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  1. #61
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    You are over 6ft, much younger , good looking and obviously pretty smart guy,.

    I am short, old , ugly and as Dinesh will agree really dumb.

    I want to be you.
    Ha. Careful what you wish for. I have demons.

    As an aside, though, I can completely relate to the 'naked bulb' in a room and pyro developers. I used Sandy King's Pyrocat-MC formula for a couple of years, and that highlight control was one thing that I noticed as an extreme strength of that developer.

    The reason I stopped using it was that I had some problems with cross contamination and screwed up more than enough important negatives because of it. But I also don't shoot in very high brightness range situations, where the pyro developers will truly shine, so I went for something different.

    - Thomas
    "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. #62
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    No real experience with Rollo Pyro, Steve.

    But my experience with Pyrocat-MC, which uses a different developing agent, I think, was definitely in highlight control. You can prevent highlights from blocking up with replenished Xtol if you want. You just have to be careful to not develop too long. But with Pyrocat, you get more separation in the highlights, better contrast, in a negative of the same overall contrast. That's the key. Both developers can develop negatives of identical contrast index. But within the tone scale from the bottom of the shadow details to the top of the highlights, pyro has better local contrast in the highlight spectrum. You may like this, or you may not. This is especially advantageous to you if you photograph scenes of high to extreme contrast and brightness range.
    If you photograph in low contrast to medium contrast, that advantage becomes decimated if not completely erased, and something like D76 or HC-110 would constitute a better choice.

    Pick your tools based on what you need. Or wrestle the ones you have until it fits anyway. To me, I picked Xtol, because it was the best compromise; in my view it does the least amount of things wrong.

    - Thomas
    "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

  3. #63
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I think the magic bullet thing is totally dependent upon knowing what you want to do with your film and developer and finally your print. gaging the lighting conditions is most critical and then from there you can make educated / reasonable choice further down the food chain.
    Like you I do not always use Pyro, in fact since I do a lot of solarization work, I prefer normal exposure, push process D76 to give me a more punchy neg.
    If I am doing lith prints , I prefer a thin, but pushed neg in HC110.
    I am going to give that Semi Stand treatment to a series of 8x10 film I am considering, if I make a mistake I will only be screwing up my own stuff.

    I am also moving to a sink line for processing film which I want to hold in the air mid development and flash the negs,
    My rotary system is great but not useful for this idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Ha. Careful what you wish for. I have demons.

    As an aside, though, I can completely relate to the 'naked bulb' in a room and pyro developers. I used Sandy King's Pyrocat-MC formula for a couple of years, and that highlight control was one thing that I noticed as an extreme strength of that developer.

    The reason I stopped using it was that I had some problems with cross contamination and screwed up more than enough important negatives because of it. But I also don't shoot in very high brightness range situations, where the pyro developers will truly shine, so I went for something different.

    - Thomas

  4. #64
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Thank you. That is what I remember Per saying.

    But I cannot get any fully scientifically tested [with proper controls] results stating that staining is either good or bad. Most threads that try to thrash that out get into flame wars and I stop reading them.

    Steve
    The only thing you can do is to try it for yourself. Set up your camera and shoot two rolls, bracketed, of the same scene of high contrast. Develop one like you always do in Xtol, and the other in Pyro. Print them and observe.
    That's the key, regardless of how much scientific evidence you can find. Until you get it into your darkroom and work it out for yourself, you won't know how it'll affect your work flow anyway.

    Xtol rocks. So does pyro. You decide how it rocks for you.
    "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

  5. #65

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    I think the blown-out highlight issue is usually overstated. I have seen many prints made with tanned negatives, and have never noticed the highlight detail and gradation to be more impressive than with a well controlled non-staining developer. For anyone interested in some examples of what can be achieved even with a standard PQ developer, I strongly suggest looking at John Sexton's powerplant and Hoover Dam pictures from his Places of Power project. Many of the negatives were made under extreme contrast conditions, with ho hum TMAX RS developer, more dilute than usual and with reduced agitation, and I have never seen a longer tonal scale, nor better highlight detail and gradation than in those prints.

