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Thread: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

  1. #1
    Paul Cocklin
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    question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    Well, I've developed my first 8x10's in Pyrocat hd and I have to say the sharpness in the negs definitely seems better than what D-76 did for me. But I have probably screwed up something because the negative (and print) contrast seems excessively high compared to what the scene was like. This is a contact print of the neg; neg was shot at 1 sec @ f22 with front swing (hence running out of image circle on the right side-lens is a 210mm Ilex Acu-Tessar) and developed @ 72 degrees in Pyrocat hd for 7 1/2 min. @ 1:1:100 dilution with 15seconds of agitation every 30 seconds (agitate 15, still for 30) in open trays.

    Pardon the scan, it's off of a crappy 9 year old scanner that I don't really know how to use.

    Is my agitation too frequent? Would that cause extra contrast?

    My temperature control is basically room temp; I measure it prior to developing and then adjust times accordingly; I suppose it's possible that the thermometer I use is not very accurate and that the temps are higher; would over developement cause high contrast as well?

    Is it possible that the scene was indeed this contrasty? I don't recall it as such, but then it was a sunny day and I was under tree cover.

    Overall, I'm pleased as punch at the results, even though they may look like hell to some; I can't wait to shoot some more and do some more testing! Thanks for any suggestions, and to all who helped me get this far.

    Paul




    Last edited by Blueberrydesk; 12-Jun-2007 at 17:09. Reason: spelling

  2. #2

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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    You should do some testing for your personal EI and dev time and you need to get control of the temp. Since we don't know about your scanning skills this becomes another variable. Your agitation is also very vigorous. 5 seconds for every thirty would be sufficient.

    I know I sound like a broken record but the tests for EI and dev time are so basic to doing good work.......................


    steve simmons

  3. #3

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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    1 sec f22 on a sunny day tells me that you are using a slow film or, overexposing a faster film? Would be good to know what film you are using 7 1/2 minute is not a long time in Pyrocat 1+1+100 How did you meter the scene?
    As Steve is saying, the first time you are using a new developer shoot several shoots of the same scene and make accurate notes about your exposure and then develope one sheet at a time.

  4. #4

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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    I use Pyrocat-HD in a Jobo, so the agitation is not a problem, as long as you test for film speed and dev. time under your particular processing regimen, as others have said.

  5. #5
    Paul Cocklin
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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan L Pedersen View Post
    1 sec f22 on a sunny day tells me that you are using a slow film or, overexposing a faster film? Would be good to know what film you are using 7 1/2 minute is not a long time in Pyrocat 1+1+100 How did you meter the scene?
    As Steve is saying, the first time you are using a new developer shoot several shoots of the same scene and make accurate notes about your exposure and then develope one sheet at a time.
    whoops, meant to mention; FP4+ rated at 64. I gave an extra 1/2 stop of exposure also for bellows extension; I was pretty close to the rear of the tank and had about 11 inches of extension total with a 210mm lens.

    Thanks to all; it seems it's a little of everything I did wrong; slight overexposure, bad temp control, too vigorous agitation, etc. I just picked up an Omega DII enlarger, so I can do some tests for personal EI and developing times this weekend. That should take care of times, now I just need to figure out how to maintain a better temp. I'm severely limited on space...

    Thanks again, everyone. I'm having too much fun making mistakes to complain...

  6. #6
    よろしくお願いします! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    Like Steve said. Test. Find an EI and N time that works for your working methods and your equipment. For me, an EI of 64, N time of 8:30 at 21 C works nicely on the VC paper that I use. I mix pyrocat at 10+10+500. Constant agitation in a tube...but again, this works for me. Test.

  7. #7

    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    Quote Originally Posted by steve simmons View Post
    You should do some testing for your personal EI and dev time and you need to get control of the temp.....
    For doing this test for Pyro negs, is a colour densitometer required, or is a "standard" one ok?

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    "Pardon the scan, it's off of a crappy 9 year old scanner that I don't really know how to use."

    You might try taking the (scanner + scanner software + monitor + monitor calibration + image editor + JPG compression + web browser) out of the equation. See how the negative looks in a contact print, exposed for the black film edge on number 2 paper.

    Another option is to compare this negative to others that scan nicely.

    If the paint on the tank is even a bit shiny, we might be looking at a direct reflection of the sun, which would exceed the capacity of most film/developer combinations. It might have even looked nice under the dark cloth, but the earth moves, and the sun may have lined up just right, by the time you took the shot.

  9. #9

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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    For doing this test for Pyro negs, is a colour densitometer required, or is a "standard" one ok?

    You don't need a densitometer at all. Just follow the article that is on the View Camera web site in the Free Articles section. Seriously, this procedure will get you to the same place in terms of densities.

    If you do use a densitometer it should be a color one with the blue channel.

    steve simmons
    www.viewcamera.com

  10. #10
    at your service
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    Re: question on Pyrocat HD agitation

    Looking at your photograph - I bet if you had a spot meter, you would find this to be a very contrasty scene. You have bright sun poking through dark shadows - I bet it is at least and sbr of 8 or more. This neg you made will likely be perfect for AZO or alternative processes. So your process as it is - has its place. I often like my 8x10 negs to have a DR of 1.5 (or slightly more) so I can make better AZO or Kalitype prints. Then to print a regular print, I can use VC paper or Graded paper with a water bath to tame the highlights. In any event - "winging it" you can reduce your time 25% or you can cut your dilution to 1:1:150 and develop it for 20 minutes with only 4 short agitations. Either way will reduce your DR and the latter method will give you a little better shadow detail. 15 Seconds every 30 seconds is a lot of agitation. I do 5 sec every 30 for normal processing. Your agitation will likely give you a boost in negative contrast.

    I would get a good spot meter before getting a densitometer. A spot meter will help you select not only your exposure time but also help you choose your materials and processes to work with your scene brightness range (SBR) Faster films are usually lower contrast and can better manage a high SBR. Low speed films are often more contrasty and can make a low SBR expand to the range of the paper and give you the snap that the scene lacks naturally. It can help you choose your developer and method of processing. - Normal, Stand - or developer type

    I would get a densitometer. I have a good one - not color but it has a UV channel. I am not sure yet how useful the UV channel is, It seems the normal data off the regular channel is the data that directs my processes. I know there are those that make use of the other channels - I am not sure that what the other channels tell you will help you make better prints. I guess it depends on the paper, the process or the enlarger head. If your enlarger head has no UV - a UV channel is not useful. For alt processes - I will help you know that there is more contrast available in the UV channel where alt process materials have greater sensitivity. I am not sure what brands of paper have sensitivity in the UV range. All things considered - any old densitometer that calibrates to an ortho step wedge will give you what you need to adjust your time and process to make good prints.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color

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