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Thread: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

  1. #1

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    Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    I will be starting a project soon using T-Max 400, where I will have to compress a 13 stop range. I am thinking of using semi-stand with either divided HC-110 or one of the Pyro formulas.

    I have never tried pyro, but from the posts I have read, Pyrocat-HC or Hypercat or 510 or Dixactol sound promising.

    Would such a compression be possible with any of these using rotary processing, or would semi-stand be required?

    Which developer and technique do you recommend for such a contrast range?

  2. #2
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    13 stops isn't that much!

    It's well within the capabilities of most developers. Try D-23 perhaps, with a borax afterbath for a little boost in the shadows. Normal agitation, whatever that is. I used that once and got a good printable negative from FP4+, with a 17 stop range.

  3. #3

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    The problem with D23, or any other developer with a high content of sodium sulfite, is that they do not produce the sharpest image and tend to mush the high values. I would suggest one of the more stable staining developers such as PMK or W2D2+ (The S10 formula may work as well, I just have not tried it). Gordon Hutchings used D23 for years before switching to a pyrogallol/metol based formula. If you use rotary processing then I would suggest the Rollo Pyro formula which is specifically formulated for rotary processing.

    I am a great believer in tray processing. It has worked for me for 25+ years. The PMK and W2D2 do well in trays.

    I would also suggest considering Tri-X. When I tested film many years ago, including TMY, Tri-X did a better job of holding on to its local contrast when subjected to severly shortened dev time to control a long contrast range.

    steve simmons
    Last edited by steve simmons; 7-Jul-2006 at 06:32.

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall
    I will be starting a project soon using T-Max 400, where I will have to compress a 13 stop range. I am thinking of using semi-stand with either divided HC-110 or one of the Pyro formulas.

    I have never tried pyro, but from the posts I have read, Pyrocat-HC or Hypercat or 510 or Dixactol sound promising.

    Would such a compression be possible with any of these using rotary processing, or would semi-stand be required?

    Which developer and technique do you recommend for such a contrast range?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall
    I will be starting a project soon using T-Max 400, where I will have to compress a 13 stop range. I am thinking of using semi-stand with either divided HC-110 or one of the Pyro formulas.
    In my opinion the best method of achieving what you want is with some form of minimal agitation procedure. The master of minimal agitation procedures, IMO, is Steve Sherman, who has published two articles in View Camera magazine on the subject in the last couple of years. Steve also does workshops on the subject, and most importantly, has shown his work in a variety of locales and has the goods to back up his opinions.

    Steve has been using Pyrocat-HD in his work with minimal agitation procedures for seveal years. In a recent thread on another forum he recently wrote:

    "Pyrocat HD has proven to be the best developer for Semi-Stand and Minimal Agitation methods of developing film.

    Once the agitation bugs were worked out I have consistently produced negatives with increased adjancecy effects and been able to control the micro contrast within a negative which was never before possible without the aid of digital manipulation."

    There has been quite a bit of discussion of Sherman's reduced agitatin methods on the AZO forum and on APUG. In fact, I was going to send you the address of a recent thread on APUG which Sherman recommended as a good overview of the procedure but unfortunatley I can not get on to APUG at this time to retrive the address. I will send it later, or perhaps someone else can forward it to here.

    In addition to Pyrocat-HD I would also recommend dilute solutions of Rodinal and HC-110 becaue they too have a proven record of succees with reducer agitation proceduress.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 7-Jul-2006 at 08:31.

  5. #5

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    I did a lot of testing in the mid 80s and again in the 90s for this type of situation. Here are some of my findings.

    1. Although I like FP4+ I did not feel it was a good film for minus development. It's local contrast dies quickly and compared to films like Tri-X and the T-Max films It looks just flat overall.

    2. Tri-X did the best job of holding its local contrast with severly shortened development My normal time was 11 minutes but I developeed, in trays, for just over 4 minutes and everything looked fine.

    3. I tried a variety of developers including PMK, a pyrocatechol formula that had been around for years, and diluted HC110. The two staining developers gave me much better results than the HC110. I decided agaisnt the pyrocatechol formula because I did not think it was as good an all purpose developer as the PMK, both handled the minus dev about the same, and becasue the pyrocatechol is not as stable a chemical as the pyrogallol.


    steve simmons

  6. #6

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    Thanks Steve for the recommendations. I hope you are recovering quickly.

    The main reason I chose TMY is reciprocity. I will be shooting at night and need fairly short exposures.

  7. #7

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    There has been quite a bit of discussion of Sherman's reduced agitatin methods on the AZO forum and on APUG. In fact, I was going to send you the address of a recent thread on APUG which Sherman recommended as a good overview of the procedure but unfortunatley I can not get on to APUG at this time to retrive the address. I will send it later, or perhaps someone else can forward it to here.

    Sandy
    This is the thread I mentioned above.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=24023

    Developing negatives of subjects with great lighting contrast is a fairly complicated issue and speical procedures are obviously needed. The use of special formulas such as the Windisch compensating develper has been recommended, as has very short develoment times. However, the best work I have seen of this type has relied on one of two procedures: 1) divided development, in which the first solution contains the developing agent (s) and preservative and the second contains the Alkali, or 2) minimal agitation in which the film is devloped in a very dilute. Unfortunately many modern films do not respond well to divided development, while most if not all respond well to minimal agitation with dilute developers.

    IMO both expansion and contraction development work much better by changing the dilution of the developer than by changing devleopment time, though the latter method is usually more convenient.

    Sandy

  8. #8

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    I am attaching a .jpeg file of a negative that I made in a situation where a very large amount of contraction was necessary. This shot was made in Montana at Banack ghost town from the inside of the barber shop/saloon. The difference in EV reading in the interior was about 3, outside it was 16 or 17.

    In making the negative exposure, about 10 minutes at f/64 (with reciprocity) with Tri-X320, was based on the shadow values on the interior, and develoment was with a 1.5:1:200 diluton of Pyrocat-HD with semi-stand (extreme minimal agitation) for about 15 minutes.

    The look is very much what I was after. Good, deep shdows, but holding detai everywhere, and a sense of light streaming in from the windows, but with some texture in the highlight. I could have flattened the highlights even more but I chose to leave them a bit light to show the mood of the scene. The original negative is 12X20, though the small .jpeg will now allow you to appreciate much of the detail in the same size print. Others methods of development or devleopers might have proven effective, but it would be fairly difficult in my opinion to improve much on this particular treatment as seen in this 12?X20 carbon print.

    Sandy King
    Last edited by sanking; 7-Jul-2006 at 11:37.

  9. #9

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    Thanks Sandy for the link and the example image. That is about the range I will have to deal with, and your technique certainly yeilds very pleasing tonality.

  10. #10

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    Re: Extreme compensating developer for TMY

    This is exactly the kind of situation I've dealt with many times using Tri-X, PMK and very short dev times in trays - about 4.5 minutes.

    There is a tendency, sometimes, to make things more complicated than they need to be. I prefer simple but good solutions to problems rather than being more complicated for little, if any, improvement.

    Ultimately, people should make thier own decisions. I am just sharing what has worked for me many times over the last 20+ years.

    steve simmons

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