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Thread: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

  1. #1

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    Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Hi,

    As the title suggests, I am looking for a pyro developer that is at least as sharp as Rodinal and/or Beutler's, but give full film speed.

    Has anyone used the Pyrocat-P or -M varieties (I found old threads about it from when it was first announced, but none since '06)?

    I have tried pyrocat HD and, while I like it, I had to rate my film at half the speed, which I would rather not do.

    I just moved up to 8x10 and am doing a lot of contact printing, mostly on graded paper.

    I like my current developer, but am curious about pyro.

    Before you tell me to try it for myself, I am. I ordered a bunch of chemicals, but wanted to get some ideas as well.

    Thanks,

    Noah

  2. #2

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Quote Originally Posted by mcfactor View Post
    Hi,

    As the title suggests, I am looking for a pyro developer that is at least as sharp as Rodinal and/or Beutler's, but give full film speed.

    Has anyone used the Pyrocat-P or -M varieties (I found old threads about it from when it was first announced, but none since '06)?

    I have tried pyrocat HD and, while I like it, I had to rate my film at half the speed, which I would rather not do.

    I just moved up to 8x10 and am doing a lot of contact printing, mostly on graded paper.

    I like my current developer, but am curious about pyro.

    Before you tell me to try it for myself, I am. I ordered a bunch of chemicals, but wanted to get some ideas as well.

    Thanks,

    Noah
    Noah,

    I have done a lot of careful comparisons of Pyrocat-HD with standard developers like D76 and there should be some slight *gain* of film speed with Pyrocat versus D76, not loss of film speed. Compared to Xtol there would be some slight speed gain with Xtol.

    Pyrocat-M was replaced by Pyrocat-MC which is sold in Glycol kit by Photographers Formlary. Pyrocat-P is an excellent developer but would have to be mixed from scratch. My experience is that Pyrocat-MC gives about the same film speed as Pyrocat-HD, Pyrocat-P gives slightly less (about 1/5 stop) less film speed.

    Generally speaking film speed is determined primarily by 1) the film itself and 2) the method of agitation, and secondarily, by 3) the developer. Developers that contain phenidone, like Pyrocat-HD, generally give a slight increase in film speed compared to the standard D76.

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  3. #3

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Noah,

    510-Pyro is a highly concentrated, single solution pyrogallol-based developer that is simply mixed with water to make a working solution. 510-Pyro gives full film speed, or a little better, and is very sharp. Here's a link to the blog, with some images and info from users and myself:

    http://pyrostains.blogspot.com/

    While 510-Pyro is very sharp, it's not the sharpest staining developer. The sharpest developer I know is Hypercat. Hypercat is also among the simplest developers, containing only catechol as the single developing agent, a tiny amount of ascorbic acid as a preservative, and sodium carbonate. Hypercat is made up in two solutions; the A solution containing catechol and ascorbic acid in glycol, and the B solution is a 20% sodium carbonate solution. Both solutions have very, very long shelf lives. If a more concentrated B solution is desired, potassium carbonate can be substituted without affecting the working properties of the developer. The Hypercat blog can be found here:

    http://hypercatacutancedeveloper.blogspot.com/

    And some beautiful images made with Hypercat by Ryota Itoh can be found here:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=hype...98524799%40N00

    Whatever developer you use, I hope you enjoy yourself, and make satisfying images. Good luck!

  4. #4

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    "I have tried pyrocat HD and, while I like it, I had to rate my film at half the speed, which I would rather not do."

    Could you briefly describe how you determine film speed ?

  5. #5

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Try minimal agitation with Pyrocat. It works a treat. Hard to underexpose.

  6. #6

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay DeFehr View Post
    And some beautiful images made with Hypercat by Ryota Itoh can be found here:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=hype...98524799%40N00
    He also lists Pyrocat-HD as the developer for some of his work as well.

    Don Bryant

  7. #7

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Please do not start another developer flame war. Really, who cares.

    Everyone has a right to express their own opinion and we are all big enough to tolerate that.

    The question was about film speed.

  8. #8

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Yes, Don, Mr. Itoh also used Pyrocat HD. I think I linked his work with Hypercat, but please excuse me if there were also images made with Pyrocat HD. I only meant to provide examples of work made with Hypercat, and not to cast aspersions on any of the Pyrocats.

  9. #9

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay DeFehr View Post
    Yes, Don, Mr. Itoh also used Pyrocat HD. I think I linked his work with Hypercat, but please excuse me if there were also images made with Pyrocat HD. I only meant to provide examples of work made with Hypercat, and not to cast aspersions on any of the Pyrocats.
    I didn't mean to imply that you did. My comments were really meant to point out this fact to the OP of this thread, the point being that there are quite a few modern pyro formulas that work very well as evidenced by Mr. Itoh's work.

    Cheers,

    Don

  10. #10

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    Re: Sharp pyro developer that gives full film speed

    The sharpest pyro that I ever used was ABC Pyro. It doesn't support full film speed with most films however. In addition to being extremely sharp it also has sufficient grain that it is noticeable at a 11X14 print from an 4X5 negative using a condensor enlarger.

    In my experience there are trade-offs with most film developers.

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