What PMK have I bought??

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Yeah it sounds a dumb question.

I went to a photographic convention and saw some pre-mixed PMK for sale. I bought some and was given a catalogue which, so I was told, had the instructions for use, times, temps etc. inside. When I got home and looked there's precious little in the way of instruction. In fact there's nothing much at all! I really don't even know how to dilute the stuff.

This is what it says on the bottles:

Bottle No 1). PMK Formula according to Gordon Hutchins. 0.25litres Solution A. (it also gives ingredients but no amounts) Bottle No 2). PMK Formula according to Gordon Hutchins. 0.5 litre Solution B. And 1 pair of nitrile gloves.

Its not knowing the concentration of these two stock solutions that is really bugging me, are all (?) Hutchins PMK formulas the same? And if anyone can forward me to a really good resource I'd be greatful. I've searched on this site but am still a little confused...mind you knowing what PMK I had in the first place would help a lot no doubt.

I know theres a Book Of Pyro (as the people at the show were trying to sell to me) but its a bit expensive for me.


-- Brian W. Thomas (brit@bwphoto.freeserve.co.uk), June 14, 2001


You can get PMK developing times from www.digitaltruth.com. There is only one PMK formula, created by--you guessed it--Gordon Hutchings. Most medium speed films take around 9-11 minutes to develop, while faster films are more like 12-15.

To use PMK, add 10ml of solution A and 20ml of solution B to 1000ml of water, or divide by 2 for half the amount, etc. Hutchings recommends you agitate with two quick inversions every 15 seconds, but others report good results using 30 second intervals. Save your developer.

Use a water stop bath (acid will inhibit pyro's staining action) and a non-hardening fixer. Follow the fix with a two minute bath in your used developer to intensify stain, and wash--without using hypo clearing agent--for 20-30 minutes.

There. That should get you started. And, yes, I think PMK is worth the trouble. One film that generally gives good staining is Ilford FP4+. In 120 size, Kodak's Verichrome Pan can't be beat, IMHO.

-- Brian Hinther (brianh@onewest.net), June 14, 2001.

You've bought a standard pre-mixed version of the PMK Pyro stock solutions. The book is worth getting, and you could also try www.unblinkingeye.com for more information.

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), June 15, 2001.

I typically develop one roll of 120 film at a time. I add 5ml of solution A and 10ml of solution B to 500ml distilled water.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), June 15, 2001.

Thanks all,

I didn't realise this was the one and only PMK I've read so much about. Must say I'm surprised the outcome is so uncomplicated. :o)

Thanks again. (Ed. - it was the unblinking eye that finally prompted me to try pyro out)


-- Brian W. Thomas (brit@bwphoto.freeserve.co.uk), June 15, 2001.

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