View Full Version : Anyone with experience-TMax 400 and Pyrocat HD

Robert Ley
16-Nov-2009, 20:25
After reading numerous posts extolling the superior nature of the new TMax films, I decided to shot this fall on a trip to the Smokies.
Much of my shooting was both color(400NC) and B&W (TMax 400).

I have already processed the C-41 and the exposures where good.

Having never shot TMax before and not knowing the normal development time for my routine, I endeavored to test this film. I decided that a good starting time for my routine would be 12min.

My routine is as follows:
Jobo CPA2, expert drum 3010, Pyrocat HD 1:1:100(new developer in glycol) diluted in distilled H2O, 24degC 75degF pre-soak for 5min., between 3 and F in speed, follow recommendation for 75ml/sheet.

I have successfully developed HP5 with this routine, so I decided to run my test with the HP5 and TMax. I exposed a couple of holders of Tmax and 6 holders of HP5 and some Berger 200 that I had lying around to a scene in my back yard under a slightly overcast sky. I was able to keep the exposures fairly tight, using the same lens with the speed constant.

I ran 4 sheets of HP5 and one of TMax in 400cc of Pyrocat mixed as above one run at 12min. and one at 16min.

In both runs the HP5 acted as I had remembered and looked fine. The Tmax negs are thin and appear underdeveloped.
I am reluctant to increase the times any more without considering increasing the dilution to 2:2:100.

What are your collected ideas on processing the new TMax films specifically the new 400?

BTW I print with a Beseler 45 and the Dicro 45S head on VC Paper.

My plan is process the other two sheets per the hoped for discussion.;)


Diane Maher
16-Nov-2009, 20:50
I regularly use TMax 400, HP5+ and pyrocat hd. I don't use the glycol version however. I shoot and develop my negs for pt/pd printing. Up until now, I have developed at room temp for 9 min. in my jobo 3004 or 5 tanks and my negs are okay. I am shooting the whole plate size of this film, 6x8 inches so I use my amounts as though I am developing 8x10 sheets. I do a 5 min water wash and use a 2:2:100 ratio.

What ISO are you shooting with? I am using 400 for this film.

If they are important shots, I'd load up some holders and do some testing before you develop them.

Ken Lee
17-Nov-2009, 06:20
According to the brochure (http://www.photoformulary.com/uploads/Pyrocat-HD-01-5091.pdf) which accompanies Pyrocat HD from Photographer's Formulary, you are likely to over-develop the film.

I too use 12 minutes, but at 70 degrees, not 75. I don't use a Jobo, but tray development. I shoot it at ISO 200.

I scan my negatives, you enlarge them and print on Silver. Light sources and enlarging lenses can have a substantial influence.

You might find it helpful to read this brief article entitled Testing Black and White Film (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/testing.html).

Robert Ley
17-Nov-2009, 07:29
Thanks for your responses.
Diane-I expose at 400 and I have been testing the film because these images are important. I was concerned that my development times may be a little long and was interested in what other members had found with the new Tmax 400.
Ken-Thanks for the article. I routinely bracket each shot, one at 400 and one at 200 and process the 400 shot first and then process the other accordingly. I guess I would just like to find a good normal development time for this developer and the new Tmax 400.


Richard Wasserman
17-Nov-2009, 08:21
I don't currently use a Jobo and am curious–is 75ml/sheet enough developer? I develop TMY-2, EI.250, in Pyrocat in a slosher tray at 70 for about 15 minutes. I enlarge with a color head.

Ken Lee
17-Nov-2009, 08:46
According to the accompanying brochure (http://www.photoformulary.com/uploads/Pyrocat-HD-01-5091.pdf)...

"The suggested times assume a 1:1:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD (One Part A + One Part B + 100 Parts water), with rotary development in Jobo or BTZS tubes. These times, at the temperatures indicates, should give an approximate CI of .56 when measured with a densitometer in blue mode, appropriate for printing on graded silver papers of #2 contrasts. For variable contrast silver papers be sure to increase development times by about 35%. For developing in tray with shuffle agitation, or in tanks with agitation every 30-60 seconds, increase time of development by about 15%. When developing with rotary processing, either Jobo or BTZS type tubes, use a minimum of 75 ml of the standard working solution per sheet of 4X5 film, (minimum of 250 ml of working solution for a sheet of 8X10 film). A pre-soak of two minutes is recommended as good practice with rotary processing."

The more we deviate from a simple contact print - via colored light source, variable contrast paper, enlargement, etc. - the more we introduce variables which require real-world testing.

As staining developer, Pyrocat gives negatives a brown color, which modifies the effect of enlarging papers. Each brand will be different. Each paper developer will be different too.

Anyone else's recommended starting point will be just that: an excellent place to start.

17-Nov-2009, 09:45
I base a lot of my film exposure on how the negatives look. It took me a long time to warm up to Tmax films because to me, Tmax always looks underexposed compared to TriX and neopan 400. And exposing more doesn't result in the gutsy-looking negatives I'm used to. I got a whole bulk roll of TMY so I'm used to it now, but you might want to do some more formal testing because I know for me, the negatives just plain look weird, even when they print perfectly. I still use HP5 in large format even though TMY is the same price, and I'm sure this is part of it.

Tom Monego
17-Nov-2009, 14:11
I always used Tmax 400 with Tmax developer. Works very well at ISO 400, in fact I think it over exposes at 200, but if that works with your developer that is what you should use.


17-Nov-2009, 16:05
I too have just started using new TMAX 400 with Pyrocat-HD in glycol and have gotten similarly thin results (in stark contrast to my normal FP4 processing). I had tried 1-1-100 at both 10 minutes and 14 minutes at 22degC with a Jobo 3010 after exposing at EI200. For my next batch, I intend to try a 2-2-100 concentration for 10 minutes at 27degC at EI400 as recommended in DigitalTruth's 'Massive Development Chart'. I am sure I will have to continue to fine tune the parameters before I get everything down to my liking for my style of printing.

Robert Ley
18-Nov-2009, 06:00
Last night I ran a test with Pyrocat HD 2:2:100 at ten minutes. The test Tmax neg was a little dense, so I dropped the time to eight minutes and ran Five sheets and liked the results. I am probably going to go with this time and dilution for Tmax 400.


Andre Noble
18-Nov-2009, 07:45
Robert, and these last 5 successful sheets you ran for 8 mins. at 2:2:100 were exposed at what ASA?

Robert Ley
18-Nov-2009, 13:14
They were exposed at 400.