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View Full Version : Anybody using Pyrocat-HD or MC as a Compensating Developer?



Jay Decker
1-Sep-2009, 06:16
Preparing to shoot my first B&W 8x10 negatives and develop them using a Jobo drum on a Beseler motor base. My objective is to create negatives that scan well, so I'll be using Pyrocat-MC as a two-part compensating developer. I have a recipe developed from based on information from Sandy King. However, before I commit the materials and time, I would like to ask if anyone else is developing film with this approach and compare dilutions, temperatures, developing times, and film EI's.

Here's my recipe:

Films: Efke 25 exposed at ASA 25 and Ilford FP4+ exposed at ASA 100
Developer: Pyrocat-MC, Part A at 1:20 dilution Part B at 1:20 dilution
Developer and Presoak Temperature: 75 degrees F
Presoak: 3 to 5 minutes
Development Times (both films): (3 minute presoak) Part A: 5 minutes and Part B: 5 minutes

Ken Lee
1-Sep-2009, 07:48
"My objective is to create negatives that scan well"

Why do you feel that you need a 2-part developer ?

Many of us use Pyrocat and other developers, in their "normal" configurations, for scanning purposes, with relative ease.

Jim Rice
1-Sep-2009, 07:56
I have begun using stand development in a Unicolor drum (8x10) with Pyrocat-HD for it's compensation effects. The dilutions and techniques are straight from Sandy's article on unblinking eye. So far I've been very impressed with the results. My times are 45 minutes for N, 30 for N-1 and 80 for N+1.

Jim Rice
1-Sep-2009, 07:59
Oh, and FP4+ at EI 50.

Bob McCarthy
1-Sep-2009, 09:07
I thought Sandy indicated it was economically unsound to use Pyrocat as a two part developer.

I use the Adams d23 two part formula with success. I believe that is Sandy's approach also.

bob

sanking
1-Sep-2009, 09:44
I thought Sandy indicated it was economically unsound to use Pyrocat as a two part developer.

I use the Adams d23 two part formula with success. I believe that is Sandy's approach also.

bob

The 1:20 dilution for two-bath uses about five times as much of the stock solutions as a 1:1:100 dilution. However, you can re-use the 1:20 dilution several times if done within a window of three or four hours.

The major reason to use any two-bath developer is to avoid negatives of very high contrast. The mechanics of two-bath development holds contrast to a finite point, regardless of the conditions of exposure, and is a safe method of development where one may have exposed sheet in a wide range of subject brightness conditions and not kept good notes. It is also a good form of development for roll film that may have been exposed to a wide range of subject contrast.

I developed some Acros film recently in two-bath development and was very pleased with the acutance. It was quite similar to what I get when developing with minimal agitation (four agitation cycles during total development time). I also agitate only four times with tw0-bath development, for thirty seconds at the beginning and then at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.

A pre-soak is not needed with most films but I recommend it for slow speed high contrast films like Efke 25, etc.


Sandy King

Mike1234
1-Sep-2009, 11:12
Piggy-backing on what Sandy said:

FWIW, a zillion years ago I tried using rotational agitators and I didn't like them because the constant agitation was just too much. I couldn't really balance shadow and highlight detail. Yes, exposure, pre-soak, developer type/dilution, and development time can compensate but this isn't the whole story. Limiting the amount of agitation allows the shadows to develop more whilst the highlights develop more slowly as developer weakens.

I prefer hangars for 4x5 and trays for larger so I can better control/limit agitation.

But take the above with a grain of salt... it's just one guy's opinion after all. And maybe I just did it wrong.

Gem Singer
1-Sep-2009, 11:16
Make it two guy's opinions.

Jeremy Moore
1-Sep-2009, 11:35
FWIW, a zillion years ago I tried using rotational agitators and I didn't like them because the constant agitation was just too much. I couldn't really balance shadow and highlight detail.

FWIW, I use rotational agitation and have no problems with ridiculously high SBR. The image below is a scan of a palladium print of a 4x5 negative. The outside area is Texas sun in the afternoon (read: BRIGHT), but keeping detail in the shadows wasn't a problem. The railing in the foreground has detail.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3448/3865269433_51b17dee27.jpg

It's just a matter of testing and learning to use what you've got. Also, some people just prefer rotational (as I do) and some prefer using hangers (like Mike does). It doesn't matter how you do it, it just matters that you get out there with your camera and actually do it!

That said, I'm testing out the 2-bath for my 120 and am liking it!

Mike1234
1-Sep-2009, 13:58
^^^ Like I said, I may have been doing it (drum processing) wrong. Or maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy. :)

Jay Decker
3-Sep-2009, 21:09
Why do you feel that you need a 2-part developer ?

Excellent question!


The major reason to use any two-bath developer is to avoid negatives of very high contrast. The mechanics of two-bath development holds contrast to a finite point, regardless of the conditions of exposure, and is a safe method of development where one may have exposed sheet in a wide range of subject brightness conditions and not kept good notes. It is also a good form of development for roll film that may have been exposed to a wide range of subject contrast.

Sandy's answer is naturally right on; however, I would add that I develop different films at the same time in the same drum, e.g., you developed FP4+ and Efke 25 and Tri-X in the same drum at the same time. The resulting negatives have a long tonal scale, low contrast, and scan well.

Ken Lee
4-Sep-2009, 04:06
You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?

Jay Decker
4-Sep-2009, 06:17
You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?

That is correct.

Ken Lee
4-Sep-2009, 06:30
Excellent !

If anyone has more illustrative samples, I'm sure that people would love to see them.

I plan to try this, as soon as I can get back to photography.

Jay Decker
4-Sep-2009, 06:34
If anyone has more illustrative samples, I'm sure that people would love to see them.

Here's an example...


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=30586&d=1252071236

Ken Lee
4-Sep-2009, 06:50
Lovely !

Mike1234
4-Sep-2009, 07:37
Jay... It's always difficult to tell actual tonal quality on a monitor but that looks pretty darned good. Nice lighting and there seems to be plenty of tonal detail.

Jay Decker
4-Sep-2009, 07:55
It's always difficult to tell actual tonal quality on a monitor ...

You are absolutely right! But, the print is pretty nice too...



Nice lighting and there seems to be plenty of tonal detail.

The light was good, but not great for this photograph.

This technique took a little for me to warm up to... the negatives look a little muddy with a low contrast and a long tonal scale, i.e., nothing like what printed well for me when I made wet prints 30 years ago in high school. However, the negatives consistently scan well and come to life with a couple quick adjustments in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I initially tried compensating development for roll film, but have continued with it into LF. I like the 4x5 results and will be using it on my first batch of 8x10 negatives also...

Bob McCarthy
4-Sep-2009, 08:13
You develop all your negatives in 2-bath Pyrocat - regardless of subject brightness range - not just the ones where the subject brightness range was excessive ?


That is correct.

If you put up the enlarger/wet side processing for digital capture (scanning) the emphasis on the density range of the negative takes on a much lower priority.

As long as you have detail in the shadows (exposure) and the density of the highlights (processing) are capable of being captured by your scanning device, very little else matters.

Adjusting the output with the myriad of tools in your editor can damn near solve any issue with much more subtlety than any paper grade.

Throw in local adjustments, the resulting output can match your vision to a tee.

I'm using a two bath D23 approach, and getting wonderful and consistent results. I have my processing time well established to the point virtually all negatives are printable, no matter what the density range of the subject.

I'm using the Adams formula with a touch less sulfide (75gm vs 100).

4 minutes A, 4 minutes B with minimal agitation, in A (1 frame drain@minute) and B (@2 minutes).

I intend to compare Pyrocat next, but I'm getting good results with the approach mentioned, so I'm in no rush.

bob

Mike1234
4-Sep-2009, 08:18
It's not uncommon for somewhat flat negs to scan well. This keeps the image within the film's optimal tonal range using only the straighter portion of the gamma curve. This keeps shadows open and highlights unblocked. You then just add contrast in PS. It's the appropriate way to go, IMHO.

David Karp
4-Sep-2009, 08:40
Bob, I would be interested in hearing your comments.

Below are a few photos from my recent flurry of film development activity. All were developed using Barry Thornton's 2 bath developer in Jobo Expert Drums on a Beseler roller base. The first photo is a 5x7 on Arista.edu Ultra 200. The second is from 4x5 HP5+. The third is a part of a whole plate negative made on HP5+ (The scanning area on my scanner is not big enough to scan the whole negative). Without film holders for the larger sizes, I just lay them on the glass emulsion side down and flip them in Photoshop.

I regularly develop some combination of HP5+, FP4+, Delta 100, or Arista.Edu Ultra 200 together in the same drum. I print in the traditional darkroom, but I do quick scans to view on screen so I can decide which negs to print (sort of a digital proof sheet). These have had minimal processing in Photoshop so I feel comfortable putting them up for public view. In my experience, these negs will print well on grade 2 or grade 3.

Sandy King recommends using Divided D23 diluted 1:1 for four minutes in each bath when used for rotary processing. My experience using Thornton's similar two bath formula supports this recommendation. Thornton recommended 5 minutes in each bath when processing sheet film using intermittent agitation. I found that the rotary processed negatives are too contrasty if the A and B baths are used full strength. This indicates that constant agitation has an impact on two bath developers, and that assertions to the contrary based on the idea that development stops once the developer absorbed into the emulsion during the A bath is exhausted are just plain wrong. Perhaps the constant agitation in the B bath causes some of the developer absorbed into the emulsion to go back into solution and work on the highlights.

Based on my experience using Thornton's two bath for years, tray development with intermittent agitation using the two baths at full strength for five minutes in each bath resulted in a noticeably less contrasty negative than one processed at full strength for the same times with constant agitation. The constant agitation makes it easier to blow out the highlights, so I have to be more aware of the scene's contrast using the 2 bath with constant agitation than when I was tray processing the negatives.

I wondered whether the increased contrast was due to development in the A bath. However, I don't think much development takes place in the A bath, even with constant agitation, since I mix Thornton's formula with 40g/L of sodium sulfite in bath A and 40g/L in bath B (sort of like Vestal's DD76). Diluting this 1:1 leaves only 20g/L of sodium sulfite and nothing else to act as an accelerator. Maybe one of these days I will run a few sheets through the A bath only and see if any development occurs, and if so, how much.

Thornton suggested that you could use a different B bath in N+1 or N-1 situations. I have not tried the N+1 with the rotary processor, but have tried the N-1 formula. A few of my 4x5 negatives from a recent trip came out with blown highlights when processed normally. I mixed up some B bath with 7g/L of Sodium Metaborate instead of the standard 12g/L used for N processing. I diluted this and the A bath 1:1 and processed the backup negatives for four minutes in each bath The results were very good. There was much more detail in the highlights and I think the negatives will print well. (The third photo was processed this way.)

I also found that the diluted baths are reusable for at least one day. I have run 30 4x5 sheets using the same baths with no problem, and discarded the diluted solutions at the end of the day.

Photos (c) 2009 David C. Karp

Ken Lee
4-Sep-2009, 09:19
An article on Unblinking Eye, entitled Divided D-23 Developer (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html), lists different development times in solutions A and B, according to N+1, N-1, etc.

Isn't that approach inconsistent with the notion that one basic pair of development times is suitable for a wide range of negatives ?

Am I overlooking something ?

David Karp
4-Sep-2009, 09:47
The thing about Divided D23 that differentiates it from some of the other divided developers is that the first bath is the same D-23 that you could use to develop your negatives in a 1 bath developer. The Sodium Sulfite in D23 serves as both preservative and accelerator, so development clearly takes place in the A bath when using DD23.

This is different than a "true" divided developer such as Diafine, in which little or no development takes place in the A bath.

