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Thread: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

  1. #1
    Jeffery Dale Welker
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    Sep 2006
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    Mesa, Arizona
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    Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    Returning to LF and recently tested several 4x5 film offerings. Ilford's FP4 just seemed to speak to me more than the others. Following the KISS principle (thanks Kirk), I'm going with one film (FP4) and one developer (Pyrocat HD in glycol). PCHD will be a new experience for me coming from a Rodinal and HC-110 background in my 120 work. Someday I intend to own a Jobo CPP3; however, for the time being I'll be developing my 4x5 work in one of the SP-445 Compact 4x5 units - a couple of sheets at a time. The SP-445 holds 475ml, so I'm thinking the 1:1:100 solution should be fine? I also intend to use the minimal agitation method. I apologize for the lengthy preamble, but I'm hoping the information is helpful to those that may respond.

    Because the SP-445 "tank" is somewhat new system, not rotary and not tray, I'm wondering how to establish a minimal agitation development time that will get me into the ballpark quickly?

    Any comments, suggestions or recommendations you could offer would be sincerely appreciated. For those not familiar with the SP-445 "tank", I've attached a photo below to help illustrate.

    Thank you;

    Jeff D Welker

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    Easiest way to tell is to shoot a few frames of the same thing, same exposure and process to see where you are at.

    With a bit of luck you'll get very close within 3-6 sheets of film.

    Once you have a couple negatives that look good to - make prints from them and let that be your guide to which development time and agitation works best.

    You can always fine tune once you are in the ballpark. Good luck and enjoy your darkroom time.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  3. #3

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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    I use the inversion method of agitation with my SP-445 tank. To avoid leaks, give the tank a squeeze before screwing on the caps so the developer is right up to the top. It's a sweet system.

  4. #4

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    Oct 2015
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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    Minimal agitation means different things to different photographers, but... If you do a 3 - 5 pre-soak, develop at 70 degrees, initial agitation of 1 min followed by about 10 secs agitation every few minutes, Sandy King (the creator of PCHD) recommends extending development time by roughly 50% more than the times as shown in the instruction sheet. Of course, as others have already suggested, only testing for yourself will really tell the tale.

    Good luck and have fun!

  5. #5

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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    If you really want a short cut for FP4 and Pyrocat HD, Steve Sherman has a "Premium" (paid) video illustrating his technique and he provides his times and dilutions for N and N+++++ and N------.
    So far it has not let me down using the SP445 tank instead of his tubes. Just have to do the math for the lower volume of the tank.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  6. #6

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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    you need an air bubble to get good replacement of chemicals when using inversion.

  7. #7
    Jeffery Dale Welker
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Mesa, Arizona
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    Re: Pyrocat HD + SP-445 Compact 4x5 Film Processing System

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    If you really want a short cut for FP4 and Pyrocat HD, Steve Sherman has a "Premium" (paid) video illustrating his technique and he provides his times and dilutions for N and N+++++ and N------.
    So far it has not let me down using the SP445 tank instead of his tubes. Just have to do the math for the lower volume of the tank.
    Thank you for the comments Eric. I'm especially hearted to know you are using the SP445 tank. By coincidence, this morning I purchased Messrs. Sherman's "Premium" video. I've not had a chance to watch it yet, but am looking forward to learning from his work.

    Just to make sure I understand your comment, other than performing computations to account for differing volumes of solution, you're following Steve's methods/techniques for minimal agitation?

    Thanks again;

    Jeff

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