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  1. #81

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    Not sure there is a straight answer since the imagewise stain acts as a variable filter, reducing contrast preferrentially in the highlights vs a standard printing filter that acts uniformly.

    What I would say is that you'd typically want to give a pyro negative more development if you're planning to print on VC paper, than if you were using graded paper since the filtering effect of the stain is more pronounced with VC papers. This is why some folks advocate staying away from say small format pyro negatives with VC paper - because you need to give fuller development which counteracts the grain masking effect of the stain.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    I have the same results as you, regarding the filters or contrast needed to print pyro negs, I have found a whole grade increase starting point. Yes, maybe a bit of a test.( funny though, when I told Sandy King this , he did not seem to see the same thing, but he is using Pyrocat and has not done as much silver printing as compared to carbon printing}
    I would be interested in asking Steve Sherman this question.

    Here is a silly observation that I have regarding unstained pyro negatives.

    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.
    Good question.

    Yes Steve Sherman would be a reliable source, particularly for Pyrocat. I have not personally used Pyrocat so I can't comment on the specifics of that particular developer. Not sure what kind of paper he uses (assuming he mostly contact prints).

    Anyhow, interesting discussion.

  3. #83
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Not sure there is a straight answer since the imagewise stain acts as a variable filter, reducing contrast preferrentially in the highlights vs a standard printing filter that acts uniformly.

    What I would say is that you'd typically want to give a pyro negative more development if you're planning to print on VC paper, than if you were using graded paper since the filtering effect of the stain is more pronounced with VC papers. This is why some folks advocate staying away from say small format pyro negatives with VC paper - because you need to give fuller development which counteracts the grain masking effect of the stain.
    I'm beginning to wonder if there is a large difference between Pyrocat derivatives and pyrogallol based developers, grain wise. I have 16x12" silver gelatin prints on VC paper and FP4+ film, 35mm, where I have trouble seeing the grain a couple of feet from the print surface.
    But the negatives seemed to print well on Grade 2 graded paper, but I had to jump to Grade 3 for VC paper for the most part using the same negative.

    It is an interesting thread this, and I'm learning quite a bit about pyro developers. I might get some just for the heck of it to try in very large brightness range photos.
    "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

  4. #84
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Ok, now we are getting to the details of some of my questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    I keep hearing conflicting answers on staining.
    One camp with Per, staining is proportional to exposure, use it.
    The other camp with Sandy King [correct me if I am wrong], staining is uniform like a fog, do not use it.
    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.
    So stain is not a uniformly dense fog across the film. If it were then people would not have been using pyro for decades. This is inline with my analysis of the anecdotal evidence that I have come across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The issue of printing contrast, what filters to use is less straight forward and really just takes experimentation. The reason is that filters increase or decrease contrast by the same amount everywhere, while stain works proportionately. That's why many people say pyro negatives are easier to print when there is delicate highlight detail to render. Vs printing a non-stained negative, the stain reduces local contrast (ie compresses tonality) increasingly as density increases, so the stain acts like a built in variable compensating contrast reduction filter. It's like having a yellow-type filter that acts more on areas of higher density than in thin shadow areas.

    The situation is further complicated by the type of paper. Typically pyro negatives will print with higher contrast on graded paper than VC paper since VC papers have a broader spectral sensitivity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    I have the same results as you, regarding the filters or contrast needed to print pyro negs, I have found a whole grade increase starting point.
    Translation: The pyro stained negative has an innate higher contrast than the same exposure, same film, same equipment developed with a non-staining developer. Therefore, I would start with a lower grade filter. Right?




    Hence,
    1. The pyro staining is non-uniform and therefore useful.
    2. The result of the staining is that the contrast of the negative is effectively higher, although not visually higher to the eye, and therefore one can start with a lower grade filter and have a greater range of increased contrast available if needed.
    I am I interpreting all of this correctly?

    Notice: No XTOL was injured nor killed in this post or in this thread.

    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.

