Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Pyro negatives low contrast

  1. #1

    Pyro negatives low contrast

    I am new to pyro and have only developed a few negatives. The first seemed ok but the last batch was very unsatisfactory. I used fp4 plus film and developed in trays of pmk pyro for 8 and 1/2 minutes according to the directions. I used tf4 fixer. I then contact printed the negatives and they all turned out very dull and extemely low contrast.
    They appeared muddy and a very gray color. I know there are many variables but
    does anyone have an idea what I may be doing wrong. They were developed in trays
    at 74degrees
    Jim

  2. #2
    Bob
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    223

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    Are you saying the negatives look muddy and gray or the contact prints. PMK negs look thin and a tad green if I remember correctly (haven't used it for a couple years), gray muddy contact prints sound like fogged paper.

  3. #3

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    The contact prints are the ones that look gray and muddy. I might try reprinting on different paper to see if that was the problem . Thanks
    Jim

  4. #4
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,488

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    James

    I find that with Pyro negatives my normal starting filter pack is much higher than that of lets say same film developed in D76.

    How do the negs look on the light box.... if ok I would suggest a higher paper grade.

    If the negs do not look ok then you are back to the drawing board.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    I find that with Pyro negatives my normal starting filter pack is much higher than that of lets say same film developed in D76.

    There is no reason for this to be true unless you are underdeveloping your Pyro negs. Any of the staining developers are quite capable of priving negs that will print well on a vc or graded paper in the mid range of contrast.


    The answer to the first question could be many

    do the recent batch of negs look like the earlier batches?
    is your paper developer exhausted?
    was your paper fogged?

    steve simmons

  6. #6
    David Vickery
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    216

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    James,
    The first thing to do is decide if the muddy prints are due to the film part of it or to the paper part of it. How does the film look? Is it flat and dense? Or just Flat? Is it under-exposed and over-processed?

    I don't have much experience with PMK, but 74 degrees seems high for a Pyro based developer. In my experience with Pyro, it is a vigorous agent and I had to keep the temp down at or below 68 degrees in order to have enough control.
    Based on what you said, my guess is that you over-processed the film.
    Excessive Staining of the film can cause a muddy, flat print. When I did try PMK I thought that it produced too much staining and not enough contrast. But I did not work with it long enough to work that out. I switched to ABC and then SD-1.
    Sudek ambled across my mind one day and took his picture. Only he knows where it is.
    David Vickery

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Posts
    769

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    The negative itself could be low in contrast. I am assuming your subject had enough contrast (both luminance range as well as local contrast) to start with. If you are using VC paper with pyro negs, you will often find low contrast prints. Keep in mind the green stain of a pyro neg and the fact that green light is low contrast light with VC papers. You might have to use much stronger filtration. It might help if you could give us more info - film used, paper used, paper developer etc. Cheers, DJ

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Fort Worth TX
    Posts
    250

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    I agree with Steve's assessment. PMK is able to produce great looking negs. I did start to see the developer deteriorate (lose its umph) after about 22 mins. You did make up a new mixture when you developed the last batch didn't you? I consider working mixtures to be one shot. Use and toss.

    lee\c

  9. #9
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,488

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    Have to disagree,
    PMK negative vs D76 negative both properly exposed and developed will give you different starting points with your filter pack, I have never seen a Pyro processed negative printing at the same lower filter of the D76 negative. I would also add that a Rodinal processed negative will need a slightly higher filter pack than that of the D76 negative. I am printing from various process dev types weekly and this has always been the case in our shop.
    The PMK that I use is the Gordon Hutchings Formula.
    A basic VC filter starting point that I am finding for Pyro Negs, is g2 or g2 1/2 with an g5 second exposure.
    A basic VC filter starting point that I am finding for D76 Negs, is g1 or g1 1/2 with an g5 second exposure.
    Could be the water up here or something??


    Quote Originally Posted by steve simmons View Post
    I find that with Pyro negatives my normal starting filter pack is much higher than that of lets say same film developed in D76.

    There is no reason for this to be true unless you are underdeveloping your Pyro negs. Any of the staining developers are quite capable of priving negs that will print well on a vc or graded paper in the mid range of contrast.


    The answer to the first question could be many

    do the recent batch of negs look like the earlier batches?
    is your paper developer exhausted?
    was your paper fogged?

    steve simmons

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: Pyro negatives low contrast

    When I hear "gray and muddy prints" the first thing I think of is fogged or extremely outdated paper, the second thing is exhausted developer.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

Similar Threads

  1. Semi-stand for high or low contrast scenes?
    By Ben Calwell in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 30-Aug-2006, 19:35
  2. Pyro and 4x5 negatives
    By Rory_3532 in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2005, 11:11
  3. Zone system for low contrast scenes?
    By Neal Shields in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2004, 13:13
  4. Pyro and contrast
    By John C Murphy in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 11-Aug-2004, 17:43
  5. Printing Pyro Negatives with POP
    By Manuel Gomes Teixeira in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2000, 08:49

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •