View Full Version : Iniciation to stain developers!

27-Dec-2012, 05:53
I find myself wanting to try satin developers to develop sheet film and possible also roll. Want to ask wich one of the several stain developers is more "newbie friendly" and easy to mix/use, as a concentrated developer that it is only need to dilute and use (like rodinal and etc).
Having also the normal safety precaution, what are the less toxic or dangerous ones?
For developing sheet, I am still looking if I will develop in trays or in tanks, but possibly it will be in tanks!

Gem Singer
27-Dec-2012, 07:07
Pyrocat-HD in glycol.

27-Dec-2012, 07:31
I've heard about staining developers on this forum and elsewhere but never really found an explanation as to what they are. So, what are staining developers and what do they offer?

Ken Lee
27-Dec-2012, 07:59
See http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/ (http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/)

See http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html)

Peter Lewin
27-Dec-2012, 11:22
I see we have a lot of Pyrocat devotees! Another classic staining option is PMK, which also seems to have almost indefinite shelf life, and is relatively concentrated as stock solutions A & B. PMK can also be mixed up from dry raw chemicals, but is also available as pre-mixed liquids from Photographer's Formulary (where I get mine) and a number of other suppliers. PMK works well with tray developing, but not as well with rotary processing, since it oxidizes rapidly. I use it for sheet film and 120; for 35mm I still think D-76 is better.

Andrew O'Neill
27-Dec-2012, 11:41
In that case for rotary, use PMK's variant, Rollo-Pyro.

Jay DeFehr
27-Dec-2012, 12:34

None of the above are single solution developers, like Rodinal, but 510-Pyro (http://pyrostains.blogspot.com/)is.

Here (http://pyrostains.blogspot.com/2007/10/staining-and-tanning.html) is a short summary of tanning and staining.

I've formulated a new staining developer for portraits I call Portrait Pyro (http://www.flickr.com/groups/pyrodeveloper/discuss/72157632252062346/). Portrait Pyro is also a single solution developer that is simply diluted with water to make a working solution.

27-Dec-2012, 16:23
I just used the exemple of rodinal more in the line of wanting a concentrated liquid dev, since I have no problem in using more than one liquid to do a working solution.
Beeing in Europe, I have a few options. Do ones I saw more is pyrocat-hd (but I do no think that is in glycol) and moersch finol/tanol.

Drew Wiley
27-Dec-2012, 16:58
I now use PMK for just about every kind of film dev in tray or hand tank (not for rotary!).
But there are several other highly versatile "pyro" brews (as noted above). The irony is,
what we casually term pyro actually involves two unrelated chemical agents, pyrocat and pyrogallol.

Jay DeFehr
28-Dec-2012, 09:40

While I agree pyrogallol and catechol are distinct enough to warrant distinct terminology ( I never refer to catechol as pyro), I wouldn't go so far as to say they are unrelated -- they are both tanning/ staining developers.


Any of the developers you mention will introduce you to staining developers, and they all make similar demands of their users. They're all two part, catechol+ developers, with the + ranging from phenidone in Pyrocat HD, to who knows what in the unpublished Moersch formulas. I'd say use whatever is most convenient. Good luck!

28-Dec-2012, 15:18