My 510-Pyro Adventures Have Begun!

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Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill

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Very informative video that demystifies 510-Pyro! Thanks for sharing.

I hope you'll talk about grain in the next video.

You know... grain is just something that I never think about as I use mainly large format 😄 Maybe I should test it with HP5 rolls films, and make some enlargements. Thanks, Raghu!
 

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Here's a funny thing: a couple of days ago I contacted Andrew because it turned out we were running nearly the same experiment at the same time! So I wrote a blog about it - have a look here and compare the results if you will:

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this cyanotype:
Cyanotype-from-dye-stain-image.jpg

In the blog I explain towards the end what it is you're looking at :smile:
 

Dennis S

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Made some 510 Pyro the other day and just tested it today with some 35mm Kodak 5222@250 and it was difficult finding a developing time for it exposed at 250 but I found a time in Darkroom Solutions chart which stated 8:30 which seemed better than the Massive developing Chart that said 7 min. Found I may need to change the time to 10 min as it was slightly under developed. I must say I am very impressed with the results of this developer as there was no indication of grain so in LF the negatives must look great. Going to get out my C330 and use some Foma or HP5 and hopefully be impressed with that. I have not had my 4x5 camera out for a while but having a great developer may inspiration to get it out and practice with a few sheets
 

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As to grain: at some point I tested 510 side by side with Pyrocat HD, a Patrick Gainer vitamin C concoction and instant Mytol (XTOL clone), using Fomapan 400 as a test film because it's the grainiest thing I had on hand. For me, the conclusion was:
* Mytol was the winner in terms of grain, followed by 510 Pyro as I recall, but Pyrocat HD and 510 Pyro were very close to one another.
* I did not like the overall tonality of 510 Pyro and this particular film when compared to Pyrocat HD, which was the winner on this criterion for me. The 510 negatives had harsh transitions that almost looked like posterization, whereas pyrocat gave a more smooth tonality that looked more linear. Mytol did quite fine; close to Pyrocat in this respect.
* Mytol gave the best speed; it preserved more shadow detail than any of the others.

The Vitamin C developer performed the worst in all respects. I stopped using it. Of the staining developers, 510 didn't have sufficient advantages over Pyrocat for me to keep using it. The slightly better grain rendition of 510 was trumped by Mytol. As a result, I now use Pyrocat HD when I want something that stains, and I use Mytol if it needs to be fine-grained. Since Pyrocat is a little quicker to mix up to working strength solution, I use that most of the time.

I never cared for the thick syrupy nature of 510 pyro, which makes it somewhat awkward to measure out and dissolve. I also noted that it was more prone to uneven development (surge marks) in both rotary processing and reduced agitation schemes than e.g. pyrocat. I think 510 is an OK developer, but for me, there are alternatives that have the edge, so I rarely use it now.
 

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Thanks Andrew. What I like about your videos is that your conclusions are the kind that are clearly right as the evidence for those conclusions are there before my eyes

This might seem to be what's expected of any video but in some cases presenters seem to need to reach conclusions that do not always seem to match what they have demonstrated

pentaxuser
 

Dennis S

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One roll test wasn't the ultimate investigation but I have seen that it may depend on the film used. I have found that Pyrocat HD when used on Orwo UN 54 film leaves pinholes in my negatives. I have tried remixing P Cat HD/HDC and using stop or water and tried different fixers but they were still evident. Developed in PMK or ID-11 no pinholes evident so it wasn't the film that was the problem. I have some Fomapan 400 120 film loaded and am anxious to see the results using my fresh 510 Pyro.
 

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Thanks Andrew. I always enjoy your videos, and I'm impressed by your production skills. Although I tried 510-Pyro I don't use it as I found its shadow speed to be quite low. I only mixed up one batch, and I used Neopan400 which is sadly discontinued.

