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macandal
28-Dec-2016, 13:30
So, I got a bottle (500ml) of Pyrocat-MC, solutions A & B. I've never used these two-part developers or Pyrocat products for that matter. Anyway, what type of film is good for this developer? I shoot 4x5 and I develop my film in one of those Nikor tanks that hold 12 sheets of film.

Thanks.

seezee
28-Dec-2016, 13:41
If you have a look at the x-ray thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?48099-Use-of-X-ray-film-technical-discussion-with-example-images), you'll see most of the folks there are using either Pyrocat or Rodinal. But I don't see why Pyro wouldn't be fine with any B+W films. Start with what you have, then branch out.

You might also want to experiment with stand or semi-stand development on x-ray film, it helps to tame contrast, and on any film, it takes advantage of the staining developer's 'edge effects.' Sandy King has written extensively (http://sandykingphotography.com/resources/technical-writing/pyro-staining-developers) about Pyro developers; start with him!

Peter De Smidt
28-Dec-2016, 14:13
I've used it successfully with TMX, TMY, Acros and Delta 100. The only film that wasn't ideal in it was Fuji Green x-ray film, as it lost a lot of speed.

macandal
28-Dec-2016, 14:17
If you have a look at the x-ray thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?48099-Use-of-X-ray-film-technical-discussion-with-example-images), you'll see most of the folks there are using either Pyrocat or Ordinal.At the moment I'm not interested in shooting X-ray film. I'd prefer to stick with "traditional" B&W films.


Sandy King has written extensively (http://sandykingphotography.com/resources/technical-writing/pyro-staining-developers) about Pyro developers; start with him!Most of what's been written, by Sandy and others, is about other types of Pyro developers. Hardly anything has been written about the "MC" type of developer.

Thanks.

macandal
28-Dec-2016, 14:19
I've used it successfully with TMX, TMY, Acros and Delta 100.I usually shoot Delta 100, and I have a box of TMax 100. Can you say more about these two?

Thank you.

IanG
28-Dec-2016, 14:27
Pyrocat is great with many films, I use HD but MC won't differ that much, I;ve used Tmax 100 & 400, Delta 100 & 400, Acros etc and fantastic, but with HP5 amazing it's a heavenly combination, if HP5 wasn't so fast a film it would be all I'd use. I'kk qualify that as I prefer slow films and very slow shutters peeds to get some movemennt in grasses, trees etc in landscapes.

Ian

sanking
28-Dec-2016, 14:44
Pyrocat is great with many films, I use HD but MC won't differ that much, I;ve used Tmax 100 & 400, Delta 100 & 400, Acros etc and fantastic, but with HP5 amazing it's a heavenly combination, if HP5 wasn't so fast a film it would be all I'd use. I'kk qualify that as I prefer slow films and very slow shutters peeds to get some movemennt in grasses, trees etc in landscapes.

Ian

Ian is correct about -MC. It was designed to give slower oxidation and produce less general stain than -HD. And it does, but the difference is only significant with some fast speed films (TMY for example), and long development times needed for negatives of high contrast of the type needed for some alternative processes. For silver printing -HD and -MC give virtually identical results.

My personal favorite of the Pyrocat variants is Pyrocat-HDC. It has the general qualities of both -MC and -HD, with the slower oxidation of -MC. And it can be mixed at a lower temperature than -MC.

Stock A
Propylene Glycol at 150F 750ml
Pyrocatechin 50 g
Phenidone 2.5g
Ascorbic Acid 4.0g
Propylene Glycol to 1000ml

Stock B
Same as Pyrocat-HD

Pyrocat-HDC gives almost identical results as Pyrocat-HD with most films and development methods.

koraks
28-Dec-2016, 14:45
I've used it with TMX, Delta 100, FP4+, HP5+, Foma 100, Foma 200 and green-sensitive x-ray. Generally works great. I expose Delta 100, TMX and FP4+ at box speed and don't worry about a thing. Foma 100 I usually rate at 80, Foma 200 at 125 and green-sensitive x-ray at 50 or 80 if the shadows aren't important. HP5+ I usually rate at 320 when developing in Pyrocat, unless I'm pushing for higher speeds, but I don't use pyrocat for push processing. Reason being that I found that HP5+ reacts in a very ugly way to overdevelopment in Pyrocat in my experience, resulting in excessive grain and poor tonality. At 320 or box speed and with a reasonable development time, however, it looks as great as all the rest. I do a lot of alt. process printing and Pyrocat is a godsend for that. The added bonus is that the negatives it yields are truly dual-purpose: they print fine as Van Dyke browns and around grade 2 on regular paper. Pyrocat is great in my opinion: it's quite versatile, masks grain and it's cheap (especially if mixed DIY). The only real drawback is its toxicity, which bothers some people, but isn't an issue if you avoid skin contact.

The one film (from the ones I have tried) I find benefits most from Pyrocat (or Moersch Finol, which seems quite similar) is Fomapan 100. I find it a harsh and unattractive film in D76, too slow to be practical in Rodinal, but it really shines in Pyrocat.