  5. #85
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Hi Bob,
    Given the time period most likely a mature replenished dev.
    Not sure if he processed them himself. Did he ?
    G

  6. #86
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Yes I jump a grade as well.
    For split printing Non Stain normal scene I will start at about grade 1
    For split printing Pyro somewhat normal scene I will start at about grade 2.
    Ralph L had some points about 00 and Ilford Warmtone not recording well.
    With Pyro negs I can confirm that 0 or 00 is not great with Ilford WT .
    I found this out on a sheet of film of one of the most beautiful portraits I have ever worked on.
    Tibetan Warriour- photographed in a black tent with very mininmal exposure on the film. At the time I was doing 0 and 5 splits and my client pointed out to me that my blacks though detailed were not black enough. We moved up a grade and man did the print pop.
    from that day on I only use 0 or 00 with Ilford Warmtone as an accent of extra tool to place tone in difficult highlights and I do not recommend splitting with 0.
    This problem is very hard to see but look in your blacks, if they look a bit muddy and you are using Ilford Warmtone and splitting starting with 0 filter then move up a grade and watch some magic happen.
    I disagree with most split printers on this , I only use Ilford Warmtone so maybe its not an issue with other VC papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I'm beginning to wonder if there is a large difference between Pyrocat derivatives and pyrogallol based developers, grain wise. I have 16x12" silver gelatin prints on VC paper and FP4+ film, 35mm, where I have trouble seeing the grain a couple of feet from the print surface.
    But the negatives seemed to print well on Grade 2 graded paper, but I had to jump to Grade 3 for VC paper for the most part using the same negative.

    It is an interesting thread this, and I'm learning quite a bit about pyro developers. I might get some just for the heck of it to try in very large brightness range photos.

  7. #87

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    Thomas your jump from graded #2 to VC #3 seems logical to me, at least directionally.

    I also agree there might be significant differences in graininess depending on the developing agent(s). Not only that but some formulas stain more than others, and more stain means less silver, and more grain masking. Plus there are some formulas like WD2D+ that stain yellow-orange. Pyrocat is reputed to be relatively fine grained although I have not tried it myself.

    It's funny this thread came up now because as it happens I had just ordered a series of different formulary developers for some particular experiments and on a whim decided to throw in a few tanning developers just for fun since I have not used one in quite some time. I might try them with 35mm. Never used a staining developer on anything smaller than 4x5 before. I doubt I'll end up switching, but always fun to rediscover things. For good measure I included The Book of Pyro in my order. Finally gave in on that one.

  8. #88
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    He had the ability to hire some real fancy pancy printers in the day, I swear its pyro without the stain.
    No I do not think he processed them himself, though I am sure he looked at every negative..
    Lots of people used a mature replenished line, others flew with film to Picto to have it developed by inspection.
    He was with the same group as Irving Penn and that dude really pushed the envelope when it came to film and printing, so I think for that period he could very well have been using pyro.

    Penn and Avedon were great, and would leave no stone unturned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guillaume Zuili View Post
    Hi Bob,
    Given the time period most likely a mature replenished dev.
    Not sure if he processed them himself. Did he ?
    G

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    So stain is not a uniformly dense fog across the film. If it were then people would not have been using pyro for decades. This is inline with my analysis of the anecdotal evidence that I have come across.

    Steve
    There are two kinds of stain, general stain is like fog, imagewise stain is proportional to silver density. Imagewise stain is the desirable one.

  10. #90
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    He had the ability to hire some real fancy pancy printers in the day, I swear its pyro without the stain.
    No I do not think he processed them himself, though I am sure he looked at every negative..
    Lots of people used a mature replenished line, others flew with film to Picto to have it developed by inspection.
    He was with the same group as Irving Penn and that dude really pushed the envelope when it came to film and printing, so I think for that period he could very well have been using pyro.

    Penn and Avedon were great, and would leave no stone unturned.

    Agree. :-)
    There are/were Replenished non stain Pyro dev.
    Best of both world.
    :-)

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