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  1. #111
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Not speaking for the other 7 here but you are right Gerald I cannot offer a scientific basis for my opinion.

    What I can offer is over 30,000 roll processed in pyro , contacted then prints made from over the last 15 years. Not to mention the Sheets of film.

    Some people make charts and plot curves, drink wine and pontify about printing
    Others make a living from it and work 7 days a week at photography.

    Which group do you fall into??
    Ha, finally someone comes out saying what I've always believed in. Extensive, scientific knowledge/proof of how and why something works the way it does, does not make a great image or replace hard work/hands-on experience in making great images. In fact, I am a firm believer that, often in this field, the more you know (technically and scientifically), the less you got to show in the creativity department. That's because it is so easy to constantly get hung up on endless tests, doubts about one's processes, and trying to find scientific answers about everything, that all ingenuity and spontaneity to make a great picture is lost, behind the shutter and at printing stage. At the end of the day, for those who are inclined to always seeking scientific answers, talk is cheap (for as interesting as it may be in many cases), until you supply successful images that can back up all the wonderful theories and tech mumbo jumbo.
    So, would "real" scientific information really help us in producing a great print from a Pyro negative or the advice of people who may have no clue about it but have printed thousands of negatives from it and can actually give their "professional" opinion?
    I don't mean to sound harsh but I do speak my mind. This is of course a totally moot point if one is inclined to simply seek scientific knowledge/proof for the sake of it.

  2. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Which group do you fall into??
    What I believe is important is the stain produced during development since it is created in proportion to the amount of silver produced. I think of this as image stain. Placing the negative back into the developer after all silver halide has been removed by fixing contributes nothing to the image stain. This procedure produces only an overall stain something like a built in ND filter. It's not going to create any mystical qualities in the negative.

    Years ago when there was a great deal of interest in the Zone System there were a handful of gurus for lack of a better term. Their every word was considered as holy writ. No one was allowed to question any of their pronoucements let alone supply any scientific criticism. Sadly, I think that the technique of stain development is at a similar point. It's a valid and useful method but people need to separate the facts from a great deal of fiction.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-30-2011 at 09:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  3. #113
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I Yams what I Yams , as Popeye would say.

    Recently a 40 print show that hung in the Royal Ontario Museum which was viewed by hundreds of thousand viewers , got extended for one year due to the positive responses. All the negatives produced this show were done in my very unsophisticated method of dipping back into the developer.
    I think the prints are pretty good using this method.

    I think you are missing my point about the hardening effect of tannin developer, nowhere did I say the stain had any mystical properties and I must admit it took me years to understand the zone system, and my take on it is probably very different from the gurus here and back then.

    How you make the prints zing is most important. That just takes practice and a few thousand negatives to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    What I believe is important is the stain produced during development since it is created in proportion to the amount of silver produced. I think of this as image stain. Placing the negative back into the developer after all silver halide has been removed by fixing contributes nothing to the image stain. This procedure produces only an overall stain something like a built in ND filter. It's not going to create any mystical qualities in the negative.

    Years ago when there was a great deal of interest in the Zone System there were a handful of gurus for lack of a better term. Their every word was considered as holy writ. No one was allowed to question any of their pronoucements let alone supply any scientific criticism. Sadly, I think that the technique of stain development is at a similar point. It's a valid and useful method but people need to separate the facts from a great deal of fiction.

  4. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    I Yams what I Yams , as Popeye would say.

    Recently a 40 print show that hung in the Royal Ontario Museum which was viewed by hundreds of thousand viewers , got extended for one year due to the positive responses. All the negatives produced this show were done in my very unsophisticated method of dipping back into the developer.
    I think the prints are pretty good using this method.

    I think you are missing my point about the hardening effect of tannin developer, nowhere did I say the stain had any mystical properties and I must admit it took me years to understand the zone system, and my take on it is probably very different from the gurus here and back then.

    How you make the prints zing is most important. That just takes practice and a few thousand negatives to work with.
    I'm sure that the prints at the show were very good. I personally don't believe that an overall stain added anything to their quality. I think they would be excellent either way. From my experience an overall stain would make the negatives harder to print.

    You didn't imply anthing mystical and I think you are far too intelligent to do so. But after reading dozens of articles on the web you willl find such comments.

    I think most people have problems understanding the Zone System, I know I did. Many of the books on the Zone System are not very good teaching aids. I have read others describe the difficulty. Some state that they have suddenly attained an epiphany when everything finally made sense.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-30-2011 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #115
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusM3 View Post
    ... until you supply successful images that can back up all the wonderful theories and tech mumbo jumbo.
    So, would "real" scientific information really help us in producing a great print from a Pyro negative
    This is exactly what George Eastman did. He applied scientific principles so that the average Joe could make successful images.

