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  1. #11
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruilourosa View Post
    you are comparing an orange to a beef steak!

    go with x-tol, Pyro is bad for your health.

    pyro alone is a bad developer

    also, i got good results in 35mm with some pyro developers, specially pmk+amidol and a version of abc pyro,
    And where's the facts ?

    Ian

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Codswallop. Never heard so much rubbish before.

    There have been Super fine grain staining developers which also have very high acutance.

    Sure these developers aren't the same as say the Standard Buffered Borax Fine Grain Developer D76/ID-11, but they can be finer grained and have better acutance and also better tonality. But perhaps you are fogetting the tanning effects

    Negatives aren't printed using a microscope so it's how a negative prints that's important. Personally I find Pyrocat negatives to be the easiest I've ever had to print from and I've printed commercially many thousands of negatives.

    Ian
    Ian, can you give me some examples of super fine grain staining developers? I'd be curious to know since I'm going through a bit of an experimenting phase right now with some stuff from Formulary and comparing to standard Perceptol, also looking at potential applications to document films etc.

    On a general level I thought super-fine grain and stain do not really coexist since most super-fine grain developers use sulfite to produce the fine grain effect. I guess an exception could be a developer that relied on the developing agent itself for solvent action (eg ppd?) instead of sulfite, meaning you could use ppd in addition to a second developing agent like Pyro or Catechol and get stain with fine grain. But does Pyro have to be the primary developing agent to produce imagewise stain?

    Thanks
    Michael

  3. #13
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    If you are just starting, it will make little difference which you choose.

    Xtol or D76 would be my suggestion because there are so many people familiar them, they are very flexible, and very capable of producing very high quality work. Either could be used for the rest of your life very easily.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #14
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Ian, can you give me some examples of super fine grain staining developers? I'd be curious to know since I'm going through a bit of an experimenting phase right now with some stuff from Formulary and comparing to standard Perceptol, also looking at potential applications to document films etc.


    Michael

    You need to look at a whole host of developers from Johnsons, they were around at the birth of photography until poor management in the 1960's and their withdrawal from chemistry in the 1970's.

    Also some Ilford Patent developers, Sease, Edwal and Chamlin, and then Kodak HC110 used to use pyrocatechin.

    Ian

  5. #15
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    My pyro notes from a private class 16 February 2008 with Per Volquartz.
    Per looked at my Tri-X 400 120 negatives which I had developed in stock XTOL and said that if I am happy with the grain and sharpness, that I should try pyro for the following reasons:
    hardens the gelatin
    stains the gelatin
    continuous grain for fog, glass, skin, water
    selflimiting - compresses range
    keeps highlights by preventing the highlights from burning out

    I have since moved to XTOL replenished. I have the pyro and TF-4 but I have not mixed it up yet.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #16

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    Pyro is grainier than Xtol and is delivers a bit less speed. I've tried pyro and catechol developers from time to time, and I like the look of the prints with medium and large format negatives. They seem to give better highlights while retaining reasonable shadows. But most of my B&W work now is with 35mm, where grain is a factor.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Codswallop. Never heard so much rubbish before.
    Just relating what I have seen when viewing the grain structure produced by several developers under a microscope.
    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. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I have lots of 35mm Tri-X negatives, processed in Pyrocat-HD, and they are very sharp indeed. Grain is about on par with Rodinal, which means it's relatively fine grain, but what appeals to me is the visual impact of the contrast that the stain yields. Super sharp and high acutance. Beautiful stuff to work with.
    I also remember it working exceedingly well with Ilford FP4+, which I used in both medium format and 35mm, and those negatives print like a dream to 12x16 or 16x20.
    "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

  9. #19
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    By pyro I must assume that you are asking about a staining developer. By "works best" just what do you mean? Finer grain? Xtol is a fine grain developer.

    The answer is that a stain image can never have as fine grain or accutance of an ordinary image. The reason that this is true is that the stain/dye migrates away from the silver halide grain during development. The result is that the apparent size of the grains is increased by the larger dye clouds. The dye cloud also masks fine detail. This can be easily seen with the use of a microscope. Each silver grain is surrounded by a stain halo. This is why staining developers are not recommended for 35mm films.
    I have to agree with Ian on your observations. In fact, you may well have your findings exactly opposite of what is generally known about developer characteristics.

    Pyro based developers harden the gelatin of the film during the very first stages of reduction, grain is set at that point with relatively little change to the grain's accutance or appearance no matter the length of exposure to chemistry.

    Whereas, developers with a significant presence of Sodium Sulfite do in fact promote silver migration during the last stages of exposure to chemistry. Such migration and lack of stability directly go to the accutance and impression of sharpness in the final negative / print.

    MSDS information on Xtol shows a moderate amount of Sodium Sulfite makes up the formula for Xtol.

    Lastly, I have never looked through a microscope at any negative, I have however seen tests done on Tri X & FP 4 developed with HC 110 and the Pyrocat HD. THese tests were conducted by a respected moderator on the LF Forum and bare out with striking clarity the thoughts I shared above.

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

  10. #20
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    The answer is that a stain image can never have as fine grain or accutance of an ordinary image.
    ABC pyro negatives have the highest accutance of any I've ever developed. But they are not fine grained. You're talking about two different parameters.

    I've gone back to ABC rather than Pyrocat for negatives I want to develop in a staining developer because of this higher accutance. But only for large format contact prints.
    Jim

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