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Testing pyro negatives
Old 05-30-2005, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've got a question about pyro-developed negatives (I'm using WD2D+ with HP5). I'm having a hard time figuring out how to find my E.I.s and development times because of the sensitometrical differences of pyro negs, compared to negs developed "normally". For films developed conventionally, I've been using the densitometer function on my Analyzer Pro enlarging meter.

From what I've researched, to read pyro-neg densities, you can use a color densitometer in the blue filter mode. Of course, I don't have a color densitometer. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

The only other way I know of to nail this down is to just eyeball some printed densities on paper, but this isn't exactly the most accurate way of doing things. Does anyone else have experience with determining film E.I.s and development times for pyro negatives that they could share? Please? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks in advance,

Sam
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Re: Testing pyro negatives
Old 05-31-2005, 12:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Take your negatives to a local photo shop that does their own processing. They will have a color densitometer. Have them measure your negatives. You still want to look for a density of around .1 above film base+fog for Zone I in order to establish your E.I.

As you probably know, Pyro stains the film in proportion to the amount of silver. The yellow stain absorbs blue light, so your blue readings are going to rise more than you would think. The film will print with more contrast than you'd think by looking at negative.

Pyro is a somewhat unpredictable and tempermental beast. I haven't used it in about 10 years. My recollection is that it cost me around 2/3 or 1 full stop in effective film speed. I can't help you with development times.

If I may ask, are you just experimenting with pyro, or are you trying to solve a particular problem that you think pyro will help you with?

-Chip
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Re: Testing pyro negatives
Old 05-31-2005, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, Chip. I guess I'll just have to get off my butt and take the negs to a photo place and get them to read the densities for me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

As far as why I'm using the pyro (experimenting or solving a particular problem), it's kind of a little bit of both... One, I've just heard so many great things about pyro as a developer (once you learn how to work with it), and I thought I'd give it a try, but also, I'll have a possible shoot in a few weeks... If everything pans out, I'll be using medium format and 35mm. It's actually the 35mm that got me to thinking about using pyro. I wanted negs that are going to be tack sharp, even with a high degree of enlargement. The speed loss wouldn't be a problem (well, it sucks, but what to do about it? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img])... I'm already experiencing that with my tests with Rodinal (Acros 100 is looking at E.I. 40 right now, and Tri-X 320 may end up as low as 160, for N times for me)

Also, I've read exceptional things about pyro and highlight separation, and I just wanted to see for myself how good it really was. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] This reason is actually a pretty important reason I wanted to use pyro for the shoot, too. I had some ideas for backlit scenes, and from what I've read from 'The Book of Pyro', pyro can give a Zone VIII with more detail than conventional developers, and that might prove useful in this scenario.

But on another note, man that stuff stains like a mofo! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Thank you for your help, Chip!

Sam
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