    I would say the success of Kodak in the last century is adequate evidence of this method.

    or the advice of people who may have no clue about it but have printed thousands of negatives from it and can actually give their "professional" opinion?
    ...
    And this is exactly the mechanism Bob used successfully. He's in good company. There is passage in one of the A.A. books about Weston where the supreme geek of photography comments that he was watching Weston work and wondering just what in heaven's name the guy was doing. The final comment was "but the results speak for themselves." Clearly an acceptance by Adams that Weston's methodology was legitimate, even if it wasn't scientifically rigorous.

    IMO it is a mistake to think of this as a zero sum game. Neither approach is wrong.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  6. #116
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Gerold , lets talk a bit about the stain.

    My testing without the stain showed very grainy negs, In fact that is why I referenced Avedon series earlier in this thread. I worked with a photographer and used pyro with no stain and the look is good.

    I have used the non used developer after bath, but side by side I did not see any benifits. at the time

    I am and old dog but I am willing to learn new tricks, in fact Steve Sherman and Sandy King would be my go to people if I want to start experimenting again.

    One thing I should say, I am not bullshitting about the amount of pyro film I have printed and I firmly believe if something is not broke , don't try to fix it.


    I wish a few experts on this thread , would explain the tannin effect of a pyro based developer, which all along I have been saying is the most exceptional property of a pyro developer over lets say Xtol , which is the basis of this thread the OP started.

    BTW I am blushing that you think I am intelligent, you are the first person in the world to describe me as this.

  7. #117

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    There is a wonderful scene in the film adaptation of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in Kings Arthur's Court." Merlin has discovered gun powder and is attempting to distinguish what components of his recipe are necessary and which are not. After a successful explosion he remarks, "Next time I will leave out the frog." Not putting the negatives back into the used developer is "leaving out the frog."
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #118

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    Bob,

    I am not an expert on photograpic chemistry but I am a chemist. I also have been a photographer for 60 years. I have thus tried many things. PE could probably provide some more insights on what is happening. But here goes.

    The principle advantage of a staining developer is that it produces not only a silver image but also a stain image. Compared to a conventional developer less silver needs to be produced to provide the same density and contrast. The stain image is grainless. Becuase of this the overall effect is a less grainy image. Less silver equals less grain. However, if you like dense negatives then this advantage is lost.

    During development a stain is produced in direct proportion to the amount of silver that is reduced. This creates a stain image superimposed on the silver image having similar characteristics to the silver one. The stain is produced from the oxidation products of certain developing agents like pyrogallol, catechol, and hydroquinone. In order for the stain to form the sulfite content of the developer must be low just as it is for color developers. The stain consists of what are known as condensed polyphenols or humic acids. These compounds are highly colored and the stain is permanent. Once formed the stain is no longer effected by either the acid or the sulfite contained in such solutions as fixing baths. Humic acids are only soluble in concentrated solutions of either sodium or potassium hydroxide.

    Now both tannin acid and the stain are condensed polyphenols. Tannic acid has a lower molecular weight than the stain and so is soluble in water. I think we are all familiar with that fact that animal hides can be tanned using tannic acid to make them stronger. A staining developer does the same thing. The chemical collagen in both the gelatine of the emulsion and the animal hides can be tanned thereby hardening them. Some people say that this tanning action prevents the silver grains from migrating and clumping up thus reducing the grain of the negative. With today's prehardened emulsions this alleged benefit may not be as great as in the past when emulsions were rather soft.

    The tanning effect can be seen by the naked eye as it causes the emulsion to shrink producing a relief image. This also produces a refractive effect upon enlarging.
    .
    If the silver is removed from a negative produced by a staining developer the result is a grainless image similar to that produced by color films. Like so many things in photography this can be good or bad. Yes, there is no grain but the human eye may not perceive this image as being sharp. Anyone who has seen large color prints will experience this effect.

    The amount of stain produced varies with the choice of developing agent. Some produce more stain than others. The color of the stain they produce may also be different. The developing agents differ in the conditions under which they produce a stain. Pyrogallol acts like a regular developing agent very similar to Metol in the presence of moderate to high amounts of sulfite producing no stain image.

    I hope this brief description answers some of your questions.

    Jerry
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-30-2011 at 05:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #119
    MattKing's Avatar
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    One of the great things about APUG is that it brings together people like Bob Carnie ("Bob") and Gerald C Koch ("Jerry") to discuss these sorts of things.

    Bob has lots of experience, is both perceptive and intuitive, and understands more about why and how things work then he is willing to let on.

    Jerry is also perceptive and intuitive and also has lots of experience, but is most fascinated with the why and how questions.

    All the rest of us get to go along for the ride, tossing in other bits and pieces where appropriate (and sometimes where not) and generally end up being a fair bit the wiser.

    I've learned a lot from this thread.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #120

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    Matt,

    Thanks, it's my turn to blush. The give and take on APUG is fascinating and we all prosper because of it.

    Jerry
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery



 

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