The version of Thornton's developer that I use splits the sodium sulfite between the two baths, so there is only 40g/L in the A bath. There should be very little development at that level. When tray processing using this formula, I found that I could combine films of extremely broad range of negatives in the same slosher and have very nice negatives across the board. Now that I have been rotary processing, things are a bit different. Scenes that I would have trusted to process normally in the tray are now blowing out. This is true even when the solutions are diluted 1:1 so that the concentration of sodium sulfite in the A bath goes to only 20g/L. That is why I tried the N-1 concentration of the B bath as described in my prior post. It works fine.

There are still advantages to the 2 bath for me, even when rotary processing. It still seems that time is still not as critical as with a one bath. I was using X-Tol 1:3 before going to the 2 bath, and total time in the developer is shorter than with X-Tol. I think that there is still some compensation with the 2 bath, but not as much as when tray processing. Plus, I can still develop different films in the same drum for the same amounts of time and have good negatives for each.

David Karp
4-Sep-2009, 10:02
I should have added this to the prior post.

I believe the fact that DD23 is a fully formed developer when used as part A of a 2 bath accounts for Joe Lipka's recommendation of different times for N-1, etc.

I have also used Diafine with roll film in tanks and 4x5 in trays, and found that you can develop different films exposed in different lighting conditions, all for the same time, and have fine negatives in each case. I have not tried it in a rotary processor.

At some point I too intend to try Pyrocat MC as a compensating developer. I am interested to see how the stain impacts the prints, and if there will be a need for a weaker B bath in N- situations when using it.

Bob McCarthy
4-Sep-2009, 11:14
Let me organize my thoughts for you.

First, in spite of many favorable comments about continuous agitation, I have formed a different mindset. My first attempts were with a motor base for the Kinderman tank and my results were not the equal of what I was getting with intermittent agitation. This was in the 70's so it's a long held attitude (I certainly would never claim to be a fact)

I experimented with a number of compensating approaches trying to control the harsh lighting of the SW desert where I lived at the time. Two bath, water bath, ultra-dilute, tried them all.

I pretty much settled for the Adams formula. The two bath fit all the requirements. Cheap, mix it yourself for pennies, effective with long scale (high DR) subjects. For normal shots I used HC-110 (B).

I went digital for 5 or 6 years before coming back to large format. By then the darkroom was long gone or in storage. I was in a different house w/o a proper place to easily set one up. So I then went hybrid, wet film developing/digital printing.

So I began working to optimize film development for scanning.

First the scanner has an impact, what I did for my consumer scanner was very different as to what I do for my current cezanne. Secondly, I am somewhat well trained in Adobe Suite as my primarily source of income (when my clients pay me) is in 3D and video.

I tried stand development, high (ultra) dilution and other approaches. The attempt was to limit DR while getting good detail in the shadows.

Sandy King wrote an article in View camera that flooded back old practices. I tried it and found it worked well. I played with time, his timing worked very well. I worked with agitation, and found minimal agitation enhanced edge effect. I reduced sulfite for two reasons - one is that sulfite can cause fine grain because it dissolves the grain (at expense of sharpness) and secondly activates the metol in part A(pH issue).

Since I was targeting a scanner and not wet process, I wanted a capping process that self limited the density of the developed negative. Tapering shoulder with a decent straight line in the mids.

Adams agitated too much from my reading and understanding of his process. My belief was bath A should begin bringing up the density across the board shadows to highlights. I use a fairy normal agitation, 30 second, then one agitation cycle every minute. Since the sulfite in A will activate the metol, we get partial development. At 4 minutes we are well short of development to completion.

Bath B where I seen suggestions of continuous agitation to no agitation, was where I spent time experimenting. I found initial agitation of 15-20 seconds was enough to move the process forward w/o staining/streaking. After that, I wanted minimal so the chemistry moves to exhaustion on the highlights, but progresses on in the shadows. I do one intermediary agitation at the midpoint of time for B (ie at 2 minutes). While no agitation is in theory best, I think it doesn't hurt and evens out any streaking or lack of agitation issues.

I use a covey of combiplan tanks in a dip and dunk fashion. There is an article on the main page of this site on the general technique. I use 4 tanks. Though realistically only 2 are needed for part A and B, I also do no more than 12 sheets per liter of solution. Maybe more could be done, but since I'm mixing the chemistry myself its nothing cost wise.

The key to how it works for me is

I have soft but long scale negatives

I can mix many films in a batch. IE I have processed FP4 and Delta together in the same tank. Working on T-Max now.

My scanner is very capable

I use photoshop on a daily basis and have good control of what it can and can not do.


hope this helps,

bob

Bob McCarthy
4-Sep-2009, 11:23
David, what is the purpose of the sulfite in Part B?

Kodalk doesn't need a preservative, I don't believe.

I know folks who use a salt to help the gelatin but I haven't found that to be so. May be a water issue. I suppose.

bob

David Karp
4-Sep-2009, 12:23
Thanks Bob.

The Thornton formula is very similar to yours. His formulation was: Bath A - 6.5g metol, 80g sodium sulfite. Bath B - 12g sodium metaborate. All brought up to 1L. So, a bit less metol, a bit more sodium sulfite and sodium metaborate.

I decided to try splitting the sodium sulfite after reading that Vestal did this in his DD76. Anchell and Troop mention that they felt that this was the best approach for DD76 without explaining why. I thought about it for a while, and guessed that the reason might be to have less development in the A bath, and to goose up the development in the B bath by adding the extra sulfite to the developer absorbed into the emulsion. Alternatively, perhaps it was a gelatin issue for them. I am not a chemist and I don't play one on TV (:)), so I just winged it. I don't know if it works for any of these purposes, or what is really happening. The negatives look good so I just kept doing it after my initial experiments.

The long scale negatives that work so well for scanning also work very well for darkroom printing. Most negatives print very well on grade 2 or grade 3 paper.

It is interesting that you also found different results between intermittent and continuous agitation using 2 baths. It makes you wonder about Anchell's and Troop's assertion that rotary processing is ideal for 2 baths. It does work, and based on my experience recently, it does work pretty well. However, I agree with you that it works even better with intermittent agitation.

Jim Graves
4-Sep-2009, 12:38
Thornton does briefly discuss lowering the Sodium Sulphite (his spelling) in Bath A, but for the specific purpose of increased definition and without adding the remainder to Bath B: "If you want to opt for really high definition at the expense of grain, you can cut down the sodium sulphite in Bath A to as little as 35 grams, but you will need to change to about 12g of sodium carbonate [presumably from sodium metaborate] in Bath B." [Edge of Darkness, p. 95.]

David Karp
4-Sep-2009, 12:48
Hi Jim,

I do recall that discussion in Edge of Darkness. That formula would give results similar to the Beutler high acutance formula, which is not what I was after, or what I am getting.

There are some photos I have in mind that would really benefit from that sort of developer, but for most of what I do I think it would be too much.

Have you tried it?

Jim Graves
4-Sep-2009, 12:58
I haven't tried his 2-Bath formula. I have used his DiXactol for compensation development as a 2-bath and as a 1-bath when I want to develop more than one type of film and like the results.

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 10:00
I was thinking about Sandy's VC Mag article on 2 baths. He had a photo of a sunporch or porch (or something similar) with a super broad contrast range. Based on my recent experience, I think that with continuous agitation I would have to use an N- B bath as described above for a scene like that, but Sandy did not have to (and he used continuous agitation of some kind for the photos in the article).

So, I am thinking, could it be:


1. You can make adjustments in Photoshop to handle this much easier than you could handle it in the darkroom.


2. Perhaps the rotation speed has an impact on contrast, and slower rpms might help.

Any thoughts on this, or any other potential causes?

Ken Lee
5-Sep-2009, 10:03
Sandy -

Your recommended development time of 5 minutes in each solution, is for 1:20 dilution, at 75 degrees Fahrenheit... no ?

If we wanted to pinch pennies and use even less developer, could we increase temperature, or extend development time ? Or would this introduce problems ?

Would the same be true with other developers, like Divided D-23 ?

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 10:28
For those who are interested, here are some other threads touching on Pyrocat as a 2 bath developer:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=38670&highlight=bath+dilute

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/64343-divided-pyrocat-hd.html

These both have helpful information.

Ken Lee
5-Sep-2009, 10:59
Excellent - Thanks !!

Ken Lee
5-Sep-2009, 15:59
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle !

TMY at ISO 250, Divided Pyrocat HD, 5 min, 75 degrees, 1:10.



http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/divpyrocat1.jpg
I placed the wood on the chair on Zone II - III, and let the rest go where it may. The inside walls fell on Zone V, the grass in the yard outside fell on Zone XI ! The clouds in the sky fell on Zone... XIV !



http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/divpyrocat2.jpg
Another interior with deep shadows and full window-light from outdoors. The statue on the table, I placed on Zone III. The carpeting on the stairs fell 8 zones higher, and the white paint on the steps another 2 zones beyond that. Zone 13 is way beyond what any sane photographer would waste a sheet of film and still expect to capture useable texture. I didn't know that the film could hold that many zones.


http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/divpyrocat3.jpg
Foreground in the shade, clouds lit by full sun. No filter was used. The fence was placed on III, and the clouds fell as high as Zone XI. So what ? Maybe a yellow filter would have made the clouds look more dimensional, but the brightness range was irrelevant.

All of these negatives scanned so easily, I had to increase contrast to make them feel like light. The amazing thing to me, is that there was no need for stand, semi-stand, flash, dilution, HDR merging, blending, multiple exposures... no incantations or rituals of any kind !

Watching the development process with an Infra Red monocular, this process looks like Pt/Pd: the images just pop out when you place the film into bath B. I haven't had this much (photographic) fun in a long time !

Next time, I will give more continuous agitation: these negatives have a slightly mottled look. Five minutes isn't a lot of time, especially when you tray-develop a lot of sheets at the same time as I do. I will increase the dilution to 1:20, and lengthen the time a bit in each developer.

Thanks so much for sharing this technique ! It's been around for a long time, but it took me until now to pick it up.

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 17:09
Great Ken. A fun experiment. It is amazing how well the 2 baths work.

We really do owe Sandy a debt of gratitude. Before he started his experiments and wrote his VC Mag article, most of the commentary on 2 bath developers was that they did not work very well any more, that they were appropriate only for the films available in the old days. The experts were always steering interested photographers away from 2 baths.

For your next experiment, try shooting one sheet each of a few different films, and develop them all together. Just what the doctor ordered when coming back from a trip where you used multiple films.

I think I am going to order some Pyrocat MC in glycol from the Formulary tonight.

Ken Lee
6-Sep-2009, 05:50
Actually, Infra Red viewing devices makes it possible to develop different films - even different sized sheets - at the same time, if you're careful enough. But having only one time/temperature for all films... now that's outrageous !

I ordered some Metol from Artcraft Chemicals, so I can try some the Thornton version of Divided D-23 next. I'm so spoiled by the affordability of 1:100 dilution of Pyrocat, it's hard for me to use it at 1:10. It feels like using a $50 bill to light a 50-cent cigar ;-)

sanking
6-Sep-2009, 07:20
Actually, Infra Red viewing devices makes it possible to develop different films - even different sized sheets - at the same time, if you're careful enough. But having only one time/temperature for all films... now that's outrageous !

I ordered some Metol from Artcraft Chemicals, so I can try some the Thornton version of Divided D-23 next. I'm so spoiled by the affordability of 1:100 dilution of Pyrocat, it's hard for me to use it at 1:10. It feels like using a $50 bill to light a 50-cent cigar ;-)

Bear in mind what David mentioned earlier. Tw bath D-23 is different from two-bath developers like Diafine and Pyrocat-HD. With two bath D-23 the first bath is very similar to straight D-23 so some development is taking place in Solution A. With Diafine and Pyrocat-HD there is no accelerator at all in Solution A and all of the development takes place in Solution B.

