this method to process APX25. Tried 1:15 for 6 +6 minutes, thought the negs looked a bit weak, so rated the film at iso 20 and used 1:10 as per Sandy's recommendation. Results are excellent, perfect at this dilution, and the edge effects are amazing...like Kodachrome.
Unfortunately I only have one roll of APX left, so will try this with my usual Pan F.
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Originally Posted by davekarp
I tried several things with the goal being keeping the dilution at 1:50 or 1:100. The solutions worked, but involved making the Stock A solution much more concentrated, and I had to use a Stock B solution with higher pH.
In end end I determined that the best course of action was simply to keep the stock solutions as they were and recommend the more concentrated working solutions of 1:10 for both Solution A and Solution B. I am personally getting great results with the 1:10 dilution at 6+6 minutes at 75F using Fuji Acros, which I rate at EF of 50 because I am looking for really good detail in the shadows.
So that is where things stand as of now. I am been using the 1:10 dilution of two bath Pyrocat for all of my roll film work for about a year and I am very impressed with the results. As as been mentioned, this dilution, with four agitation cycles, gives a lot of acutance which gives razor sharp prints. I like the results much better than with two bath D23 and D76.
Two bath Pyrocat-MC works about the same as -HD, with perhaps a tad more acutance. I would recommend it for rotary processing using a 1:15 or 1:20 dilution.
And also thanks for all publishing your experiences with 2 bath developers. It seems to have given them more credibility than they had been getting before that. They seem to have gotten a really bad rap. Once, I even had a chemist from a commercial photo chemical company tell me that Thornton's 2 bath formula would not even result in an image on film, after I had been using it for quite a while!
I know that you have been using the 2 baths for scanning, but once I am through my backlog of exposed negatives I am going to give 2 bath Pyrocat HD or MC a try for darkroom printing.
Thanks for your generous comments about the article. I must say that I really enjoyed doing the work for that article as it was a real learning experience. I got turned on to two-bath development after sharing some notes with another photographer and determined that it would be a great way for developing film when the end was to scan.
However, it is also clearly possible to use two bath development if the goal is wet processing in the darkroom. In fact, I think you will find that two bath Pyrocat will give you more than enough contrast for printing with VC papers using a #2 or #3 filter, or the equivalent.
Anyway, thanks again, and please post your feedback.
Originally Posted by davekarp
You are welcome.
For what it is worth, I have found that your comments regarding printing with grade 2 or 3 filters or paper are right on when using Diafine, DD76, or Thornton's 2 bath.
Before going to LF and back to 2 bath developers, I was using PMK a bit with my MF negs. I am interested in trying your formulae in a 2 bath, and will definitely give you some feedback.
Due to Pyrocat-HD's oxidization properties I presume a 1:10 dilution 2 bath process is still for one-shot use?