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Thread: Pyro restaining?

  1. #21

    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Sorry, but I can't resist jumping in here. I feel somewhat qualified to speak to this issue by virtue of the fact that I've probably used PMK longer than just about anyone on this board, and that's so because Gordon gave me the formula in 1984 to test out and give him feedback on before he published "The Book of Pyro" in 1991. Finding PMK to be completely satisfactory, I've used no other developer since obtaining the formula PMK from Gordon in 1984. Here, as I see them, are the facts as they relate to after staining:

    (1) The added stain is general, not proportional;
    (2) The added stain is negligible (at least that is so with AgfaPan 100 which I was using at the time, BPF 200 which I ill-advisedly went to when AgfaPan 100 was discontinued, and FP-4 which I have used exclusively since abandoning BPF 200 ... all rinsed in a plain water bath after developing and then fixed in a plain sodium thiosulfate bath without metabisulfite, sodium sulfite, or alum; and
    (3) The negligible added stain neither helps nor hinders silver-gelatin printing to any significant degree; however, it does lengthen the amount of time you spend processing the negative. I used to opt for the second bath if I had a negative that seemed a bit thin, but I never found the procedure to be useful in salvaging such negatives. These days, I discard them and move on.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com

    ps. In addition to me, Gordon also gave the formula to Steve Simmons, Ralph Talbert, Jim Galvin, and one or two others for testing.

  2. #22
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Glad you did not resist -- thank you! I found that Bergger200 stained pretty heavily compared to other films...but it has been awhile and not a controlled experiment.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Please read my previous post. The second round of staining is NOT negligible with thicker emulsion films but can be quite heavy and require substantially longer exposure times. I also differ on your opinion of Bergger 200 and PMK, which was a marriage made in heaven - but I'm referring to 8X10 format; I'd never use it for small or medium format. Bergger 200 would of course be classified as a somewhat thick emulsion, not to the degree of Super XX, but analogous, so absorbed a lot of the staining property.

  4. #24

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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Quote Originally Posted by NER View Post
    I used to opt for the second bath if I had a negative that seemed a bit thin, but I never found the procedure to be useful in salvaging such negatives.
    Perhaps a more effective method woud be a selenium bath, this may deliver +1N equivalent contrast boost, but of course it won't recover shadow detail that's not recorded.

  5. #25
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    And like pyro developing, selenium toning will not help/save an underdeveloped and/or underexposed negative. One has to have some silver on the neg to work with.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #26

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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Perhaps a more effective method woud be a selenium bath, this may deliver +1N equivalent contrast boost, but of course it won't recover shadow detail that's not recorded.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    And like pyro developing, selenium toning will not help/save an underdeveloped and/or underexposed negative. One has to have some silver on the neg to work with.
    Pere,

    Selenium intensification on negatives developed in PMK (and possibly Pyrocat as well) neatly removes the image stain, making the net gain in contrast just about zero. It does work well on negatives developed in non-staining developers, though, giving just about an N+1 increase in contrast. It doesn't help the shadows any, however, as you and Vaughn point out.

    For intensifying PMK negatives, I bleach and redevelop in PMK, which gives an additional layer of stain and results in more contrast. Interestingly, this does seem to help shadow detail a bit. I'm not sure why, but there is a small, but noticeable increase. I've found bleach-redevelop to be a good tool for the occasional weak PMK negative.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #27

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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Pere,

    Selenium intensification on negatives developed in PMK (and possibly Pyrocat as well) neatly removes the image stain, making the net gain in contrast just about zero. It does work well on negatives developed in non-staining developers, though, giving just about an N+1 increase in contrast. It doesn't help the shadows any, however, as you and Vaughn point out.

    For intensifying PMK negatives, I bleach and redevelop in PMK, which gives an additional layer of stain and results in more contrast. Interestingly, this does seem to help shadow detail a bit. I'm not sure why, but there is a small, but noticeable increase. I've found bleach-redevelop to be a good tool for the occasional weak PMK negative.

    Best,

    Doremus
    Thanks, I'll keep that information.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Pyro restaining?

    I once concocted a pyro tweak which left only the stain itself, and no visible silver image at all, yet involved no bleach step. I have no idea why it worked, and it worked only with HP5. But once HP5 was "improved" to its current "plus" version, it didn't work anymore. A mystery. Those experimental 8x10 negatives looked totally blank to the naked eye. You could detect the image only through a deep blue filter. But they printed magnificently with an especially full range of tonality on a very hard grade of paper, or onto certain VC papers exposed through a deep blue filter. I forgot where I put my formula notes, having misplaced them ever since no other film proved amenable. But it was an interesting brief episode. I rarely selenium enhance pyro negs. It has only a minor effect anyway; and in my case, selenium intensification never reduced the pyro stain a bit. So my method of using it must differ from Doremus. I take that route only when I want to differentiate contrast locally, to just one dippable section of a neg and not the rest, kinda like AA did with his Moonrise neg.

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