BTW, I know that a 1:10 or 1:20 dilution of Pyrocat-HD uses a lot more of the developer than a 1:1:100 dilution. However, if you look at the acual amount of chemistry in two-bath D-23 and divided Pyrocat-HD you will see that they are quite similar so if you mix both developers from scratch cost won't be that much different.

BTW, I have not used two-bath development with tray development of sheet film, but I think it should work fine if you keep the sheets of film separate, as in individual trays or in some type of slosher type device.

Sandy King

Ken Lee
6-Sep-2009, 09:38
Thanks for the heads-up. I thought that the Thornton variation was different, but apparently not. Oh well, one can never have too much Metol around... isn't that what they say ?

I have grown accustomed to the convenience of Pyrocat in Glycol HD, from Photographer's Formulary. I guess I could easily mix the non-Glycol based formula myself. Why not ?

I am still puzzled about the approach of using divided developers all the time. Having seen the results under extreme lighting, I will try some photos under normal conditions.

sanking
6-Sep-2009, 17:42
I am still puzzled about the approach of using divided developers all the time. Having seen the results under extreme lighting, I will try some photos under normal conditions.

I only use two bath development all the time with MF roll film. When using sheet film I keep notes as to exposure and usually develop according tlo BTZS testing. However, two bath development of sheet film is a viable option in situations where careful notes were not kept during a shooting session.

Sandy King

Ken Lee
6-Sep-2009, 19:39
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/divpyrocat4.jpg
240mm APO Nikor, 4x5 TMY, Sinar P

Here's a test shot made under more normal lighting conditions - except for the rose petal lit by direct sunlight.

Divided Pyrocat HD development has limited the high values as promised. Without it, the sun-lit rose petal would have been unprintable: it fell on Zone XI. As if by magic, it now has plenty of texture, and the adjacent petals maintain their subtle shading at the same time.

After decades of struggling with challenging light, this is really impressive. It makes you want to go out and shoot all kinds of scenes that we learned long ago, to avoid.

I shuffled 6 sheets continuously, which resulted in even development.

David Karp
6-Sep-2009, 22:27
After decades of struggling with challenging light, this is really impressive. It makes you want to go out and shoot all kinds of scenes that we learned long ago, to avoid.

Absolutely. When I was tray processing, I stopped marking negatives for N- or N+. If I was in an N-1 situation, I would just go ahead and make a negative. More often than not, it would work out. For N+1, if things were just too flat, I would intensify the negative in selenium 1:1 for 5 minutes.

The other cool thing about two baths is that you don't have to worry quite so much about time in the developer. I used to stress out about making sure that the film was not in the developer too long. With two baths, I don't stress at all. A little extra time in A or B does not make so much difference. With Diafine, the temperature (within a broad range) makes little or no difference! For me, developing film is more fun this way.

As noted above, it seems that rotary processing with a D-23 variant requires a bit more segregation of negatives and more concern about development time. I think some of these concerns will disappear when using Pyrocat or Diafine.

I think 2 bath development is as close as we can come to having a true magic bullet.

Glad this worked out for you.

P.S. Just ordered my Pyrocat MC. Can't wait to try it out!

Bob McCarthy
7-Sep-2009, 04:18
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle !

TMY at ISO 250, Divided Pyrocat HD, 5 min, 75 degrees, 1:10.

I placed the wood on the chair on Zone II - III, and let the rest go where it may. The inside walls fell on Zone V, the grass in the yard outside fell on Zone XI ! The clouds in the sky fell on Zone... XIV !

All of these negatives scanned so easily, I had to increase contrast to make them feel like light. The amazing thing to me, is that there was no need for stand, semi-stand, flash, dilution, HDR merging, blending, multiple exposures... no incantations or rituals of any kind !

Watching the development process with an Infra Red monocular, this process looks like Pt/Pd: the images just pop out when you place the film into bath B. I haven't had this much (photographic) fun in a long time !

Next time, I will give more continuous agitation: these negatives have a slightly mottled look. Five minutes isn't a lot of time, especially when you tray-develop a lot of sheets at the same time as I do. I will increase the dilution to 1:20, and lengthen the time a bit in each developer.

Thanks so much for sharing this technique ! It's been around for a long time, but it took me until now to pick it up.

Ken, something to concider. Sometimes long scale doesn't look natural. Much like the overdone HDR is digital capture color

This is where photoshop can come in handy. With careful masking you can separate the scene into the ways our eye's see it. ie two different scenes with there own contrast ranges.

BRB. Let me make a quick and dirty example

bob

Bob McCarthy
7-Sep-2009, 04:24
Ken, something to concider. Sometimes long scale doesn't look natural. Much like the overdone HDR in digital capture color

This is where photoshop can come in handy. With careful masking you can separate the scene into the ways our eye's see it. ie two different scenes with there own contrast ranges.

BRB. Let me make a quick and dirty example

bob

this is more how I expect it to appear to me

Ken Lee
7-Sep-2009, 05:35
Thanks Bob - You are certainly right.

What I posted was more of a Eureka moment, upon my first encounter with the technique. I just set up the camera and shot out the window, at what would have been an impossible shot.

Your version feels like real light - It's poetic- and as you point out, there really are two different scenes, each with its own feel.

sanking
7-Sep-2009, 08:13
Ken,

Your negative, and Bob's comment and modification of the curve of the print, is an excellent example of why two-bath development is such a a practical alternative for photographers who develop their negatives to scan and then adjust tonal values in Photoshop. In practice there would have been other ways to capture the long subject brightness range of that scene, but none of them would have been as simple as plain two-bath development.

One of the comments I hear a lot in discussing two-bath developers is that they don't work well with modern films. I don't know how that idea got started but my testing of both modern T-grain films and traditional grain films with several different two-bath formulas found that both types worked fine with two-bath development.

Sandy King








Thanks Bob - You are certainly right.

What I posted was more of a Eureka moment, upon my first encounter with the technique. I just set up the camera and shot out the window, at what would have been an impossible shot.

Your version feels like real light - It's poetic- and as you point out, there really are two different scenes, each with its own feel.

Ken Lee
7-Sep-2009, 08:23
This "automatic" supression of extreme values reminds me of a story about a construction engineer, assigned to build a hotel on a remote tropical island.

His local guide and translator was struck by the fact that the engineer carried hot tea in the cool of the morning, and iced tea in the heat of the day. "It's a thermos bottle", the engineer told the native. "It keeps hot things hot, and cool things cool".

"Yes", said the guide. "There's just one thing I don't understand: How do it know ?"

Ken Lee
7-Sep-2009, 08:33
Speaking of old film and misconceptions, this also reminds me of something from the medical field, not a joke.

Researchers have long known about the placebo effect, where patients will sometimes get the same healing effect from an empty pill as they might get from a carefully investigated remedy. It never occurred to them to investigate how someone can automatically cure themselves of a disorder, based merely on the "power of suggestion".

Spontaneous healing through "suggestion" can be far more interesting, promising, and economical than elaborate and dangerous approaches. But having a rather focused concept of "research", they overlooked it.

You might say that this method, considered for special cases only, is actually more interesting than contraction and expansion.

David Karp
7-Sep-2009, 08:41
Ken,

Another thing to remember about 2 bath developers (implicit in one of Sandy's posts above) is that you can regularly use them with roll films. The scene to scene variations are automatically handled by the 2 bath. Where we might have had to develop the entire roll for one scene we felt was "special" we can now just drop them into a 2 bath and have an entire roll developed scene by scene.

Divided D76 works well with 35mm and 120. Thornton's works well on 120, never tried it on 35mm. I'll bet Divided Pyrocat works very well with 120.

sanking
7-Sep-2009, 09:16
Ken,

Another thing to remember about 2 bath developers (implicit in one of Sandy's posts above) is that you can regularly use them with roll films. The scene to scene variations are automatically handled by the 2 bath. Where we might have had to develop the entire roll for one scene we felt was "special" we can now just drop them into a 2 bath and have an entire roll developed scene by scene.

Divided D76 works well with 35mm and 120. Thornton's works well on 120, never tried it on 35mm. I'll bet Divided Pyrocat works very well with 120.

Two-bath Pyrocat-HD works very well with 120 film. I have been using MF as back-up gear for LF, and in some travel it is my main format. In another thread on this subject I attached a scan from an actual print of 44"X60" size that a friend made for me from one of my Acros negatives developed in two-bath Pyrocat-HD. See http://www .largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=50674&page=11. The original negative has very high acutance and the print is tack sharp and almost grain free even from close viewing distance.

Sandy King

Mike1234
7-Sep-2009, 09:22
Sandy... I would love to see a larger example of the full print. I always strive to retain textural detail as well as tonal range/subtleties... and that image is special.

Ken Lee
7-Sep-2009, 12:20
The image to which Sandy refers, can be seen here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=29697&d=1249747538).

If your browser lets you zoom in (usually by increasing the size of the font), you can see that the Photoshop ruler displays the size in inches 43.. 44... 45.. off the screen. Thats a big print from a small negative.

(To zoom in/increase font size on Windows, try pressing both the control key and the plus-key at the same time, namely CTRL/+
To zoom out/decrease font size on Windows, press the control key and the minus-key at the same time, namely CTRL/-

On the Mac, it's Command/+ and Command/-)

Jay Decker
7-Sep-2009, 17:05
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle !...

Zone 13 is way beyond what any sane photographer would waste a sheet of film and still expect to capture useable texture. I didn't know that the film could hold that many zones...

All of these negatives scanned so easily, I had to increase contrast to make them feel like light. The amazing thing to me, is that there was no need for stand, semi-stand, flash, dilution, HDR merging, blending, multiple exposures... no incantations or rituals of any kind !...

Thanks so much for sharing this technique ! It's been around for a long time, but it took me until now to pick it up.

I go away for the weekend, Ken tries the recipe, and I miss all the hoopla!

Like Sandy, I use divided Pyrocat for roll film all the time. I decided to use it for my adventure into 8x10, because I going to be shooting Galli style, i.e., old, funky, fast glass and a Packard Shutter, which might not afford one the most precise, accurate, or repeatable exposure duration control (see the example below). Figure that even a maroon (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=maroon) like myself might be successful at 8x10 with Sandy's development magic bullet.

Despite his modesty, Sandy deserves the credit for this one... it is not magic, but it is pretty close!

http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/JimGalliShutter.jpg

More info on the Galli Shutter (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/22200-jim-galli-shutter-barrel-lenses-drum-roll-please.html)

Jay Decker
8-Sep-2009, 21:27
Best of Both Worlds? Maybe for me...

Please don't take this as an invitation to start digital v. analog photography discussion/feud/spitting match/...

I assume that many of you listen to Brooks Jensen's podcasts (http://www.lenswork.com/). If you don't, you might want to consider listening to Brooks' podcasts, he has thought more deeply about a lot of photography things more deeply than most of us. The last two podcasts (podcasts 555 and 556, published in early September of 2009) have been on some of the benefits of capturing digitally in the field and performing more of the creative work image making process in the digital darkroom. Following the vein of Brooks' train of thought, I have this comment on the hybrid process with compensating development...

