I've started enlarging 6X7 negs developed in PMK Pyro recently, after years of using a split D-23 developer for my roll film. The negatives look every bit as beautiful as my 8X10" negs when on the light table, but I am neverthe less frustrated with the very long exposure times need to make even an 8X10" print. We're talking anywhere from 60 sec to 3 minutes.
I'm starting to long for the good old D-23 negs with exposure times running around 15-30 seconds...
Are your exposure times runmning this long as well?
Sounds to me you have one of two problems, high overall stain, or overdevelopment. Your pyro neg should not take that long to print so most cases where this occurs is due to high overall stain, which is different than proportional stain. To determine this, measure your zone I. You can do this either visually or with a regualr densitometer, remember pyro stains proportionally, so at low densities the stain is almost non existent. If your Zone I is much greater than .1 over b+f then you are experiecing high overall stain, I would recommend you dont inmerse the negative back on the spent developer. This should dimish your stain, specially the overall stain.
OTOH you might be overdeloping, using the developer too hot, etc etc...first try my suggestion, if that does not work then let me know and we will try something else.
Thanks Jorge, I'll give it a shot. Unfortunatly I do not have a densitometer but should be able to gain access to one at one of my color labs.
I suspect the problem is, as you suggested, a too high of overall stain. The overall contrast of me negs is good, which would lead me to believe that the problem is not over development. But then again, I've only been using pyro for a few months now (maybe a total of 30-8X10"'s and 15-120 films) and am most certainly still a "newbie" to this developer.
William / All,
Upon switching from D76 1:1 to PMK (about 2 years ago), I noticed about a 10-15% increase in exposure times. Also, different brands of film stain differently. For example, TMAX films do not stain as much as Tri-X. The Efke thick emulsion film claims to stain deeply...
Keep trying with PMK. I have learned to love it. It's very fine grain, has great edge sharpness and the stock solutions last for years. I used some that was over two years old and was stored in plastic bottles. It worked just fine. Best of all, since switching to PMK, I find that most of my negs can print with #2 or #3 filters. I rarely use split-filter printing anymore.
As Jorge suggests, don't do the PMK afterbath and that will keep down the background stain.
Your problem also could be overexposure. Try a film speed test, if you haven't already done one. If you're enlarging, you should aim for a thinner neg than one might want for contact prints to keep down the grain, but not so thin that you lose the shadow detail.
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Don't give up on the pmk pyro. I agree with what the others have said on the subject.
I have been using pmk & HP5+ and FP4+ for a few years and love the combination. My printing times range from 24 - 40 seconds with filter grades 2 to 3-1/2.
Good luck with your efforts.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Give up on PMK pyro! sorry Gene . If you switch to Pyrocat HD your negatives will print in one quarter of the time. Pyrocat is a staining developer which produces very little general stain.
Originally Posted by papagene
Originally Posted by William Levitt
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]William,
Could you post what films and papers you are using as well as your processing proceedures and other chems you are using? Perhaps with a little more information, some of us Pyromaniacs may be able to help you to troubleshoot your process.
Some films work well in PMK, while others are a complete waste of time. For example, I have used PMK on 35mm Tri-X, Neopan-400 and FP-4 with stunning results and the printing times were in the normal range. On the other hand, Plus-X has been a disaster for me. Very high base fog and overall green stain.
When you have it under control, PMK is incredible.
When the chips are down,
The buffalo is empty!!!
Sounds like a severe overexposure. There shouldn't be that much exposure time necessary for a normal print. What film? What speed? What development time and temperature?