Pyrocat HD

KenS

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Ian,

Pyrocat HD does not produce anywhere near the dramatic stain 'colour' that a number of the earlier pyrogallol developers may provide. Looking at the vast majority of the my sheet-film negatives in the years since my 'retirement', you would have a hard time being able to tell that they were NOT processed in any of the more common B/W developers.... other than the extremely fine 'grain' that Pyrocat HD provides. I cannot comment on Pyrocat HD used with 'hanger-in-tank' development since I have only used BTZS tubes for my large format negatives for the past 15 years... and would be 'hard put' to return to either tray or hard rubber tanks for my developing.

If you would like to see an 'enlarged' section of one of my negatives scanned in full 'colour' rather than a straight B/W, I could provide one.

Ken
 

Ian-Barber

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Really. Now you're getting me interested. Is it a reasonable price?
I had a word with Kevin at Wetplatesupplies about mixing my own and he convinced me that it would be better for him to mix it especially as he has a lot of knowledge in this area.

He suggested that to maximise shelf life, mix it in Glycol.

These are the pre-mixed options he came up with.
http://www.wetplatesupplies.com/pyrocat-hd-premixed.html

I have been very happy with the service, the packaging is excellent and mine is still going strong
 

mpirie

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One thing for those of us in remote locations to watch out for is the cost of shipping (not the supplier's fault).

To have this dev shipped to me in the Northwest is £19....which almost doubles the cost for the 500ml kit.

Mike
 

KenS

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While there is likely to be a source of the required 'ingredients' within the UK boundaries, and small electronic scales available, is there any reason that you should not search out a source for the the ingredients, get some distilled water at the 'drug store' ie local chemists and make your own Pyrocat HD? I've been doing it for years... (wearing gloves and a face mask) it is NOT that complicated

Ken
 

mpirie

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You're right Ken, it's not a difficult thing to do.......but to get the raw chemicals shipped is just as expensive as the pre-made developers since the health and safety rules of the shipping agents means that have to protect themselves from potential spills. It would also appear that many of our suppliers are dropping some of the key constituents.

I was physically removed from a flight several years ago because i had two 500ml bottles of Rodinal in my checked baggage. Despite arguing with the officials that a can of Coca Cola was more corrosive.....as soon as they say the "corrosive" symbol on the Rodinal they gave me the option of keeping the dev or flying, but not both. Needless to say with the look on my wife's face, I ended up sacrificing the dev :-(
 

Ian Grant

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I've been using Pyrocat HD for about 13 maybe 14 years now, I make the stock solutions with de-ionised water, Provided the Metabisulphite is fresh and you use high density plastic or glass bottles it'll keep for about 3 years. I know because I used to keep some in the UK while living in Turkey.

I have used Glycol once but there still needs to be some water (a few ml) to dissolve the Metabisulphite. I actually made up Part A at double strength as I took it to Turkey to cut weight when flying, never had an issue at the airports.

Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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I've been using Pyrocat HD for about 13 maybe 14 years now, I make the stock solutions with de-ionised water, Provided the Metabisulphite is fresh and you use high density plastic or glass bottles it'll keep for about 3 years. I know because I used to keep some in the UK while living in Turkey.

I have used Glycol once but there still needs to be some water (a few ml) to dissolve the Metabisulphite. I actually made up Part A at double strength as I took it to Turkey to cut weight when flying, never had an issue at the airports.

Ian
What dilution do you use it at Ian
 

Ian Grant

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Hi Ian, for regular tank use I use 1+1 to 100 16mins at 20º two inversions every minute, my Jobo 2000 tanks are pre-Rotary. For 10x8 negatives I use 2+2 to 100 for 9 minutes.

Times are fairly standard for FP4, HP5, Tmax and Delta 100 & 400, Foma films are non standard though need about 75% the devtimes of other films as theydevelop faster and build up too musch contrast if you are not careful.

Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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Talking of FomaPan films. What's you personal opinion of them in 4x5 format compared to other brands such as FP4, TMAX etc
 

Ian Grant

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Foma films are excellent , I only use Fomapan 100 & 200, intitially it was by choice rather that was all 120 B&W film the camera store in Izmir had in stock a few years ago. Since then I've bought 9x12 (cm) 5x4 and 7x5 Fomapan 100 & 200.

I had to do some testing to get the optimal EI and development times, and these fall in line with other peoples experiences. Currently I have rather a large stock of Ilford 5x4 & 120 films acquired off another forum much of it for free :D although I bought some outdated/short dated HP5, so this is the main reason why I'm not shooting Foma at the moment.

I've only used 1 box of 5x4 Fomapan 100 but hundreds of rolls of Famapan100 & 200 in 120, in terms of image quality there's no discernible difference between Fomapan 100/200 and FP4 or Delta & Tmax 100, there might be if you drop to 35mm but it's a format i rarely use these days. The emulsion is a little softer but not as soft as Acros, but Pyrocat is a staining and tanning developer so tends to harden the emulsion anyway.

When I next buy 10x8 film it'll be Fomapan.

This is Fomapan 100 120 with my YAshicamat 124 developed in Pyrocat HD



Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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I used to use Foma100 in 5x4 but now use Foma 200 and usually rate it at 100 ISO.
If developing in XTOL (replenished) I give it 6 mins but if using the PyroCatHD 1+1+100 I will give it 7 minutes.

I do suffer from the build up of contrast though and at these short dev times, I find I don't have much leeway when it comes to lowering the time. In the past when faced with a high contrast scene, such as a church interior, I have used a weaker solution of HC110
 

Ian Grant

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You could use a slightly weaker Pyr.ocat HD solution maybe 1.5+1.5 to 200 that would give you more leeway, I'm asuming that's rotary processing as the times quite sort. I shoot Fomapan 200 at 100 EI and the 100 at 50 EI but my dev time at 1=1 to 100 is 12 mins.

Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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You could use a slightly weaker Pyr.ocat HD solution maybe 1.5+1.5 to 200 that would give you more leeway, I'm asuming that's rotary processing as the times quite sort. I shoot Fomapan 200 at 100 EI and the 100 at 50 EI but my dev time at 1=1 to 100 is 12 mins.

Ian
I use a Paterson or the SP445 daylight dev tank. Usually 60 seconds agitation then 20 seconds every 1 minute
 

Ian Grant

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Registered User
Ian, one advantage of Pyrocat and other staining developers is the staining is a bit more than proportional to the silver image as is the tanning, so the highlights there's less tendency to block up and cause issues with printing or scanning.

The tanning slows development in the highlights which makes Pyrocat useful in quite contrasty condition and it handles the other extremes like low contrasty foggy misty days equally as well.

Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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Ian, is it the staining which gives the negative more perception of sharpness over other developers
 

Ian Grant

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Not really that's the edge effects from the Pyrocatechin, the staining isn't quite as sharp and has the beneficial effect of sort of filling the gaps been the silver grains slightly giving finer grain in prints/scans.

People like Steve Sherman used stand or semi-stand development to accentuate the edge effects, but Steve is mostly an ULF worker (larger than 10x8) and making contact prints. I wouldn't use his extreme techniques for negatives to be enlarged or scanned.

Ian
 
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