Finally had it with Pyro.

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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foolscape
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Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby foolscape » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:29 pm

I've been threatening to do this for a few years, but I've finally decided to stop using PMK Pyro. I've had too many negatives ruined. I want to switch to another developer as my mainstay. I've used 510 Pyro, Pyrocat HD, Xtol, D76, F76+, HC-110, Ilfotec HC, Rodinal, Formulary 777, and Edwal 12 (plus a few others) in the past. Xtol has tended to give me flat negatives. HC-110 is versitile, but the contrast isn't always thrilling. I was told that Edwal 12 makes HP5+ "sparkle." It does, but it leaves a shiny film on the negative that has to be removed before drying. I missed a small strip of this film on a stunning 8x10 negative of Three Creeks Lake in Oregon, and it left a strip of higher density in the sky portion of the negative.

What i'm looking for is sharpness, versitility, good for Zone System, and good for varying contrast through development (i.e. stand, minimal agitation, or 2 bath).

I've narrowed down the list.

Xtol: Maybe I can get better contrast out of it. Plus: not as toxic. Minus: flat.
HC-110: Plus: versitile. Minus: flat.
F76+: Plus: Can be diluted for contrast, but I haven't tried.
D76 (or Divided D76): The standard.
DK-50: I haven't tried it yet, but some folks swear by it.

I'll also take suggestions. Any ideas?


KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby KennyE » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:04 pm

Sorry to hear about your failures. It seems that you use pre-mixed developers. Maybe you should try to mix your own and you may find what you are looking for.

Do you do large format and roll film, or just large format?

Thank You


KennyE

foolscape
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby foolscape » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:15 am

I've always mixed my own. I use PMK primarily for large format, and occasionally for medium format.

Ornello
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Ornello » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:33 am

What format are you using? Any developer will give "flat" negatives if the film is developer for too short a time for that combination.

Microphen, Ethol UFG, D-76 are good choices.

Ilford makes a nice variety of powdered and liquid developers:

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/pro ... developers

KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby KennyE » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:07 pm

Gary:
I review your photos posted on Flick and there are many that you have done in PMK, that have came out in good condition. Could it be that you are not staying consistent, in your development skills?

You must set up a routine and keep good notes on your development habits, to make good comparisons of your work.

Here is a trick that I do. I go around to restaurants and obtain used oil carboys, the 5 gallon plastic cooking oil carboys. I use hot water, soap, and chlorine, to clean them out, and then I fill them with cooled down boil water, and store them in my lab at room temp..., between 67 to 70 degrees. So that I have good temps on my development, stop, and washing process.

Thank You

KennyE
Last edited by KennyE on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ornello
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Ornello » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:36 pm

A lot of people don't know that many substances can be used in developing film. Many good developers can be made from just a few ingredients, and altering the proportions of Metol, hydroquinone, sodium sulphite, sodium carbonate, and borax will give you a developer for almost any purpose you can imagine.

foolscape
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby foolscape » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:52 am

Ornello wrote:What format are you using? Any developer will give "flat" negatives if the film is developer for too short a time for that combination.

Microphen, Ethol UFG, D-76 are good choices.

Ilford makes a nice variety of powdered and liquid developers:

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/pro ... developers
I shoot mainly large format. Thanks!

Ornello
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Ornello » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:02 am

foolscape wrote:
Ornello wrote:What format are you using? Any developer will give "flat" negatives if the film is developer for too short a time for that combination.

Microphen, Ethol UFG, D-76 are good choices.

Ilford makes a nice variety of powdered and liquid developers:

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/pro ... developers
I shoot mainly large format. Thanks!
I don't see any reason why D-76, HC-110, DK-50, DK-60a (are these still made?) or any of the Ilford products won't work well for you. With large format, unlike miniature format, slight difference in developers are all but invisible. In miniature format, especially with fast films, subtle differences are usually apparent, even if not always significant. I could tell the difference between the Paterson developers FX-39 and Acutol, in large-diameter enlargements, when directly compared side-by-side. FX-39 seemed to give slightly finer grain and slightly less shadow detail. Sharpness was basically the same. In large-format work this would be impossible to see because of the low magnification. Many contemporary large-format workers have become caught up in the exotic-developer fad. It's almost as if it's de rigueur if you are to be taken seriously. It's hilarious to me that with all the really fine developers out there that have been formulated since Metol and Phenidone were discovered, some consider it necessary to use the exotic and unreliable Pyro formulas. Stuff 'n' nonsense!

