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

  1. #11
    Meat Robot Jay Decker's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Why do you feel that you need a 2-part developer ?
    Excellent question!

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    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.
    Sandy's answer is naturally right on; however, I would add that I develop different films at the same time in the same drum, e.g., you developed FP4+ and Efke 25 and Tri-X in the same drum at the same time. The resulting negatives have a long tonal scale, low contrast, and scan well.

  2. #12

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

    You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?

  3. #13
    Meat Robot Jay Decker's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?
    That is correct.

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

    Excellent !

    If anyone has more illustrative samples, I'm sure that people would love to see them.

    I plan to try this, as soon as I can get back to photography.

  5. #15
    Meat Robot Jay Decker's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    If anyone has more illustrative samples, I'm sure that people would love to see them.
    Here's an example...


    Last edited by Jay Decker; 2-Jan-2011 at 22:06.

  6. #16

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

    Lovely !

  7. #17

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

    Jay... It's always difficult to tell actual tonal quality on a monitor but that looks pretty darned good. Nice lighting and there seems to be plenty of tonal detail.

  8. #18
    Meat Robot Jay Decker's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    It's always difficult to tell actual tonal quality on a monitor ...
    You are absolutely right! But, the print is pretty nice too...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    Nice lighting and there seems to be plenty of tonal detail.
    The light was good, but not great for this photograph.

    This technique took a little for me to warm up to... the negatives look a little muddy with a low contrast and a long tonal scale, i.e., nothing like what printed well for me when I made wet prints 30 years ago in high school. However, the negatives consistently scan well and come to life with a couple quick adjustments in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I initially tried compensating development for roll film, but have continued with it into LF. I like the 4x5 results and will be using it on my first batch of 8x10 negatives also...

  9. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Decker View Post
    That is correct.
    If you put up the enlarger/wet side processing for digital capture (scanning) the emphasis on the density range of the negative takes on a much lower priority.

    As long as you have detail in the shadows (exposure) and the density of the highlights (processing) are capable of being captured by your scanning device, very little else matters.

    Adjusting the output with the myriad of tools in your editor can damn near solve any issue with much more subtlety than any paper grade.

    Throw in local adjustments, the resulting output can match your vision to a tee.

    I'm using a two bath D23 approach, and getting wonderful and consistent results. I have my processing time well established to the point virtually all negatives are printable, no matter what the density range of the subject.

    I'm using the Adams formula with a touch less sulfide (75gm vs 100).

    4 minutes A, 4 minutes B with minimal agitation, in A (1 frame drain@minute) and B (@2 minutes).

    I intend to compare Pyrocat next, but I'm getting good results with the approach mentioned, so I'm in no rush.

    bob

  10. #20

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

    It's not uncommon for somewhat flat negs to scan well. This keeps the image within the film's optimal tonal range using only the straighter portion of the gamma curve. This keeps shadows open and highlights unblocked. You then just add contrast in PS. It's the appropriate way to go, IMHO.

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