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Thread: comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

  1. #1

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    I'd like to here peoples experience and views on these developers ABC Pyro, PMK, Dixactol and any other pyro or pyro type developer.

    At the moment my recent use of ABC Pyro looks to be the best dev I've used, film being HP5+ there seems to be some loss of speed but the tonal gradation is marvellous.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Chris, I started out using PMK and swore by it, until I tried DiXactol. This is a real gem of a developer, good degree of staining and lovely crisp negs. The good thing about it is the fact that it is fine with almost every film type imaginable and the instructions that accompany the developer are amongst the best you will find. Excellent keeping qualities and Barry Thornton sells concentrate A and B separately to compensate for using more of type B for varying dilutions and whether you use single or 2 bath set up. Well worth a try, especially as you are in the UK. Regards Paul

  3. #3

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Yes Dixactol is a fine developer I've used it for over a year now. Two problems though, grain if your using roll film format can be an issue and separation of the middle tonal values can be lacking, but overall yes Paul I agree with you. Barry is very helpful.

  4. #4

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Who sells this DiXactol in U.S.? -jeff buckels

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Also started out with PMK and since I mix it myself, tried the ABC+ and like it a bit better since I'm going for a looong scale that can get too much stain with the former. I've had very little luck with HP5 film though and mostly use FP4. In fairness I never tried to get the HP5 tuned right and it seems like tonality was very flat and heavy.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  6. #6

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Photographers' Formulary, Inc. / for Dixactol and loads of other stuff in the US

  7. #7

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Like Paul I've used both Pyro and DiXactol. Of the two I find Pyro to be sharper and finer grained especially with Delta 100 both 120 and 4x5. Here in the UK there is a new type of pyro about to go on sale by a company call ed Creative Monochrome Ltd., e-mail I'm told it does away with the second staining bath. If it passes their tests it should go on sale by the end of September. I've asked for a test sample so I'll let fol k know if its up to scratch.

    All the best,

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    I used PMK and loved the look of the negatives. I used it in tanks with 120 and 220 film and in trays with 4x5 and 8x10 film (HP5+ in all cases except one disaster with T Max). I continued using it until I decided to run some tests to see just how much better my prints were with PMK negatives as compared to negatives developed in my previous developer. So I made the same photograph twice, developing one in PMK and one in my normal developer (D 76 diluted 1-1). I did this several times. I found that I could make exactly the same print from either negative using my normal paper (Kodak Polymax Fine Art). At first I thought it was because the scene I was photographing was a low contrast scene so I repeated the same test with several high contrast scenes. Same result. Then I tried some in between contrast scenes. Same result. A friend of mine was doing the same thing at the same time and getting the same results (he was using Rollo Pyro and developing in his Jobo system). So we thought that perhaps our pyro negatives weren't being properly developed. To check this, my friend sent some of his negatives to a well known pyro user and writer. He was nice enough to look at them and returned them, saying they looked fine. That seemed to eliminate a bad pyro negative as the cause. Since I found that I could apparently make absolutely identical prints with and without pyro, all that PMK accomplished for me was to greatly increase the exposure time under the enlarger and increase my expenses. So I quit using it. I have come to believe that there's a lot of myth floating around about pyro by people who look at the negatives, get great prints, and think it must be the pyro. Based on my experience, which may be atypical for some reason but if so I don't know why, I suspect the same great print could have been made without pyro and with a lot less time, trouble, and expense.
    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.

  9. #9

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    ABC Pyro seems to give more contrast than PMK. Paula and I tried PMK and did not see any advantages over what we had been using for many years. There is less stain with ABC, but it yields beautiful negatives with plenty of contrast if exposed and developed properly.

    Michael A. Smith

  10. #10

    comparison of Pyro and Pyro type developers

    Brian I have used ID11 and D76 the thing that distinguished pyro was the edge sharpness and suble texture to the tonal separation which gave a tactile almost 3D effect especially with clouds. A few years ago I visited a show called "Coming to light" which contained 19c and 20c work, the difference interms of print quality was stark. OK a good part of that is because of LF plates and contact printing but pyro etched out the sharpness.

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