Alan9940
28-Dec-2016, 18:19
I've used -MC with many films; all provided good results, but, like Ian my personal favorite is HP5+ combined with -MC. I'm pretty fond of Foma 100 in this developer, too. I used, and still do, -HD for many years, but went with -MC for the Jobo due to the lower oxidation and general stain as Sandy mentions above. They are both damn good developers and I'd be surprised if any film available today gave poor results.

koraks
29-Dec-2016, 01:59
I mixed up a small bath of -MC, but it turned an amber color that didn't go away when adding the ascorbic acid. I wonder if I did it wrong. I first dissolved the pyrocatechol in hot water, which turned a maroon/red color like always. Then I added the phenidone and let it dissolve entirely. Upon adding the vitamin C, I had expected the mixture to turn amber like HD does when adding bisulfite, but this didn't happen. I used demineralized water instead of glycol, is that the problem? What color is MC concentrate supposed to be?

Also, Sandy, if you happen to still read this thread: I would expect the HDC to be more active due to the superadditivity of the phenidone + vitamin C. A friend of mine had the impression that the MC he bought locally from a reputed party is significantly more active than HD, with the HD performing as expected from online documentation and the MC requiring shorter development times. We both generally use slower, regular (non-tmax/delta) films. Any clue what may be going on? We didn't perform sensitometry, so all this is a bit off the cuff.

So far I have stuck with HD, but aerial oxidation seems to be an issue with large trays and constant agitation and to a lesser extent with Jobo tanks and constant agitation, so I'm curious about the C versions.

sanking
29-Dec-2016, 09:45
The color of fresh Stock A -MC is light maroon. As it ages the color normally darkens a bit but when mixed with Stock B and water to form the working solution the color should be light amber.

I formulated all versions of Pyrocat to have similar activity, but small differences should be expected as the chemicals used to mix the developer may have aged differently.

There is really no need to use anything other than -HD if you use the working solutions in a year or so. The glycol versions give longer shelf life but otherwise give similar results, though both -MC and -HDC give slightly less base stain from oxidation with long development times, most noticeably with some films like TMY.

Sandy





I mixed up a small bath of -MC, but it turned an amber color that didn't go away when adding the ascorbic acid. I wonder if I did it wrong. I first dissolved the pyrocatechol in hot water, which turned a maroon/red color like always. Then I added the phenidone and let it dissolve entirely. Upon adding the vitamin C, I had expected the mixture to turn amber like HD does when adding bisulfite, but this didn't happen. I used demineralized water instead of glycol, is that the problem? What color is MC concentrate supposed to be?

Also, Sandy, if you happen to still read this thread: I would expect the HDC to be more active due to the superadditivity of the phenidone + vitamin C. A friend of mine had the impression that the MC he bought locally from a reputed party is significantly more active than HD, with the HD performing as expected from online documentation and the MC requiring shorter development times. We both generally use slower, regular (non-tmax/delta) films. Any clue what may be going on? We didn't perform sensitometry, so all this is a bit off the cuff.

So far I have stuck with HD, but aerial oxidation seems to be an issue with large trays and constant agitation and to a lesser extent with Jobo tanks and constant agitation, so I'm curious about the C versions.

IanG
29-Dec-2016, 11:03
With Pyrocat HD the keeping properties are heavily dependent on the use of good bottles, glass or high density polythene.and using relatively fresh Metabisulphite. I've had Pyrocat HD Part A last nearly 4 years just made up in de-ionised water, it collapsed when the Metabisulphte has broken down to Sulphite and there's no free SO2 to prevent oxidisation.

Maybe I'll try Pyrocat HDC next time I make some up, probably with water rather than Glycol. Normally I use Pyrocat fairly quickly but when living and traveling between two Continents my bottle in the UK went unused, it was apart full bottle that kept well.

Ian

macandal
29-Dec-2016, 12:00
I expose Delta 100, TMX and FP4+ at box speed and don't worry about a thing.So, I checked the Massive Dev Chart and there are no times for neither, Delta 100 or TMax 100. Where did you get the times for these films or what are the times for them? If I remember correctly, the technical sheets for MC give times for both Delta and Tmax but when shot at an EI different from box speed. Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Alan9940
29-Dec-2016, 13:18
So, I checked the Massive Dev Chart and there are no times for neither, Delta 100 or TMax 100. Where did you get the times for these films or what are the times for them? If I remember correctly, the technical sheets for MC give times for both Delta and Tmax but when shot at an EI different from box speed. Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

According to the instructional sheet for -HD, TMax 100 should be exposed at EI 64 and developed for 14 mins @ 70F, as an example. I usually develop at 75F with Pyrocat film developers. For -MC, the instructions suggest an EI of 125 with development for 7:15 at 70F. Of course, these would be starting points, only, with personal testing needed to determine correct EI and development time for your method of working. IIRC, the suggested development times in the instructions are for rotary development in BTZS tubes or Jobo. If you poke around a bit in cyberland, I'm sure you could find some fairly close starting points for your film/developer combination.

jp
29-Dec-2016, 14:20
I've used HD and HDC. I purchased the HD from formulary and made the HDC myself. I chose to make HDC because it looked a little simpler to prepare. I don't notice much difference with FP4+ and Tmax400.

koraks
30-Dec-2016, 01:30
Sandy, thanks for your comments, they're very helpful! For now, HD works fine for me. I generally mix up tiny batches of 50ml stock A, which lasts me maybe a few weeks. So no problems of it going bad.

