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  1. #91
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    But Ian, don't you agree that there can be some important differences for those that want the last bit of print quality in high contrast lighting?

    When I used Pyrocat I shot in early morning sun mostly, with some wicked brightness ranges, from deep shadow to directly sunlit partially white walls. I could have worked with Xtol to get the general contrast correct, but to get the highlights to pop, I needed that extra detail, and it worked very well in my opinion.

    Attached example is Tri-X 400 film, Pyrocat-MC at 1+1+100 / 70*F / 13m - agitate full first minute and then two inversions every 3 minutes. Printed on Kentmere Bromide Grade 2 paper. Pretty much a straight print with little manipulation. I have used this negative to print on Ilford MGIV as well, and if I remember correctly I had filtration set at Grade 3 or 3.5. Haven't tried split grade printing it yet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BH05 - Lamp Divide.jpg  
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    You can all worry to much about the type of stain, effect of stain etc. But those of us using these developers see advantages for our work with practical experience sometimes there's too many theoretical explanations usually by inexperienced usewrs.

    Ian
    I'm talking about characteristics, that's all, not things to be worried about, not good or bad or yes you should use this and don't use that etc.

  3. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    If you look at Richard Avedon's studio portraits of lets say the Duke and Dutches of Windsor or Marylin Monroe you will see lots of uneven backgrounds for one, but also the grain is very defined, I have always thought that his film for this time period was developed in Pyro and unstained- most likely triX.

    Super sharp, but extreme edge sharpness on these portraits on grey background.
    I am not talking about In the American West or his work on white backgrounds.

    Not sure if anyone else ever noticed this and I wonder how he made the negs.
    Bob, I swear I heard somewhere that early on (not sure as early as that Marilyn portrait) Avedon's studio used 777 (replenished of course) but then later switched the tanks to D-76. But I can't remember at all where I heard or read it...so just more internet hearsay unfortunately.

    But YES, Penn and Avedon pushed envelopes. Not many people appreciate any longer how groundbreaking their work was creatively and technically. Avedon's size. And Penn's platinum. I mean, any chance to see his platinum work is an inspiration in craft...and then to hear he did some of them from color film and the such is insane. No scanners and digi negs out at his Long Island darkroom.

    Prostrate.

  4. #94
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Stain is proportional to the amount of silver halide reduced, meaning in highlight areas a fair amount of density when printing is coming from the stain. So what I'm saying is that if you look at the negative, the highlight areas might look comparitively thin (ie overall contrast looks low) while in printing the combined optical/spectral density of the silver and stain might be normal. So all we're talking about here is the fact with a pyro negative the density is a combination of silver and stain.
    Above quote is right on and may well offer some insight to why many are seeing a need to bump contrast filtration with Pyro negs.

    My experience tells me that Pyro developed negs do not like heavy exposure, this tends to move much of what we saw as dark tones in the original scene to move up onto the straight line and be impacted by development and in the case of pyro, increased stain. This is also the exact reason I do not redevelop pyro negs in used developer, the stain compromises mid tone / edge contrast and that is the single most difficult component of printing to get correct.

    For me personally, my pre pyro negs were heavy and required a lot of manipulation in the darkroom with graded paper to get the effect I was looking for.

    I find quite the opposite with Pyro negs and Multi Contrast paper, a well exposed, almost @ manufacturer's box speed and developed to a lower contrast index to yield some of the finest prints I have seen.

    I use exclusively Pyrocat HD, the first stuff Sandy formulated and find it works well with continuous agitation or with reduced agitation regimes. I mix it from powder (the most toxic as dust can cause respiratory problems), once in liquid form it is quite safe and extremely inexpensive.

    Sandy King has spend untold hours and research on formulating Pyrocat, I cannot understand the debate about developers!

    Go make some photographs!

    Cheers
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com

  5. #95
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    My experience tells me that Pyro developed negs do not like heavy exposure,
    I expose the hell out of 'em. I find that it's heavy development, leading to overall heavy density, that it really doesn't like. I rate TMax 400 at 200 and place my shadows on Zone IV (so some might say I'm really rating it at 100) but I'm very careful not to over-develop. Nothing's harder for me to print than an over-developed Pyrocat negative, especially one I've developed semi-stand. I get much better prints from ones which are a little too thin than I do from ones which are too dense.

