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  1. #1
    DrPhil's Avatar
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    Pyrocat HD and BTZS tubes

    So I've been frustrated with my Jobo one time too many. I ordered up a set of BTZS tubes from The View Camera store. Since I am changing my developing method (and getting one that will always work!) I will need to recalibrate my developing time, EI, etc. I've also been wanting to give Pyrocat HD a try. Thus, this seems like a perfect time to give it a go. I will be using Ilford FP4+ in 4x5 sheets.

    Here is what I've gathered so far to use as a starting point.

    ISO=100 for Ilford FP4+
    Pyrocat HD 1:1:100
    I am aiming to print on Ilford MGVI RC and Fiber.

    Beginning with a presoak of 2 minutes
    Temperature is at 70 degrees(F)

    N-1 5:30
    N 8 to 8:30
    N+1 15:00

    No stop bath. Use water instead

    Kodak Rapid Fix for 5+ minutes

    Wash negatives

    This is the basic process as I understand it for Pyrocat HD. I plan to establish my EI and N, N-1, and N+1 times using the methods from Ansel's second book. This is the same method that I have used in the past. However, as I understand it I shoul use the blue channel on my densitometer over the white light channel?

    Now, for my questions.
    First, How does everyone pre-soak with the BTZS tubes?
    As I understand it you load the tubes in the dark and place a cap on the tube. Drop these into the water bath to let them come up to temperature. Fill the second set of caps up with developer. Then, in darkness remove each cap and set the tube up vertically atop each cap filled with developer. At the same time start the timer and drop them into the water bath. Keep them spinning for the suggested time. Then, remove the lids and transfer them to a tray filled with water (stop bath). Finally, remove them from the tubes and place them in a tray of fixer.

    Going back to the beginning, How is everyone presoaking their film? Are

    Second, Sandy King's article calls for an alkaline rapid fizer that does not have a harding agent. Am I correct that my standard Kodak Rapid Fixer fits this requirement?

    Thanks in advance for reading my extended post.

  2. #2

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    Presoaking the film with tubes: I have extra caps for all my tubes. I fill the extra cap with water and then, in a changing tent, replace the empty cap with the water-filled cap. When the presoak is done, the empty cap, which now contains Pyrocat, is then replaced back.
    Francesco

  3. #3

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    Dr. Phil,
    I use the tubes for all my film processing. After the tubes are in the tray of tempered water, with the lights out, I remove the cap and pull the film about half way out of the tube and kind of move the film around so water reaches the back of the film. Put the cap back on and turn the lights back on. I presoak for 5 minutes and use pyrocat hd to develope. Hope this makes sense and works for you.
    William Blunt

  4. #4
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Dr Phil,
    A good substitute for an acidic rapid fixer is Photographer's formulary's TF4. It is an alkaline fixer which works well.

  5. #5
    DrPhil's Avatar
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    WM,

    That sounds a bit easier than Francesco's changing tent method. With my luck I would spill something in my tent. I think I will just turn the lights off in the darkroom.

    Since both of you are using tubes, how rapidly do you spin them around? Do you have a method for consistent agitation?

  6. #6

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    Dr. Phil
    Spin the tubes slowly to keep from getting too much extra base stain from the pyrocat hd. I use Kodak rapid fix less hardener for 5 minutes.

  7. #7
    DrPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noseoil
    Dr Phil,
    A good substitute for an acidic rapid fixer is Photographer's formulary's TF4. It is an alkaline fixer which works well.
    Am I to understand then that Kodak's Rapid Fixer is Acidic? Sandy King's article calls for an Alkaline (basic) fixer. How alkaline or acidic are each of these fixers? Are there thresholds that shouldn't be crossed? Hmmm. I think I am going to run over to the office tomorrow and grab a pH meter.

  8. #8
    DrPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm blunt
    Dr. Phil
    Spin the tubes slowly to keep from getting too much extra base stain from the pyrocat hd. I use Kodak rapid fix less hardener for 5 minutes.
    So the kodak rapid fix less hardener must not be too acidic. I wonder if the pH of the fixer affects the stain? Sound like another experiment!

  9. #9

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    Dr. Phil
    Sandy recommends the alkaline fix but states that Kodak rapid fix works fine. I've never had a problem with fixing and get plenty of "good" stain.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil
    Am I to understand then that Kodak's Rapid Fixer is Acidic? Sandy King's article calls for an Alkaline (basic) fixer. How alkaline or acidic are each of these fixers? Are there thresholds that shouldn't be crossed? Hmmm. I think I am going to run over to the office tomorrow and grab a pH meter.
    Kodak rapid fixer is not acidic unless you add the hardener. The little bottle that comes in the box. I use it with Pyrocat (the only fixer I can get in Mexico) with no problems or stain reduction. Of course, I dont add the hardener. I have a bunch of those little bottle....hmmm....maybe I should stop by e pay....

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