I used PMK for a couple of years and found it to be very satisfactory for 4x5 film. I found it to be too grainy for most roll film - even 6x6 for making nice 16x20 prints from MF or even past 8x10 on 35mm. So I started using Dixactol for roll film and was very pleased. Now for the last 6 months I have been using Pyrocat for almost all my films and I must agree with the article I just read in "View Camera" by Steve that shows a drop out of shadow values in PyrocatHD. I have read Sandy's info on Pyrocat and he lists a slight increase in film speed that I have not seen. So I am confused about 2 things:
1) In Steves article he lists an Hydroquinone as an ingredient. The formula I have lists that ingredient as Phenidone. I have been using Phenidone. I have wondered if adding some Hydroquinone to PyrocatHD might increase the film speed a little.
2) How is it that Sandy lists an increase in film speed - I have not seen it in my work. My work shows very much like the examples Steve shows in his article. Not that the change is a deal breaker.
PMK is grainier across the board and that will of course cause the images to appear sharper. OK for LF and ULF but I like the finer grain for roll film and the performance of Pyrocat for alt processes is very good - no complaints at all on film speed when developing for AZO or Kalitype at 2:2:100. It is just at 1:1:100 with minimal development for enlarging that I see a drop off in the lower values. -
So Steve - Sandy ... Is it Hydroquinone or not? Should I go for 2:2:100 for enlarging with less development time to keep densities and grain under control??