ILFORD FILM FOR PLATINUM-PALLADIUM : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Greetings. I want to use HP5 and FP4, but mainly HP5, and pyro to make negatives for platinum and palladium printing. These will be 8x10 negatives that will not be enlarged -- they'll be contact printed as 8x10s.... I've read answers to the following questions here and there, but would like to see some fresh opinions.... First, is there anything inherently against using HP5-FP4-in-pyro negatives for platinum printing? Second, I've read that HP5 should be rated at 200 or so. Yes? How about FP4? Third, what about development times? Are those set forth in the Hutchings book about right? Finally, I intend to use the PMK formula. Is it anyone's experience that one of the other pyro formulations is clearly better? ... Thanks in advance for you kind and pithy responses. -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

-- Jeff Buckels (, August 24, 2001



Both Ilford films work well in pyro (both PMK and ABC+) with excellent proportional staining, but FP4 is much preferable for Pt/Pd printing. HP5 has a high base fog level and a resolute shoulder. The combination makes it tricky to get enough total range for good Pt/Pd results, though it *is* possible. You must flirt with underexposure (that's about ei 250 depending on your metering technique) and develop the heck out of it (at least 20 minutes at 70 degrees F). With FP4 the fb+f is much thinner and the curve follows a straighter line with little shoulder. This results in plenty of contrast with about 12 minutes development at 70 in PMK with an ei of 64 and if there's any doubt about exposure you can just give an extra stop to be sure of adequate shadow separation without being concerned that the overall range will be truncated. Pt/Pd printing exposures will also be substantially shorter than with foggier HP5. Either film in PMK yields splendid results in silver at the same development times on typical good VC papers like Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fiber or Agfa Multicontrast Classic fiber.

Hutchings' PMK works great for tray development. For rotary, ABC+ is preferable and Sandy King's new "Pyrocat" may be a good rotary option though I haven't tested it yet.---Carl

-- Carl Weese (, August 24, 2001.


Be careful and do some testing. I tried pryo about 7 years ago. it worked fine on the HP5, those negatives worked fine for silver printing. They are almost unprintable in Platinum. Something about the stain color being close to a masking color for Platinum printing. Remember PT/PD is not sensitive to the same light.

It turned out that my normal printing times were about five minutes for negatives developed in HC-110 but one of those negatives developed in pyro take over four hours of exposure for printing in Platinum. And the negative isn't bullet proof either, it prints normally in silver.

Test it yourself.

-- George Losse (, August 24, 2001.

I can only share my own experience of course. I use primarily fp4 tray developed in ABC+ pyro. I rate it at 125. Get negs useable for both silver enlarging and pt/pd at around 9 1/2 mins. My experience with hp5 especially in pmk is that it gets way too much stain and my curve is way heavy up top. That's at 400. If I were going to pursue the hp5, which I'm not, I would try again at about asa640 with the ABC+. If I need a faster film in the future I intend to experiment with tmax 400 not hp5. So you'll get all kinds of answers because everybody that's gotten to this point is using their own unique developing regimen that's been tuned to work for them and is probably totally different than what you're doing. But to answer your first question hp5 and fp4 have both proven very useful for pt/pd.

-- Jim Galli (, August 24, 2001.

I use HP-5+ for POP, and I agree with Carl about the exposure. Too much exposure pushes the image up on the shoulder.

-- William Marderness (, August 24, 2001.

Thanks everyone. -jb

-- Jeff Buckels (, August 27, 2001.

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