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Thread: Pyrocat HD Problem

  1. #1

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    Pyrocat HD Problem

    I just processed 2 batches of film, Acros and TMY-2, and they both came out grainy and not sharp. I have been using Pyrocat as my main developer for years and have never had this problem, and can't figure out where I went wrong. Both batches of film were processed at 72º with agitation at 4 minute intervals, just as I always do. I was using freshly mixed developer (about 1 hour old). Any ideas? Did I leave something out when I mixed it? Was the Pyrocat too fresh? I will toss this batch and mix a new one, but this is a real head-scratcher for me. Don't ask how important this film was...

  2. #2

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wasserman View Post
    I just processed 2 batches of film, Acros and TMY-2, and they both came out grainy and not sharp. I have been using Pyrocat as my main developer for years and have never had this problem, and can't figure out where I went wrong. Both batches of film were processed at 72º with agitation at 4 minute intervals, just as I always do. I was using freshly mixed developer (about 1 hour old). Any ideas? Did I leave something out when I mixed it? Was the Pyrocat too fresh? I will toss this batch and mix a new one, but this is a real head-scratcher for me. Don't ask how important this film was...
    No idea what happened but the Pyrocat can not be too fresh. I often use it right after mixing. If I were you I would process one more test roll and if it is also grainy and not sharp I would toss the stuff you just mixed and mix a fresh batch. I would suspect that something is wrong with either your chemicals or mixing because for a negative to come out visually grainy and not sharp with any developer suggests something very drastic is wrong.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
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  3. #3
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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Was this Pyrocat-HD in glycol?

    If not, how old is the "A" concentrate?

    I use Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 at 70F. Continuous agitation for the first minute. Then agitate for 15 sec. every two minutes.

    The only time I had a result similar to what you describe was when I formerly used old Pyrocat-HD in water and accidentally mixed the wrong amounts of "A" and "B" concentrates.

  4. #4

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    1 hour is way to long in advance to mix Pyrocat developer, at least in my experience.
    Mix it as you prewash your film so it fresh.
    After one hour oxidation will have taken the best out of the mix.

  5. #5

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    No idea what happened but the Pyrocat can not be too fresh. I often use it right after mixing. If I were you I would process one more test roll and if it is also grainy and not sharp I would toss the stuff you just mixed and mix a fresh batch. I would suspect that something is wrong with either your chemicals or mixing because for a negative to come out visually grainy and not sharp with any developer suggests something very drastic is wrong.

    Sandy

    I find it really strange, the density and contrast are correct, it's just clearly unsharp and grainy.

  6. #6

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Pedersen View Post
    1 hour is way to long in advance to mix Pyrocat developer, at least in my experience.
    Mix it as you prewash your film so it fresh.
    After one hour oxidation will have taken the best out of the mix.

    What I meant was I mixed the stock concentrates one hour before I used them. I do mix the working solutions as the film soaks in a prewash.

  7. #7
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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Both these films are very prone to grain clumping/micro reticulation due to temperature changes in the processing cycle, including washing.

    The visual effects are very noticeable grain.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    I'm with Ian; nothing I can think of better explains how the film could be visibly grainy and unsharp, yet maintain normal density and contrast.

  9. #9
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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    I should add that until I saw this for myself when a friend processed a roll of Tmax 400 using my developer, stop, fix, tank, thermometer etc I wouldn't have believed it could happen.

    The roll of 120 Tmax 400 was excessively grainy and lacked sharpness, my 35mm Tmax 400 was normal. As the developer was the same replenished Xtol the only difference was the control of temperature. The 120 film itself came from my stock.

    Back in Turkey I process Acros at 27º C in the summer with no issues, but then it's very easy to keep the temperatures stable well within +/- 1º C as 27º C the ambient water temperature, even when it's ver 40º C outside.

    Others have reported similar excessive grain problems related to temperature variations, and full reticulation with Neopan 400 particularly in Rodinal.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    Re: Pyrocat HD Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    Both these films are very prone to grain clumping/micro reticulation due to temperature changes in the processing cycle, including washing.

    The visual effects are very noticeable grain.

    Ian
    This is certainly a plausible explanation and makes more sense than a mistake in mixing the developer. I'm fairly obsessive about having everything at the same temperature–I use an Intellifaucet, water-bath when I can, etc, but of course could have blundered somewhere without realizing it. I've been using Pyrocat since Sandy King went public with the formula, and have developed I don't know how many sheets and rolls of film with it, and never had this problem. The joys of photography, always something new!

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