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Thread: pyro developer, but which?

  1. #1

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    pyro developer, but which?

    I want to start developing with pyro. I am currently using 4x5 with FP4 and Fomapan 100. Will probaby open the repertoire to HP5 and that will be it at least for some time until I get a better feel for film again.

    Sorry if this has been done to death here, but there is so much info on pyro that it is difficult to filter out. I am not a novice in the darkroom and have some experience mixing my own stuff, and I know how to handle chemistry and so on. But I have never used pyro and I closed my darkroom 8 years ago. Now i want to at least develop my film and scan afterwards. Maybe I'll start doing some contact printing which I guess is as far I can go in making prints at home with no darkroom. It has got to be airline friendly since I will fly it in the luggage. Which recipe do you think is best for my needs? What are your suggestions and advice on this topic? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    I use pyrocat-hd, formulated by Sandy King. He also formulated a split pyrocat-hd and I believe it's mainly for people who want to scan in their negatives. I'm sure Sandy will comment on this.
    I settled on pyrocat-hd mainly because it's stain is yellow/brown, and can be used for either tray or rotary. It's also one of the best developers for stand development, in my opionion. FP4 stains nicely in it, but HP5 seems to stain more.

  3. #3

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    What is it exactly that has to "fly in the luggage?". Chemistry is not going to be acceptable to the TSA.

  4. #4

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Pyrocat HD is superb with FP4. I dont know of a better combination. I like the minimal agitation approach, 1:1:150, 4 agitation cycles every 9 minutes for 36 minutes at 72F for FP4 assuming a normal 7 stop subject brightness range, gives a useful boost in speed. Works really well in BTZS tubes. I have not had success with divided pyrocat. Mine is still good a year after mixing, nearly all gone though. I ship the dry 50l kit from photographers formulary to New Zealand, I usually buy it from B&H with a film order. I am not shure I would fly with it in my luggage though. It is available in europe too if that is where you are, see the pyrocat web page. Rodinal is nice too, but liquid so not flyable. Listen to the sheeple on this one, it is a winner.
    Last edited by mdm; 2-May-2010 at 20:15. Reason: Minor details

  5. #5
    Claudio Santambrogio
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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Is it Pyro you want, or a staining developer? If the latter, then I am very happy with Moersch Tanol, fabulous developer for the work I do.

  6. #6

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    You might find it interesting to peruse www.pyrocat-hd.com

    It contains lots of information and some sample photos.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 4-May-2010 at 08:38.

  7. #7

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Sergio,

    My favorite pyro developer is 510-Pyro. 510-Pyro is unique in several ways, most notably, it is a single, highly concentrated solution, much like Kodak HC110, that is simply diluted with water to make a working solution. 510-Pyro is suitable for all formats and development techniques, from rotary to stand development, and everything in between. I know of no other developer with greater development capacity; 1ml of 510-Pyro concentrate will develop an 8x10 sheet, or roll film. You can find more info here:

    http://pyrostains.blogspot.com/

    There are many good staining developers, some pyro, others catechol-based, that are capable of excellent results. In fact, I'd venture to say every published staining developer is capable of excellent results, but this should not suggest all staining developers are alike.

    In my opinion, there are three significant pyro developers:

    ABC Pyro

    WD2D and variants

    510-Pyro


    ABC-Pyro (aka Kodak SD-1) has produced many historically significant, and beautiful negatives, but there are problems with its 3-part formulation and keeping properties that make it inconsistent in use.

    WD2D is an excellent 2-part developer formulated for use with modern films.

    510-Pyro is the only developer of its kind.

    There are many catechol-based staining developers of varying complexity. My favorite is among the simplest. Hypercat contains the following ingredients:

    Catechol
    ascorbic acid
    sodium carbonate
    propylene glycol


    Hypercat is an incredibly efficient, single agent, true acutance developer, and a working solution sufficient for development of 1 8x10 sheet or roll film contains .3g developing agent. The combined effects of a dilute single agent, tanning, and staining produce very sharp, fine grained negatives. Hypercat can be used as a single solution developer, or a 2-bath developer. You can find more information here:

    http://hypercatacutancedeveloper.blogspot.com/

    Among the most controversial issues regarding staining developers involves differences in stain colors, and printing on VC papers. Stained negatives scan very well, as evidenced by the beautiful work posted here by users of staining developers.

    Good luck, and enjoy!

  8. #8

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Thanks a lot. I'll be posting my discoveries as soon as I receive it.

  9. #9
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Segio, I regularly fly with my Pyrocat HD in my hold baggage, but I now only take Part A as it's easier to make up Part B anywhere.

    To cut down on weight & bulk I now make up Part A at double the normal strength before flying then dilute it back to normal before using it as usual.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    Re: pyro developer, but which?

    Jay -

    The 510-Pyro blog lists the formula as follows:

    * ascorbic acid 5g
    * pyrogallol 10g
    * phenidone .25g
    * Triethanolamine 100ml

    I presume this makes 100ml of stock solution. How do we dilute the formula for use ? Are there any recommended starting points for time/temperature/film speed for various films ?

    I would love to try the formula.

    Is it called 510 because of the first two ingredients being 5 and 10 grams ?

    Finally: You distinguish between Pryrogallol and Pyrocatechin/Pyrocatchetol, calling Pyrogallol "Pyro", and Pyrocatechin/Pyrocatechol "Catechol" or "Cat". I know these are two different compounds, but could you please explain why you refer to one as Pyro and the other, as... something else ?
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 5-May-2010 at 08:31.

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