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Andre Noble
22-Sep-2009, 09:03
Hello, here are the images from my recent rendezvous with Pyrocat HD. As you can see, some failed spectacularly others less so.
(See http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=53770)

I ran six runs of this in a Jobo Expert 3010 and 3006 drums. The first two images below represent various degrees of failure I had on three of the six runs.

The third image shows a run which came out too thin.

The fourth image represents the runs which turned out properly.

FYI, the light box these were photographed on has only one internal bulb down the middle, so on the failed runs it appears to be uneven development of those sheets.

Andre Noble
22-Sep-2009, 09:07
Two more examples of Pyrocat HD runs that turned out properly (although I am not sure of the top two images from the first lightbox on the left - contrast is too high?)

Michael Kadillak
22-Sep-2009, 09:33
We believed you when you stated that you had failures.

Purchase packaged one shot developers from Ilford or Kodak and get back to work and put this fiasco in the rear view mirror.

It would be terrible to have such a marvelous developer tarnished by an anomalous experience. If you were in Colorado I would have you come over and I absolutely guarantee that we would quickly resolve this mess once and for all.

Onward!

Andre Noble
22-Sep-2009, 09:36
No Michael, the developer tarnished my marvelous images.

Jim Michael
22-Sep-2009, 10:20
No, your procedures were at fault. I've read your posts in your other thread. Contamination is likely at fault as others have suggested. I use Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 with a distilled water stop as you described in one of your posts. I get consistently good results. I wash my equipment thoroughly after each batch is processed.

eddie
22-Sep-2009, 10:37
how do we know it is not a shutter issue? maybe it is sticking every other shot? have you tried a different shutter?

i mix my own pyro HD. no issues for me.

Don Hutton
22-Sep-2009, 10:44
One other thought - are you using enough developer for each run - how many sheets are you trying to process in how much solution?

Bjorn Nilsson
22-Sep-2009, 12:16
I've been using Pyrocat HD for some 3 years now, without failures. (I.e. without developing failures. :) ) It's in my mind a great developer for most purposes. One thing that almost all pyro/catheine developers have in common is that they are used very diluted which renders them very sensitive to contamination. While I'm not the most precise and careful darkroom worker, I do use separate syringes for the A and B parts, which are carefully rinsed after use. I do rinse my Jobo drums an extra time et cetera and so forth. As this have become routine, it doesn't take much time.
I've done darkroom work for some 35 years now and I do believe I've made almost all of the mistakes which can be done. I just wish I could say that there was something wrong with the film/developer/fixer/paper/... but each and every time all I could find was some s__t behind the steering wheel.
We all do understand that you are quite upset with your results. I would probably utter a few /&¤%#"&% too if it happened to me. If you read carefully, you will find that some of the best experts around are trying to help you spot and pinpoint the source of the problem, so you're in good hands. Trust me in the fact that the solution isn't another exotic/exoteric developer, but rather to calm down and to sort out your developing routines.

//Björn

Jeremy Moore
22-Sep-2009, 12:26
Did you take all of the example shots using the same shutter/aperture/iso on whatever camera you took them with? (the shots of the negatives on the light table)

Just taking your example images into photoshop and inverting shows, to my eye, that you are underexposing. When I look at Failure1 against Good1 the biggest difference is the lack of exposure in Failure 1 vs. Good 1.

edit: I took your images into Adobe Camera Raw and just moved the exposure slider and after adjusting it 2 stops Failure1 started to look like Good1.

For example, on "Good2_Questionable", you state:
(although I am not sure of the top two images from the first lightbox on the left - contrast is too high?)

The contrast isn't too high, there just isn't enough exposure into the shadows compared to the 2 negatives below--I'm assuming these were developed in the same batch.

John Bowen
22-Sep-2009, 13:02
I've used Pyrocat HD with TMY EXCLUSIVELY for the past 4 years. Developed nearly 1,000 8 x 10 and 200 7x17 negatives during that time. I've NEVER had a developer failure. My 1st experience was purchased from the Formulary as a pre-mixed kit. After that I mixed my own in Glycol.

