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12-03-2015, 09:11 AM   #16
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I think I'll try D-76 it will be fun to try out another long lived dev, I've been having a lot of fun with Rodinal. Pyrocat sounds quite tempting too.

For Pyrocat, you mix it each time you dev? How noxious is it, I usually work in a basement laundry room, ventilation is not terrific for high vapour chemicals so for now I'd really like to avoid them. How do you dispose of the spent solution, store it and take it to a hazardous waste drop off?

12-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
I think I'll try D-76 it will be fun to try out another long lived dev, I've been having a lot of fun with Rodinal. Pyrocat sounds quite tempting too.

For Pyrocat, you mix it each time you dev? How noxious is it, I usually work in a basement laundry room, ventilation is not terrific for high vapour chemicals so for now I'd really like to avoid them. How do you dispose of the spent solution, store it and take it to a hazardous waste drop off?
Mat's Favorite Developer - Pyrocat HD! | Film Photography Project

QuoteQuote:
So now that we’ve covered all that’s great and wonderful about Pyrocat HD, onto the not-so-good bits. Pyrocat HD is a catechol-based developer. While it’s not the most toxic developer out there, I would advise using gloves and good ventilation at all times when using this film developer. Constant exposure and repeated, careless skin exposure are not recommended as catechol is in irritant, sensitizer, and can cause long term organ and tissue damage
12-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
if you really want to get experimental try a staining developer like PyrocatHD, it is less sensitive to variations in agitation, doesn't have the mottling issues of PMK, and PyrocatHD has lower toxicity than standard PMK.
Yeah, but you can compress the hell out of your highlights with PMK Pyro. I shoot 100 film at ISO 12 and 400 film at ISO 50 (to compress high values) and get good results with it. Over at the large format forum, PyrocatHD is very popular. I've seen a lot of results from it and yet none look any better than my postings from PMK Pyro. Post some large dynamic range shots of yours that you took using that developer and I'll post some of mine with PMK and we'll see how much difference it makes. Or, perhaps, post some of your PMK shots you took using it to point out some problems with it.

Last edited by tuco; 12-03-2015 at 12:11 PM.
12-03-2015, 12:30 PM   #19
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I'll second the recommendation of HC-110. It is tremendously versatile, and can give fine grain on faster films. It is my preferred developer for Tri-X and is winning out over semi-stand with Rodinal for XP2. I once read that HC-110 (US concentrate) diluted 1+49 for 8 minutes at 20C will work for any film. I have tried it with a good number and it hasn't let me down yet.

12-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #20
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I'm not too worried about skin contact, I have a lot of other hobbies where I need to wear gloves to protect from sensitization, I always wear them while developing. If I have to wear my 3m respirator to use this stuff, I probably wont use it as often...
12-03-2015, 07:36 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Yeah, but you can compress the hell out of your highlights with PMK Pyro.
With platinum printing the added highlight density is a godsend, I don't have to use contrast masks, remember preparing those?...they were such a PITA to align.

---------- Post added 12-04-15 at 01:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
For Pyrocat, you mix it each time you dev?.
you can, but personally I mix up the solution in propylene glycol - it lasts for about 2 years.

QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
How noxious is it, I usually work in a basement laundry room, ventilation is not terrific for high vapour chemicals so for now I'd really like to avoid them.
The standard formulation of PyrocatHD isn't too bad, it does contain Catechol is what you really need to watch for. But it isn't anything like working with isocyanides - crack open an ampoule of n-butyl isocynanide and people will give you dirty looks from across an open football field in seconds. That stuff REEKS.

Last edited by Digitalis; 12-04-2015 at 05:58 PM.
12-03-2015, 08:31 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
With platinum printing the added highlight density is a godsend, I don't have to use contrast masks, remember preparing those?...they were such a PITA to align.

---------- Post added 12-04-15 at 01:38 PM ----------



you can but personally I mix up the solution in propylene glycol - it lasts for about 2 years.



PyrocatHD isn't too bad, Catechol is what you really need to watch for. But it isn't anything like working with isocyanides - crack open an ampoule of n-butyl isocynanide and people will give you dirty looks from across an open football field in seconds.
I'm more familiar with acetone, phenol epoxy smells and welding fumes, but I believe it!

So if I read things correct, PyrocatHD has a compound that has Catechol in it... but it's not straight, and as such not a big deal unless you do something really daft? And you mix up a certain amount of both A and B with distilled water and it'll keep for 6 months? I'd probably avoid PEG if possible.
12-03-2015, 10:21 PM   #23
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I would give a vote for coffee developing. It's cheap. It works and can give reliable and consistent results when your process is consistent.

i use plain caffenol-c often, and get great results with scanning and printing.
Tri-X and Ultrafine Xtreme in both the 400 and 100 iso work well in coffee.

I also vote for d-76, standard and reliable results as well.

