Pyro advice

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Gerry M

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I'm considering trying some form of Pyro to develop 35mm & 120 film. I generally use ACROS, FP4+, FP5, TriX, AristaEdu 100,200 & 400. I no longer have a darkroom, so limited to scanning, if that makes any difference. Any input on which Pyro to use? I will probably order Formulary from Freestyle. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,
Gerry
 

TheFlyingCamera

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I'm a big fan of Pyrocat-HD. If you aren't going to use it all reasonably quickly (or don't know how long it's going to take you to use it), order the Photographers' Formulary version in Glycol. If you are going to burn through the entire bottle tout suite, then get whoever's version is cheapest.
 

jim appleyard

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Another vote for Pyrocat HD., although PMK has many users. I never had good luck with PMK, but my experience is limited.
 

TheFlyingCamera

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PMK is fine, but it has a propensity to build general stain and not just proportionate to silver density, so it acts like base fog and extends exposure times when printing. It also has a tendency to be a speed-reducing developer, so you will probably find that negatives 1-2 stops overexposed relative to what you give when using a more traditional developer will give better results, particularly with regard to shadow detail.
 

Regular Rod

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I'm considering trying some form of Pyro to develop 35mm & 120 film. I generally use ACROS, FP4+, FP5, TriX, AristaEdu 100,200 & 400. I no longer have a darkroom, so limited to scanning, if that makes any difference. Any input on which Pyro to use? I will probably order Formulary from Freestyle. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,
Gerry
510-PYRO is fantastic, I've used it with FP4 Plus, HP5 Plus, ACROS, CHS25 ART, Fomapan 100, Fomapan 200, Pan F Plus and found it to be very reliable. It lasts for donkey's years and you dilute it between 1:100 and 1:500. It is superb for tonal range and is one of the best compensating developers too. It costs peanuts. Here's a link to a review: Dead Link Removed

RR
 

jstraw

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I wish I could still get the 510 Pyro kit. I've had bad luck trying to mix my own. I loved that stuff.
 

Regular Rod

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I wish I could still get the 510 Pyro kit. I've had bad luck trying to mix my own. I loved that stuff.

I didn't know about a kit. I just bought the ingredients. To heat up the TEA I stand a Pyrex graduated jug, with the TEA in it, in a saucepan of boiling water on the stove top. Bring it up to 64 deg. C and put in the chemicals in the order listed. Stir it until all is dissolved then add and stir in more TEA until the volume is made up to the required level. I usually make 200ml and share it with my best friend. We seem to use it up at the same rate.

Another brilliant "PYRO" developer uses Pyrocatechin. It is even cheaper than 510-PYRO. It consists of two stock solutions and is used 1:500 up to 1:1000. It goes a very long way. It's called OBSIDIAN AQUA and was invented by the same man who invented 510-PYRO, Jay DeFehr. It is very sharp, yet still produces fine grain and a full tonal range. I like it for sheet film best but have used it for 120 roll film with pleasing results. I think the tonal range of 510-PYRO is better though, just...

RR
 

JW PHOTO

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Thanks to all for your input. I will probably be giving Pyrocat-HD a try.

You can't go wrong with Pyrocat-HD, but don't just judge your negatives by looking at them. They may appear thin or with little contrast, but that's a fooler. Scan or print them to find out. Good stuff, last forever and best of all, from a Hollanders standpoint, IT'S DARN CHEAP! JohnW
 

PhotoJim

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It depends on which "pyro" you want to use. Pyrocat uses pyrocatechin; PMK uses pyrogallol. Pyrogallol is the original "pyro" but both have their adherents.

I like both but love the nearly indefinite shelf life of PMK stock solutions and have thus settled on it. Yes, it has general stain but I don't care what the printing time is; I care how good the prints are.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I posted this over at the LFF and I figured I'd do the same here. Wanted to get up close and personal with grain after developing a sheet of 8x10 FP4 in pyrocat-hd and another in Obsidian Aqua. From my eye, it appears that OA has a slight edge in sharpness. Pyrocat-HD's grain appears softer. But, you be the judge.
I'll keep playing around with it. Particularly interested to see how it behaves as a stand/semi-stand developer.
 

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JW PHOTO

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I posted this over at the LFF and I figured I'd do the same here. Wanted to get up close and personal with grain after developing a sheet of 8x10 FP4 in pyrocat-hd and another in Obsidian Aqua. From my eye, it appears that OA has a slight edge in sharpness. Pyrocat-HD's grain appears softer. But, you be the judge.
I'll keep playing around with it. Particularly interested to see how it behaves as a stand/semi-stand developer.

Andy,
I read your comments sometime back on the LLF forum, but this is the first time I've seen the results. It does seem to have slightly sharper grain, but how are the tonal qualities compared to Pyrocat-HD. I like Pyrocat-HD, but I think I like the looks of Pyrocat-MC a little better. Both HD and MC negatives print very nicely and that's coming from a so-so printer. JohnW
 

Axle

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I've started working with PMK Pyro. And so far, loving it! Used it with Efke R50, TXP (At ASA-250), Ilford Delta 100 (4x5), and Adox CHS100 (35mm). Plus I can get it shipped up here to canada as it comes in powder form from Formulary. Below image is TXP at ASA-250.

 

Andrew O'Neill

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Andy,
I read your comments sometime back on the LLF forum, but this is the first time I've seen the results. It does seem to have slightly sharper grain, but how are the tonal qualities compared to Pyrocat-HD. I like Pyrocat-HD, but I think I like the looks of Pyrocat-MC a little better. Both HD and MC negatives print very nicely and that's coming from a so-so printer. JohnW

John, I can't really say until I print the negative. But, going by the negatives, tonally speaking I would say very, very similar. If you are happy with pyrocat-hd and MC, I'd stick with them. My main developer has been pyrocat-hd for years. I only tried OA because I ran out of the Chemical for stock solution B, and I always wanted to try Jay's Obsidian Aqua.
Here are some better comparisons: The image on the left is the pyrocat-hd negative. OA neg is next to it. I indicated in red on the OA neg where the crop came from, from both negatives. That translates to quite a large enlargement. The difference is there, but very subtle.

Axle, that's a lovely image. Why not mix PMK from scratch? You can source chemicals from Nymoc in Toronto. I have contact info, if you're interested.
 

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jim appleyard

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There's also WD2D from the Formulary and that's a fine dev. I used it once and got great TX negs; I really should call and get more of it.
 

el wacho

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Andrew, thanks for the comparison. Could you tell us more about your development procedure for OA, what EI you are getting and any other observations.
 
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