Trouble with Pyrocat HD/Jobo expert drum

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by gephoto, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. gephoto

    gephoto Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Anybody have a problems with developing 4x5 negs in Pyrocat HD in Jobo Expert drums? I did a shoot at a favorite spot exposing 8 4x5 HP5+ sheets. I developed 4 in D-76 1:1 and the other 4 in Pyrocat HD using the same Expert drum. The D-76 negs look great and the Pyrocat HD negs look very WRONG! By that I mean a barely visible image as though there was extreme under-exposure, which was not the case. I'm scratching my head on this one. I mixed the developer 1:1:100 like the directions suggest. I've tried using the 4x5 reels in the smaller (2700?) tube but I get strong bromide streak marks on the film edges...not acceptable. I'm considering going back to using the Rollo Pyro formula (also called ABC Plus Pyro at Photogs Formulary).
    Is Sandy King out there somewhere? Any experienced help much appreciated.
    Cheers! and thanks in advance everyone!
    Grant
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    5,438
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Grant,

    Sounds to me like you did not add both A and B to the working solution, even though you believe you did so. When one fails to add the B solution, which is the alkaline accelerator, the result will be a very faint image, pretty much as you describe. There is of course always the possibility that your stock solutions may be bad from age or contamination.

    Pyrocat-HD has no problem with Jobo Expert drums and/or BTZS tubes. Many people develop with these combinations without issue.

    Sandy King






     
  3. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Gosh Grant...interesting information, and you must have been really upset. However, all might not be lost. Quick question: Did you do a test print at least of any of the images? One thing I noted very quickly is that the stain with Pyrocat is very misleading, and one might conclude that the negative in question is very thin UNTIL you make a print. The stain with RP is very impressive with lots of detail, etc. That green stain will blow you out of the darkroom! Looking at the same scene properly exposed and developed in Pyrocat HD is blah, blah, blah....UNTIL you develop the prints.

    Can you give us some information about the time of development, and the temperature you are using? How about the exposure...you are certain that no errors were made ( we have all made them Grant! ). Are you using BTZS curves? If so, there is some great information on Ed's site about proper exposure based upon SBR, etc. I have some really fine TMax 400 negatives made with Pryocat HD and my Jobo expert tanks at 24C, and am about to venture forth with some HP5. We can discuss the relative merits of prints made with Pyro and other developers at another time, but for now let's see if we can solve the issues you have raised. Please do a contact print ASAP and let us know what you find Grant. Based upon the results we can possibly add some additional suggestions. I know Sandy will chime in, and he is THE expert of course.

    Ed
     
  4. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    As per Sandy's points, I assumed you added the solutions correctly. Is Sandy correct in his evaluation about the solutions? If so, you have....pardon the pun...the solution Grant!
     
  5. John W

    John W Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi Grant,

    I had problems like that when my Pyrocat went off. It's important that the A solution never be contaminated with even a trace of the B solution. I'd actually done a few things to shoot myself in the foot: First, I created a 1:10 partial dilution of the A and B stocks to simplify measuring, which probably did nothing good for the developer's shelf life. More importantly, I'd very likely caused some cross-contamination at some point.

    These days I use Pyrocat HD in glycol, and keep marked, dedicated syringes for measuring out each of the A and B parts. No problems since..
     
  6. OP
    OP
    gephoto

    gephoto Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi all,
    Wow, thanks much for the quick response and the great suggestions from all. Sandy, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. It is highly possible that I could have added 2 "doses" of sol'n A and none of sol'n B, and I would be willing to bet that is why the negs turned out the way they did. I was pretty excited to do a comparison between Pyrocat HD and my usual D-76 developer. At any rate I will definitely try again. It's always nice to have an excuse to grab my LF gear and head out the door!

    Ed,
    Thank you for adding to Sandy's suggestions also. Just to let you know, I rated the HP5+ at 100 due to my use of a polarising filter. I developed the film cooler than suggested unintentionally at 68 F. The dilution was the suggested 1:1:100. I have developed Tri-X 4x5 rated @ 250 in Pyrocat HD and got a fully developed and stained negative, so I already had a good idea of what I should see on a properly exposed and developed sheet. I am keenly interested in where you got your BTZS film curves for this developer. Would you mind sharing this info with me? That would be very much appreciated if you would.
    BTW, can you guys tell me what the difference is between the standard developer and the newer version with glycol in it? Would like to know the advantages. Thanks again guys.
    Cheers,
    Grant
     
  7. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Grant,

    The Glycol version has keeping properties close to HC-110 (i.e. the stuff has a VERY long shelf life).
     
  8. erikg

    erikg Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    pawtucket rh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Grant, Do run your test again. I can say from my experience that pyrocat works great in the Jobo drums, both in the Expert and in the smaller drums. It is worth it for sure, and IMO pyrocat is superior to rollopyro, both in terms of overall image quality and in evenness of development.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    gephoto

    gephoto Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks John. Much appreciated.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    gephoto

    gephoto Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Erik,
    I definitely will run my test again. Have you used the 4x5 sheet film reels in the smaller 2700 Jobo drum? I processed some sheets in Pyrocat HD and did notice processing streaks on the film edges nearest the reel. I had even reduced the speed quite a bit. Thanks for your input with this.
    Grant
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    The glycol version does not just have glycol in it. It is in glycol. No water in the stock. The glycol is essentially a non-ionizing solvent. Pyrocatechin and Phenidone are both soluble in glycol. You can add ascorbic acid to the glycol solution in place of sodium sulfite, which is not so soluble, or add sulfite when you mix A and B to make the working solution.