Like Ken Lee mentioned early in this thread, compensating developers allow you to capture a wider brightness range that can be easily scanned and exploited in the digital darkroom to yield many of the benefits that Brooks discusses in the referenced podcasts. The bottom line for me is that LF B&W film capture with compensating development captures wonderful tonality and detail (texture) that I can not afford in digital capture, at least yet, and it does it relatively easily. By relatively easily, I mean that I do not have to nail an exposure and development combination to achieve good results. But, instead I have to be close on the exposure and just follow one development recipe to achieve good results. Which puts good technical results within the grasp of regular guys (maybe more properly read: "hacks like me") who would rather spend their weekends trying to create meaningful photographs rather than practicing technique in hopes of one day having achieve sufficient proficiency to start making meaningful photographs.

I still have a long way to go both in the craft of LF photograhy and I have yet to make a meaningful photograph, but with this hybrid process I can see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the craft of LF photography... if you have figured out what it takes to make a meaningful photograph, please let me know. :)

Chuck Pere
9-Sep-2009, 07:11
For traditional darkroom users is there any downside to using a split developer technique for all types of lighting? For them would it be better to use it only in high contrast situations?

Ken Lee
9-Sep-2009, 07:46
Perhaps others can, but I haven't fully established to my satisfaction, that Divided Pyrocat HD is best for all situations, hands down.

However, I plan to use it exclusively for now, and see... what develops. In scenes with normal lighting, it seems to have produced images with normal contrast. In scenes with extreme contrast, it does the same. As I asked before: "How do it know ?"

Robert Hughes
9-Sep-2009, 08:29
I LOVE that Maroon Galli shutter! What a great solution!!! Now, if only I could get one with one of Frank P's models attached... she could even come clothed, for shipping I guess.

sanking
9-Sep-2009, 08:35
For traditional darkroom users is there any downside to using a split developer technique for all types of lighting? For them would it be better to use it only in high contrast situations?


It depends on what type of process the traditional darkroom user is using. If printing with VC silver papers I don't believe there would be much of a downside because you could adjust contrast with filters. On the other hand, there would be a definite downside to printing with a process (fixed grade silver papers for example, or vandyke) that did not allow for much control of contrast in the printing stage. Regardless, if I were only printing in the wet darkroom I would recommend using full exposure and development controls to get the best negative possible to start with.

For scanning I have not found any downside in the use of two-bath developers regardless of the type of lighting in the scene. Low contrast scenes witll give negatives of lower contrast and high contrast scenes will give negatives of higher contrast, but the tones can adjusted in Photoshop as long as you are able to scan with detail in the highlights.

Sandy King

David Karp
9-Sep-2009, 11:36
I can attest that Sandy is correct regarding traditional printing with VC papers. Using a divided developer for your negatives works very well. I have also used it for some contact printing of WP negatives on graded papers (Kentmere Bromide grades 2 and 3) with good results. Normal scenes develop to normal contrast, just as do the normal scenes included in a roll of 120.

The toughest situation for divided development is very dull lighting. In those situations, I have intensified the negative in selenium, which works well.

eddie
9-Sep-2009, 12:10
Regardless, if I were only printing in the wet darkroom I would recommend using full exposure and development controls to get the best negative possible to start with.
.

Sandy King

what do you mean here sandy? you would use other developing formulas?

i print in my DR cause my scanner hates me. now if i get some love from my scanner with this technique i may never be forced back to the DR. BUT if i use the wet DR on VC papers this will work nicely?

i will try it for sure....sounds great.

thanks

eddie

sanking
9-Sep-2009, 14:51
what do you mean here sandy? you would use other developing formulas?

i print in my DR cause my scanner hates me. now if i get some love from my scanner with this technique i may never be forced back to the DR. BUT if i use the wet DR on VC papers this will work nicely?

i will try it for sure....sounds great.

thanks

eddie

Eddie,

What I meant was that if were exposing and developing to print in the wet darkroom I would use BTZS or Zone type controls to get the best negative possible. It was not meant to be a comment about Pyrocat-HD versus other developer formulas.

Sandy

jim kitchen
9-Sep-2009, 17:23
This page may be useful... :)

http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Developers/Formulas/formulas.html

jim k

Keith Tapscott.
11-Sep-2009, 06:30
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle !

TMY at ISO 250, Divided Pyrocat HD, 5 min, 75 degrees, 1:10.


I placed the wood on the chair on Zone II - III, and let the rest go where it may. The inside walls fell on Zone V, the grass in the yard outside fell on Zone XI ! The clouds in the sky fell on Zone... XIV !

Another interior with deep shadows and full window-light from outdoors. The statue on the table, I placed on Zone III. The carpeting on the stairs fell 8 zones higher, and the white paint on the steps another 2 zones beyond that. Zone 13 is way beyond what any sane photographer would waste a sheet of film and still expect to capture useable texture. I didn't know that the film could hold that many zones.

Foreground in the shade, clouds lit by full sun. No filter was used. The fence was placed on III, and the clouds fell as high as Zone XI. So what ? Maybe a yellow filter would have made the clouds look more dimensional, but the brightness range was irrelevant.

All of these negatives scanned so easily, I had to increase contrast to make them feel like light. The amazing thing to me, is that there was no need for stand, semi-stand, flash, dilution, HDR merging, blending, multiple exposures... no incantations or rituals of any kind !

Watching the development process with an Infra Red monocular, this process looks like Pt/Pd: the images just pop out when you place the film into bath B. I haven't had this much (photographic) fun in a long time !

Next time, I will give more continuous agitation: these negatives have a slightly mottled look. Five minutes isn't a lot of time, especially when you tray-develop a lot of sheets at the same time as I do. I will increase the dilution to 1:20, and lengthen the time a bit in each developer.

Thanks so much for sharing this technique ! It's been around for a long time, but it took me until now to pick it up.Ken, the two-bath developer you have used has retained detail in the shadows and highlights, but the tones looks very flat, grey and ugly. If I made a print that looked like it appears on my PC, I wouldn`t be at all pleased with it. I think that you could get much more pleasing contrast with Pyrocat as a single-solution developer or with a soft-working Metol developer like Perceptol diluted 1+3.
Sorry Ken, but I just don`t like the tonality of those images.

Bob McCarthy
11-Sep-2009, 06:40
Ken, the two-bath developer you have used has retained detail in the shadows and highlights, but the tones looks very flat, grey and ugly. If I made a print that looked like it appears on my PC, I wouldn`t be at all pleased with it. I think that you could get much more pleasing contrast with Pyrocat as a single-solution developer or with a soft-working Metol developer like Perceptol diluted 1+3.
Sorry Ken, but I just don`t like the tonality of those images.

I think you missed the point. The idea was the capture the full range of data so it could be refined later in photoshop. There is not enough data attached to the post to do it properly, but the original file would be a walk in the park

Quick and Dirty - this literally took 2 minutes (1 minute each).

bob

Keith Tapscott.
11-Sep-2009, 06:53
I think you missed the point. The idea was the capture the full range of data so it could be refined later in photoshop. There is not enough data attached to the post to do it properly, but the original file would be a walk in the park

Quick and Dirty - this literally took 2 minutes (1 minute each).

bob
It still looks flat to me. If you like prints with a lot of grey scale, then you will be pleased with the results. I prefer a bit more contrast, particularly in the mid-tones.

Bob McCarthy
11-Sep-2009, 07:21
It still looks flat to me. If you like prints with a lot of grey scale, then you will be pleased with the results. I prefer a bit more contrast, particularly in the mid-tones.

of course it looks flat, but my point is the information is there

If I increase the contrast ramps more in this small sample, it pixilates badly. But with local adjustments it can be anything you want.

You've apparently have not worked much with digital editing. Not a slam, but just trying to encourage you to understand, contrast is a choice and the amount is an option if all the data is there in the first place.

I'm not working with the original file, but this small, highly compressed sample the OP put up.

bob

Keith Tapscott.
11-Sep-2009, 07:42
Bob, if you can radically push the contrast up in Photoshop without losing the details, then I might find the image acceptable. I certainly wouldn`t like the actual print to look like it appears on my PC monitor. I have not worked much with digital editing because I make silver-prints.

Bob McCarthy
11-Sep-2009, 08:09
Bob, if you can radically push the contrast up in Photoshop without losing the details, then I might find the image acceptable. I certainly wouldn`t like the actual print to look like it appears on my PC monitor. I have not worked much with digital editing because I make silver-prints.

The details are there. let me provide some additional examples.

A is darkening the room where the photographer resides, the contrast between the shooting room and the subject room has increased

B is increasing the contrast in the subject room independent of the shooting room

These are small files made from a highly compressed original (posted by OP).

While the matter "if they are art" is not mine. The photographers vision is acheivable in this way, and in a way normal development can not always provide.

bob

Keith Tapscott.
11-Sep-2009, 08:14
The details are there. let me provide some additional examples.

A is darkening the room where the photographer resides, the contrast between the shooting room and the subject room has increased

B is increasing the contrast in the subject room independent of the shooting room

These are small files made from a highly compressed original (posted by OP).

While the matter "if they are art" is not mine. The photographers vision is acheivable in this way, and in a way normal development can not always provide.

bobOK, thanks for explaining. BTW, is the ceiling grey or white? :D

Bob McCarthy
11-Sep-2009, 08:31
OK, thanks for explaining. BTW, is the ceiling grey or white? :D

a digital darkroom person would say

"what shade would you like it to be"

bob

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 08:48
Sorry for any confusion, fellers. :) Just tryin' to show how easy it is to capture 14 Zones... or more !

I just pointed the camera at some scenes of extreme contrast. I would not have made those photos for artistic purposes.

eddie
11-Sep-2009, 09:03
Sorry for any confusion, fellers. :) Just tryin' to show how easy it is to capture 14 Zones... or more !

I just pointed the camera at some scenes of extreme contrast. I would not have made those photos for artistic purposes.

ken,

fully edit the original large scan. make it as "artistic" as possible with what you got and show us. this will help i think. if you are like me and suck At PS then let bob do it.

i would like to see it in any case.

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 09:23
I think Bob has already done a fine job in demonstrating the basic possibilities, without spending an unreasonable amount of time.

If we don't much care for the look of these images, it's probably due to their inherent blandness as subjects.

Perhaps the most instructive comparison would be to show 2 identical sheets of film, developed in single and 2-bath developer, side by side. Such comparisons can probably be found on the web already.

I am involved in a project for my day job, which has taken up most of my spare time. If I get the chance to make a side-by-side comparison, I will.

After all, we're not trying to sell or promote anything here: just sharing. :)

eddie
11-Sep-2009, 09:31
chair or interior

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 09:52
Sorry Eddie, I edited my previous post.

If I get some time, I'll give those a shot.

I understand that seeing the basic "quantitative" possibilities, we would like to look further, and get more "qualitative" understanding too.

EdWorkman
11-Sep-2009, 10:02
Thanks for the examples Ken- the amount of information you got is incredible and wonderful.
I wasn't confused, but I can be, so here's my question.

IF one were to print on regular silverchemical paper in a wet darkroom, wouldn't all those tones in the neg be valuable to get the look one desires in a print?

Or to put the opposite spin- would one be unable overcome the 'flat look' ?

I don't need you to do more work, please commet from your experience.

regards
Ed

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 10:52
I'm quite new to this: I started 6 days ago.

Sandy King, on the other hand, created the Pyrocat developers, including their use in a 2-bath approach. He wrote an article on it for View Camera, and had some things to say about it... in this very thread. :)

It's best to ask him, or the others who are old-timers with this technique.

That being said, I suppose that one can make negatives that are just too flat, using even normal development. Using 2-bath or other kinds of compensation under those circumstances, is probably inviting that kind of trouble. It may well turn out that like other skillful measures, this one is best used under particular circumstances. As Sandy points out, he uses it for roll film. With sheet film, he prefers more standard methods of contrast control, except when the lighting calls for robust compensation.