    BTW, Tom Bertilsson: nice photograph!
    Jim

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    Above quote is right on and may well offer some insight to why many are seeing a need to bump contrast filtration with Pyro negs.

    My experience tells me that Pyro developed negs do not like heavy exposure, this tends to move much of what we saw as dark tones in the original scene to move up onto the straight line and be impacted by development and in the case of pyro, increased stain. This is also the exact reason I do not redevelop pyro negs in used developer, the stain compromises mid tone / edge contrast and that is the single most difficult component of printing to get correct.

    For me personally, my pre pyro negs were heavy and required a lot of manipulation in the darkroom with graded paper to get the effect I was looking for.

    I find quite the opposite with Pyro negs and Multi Contrast paper, a well exposed, almost @ manufacturer's box speed and developed to a lower contrast index to yield some of the finest prints I have seen.

    I use exclusively Pyrocat HD, the first stuff Sandy formulated and find it works well with continuous agitation or with reduced agitation regimes. I mix it from powder (the most toxic as dust can cause respiratory problems), once in liquid form it is quite safe and extremely inexpensive.

    Sandy King has spend untold hours and research on formulating Pyrocat, I cannot understand the debate about developers!

    Go make some photographs!

    Cheers
    Thanks for the insight on this Steve. I may well try Pyrocat one day when I'm back to sheet film!

  7. #97
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Me too. I try to rate tri x at 160 or even lower and drop process
    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    I expose the hell out of 'em. I find that it's heavy development, leading to overall heavy density, that it really doesn't like. I rate TMax 400 at 200 and place my shadows on Zone IV (so some might say I'm really rating it at 100) but I'm very careful not to over-develop. Nothing's harder for me to print than an over-developed Pyrocat negative, especially one I've developed semi-stand. I get much better prints from ones which are a little too thin than I do from ones which are too dense.

    BTW, Tom Bertilsson: nice photograph!

  8. #98
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=c6h6o3;1215934]I expose the hell out of 'em.

    Same for me too. For any developer but especially Pyro.

    Flight canceled :-(

  9. #99
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I too used Pyrocat while exposing FP4+ at 64 and Tri-X at 200. Super negatives to print.
    If you do extreme minimal agitation, you can expose at a higher exposure index, like box speed, because the longer developing time will bring back some of that shadow detail.

    But Steve is right. Go take some pictures! That's what I'll do, I think.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #100
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    I expose the hell out of 'em.
    I get much better prints from ones which are a little too thin than I do from ones which are too dense.
    Is this an oxymoron ?

    Whatever it is, if you have problems getting negs to print easily you need to look no further than "Expose the hell out of them". Jim, you know as well as anyone that exposure and development are forever linked together, when one is wrong than the other has to be forsaken in favor of the first error, hence when one is wrong so is the other.

    Personally speaking, changing to a pyro based developer and VC paper caused a fundamental change in exposure and development for me, naturally this didn't come about in one or two adjustments, it took many ill advised exposure and development choices before the puzzle became clear.

    When you get to our stage Jim revelations don't come around that often. Back in the mid 90's switching to PMK was a revelation. Another revelation came in the form a phrase by a photog we both know and whose wife's work is much in line with our sensibilities.

    The phrase "you must anchor your low values" opened my eyes to why so many of my negs were difficult to print. Prior to that conversation in Pennsylvania I used to meter and place my important shadows on Z4 with film rated @ 1/2 box speed. Since then and with more consistent ease of printing I have rated film @ a tick under box speed and first find a Z2 tonality and then determine the relationship between that Z2 tonality and what I perceive to be important shadow values. So long as those values are within 2 zones of one another I have found my exposure value.

    Lastly, if you like the look you get from Reduced Agitation negatives you will best achieve that look by exposing accurately and developing to a lower contrast index and allowing the VC paper to do what it does best, lay down the most difficult part of the final print....mid tone micro contrast

    2 cents,

    Cheers
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com



 

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