    Stand development techniques, including those with tanning developers are not just for highlight control. In fact there is often less compensation than one might expect. It does however produce a unique tonal scale and more pronounced edge effects, all depending on the film-developer combo. I think Steve Sherman uses stand development quite a bit with ULF. Can't remember if he uses Pyrocat or a Pyro developer.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    The only thing you can do is to try it for yourself. Set up your camera and shoot two rolls, bracketed, of the same scene of high contrast. Develop one like you always do in Xtol, and the other in Pyro. Print them and observe.
    That's the key, regardless of how much scientific evidence you can find. Until you get it into your darkroom and work it out for yourself, you won't know how it'll affect your work flow anyway.

    Xtol rocks. So does pyro. You decide how it rocks for you.

    I'd just add that if Sirius Glass hasn't printed stained negatives before, it can take a little getting used to. So it might take a little practice before you can really decide whether or not to stick with the staining developer. The same goes for evaluating the negatives visually. You might look at the stained negative while it is drying and think you failed because it looks a little thin and low in contrast. That's how they are supposed to look. The printing paper sees the negative differently than your eyes so you really have to print them.

  7. #67
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I am not overstating the benifits of Pyro, my history in film and printing proves to me that there is great benifit for the proper situation.
    Maybe you haven't seen the difference , not sure how much work you have done testing both types of developers with strong lighting as Thomas suggest.
    give it a go , you can see for yourself the improvement.

    I too have seen John Sexton's prints in person, so how does this come into play?
    or even explain why many workers use Pyro for holding highlight detail in strong lighting conditions.
    I believe Steve uses Pyrocat Semi Stand, also I have seen his prints live and they are great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I think the blown-out highlight issue is usually overstated. I have seen many prints made with tanned negatives, and have never noticed the highlight detail and gradation to be more impressive than with a well controlled non-staining developer. For anyone interested in some examples of what can be achieved even with a standard PQ developer, I strongly suggest looking at John Sexton's powerplant and Hoover Dam pictures from his Places of Power project. Many of the negatives were made under extreme contrast conditions, with ho hum TMAX RS developer, more dilute than usual and with reduced agitation, and I have never seen a longer tonal scale, nor better highlight detail and gradation than in those prints.

    Stand development techniques, including those with tanning developers are not just for highlight control. In fact there is often less compensation than one might expect. It does however produce a unique tonal scale and more pronounced edge effects, all depending on the film-developer combo. I think Steve Sherman uses stand development quite a bit with ULF. Can't remember if he uses Pyrocat or a Pyro developer.

  8. #68
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I'm not a golfer, but see film developer has different golf clubs in your bag. You don't want to use a driver when you only need a putter. As with golf, you only get better by playing. So see the lay of the golf course, and pick the right club for the right shot.

  9. #69
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I'd just add that if Sirius Glass hasn't printed stained negatives before, it can take a little getting used to. So it might take a little practice before you can really decide whether or not to stick with the staining developer. The same goes for evaluating the negatives visually. You might look at the stained negative while it is drying and think you failed because it looks a little thin and low in contrast. That's how they are supposed to look. The printing paper sees the negative differently than your eyes so you really have to print them.
    Agreed. For me, Pyrocat was the developer I used when I started being able to make pretty decent prints, so it was a learning curve in reverse when I stopped using it.
    I agree that the negatives look visually different from regular negatives and that printing them is the only way to evaluate them properly. However, I hold to my opinion that Pyrocat does hold highlight contrast better than any other developer I have tried. That's the impression I have of about two years worth of printing pyro negs.
    "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. #70
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    ...You might look at the stained negative while it is drying and think you failed because it looks a little thin and low in contrast. That's how they are supposed to look. The printing paper sees the negative differently than your eyes so you really have to print them.
    Does this men that you cannot evaluate them with a densitometer?
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.



 

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