View Full Version : PMK vs Pyrocat HD

steve simmons
15-May-2004, 07:49
In the June/July issue of CameraArts we do a quick comparison between these two developers with 35mm FP4+.

In the July/Aug View Camera we will look at these two developers with HP5+ and the new version of Tri-X sheet films.

steve simmons

15-May-2004, 08:15
I hope you'll make mention of the suitability, or lack thereof, of using these with continuous agitation in a (Jobo) drum.

15-May-2004, 09:00
Or in a Unicolor / Uniroller?

steve simmons
15-May-2004, 09:26
I have never understood the appeal of roller drum processing. With trays I can process 6-8 sheets simultaneously for 6-8 different times.

steve simmons

15-May-2004, 09:37
Steve, have you ever tried roller drum or better yet manal tube processing of sheet film 8x10 or larger? I cannot do 6-8 sheets of 8x10 at a time but I can certainly do 4 (with 4 different times) and with the lights on! I mostly use Pyrocat HD with minimal agitation and I believe it is preferable that the film remains upright during the non-agitation periods - which is why trays will not do.

Andre Noble
15-May-2004, 09:57
The appeal is...

when one has limited darkroom space, outstanding E-6 sheets, minimal physical damage especially w/ Jobo Expert drums.

Ken Lee
15-May-2004, 10:50
Excellent - Sorry I let my subscription lapse. I will renew it.

Why not toss in TMax 400 as well ? Same league, works wonderfully in PyroCat HD.

Larry Gebhardt
15-May-2004, 11:06
Steve, while you may not appreciate the drums there are those of use who do - and we subscribe to your magazines (or buy them in the store). I personally don't understand the appeal of shuffling film in the dark only the end up with scratches and a sore back - but if it works for you then who am I to tell you what to do. Given that those of use who do use a Jobo (or other drum system) might be interested in the results of these developers with these films, it would make sense to at least touch on the performance in drums. After all you are in the business of selling magazines, not converting us all to one way of doing things.

And while I am on the drum defensive, one of the biggest advantages for me is that I can use the same development method and times for both roll and sheet film. Given that I hate film testing, this cuts that chore in half.

Eric Woodbury
15-May-2004, 11:40
Larry, right on the money. As much as I like standing in the dark for 1/2 hours at a time with my hands in toxic waste, breathing fumes, scratching film, I can give up the ability to pull a negative by 1/2 a stop.

Brian Ellis
15-May-2004, 14:34
I've never understood the appeal of trays except from a cost standpoint. I can process six different 4x5 negatives for six different times all in one run using the BTZS tubes(actually I probably could do as many as 10 at once if I bought four more tubes but I don't work in volume usually so the cost of the extra tubes hasn't been worth it to me), plus I never ever get scratches, plus I can process from development through fix in full room light, plus I use far less chemicals (1 ounce of developer 1-1 per tube) plus I don't have to stand over open trays in the dark inhaling chemical fumes. I would think the appeal of those things is easily understandable, whether someone chooses to use the tubes is a personal decision but their appeal is surely understandable.

Per Volquartz
15-May-2004, 18:12
I processed in trays for 25 years and got excellent results most of the time.

Now I use Jobo Expert drums only and get excellent results 100% of the time!

John D Gerndt
15-May-2004, 18:33
I am switching over to (BTZS) tubes and it is a pain. It is like starting over. It IS starting over and that (I'm betting) is the real issue for anyone who has tube issues. There is the $100 it cost to make tubes in three sizes (2,3&4 inch) too.

That said, I am switching. The one advantage not previously mentioned and the one I cannot overlook is temperature control. I can draw a huge cooler full of temperate water and have it stay right for the whole process. My darkroom is too darn cold otherwise; trays cool down quite quickly to the room norm of 60F.


Hans Berkhout
15-May-2004, 18:59
Am I the only one who uses the manual inversion older (pre motorised processing) Jobo tanks? One or two reels, for 6 resp 12 sheets. No problems after 15 years of use, cheap.

Andre Noble
15-May-2004, 21:43

Where do you live? Somewhere very north obviously.

Robert J Cardon
17-May-2004, 12:16
The appeal of the drum rotarty processing is that 1) you're not getting your hands in the soup, 2) you can drink a beer, answer the phone, mix your fix, etc. while the machine does the work ... all with the lights on. But like others have said, it's not for every thing.