Alan, I bade my development times on those in the massive dev chart and then adjust if necessary. The listed times for the mentioned films work fine for me.

adelorenzo
30-Dec-2016, 15:15
I've been very happy using Pyrocat-MC with Ilford FP4 (4x5), HP5+ (4x5,120) and 400TX (120) at box speed or close to it. Rotary and inversion.

The one film I haven't sorted out yet is the Atomic-X sheet film from New55. Based on limited testing it seems like it will be more like ISO 50.

Mark Sampson
30-Dec-2016, 19:36
I would test your Pyrocat (whichever version) with the film you use now. Introducing more than one variable ensures that your answers will be confusing. I spent many years in industry testing films and developers, and that's one thing I can say with certainty.
For the record, about three years ago I began to shoot Ilford FP4+, developing it in Pyrocat-MC, using the same 12-sheet Nikor tank you mention. I love the results I get. (And for what it's worth, that was the first time in 30+ years of personal LF work that I changed film types, and maybe the fourth film developer I've used successfully in that time.)

macandal
31-Dec-2016, 12:01
For the record, about three years ago I began to shoot Ilford FP4+, developing it in Pyrocat-MC, using the same 12-sheet Nikor tank you mention. I love the results I get.Did you shoot it at box speed (125)? What time did you use for developing?

Thanks.

macandal
31-Dec-2016, 12:04
I've used it successfully with TMX, TMY, Acros and Delta 100. The only film that wasn't ideal in it was Fuji Green x-ray film, as it lost a lot of speed.Did you shoot them (Tmax and Delta) at box speed? What times did you use?

Thanks.

macandal
31-Dec-2016, 12:09
I've used it with TMX, Delta 100, FP4+ ... I expose Delta 100, TMX and FP4+ at box speed and don't worry about a thing.What are your developing times for those films?

Thanks.

Alan9940
31-Dec-2016, 12:13
macandal,

IIRC the instructions with -HD and -MC reveal box speed for every film listed, but YMMV. For example, I shoot Foma 100 at EI 50 for development in -HD. Honestly, hearing what others do might get you in the ballpark, but you'll have to do some legwork to finalize for yourself.

macandal
31-Dec-2016, 12:15
macandal,

IIRC the instructions with -HD and -MC reveal box speed for every film listed, but YMMV. For example, I shoot Foma 100 at EI 50 for development in -HD. Honestly, hearing what others do might get you in the ballpark, but you'll have to do some legwork to finalize for yourself.Yes, but if I remember correctly, for Delta and TMax it shows times when you shoot these films at a speed different from box speed.

Kirk Gittings
31-Dec-2016, 12:23
Just a thought. But why choose a developer and then the film? I've always worked from the other direction but maybe I have missed something. IOW I pick a film for its characteristics (as there are many characteristics of a film that are are largely hardwired in) and then find a developer that works well with it.

Mark Sampson
31-Dec-2016, 16:14
I can't argue against Mr. Gittings' question; it's quite relevant. But if the OP wants to work developer-first, ok. (I suppose any standard film can be made to look good in any standard developer, although some choices may be smarter than others; a question for another thread, another time.)

Per macandal's question, I rate FP4+ at EI 64, and develop a little less than the recommendations on Sandy King's site. But I like low-contrast, long-scale negatives with a lot of shadow detail and highlight separation. At least that's my goal. (I've underexposed and overdeveloped a lot of film in my life, and I don't want to do that anymore.) So I would say run those basic exposure/dev time tests and choose the combination that makes a proof print you like. Y M WILL V!

macandal
31-Dec-2016, 16:34
Just a thought. But why choose a developer and then the film?It was given to me.

koraks
1-Jan-2017, 08:49
What are your developing times for those films?

Thanks.

I use the ones in the massive dev chart plus a few minutes extra if developing for alt process printing. Generally somewhere around 11-12 minutes for enlarger negatives and about 14-16 for alt process negatives. I'd have to look up my notes to see what times I used most recently.

macandal
1-Jan-2017, 14:30
I use the ones in the massive dev chart...Where did you find times there? The only times given are for Pyrocat-HD, none for MC.

koraks
1-Jan-2017, 15:04
As sandy pointed out, you should get nearly identical results when using the same time for these developers. I haven't tested MC extensively as I mostly use HD.