A PMK Miracle???

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While I have my theories on why this happened I wanted to pass on something that happened to me the first time I tried tray developing 8x10. First, that film is darned slippery when you have 2 or more in there. That aside, I went through the entire process and had just finished fixing in TF-4. I thought I was hot stuff at this point. I turned on the lights and to my horror, there was still a sheet of film (I started with 4) in the PMK! I stood and stared at it, waiting for it to turn in the light. It did nothing. I pulled it out, gave it a rinse then a dip in the stop bath, dropped in the TF-4 and fixed as normal. I then rejoined it with the rest of the film for post-development staining and a long wash. Oddly enough, this was the best neg of the bunch. I would be interested in hearing anyone else's theory on why I did not destroy a perfectly good neg with a rookie blunder.

-- David N. VanMeter (vanmet@ibm.net), March 28, 2000


Pyro developers have a long "induction" period. That is, they do nothing for quite a long time after putting the exposed film in the developer. This goes for whether the film is placed in the dev after exposure or whether, as in this case, the exposure takes place in the developer. The slightly acid nature of Pyro might have an arresting effect on the emulsion as well.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), March 28, 2000.

I'm no Pyro expert, but perhaps the tanning action reduces sensitibity substantially.

I would be curious if anyone knows for certain.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), March 29, 2000.


Film isn't too sensitive at the end of development--this is how you can use the BTZS system where at the end of development you simply open the tubes in 'subdued light' to let the stop bath at them. As for slippery films, first you MUST use gloves with pyro--it's a harmful chemical that is readily absorbed through the skin. However, I've found that vinyl or surgical-type latex gloves are much too slippery. The answer is plain grocery store Playtex. kitchen gloves. Good combination of flexibility and 'traction' to hold onto the film. Replace them at the first sign of wear or deterioration.---Carl

-- Carl Weese (cweese@earthlink.net), April 02, 2000.

I agree with Carl. Your film had come to full development. Or nearly full development. By turning on the white light to inspect your negatives in the fixer you may have flashed your highlights a bit. Now you have the best negative in the bunch. Wouldn't try it on a regular basis though. Pyro and PMK work extrememly well if you want to develop per inspection. Its a great way to save those questionable negs we never tell anyone about. Looks like your accident worked well for you. You are one lucky guy.

-- jacque staskon (jacque@cybertrails.com), April 06, 2000.

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