Advice from Pyro users

Discussion in 'Talk About Developing Film' started by mpirie, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Hello again,
    I've had too much time on my hands this afternoon and the Devil found me some mischief..
    I looked up Sandy King's article and quite a long way down I discovered:
    "In most localities it is safe to mix the working solutions with tap water."
    As it's been a rather rainy month, the quality of tap water may have changed unexpectedly.
    Sandy suggests distilled water if the mains supply causes problems , but not apparently for ordinary use.
    Another straw to clutch.
     
  2. KenS

    KenS Active Member Registered User

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    I've been mixing and using Pyrocat HD for 'about' 12 years and, as I have posted before, it is now the only developer
    that I use. I do not, and have not, observed any OBVIOUS 'brown-ish' stain that others seem to have experienced.
    My negatives seem (to my eye anyway) to be very much similar (in colour) to those that that have been developed using Tmax, HC110 and D76. IOW, they do not seem to have any obvious 'stain'. Could I be doing something 'wrong'
    when making my Pyrocat HD from 'scratch'? I use distilled water... and am quite willing to post a 'colour.... ('or color for our US residents) scan of a negative for a 'visual' comparison.

    Ken

    Ken
     
  3. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Another thing I noticed in my Sandy King expedition is that stop bath can destroy the stain.
     
  4. KenS

    KenS Active Member Registered User

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    I no longer make use of an acidic stop-bath using BTZS tubes, I just immerse he tubes into the water in my 'borrowed' plastic water bath. I don't seem to feel the need for an 'immediate' acid 'stop' since the developer is at a rather low dilution.... and I don't need my darkroom to smell like a 'fish and chip' outlet. (my bad!!!)

    Ken
     
  5. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Ah... fish and chips,,, Yorkshire memories...
    Fresh acid fix, perhaps? Would that do the same?
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    I had quite a lot of correspondence with Sandy King starting about 12 years ago, he doesn't believe that stop bath destroys the stain, he does however suggest using half strength stop bath. He also states that it's OK to use fixers like Hypam and Kodak and Ilford Rapid fixers (so called acid fixers). I know Sandy's used Hypam after Pyrocat.

    It was Gordon Hutchings in his Book of Pyro (PMK) which contained many of the myths on stop-baths, acid fixers and staining developers, that's where the initial cautions came from. Hutching's suggested keeping the used developer and after fixing and a rinse placing back in the used developer to increase stain. Sure it increased stain but only by increasing base staining of the gelatin and that could be uneven.

    These days opinions have change because reality shows there's no loss of staining.

    Ian
     
  7. YorkshireBloke

    YorkshireBloke Member Registered User

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    Can I just say how impressed I am with the erudition and expertise shown here? :cool:

    Oh, and no one getting upset with alternative views (some forums seem like a stand up argument rather than a place to help and learn...) :eek:

    Robert
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Active Member Registered User

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    Sir Robert,
    After a few years of 'Camera Club' meetings after becoming a "Pro", I became "more than just 'somewhat' fed up with the 'continual' use of the attitude "I might not always be 'right'... but I am rarely ever 'wrong'!!!"

    Ken
     
  9. mpirie

    mpirie Member Registered User

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    It looks like my problem was cross-contamination.

    I opened a new batch earlier today and dropped a strip of film into the made-up dev (1+1+100) and it gave me a result. I tried the same test with HC110-H so that I would have a colour to the steps to compare any stain.

    Next step is to double-shoot some real-world shots and process in Pyro.

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

    Mike
     
  10. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

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    I've been mixing various pyro formulas for many years and I've always used distilled water for stock and well as working solution; except, Pyrocat-HD which I mix in glycol.
     
  11. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

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    @KenS, there should be an obvious color difference between a pyro developed negative and one developed in, say, HC-110. Color will vary, of course, based on the raw pyro chemical used. The only pyro negatives I've ever developed where you probably wouldn't notice the stain is ABC Pyro; and I was using HP-5+ at the time doing tray and/or hanger/tank development so no clue if this "lack of stain color" would apply to other films in this formula.
     
  12. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

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    Oh, forgot to mention about using a stop bath. I have used a very weak--3ml 28% acetic acid to 1L water--stop for many years with Pyrocat-HD and never had an issue.
     
  13. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    Ian,
    It's good to be rigorous. I should have been clearer. The stop bath suggestion was on Sandy's page but was not his suggestion.
    I was thinking I might give these developers a try, but buying the spacesuit might be an obstacle. It sounds like fumigating bees.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  14. mpirie

    mpirie Member Registered User

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    Buy ready mixed David, it then reduces your exposure to the chemical dust that's so dangerous.
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    I should add the reason why it's recommended to only use a weaker stop bath. It's thought that using a strong acid stop bath directly after developing in a developer containing carbonate can generate CO2 bubbles causing pinholes in the emulsion, this would really only be a problem with poorly hardened emulsions like those from EFKE.

    Back when Pyrocat HD was formulated many ULF users were using EFKE sheet film this has poorer hardening than most films so more prone to issues so using stop bath at half strength was a better option.

    Ian
     
  16. David M

    David M Active Member Registered User

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    I've read the safety sheet. It tells me what to do when I've stopped breathing. I don't recall seeing that for ID11. Are there any precautions to take when using the ready-mixed kind?
     
  17. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

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    Hmm, maybe you won't stop breathing, but you could develop a bad skin dermatitis...just sayin'. ;)

    When handling any pyro developers, even in pre-mixed form, I'd highly recommend wearing rubber gloves. I wear nitrile gloves which allow me maximum dexterity.
     
  18. martin henson

    martin henson Admin Staff Member Registered User

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    Full strength stop bath will remove the brown stain when using Pyrocat HD, I use water only as a stop with it now. I have found using Steve Sherman’s method and using his times and agitation suggestions using Ilford FP4 to produce the best negatives I have ever had for scanning (hybrid workflow)
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    I ran a lab for quite a few years, I had to write and implement the mandatory COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) manuals. It's common and practical sense in a written form.

    Probably well the first film developer I remember using was Johnsons Unitol early to mid 1960's a Meritol based developer which is a fusion of Pyrocatechin/PPD both quite nasty. The bottles had common sense instructions don't get on your hands wash off quickly if you do, don't go sniffing the developer was implicit :D

    We worked with very hazardous compounds, we frequently had to acidify Cyanide solutions, used cupellation with lead all day, so we were covered strict regulation but nothing that didn't make sense and quite easy to conform to.

    Making up Photo chemistry, just means taking care, measure and mix at arms length, wear a dust mask if you feel you need too. I don't wear gloves I keep a distance with spatulas etc, I don't mix chemistry in a confined space.

    Like John King I've recently had severe allergy issues, but not from Photo chemistry instead it was my it's wife's hair dye it uses PPD a compound we treat with caution in Photography, but it kills quite a few people each year through it's use in hair dyes, I ended up with quite severe Eczema just from the fumes.

    We need to take care but hey there's household products far more dangerous and NO warnings !!!

    Ian
     
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  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    No it won't, and that's not just my opinion it's Sandy King's as well. I use Ilford IT-8 toner and often use Pyrocat instead of the simple Pyryocatechinn re-developer, I did some testing and use of a stroong acid stop bath has zero efefct on the staining. I used a re halogenating bleach then fixed to remove the silver and tried many ways to remove the staining, nothing worked.

    It;s unfounded hype.

    Ian
     

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