I use distilled H20 for the Presoak, I dilute the Pyrocat with distilled H2O, I use TF-4 (mixed with distilled water) for my Fix and have never had an issue. I develop in trays and the trays are marked so that the same tray is used for the same step EVERY TIME.

If you are getting 3 failures out of 6 attempts, then it CAN'T BE THE DEVELOPER and it shouldn't be your water. Developer can't be bad on run 1, good on run 2, then bad, then good etc.

I believe your failures are due to sloppy darkroom habits. Since some of your runs turn out as expected the Developer bottles can't be contaminated. I would suggest you examine your measurung tools, your mixing graduates and the Jobo Drum as your source of contamination.

Are you sure you are using the developer 1 shot?

Once you've determined the source of your contamination I would suggest you make a public apology to Sandy King.

Good luck in your quest to squelch your demons

IanG
22-Sep-2009, 13:50
A quick search of this forum shows you've been whinging about Pyrocat for 5 years now.

The fact that you can show negatives that in your estimation are fine shows quite clearly that there's nothing wrong with the developer per se.

The fact that many well known photographers and thousands of others use the developer day in day out would indicate that as the developer itself is fine it's your technique.

A quick glance at the negatives you've scanned show exposures that appear wildly off, my gut feeling is your not remotely close to an optimum EI and development time.

Poor workmen blame their tools, or in this case the developer. I think you need to look much closer at other aspects of your exposure & development techniques.

I'd suggest finding someone who lives near you to work alongside and learn from, help you clear up these issue.

Ian

IanG
22-Sep-2009, 14:05
I'll go further and make you an offer:

You fly out here for a week (accomadation and food is extremely cheap) and I'll personally run you through using Pyrocat HD in a variety of situations and I'll make images alongside you, I know my negs will be fine.

I'll add that I've just returned from showing around 60 images to a couple who collect photography and every image was made in the last 12 months with a variety of films but all developed in Pyrocat HD, they are now deciding which 2 possibly 3 images to buy.

Ian

Andre Noble
22-Sep-2009, 14:15
IanG, My EI for FP4+ of 32 is admittedly likely too high by one stop.

I have returned from a three year hiatus in photography, so I have been whinning about pyrocat HD for two years, not five.

It was my whinning that prompted Mr. king and others to press PF to make their Pyrocat kits in glycol, by the way. I talked to PF last week, and they mentioned they now sell many more of the glycol based kits than their water based kits of pyrocat.

I feel no apology is needed. I criticized the developer and many have justifiably criticized my technique in return.

It's helping me to become a better photographer, fine. If it's bringing to mention that this developer is very finicky as to oxidation, contamination, and capacity fine.

If I had money and free time I would take you up on your offer for the workshop in the Aegean (You're not trying to pick me up, are you).

Jeremy Moore
22-Sep-2009, 14:33
My EI for FP4+ of 32 is admittedly likely too high by one stop.

My EI for FP4+ in Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 is 64, yet you're saying you should be shooting at 16 and yet I still find your negatives to be sorely underexposed. Maybe it's your metering technique that's causing all of these problems.


If it's bringing to mention that this developer is very finicky as to oxidation, contamination, and capacity fine.

I completely disagree as NOTHING you have shared/provided in these two recent posts in regards to Pyrocat HD has shown that it is a problem with the chemistry.

Ken Lee
22-Sep-2009, 14:44
"No Michael, the developer tarnished my marvelous images."

"Humility makes great men twice honorable" - Benjamin Franklin

IanG
22-Sep-2009, 14:50
You're not trying to pick me up, are you.
No I'm happily married :D

And my wife cooks mean meat balls :)


I
f it's bringing to mention that this developer is very finicky as to oxidation, contamination, and capacity fine.
If I had money and free time I would take you up on your offer for the workshop in the Aegean.

There's never been anything wrong with Pyrocat HD developer itself.

Pyrocatechin has a tendency to oxidise, I use it in other applications where it oxidises very rapidly.

From here-say I've heard that the early Pyrocat from the PF didn't keep well, but then I found that out for myself when I stored my first batch in the wrong type of plastic bottles.

