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Sylvester Graham
11-Nov-2007, 19:35
Does anyone know if HP5 processed in PMK can tolerate a -3 contraction? What exposure compensation should I expect if that's the case. I was thinking 2 stops.

Also, does anybody know where to find the Reciprocity chart for HP5 in PMK?

I, unfortunately, am somewhere far away, and my Book of Pyro is at home, where I won't be returning for quite a while. Anyways, thanks.


P.S. If it can't tolerate -3, how about -2?

Michael Gudzinowicz
11-Nov-2007, 20:45
Using a development time of 13' @ 70F for HP5+ @ EI 320,
the N-3 time would be 7' @70F @ EI 160 (+ 1 stop).

John Hennessy
11-Nov-2007, 21:01
It has been years since I have used PMK and HP5 but when I did, I could go from -3 to +4 (or at least +3 1/2. For -3 my exposure compensation was + 2 stops. Time in trays was 5.5 minutes.

Reciprocity adjustments for me were:


Meter Adj -Dev %
1" 1.2"
2" 3"
● 5"
4" 7"
● 12"
8" 19" 5
● 33" 8
15" 50" 10
● 1'30 12
30" 2'25" 14
● 4'10" 16
1' 6'20" 18
● 14' 20
2' 28' 24

On my table, "●" represents 1/2 stops. The table, even with a fixed width font, goes sideways so I hope you can make sense of it.

Michael Gudzinowicz
12-Nov-2007, 06:03
My comments were from the Book of Pyro. I agree with John that more exposure is desirable. I usually rate films a stop or more below the minimum acceptable EI promoted by manufacturers to get good shadow contrast whether it's printed or not (black).

Sylvester Graham
12-Nov-2007, 07:08
Thanks a bunch.

Rob Champagne
12-Nov-2007, 09:19
just to add that it is may be somewhat dependant on where your normal development is. i.e. if you have based normal on a 10 stop range then -3 could be over doing it. If your normal is a 7 stop range, then it should be easily possible.

Eric Woodbury
12-Nov-2007, 12:54
There is a very interesting way to do contraction with PMK. It is very compensating, that is to say that the highlights don't blow out and all the contrast is in the shadows. If this works for you, try this:

Soak your film in PURE Part A for about 4 minutes. Then develop the film in Part B diluted as if it were developer. Seems like I developed for about 4 minutes. A couple of cautions here, don't presoak your film in anything before the A and SAVE the A, it is fine and won't be discolored.

Mark Sampson
12-Nov-2007, 13:46
PMK as Diafine. Wow. Eric, did you dream that up yourself? I tried max compaction by exposing +3 stops and cutting the development time in half (I think Mr. Hutchings mentioned that somewhere) and it sort of worked. Your method sounds interesting as all get-out... if I run across a super contrasty scene I'll have to try it.

Blacky Dalton
12-Nov-2007, 13:47
There is a very interesting way to do contraction with PMK. It is very compensating, that is to say that the highlights don't blow out and all the contrast is in the shadows. If this works for you, try this:

Soak your film in PURE Part A for about 4 minutes. Then develop the film in Part B diluted as if it were developer. Seems like I developed for about 4 minutes. A couple of cautions here, don't presoak your film in anything before the A and SAVE the A, it is fine and won't be discolored.

Very interesting method. Do you rate and expose the film as with any contraction? I would be interested in learning more about this. Is there a published article?

I use the method recommended by Gordon Hutchings. He says for a back lit or sunlit window indoors, to not even meter the highlights. Place the shadows as you normally would on Zone III and expose. Then process for 50% of your N Time. I have found that I get better results developing about 65% of my N Time.

B. Dalton

Sylvester Graham
12-Nov-2007, 14:59
There is a very interesting way to do contraction with PMK. It is very compensating, that is to say that the highlights don't blow out and all the contrast is in the shadows. If this works for you, try this:

Soak your film in PURE Part A for about 4 minutes. Then develop the film in Part B diluted as if it were developer. Seems like I developed for about 4 minutes. A couple of cautions here, don't presoak your film in anything before the A and SAVE the A, it is fine and won't be discolored.

Hmmmmmmm....

jwarren116
16-Nov-2007, 00:17
Soak your film in PURE Part A for about 4 minutes. Then develop the film in Part B diluted as if it were developer. Seems like I developed for about 4 minutes. A couple of cautions here, don't presoak your film in anything before the A and SAVE the A, it is fine and won't be discolored.

I have heard of that technique before. I actually heard it the first time from someone working at Photo Formulary. I have yet to test it though...

Blacky Dalton
16-Nov-2007, 10:07
I have heard of that technique before. I actually heard it the first time from someone working at Photo Formulary. I have yet to test it though...