I was looking forward to your video to see what sort of speed you could achieve. Maybe I'm not interpreting your numbers correctly, but at around the 8 minute mark in the video, it seems that Zone_II is 0.11 above FB+F which suggests that it's about a stop slow, as that's what is usually aimed for for Zone_I. If your metered speed was 250, that would then indicate that the combination is around 1.6 stops under box speed. Is that a correct interpretation?

It was good to see the acidic fixer issue put to rest (and by Koraks too).
 
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Andrew O'Neill

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Thanks Andrew. I always enjoy your videos, and I'm impressed by your production skills. Although I tried 510-Pyro I don't use it as I found its shadow speed to be quite low. I only mixed up one batch, and I used Neopan400 which is sadly discontinued.

I was looking forward to your video to see what sort of speed you could achieve. Maybe I'm not interpreting your numbers correctly, but at around the 8 minute mark in the video, it seems that Zone_II is 0.11 above FB+F which suggests that it's about a stop slow, as that's what is usually aimed for for Zone_I. If your metered speed was 250, that would then indicate that the combination is around 1.6 stops under box speed. Is that a correct interpretation?

It was good to see the acidic fixer issue put to rest (and by Koraks too).

Yes, 0.11 is Zone I... indeed a stop lower for Zone II placement. If I had metred at EI o 250, my Zone II density would have been higher...probably around .25. More acceptable. I believe I got slightly higher Zone II density, when I did my push test with Xtol-R. So, 510-Pyro really isn't a good candidate for pushing... I'll have to do more field tests with 510-Pyro using a lower EI! Thank you very much for commenting, John! I really do appreciate it!
 

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Did an experiment using 510 Pyro on MF film using Fomapan 400 @ 400 film and I have no complaints with this developer. Used my Mamiya C330 with my new to me 180 f4.5 lens. Nothing great but the lens/developer test worked for me.
 

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john_s

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What is often not remembered about EI is that how you use your meter makes as much difference. For example, a prolific poster here always uses box speed, but selects the placement of values according to his experience rather than just point and shoot. When I'm using a meter that's got a rather broad measuring angle (Mamiya 6) I set EI at half box speed and am not particularly fussy about placement except avoiding too much sky. Both of us are probably achieving the same thing.

Would you say our EIs are the same?
 
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Andrew O'Neill

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I know who you speak of... I would never work that way as I would always have under exposed negatives. His Zone III and my Zone III are wildly different, I am sure. EI's are important to me and how I work... Especially when I'm working with a hand held, 1degree spot. Dennis used his C330, which requires a hand held metre of some sort...So, I feel my question is valid. We choose a way that works best for us.
 

Ian Grant

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I know who you speak of... I would never work that way as I would always have under exposed negatives. His Zone III and my Zone III are wildly different, I am sure. EI's are important to me and how I work... Especially when I'm working with a hand held, 1degree spot. Dennis used his C330, which requires a hand held metre of some sort...So, I feel my question is valid. We choose a way that works best for us.

Your Spotmeter is a hand held meter. I guess you mean an Incident or Reflective way of metering.

One idle afternoon after shooting in Cornwall 3 or 4 members of this Forum sat in the sun in Cornwall, we all used different meters, and films. But on comparing exposures allowing for different EI's, f stops and shutter speed, etc we were all within 1/3 of a stop. That was the tear of the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano eruption and the US & Canadian photographers had to cancel their UK & Cornwall visit . . . . .

So it wasn't the method of metering, but as you say choice of placement, what we might both think was Zone II being placed on Zone III.

I use my camera's built in meters, spot meters, various Gossen Incident/Reflective meters (sometimes with the 5º/10º attachments) I have two).

We have to learn how best to use our cameras and lenses, but it's equally important to know to get the best from our meters.