12-03-2015, 10:43 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
So if I read things correct, PyrocatHD has a compound that has Catechol in it... but it's not straight, and as such not a big deal unless you do something really daft? And you mix up a certain amount of both A and B with distilled water and it'll keep for 6 months? I'd probably avoid PEG if possible.
In water the Catechol in Pyrocat HD makes more of a stink, Catechol is absorbed through the lungs and skin, so Id say that gloves and working in a well ventilated area is a good place to start with this. I use propylene glycol which doesn't have that effect, and enhances the longevity of the developing solution. Depending on the quality of water you are using a Neutral to alkaline PH works best for Pyro based developers, acidity interferes with the action of Catechol and reduces the degree of staining on the film - this is a variable that can be used if you don't like the increased density, a highly diluted solution of acetic acid can be used to control the amount of stain.

Last edited by Digitalis; 12-04-2015 at 05:56 PM.
12-04-2015, 08:58 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by 45 Mike Quote
I would give a vote for coffee developing. It's cheap. It works and can give reliable and consistent results when your process is consistent.

i use plain caffenol-c often, and get great results with scanning and printing.
Tri-X and Ultrafine Xtreme in both the 400 and 100 iso work well in coffee.

I also vote for d-76, standard and reliable results as well.
I love coffee, and I like DIY stuff, so I've definitely wanted to try Caffenol-c. From what I've seen, the results are fun and interesting but super grainy. I'll have to check it out some time soon when I'm looking for the effect.

I ordered a packet of D76 from my local camera shop last night, thanks guys!

---------- Post added 12-04-15 at 11:07 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
In water the Catechol in Pyrocat HD makes more of a stink, Catechol is absorbed through the lungs and skin, so Id say that gloves and working in a well ventilated area is a good place to start with this. I use Polyethylene glycol which doesn't have that effect, and enhances the longevity of the developing solution. Depending on the quality of water you are using a Neutral to alkaline PH works best for Pyro based developers, acidity interferes with the action of Catechol and reduces the degree of staining on the film - this is a variable that can be used if you don't like the increased density, a highly diluted solution of acetic acid can be used to control the amount of stain.
Ah, I had been mixing up PEG and ethylene glycol in my head, I was thinking I didn't want bother with it when I was confusing it with the toxicity of ethylene. :P

If/when I get into PyrocatHD, I'll probably use some mix of PEG and distilled water.

By the way, thanks for all of the helpful information, it's been really useful, I appreciate it!

Last edited by bobbotron; 12-04-2015 at 09:08 AM.
12-04-2015, 10:17 AM   #26
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Here is a shot i did with caffenol-C

12-04-2015, 10:24 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by drmoss_ca Quote
I'll second the recommendation of HC-110. It is tremendously versatile, and can give fine grain on faster films. It is my preferred developer for Tri-X and is winning out over semi-stand with Rodinal for XP2. I once read that HC-110 (US concentrate) diluted 1+49 for 8 minutes at 20C will work for any film. I have tried it with a good number and it hasn't let me down yet.
That is not completely true. At a mixture of 1:49 my developing times range from 5.5 minutes for X-ray film @400 to 12 minutes of FP4. But the 1:49 is such an easy mixture to calculate as just divide the amount needed by 50. It is practically the only developer I currently use as I also still have some Technical Pan and its dedicated developer. I too have been thinking of a pyro for my large format but for 135 and 120 I like the results and the ease of using HC110. In those formats I mostly use Acros 100 and TMAX400 but also Arista.edu of our pinhole and toy cameras and have other 135mm of the "OH you shoot film still here have some of my Kodak or Ilford flim that I will never use"
12-04-2015, 02:00 PM   #28
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XTOL is very good, has a speed increasing capacity close to DD-X. It might give you a little more sharpness and perhaps a tiny bit finer grain if diluted 1+1. And it works well with most films too.
I used it a lot, it is maybe my favourite developer, but right now Im in a DD-X period... Also a very nice dev...
Good luck!
12-04-2015, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #29
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Some people think that shooting BW film at, say, a rating of ISO 80 for their 100 film makes a difference. It doesn't with a figital workflow. At least with my figital workflow. I shoot without a light meter a lot and round all my exposures to 1-stop increments. And yet I have plenty of latitude in the image editor to adjust it darker and lighter.

The following pictures were all taken without a light meter and all full-stop increment exposures. A 1/3 or even 1/2 stop exposure adjustment to these images really wouldn't change a thing.

The Cannon Beach sea stack shot I compressed the blacks in the image editor for taste because I had plenty of exposure in the low values to do so. When converted to sRGB for web display from ProPhoto RGB in the image editor I did lose some high values just around the edge of the sun behind one of those sea stacks though. But the print I made turned out fine after I tweaked that area.







Last edited by tuco; 12-04-2015 at 02:53 PM.
12-04-2015, 03:57 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
I ordered a packet of D76 from my local camera shop last night, thanks guys!

D76 is a classic. Everyone should try it. When I started developing film
in the 1970's it was probably the most popular hobbyist film developer.

HC110 can yield similar results, yet is more flexible, convenient and economical.

Chris
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