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  1. #1

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    Printing Pyrocat Negs vs Standard Negs.

    Is there any difference when printing Pyrocat negs as compared to D76 negs as concerns filters and exposure? I did some test strips last night and used the same filter settings and time for both negs of the same scene with the same amount of detail in the shadows, no highlights. (obviously not the thing to do) I was only looking for any differences in grain/detail but noticed that the D76 neg looked sharper to the eye and the Pyrocat strip looked a little flat. I ask what changes (filter, exposure) I need to make in the printing stage for the Pyrocat neg over a neg from a standard developer. Developer was Ansco 130 and film was Fuji 1600.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider
    Is there any difference when printing Pyrocat negs as compared to D76 negs as concerns filters and exposure? I did some test strips last night and used the same filter settings and time for both negs of the same scene with the same amount of detail in the shadows, no highlights. (obviously not the thing to do) I was only looking for any differences in grain/detail but noticed that the D76 neg looked sharper to the eye and the Pyrocat strip looked a little flat. I ask what changes (filter, exposure) I need to make in the printing stage for the Pyrocat neg over a neg from a standard developer. Developer was Ansco 130 and film was Fuji 1600.

    That will depend entirely on the density range of the two negatives and the development methods that you used. I don't think that anyone would be able to answer your question as it is posed.

  3. #3

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    My experience with pyrocat vs a traditional (non staining) developer is that as long as the negatives are developed to the same contrast, there isn't any real differance in printing, at least that's how it seems for me. The key, I think and have have been told by people much smarter than me, when comparing developers is ensure the same contrast is reached with each developer. It sounds from your post as though your pyrocat neg may be a bit under developed? Also keep in mind your printing times can change because differant developers develop differant base plus fog densities; I just did some testing with t-max developer and pyrocat, the pyrocat negs had a base fog around 0.08, t-max developer was around 0.2 (with Acros, TMX gave similar results), but that's with any two developers, not just pyrocat. Also make sure your technique isn't involved in the sharpness comparison, I've had it happen to me when comparing differant films/developers that I've had vibration issuses (didn't lock up the mirror) that at first I attributed to the film/developer. Pyrocat negs, for me at least, show very good apparent shaprness.

    Peter

  4. #4

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    pyrocat is FAR sharper to my eyes. It may be that if not developed long enough, you get low contrast which makes things look unsharp.

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=pwitkop]It sounds from your post as though your pyrocat neg may be a bit under developed? Also keep in mind your printing times can change because differant developers develop differant base plus fog densities; I just did some testing with t-max developer and pyrocat, the pyrocat negs had a base fog around 0.08, t-max developer was around 0.2 (with Acros, TMX gave similar results), but that's with any two developers, not just pyrocat. Also make sure your technique isn't involved in the sharpness comparison, I've had it happen to me when comparing differant films/developers that I've had vibration issuses (didn't lock up the mirror) that at first I attributed to the film/developer.

    I just started trying out Pyrocat HD, to see if, apart from price and toxicity, it had other advantages over my usual developers, PMK and HC-110. I exposed several rolls of 120 HP5 (EI 250) and developed with my standard method (10 sec. agitation every 30 secs.; Water; F-24 for 5 min). The first rolls were developed for 13 min. @ 22 C, last rolls for 20 min @ 22 C.
    The last rolls are very sharp, although still lower contrast than PMK or HC-110. I also forgot to lock the mirror (I was taking some close-ups) and mistook camera shake for unsharpness. My last roll came out with crisp detail, but still lacking the contrast Iīm used to.
    I couldnīt find development times for 120 roll film, so my next test will be 25 min. @ 22 C.
    BTW. I picked up a batch of "new and improved" HP5 Plus ??? Is this the same film in a new "plus" box, or is it different (as in the standard Tri-X vs. Tri-X Professional) ?
    Photos are made four inches behind the camera

  6. #6

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    HP5s lowish contrast does not help if devving for VC materials. I am trying triX which stains a browner colour with less yellow green tinge, which I hope will boost contrast. The difference is only visible side by side and then blindingly obvious.

