View Full Version : TF-4 vs. TF-5 for FP4+ Developed in Pyrocat HD?

Tim Layton
4-Jul-2018, 11:42
Hi, does anyone in the group here understand if there is a reason on a chemical level to use TF-4 vs. TF-5 for FP4+ developed in Pyrocat HD in a Jobo?

I have both on hand in a small supply and I would rather consolidate down to just one if it makes sense to do so. I have been using TF-5 on my fiber prints and out of habit, I have been using TF-4 since it came out for my Pyrocat HD negatives. I want to make sure I am not missing something.



Michael R
4-Jul-2018, 13:16
There is no reason to prefer TF-4 over TF-5.

John Layton
4-Jul-2018, 13:44
I think there was some discussion of this (TF-4 vs TF-5) over on Photrio back in the Apug days. I've been using TF-4 with my FP4+/Pyrocat HD combo - and its been working well so I figure I'll just keep up with this.

I've been thinking of trying TF-5 with prints...as I believe it may have somewhat less odor in open trays. Does this sound correct? I actually don't mind the slight ammonia odor of TF-4 while tray processing negatives (plus my vent fans have no trouble keeping up with this)...but I have not tried TF-4 with prints as my print tray sizes are quite a bit larger (up to 34x48) than my film trays.

...and Tim, as you probably know - you and I share what I believe is the least common spelling of our last name!

Tim Layton
4-Jul-2018, 13:59
Hey John, always good to see another Layton!

I have also been very happy with TF-4 with my Pyrocat HD negatives. I don't have an issue with having to shake it up before mixing what I need for a development session. I typically develop either 5 sheets of 8x10 in the expert drum or 10 sheets of 4x5 in the expert drum.

I started using TF-5 for printing because of the lack of mixing/shaking before use and the reduced odor as you pointed out. I like to try and simplify if I can and so that is what is driving my question if TF-5 is appropriate for Pyrocat HD developed negatives.

I am printing up to 30x40 in trays with TF-5 and I use a large 16" tube for my 40x50 prints via my 4x5 negatives. I am actually working on a project right now where I am trying to get my 45V-XL with the 8x10 cold light head to be able to get me to 30x40 and 40x50 from my 8x10 negatives. I have hundreds of 8x10 negatives that I would like to be able to print and also for future work as well.

I want to make sure there isn't a chemistry-based reason not to use TF-5 on the Pyrocat HD developed negatives.



peter schrager
4-Jul-2018, 15:23
TF5 is more likeable I've been using it with pyro for years

4-Jul-2018, 15:33
I have been using TF-5 for years with all films developed in Pyrocat-HD; or, any pyro-based developer for that matter. No issue that I'm aware of and it's more pleasant to use and easier to mix.

Tim Layton
4-Jul-2018, 15:34
Thanks for confirming Peter.

TF5 is more likeable I've been using it with pyro for years

4-Jul-2018, 17:01
TF-5 is PH Neutral and does not bleach the Pyro HD Stain. I have used both and never saw any difference on paper or film other than the fact that I used to get more particles in TF-4 than I do with TF-5.
I also see no difference on prints using Ilford Rapid Fix vs TF-5.
If toning a print I wonder if there would be a difference in response to rapid fix vs TF-5 after thorough washing?

John Layton
5-Jul-2018, 05:04
Eric...are you saying you get particles in your TF-4 during a fixing procedure - or do they show up afterwards? My concern here would be that if such particles were to present themselves during a procedure...then they might be apt to cause a bit of micro-scratching of negatives.

At any rate...do you then filter the solution - or do the particles get re-absorbed through agitation?

In my own experience I have not noticed such particulates in TF-4 once its been allowed to stabilize after mixing - but perhaps I need to give it a closer look!

5-Jul-2018, 12:31
I switched to TF5 after just one batch of TF4. I would use a liter for processing 8-10 4x5 negatives and would have enough particles that I had to filter. I do not know if they were silver particles or merely a compound coming out of solution. It still worked but I was more afraid it would leave black particles on the negatives.

TF5 doesn't seem to have the problem.
Ilford rapid fixer stock can fall out of solution but I can usually shake it up, or the particles are heavy enough they sink to bottom of container and are easily omitted.

I buy smaller quantities now too since I tend to work in spurts and mix as needed. Costs a bit more annually but gives me peace of mind.

Drew Wiley
5-Jul-2018, 13:07
Particles? I've been using TF4 for both film and paper for many years in numerous developers with no problems whatsoever. You do need to gently shake the
the bottle before pouring the stock solution to be diluted. And with new bottles, you might need to use a stir stick first. That is the only nuisance issue I can think of. If you are losing bits of emulsion, either you are developing way too warm, or else you're film is very old. Of course, I'm assuming you've correctly diluted the TF4 and are not using the concentrate directly. Always dilute and mix just enough concentrate immediately prior to the work session. If settling occurs during that, just gently agitate your bottles or trays right before the film goes to the fixer. I usually give TF4 a tiny swish just before pulling film from
the stop bath, which should be mild to prevent offsetting the alkalinity of the TF4. But I have no background with TF5. Why not just call the chemist at

7-Jul-2018, 15:06
I started using TF-4 with my pyro developer in the mid 90s, I switched to TF-5 for its odorless attribute. But TF-5 will smell a little when it gets near to exhaustion.