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Thread: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

  1. #1
    Meat Robot Jay Decker's Avatar
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    Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Preparing to shoot my first B&W 8x10 negatives and develop them using a Jobo drum on a Beseler motor base. My objective is to create negatives that scan well, so I'll be using Pyrocat-MC as a two-part compensating developer. I have a recipe developed from based on information from Sandy King. However, before I commit the materials and time, I would like to ask if anyone else is developing film with this approach and compare dilutions, temperatures, developing times, and film EI's.

    Here's my recipe:

    Films: Efke 25 exposed at ASA 25 and Ilford FP4+ exposed at ASA 100
    Developer: Pyrocat-MC, Part A at 1:20 dilution Part B at 1:20 dilution
    Developer and Presoak Temperature: 75 degrees F
    Presoak: 3 to 5 minutes
    Development Times (both films): (3 minute presoak) Part A: 5 minutes and Part B: 5 minutes

  2. #2

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    "My objective is to create negatives that scan well"

    Why do you feel that you need a 2-part developer ?

    Many of us use Pyrocat and other developers, in their "normal" configurations, for scanning purposes, with relative ease.

  3. #3

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    I have begun using stand development in a Unicolor drum (8x10) with Pyrocat-HD for it's compensation effects. The dilutions and techniques are straight from Sandy's article on unblinking eye. So far I've been very impressed with the results. My times are 45 minutes for N, 30 for N-1 and 80 for N+1.

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Oh, and FP4+ at EI 50.

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    I thought Sandy indicated it was economically unsound to use Pyrocat as a two part developer.

    I use the Adams d23 two part formula with success. I believe that is Sandy's approach also.

    bob

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob McCarthy View Post
    I thought Sandy indicated it was economically unsound to use Pyrocat as a two part developer.

    I use the Adams d23 two part formula with success. I believe that is Sandy's approach also.

    bob
    The 1:20 dilution for two-bath uses about five times as much of the stock solutions as a 1:1:100 dilution. However, you can re-use the 1:20 dilution several times if done within a window of three or four hours.

    The major reason to use any two-bath developer is to avoid negatives of very high contrast. The mechanics of two-bath development holds contrast to a finite point, regardless of the conditions of exposure, and is a safe method of development where one may have exposed sheet in a wide range of subject brightness conditions and not kept good notes. It is also a good form of development for roll film that may have been exposed to a wide range of subject contrast.

    I developed some Acros film recently in two-bath development and was very pleased with the acutance. It was quite similar to what I get when developing with minimal agitation (four agitation cycles during total development time). I also agitate only four times with tw0-bath development, for thirty seconds at the beginning and then at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.

    A pre-soak is not needed with most films but I recommend it for slow speed high contrast films like Efke 25, etc.


    Sandy King

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Piggy-backing on what Sandy said:

    FWIW, a zillion years ago I tried using rotational agitators and I didn't like them because the constant agitation was just too much. I couldn't really balance shadow and highlight detail. Yes, exposure, pre-soak, developer type/dilution, and development time can compensate but this isn't the whole story. Limiting the amount of agitation allows the shadows to develop more whilst the highlights develop more slowly as developer weakens.

    I prefer hangars for 4x5 and trays for larger so I can better control/limit agitation.

    But take the above with a grain of salt... it's just one guy's opinion after all. And maybe I just did it wrong.

  8. #8
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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Make it two guy's opinions.

  9. #9

    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    FWIW, a zillion years ago I tried using rotational agitators and I didn't like them because the constant agitation was just too much. I couldn't really balance shadow and highlight detail.
    FWIW, I use rotational agitation and have no problems with ridiculously high SBR. The image below is a scan of a palladium print of a 4x5 negative. The outside area is Texas sun in the afternoon (read: BRIGHT), but keeping detail in the shadows wasn't a problem. The railing in the foreground has detail.



    It's just a matter of testing and learning to use what you've got. Also, some people just prefer rotational (as I do) and some prefer using hangers (like Mike does). It doesn't matter how you do it, it just matters that you get out there with your camera and actually do it!

    That said, I'm testing out the 2-bath for my 120 and am liking it!

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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    ^^^ Like I said, I may have been doing it (drum processing) wrong. Or maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy.

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