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Thread: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

  1. #1

    Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Hello group. I have used TXP for a few years and love it but the costs have lead me to try HP5 which offers similar traits at a lower cost. All in all the films are very interchangeable though I have noticed 2 significant differences. The first is that HP5 is more delicate than TXP, I get more fingerprints on it even though I don't handle it any more harshly than TXP.

    The second is more significant. I use Pyrocat in a semistand development with my films. I noticed that TXP stains better (more staining) than the HP5. This hasn't caused problems per say yet, but there are some scenes where I know I need more staining to restrain the extreme high values. This leads me to my question and the reason for this thread. Are there ways to increase staining? Specifically for HP5?

    What happens if instead of 1:1:200 I add more of the part B 1:1.5:200 - would a higher concentration of the B solution increase the stain?
    I already presoak all films for 2 minutes, should I increase the presoak?

    Any information, anecdote, or trick is much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Don't know if my comments will be of any help so, hopefully, Sandy King will jump in on this thread.

    I've never developed Tri-X in Pyrocat, but I have done a lot of HP5+ at 1:1:100 and 2:2:100. I use the latter dilution when developing for pt/pd. I can tell you that the stain in the 2:2:100 mix is more pronounced than the 1:1:100 that I use for silver printing; for HP5+. I'm curious why you use 200 parts water? Is this higher dilution intended to control extreme high values? I'm not sure how this higher dilution would affect the stain. You must be dealing with extreme contrast ranges because I shoot primarily in the desert southwest, USA, and I've never had a problem holding the high values with Pyrocat. As a matter of fact, if my intention is to develop with Pyrocat I place my important shadows where I want them and let the high end go where it may. You may just have to run some controlled tests, keep careful notes, and see what happens.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by RodinalDuchamp View Post
    Hello group. I have used TXP for a few years and love it but the costs have lead me to try HP5 which offers similar traits at a lower cost. All in all the films are very interchangeable though I have noticed 2 significant differences. The first is that HP5 is more delicate than TXP, I get more fingerprints on it even though I don't handle it any more harshly than TXP.

    The second is more significant. I use Pyrocat in a semistand development with my films. I noticed that TXP stains better (more staining) than the HP5. This hasn't caused problems per say yet, but there are some scenes where I know I need more staining to restrain the extreme high values. This leads me to my question and the reason for this thread. Are there ways to increase staining? Specifically for HP5?

    What happens if instead of 1:1:200 I add more of the part B 1:1.5:200 - would a higher concentration of the B solution increase the stain?
    I already presoak all films for 2 minutes, should I increase the presoak?

    Any information, anecdote, or trick is much appreciated.
    You have gotten used to the excess stain which builds in TXP. The stain in HP5 is more appropriate in that there is very little, if any, in the shadows, but perfectly appropriate in the mid-tones and highlights.,

  4. #4

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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    I haven't run any Tri-X though Pyro, but I printed a few HP5+ negs just yesterday that I had developed in pyrocat. Lots of stain, no doubt. I shot at box speed and developed some for 17 min at 1+1+100 and another roll at 20 minutes and the same concentration. I was surprised at how significant the increase in stain was, while the silver image hadn't gotten that much denser.
    Not necessarily very useful perhaps, but at the very least I can assure you that HP5+ stains just fine in pyro.

  5. #5

    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    You have gotten used to the excess stain which builds in TXP. The stain in HP5 is more appropriate in that there is very little, if any, in the shadows, but perfectly appropriate in the mid-tones and highlights.,
    You may be absolutely right! I find the higher stain attractive for some night scene that require long exposure but may contain an area of constant light, a streetlamp for example. It is in those instances where I'd like some maximum staining.

  6. #6

    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Don't know if my comments will be of any help so, hopefully, Sandy King will jump in on this thread.

    I've never developed Tri-X in Pyrocat, but I have done a lot of HP5+ at 1:1:100 and 2:2:100. I use the latter dilution when developing for pt/pd. I can tell you that the stain in the 2:2:100 mix is more pronounced than the 1:1:100 that I use for silver printing; for HP5+. I'm curious why you use 200 parts water? Is this higher dilution intended to control extreme high values? I'm not sure how this higher dilution would affect the stain. You must be dealing with extreme contrast ranges because I shoot primarily in the desert southwest, USA, and I've never had a problem holding the high values with Pyrocat. As a matter of fact, if my intention is to develop with Pyrocat I place my important shadows where I want them and let the high end go where it may. You may just have to run some controlled tests, keep careful notes, and see what happens.

