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Thread: Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

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  1. #1
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    Does anyone have experience comparing these films when developed in Pyrocat HD, or another similar Pyro forumla ?

    I am familiar with the articles posted on Unblinking Eye.

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Clay
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    I have used all of these film in pyrocat. In general, the Ilford films seem to have the least amount of general staining and the most amount of proportional image stain, while the Kodak films can, without the proper procedures, develop a fair amount of general stain from aerial oxidation, at least during rotary processing.

    If you are doing rotary processing, I think the Ilford films will give you the best results. If you are doing trays, then any of the films will work well. Unless you are shooting low-light photos, my vote would go to FP-4 as the most flexible, do-it-all film of the ones you mentioned. If you are doing any low-light photography, then I would recommend Tmax 400 processed in trays, mostly because of its low degree of reciprocity failure.

    That said, any of the films can be made to work well with some adjustments in your procedures that may be film-specific. I've glanced at your web site, and from the looks of your images, your technical abilities are superior, so I can't imagine that you would have any trouble figuring out how to optimize any of the films in pyrocat.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    phil sweeney
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    Ken, I use FP4 only. I have developed it in pyrocat, PMK and now ABC. I prefer FP4 with PMK and pyrocat for enlarging 4 x 5 negs. I don't care for the PMK neg with VC papers and that is why I tried pyrocat. But my experience with the pyrocat and enlarging is limited. For contact printing I use FP4 with pyrocat and ABC. Recently I am finding I prefer ABC (1-1-1-30: where 1-1-1-7 was too vigorous) over pyrocat. But I may be wiser to use pyrocat for N- developments. There are tradeoffs with each. Pyrocat sure is inexpensive!!

  4. #4
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X



    I should mention that it would be very helpful if anyone could explain why they prefer one over another. For example, Clay's point about general stain versus proportional stain, or Phil's point about suitability with VC papers, are very helpful and specific.



    Any side-by-side comparison images would be helpful as well.



    I mention Ilford HP-5+ because some have described it as an improvement over Tri-X (when developed in DD-X). See here



    I have found Bergger BPF200 to match FP-4+, except that Bergger seems to scratch easily, compared to TMax films. This alone would encourage me to switch to TMax 400.



    On a related note, would there be any interest in a Pyro forum ? I'd be happy to set one up on Yahoo Groups. It's free. I have found it a little challenging to search various forums for the fragments and tidbits.

  5. #5
    Clay
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    Ken:

    I prefer HP-5 over Tri-X (ISO 320 sheet film, not roll film)whenever I have really extreme lighting conditions - as in high contrast (subject brightness range) situations where I want good shadow contrast and tamed highlight areas. The response curve for HP-5 has a nice rounded shoulder that keeps highlights from blowing out badly. Now the bad part about HP-5 is that the same characteristic can give you muddy highlights when you print in palladium (which is mostly what I do), since the palladium paper curve has an extremely long toe. So if the image I am attempting to shoot has highlight areas that would need to have higher contrast, I'll go ahead and shoot Tri-X at EI 200, which will push the shadow areas up into the straighter part of the curve and let higher contrast areas really build some density at the same time.

    If I am in a low contrast situation, I almost always opt for Tri-X, since it can build significant highlight density in almost any developer, including pyrocat. The only knock on Tri-X is that the shadow region of the curve is relatively lower contrast than the equivalent section in HP-5. I have found that exposing it at EI 160-200 will generally compensate for this shortcoming, at the expense of a little higher shadow density.

    And if all I have in the holders is one or the other, then I just take the picture and I find I can generally can accomodate either film's shortcomings to the extent necessary to make a decent print.

  6. #6
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    I didn't know anyone still used HP4

    I have tried FP4+, HP5+, APX100, EFKE PL100, and MACO IR820c in Pyrocat-HD.

    My favorite film in this developer is (unfortunately) APX 100, followed by IR820c, PL100 and FP4+. Hp5+ I didn't particularly like - or maybe it was just a bad shot. APX takes a very good stain giving negatives which are easily printable, with very nice gradations. PL100 sometimes stains TOO much, so the prints on VC are gray soup and the negative is unprintable even on G0 graded paper.

    FP4+ doesn't stain quite as intensely, but I find the tonal range very good. Especially in extreme situations, which seem to be a habit of mine: Scenes with EV from -2 to 14...

  7. #7
    phil sweeney
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    Ken, The heavy stain from PMK greatly affects printing to VC papers. More density is needed for VC paper (vs fixed grade) and overall I do not like the contrast (both highlight and overall). That does not mean the effect is not useful. I find that I prefer fixed grade papers for PMK.

    FYI I have used PMK at 10-20-500 instead of 10-20-1000 for N+ developments and for others, to reduce overall development times. Using PMK for N+ developments at 10-20-1000 is sort of counterproductive. At 10-20-500 the developer is no longer compensating, at least for FP4.

    If you are going to try more than one developer I suggest sticking with one film. Only then will you be able to appreciate the differences each developer has to offer.

  8. #8

    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    I have used pyrocat on FP4, HP5, and Tri-X (in 120 size only). I prefer the Fp4 over the Hp5 as the Hp5 seemed to lack the inherent contrast I enjoyed with the Fp4. May have been my personal times were a little off with the Hp5, but the Fp4 works beautifully in a number of lighting conditions. I souped the Tri-X in pyrocat after accidentally shooting it at 320iso instead of 1200 (I usually dev it in diafine). Nice tonality and very sharp. I no longer shoot LF (blasphemy!), but continue to use Fp4 in pyrocat for my medium format work.

  9. #9
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    Pyrocat HD with HP4, HP5, TMY 400, Tri-X

    I wrote an email to Sandy King, asking him which films he prefers... and why. He told me it was OK with him to share his response:



    I like FP-4+ and T-MAX 400 because they have great expansion/contraction capability, and this is very important with my work in alternative printing. Also, they will both develop to a high CI without fogging, and this too is important with alternative work where a density range of 1.7 or so is needed with scenes of normal contrast.



    FP4-+ is especially nice with Pyro because it develops high image stain with little general stain. Ilford HP5+ is also good in that it gives low general fog with Pyro developing, but on the other hand it will not develop to as high a CI as FP4+ and T-MAX 400.



    All of the Kodak films tend to develop a higher general stain with rotary processing than Ilford films so if you are working with either T-MAX 400 or TRI-X you might want to consider tray processing.

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