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Thread: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

  1. #1

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    SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    I posted on another thread about blown highlights with Delta 100 and Rodinal. I am just not happy with the results in tonality (1:50) I have a ton of Delta 100 so that's not changing. I have Pyrocat HD from PF and have some test negatives exposed at 64 and 100 ISO. I just can't seem, after much searching, to find details on agitation and time for the Pyrocat in the SP445 tank. It's always tubes and tray info I'm finding. Is it possible to use this tank successfully? And what agitation would you start out with? I was going to start with the MDC times and agitation which is 16 minutes with the first full minute of agitation then 10 seconds every minute. Some posts say "Do NOT over agitate" while others say "You'll develop streaks if you don't agitate enough." These are not critical just tests, but any advice on how to start is appreciated. I have 2 sets of negs (2 each @64 and 2@100) so would like two approaches before the next run of tests. I'll do two runs of 2 negatives with 1 negative of each ISO.

  2. #2

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    16 minutes with the first full minute of agitation then 10 seconds every minute
    16 minutes may be a bit generous, but will likely work OK. Checking the massive dev chart I see the same 16 minutes for EI100 and agitation 10 sec per 3 minutes. So I'd probably go with something like 14 minutes if you agitate every minute.

    Agitation by 10 sec/minute will be just fine. I have used Pyrocat a lot with constant agitation as well and guess what...worked perfectly as well. Maybe a little higher b+f, but nothing that worried me personally. Only with very reduced agitation schemes (i.e. less than one agitation event per 3 minutes or so) I'd start thinking about streaks etc.

  3. #3

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    Thank you Koraks. I will be scanning all negatives so not sure if that makes a difference.

  4. #4

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    Scanning for many people makes a little easier to deal with negatives that are sub-optimal from a darkroom printer's perspective.
    If you had trouble with blocked highlights before, you may want to check up on your scanning approach as the problem may be in the digital path and not so much the negative itself. Reason I'm saying this is that I've dealt with my fair share of hopelessly dense as well as thin negatives and scanning nearly always allowed the production of (sort of) acceptable results when darkroom printing had become rather challenging already (to say the least).
    Although I have to admit that when it comes to very dense negatives, an enlarger has the edge over a scanner as you can generally burn through the dense areas, while a scanner may run into trouble. With thin negatives it's sort of the other way around; a scanner can pick up pretty subtle gradations that VC paper even at its hardest grade just refuses to translate into a meaningful contrast range.

  5. #5

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    I had studied Ken Lee and other scanning tutorials and I found some improvement when using "neutral" rather than the film specific setting on my 850. But its just something about the gradation in mid tones and highlights that doesn't seem to appeal to me no matter how much I scan, rescan. I don't get that subtle soft look I want. I get it more with Arista 100 but I only had a small amount of that to use. I have some Delta 100 processed by a lab and they all scan beautifully and look fantastic, so I thought I'd look at developer next. One thing I did NOT do which was recommended, was to use Rodinal at 1:100 instead of 1:50. May do that next.

  6. #6

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    Well this at least proves you can get from delta100 what you want. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how. Give it a try with the pyrocat, see what happens.

  7. #7

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    Here is a starting point from the pyrocat hd site. https://www.pyrocathd.5x4.co.uk/pyro...lopment-times/
    You could expose four sheets and develop each for a different time say 8-10-12-14, 16 minutes seems a bit long for Delta.

  8. #8

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    Thank you Andrew. I'll try a few things this weekend and post back.

  9. #9

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    If you have the chance (don’t know how hard it would be with the Stearman tank) I strongly recommend the time tests Andrew suggested. I recently retested my tray processing using Pyrocat-HD and Ilford HP5+, and found my correct time was significantly shorter than the Massive chart, and also the Pyro recommendations after adding time for both tray processing and VC papers. Doremus posted an observation that Pyrocat is significantly more active in hard water (my case) which may explain the difference. But the only way for you to know for sure in your case is to try different times and use a “proper proof” to find your best development time.

  10. #10

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    Re: SP445 tank processing Delta100 and Pyrocat HD help please

    How many sheets are you doing and what temperature and dilution? Pyrocat formulas HD and M are very dilute to begin with but can be used even more dilute depending on the density and contrast one desires. I lean a little thinner and bump up contrast in printing.

    Here is my current routine when not using Steve Sherman's EMA technique.

    For FP4+/Delta at EI 100 in SP445 tank at 70*F where scene falls between Zone3 and Zone8 and assumes I metered and exposed correctly.

    Pyrocat M Dilution 3.5A + 3.5B + 475W Single Sheet!!! (Add .5ml A and B for each additional 4x5 sheet) (Delta gets .5ml less part B)
    Presoak 5 mins
    Initial figure8 Agitation for 2 mins after filling ( this seems to prevent streaking)
    subsequent agitations at 3.5 Minutes for 30 seconds - Total time 12:30 . (Countdown Timer 12:30(2mins) , 7:15(30 sec) , 3:45 (30sec) , dump at 10secs-0.)
    I might agitate every two minutes if I want to expand slightly or if I have 3-4 sheets.
    water stop 1 minute continual agitation
    Fix TF5 - 5 minutes. 30 second intervals of agitate and rest.
    wash 15+ mins or shorter if I use wash aid.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
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