    Good luck!
    You are correct the scenes I would like to have deeper staining in are ones usually at night with a high contrast but here and there, like a lamppost or any other constant lighting in the scene. Definitely a very particular scene, requiring a particular type of development. I have always used 1:1:200 and higher dilutions even in semi stand for up to 30 minutes

  7. #7

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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by RodinalDuchamp View Post

    The second is more significant. I use Pyrocat in a semistand development with my films. I noticed that TXP stains better (more staining) than the HP5. This hasn't caused problems per say yet, but there are some scenes where I know I need more staining to restrain the extreme high values. This leads me to my question and the reason for this thread. Are there ways to increase staining? Specifically for HP5?
    Any information, anecdote, or trick is much appreciated.
    I'm confused, you have a high contrast scene and want more stain? It seems like you are using dilutions and agitation methods to compensate for the high contrast mentioned in post #5. If that is the case more stain isn't necessary as the stain acts like density when printing.

    Also I wouldn't worry about being able to see the stain, some films appear to have more than other brands. The best thing would be to try the HP5 and see how it prints.

  8. #8

    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_4622 View Post
    I'm confused, you have a high contrast scene and want more stain? It seems like you are using dilutions and agitation methods to compensate for the high contrast mentioned in post #5. If that is the case more stain isn't necessary as the stain acts like density when printing.

    Also I wouldn't worry about being able to see the stain, some films appear to have more than other brands. The best thing would be to try the HP5 and see how it prints.
    Before this thread devolves I'd like to re-emphasize, I am looking for ways to increase stain. Once I can do that I can test xyz. I gave an example of a situation merely for discussion.

  9. #9

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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by RodinalDuchamp View Post
    Before this thread devolves I'd like to re-emphasize, I am looking for ways to increase stain. Once I can do that I can test xyz. I gave an example of a situation merely for discussion.
    How much stain you get is a property of the film emulsion and the particular staining agent you are using. You can tweak it a little with changes in dilution and time, even agitation methods, but you aren't going to change the inherent characteristics much. Many films (TXP included) exhibit a lot of overall staining. This is not really desirable, as it blocks up the shadows a bit. The goal is to always keep overall staining to a minimum. BPF-200 was notorious for a lot of general stain; TXP is in the middle somewhere, TMY and TMX exhibit much less, and the negatives look much less colored. The stain is there, however. I often shoot TXP and TMY back-to-back in the same holder; two shots per scene. The negatives look markedly different, but they print just fine.

    The stain we want is the proportional staining, which means, more silver in the image = more stain too. Ideally, then, the film base and deep shadows should be clear and neutral and the high-density areas should have the most staining. The silver image, however, masks the stain color, so the "ideal" stained negative will not look very green/yellow.

    If you think that increased stain somehow has a compensating effect on the highlights (i.e., will keep more detail in them), then you are barking up the wrong tree. More stain = more contrast. The reason staining developers are so good for retaining highlight detail is the curve that results from the combination of silver+stain, which is a bit more shouldered than most curves from non-staining developers. My primary reason for using staining developers is the grain-masking effect of the stain and the edge effects you can get from them.

    If you want more stain, you can always bleach and redevelop your negative. I do this routinely when I have the occasional negative that needs more contrast. Use a ferricyanide/bromide rehalogenating bleach and bleach the silver image away completely. If you've developed in a staining developer, all that will remain is the stain (you could compare the actual amount of stain in two different films this way; by bleaching the silver away and then looking only at the stain...). Anyway, after bleaching, redevelop the negative in a staining developer. You'll get the silver image back plus another dose of stain, doubling the amount of proportional stain. This method can be very gratifying for thin negs.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #10
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    Re: Promoting Pyro Stain on HP5

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post

    If you think that increased stain somehow has a compensating effect on the highlights (i.e., will keep more detail in them), then you are barking up the wrong tree. More stain = more contrast. The reason staining developers are so good for retaining highlight detail is the curve that results from the combination of silver+stain, which is a bit more shouldered than most curves from non-staining developers.
    +1

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