What is PMK?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by hal_haygood, Mar 5, 1999.

  1. I understand that it stands for Pyro-Metol-Kodalk. I understand that it supposedly gives most excellent results. What I don't understand is exactly what the process does.


    From what I've read, it seems to be a develop-bleach-stain development method. Is that correct? Why (for example) would you choose to use this over a standard development method?


    Furthermore, which chemical does the development, the bleaching, and the staining?
  2. Hi Hal.
    PMK is a staining developer (not bleaching) containing 2
    developing agents, methol and pyrogalol. The staining is produced by
    the pyrogalol (or pyro on photo slang). Pyro was one of the first
    known developing agents, but just 10 years ago or so with the
    development of the PMK formula by Gordon Hutchings it was posssible to
    achieve high quality results by using pyro. To my opinion, PMK is
    absolutely unique developer which produces outstanding negatives.
    Negatives developed in PMK are very easy to print. The reason for this
    is that PMK gives very good highlight separation. The sharpness and
    grain are also good (sharpness is in fact very high with edge effects
    that only FX-1 can beat) with a drawback of speed loss with some
    emulsions. However, if you can leave without push processing and pay
    attention to some small details during development, try PMK and you
    will discover that your prints just look different.

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