Lowell Huff
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Lowell Huff » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:46 am

I try not to be too demonstrative about Clayton Products when making comments in these formats but; you mention Clayton Developer, F 76+, as one you might try. I will tell you that, without exception, it has the versitility to meet any condition or application you would require. We recommend it for use in both manual and machine processing and for any size format. I also recommend it as a first developer in reversal processing. You can vary the dilution to accomplish push or pull development or adjustment for contrast and exposure. I had occassion to develop Tmax 3200 to asa 25,000 and the results amazed even me. It is a gamma one developer that has the widest latitude and control available.I have never had anyone tell me that their results were not to expectations.
Enough from me, try it and I will guarantee it will be your developer of choice.
Lowell Huff

KennyE
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby KennyE » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:29 pm

Ornello:

DK-50 and DK-60a, are no longer in production. Kodak ended their production in or around the same time that they ended Microdol-X.

My error, Formulary makes their copy of DK-50.


Thank You


KennyE
Last edited by KennyE on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby KennyE » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:32 pm

Lowell:

Are you in the mood to test one of my "brews". I could ship it to you..., "asap". You'er invite too "Foolscape".

Thank You

KennyE

Lowell Huff
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Lowell Huff » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:58 pm

Kenny
I am a scientist not a photographer. I am a manufacturer not a experimenter. What scientific information would you like to know about your "brew?" I don't need the "brew" because I would rather look at a 1 liter mix and a 21 step wedge of the curve produced on a TriX or HP5 film when processed as the film manufacturer says it should be. Other than you, what is the demand for your "brew?" What science makes your "brew" unique?
Issac Azamoff said" its not that I believe all scientists to be correct but non scientists to be wrong."
Lowell

Ornello
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby Ornello » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:16 pm

Something old isn't necessarily better or worse. Pyro isn't better because it's old, nor is Rodinal (nor are vinyl records, LOL). D-76 was formulated in 1927, fer cryin' out loud! The point is that reliability and consistency are often the most important factors. Rodinal would not have been so popular if it had not been for the fact that it keeps well. Its speed and image characteristics are inferior to those of most developers (and I will not even consider any claims to the contrary, so save your breath).

I have made prints using amidol developer and they were spectacular, but I am not sure whether that was due to the amidol, as the negatives I selected to print with the amidol were some of my best. I have used several of the old Defender-Dupont and Gevaert formulas with similar excellent results.

Yes, you can make extraordinary prints with "plain old" formulas if you take care in your technique and use the best materials.

KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby KennyE » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:08 pm

Lowell, I am well aware of Issac Asimov, a fellow Sci-Fi nut and fellow Jew. I went to New York to speak with him after his divorce in 1973 or 74. And we said a lot to each other at a university get together. But he was a real loner, and after the war, he did very little work in his field. He was lost in his own thoughts and belief. And I will leave it at that.

But I had no idea that you were not a amateur or a professional photographer. I approach this merely as a hobby, and not as a matter of ones life's work. I was hoping to see if you could obtain the same or similar performance from my brew, as I had. And compare the results. Yet since you do not have a interest in that realm. I will withdraw my request.

I merely wanted to bring others into the developments and formula makeups, of the things I do. Because most of my old friends in film photography has past on, or are really feeling their years and are in too much arthritic pain to move, to go shoot film. I made the offer to you, without first checking to see if we were on the same or similar page. I bow to my error in judgment.

I know about the properties of those chemicals, I just wanted to share it with others. Just a mere dream of an old fool.


Thank You


KennyE
Last edited by KennyE on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

foolscape
Posts: 181
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Re: Finally had it with Pyro.

Postby foolscape » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:44 am

Lowell Huff wrote:I try not to be too demonstrative about Clayton Products when making comments in these formats but; you mention Clayton Developer, F 76+, as one you might try. I will tell you that, without exception, it has the versitility to meet any condition or application you would require. We recommend it for use in both manual and machine processing and for any size format. I also recommend it as a first developer in reversal processing. You can vary the dilution to accomplish push or pull development or adjustment for contrast and exposure. I had occassion to develop Tmax 3200 to asa 25,000 and the results amazed even me. It is a gamma one developer that has the widest latitude and control available.I have never had anyone tell me that their results were not to expectations.
Enough from me, try it and I will guarantee it will be your developer of choice.
Lowell Huff
Actually, I've tried it before. That's the reason it's on my list. Not to gush, but I won't use any other fixer but Clayton AFC for prints, and I've used Clayton print and film developers many times since I built my darkroom in 2005.

--Gary


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