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  #1  
Old 15th September 2008, 07:05 PM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Default Prescysol

Iíve taken legal advice over whether I should I publically make this confession.
Well here goes. I admit that Iím a ďboil in the bagĒ sort when it comes to film developers. Two or three years ago I discovered Peter Hoganís Prescysol and have used it ever since. Anything made from cattle bones, laced with silver, and vaguely film-like gets popped into the pot and left to simmer for 10 minutes or so, except that is my sheet film which gets special treatment. This gets sloshed around in a Paterson Orbital processer for 8 minutes before being rung out to dry.
Now before you throw your hands up in horror, I must add that most of my negatives treated in this brew print straight, little of the hand waving malarkey is required. Note the "most". Some may say Iím too easily pleased though?
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  #2  
Old 17th September 2008, 06:31 AM
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Not really that shocking as it was always recommended that you should stick to one film and one developer until you know them well. If it is giving you the negatives that suit your work and style of printing then that is to the good.

I tried Thornton's DiXactol which I got good results with and have also tried Precysol EF with not so good results. The negatives were variable sometimes being very thin. I later read that solution B can have a problem with precipitate and that you should warm it in a microwave to ensure proper mixing each time you used it. That may have been the problem.

Peter Hogan appears to have taken over where Barry Thornton left off selling the Thornton developers as well but I have not been tempted to try them again.

Bill.
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  #3  
Old 17th September 2008, 04:26 PM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Thatís right Bill the chemical in solution B can solidify if it gets cold, and Iím sure it has caught many out, me included. I found that a vigorous shaking put in back where it belonged; in solution. I use the standard Prescysol by the way as the EF is, I think, designed for small formats. I really must get down to trying different concentrations and times to see what happens.
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  #4  
Old 18th September 2008, 12:22 PM
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Stoo Batchelor Stoo Batchelor is offline
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by BillMar View Post

I tried Thornton's DiXactol which I got good results with and have also tried Precysol EF with not so good results. The negatives were variable sometimes being very thin.

Bill.
Hello Bill

I am some what surprised to find that you have had problems using Prescysol EF, even taking in to account the milkiness of the 'B' bath. I have been a long time user of the developer and have never had a bad negative, no matter what film I have thrown at it. Also, I can almost always gaurantee that my enlarger will print any negative developed in the Prescysol at about grade 2 3/4, no matter what film, apart from Fuji Acros, in which Prescysol failed to work its magic. The Fuji Acros negatives struggled at grade 4 1/2. I think that I would double the strength of the developer if I was to use this film again.

The one thing that I probably do differently compared to most darkroom users, is to use a seperate developing tank for each different developer that I use, so as to avoid contamination. This is a hangover from my Di-Xactol days, which was very, very prone to contamination from other developers.

Could contamination be a cause of the problems you had?

Just a thought

Best

Stoo
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  #5  
Old 18th September 2008, 06:52 PM
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Hi Stoo,

Contamination is a possibility as I tend to use one tank for all my 120 work. I do try to give it a good wash after use but no doubt some chemical contamination could exist.

The comment on Acros was a possibility as it is a film I do use regularly. Checking my records 80% of the films I processed in Precysol EF were Fuji Neopan Acros 100. Your comment there may have hit the nail on the head.

I have a couple of 120 tanks and a couple of 35 mm as well. One of each size is quite old being Paterson System 4 tanks with my usual 120 tank being a Super System 4. My other 35 mm tank is a stainless steel one that I have not used for years.

Thanks for your help

Bill
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  #6  
Old 21st September 2008, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BillMar View Post
Hi Stoo,

The comment on Acros was a possibility as it is a film I do use regularly. Checking my records 80% of the films I processed in Precysol EF were Fuji Neopan Acros 100. Your comment there may have hit the nail on the head.

Bill
Mmmm! Thats very interesting Bill. It appears that Fuji Neopan Acros 100 has a history of being a bit haphazard in staining developers, as I have had a route around and have found a letter from Barry Thornton, dated July 2003, that might be of interest to some. I had sent him some test negs and prints as I was having problems with reticulation when developing Fuji Neopan 400 in Di-Xactol. On the second line of the letter he writes:

Fuji Acros I have found has a very soft emulsion prone to damage in any tanning and staining developer, and I specifically advise not using this film with Dixactol Ultra or Exactol. I have not had any reported problems with normal Neopan before...........

Barry reiterated once again further in the letter as not to develop Fuji Acros in Di-Xactol. I can fully understand you describing your Acros negatives as thin, especially when comparing them to your Di-Xactol negatives, as a Di-Xactol negative looks bullet proof and has that lovely chocolate brown stain when compared to the weaker stain that Prescysol EF gives to a negative.

I think that it is very important here to point out that Barry was wrong to say that Fuji Acros is prone to damage in any tanning/staining developer, as I know of several photographers who have great success when developing the film in Pyrocat HD, though in his defense, Pyrocat HD did not exsist at the time he wrote the letter. I am sure that I have read somewhere that the stain from Pyrocat has an hardening effect on softer emulsions, which can only be a positive thing, but I am unqualified to say this is true, so if you are reading this and know better it would be good of you to share what you know.

