Inspection of Pyrocat HD negs after processing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rick Olson, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Rick Olson

    Rick Olson Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    U.S. Pacific Northwest
    Large Format
    I am testing Pyrocat HD with Efke, Ilford and Kodak films and looking to those experienced with this developer for some guidance. Here are the details: I am developing 120 film using the 1:1:100 dilution (for silver prints) and developing in a Peterson tank at 20 degrees C with 60 seconds constant agitation for the first minute, then ten seconds for each additional minute thereafter. I am using a water stop and then fixing in TF4, as directed. Wash is based on the Ilford multiple inversion method. Now my question: I am used to non-staining developers and what the resulting negative looks like when dry. I have developed a few rolls already in Pyrocat HD and have noted the slight brown stain. Other than the stain, should the negatives be similar in appearance to film processed in a "conventional" developer? I read in some posts that pyro negatives might look "thin" but the density of the stain makes up for this when printing. My first batch of negatives (Ilford FP4 and Efke 25: 20 degrees C for 11 minutes) look like rolls I have developed before with lots of contrast and clarity (not thin). I don't have a densitometer and want to do this by eye. Thanks for your help!
  2. mark

    mark Member

    Nov 13, 2003
    Think Chocolate. My negs have a milk chocolate look. I have also noticed that there is more detail in the dense parts of the neg than what I was getting with regular developer. I intentionally shot a very contrasty scene and developed my negs in pyro-cat and D76. Pyro cat had a lot more detail. I did not notice that the negs were thinner.
  3. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

    Nov 13, 2002
    New Jersey
    With Pyrocat HD the negative should look fairly normal with a brown tinge to the negative and very little stain in the shadow (clearer) areas of the negative. PMK, by contrast, would have a strong yellow-green stain all over the negative.
    The best way to determine if the negative is ok, of course, is to make a quick test print. Until you get used to the appearance of the negatives, (and even after), it's the best way to judge a negative.
    Take care,