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Thread: Developing Max pyro

  1. #1
    Nasser's Avatar
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    Developing Max pyro

    Would you please tell me how to agitate Max or PMK pyro? My biggest problem with pyro is the sky... I shot with 11x14 Chamonix and notes grainy sky! HOW IS MY AGITATION: I agitate Max pyro at 70F for 7 mints... 3.5 strong agitation horizontally and 3.5 vertically. And I agitate till the pyro would splash on both sides of the tray. Would Please you help me figure out what is the problem.

  2. #2

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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Nasser,

    For big negatives like yours, I would only use brush agitation, one sheet at a time. Brush agitation practically guarantees even development. For 11x14 film, try a 3" soft brush. I use cheap foam paintbrushes, but other use hake or sable brushes. With brush agitation, there's no need for oversize trays or large solution volumes, and it permits intermittent agitation. Just be sure you have enough solution to completely cover your film during rest periods/ between agitation cycles. Alternatively, you can brush continuously, in which case even smaller solution volumes can be used. Place your film in your developing tray, emulsion side up. I raise the near end of my tray so that the solution collects at the far end, then I slip my film in and quickly lower the near end of the tray, so the developer washes over the film quickly and evenly. Brush your film lightly, with generously overlapping strokes, first in one direction, and then in the other direction, and repeat.

    I usually use a one-shot developer and mix a fresh solution for each sheet of film, so I process in one tray. This saves a lot of space, but takes a little longer. When development is complete, I dump my developer, rinse with plain water, and then pour in the fix. At this point I turn on the lights and finish processing in room light.

    11x14 negatives are worth all the dedicated attention, and you'll get perfectly processed negatives to print.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Nasser's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Thank you Defehr,
    I have never hear about this process! Should I use the same time period? 7 min?

  4. #4
    funkadelic
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Jay,
    I was reluctant to try the brush technique when you suggested it earlier, but forgot to follow up on the discussion in another thread (or was it an email?)
    This sounds easier with smaller formats, but seems (at least in my mind) like it may have a greater chance of error as the formats get larger. You have a lot more experience than I do with it, but my concern is the timing.
    it's easy to keep film submerged in developer for a consistent amount of time. With larger formats doesn't the brushing make the "agitation" inconsistent from one point on the film to another? I am concerned about one section of the film having more or less development than another part. My current technique involves slidng the film around with my tongs, then a mild stir around the whole tray before removing tongs from the developer. I use about 700 ml to develop 12x20 film in 20x24 trays, so to use any less developer would be a slightly smaller tray, meaning less room to move the film around.
    Is my logic flawed or just overly paranoid with respect to the timing and area of brushing?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  5. #5

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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Your description of agitation of the tray sounds like you agitate one direction, then after a period of time the other. I am not surprised this causes streaks.
    If you are working with one sheet at a time lifting the corners of the tray is more efficient. During the first 30 seconds lift the corners of the tray one after the other working your way around the tray. with this size film lifting the corner about 1 1/2 inches, then letting it down is sufficient. starting at any corner lift corner #1, then #2 etc, and repeat until the 30 seconds are up. Let the tray rest for 30 seconds then lift corners 1,2 and 3 in order and wait another 30 seconds. Then corners 2,3 and 4 - wait. Continue working your way around the tray.
    I have taught this method to hundreds of students with great success.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Overagitation. You should have no problem with either developer in a tray. What I do is
    use an oversize tray. The sheets are shuffled emulsion up once every 30 sec - carefully
    lifted up out of the tray and placed back in, but rotated 90 deg each time - that way a
    different side is lifted each time. Helps to have liberal but not wasteful solution volume.

  7. #7
    Nasser's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Thank you all for the helpful comments!

  8. #8
    Nasser's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Overagitation. You should have no problem with either developer in a tray. What I do is
    use an oversize tray. The sheets are shuffled emulsion up once every 30 sec - carefully
    lifted up out of the tray and placed back in, but rotated 90 deg each time - that way a
    different side is lifted each time. Helps to have liberal but not wasteful solution volume.
    Drew! Would you please tell me how many neg. you can shuffle with one session? have you tried it with 11x14?

  9. #9
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasser View Post
    Drew! Would you please tell me how many neg. you can shuffle with one session? have you tried it with 11x14?
    Nasser,

    I usually do around (5) negatives/run, 1L(1000mL) of developer in a 10"x12" tray for 8x10 negatives. I don't rotate it 90deg like Drew mentioned, but I had problems with streaking when I first started in 8x10, I was doing 1sht/drum(run), and since it was running in the same direction for longer periods of time, it caused streaking. Unfortunately on some negatives I'd like to have printed, but the streaking ruined them completely. With tray development, I've had no problems whatsoever, except making sure to not let a negative go back in the soup corner first, LAY IT FLAT, then tap it down lightly in the middle.

    -Dan

  10. #10

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    Re: Developing Max pyro

    Hey N,


    Since you are shooting such large and expensive sheets of film why not just develop them one at a time? Perhaps I missed it but how much solution are you using in a tray? I use 1 ltr in an 8x10 tray and develop 8x10 one at a time, I usually get four sheets out of that 1 ltr. As for agitation I lift the sheet out of the tray flip it over and slide it back under, flipping it end over end every ten seconds or so(I usually have four trays going at once).


    I've found with pyro that the first ten seconds are critical to get even skies, they need a lot of agitation, quick even submersion right at the start.

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