I hope this helps someone

Best

Stoo
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  #7  
Old 21st September 2008, 08:55 AM
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I had some success with Moersch Tanol with Fuji Acros. It provided a good stain and expansion in a low contrast situation.
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  #8  
Old 21st September 2008, 10:00 AM
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Peter Hogan Peter Hogan is offline
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Default Prescysol and Prescysol EF

Hi everybody, interesing to read the comments about these developers. It's suprising that people don't always came back to me if they have a problem, preferring to walk away, when often there is a simple solution!
Fuji Acros is indeed a problem film when it comes to developing in most, if not all, staining developers, and I believe it to be a problem with the composition of the gelatin base; variations in the composition mean uneven tanning (hardening) of the gelatin leading to uneven absorbtion of the developer and therefore uneven development/thin negs etc. Acros is one film I steer cleer of anyway; I'm just not a lover of it. I think there are much better films available. My personal favourites are Ilford HP5 and Delta 400 - used for their different tonal ranges.
The 'B' solutions of the Prescysol family are super-saturated. The chemical process of producing them is exothermic, which means heat is produced during the reaction - quite considerable heat, too. A warmer solution is able to dissolve more of a given chemical than a colder one, so the solution at the end of the process holds more of the constituent than if it were cold. Fine, as long as the solution stays relatively warm, but if it cools too much the solution is then unable to hold all the chemicals in a dissolved state, and the excess will crystallize out. A warm water bath or a quick zap in the microwave will restore the status quo with no damage to the solution. Solution B should always be well shaken before use.
Standard Prescysol can be used for any negative size, and will produce fine, easily printable negatives. Prescysol 'EF' was formulated to give extra fine grain, at the expense of a little stain (nothing's for free!) and designed specifically for those using 35mm and wishing to make large prints (16x12 and over) although it, too, can be used with any format. It seems to have become the developer of choice for many photographers, though, and and is distributed all over the world...
Incidentally, for those who don't know, all films of different makes and different speeds can be developed together in the same tank for the same time with both Prescysols! Good or what.
I am more than happy to answer any queries, Prescysol related or not, and either privately or, preferably, through the Forum.
Peter Hogan.
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  #9  
Old 21st September 2008, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for the responses Stoo and Peter.

Since using Precysol I have processed Acros in Arem Pyro, now no longer available. That seemed to work OK.

I am one of those inveterate experimenters and I may not have used Precysol again just due to the fact that there are other developers I have not tried!

The other non-Acros films I processed in Precysol were fine so it does seem that Acros is the problem, not the developer, if you zap Solution B in the microwave before using.

Bill
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  #10  
Old 9th October 2008, 08:21 AM
Ag-Bromide Ag-Bromide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Hogan View Post
Hi everybody, interesing to read the comments about these developers. It's suprising that people don't always came back to me if they have a problem, preferring to walk away, when often there is a simple solution!
Fuji Acros is indeed a problem film when it comes to developing in most, if not all, staining developers, and I believe it to be a problem with the composition of the gelatin base; variations in the composition mean uneven tanning (hardening) of the gelatin leading to uneven absorbtion of the developer and therefore uneven development/thin negs etc. Acros is one film I steer cleer of anyway; I'm just not a lover of it. I think there are much better films available. My personal favourites are Ilford HP5 and Delta 400 - used for their different tonal ranges.
The 'B' solutions of the Prescysol family are super-saturated. The chemical process of producing them is exothermic, which means heat is produced during the reaction - quite considerable heat, too. A warmer solution is able to dissolve more of a given chemical than a colder one, so the solution at the end of the process holds more of the constituent than if it were cold. Fine, as long as the solution stays relatively warm, but if it cools too much the solution is then unable to hold all the chemicals in a dissolved state, and the excess will crystallize out. A warm water bath or a quick zap in the microwave will restore the status quo with no damage to the solution. Solution B should always be well shaken before use.
Standard Prescysol can be used for any negative size, and will produce fine, easily printable negatives. Prescysol 'EF' was formulated to give extra fine grain, at the expense of a little stain (nothing's for free!) and designed specifically for those using 35mm and wishing to make large prints (16x12 and over) although it, too, can be used with any format. It seems to have become the developer of choice for many photographers, though, and and is distributed all over the world...
Incidentally, for those who don't know, all films of different makes and different speeds can be developed together in the same tank for the same time with both Prescysols! Good or what.
I am more than happy to answer any queries, Prescysol related or not, and either privately or, preferably, through the Forum.
Peter Hogan.
I haven`t tried Prescysol, so I can not comment. I like HP5 Plus in 35mm and 120 and also have T-Max 100 which are in 4x5 inch size Readyloads. Which of the Prescysols do you prefer?
Also, what are the processing dilutions, times, temperature and agitation recommendations for these developers and can they be used in a Jobo rotary processor for sheet-films?
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