510 Pyro- First impressions

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by john bond, May 29, 2006.

  1. After reading Jay De Fehr' s recent post about 510 pyro, I thought I would give it a try. I have to say that I was very impressed. I ordered the chemicals from photographer's formulary in quantities to make 200 mm stock solution. I do not have a scale. So, I took it on faith that the weights on the packages were accurate. For the phenidone, I assumed that 1/4 teaspoon was equivilent to .25mg. I was surprised at how viscous the TEA was. It thinned a little after heating to 150 degrees in the microwave. After extensive stirring, there were still a few particles floating around that I could not get to dissolve. Several hours later, when I went to develop my first roll of film, the particles had cleared. My first roll of film was Ilford HP5 plus, 120. I used EI of 320. I mixed a working solution of 1 to 100. The stock solution is thick, so I spent some time stirring to make sure that it was evenly dissolved. The film was developed at 70 degrees for seven minutes. Initial agitation was constant for fifteen seconds. Then, two inversions every thirty seconds. I used a water stop bath, and then, fixed in T4. I used the ilford inversion technique for the wash. My inital impression when I inspected the negatives was that they appeared quite contrasty compared to what I am accustomed to. There is little if any generalized fog. The color of the negatives is gray, not the yellow/green that occurs with negatives developed in PMK. I made several prints on Ilford mulitgrade warmtone and Ilford Ilfospeed RC grade 2. They were perhaps a tad too contrasty for the grade 2 paper, but easily printed on the mulitgrade warm tone with 2.5 to 3 .0 contrast filter. Grain was virtually nonexistant. It appears to be extremely forgiving for both over and underexposure. I know that I have some tweaking to do with EI and development times. But, this is good stuff. Appreciate Jay's bringing it to our attention. I hope others begin to play with it too, and look forward to their comments. John Bond
  2. My experience with 510-Pyro is extremely good as well, although my negs (mostly Foma 100) tend to *look* too thin, but print extremely well. Also, I've found that this developer works EXTREMELY well in 1:500 dillution, with stand development. This expands the tones of the neg, making it ideal for flat scenes. I'll post an example when I get a chance (and figure out how, as I'm new here). Andr� R. de Avillez
  3. One of the things Steve Sherman advises with semi-stand development is to never exceed dilutions of 1:200. I did, once, and the results were disastrous. You may get tremendous contrast, but you will lose the all important local contrast in the midtones, and this is to me the real advantage to semi-stand development in the first place.

    Attached is an unmanipulated scan of a print I made on grade 2 Azo (the last run done in Canada - the mushy stuff) of a 400TMax negative developed in 510 pyro using the semi-stand technique. 1:200. I put the darkest part of the picture on Zone IV and there was a whopping 1 zone of tonal range. The brightest part of the picture fell on Zone V. The negative has so much contrast that I had to make custom burn cards from proofs to burn in certain sections which were too hot. (On Canadian Azo!)

    510 Pyro is remarkable developer.
  4. Jim, Thanks for posting Steve Sherman's advice regarding dillutions. In my experience with 510-Pyro, however, 1:500 is a perfectly valid dillution, both for taming the Arista APHS ortho film (following Jay de Fehr's time of 20 minute semi-stand) and for expanding Foma 100. I haven't noticed any loss in detail with the 1:500 dillution, although I haven't enlarged my negs too much yet. I'm attaching a print (done in 8x10 RC) where I hope some local contrast can be shown. It's nice to see more 510-Pyro users around. I heard that Jay de Fehr is posting here, and decided to check it out. Seems that it has paid off. best regards, Andre' Avillez
  5. Hello gentlemen. It's good to see so many familiar names in a single thread, and what beautiful images! It's very gratifying to see the work you're doing, and to feel as if I've contributed in some small way. A couple comments: If you find the 1:100 dilution too hot, use a 1:150, or 1:200 dilution. I like the short development times I get with the 1:100 dilution, and find I get finer grain as well, but for contraction development, or larger formats, there are benefits to be had by using a more dilute solution. On the subject of dilute solutions; I'm sure Steve Sherman's comments were in reference to Pyrocat HD, which is a much different developer than 510-Pyro. As Andre's images illustrate, 1:500 is a perfectly viable dilution for 510-Pyro, and the grain penalty is very small. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, and images. I'll add one of my own, made with TMX and 510-Pyro. Jay
  6. I thought I'd mention to John, and anyone else who might want to try this developer, but is without a scale, that a pre-measured kit of the dry chemicals can be ordered from Artcraft Chemicals:


    The kits come in 250ml, 500ml, and 1 liter sizes, and are very economical. The kits are simply added to TEA, and heated with stirring until dissolved. I get my TEA from the Chemistry Store:


    A gallon of TEA goes a long way, especially using the 1:500 dilution (500 gallons of working solution!).

  7. Hmmm, Jay seems to be trying to steal my Pyrocat thunder lol! Honestly though, thanks for providing info on this developer that I had never even heard of until your postings. One of these days I'll have to give it a try since it seems to have alot of benefits similar to Pyrocat without many drawbacks.
  8. Hi Daniel.

    510-Pyro is my favorite staining developer, maybe because it's practically foolproof, which comes in very handy for me. My 14 year old son just developed a roll of FP4+ in 510-Pyro, and his negs look great. He's shooting a Canonet QL17, and bulk loading FP4+, which he develops in 510-Pyro, and his stuff is consistently well exposed, sharp, and easy to print. A very forgiving process from beginning to end, and very economical. I hope this developer contributes to the reversal of pyro's reputation as a finnicky, experts-only developer for large formats. If you decide to give it a try, I hope you'll let us know how it works for you. Good luck.

  9. Thanks Jay. I recently ordered a new batch of Pyrocat so I have quite a bit of shooting to do before I use it up. When I do I'll give the 510 a try. FP4 is my standard film so its nice to hear you have seen good results with it.
  10. Daniel,

    FP4+ and 510-Pyro make for an excellent combination, but truth be told, I have yet to see a film that doesn't like this developer. I develop everything from APHS Ortho and Tech Pan, to TMY and Neopan 1600, and everything in between, with excellent results, by adjusting the dilution, development time, and agitation to suit. One of the big advantages of 510-Pyro is that it will last forever on the shelf, so there's no need to wait until you've used up your Pyrocat HD to try it. 510 will still be as good as new long after your Pyrocat HD has spoiled or been used up.

  11. Well I finally got around to ordering my 510 kit from Artcraft. I've switched to HP5 in 4x5. any sugesstions for a starting time and mixing ratio? I use an old jobo drum and reels and unicolor roller.

Share This Page