Doing everything wrong with PMK Pyro

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Laura Halliday, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. I just develpped some film, did just about
    everything wrong, and if the results look this
    good, doing it right should be a thing of
    beauty.

    Over the weekend I bought a Photographer's
    Formulary package of PMK Pyro developer. Read
    the instructions, figured I should try it on the
    next roll of film I developed.

    That next roll proved to be a roll of (new) TMax 100,
    some pictures of Multnomah Falls. The only fixer I
    had available was Ilford's hardening fixer that
    smells like vinegar. This is not what you want for
    pyro staining, but being me (and having nothing else
    available) I used it anyway.

    The results? Except for the yellowish stain, the
    results remind me of TMax 100 developed in Xtol,
    one of my favourite combinations. I'll have to pick
    up some non-acid fixer over the weekend and try this
    PMK Pyro stuff on some old-fashioned film, like HP5.
    This should be fun.

    Laura Halliday VE7LDH "Que les nuages soient notre
    Grid: CN89mg pied a terre..."
    ICBM: 49 16.05 N 122 56.92 W - Hospital/Shafte
     
    Laura Halliday, Oct 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. Laura Halliday

    Jim Phelps Guest

    Laura,

    Using the acid fixer (and stop bath for that matter) will strip the stain
    off the negatives, thus losing most of the Pyro benefit. Also, you should
    use the alkaline after bath (the spent developer works fine) to increase the
    stain. Washing increases it as well. Then see how they print of VC papers,
    the surprise is yet to come...

    Jim
     
    Jim Phelps, Oct 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. "Laura Halliday" <> schreef in bericht

    [snip]
    I'll tell you - that IS fun!

    Cheers, Paul.
     
    Paul Matthijsse, Oct 12, 2004
    #3
  4. Opinions vary on the utility of afterbath in the used developer -- from
    what I've read, it's a) unnecessary if you use a water stop and alkaline
    fixer, and b) unhelpful anyway, because it promotes primarily general
    stain (aka fog) rather than imagewise stain.

    BTW, if you like staining developers (and after printing good PMK
    negatives, you probably will) you should investigate Caffenol. It
    stains much like pyro or pyrocat, a brownish rather than greenish stain.
    Though you should use a water stop to prevent pinholes (the developer
    has carbonate for alkali, and can produce gas on contact with acid
    stop), it doesn't seem bothered by acid fixer, and it's far less toxic
    than PMK -- enough so that, were it not for the smell (and presumably
    taste) of the alkalized coffee, you could probably drink a small
    quantity without harm.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Oct 12, 2004
    #4
  5. Laura Halliday

    Jim Phelps Guest

    Don, I've had good luck with short afterbaths. Increasing the stain
    without increasing the level of general stain. Maybe I've been lucky or
    some other variable (ph of wash water?) has given me the good fortune.
    Saw the thread on Photo.net (who's nipple?). May give it a shot. Do you
    have a better formula other than by teaspoons?

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
    Jim Phelps, Oct 12, 2004
    #5
  6. Laura Halliday

    Frank Pittel Guest

    My understanding is that Pyro doesn't work well with T-grained
    films. Have you ordered the Book of Pyro yet??


    : I just develpped some film, did just about
    : everything wrong, and if the results look this
    : good, doing it right should be a thing of
    : beauty.

    : Over the weekend I bought a Photographer's
    : Formulary package of PMK Pyro developer. Read
    : the instructions, figured I should try it on the
    : next roll of film I developed.

    : That next roll proved to be a roll of (new) TMax 100,
    : some pictures of Multnomah Falls. The only fixer I
    : had available was Ilford's hardening fixer that
    : smells like vinegar. This is not what you want for
    : pyro staining, but being me (and having nothing else
    : available) I used it anyway.

    : The results? Except for the yellowish stain, the
    : results remind me of TMax 100 developed in Xtol,
    : one of my favourite combinations. I'll have to pick
    : up some non-acid fixer over the weekend and try this
    : PMK Pyro stuff on some old-fashioned film, like HP5.
    : This should be fun.

    : Laura Halliday VE7LDH "Que les nuages soient notre
    : Grid: CN89mg pied a terre..."
    : ICBM: 49 16.05 N 122 56.92 W - Hospital/Shafte

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Oct 12, 2004
    #6
  7. That's not quite right. PMK doesn't give quite as much stain with TMX
    as, say, with HP5+, but it still stains significantly. TMY stains more
    than TMX. There's no reason to think that more stain is always better.
    To see this, get a negative with a strong pyro stain. Bleach out the
    silver and print the negative. Is the print better than that from a
    normal negative? If you want to get really fancy, do film speed and
    development tests on the pure stain image.

