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Thread: Issues with Pyrocat-MC… Any suggestions?

  1. #1
    Lachlan 717
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    Issues with Pyrocat-MC… Any suggestions?

    I am trying to get my head around Pyro-MC and not having much luck.

    As background, here is what I'm doing:

    *Pyrocat-MC from Photographers' Formulary. Tried both tap water and distilled. Parts A&B added by syringe (one for each bottle; thoroughly clean). Mixed at 3:3:300ml in clean cylinders;
    *Kodak TXP @ 9 minutes as per the recommended starting point;
    *JOBO processor set at 3 seconds;
    *20 degrees for all chemicals;
    *Tried both water stop and Foto Speed SB50 stop;
    *Tetenal Superfix as the fixer (checked as being pH neutral).

    As for results, I am getting really, really thin negs with only highlight details; nothing at all in the shadows. Basically base+fog and a couple of weak highlight areas.

    As a control, I have processed identically exposed sheets in Tetenal Ultrafin with no issues whatsoever. Nice, robust negs with no issues in tone range.

    Before I head out and do even more test developments (messing round with Dev times to see if I can get some more density/image on the sheets), can anyone shed some light on this? I'd like to know why the images are so far off being even acceptable. Am I doing something significantly stupid?

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Lachlan 717; 25-Jul-2010 at 19:26. Reason: Been watching too much Doogie Howser
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  2. #2

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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    What EI did you use for the TXP?

  3. #3
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall View Post
    What EI did you use for the TXP?
    Shoot several at both 320 and at 400 (the latter as suggested by Formulary).

    Both worked fine with the Tetenal Ultrafin developer (developed alternate sheet; i.e. shot 2 sheets of same image. Processed one in Pyro and one in Tetenal for a control).
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  4. #4

    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    I had similar issues with Pyrocat MC from Formulary. It didn't work with any film I tried. All negatives were blank or very thin. Try to increase amount of developer, use 2:2:100 or more. I asked them to replace it by Pyrocat HD, this facility seems to have issues with QC sometimes. When I mixed MC myself from raw chemicals, it works, but I still have to use it in 2:2:100.

    --Sergei

  5. #5
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergei Antonov View Post
    I had similar issues with Pyrocat MC from Formulary. It didn't work with any film I tried. All negatives were blank or very thin. Try to increase amount of developer, use 2:2:100 or more. I asked them to replace it by Pyrocat HD, this facility seems to have issues with QC sometimes. When I mixed MC myself from raw chemicals, it works, but I still have to use it in 2:2:100.

    --Sergei
    Interesting, Sergei, interesting.

    What makes this weirder is that the first batch that I did came out fine. Nice stain, nice detail, nice tones.

    I am very, very careful with cleaning/contamination. I have no idea right now...
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  6. #6

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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    I have only tried Pyrocat-HD. Wonderfu negs, but it always gave me 1 stop less speed than I got with the same film using XTOL. I tried a greater developer concentration and a few other modifications, but the difference remained.

    Try shooting the TXP at 160 and see if that does it for you.

    Also, if your negs are thin, but have some detail, try scanning or printing them. Many of my Pyrocat negs were very thin and still printed wonderfully.

  7. #7
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Ron.

    Strangely, the results over a 3 day period seem to be rapidly declining. As I mentioned, the first batch I did seemed to work fine. The second gave thin results, causing me to think that I might have exposed poorly (even though the same shot with Tetenal worked well).

    I then tried a batch with some Rollei R3 that produced absolutely no image. I was given this film (10 sheets) and had no info on its processing, so I just put through a couple of sheets at 9min@so degrees, 1:1:100. Absolutely clear film. Not a hint of detail.

    I put this down to the weirdness of the film, not having the proprietary developer and no idea on times.

    Then I shot an indoor scene, processed for 9min@20 degrees. I only got the highlights from the overhead skylight. The rest was clear.

    So, I took some shots in my yard of a general scene - highlights, mid tones and some shade under a tree. Again, nothing but weak buildup in strong highlights.

    Just seems to get weaker and weaker development….
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  8. #8

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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    It sounds like it has been diluted and then re-used which doe snot work. This is a one shot developer. The concentrate should not lose vitality over such a short time. If the concentrate is mixed with glycol rather than water, the life span is tremendous. It takes a little chemical tricking of the metol to get it to dissolve in the glycol.

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    It sounds like it has been diluted and then re-used which doe snot work. This is a one shot developer. The concentrate should not lose vitality over such a short time. If the concentrate is mixed with glycol rather than water, the life span is tremendous. It takes a little chemical tricking of the metol to get it to dissolve in the glycol.
    Jim,

    Definitely used as a one-shot.

    Made 306ml batch up each time, using carefully cleaned vessels. And the syringes I use are specific to the bottle used (I have an A and a B syringe).
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  10. #10
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Issues with Pyrocat-MD… Any suggestions?

    What about suggested changes to development times?

    Can anyone provide a guesstimate on how long I should try just in case my 9 minute period is the issue?

    I'm really doubting this is the issue; if there was some non-highlight detail things might be different, but there is none.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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