I would really be interested in hearing if anyone has used this method. A few details would be interesting, exposure, etc. Or, maybe I should just experiment?

B. Dalton

Eric Woodbury
16-Nov-2007, 11:17
I'll look around for some of these negs I can post. Development times are fairly short as the developer in the neg is exhausted quickly. Seems as though my development time, this is the B part, was 3 - 5 min. Sometimes I'd let it run longer, but it doesn't do much longer. The negs I remember the most were made in Westminster Abbey. The details was around 2-4 EVs, while there was some sunshine coming in through the windows and lights on. Exposures with HP5+ were a few minutes to 20 minutes.

Experimentation is the right answer. Take a picture inside your house with a daylight window in the frame. Try to hold it all. This development proceed is so compensating that it would be hard to give it too much light, at least for LF.

Blacky Dalton
16-Nov-2007, 11:56
I'll look around for some of these negs I can post. Development times are fairly short as the developer in the neg is exhausted quickly. Seems as though my development time, this is the B part, was 3 - 5 min. Sometimes I'd let it run longer, but it doesn't do much longer. The negs I remember the most were made in Westminster Abbey. The details was around 2-4 EVs, while there was some sunshine coming in through the windows and lights on. Exposures with HP5+ were a few minutes to 20 minutes.

Experimentation is the right answer. Take a picture inside your house with a daylight window in the frame. Try to hold it all. This development proceed is so compensating that it would be hard to give it too much light, at least for LF.

Very interesting for sure. I will have to give this a try, I sometimes shoot building interiors and I am always looking for compensating methods. I have used the procedure I posted earlier here suggested by Mr. Hutchings and have had good success.

One question, do you agitate the film in the Part B or just let it set the full time? I always tray process and shoot mainly 8x10.

Thanks so much Eric for the information. I will investigate this further.

B. Dalton

Eric Woodbury
16-Nov-2007, 12:53
In the old days, I tray processed and yes I agitated. Now I use an oxygen free atmosphere in a Jobo --- probably not the best way for split dev. I haven't done much of this split development lately. I still think it is a very powerful technique, especially with PMK.

Blacky Dalton
16-Nov-2007, 13:59
In the old days, I tray processed and yes I agitated. Now I use an oxygen free atmosphere in a Jobo --- probably not the best way for split dev. I haven't done much of this split development lately. I still think it is a very powerful technique, especially with PMK.

Eric, again, Thanks for the information. I am going to pass this on to a good friend of mine that has also expressed interest in exploring the technique.

I really appreciate your help,

B. Dalton

Eric Woodbury
18-Nov-2007, 17:25
Here are a couple of scans of 4x5 negatives from London. I enhanced the contrast and brightness after the scan, but both negs print fine. Both are HP5+. Both are developed 4 min in PURE A and 5 min in the tray in standard B. 70F. The ceiling at Westminster Abbey is about as dark as it can get: guessing 2 EV, while the windows and lights are bright, in the teens EVs. Windows in this shot are 1.04 density. The dining hall shot is a brighter room, but the windows were awash with sunlight. Still, max density is 1.04. Seems to be the cutoff. Not much stain. I don't remember the exposures except the Abbey was several minutes, maybe 10 or more. The dining hall was not very long. In both cases, I gave the film lots of light.

The images are here at my blog:

ejwoodbury.blogspot.com The top two for now.

Sylvester Graham
19-Nov-2007, 11:39
The images are here at my blog:

ejwoodbury.blogspot.com The top two for now.

That's what I'm talking about.

Blacky Dalton
19-Nov-2007, 13:23
Here are a couple of scans of 4x5 negatives from London. I enhanced the contrast and brightness after the scan, but both negs print fine. Both are HP5+. Both are developed 4 min in PURE A and 5 min in the tray in standard B. 70F. The ceiling at Westminster Abbey is about as dark as it can get: guessing 2 EV, while the windows and lights are bright, in the teens EVs. Windows in this shot are 1.04 density. The dining hall shot is a brighter room, but the windows were awash with sunlight. Still, max density is 1.04. Seems to be the cutoff. Not much stain. I don't remember the exposures except the Abbey was several minutes, maybe 10 or more. The dining hall was not very long. In both cases, I gave the film lots of light.

The images are here at my blog:

ejwoodbury.blogspot.com The top two for now.

Eric, thank you so much for the information and the examples. I will definitely experiment with this myself. My buddy is also excited about this technique since he does a lot of old building interiors.

Again, many thanks,

B. Dalton

Greg Nelson
24-Nov-2007, 21:19
Sorry for such a late post, but if you're really serious about good results from marked contraction development why not think about so-called semi-stand development? PMK wouldn't be your best choice; I've had good results with Pyrocat HD with HP5+. Amazing results, actually.