Pyrocat and Ilford Hypam fixer question

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Melisa Taylor

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Leon mentioned a while back that Ilford Hypam is a decent fixer for Pyrocat processing. When I bought the Hypam, I went ahead and bought the fix hardener solution, too. I'm not sure if I need to use it, though.

Has anyone used that combo before? Do I need the hardener? I'm going to develop 120 film (tmax 400, ilford delta 400) if that makes a difference.
 

dancqu

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Is that hardener for that fixer? Hardener is for an acid
fix. Do you want an acid fix for Pyrocat processing? Dan
 

Bob F.

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With a working strength ph of 5.0 - 5.5 without hardener, Hypam is somewhat acidic. Adding the hardener will make it even more so: not good. It is recommended (but not essential) to use an alkaline fixer for Pyrocat-HD (and other staining developers) as an acid fix is alleged to eat stain. In any event, you don't want to make it more acidic than it already is by adding hardener. In the same vein, I suggest you use a plain water stop, not acid.

Cheers, Bob.

P.S. I should add that this is all "book knowledge" based on what I have read - I've only just started using Pyrocat myself...
 
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fschifano

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It's my understanding that the sole reason for using a pyro developer is to develop a stain that aids highlight contrast and masks grain. Well, if using an acid fixer detroys this stain then what's the point of going through all the trouble of using the pyro developer in the first place? Pyro developers are not cheap and have a limited lifespan. Without the stain, the results may not be appreciably or actually better than a more common MQ or PQ type of developer. I think you'd be much better off getting an alkaline fixer like Photographer's Formulary TF-4 and being sure that you'll get the results you want. Oh yeah, avoid the acid stop bath on this one too.
 

sanking

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Melisa Taylor said:
Leon mentioned a while back that Ilford Hypam is a decent fixer for Pyrocat processing. When I bought the Hypam, I went ahead and bought the fix hardener solution, too. I'm not sure if I need to use it, though.

In my own work processing film in Pyrocat I use an acetic acid stop bath of 1/2 normal strength and TF-3, an alkaline fixer that I mix from a formula in The Film Developing Cookbook. However, if Hypam were all I had I would not hesitate a second to use it with Pyrocat. My experience is that the stain produced by Pyrocat is almost entirely image stain that will not recede, at least not very much, in an acid fixer.


Sandy
 

gainer

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I say leave out the hardener because it is not necessary and it might have an effect on the selective tanning action of all the staining developers. I don't know that it will or wont, just that it is not needed. The selective tanning of this class of developers, which includes pyroallol, catechol and even hydroquinone in low sulfite solutions, is said to be an important contribution to their acutance by virtue of the fact that the resultant relief image refracts the light at sharp edges in such a way as to make them print even sharper.
 

Tom Stanworth

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I started using a Barry Thornton alkali fix after water stop, then ran out and tried plain old water and acid fix....then acid stop and acid fix and guess what????????

No difference to my eyes. As I stated in a different post, the subtle difference may be important (I dunno) for graded papers or alt process, but I cannot see any visual difference. I get rich brown negs either way which print with exceptional acutance and I get great highlight compensation. ie all the good reasons to use such a dev remain even after acid stop and fix.

Tom
 

Leon

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sorry Melisa - I didnt mention about the hardener ... I have never used it, so I dont tend to think of it. Just the hypam will do as others have already said.
 
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