Also telling, is that in his book "The Negative", Ansel Adams mentions compensating developers, only after he lays out the Zone System in great detail. By far, the great emphasis is on the use of normal methods of contrast control.

David Karp
11-Sep-2009, 11:30
Ed,

I can comment.

I have been using two bath developers for years. The ones I have tried are DD76, Diafine, and Barry Thornton's two bath, which is a variant of DD23. I have used DD76 for LF, but now would use it only for 35mm (especially) and 120 (sometimes). After using Diafine for a while, I tried my version of Thornton's, and liked it better. All of this was for tray processing.

Now that I have started rotary processing and dialed the process in using Thornton's formula, I am going to do some more testing. I have some Pyrocat MC on the way from the Formulary, and might also test some Diafine for rotary processing. (I suspect that I will be very happy with the Pyrocat, so the Diafine testing may never happen.) The only reason I have scanned some of my negatives is for proofing. It saves time so I can work on prints in the darkroom. Every negative I have developed using a two bath has been printed in the chemical darkroom.

All of this is a way of saying that I have some decent experience with this.

There has never been a problem with getting a black black or white white. Many of my photos were taken in the winter on overcast days on HP5+ (not a high contrast film) and then developed in either Diafine or Thornton's. Other photographers (who are excellent printers) have seen my work and none has commented that they are flat. I think that the only person on the forum who has seen any of my prints is Jim Galli, and when he saw them he commented about the contrast in some of them.

There is a lot of information in the negatives, probably exceeding the paper's range to capture it all. I think this is a good thing. Sometimes a photo seems to call out for an exhibition of subtle tonal differences throughout the print. When that happens, the information is there for you. In other situations, the information can be "printed away" if desired. Most negatives print well on grade 2 or 3 VC paper. I have one photo that was taken on an extremely flat day that makes a nice snappy print on Ilford MGIV FB with the +5 filter on my Saunders VC head. If I wanted to, I could probably tone the negative in selenium and print it using the #4 filter. The great thing about two baths is that negatives like that can be developed in the same developer, for the same amount of time as another photo taken on a bright contrasty day, along with some other negatives made on different films!

I find the two bath quite liberating. I can spend my precious time making photos and printing, and not obsessing about developing negatives.

For many, they just can't accept that all this is possible. I have a friend who once worked at a well-known local photo supplier. One of his vendors mentioned that another customer of his wanted them to create a Diafine like developer for them to private label. My friend referred him to me, knowing that I had used a lot of Diafine. During the conversation, he kept wondering why anyone would want to work this way. When I told him the composition of Thornton's formula, he told me that he doubted it would even make an image appear on the film! This from a chemist, even after I told him I was using it and printing negatives made that way!!

The only thing to do is try it. DD23 or Thornton's is probably the easiest if you have the chemicals on hand. You only need Metol, Sodium Sulfite, and Sodium Metaborate. Give it a whirl. You might like it. :)

Bob McCarthy
11-Sep-2009, 11:34
I should add one additional thought.

What "really" makes this work is the seamless way photoshop facilitates masking parts of the negative.

The scene can be broken into multiple images. The shooting room can be addressed and edited alone w/o touching the subject room (and visa versa) with the contrast ratios set separately.

the combined image looks more lifelike as it outputs the scene much as the eye sees it.

If all the data is there (abeit in a very flat native way), the parts can be handled to make it more appealing, in a way the wet darkroom can never accomplish. I began my darkroom experience in the 70's, and digital darkroom in the last decade. When inkjet printers are as capable and beautiful as a silver print, we will get prints that flat out were not possible in the wet darkroom.

Inkjet printing is just now approaching the silver print in beauty. The latest papers and inks are pretty amazing. This did not exist just a year ago.

In B&W, Jon Cone is doing some remarkable work and with the latest Harmon and Ilford papers we can have it all.

bob

EdWorkman
11-Sep-2009, 13:16
David and Ken
Thanks very much
I've done almost no LF, struggled a lot with printing 116 and larger negs [by others] from the 30s that are typically quite dense and of high contrast. Some are not really printable and many are simply painful. I've also struggled to avoid too much contrast in my own 120 negs, since I have the luxury of "desert" light much of the year.
[I did almost break my arm patting myself for a successful wedding 8x10 in softened light- got texture in the white dress too]
That's what prompted my question, and your examples and answers are not only very helpful, but what I had hoped- I might start with DD23
regards
Ed

eddie
11-Sep-2009, 13:23
thanks david.

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 14:54
On Flickr, there are a lot of photos which have been tagged as "two-bath".

See http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=two-bath&w=all

Many of them are devoid of any obvious flatness or blandness of tone.

Here's someone who seems to get quite normal looking images, using the Thornton 2-Bath developer:

http://www.stevemphoto.com/photography/2009/05/index.html

David Karp
11-Sep-2009, 15:03
. . . I've also struggled to avoid too much contrast in my own 120 negs, since I have the luxury of "desert" light much of the year.

Ed,

I think that 2 baths are ideal for the lighting you work in most of the year, and especially when using roll film. Although I use 2 baths in all light, I think that one great benefit for me is that they work so well in the harsh light I have here in CA much of the time.

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 16:10
If you're concerned about low contrast with Divided Pyrocat, consider what Sandy has shared on the APUG site (emphasis added).

In considering changes bear the following in mind.

1, I would recommend that you simplify matters by not changing the time in either Solution A or Solution B. But if you change the time stick with it as it will simplify the other adjustment you can make.

2. Contrast is controlled by the amount of reducer that can be absorbed by the emulsion in Solution A. Assuming you stay with 6 minutes and 75F, using a stronger dilution will increase final negative contrast, using a weaker one will reduce final negative contrast. In other words, if 1:20 is the norm, a 1:10 dilution will give you more contrasty negatives, a 1:40 dilution will give negatives with less contrast. I think 1:10 is a good starting point for tank development with intermitten agitation, 1:20 is for rotary agitation.

3. Effective film speed is controlled by the time in solution B. What happens is that the reducer in the emulsion is quickly used up in the highlight areas, and since it can not be replenished as in normal single bath processing, the negative builds contrast rapdily when it goes into the solution, but in about three minutes all of the reducer is used up so that the build up of density in the highlights stops. However, the negative will continue to build up density in the mid-tones shadows throughout development, which increases effective film speed. So if six minutes is the norm for Solution B, four minutes will give less effective film speed, ten minutes will give more effective film speed.

sanking
11-Sep-2009, 16:59
Scenes of great contrast can be captured on B&W film with several methods. One method is simply to shorten time of development, another is to develop in very dilute solutions for a long time with minimal agitation. Both methods work, but the second method generally give slightly higher film speed than the former. Water bath development has also been used but I personally have not had much success with this method.

The method I have used in the past has been very dilute developer solutions with minimal agitation. However, it is necessary to take notes and time development because even in very dilute solutions the film can develop to a high contrast.

More recently I have been using two-bath development to control contrast in scenes of great contrast. What I have found is that there is not very much difference in the look of a negative developed this way compared to one developed for the necessary amount of time with a dilute solution with minimal agitation, except for the fact that long development times seem to add a bit more B+F to the negative.

If you print such a negative straight, with no adjustment for contrast, the print will probably look flat because of the very long tonal range of the negative.Silver printers use various methods of split filtration to increase mid-tone contrast while still retaining detail in the shadows and highlights. Most processes do not allow this kind of adjustment, however, and the result is that the mid-tones often print rather flat with negatives that have captured a very long range of subject brightness. Many people like this look and praise the long tonal range of their prints, even though they may be rather flat in the mid-tones.

Clearly scanning the negative and adjusting tonal values allows for a lot more control, both with inkjet printing and with alternative processes with a digital negative.


Sandy King

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2009, 17:20
Thanks Maestro. Beautifully stated !

Mike1234
11-Sep-2009, 17:42
Bottom line is all the important detail must be recorded. If it's not there it can never be printed back in. But others have really already stated this.

jim kitchen
11-Sep-2009, 19:46
Excellent discussion... :)

For your files, Bruce Barnbaum discusses compensating development and divided development, within his 3rd Edition "The Art of Photography," Chapter 9. It is an interesting read with detailed instructions, where Bruce talks to HC-110 throughout the discussion. The thought and the process are there.

As sided note, Bruce mentions that his experience shows a negative can contain information from Zone O through to Zone 18. Bruce demonstrated this compensating procedure and how compensating development could capture most of the zones, during one of his lectures a few years ago. The resulting negative was very thin, the contact print extremely flat and lifeless, where Bruce the Master Printer that he happens to be, produced a wondrous exquisite print.

If anyone has that text, you might want to rummage through it...

Lastly, since I cannot find Metol north of the 49th, I would like to ask whether anyone experimented with XTOL, using it as a divided developer? I will try that for fun.

jim k

David Karp
11-Sep-2009, 19:48
I thought of trying to make a divided Mytol, but never got around to it.

Keith Tapscott.
12-Sep-2009, 01:37
Many people like this look and praise the long tonal range of their prints, even though they may be rather flat in the mid-tones.



Sandy KingI thoroughly dislike compressed midtones and that flat-look in silverprints. My preference is for well separated midtones which I find gives the print more impact, even if it means some sacrifice to one end or both ends of the tonal range.
I guess that for digital prints and the making of digital negatives, things can be adjusted to obtain the desired effect in a way that is not possible with the traditional wet process.

Keith Tapscott.
12-Sep-2009, 03:46
http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/007/007SXo-16709684.jpg

eddie
13-Sep-2009, 04:48
okay. i am in. i just developed a couple of 120 rolls of HP5 with pyro hd 1:10. 4.5 min in both A and B.

the negs look great. i will print them today in the DR.

boy this is fun....!

eddie
13-Sep-2009, 05:26
okay. one more thing. i can not find it even though i read it recently. how long will my 1:10 pyro hd solution keep for? how many rolls/sheets can i do and in what time frame?

thanks.

i just souped another batch of neopan 400 in the above dilutions. a bit more flat than the hp5. but i will print some later to see.

Ken Lee
13-Sep-2009, 05:37
how long will my 1:10 pyro hd solution keep for? how many rolls/sheets can i do and in what time frame?

On this Forum thread, http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=47780&page=2, Sandy says this:

"Although I prefer to discard the used working solutions, it is possible to re-use them three or four times within a window of two or three hours. Don't try to save for another day, however."

(I got so confused with all the different postings, I had to make a collection of links for myself) :rolleyes:

Mike1234
13-Sep-2009, 09:05
Eddie, If you fiind that your second batch of negs are too flat just try selenium toning. This will increase contrast/density linearly. You may be pleased with the results. Just tone with visual inspection and try not to overdo it... you can always tone more a second time.

Ken Lee
14-Sep-2009, 16:27
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img214.jpg
Sinar P, 240mm APO-Nikkor
4x5 TMY, Divided D-23

I mixed up some Divided D-23, using the Thornton version. As others have pointed out, it's not a "real" divided formula, since development occurs in both baths. However, using an InfraRed monocular, you can monitor the progress in each bath, and perform Development By Inspection. Does this mean you get the best of both worlds: the compensation of Two-Bath, plus contrast control ?

Ed Buffalo suggests in this article (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html), that "...you develop in solution A until your high values are almost where you want them, then you place the film in solution B and develop until the shadow values are where you want them."

To those with experience: is Ed's assessment correct ?

sanking
14-Sep-2009, 19:37
Sinar P, 240mm APO-Nikkor
4x5 TMY, Divided D-23


To those with experience: is Ed's assessment correct ?

Well, that is an very nice looking flower and leaves image.

I think Ed is essentially correct, but if you are going to develop by inspection I don't see what you have to gain with two-bath development, especially if you are developing to scan. I think you could get equivalent results with a plain one-bath solution.