That has zero to do with Sandy King himself or his formula and is entirely down to who bottles the developer. In my case I rapidly spotted the problem (with no film failures) but also knew why, so could solve it.

Stored properly Pyrocat HD is as good as many other concentrated developer, without Glycol it has a shelf life of over 18 months, in the right packaging even part full.

With normal darkroom practice and cleanliness there are NO issues of oxidation, contamination or capacity, it's remarkably consistent and certainly not finicky.

Ian

eddie
22-Sep-2009, 15:20
A quick search of this forum shows you've been whinging about Pyrocat for 5 years now.


Ian

har har har!


I'll go further and make you an offer:

You fly out here for a week (accomadation and food is extremely cheap) and I'll personally run you through using Pyrocat HD in a variety of situations and I'll make images alongside you, I know my negs will be fine.



Ian

can i come?!?!?

IT IS YOUR SHUTTER!

i have posted this twice already. you have yet to address the issue. what kind of shutter are you using? has it been CLAd lately? show us some E6 shots with it so we know it is (not) your shutter. i bet it is!



This message has been deleted by sanking. Reason: No reason for more dialog with this person.

i am with sandy on this!

Andre Noble
22-Sep-2009, 17:39
Ian, please forgive me, since I moved to Los Angeles California, when I meet a man, I don’t assume anything anymore.

Ken, by marvelous I was referring to the marvelous subject matter in marvelous little towns I visited.

Jeremy, by “one stop too high”, I meant one stop over exposed. So, I agree with you 64 ASA is a more reasonable ASA for FP4+. Thanks for the clarification.

eddie (with a small "e"), it’s not my shutter. These are two separate lenses, both almost brand new lenses. Admittedly, my EI is one stop too high, and my metering off. But my shutters are fine, thanks for your suggestion.

Mr. King, I apologize if I have caused you distress. I appreciate the passion you have for your baby. I am just an average idiot who is trying to use something I'm not qualified to use.

sanking
22-Sep-2009, 18:23
Mr. King, I apologize if I have caused you distress. I appreciate the passion you have for your baby. I am just an average idiot who is trying to use something I'm not qualified to use.


Andre,

Thank you . I accept your apology, and no hard feelings. I hope this experience does not diminish your enthusiasm for film photography.

All of us have made mistakes in developing film. Making a mistake is not always a bad thing because it can also serve as a real growing and learning experience. I must admit that more than once I have made mistakes with several different developers that ruined a day of field work or a day of testing. And sometimes the cause was not immediately apparent, though I have learned that good red wine and careful work with chemicals in the darkroom don't go together.

Sandy King

Andre Noble
23-Sep-2009, 02:15
After a couple of beers and a few hours of sleep I awoke in the middle of the night with a revelation with what I think the problem was, and the theory would explain the wide variation in density I achieved with the six runs.

It's not chemical contamination - I am sloppy, but not THAT sloppy.

Even though I was using a jobo cpp2 with a full water bath, the issue I believe is lack of consistent temperature control.

I did not use a pre-soak on any of these runs. Its a bad habit I have gotten into on my return to darkroom work lately. I used to always use a pre-soak.

I recently moved to a new apt. In the process of paking to move, my previous landlord tossed my 1000ml jobo bottles (that I used to keep my wash water tempered in) thinking they were merely empty reagent containers, perhaps. So on all these runs, some of my final washes consited of cold distilled water - some from jugs sitting at room temp, sometimes from jugs recently pulled from the fridge in a room cooled by AC.

Likewise, a few months ago I use SS tanks in a room cooled by my AC without a pre-soak. The film came out the same as my recent failed runs. Nevertheless, I did not throw out the three year old pyrocat, moved to my new apt., and used it successfully on another batch of film.

With a run of 6 mins, and on some runs starting with a tank that may have been too warm or too cold - even though my working developer was at proper temperature, lack of a pre-soak with tempered water, combined with the large piece of plastic of the 3000 series drum, resulted in uncontrolled process temps, and the wide variation in negative densities.

So the slop in my technique was likely lack of precise temperature control, despite the Jobo CPP2. I am going to make a huge note of this for the future with ALL developers.

Also, I have two sets of 1000ml Jobo bottles in route from B&H.