Originally Posted by AlanC
There is nothing sacrosanct about developer dilutions. My recommendations for silver (1:1:100) and alternative processing (2:2:100) have as their primary objective to give developing times that are neither too short (and give uneven development) or too long (and become logistically inconvenient).
Although I do not actively support the substitution of metol for phenidone in the Pyrocat-HD formula, as I make clear in my article, I do not think that the difference in contrast you observe is due to this substitution. In fact, in my own testing there has been very little difference in results with Pyrocat-HD when using phenidone and metol.
You wrote, " You have mentioned that HP5+, BPF as well as Fortepan 400 are not suitable for low-SBR situations. Is this only applicable when one is preparing negatives for alternative processes? When one is developing negatives for regular silver printing (I mean not AZO), those films perform sufficiently even in low-SBR situations with N-plus development?"
Yes, my comments about the lack of suitability of HP5+, BPF and Fortepan 400 for low contrast situations pertains only to alternative processes where we need a very high CI.
"Another question is about procedure. If Pyrocat-HD is used with Jobo processor, you have recommend to add "0.3g/L of Sodium Sulfite to each liter for working solution." Does this mean I will add 0.3g to one litter of working solution? I simply cannot put the meaning of the above sentence into practice."
Yes, but if measuring 0.3g is a problem you could just increase the amount of stock solution A by about 30%.
Sandy, what film in 11X14 size do you recommend to use with pyrocat in low SBR situations for Pt/Pd printing?
Originally Posted by jbrodkey
Your choices are rather limited. Here is what is available, so far as I know.
Ilford FP4+, from Ilford
ASA 125 Panchromatic Film from PhotoWarehouse, tests same as FP4+
Efke PL 100
Best for low contrast lighting, by far, are 1) Efke PL 100 and 2) Ilford FP4+ (or the Photowarehouse ASA 125 film).
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I was in the midst of writing a reply to you on APUG.org when something happened and I couldn't get it back.
There is not much technique to the process. The bleach can be one that you can find in "The Darkroom Cookbook" and other places for the first step in sepia toning of prints. DO NOT use farmer's reducer!
Make sure the negative is well washed before bleaching. Residual hypo would be a disaster. Then you WOULD have Farmer's reducer.
You would have to leave the negative in the bleach a really long time to overdo it. You'll know when it is done by the milky translucence of the image. Rinse it well and put it in just about any kind of staining developer. Grain has already been set by the initial development so it will not increase. Only the stain image will be intensified any way. I originally reported on PMK, but I have also used Pyrocat and some of my own concoctions. Do not fix or soak the negative in used developer. It has already had enough of this treatment. Just wash it and dry it.
The process may be repeated, but remember that these are tanning developers that might cause stress marks in the emulsion with too many repetitions. Since there is no need to control contrast or store a stock solution, you might try a simple teaspoon concoction of catechol or even hydroquinone and carbonate without any sulfite. Mix it just before use. The object is maximum image stain. We can't do anything for the silver by this technique.
Try it on a test negative. You may find there are situations where it will be advantageous to plan on doing it from the start. Some films that do not stain impressively will respond quite well. Also, there may be something to be said for developing the first time in a more standard developer that gives more shadow detail (if you can find one). My original plan was to be able to convert a non-pyro negative to one that can be printed easily on either VC paper or, say, platinum.
Hope this helps. I don't know where the original is for my article.
Pat "Gadget" Gainer
But I'm sitting here looking at an 11X14 film of HP5+ exposed at 320.
I metered it with my digital Pentax spot meter ranging from 8+ -> 12+ and exposed it 1/2 sec at f/22. Developed in Pyrocat 1:1:100 for 10 minutes at 75 deg. The fb + f was .32 using a 361T uv densitometer and the maximum density was 2.21 !! - more than enough for Pt/Pd. The same scene exposed at 1/2 sec at f/32 and developed similarly registered a fb + f of .34 but a maximum density of 1.86.
It seems to me that while the subject was a little less than normal in brightness range the range of densities on the film was very large - maybe too large. Also that rating HP5+ at 320 may be wrong and that it should be rated lower.
My biggest problem has been trying to determine what to do about N+1 and
N-1 in terms of exposure and development.
Originally Posted by jbrodkey
When developing for this much CI you will get full emulsion speed from HP5+ in Pyrocat-HD, in fact you will get even more than full emulsion speed. I would actually rate HP5+ at about EFS 500 in the type of scene you described, and since EFS of HP5+ is fairly stable at different N values you don't gain very much by changing it for other subject lighting conditions.
In any event a B+F value of 0.32 for HP5+ is really about as good as you can get. With very fresh film you might get lower values but not much.
HP5+ in 35 mm has a neutral density in the base that stays. It prevents halation and light piping. I think the sheet film uses a dye that washes out and the base is much clearer.