Sandy

Ken Lee
15-Sep-2009, 09:47
You're probably right !

It's great to "expose for the shadows, and develop for the highlights", but it may be even more helpful (especially when the exposure is off) to be able to develop for both. (?)

I'll fiddle a bit and see. There are many situations - architecture, outdoor portraits, landscapes with clouds - where I have learned in the past to "just say no" and save the film for a more probable shot. I would like to be able to work with subjects of greater dynamic range, without having to make careful notes or give special handling. Being able to manage things during DBI, strikes me an attractive option.

eddie
16-Sep-2009, 13:14
well i played with some pyro hd as a two part developer. fun. i had roll film ready for processing so i hope it is okay to show the pics as we are talking about a developing technique.

hp5. pyro hd 1:10. 4.5 min per bath. regular shooting as i had not planned to change developers. direct sun.

the prints are freaking sharp! the 1st one is a straight print. the other i used a #3 filter to add contrast. ilford VC RC warmtone paper. ilford paper developer.

Mike1234
16-Sep-2009, 13:34
Interesting... please keep it up!! Have you tried the selenium toner yet to add contrast?

eddie
16-Sep-2009, 15:49
Interesting... please keep it up!! Have you tried the selenium toner yet to add contrast?

not yet....lucky i even got these posted....been real busy...:)

EdWorkman
16-Sep-2009, 16:03
Pyrocat HD is said to be of reduced toxicity.
There have been many posts re: toxicity of pyro, and some tend to extremes.
I don't want to re-open freaking out over chemicals, but I would like a realistic assessment of precautions , if any. I'd do 4-6 rolls of 120 in SS tanks, with a little inversion agitation. The tanks always dribble, and I rinse my hands after I agitate now [ Xtol, fix etc]. Are nitrile gloves de riguer for men well beyond their child bearing years?
eddie? Sandy?
And I won't say, later, "But he told me to" if you think barehanded tank technique is of low risk.
thanks

Gem Singer
16-Sep-2009, 17:03
Ed, a few drops or splashes of Pyrocat-HD on your hands are not going to cause a problem. Merely wash it off. Just don't drink the stuff.

It doesn't taste very good, anyways.

Ken Lee
16-Sep-2009, 17:22
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img202.jpg
Sinar P, 240mm APO Nikkor
4x5 TMY, Divided Pyrocat HD


Here's another one from the same batch, developed in Divided Pyrocat HD.

It was necessary to add overall contrast to the image, but it was wonderful not to have to even remotely worry about losing texture the high values.

I can't decide which one I like better: DD-23 or Divided Pyrocat. I guess I'm.. divided :rolleyes:

sanking
16-Sep-2009, 17:24
I think the risks involved with both pyrogallol and pyrocatechol in developing film have been greatly exaggerated, and sometimes distorted. If you mix solutions from powder with either chemical wear a mask and work outside or in a well-ventilated room. After that, wear gloves if you develop in trays. The solutions used in developing are very dilute and should not pose any risk in normal use.

BTW, hydroquinone is in the same family of chemicals as pyrogallol and pyrocatechol and is only slightly less toxic. It is used in a wide variety of film and paper developers but you rarely read anything about its toxicity.

Folks who are concerned about the toxicity of developers might want to use Xtol or some other ascorbic acid based developer.

Sandy

sanking
16-Sep-2009, 17:27
Sinar P, 240mm APO Nikkor
4x5 TMY, Divided Pyrocat HD


I can't decide which one I like better: DD-23 or Divided Pyrocat. I guess I'm.. divided :rolleyes:

Ken,

Compare a scene that has a lot of texture and detail with a fair amount of contrast. My impression is that there is more acutance with two-bath Pyrocat-HD than with divided D23, but I may be prejudiced!!

Sandy

Jay Decker
16-Sep-2009, 20:44
I can't decide which one I like better: DD-23 or Divided Pyrocat. I guess I'm.. divided :rolleyes:

Pyrocat negatives scan a little better for me, particularly in the highlights, and scanned results are my basis for success.

Mike1234
17-Sep-2009, 03:21
Jay... I'm sure there are threads dedicated to film development aimed specifically for best scanning. Any idea where some of those threads are?

Ken Lee
17-Sep-2009, 04:40
Ken,

Compare a scene that has a lot of texture and detail with a fair amount of contrast. My impression is that there is more acutance with two-bath Pyrocat-HD than with divided D23, but I may be prejudiced!!

Sandy

You've never lead me astray !

Bob McCarthy
17-Sep-2009, 05:48
I removed sulfite to get better edge sharpness, acutance.

And bias my agitation pattern the same way.

You can improve the results of D23/2 bath. I don't know whether it matches up the pyro.

bob

Ken Lee
17-Sep-2009, 06:53
BTW, hydroquinone is in the same family of chemicals as pyrogallol and pyrocatechol and is only slightly less toxic. It is used in a wide variety of film and paper developers but you rarely read anything about its toxicity.

My guess is that many routinely used household cleaners, are more toxic than what we use only infrequently in the darkroom.

Jay Decker
17-Sep-2009, 19:34
Jay... I'm sure there are threads dedicated to film development aimed specifically for best scanning. Any idea where some of those threads are?




Mike - If you are going to scan, learning about compensating development as a way to simplify your "image capture process" make a lot of sense. In my analysis, it has made shooting film make sense. Here are three information sources that I would suggest...


Two-Bath Development: Exposure and Development Strategy for Scanning, by Sandy King, published View Camera, July/August 2008.


Joseph Lipka on Divided D-23
(http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html)

Search for the term "diafine" at the figitalrevolution.com website, go the last article on the last page of search, and start there. This first of a series of articles on the topic that starts with this article/video: Processing Black and White Film for Scanning Diafine and TX! (http://figitalrevolution.com/2008/03/20/processing-black-and-white-film-for-scanning-diafine-and-tx/)

Mike1234
18-Sep-2009, 01:10
Thank you, Jay. :)

Jay Decker
21-Nov-2009, 18:31
Changed my recipe for Compensating Pyrocat-MC from 1:20 dilutions to 1:10 dilutions for both Part A and Part B. I have reused the 1 liter of each developer to process three drums of 5 8x10 sheet of film (total of 15 8x10 sheets of film). And, I suspect that I could use it for four drums (total of 20 8x10 sheets of film).

Here's my revised recipe:

Films: Efke 25 exposed at ASA 25 and Ilford FP4+ exposed at ASA 100
Developer: Pyrocat-MC, Part A at 1:10 dilution Part B at 1:10 dilution
Developer and Presoak Temperature: 75 degrees F
Presoak: 5 minutes
Development Times (both films): (5 minute presoak) Part A: 5 minutes and Part B: 5 minutes

Ilford FP4+ @ ASA 100:
http://monkeytumble.com/tonopah/images/Scan_091115_0002.jpg


EFKE 25 @ ASA 25:
http://monkeytumble.com/tonopah/images/Scan_091121_0001.jpg


EFKE 25 @ ASA 25:
http://monkeytumble.com/tonopah/images/Scan_091121_0003.jpg

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 08:53
A question please:

My developer baths got rather cold in my darkroom, like 63 degrees - but I didn't realize it. Watching the development process with my Infra Red monocular, I noticed that after 5 minutes in Solution B, the negative was really under-done. The low values were transparent, even though I placed them on Zone III.

In desperation, I rinsed the negative, and put it back into Solution A for a few minutes, and then back into Solution B. I noticed real improvement in the low values, and no further development in the high values.

Trying to reap additional benefits in the low values, I tried it again - but started to notice overall "fog" or density, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Is this a viable technique ?

Jay Decker
24-Jan-2010, 09:44
A question please:

My developer baths got rather cold in my darkroom, like 63 degrees - but I didn't realize it. Watching the development process with my Infra Red monocular, I noticed that after 5 minutes in Solution B, the negative was really under-done. The low values were transparent, even though I placed them on Zone III.

In desperation, I rinsed the negative, and put it back into Solution A for a few minutes, and then back into Solution B. I noticed real improvement in the low values, and no further development in the high values.

Trying to reap additional benefits in the low values, I tried it again - but started to notice overall "stain" or density, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Is this a viable technique ?


I for one would be elated if your redevelopment technique worked. Have you scanned the negative and confirmed that the highlights did not block-up? If the highlights did not block-up, do you have a plausible theory why they did not, e.g., "tanning" of the gelatin so that further development in the highlights is severely retarded?

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 09:51
The negative is in the wash. I'll let you know.

I made a second shot, but haven't developed it yet. I thought I'd wait and see what the sages have to share :)

sanking
24-Jan-2010, 09:54
A question please:

My developer baths got rather cold in my darkroom, like 63 degrees - but I didn't realize it. Watching the development process with my Infra Red monocular, I noticed that after 5 minutes in Solution B, the negative was really under-done. The low values were transparent, even though I placed them on Zone III.

In desperation, I rinsed the negative, and put it back into Solution A for a few minutes, and then back into Solution B. I noticed real improvement in the low values, and no further development in the high values.

Trying to reap additional benefits in the low values, I tried it again - but started to notice overall "stain" or density, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Is this a viable technique ?

Ken,

I think it is a viable tecnique for those who do development by inspection with IR device.

However, the low temperature will limit how much of Solution A (the reducer) a film can absorb, which is the limit to highlight density. As I would have guessed your rinse and repeat technique increased shadow density somewhat but Solution A appears to have been just too cold to allow good absorption of the reducer. I recommend development at 75 degrees F with divided Pyrocat-HD.

Sandy

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 10:36
Thanks ! That makes good sense.

For the record, the film is 5x7 Ilford FP4+.

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 12:04
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/PC2010.jpg

On the left is a "proof" scan of the 5x7 negative. On the right, cropped, toned, and adjusted a little. (Not the greatest photo in the world, but an exciting scene to encounter and photograph).

The subject contrast was high, and a yellow filter + polarizer was required to bring the sky values to look normal. Shadows are blue, and darken with warm filters.

Pyrocat 2-Bath compensation has definitely come to the rescue. The shadow areas which appear as Zone IV on the left, were Zone II and lower at exposure time. The high values on the distant garage door, fell on Zone IX and higher, but in the negative, they have full texture.

The only problem is a bit of uneven development, apparent in the sky - I presume due to the inadequate absorption of solution A.

sanking
24-Jan-2010, 12:06
On the left is a "proof" scan of the 5x7 negative. On the right, cropped, toned, and adjusted a little.

Not the best photo in the world, but an exciting scene to photograph.

The subject contrast was way too high, and a yellow filter + polarizer was required to get the sky values down. Shadows are blue, and get only worse with warm filters.

Pyrocat 2-Bath compensation has definitely come to the rescue. The shadow areas which appear as Zone IV one the left, were Zone II and lower at exposure time. The high values on the distant garage door, fell on Zone IX and higher, but in the negative, they retain have full texture.

The only problem is a bit of mottling in the sky - I presume due to the inadequate absorption of solution A.

Did you pre-soak the film?

I have found that two-bath Pyrocat likes a pre-soak, and lots of agitation.

Sandy

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 12:15
I soaked the film for 3 minutes, and gave intermittent agitation.

With the second negative, I'll make sure the temperature is right, I'll bump up the soak to 5 minutes, and... give continuous agitation.

Thanks Sandy !

David Karp
24-Jan-2010, 13:50
Ken,

The proof is in the pudding - The technique worked.

I think Ansel Adams discusses a similar technique in "The Negative" albeit without the viewing device.

Glad you are enjoying the 2 bath technique.