  7. #7

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    A little after I joined APUG (and spurred on by the give and take atmosphere here), I did a fairly exhaustive test of developers (HC110, D76 1:1, XTOL 1:3, Rodinal, PMK, Pyrocat HD, Rollo Pyro, and the WHD2+ something or other pyro developer), all with 5x7 Tri-x 320 and printed on Bergger VCCB to 10x13 inches. One of my goals being to make to make film development as small a piece of my darkroom time as possible, everything was developed in a Jobo with continuous agitation.
    PMK and WHD2+ caused streaky negs in a Jobo. Of the remainder, D76 and Pyrocat produced the best tonal range in my prints, but as Tom Stanworth says, the difference in sharpness was very apparent in my 2X blowups. Pyrocat was clearly superior. It's now become my standard developer.
    That said, I've found that pyro is particularly suited to certain films and does a mediocre job with others. Delta 3200 and Tri-x (400 in 35mm) are much better (in terms of tonal range) in D76 or Xtol than they are in pyro. I wonder if Fuji 1600 is good in pyro?
    Why don't you retry your test with one of the films known to be good in pyrocat such as Acros, FP4+, Tri-x 320 or HP5+. Fuji 1600 is a speciality film and unless you use it all the time, you might want to test with something more "middle of the road".
    Take care,
    Tom

  8. #8

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    Peter asked: BTW. I picked up a batch of "new and improved" HP5 Plus ??? Is this the same film in a new "plus" box, or is it different (as in the standard Tri-X vs. Tri-X Professional) ?


    Peter if you read the inside of each box you may find different times for the developers. This would be the surest way to see if there were manufactuer differences between the two films.

    Don noted: That will depend entirely on the density range of the two negatives and the development methods that you used. I don't think that anyone would be able to answer your question as it is posed.

    So what I am interpting here is, is that if the density ranges are the same on both negs that they should print with the same filter and look exactly the same regardless of the Pyrocat stain? Because if that is the case, then yes there is a possibility that the pyrocat neg was underdeveloped. But on inspection, as I don't have a densitometer, and don't plan on buying one, I had to go by detail/density in the shadows and it was a judgement call. I thought the fact that I am using a dichro head may have something to do with printing thru the color of the pyrocat neg?

    My negs btw were both shot at the same time, a sequence of 6 frames, same speed and aperture on manual.

    Tom noted: pyrocat is FAR sharper to my eyes. It may be that if not developed long enough, you get low contrast which makes things look unsharp.

    If that is the case then yes it must be underdeveloped. There were no times for Fuji 1600 in Pyrocat to go by. I got a good looking neg at 10min, 70 deg, 60 sec initial agitation and 10 sec every minute. I'll try adding 20% to the time and see where it takes me.

    Thanks for the replies.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    Tom, I work with Ilford because it is the only reasonably reliable local source for film. Kodak may or may not have film at times, or (this is rich) may or may not find the film in their warehouse. Acros or Efke are unknown and the Fuji salesperson didnīt even know there was Fuji B&W film.
    Wayne, Iīll read the box (why didnīt I come up with this idea ?). According to the local Ilford guy, HP5 and HP5 plus are exactly the same thing.
    Pyrocat definitely produces the sharpest image of the 3 developers tested on the same film. Iīll print the negs on graded paper tonight. As Tom Stanworth suggested, VC paper might not be the best testing material.
    Photos are made four inches behind the camera

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Rockstroh
    I just started trying out Pyrocat HD, to see if, apart from price and toxicity, it had other advantages over my usual developers, PMK and HC-110. I exposed several rolls of 120 HP5 (EI 250) and developed with my standard method (10 sec. agitation every 30 secs.; Water; F-24 for 5 min). The first rolls were developed for 13 min. @ 22 C, last rolls for 20 min @ 22 C.
    The last rolls are very sharp, although still lower contrast than PMK or HC-110. I also forgot to lock the mirror (I was taking some close-ups) and mistook camera shake for unsharpness. My last roll came out with crisp detail, but still lacking the contrast Iīm used to.
    I couldnīt find development times for 120 roll film, so my next test will be 25 min. @ 22 C.
    BTW. I picked up a batch of "new and improved" HP5 Plus ??? Is this the same film in a new "plus" box, or is it different (as in the standard Tri-X vs. Tri-X Professional) ?
    For 120 HP5+ I use 18 min @70 degrees with EI of 200 and semi-stand (90 secs followed by 10 secs of agitation every 3 minutes) Water fix (or very very dilute acid) Make sure you give 5 minutes pre-soak. 17 minutes might be better for you depending on your enlarger/preference for higher/lower contrast.

    Best,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

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