View Full Version : PyrocatHD and Delta400

Greg Nelson
7-Apr-2007, 14:23
I just got out of the darkroom after my first disaster in a while. I've botched up film development before, but have usually figured out what I did wrong. I've recently become a fan of sheet film development with Pyrocat and have used it as my standard developer for both HP5 and FP4. When developing roll film shot through my Holga, I always use D-76 because I always have, and get good results with all films. Today I was in a hurry and was out of stock D-76 and decided to use Pyrocat for the first time on 3 rolls of Ilford Delta 400, developer mixed 1:1:100 (15mlA:15mlB:1500ml H2O). Development time was 11.5 minutes, water stop bath, and after fixing I wound up with 3 rolls of nearly clear film (could make out a faint image on some of the frames). Am I missing something here? I picked the development time based on published data for Delta 400 with PMK, and figuring that Pyrocat chould be about 10% faster. I retraced all my steps but can't figure it out. I'll be checking out my camera obviously, but feel the problem is probably chemical or boneheadedness (hoping for the former).

Ken Lee
7-Apr-2007, 14:31
Expose one sheet of film, and develop it the same way you just did. If it comes out clear, then the developer is bad.

One nice thing about using an InfraRed viewing device in the darkroom: if there is any problem, you can mix up some new chemistry and stick the film into it on the spot - and then develop it by inspection. No need to worry over accidental changes in time/temperature, either. With sheet film, it's especially delightful.

Ron Marshall
7-Apr-2007, 14:55
Your time is similar to what I use. Besides the dev being off, perhaps it was colder than you thought?

Eric Rose
7-Apr-2007, 17:30
I've never had a PyroCat failure. Is this from a batch of PC you had used before? If so and no problems then you shouldn't have any this time. I would suspect the camera.

Greg Nelson
8-Apr-2007, 13:00
Thanks for your thoughts. I had hoped there wasn't some incompatability between Delta 400 and Pyrocat that everyone knew but myself. I will take Ken's advice and expose a sheet today. I have used these 2 bottles of solution A and B for about 5 months without a hitch on other film. Reading the Photographer's Formulary package insert about the components, it seems they should last a good long while with the cap on tightly. As for my Holga -- it is hard to believe such a sophisticated device could malfunction! But I had better check it....

brian steinberger
9-Apr-2007, 16:03
Also Greg, I don't know how long you've been experimenting with your Holga, but I bought two together when I bought mine, and lucky that I did. The shutter on one quit working within a week. Also, there's only one shutter speed, 1/500th I think. And also, there's only two apertures (f/8 (cloudy) and f/11 (sunny). So if you were shooting where it was too dark, or with too slow of a film, you might not have exposed the film enough to even see anything. I would take the back off, and fire the shutter a few times to make sure it's even firing correctly. After all, you get what you pay for with a $20 camera, but man are they fun!! Good Luck!