Ian
 

John Wiegerink

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Equipment and technique do not matter as long as the end result is to your liking and capable of being repeated. My very first 35mm SLR was a Miranda Sensorex, which I used for many years. I didn't know much about "technique" back then and would just set the ASA dial to the box speed. Worked like a charm! Then I bought my first of many Nikons and was shocked at the difference in exposures between each camera. I didn't like Nikon because I could not use the "box speed" like I did with the Sensorex. I brought the Nikon to my local camera repair shop/friend to have it checked out. He did and said there was nothing wrong with it. I explained to him about the difference in metering between the two cameras. He just laughed and then gave me my very first lesson in metering pattern differences. He explained that the Miranda had a bottom weighted meter pattern built into the mirror system and the Nikon was more "center weighted". The Miranda was taking a reading that included almost no sky. While the Nikon included a portion of the sky. The reason I liked the Miranda better seems to be my liking of more than adequate exposure. I learned very fast to like the Nikon when I learned how to meter with it. You hear so many folks on here ask, what did you rate this, that or the other film at. It might get you close using somebody's rating, but most likely won't get you what you want. You have to take the time and the pain to find that out for your equipment and your technique. There ain't no free lunch! Besides, that's what make photography fun and intriguing.
 

Dennis S

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I was not trying to make the best quality of photograph I could as this was just a free hand fast & dirty test of a lens and developer. I was just glad that something reasonable turned out on the film and to me that was what I was looking for. I just shot at box speed with the time and aperture my Sekonic meter suggested and it was sprinkling rain slightly so I went with the lowest f stop possible (4.5) so I could get back inside where it is warm and a flash may have helped but I only needed a fast photograph nothing more. I also could have used a tripod to do better but that was not something I would want to do in the cold and humid condition that day offered. Thanks for the tips as any input is great from other film photographers and will be applied when I want a quality photograph.
 
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Dennis S

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As far as photography goes it is just a box with a hole in it and the equipment is functioning properly leaves something good on the film. And technique I feel if it is your camera/lens and film you should be able to put what you want on it without the approval/disapproval of anyone else as there is so many variables involved for the perfect picture in film photography.
 
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Andrew O'Neill

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As far as photography goes it is just a box with a hole in it and the equipment is functioning properly leaves something good on the film. And technique I feel if it is your camera/lens and film you should be able to put what you want on it without the approval/disapproval of anyone else as there is so many variables involved for the perfect picture in film photography.

Agreed! Take a look at my 14x17, for example. It's a DIY. It's a piece of crap... but... I am able to make well exposed negatives with it. That is down to careful technique. 😄
 
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I have found that Pyrocat HD when used on Orwo UN 54 film leaves pinholes in my negatives. I have tried remixing P Cat HD/HDC and using stop or water and tried different fixers but they were still evident.

I too faced the same problem with Orwo UN54 - Pyrocat combination. I reported the problem to Filmotec but they didn't acknowledge any flaws in the film based on the batch number. I guess the pinholes were probably due to the use of carbonate as the accelerator. Switching to @mrred's borax-lye concoction solved the problem, in case you want to give it a try. YMMV.
 

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I too faced the same problem with Orwo UN54 - Pyrocat combination. I reported the problem to Filmotec but they didn't acknowledge any flaws in the film based on the batch number.
This incompatibility is not unique. Adox CHS 100 II is known to be incompatible with certain pyro developers. From what I understand it is not only the carbonate, but the working pH seems to be the cruel pit as well. Both datasheets, CHS's datasheets as well as Finol's datasheets, mention this.


[URL unfurl="true"]https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/files/articles/Finol 16 Oktober 2015.pdf[/URL] (Note: look for the 'II' version of CHS)

 
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This incompatibility is not unique. Adox CHS 100 II is known to be incompatible with certain pyro developers. From what I understand it is not only the carbonate, but the working pH seems to be the cruel pit as well. Both datasheets, CHS's datasheets as well as Finol's datasheets, mention this.


[URL unfurl="true"]https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/files/articles/Finol 16 Oktober 2015.pdf[/URL] (Note: look for the 'II' version of CHS)


Interesting! No idea about CHS 100 II as I've never used it, but using @mrred's carbonate substitute (pH in the same ball park as carbonate) appears to have solved the problem for Orwo UN54. And we must also note that many seem to have used Pyrocat HD with Orwo UN54 without any problem.
 
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