Ken Lee
24-Jan-2010, 19:03
I think it worked this time - thanks for your help !!


http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img045.jpg
Buckland, Massachusetts
Kodak 2D, 300mm Fujinon A
5x7 FP4+, 2-bath Pyrocat HD

Alex Wei
25-Jan-2010, 12:57
I have being thinking all morning about how to develop my contrasty FP4 negative today, and wolla, this thread came to the rescue! :D:D

I have some pyrocat MC and will give it a try tonight, thanks a lot guys.

Alex W.

Ken Lee
25-Jan-2010, 13:28
Alex -

Just to be clear: The photos from earlier in the thread, were purposely over-exposed: The negatives were given enough exposure to place the shadows into the printable range, and the high values fell far beyond where any standard method would result in printable values. The 2-bath developer rescued the high values, not the shadows.

The photo I just posted, is a bit different. It was exposed normally, not over-exposed. The low values didn't get enough exposure, and the high values fell a bit too high. The 2-bath approach did not help a lot with the shadows, but it did help a little. It did keep the high values within printable range, and thus saved the image.

Try a test negative first. Don't experiment with an important negative, or a whole set of them, until you've got things working to your satisfaction.

Alex Wei
25-Jan-2010, 13:36
Thanks, Ken, the pictures I took this time is not very serious. I have four negatives shot at the same scene, I will do one first just to see if I like it or not.

Alex W.

Ken Lee
25-Jan-2010, 14:06
Good - I was worried.

One of the great things about real 2-bath formulas, is that they last long enough for you to evaluate the results and re-use. Very cool.

EdWorkman
25-Jan-2010, 14:22
Wow!
Can't thank Ken and Sandy enough!
I was just procrastinating with an assortment of 120 films and spent last nite re-reading some of the old posts looking for pre-soak info and found none, and had decided I didn't need to. Meantime I finished some 2 reel sewer pipe tanks, hoping to conserve chemicals and avoid knocking them over in the dark
And I like the barn pic too.
Ooops- one more question: "Lots of" and "continuous" agitaton- is that for ALL three?- , A and B as well as pre-soak?
regards
Ed

sanking
25-Jan-2010, 14:39
Wow!
Can't thank Ken and Sandy enough!
I was just procrastinating with an assortment of 120 films and spent last nite re-reading some of the old posts looking for pre-soak info and found none, and had decided I didn't need to. Meantime I finished some 2 reel sewer pipe tanks, hoping to conserve chemicals and avoid knocking them over in the dark
And I like the barn pic too.
Ooops- one more question: "Lots of" and "continuous" agitaton- is that for ALL three?- , A and B as well as pre-soak?
regards
Ed

Ed,

No agitation is needed for the pre-soak, intermittent is ok for Solution A, and lots of agitation is needed for Solution B.

Sandy King

EdWorkman
25-Jan-2010, 15:22
Thankyou again- I see I almost totally misunderstood
Ed

Alex Wei
3-Feb-2010, 20:24
hi, guys,

I finally developed my negatives using Pyrocat MC 2 bath method.

Here is how I did it.

pre-soak for 3 minutes
solution A (1:20) for 5 minutes
solution B (1:20) for 8 minutes
rinse with water for 3 minutes
fix in TF-4 fixer for 5 minutes

everything is done on a roller and the temperature is 75 degree.

The image has a wide range, I placed the shadow at zone 3, some of the dark areas were placed at zone 2 and 2/3, I think I should give it more exposure because the negatives are a little thin. They scanned pretty well through.

Here are a couple of images.

http://www.pbase.com/highpeak/image/121638553.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/highpeak/image/121638555.jpg

I really like how this developing method worked and I will use it with my negatives for the night scene.

Jeremy Moore
3-Feb-2010, 20:28
with how well it's holding the highlights i think you could have placed the shadow at zone 4. talk about a looooong tonal scale.

i really love that second image.

sanking
3-Feb-2010, 21:42
hi, guys,

I finally developed my negatives using Pyrocat MC 2 bath method.

Here is how I did it.

pre-soak for 3 minutes
solution A (1:20) for 5 minutes
solution B (1:20) for 8 minutes
rinse with water for 3 minutes
fix in TF-4 fixer for 5 minutes

everything is done on a roller and the temperature is 75 degree.

The image has a wide range, I placed the shadow at zone 3, some of the dark areas were placed at zone 2 and 2/3, I think I should give it more exposure because the negatives are a little thin. They scanned pretty well through.

Here are a couple of images.

I really like how this developing method worked and I will use it with my negatives for the night scene.

Wow, I am really impressed with your technique, and the images are lovely also.

Sandy King

Alex Wei
4-Feb-2010, 08:28
Thanks Jeremy and Sandy.

I have been using Pyrocat MC for a while now, didn't know it can do a trick like this until now :)

Hats off to Sandy again for developing such a wonderful tool.

Alex W.

sanking
4-Feb-2010, 08:50
Thanks Jeremy and Sandy.

I have been using Pyrocat MC for a while now, didn't know it can do a trick like this until now :)

Hats off to Sandy again for developing such a wonderful tool.

Alex W.

I should thank you. For me the satisfaction is in the fact that creative folks are making such good use of the tool.

Sandy King

Ken Lee
6-May-2010, 05:21
Here's another experiment: Clouds and Shadows at the same time.

The lower portion of the building is in shade, while late afternoon sunshine strikes the top of the building. In the distance, the sky contains soft clouds, also lit by direct sunlight.

Until recently, I would have admired the scene, but never wasted a shot on it. An Orange filter to give separation to the clouds ? Sure - but the shadows are already dark, and only illumined by blue light.... Foregettaboutit !

This time, I decide not to use a filter at all, and see what Divided Pyrocat HD will yield. Over-exposing even the deepest shadows, the clouds fall on Zone XV and higher.

On the left is a proof-scan of the negative. On the right, some contrast has been added in Photoshop. Can you believe it ? We have to add contrast.

I'm beginning to wonder if filters are even necessary, when shooting outdoors.

http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/two-bath.jpg

Jay Decker
6-May-2010, 06:21
Over-exposing a bit for detail in even the deepest shadows, the clouds fall on Zone XV and higher.

On the left is a proof-scan of the negative. On the right, some contrast has been added. Can you believe it ? We have to add contrast.

I'm beginning to wonder if filters are really necessary when shooting outdoors.


Your experience is consistent with mine. The question that has lurked in my mind is... are there situations where this development results in an unusable negative, i.e., will using a development that retains information for thirteen or more stops loose tonal separation. Thus far for myself using this development, the answer is no, even with my (very) limited repretoire of scanning and image manipulation skills.

Andrew O'Neill
6-May-2010, 08:18
Alex,

Are you agitating the film at all or just straight soaking in both baths?

sanking
6-May-2010, 09:25
Alex,

Are you agitating the film at all or just straight soaking in both baths?

Andrew,

Think of the specific functions of both baths.

In Solution A the emulsion soaks up the reducer. How much it can absorb is determined by temperature (at higher temperatures the gelatin swells more, allowing more reducer to be absorbed) and agitation (more agitation also means more reducer being absorbed. However, there is a limit to how much reducer the gelatin will absorb, and that limit is usually reached at about five minutes at 75-80 degrees with constant agitation. However, five minutes at 75 degrees with intermittent agitation gets you to about 95% of the maximum so that is where I usually work.I

In Solution B the development takes place and agitation is more critical at this stage for the same reason it is critical with regular film development. If there is not enough agitation you will get bromide drag and uneven development. I recommend very vigorous agitation for the first minute of development, and then 10 seconds of agitation every minute thereafter. However, if you get any uneven development with this method you should go to constant agitation. Time in Solution B determines film speed, to a point, and extending time from five to ten minutes will probably give a little boost to shadow detail with no down side, assuming you keep good agitation.

In general this method of development is really hard to beat, especially for scenes of great contrast.

Sandy King

Ken Lee
22-May-2010, 04:06
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img201dp.jpg
Patrick
Sinar P, 300mm Fujinon A
5x7 HP5+, Divided Pyrocat HD

To render the scene inside the room, a 6-second exposure at f/16 was required. The darkest values on the jet-black dog, were actually too low for my light meter to measure. The scene outside the window - bright sunshine on foliage - fell on Zone 14.

Jay DeFehr
23-May-2010, 11:04
[QUOTE=sanking;587090]Andrew,

Think of the specific functions of both baths.

In Solution A the emulsion soaks up the reducer. How much it can absorb is determined by temperature (at higher temperatures the gelatin swells more, allowing more reducer to be absorbed) and agitation (more agitation also means more reducer being absorbed. However, there is a limit to how much reducer the gelatin will absorb, and that limit is usually reached at about five minutes at 75-80 degrees with constant agitation. However, five minutes at 75 degrees with intermittent agitation gets you to about 95% of the maximum so that is where I usually work.QUOTE)

Sandy,

How does agitation increase absorption? How do you measure absorption? What is the goal in maximizing absorption?

Jay Decker
23-May-2010, 12:20
... Think of the specific functions of both baths.

In Solution A the emulsion soaks up the reducer. How much it can absorb is determined by temperature (at higher temperatures the gelatin swells more, allowing more reducer to be absorbed) and agitation (more agitation also means more reducer being absorbed. However, there is a limit to how much reducer the gelatin will absorb, and that limit is usually reached at about five minutes at 75-80 degrees with constant agitation. However, five minutes at 75 degrees with intermittent agitation gets you to about 95% of the maximum so that is where I usually work.I

Don't want to geek-out too much here, but the in the world of chemical engineering, the amount of developer absorbed into the emulsion is a mass transfer process. The mass transfer process, in this case the transfer of chemicals in Solution A into the film emulsion, is driven by the concentration of Solution A first and foremost. As usual, for a given concentration of Solution A, Sandy's information above is correct.

What is the point?

If you find that you need more development, increase the concentration of Solution A and Solution B and keep all the other development variables the same...

I had been using Pyrocat-MC at 1:20 dilution for both Solution A and Solution B. And, I found that I was not getting sufficient development in a few cases and generally could use more development. I now develop all my film with a Jobo processor at 75 deg. for 5 minutes using Pyrocat-MC at 1:10 dilution for Solution A and Solution B. This development has worked well for everything that I've tried thus far. I do develop different films together, e.g., TXP, FP4+, and Ekfe 25, that are exposed at the manufactures' rate film speed, and everything comes out well for scanning.

sanking
23-May-2010, 13:08
How does agitation increase absorption? How do you measure absorption? What is the goal in maximizing absorption?

At any given temperature and concentration maximum transfer of reducer into the emulsion is increased by agitation.

With any given film the more reducer you can get into the emulsion the higher will be the final contrast, keeping all factors equal with development in Solution B.

The goal in maximizing absorption is to adjust for the different absorption potential of different films, other factors kept the same. For example, if you develop TMY-2 the same way you develop Fuji Acros the former will have lower contrast than the latter. If you wanted to develop TMY to the same contrast as Acros you would want to increase absorption by either, 1) increasing the temperature of Solution A so the gelatin will aborb more reducer, or 2) increase the concentration of Solution A, say from 1:20 to 1:10, or 3) increase frequency of agitation.

In theory you could check for absorption by weighing a sample of film before and after it has been in Solution A but you would need a scale capable of measuring very small amounts. I actually do this with carbon tissue to determine absorption of dichromate but with film I don't believe my instruments have enough precision, so I test empirically by testing two samples, one with agitation and one without, then develop the two the same in Solution B. The only thing that could explain an increase in contrast, if you observe it, is the increased agitation.

Sandy

Ken Lee
23-May-2010, 13:28
Thanks -

I just read the recommended procedure on Pyrocat as a Two-Bath Developer (http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/mixing.html#divided) on Pyrocat HD site.

