View Full Version : Pyrocat HD minus development
Those of you familiar with the use of Pyrocat HD: for significant minus developemnt, e.g. -5, what works best: shortening the develoment time, using less of the B solution, or reducing the agitation to only every second or even 3d minute? Do you recommend (and why?)any or all or a combination of the above?
As bonus question(answer): which film in your experience works "better" with strong minus development, HP5+ or Tri-X (or whatever it is called now).
I should mention that I am interested in this info related to printing (enlarging) on V.C paper, not for an alternative printing process. I develop my 4x5 sheetfilm in a manual inversion JOBO (antique!) tank, with the film on a reel.
Fred P. would say "try it yourself" and I appreciate that point of view, however your comments will probably get me on the right track a little quicker, and as a result I can spend more time on fine-tuning my chosen method.
I've just started using pyrocat. In fact, I've just started using pyro in any form, so I'm not the best source of advice but I've always heard to use 1:1:100 for enlarging papers. I'd be interested in hearing the answer too since I will be developing for enlarging at the moment (until I can afford a REAL LF camera, at least 8x10, using 4x5 at the moment).
a 1:1:100 concentration for N-5 development would probably be too hot, I would try about 6 min at 1:1:200 with constant agitation. Sandy has also fromulated a 2 bath Pyrocat HD, but I dont have it handy, hopefully he will see this and post it for you. I think this would be the best choice for your circumstances.
The Pyrocat and developing cradle I ordered (Summitek Cradle) won't be in till the middle of next week so I haven't been able to do the film test I was planning for this weekend. I had planned to start testing for film speed and development time in trays by using pyrocat at 1:1:100 starting at 10 minutes and working from there (4x5 in trays, developing for enlarging). But after hearing your 6 minute dev time advice I'm wandering if 10 minutes is too long?
There's a nearly new article about pyrocat hd here (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html) by Sandy King that talks about "stand" development. If it were me I'd shoot an email to Sandy and get his input. A very nice guy indeed. His article has caused some Catechol to be in the mail to my address.
Mike: When you get your cradle and your developer. Please start up with the default times and mixings.
The development time that Hans is looking for is definitely not recommended for anything but very special applications. E.g. a shot of someone doing electrical welding in an otherwise black pit.
I just read the Unblinking Eye article. Very good article on pyrocat. There's not much more information you could ask for. Minimal or semi-stand development sounds very interesting but stand development is a little too scary for me to try till I get used to pyro. I would be too afraid of ruining negative till I got used to it. I'll try the normally development time and work from there. I think Sandy King recomends increasing normal time by 50% for minimal agitation development but that was listed under tank development. I'll send him a email and ask if the 50% increase also applies to tray development. Thanks for the responses.
I worked on a two-bath version of Pyrocat-HD earlier this year and had some promising results. However, due to a remarkably silly mistake on my part I lost all of the data in mid-summer and have not done any more experimentation with the concept. I probably won't pursue the matter since two-bath develoment is not appropriate for the high CI negatives I need for my work with carbon, kallitype and palladium.
Hans, I did a half a dozen negatives in this range recently. I developed in trays, one sheet at a time, with a 1:1:200 dilution. Agitated 30 seconds, then 5 seconds at 3 half minute intervals, then every 2 minutes. My times for Bergger 200 were right around 19-20 minutes, total. The highlights appear a little blocked in printing, but that was partly the subject matter, and I also think there is a little flare, because with the long exposure times for the shadows the highlights can act like a light source. I am sure that is what happened in one of them. The negatives print good, and the Pyrocat HD is definitely the most successful developer I have used for this technique. (insert usual disclaimers of your choice). Hope this helps. Tom Perkins
"Mike: When you get your cradle and your developer. Please start up with the default times and mixings."
What are "default" development times for pyrocat for 4x5 tri-x developed in trays at 1:1:100, developed for enlarging? I've found several articles on pyrocat but none of them that I've read list a normal starting development time for pyrocat/1:1:100/tray/tri-x/negatives developed for enlargement. There are so many variables that I'm not sure where to start.
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