    -Peter De Smidt
     
    Peter De Smidt, Oct 12, 2004
    #7
  8. I have some prints from a friend of mine. They were made from TMX
    negatives developed with PMK. They are some of the most beautiful prints
    that I have in my collection.

    -Peter De Smidt
     
    Peter De Smidt, Oct 13, 2004
    #8
  9. I have some prints from a friend of mine. They were made from TMX
    negatives developed with PMK. They are some of the most beautiful prints
    that I have in my collection.

    -Peter De Smidt[/QUOTE]

    Delta 100 works well with PMK & Especially Rollo Pyro
    although not truely a "T" grained film the "Core Shell"
    technology is close enough. I have lots of Delta 400 and some
    Delta 100 4x5 images that are fine examples of the virtues
    of Pyro,....stain included :)
     
    Gregory W Blank, Oct 13, 2004
    #9
  10. Laura Halliday

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : > Frank Pittel wrote:
    : >
    : >> My understanding is that Pyro doesn't work well with T-grained
    : >> films. Have you ordered the Book of Pyro yet??
    : >>
    : >

    : I have some prints from a friend of mine. They were made from TMX
    : negatives developed with PMK. They are some of the most beautiful prints
    : that I have in my collection.

    Hearing this is good news to me. I always understood that Pyro didn't work well
    with T-grain films. It looks like I will be getting the book of Pyro and will
    be giving it a try one of these days with TMX.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Oct 13, 2004
    #10
  11. Laura Halliday

    John Guest

    It does work with any film as it's simply a developer. The
    staining is more pronounced on non-T-grain films such as TXP, PXP and
    others. Note that this may have changed since the reformulation due to
    moving the production of the films to a new coater. I'm wondering if
    TX is now hardened ?

    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Oct 13, 2004
    #11
  12. That's the way it came to me. The end result is the coffee is four
    times "normal" drinking strength, and in fact it's been verified, last
    time this went around, that you can use espresso to replace the water
    and coffee crystals -- that is, simply alkalize espresso straight from
    the machine (after suitable cooling, of course). I didn't find my
    reloading scale while packing for this last move (it's probably in a box
    that hadn't been unpacked from the previous move, and I likely won't see
    it for several more months), and the only other almost suitable scale I
    own measures in 5 gram increments, so I can't measure how much coffee
    and soda that is by mass, but I've used this with both coffee and
    washing soda taken from the tops of newly opened packages, so you should
    a) find it easy to reproduce, and b) find it fairly simple to weigh the
    ingredients after measuring. You might be able to get the mass from the
    "serving size" on the nutritional information panel on the coffee, at
    least; the "slightly rounded" teaspoons I use are approximately 1.5
    level teaspoons (so you could say I'm using 6 level teaspoons). The
    washing soda, as packaged, seems to be very similar in density, but the
    water content is unknown and probably varies depending how long the
    stuff has been in the cardboard box; it probably starts as anhydrous,
    but converts to monohydrate in storage, and there's no simple test
    (other than to heat some to constant weight and determine how much water
    was driven off) to determine how far it's gone along that path.

    Complicating matters still more is that different brands of instant
    coffee have different levels of activity, likely corresponding to
    different levels of the caffeic acid (a pyrocatechin variant) and its
    glycoside precursor, chlorogenic acid, that are the most likely
    developing agents -- which, in turn, likely stem from beans grown in
    different conditions, and/or cofee roasted or brewed differently and/or
    converted to instant by a different method. Folger's is freeze-dried,
    made from Columbian Arabica beans grown in mountain conditions, and
    roasted relatively light -- the only other data point I have on this is
    that a German instant coffee (I've forgotten the brand), which I'm
    assured is 100% coffee and 100% arabica beans, required 50% more of the
    powder to do the same job. If you want to make something really
    consistent here, you'd do well to chase down industrial sources of pure
    chlorogenic and/or caffeic acids (if there are such sources), or find an
    analytical method of extracting and purifying one or both, and test with
    known quantities. If you could do it economically, you could probably
    sell the resulting developer as a low-toxicity competitor to pyro and
    pyrocat formulae...

    Fortunately, the carbonate, at least, isn't very critical; I've seen no
    difference at all from increasing it 50% (I was hoping I might speed up
    the working, but I'd have to have a stronger alkali to increase pH --
    next time, perhaps I'll try adding a tiny bit of lye), and I'm
    reasonably sure the amount given has at least a little excess. It seems
    less dense than sugar, so the spoons likely contain less than 5 grams;
    since more doesn't hurt, you should be safe assuming 10 g of sodium
    carbonate anhydrous in 8 ounces, or roughly 40 g/L.