I had missed a few important points, namely



1:10 dilution

5 minute pre-soak

6 minutes in Part A

5 minute post-soak in water

Jay DeFehr
23-May-2010, 13:49
Jay,

Varying the concentrations of the baths makes perfect sense to me, and is the approach I use when using Hypercat as a 2-bath developer. I use Hypercat A solution 1:10, and use a 1% solution of TSP as my B bath. My development times are much shorter than those reported here; I develop 2 min in A, and 1 min in B, at 70F. This works very well for me, even I'm very flat lighting. Is there some advantage to using a more dilute solution with longer development times?

sanking
23-May-2010, 14:24
Jay,

Varying the concentrations of the baths makes perfect sense to me, and is the approach I use when using Hypercat as a 2-bath developer. I use Hypercat A solution 1:10, and use a 1% solution of TSP as my B bath. My development times are much shorter than those reported here; I develop 2 min in A, and 1 min in B, at 70F. This works very well for me, even I'm very flat lighting. Is there some advantage to using a more dilute solution with longer development times?

The purpose of the longer development time of Solution A is to get 100% absorption, or close to it, without having to worry about temperature. You could also run Pyrocat with much shorter times if that is considered important but there would be some difference in final contrast between 5+5 and 2+2 depending on temperature. Development in Solution B is almost instantaneous as the image comes up immediately (as in pt/pd printing for example) but you can coax a bit more shadow detail from the negative with longer development times. Bottom line is that you won't see a lot of difference in final result between 2+2 and 6+6 but the longer times even out results without having to worry about temperature between 70F and 80F.

Sandy

Jay DeFehr
23-May-2010, 14:53
Sandy,

I'm afraid I still don't understand how agitation increases absorption, but I don't understand a lot of things.

It seems to me you're saying contrast is controlled by: time, temperature, concentration, and agitation in the A bath. If this is true, it seems to contradict a lot of the claims made for "automatic" 2-bath development. To develop to a predictable contrast requires a strategy, and considerable testing. Assuming development time in the B solution is non-critical beyond a minimum time for full development, one should still find it necessary to find the correct combination of time, temp, concentration, agitation in the A bath to achieve the desired contrast. What do you consider the best strategy for adjusting contrast? One strategy is to keep temp, concentration, and agitation constant and adjust time in the A solution. This strategy depends on the absorption rate of the film, which should remain consistent for any given film. This seems like a better strategy than adjusting the concentration of the A bath and keeping the absorption time constant ( maximum), because different images present varying demands on developer, ie a high key image requires more developer than a low key one. I don't think agitation offers much range as a contrast control, but temperature of the A solution might. It would make an interesting experiment, comparing the relative effectiveness of temperature v time as contrast controls. Time is almost certainly the most convenient control, but temp is not terribly inconvenient, especially when using automated processors. Still, if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on time in the A solution as the simplest, most effective contrast control.

sanking
23-May-2010, 15:50
There is definitely a lot of misinformation out there about two-bath development but I never worry about that because one can just step over all that and test to determine what is right and wrong. Another issue that needs to be clarified is that there are different kinds of two-bath developers. One kind is Diafine where all of the development takes places in Solution B (Pyrocat and I presume Hypercat are in this category), another kind is divided D23 where considerable development can actually take place in Solution A.

My own approach to two-bath development is to use it when your work flow does not require that negatives be developed to a certain contrast. If you scan it does not make a lot of difference whether your negative has a CI of .45 or .65, or even more extreme contrast than that. If you need to develop negatives to a specific contrast you are better off following Zone or BTZS type procedures with traditional one bath formulas.

If you must for some reason adjust contrast with two-bath developers the easiest way to do so is by adjusting the dilution of the reducer in Solution A. However, within limits you can also increase or decrease contrast by type of agitation in Solution A, and/or by length of time in Solution A, or by the temperature of the solution. In the article that I published in View Camera a couple of years ago I found that with most films using both D23 and Diafine it was possible to approximately equal contrast with rotary/continuous development compared to normal intermittent development by using a weaker dilution, say 1:120 instead of 1:10.

The amount of control possible with temperature and time is limited by a finite amount of solution that the gelatin can absorb, and heating it more and/or leaving the film in the solution for a longer period of time, will not in result in more absorption.

All that said, if one has a need to develop film to a specific CI I would recommend traditional one bath development with time and temperature control, not two bath development.

Sandy King

Ken Lee
23-May-2010, 19:56
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img272.jpg
Patrick
Sinar P, 450mm Fujinon C
5x7 HP5+, Divided Pyrocat HD

http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img271dp.jpg
Lake, Massachusetts
Sinar P, 450mm Fujinon C, Light Yellow Filter
5x7 HP5+, Divided Pyrocat HD

There are all kinds of scenes that I now look forward to shooting.

They posess a special richness and subtley of tone, but were previouly out-of-bounds because of their impossible contrast range. Now, they are laughable.

Jay DeFehr
23-May-2010, 20:44
Sandy,

everything you write above makes sense. I'm sure my workflow differs from yours in many ways, because I use a lot of VC papers and roll films in addition to LF sheet films, and I don't scan for printing. For me, it would be convenient to use two degrees of development; one for low to normal contrast scenes, and another for normal to high contrast scenes. I think the simplest way to do this is to use a concentrated A solution with less than full absorption time for normal to high contrast scenes, and full absorption time for low to normal contrast scenes. This would allow me to use the same A solution for all my negatives, regardless of their development requirements, and simply leave some in the A solution longer than others. I've been getting good results with a single (short) development time for all my negatives, but I think there's room for improvement, especially in the extremes. Maybe I'll try using a 1:15 dilution with 2-3 minutes for N-high contrast scenes, and 5- 6 minutes for N-low contrast scenes.

Ken Lee
2-Jun-2010, 15:35
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/img204a.jpg
Dusk
Sinar P, 300mm Fujinon A
5x7 HP5+, Divided Pyrocat HD

mdm
3-Jun-2010, 00:21
Ken, please may I borrow your window washer? I am happy to cover shipping. :)

David




Dusk
Sinar P, 300mm Fujinon A
5x7 HP5+, Divided Pyrocat HD

mgeiss
24-Mar-2011, 05:45
I'm going to try divided Pyrocat-HD anytime soon. Will it matter whether I use water- or glycol-based stock solutions? I'm asking because in a 1:10 dilution there would be quite an amount of glycol in the working solution. Would this have any effect on development?

Jay Decker
24-Mar-2011, 06:34
I'm going to try divided Pyrocat-HD anytime soon. Will it matter whether I use water- or glycol-based stock solutions? I'm asking because in a 1:10 dilution there would be quite an amount of glycol in the working solution. Would this have any effect on development?

I have used the HD (water) and the MC (glycol) versions many times and obtained consistently good results with both.

mgeiss
24-Mar-2011, 06:43
Thanks, Jay! So I'll use my existing glycol-based HD solutions for the first tries and mix some larger amounts with water when it's been used up.

gmfotografie
7-Jul-2013, 11:47
hi my friends, i'm new to pyrocat developer with acros 4x5.

for development in an jobo 2523 i have to do following:

form http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/mixing.html#divided :

Water bath pre-soak for five minutes.
Six minutes* in Part A, with two inversions at the beginning, and two inversions at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.
Pour our Solution A and pour in Solution B. No rinse between.
Five minutes* in Solution B.
Negatives must be fully immersed in Solution B and agitated vigorously for at least one full minute. Failure to do so, can result in uneven development. Two or three inversions at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.
Pour out B, pour in water and leave for five minutes.
* Increase by approximately 15% for tray or tank agitation.

so i have to add 15% of time because i use the jobo tank with manual agitation, correct?!

for further film testing i assume to do film testing with the stouffer step tablet finding the right development time for n-1 n-2 and so on.....is this right?


best mh

sanking
7-Jul-2013, 17:39
hi my friends, i'm new to pyrocat developer with acros 4x5.

for development in an jobo 2523 i have to do following:

form http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/mixing.html#divided :

Water bath pre-soak for five minutes.
Six minutes* in Part A, with two inversions at the beginning, and two inversions at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.
Pour our Solution A and pour in Solution B. No rinse between.
Five minutes* in Solution B.
Negatives must be fully immersed in Solution B and agitated vigorously for at least one full minute. Failure to do so, can result in uneven development. Two or three inversions at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of development.
Pour out B, pour in water and leave for five minutes.
* Increase by approximately 15% for tray or tank agitation.

so i have to add 15% of time because i use the jobo tank with manual agitation, correct?!

for further film testing i assume to do film testing with the stouffer step tablet finding the right development time for n-1 n-2 and so on.....is this right?


best mh


For the use of divided Pyrocat with development in Jobo I would use a 1:15 dilution of both Solution A and B, at 75 F, and develop 4 minutes in each solution. The problem you may have is that you will get uneven development unless you are able to wet the film out with developer in Solution B completely at once. This may be difficult with some Jobo tanks.

Sandy

Peter De Smidt
7-Jul-2013, 18:41
I've used divided Pyrocat in a Jobo with success, but it was awhile ago. I'll see if I can dig up the particulars.

gmfotografie
14-Jul-2013, 14:18
i have ordered the Jobo 3010 expert drum and a beseler motor roller base for developing
can you suggest me the pyrocat hd for this drum?

(as i'm in europe i can only import from usa the rollo pyro or pyrocat m with high shipping costs )

thx

Ed Bray
14-Jul-2013, 14:32
i have ordered the Jobo 3010 expert drum and a beseler motor roller base for developing
can you suggest me the pyrocat hd for this drum?

(as i'm in europe i can only import from usa the rollo pyro or pyrocat m with high shipping costs )

thx

I use an 3010 and an 3006 with 2 bath Pyrocat HD. Personally I use 1+20 with a minimum of 450mls of A+B (to ensure full coverage of the film in the tank) 6 minutes each constant rotation at 25 degrees C.

To prevent streaking you need to add a few drops of Photoflo (or similar) to the Solution A

Can you not buy the chemicals themselves and make up your Pyrocat HD, its not difficult, Silverprint in the UK sell what you need and that along with a stirring paddle and a digital Jewellers scale will be all you need?

Domingo A. Siliceo
7-Apr-2014, 02:48
I plan to develop Foma 100 sheets with divided Pyrocat-HD for the first time this week. I think divided Pyrocat-HD will work better that plain Pyrocat-HD because Foma 100 is a contrasty film for itself and because I live in the south of Spain, where we have a lot of light.

This comment is worrying me



[...]
The problem you may have is that you will get uneven development unless you are able to wet the film out with developer in Solution B completely at once. This may be difficult with some Jobo tanks.
[...]


I develop 4x5 sheets in a Combi-Plan tank and it takes about 35 to 40 seconds to be completely filled with the developer: does the comment above means it is not recommended to develop with divided Pyrocat-HD using a tank?

Jay Decker
7-Apr-2014, 07:50
I develop 4x5 sheets in a Combi-Plan tank and it takes about 35 to 40 seconds to be completely filled with the developer: does the comment above means it is not recommended to develop with divided Pyrocat-HD using a tank?

Domingo - had the same concern when I started, because it takes a while to fill my developing tanks during development. The good news is that it was not a problem with my tanks, which probably take 20 to 30 seconds to fill. And, I found the chemicals good for "one developing session", which in my means that I use the same chemicals for 3 to 5 tank loads of film during one four or five hour develop session. So, my suggestion would be to test it with one sheet and that sheet turns out well, you develop the rest of your film in that developing session.

Best,

Jay

Domingo A. Siliceo
8-Apr-2014, 12:40
[...]
So, my suggestion would be to test it with one sheet and that sheet turns out well, you develop the rest of your film in that developing session.
[...]


thanks, Jay.