View Full Version : B&S Pyrocat-HD Developer...

18-Oct-2017, 21:57
I ordered what I expected to be the wet solutions a and b from B&S in 500ml bottles.

What I received is Solution B in 500ml bottle with some fluid in it, haven't opened yet to check it. Solution A just seems to have granules of varying sizes as if they dumped the individual dry parts in a 500ml bottle and left the mixing for me.

I've already mixed a dry kit and had less than expected results... Anyone order the wet kits? I need to get a hotplate stirrer... Doing this in a makeshift double boiler on stove is just not ideal for me.

I'll call later in the AM and see what they say but I wondered if anyone has had that?


19-Oct-2017, 04:59
Can you not just add Hot water? Every kit I have ever ordered has dissolved easily enough.

19-Oct-2017, 06:32
The first Pyrocat kit I ever bought was dry. I was sent a package that had in error a variety of chemical packets, some for the "100ml" version and some for the "500ml" version. This caused me a lot of headache.

Since then I've ordered a couple of premixed kits from Photographers Formulary, always in Glycol, and they work fine. I'm currently getting back into staining developers. Anyway, these are always premixed, as they are supposed to be, and do not come with dry chemicals in a bottle.

I would definitely call B&S and ask. I wonder if in transit the liquid leaked out or evaporated and somehow some crystallized ingredients were left. I don't think they would send the A solution like that, but maybe so. The price is attractive - over 20% cheaper than what I'm getting from PF.

19-Oct-2017, 06:42
Why didn't you call B&S and ask them? They are reliable and will take care of things.

19-Oct-2017, 09:18
I would either mix Pyrocat-HD in water from dry chemicals or order a liquid kit mixed in Glycol. Pyrocat can go bad without much warning but it easily lasts 6 months when mixed with water and almost a year when mixed with Glycol.

19-Oct-2017, 10:01
How will you go through 500ml of PC-HD in 6 months? One would have to shoot quite prolifically to get there. I would definitely mix in Glycol, divide over small bottles (say 100ml each), cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.

19-Oct-2017, 12:24
How will you go through 500ml of PC-HD in 6 months? One would have to shoot quite prolifically to get there. I would definitely mix in Glycol, divide over small bottles (say 100ml each), cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.

Tray develop 8x10 negatives? Use once and dump. Then mix new for the next sheet of film?

19-Oct-2017, 14:03
No experience with PyroCat from B&S. I purchase premixed PyroCat HD from Photographers Formulary with no issues. I purchase the smaller premixed batch (100ml). I might go through that in 6-12 months. They have a 500ml size but that tends to oxidize for me before I can use it all. Prefer to order more frequently and work with fresh chemistry.

19-Oct-2017, 14:07
Due the pricing structure at PF if I get the 500ml bottles and only use half of it I've still saved a few dollars. I have had no trouble pushing through a 100ml set that I bought about two months ago - probably just enough left to develop the 4 sheets of 8x10 I just shot.

Next time I order I will be getting the 500ml.

Anyway, back on topic, I wonder what the OP did? B&S has a cheaper 500ml kit so I am interested to know what happened here. I need to order some other stuff from them so would be happy to order some Pyrocat while I'm at it.

23-Oct-2017, 11:08
Thanks everyone, turns out it's not that hard to heat up some water on the stove in a 1000ml beaker and just add the stuff in and stir with a glass stir stick at 50c... Idk why I made a big deal out of it the first time... I did call them and they said they'd be happy to add the water for me next time. I have yet to use it but I think the first time I went around with the dry kit I didn't really know what I was doing, this was some time ago...

23-Oct-2017, 11:15
As for what I did... I heated up about 150-200ml distilled water in the 1000ml beaker and stirred in a bit of the dry components in at a time after heating it on the stove to 50c with a thermometer, after dissolving the entire content of the 500ml bottle, which was maybe 5% full of dry chem, I added a bit more distilled water and stirred until I got to 500ml and then let it sit for 30-40mins and then put it back into the bottle and shaked it to mix in the rest of the dry that was residual in the bottle. I may have a bit less than 500ml in my bottle right now after cooling from 50c but it should be within a few percent of where I should be with the solution A. Solution B was premixed as it has an indefinite shelf life from what i've read...

B/S folks said that solution a is dry so as to keep a good long shelf life and even though it's advertised as a wet kit they keep solution a dry so it doesn't deteriorate over time. They offered to mix it next time if I put some note in the order in the instructions field.

The PF dry kit I bought previously had all the components dry and in separate little baggies. I suppose you could even measure out and mix smaller batches of stock solution a if you wanted from that kit, I was just not equipped with lab ware to mix that in a way that I was comfortable with at the time I received it. I'm perhaps a bit too uptight about how some of this, but I just don't want any chance to mix anything with something used for food at home.

23-Oct-2017, 11:17
Next time I'm going to look at mixing it up in glycol or order the glycol mixed kit.

Andrew O'Neill
23-Oct-2017, 11:38
If you are anticipating a long time between days developing film, then glycol is the way to go.

Ken Sinclair
6-Dec-2017, 09:56
I have been using Pyrocat HD (mixed form the 'scratch' chemical components)
in BTZS tubes for both my 4x5 and 8x10 film. After many years of either tray or hangers-in-tank development I have found Pyrocat HD used in tubes to be probably
the least expensive and 'best' developer I have ever used after some 60+ years of large format film development.


Andrew O'Neill
6-Dec-2017, 13:01
It certainly is a great developer in many regards, Ken. It's been my main developer for about 15 years.