    Ah. The photo you're referring to (in which Tri-X masquerades as color
    film due to interaction of the stain with scanner corrections) is one my
    wife would prefer no one saw, so I haven't told her... ;)

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Oct 13, 2004
    #12
  13. Laura Halliday

    John Guest

    Heavens to Starbucks !! The next thing is they'll be using tea
    or soda !!


    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Oct 13, 2004
    #13
  14. In fact, green tea and mint have been used; green tea contains
    chlorogenic acid, though in much lower concentration than coffee, and
    tannates that might be distantly related to pyrocat, while mint seems to
    develop via thymosin (possibly along with chlorogenic acid, which is
    present in all green plant parts, but tends to concentrate in green
    fruits) -- oddly, since thymosin is oil soluble, mint has a tendency to
    develop more strongly in the top 25% of the tank, because the mint oils
    float on water; recommendation is to put one film in the bottom half of
    a two-reel tank with 2x the liquid needed to cover the film.

    Soda (at least ordinary cola) doesn't seem to work -- caffeine itself
    doesn't appear to be a developing agent, and sugar is a restrainer; diet
    soda would be a better choice, if caffeine were in fact a developing
    agent -- but a brew made with straight caffeine obtained from OTC
    stimulants (No-Doz etc.) has been reported not to develop film.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Oct 13, 2004
    #14
  15. Laura Halliday

    jjs Guest

    I'll bet the writes of that old TV program Mcguyver are kicking themselves
    for overlooking Caffenol.
     
    jjs, Oct 13, 2004
    #15
  16. Nah, they did it, or nearly so -- or did you miss the episode in which
    MacGyver developed film from an aerial camera in orange juice
    (presumably the ascrobic acid was to have done the job, though they
    glossed over preservation and alkalization, even while they got it right
    about the negs, straight out of the dev without stop or fix, being milky
    and turning black as they were viewed, from residual developer action).
    If he'd used coffee, he could have used the orange juice for stop bath
    and been able to look at the pictures for hours, if need be...

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Oct 13, 2004
    #16
  17. Laura Halliday

    John Guest

    Personally I have better things to do with my coffee !

    And also my tea.


    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Oct 14, 2004
    #17
  18. No, John, don't think of it as "coffee." This is instant we're talking
    about, after all. Think of it as a very inexpensive photographic
    chemical that's sold in the coffee aisle of the supermarket -- it's
    certainly not fit for drinking! And while you're in the market, be sure
    to grab a box each of Arm & Hammer Photographic, er, Washing Soda and 20
    Mule Team Photographic Borax -- they'll be in the laundry aisle.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Oct 14, 2004
    #18
  19. Laura Halliday

    jjs Guest

    Have you ever noticed that Guinness and old Rodinal have exactly the same
    appearance? Clue: don't drink Guinness from a lab beaker.
     
    jjs, Oct 14, 2004
    #19
  20. Laura Halliday

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : On Tue, 12 Oct 2004 19:35:05 -0500, Frank Pittel

    : >: I have some prints from a friend of mine. They were made from TMX
    : >: negatives developed with PMK. They are some of the most beautiful prints
    : >: that I have in my collection.
    : >
    : >Hearing this is good news to me. I always understood that Pyro didn't work well
    : >with T-grain films. It looks like I will be getting the book of Pyro and will
    : >be giving it a try one of these days with TMX.

    : It does work with any film as it's simply a developer. The
    : staining is more pronounced on non-T-grain films such as TXP, PXP and
    : others. Note that this may have changed since the reformulation due to
    : moving the production of the films to a new coater. I'm wondering if
    : TX is now hardened ?

    I've always assumed that the reason for using pyro is for the staining effect.
    Having never used pyro I don't know about it's effectivness on TMX first hand but
    have heard that it doesn't work well with it. I'm glad to hear that what I've
    heard about pyro and TMX isn't true.

    It could be that the rumor was started not long after TMX came out and people didn't
    understand how to properly develop it. I still believe that most people that don't like
    TMX don't like it because they're not developing it properly and have thought so for a
    long time. I proved this to myself this spring when I started working with Delta-100.
    After spending the time to run the development tests which included the expansion and
    contraction time tests for N+ and N-. I went out with both TMX and Delta-100 and made
    duplicate exposures with both films. After developing both films I went into the darkroom
    with the negatives and made the best prints I could from them. After the first couple of
    negatives I started noting on the back of the paper which film was used because after the
    prints were dry and next to each other I couldn't tell the difference!!! I point this out
    becuase the many detractors of TMX like Delta-100. It's interesting to note that the
    expansion and contraction times match those of "conventional" B&W films while they are
    very different with TMX!!
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Oct 14, 2004
    #20
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