I have been a long-time admirer of the work of the New Zealander, Rick Drawbridge, in part because of his consistently excellent black and white work which features a large variety of films which are all processed in PMK Pyro. Most interesting for me are his pictures made with Kentmere 100 which is one of the cheapest available black and white films. So, I got a bottle of PMK Pyro from Freestyle along with some TF-4 fixer. I shot a roll of Kentmere in the Nikon FE and got ready to process it as directed by the included instruction sheet.
I loaded my exposed film in a Paterson tank and mixed up the chemicals
as indicated. However, the directions in the package contained no time
and temp information for Kentmere 100, so I got on line to search for
that crucial data. Well, developing time and temp for Kentmere 100 was
nowhere to be found. I came up with one reference for 400-speed
Kentmere in the Massive Dev Chart and quite a few examples of other
films in combination with various pyro formulations, but no Kentmere
So, I was on my own regarding a choice for time and temperature. After looking at everything I could find about processing various 100-speed films in PMK, I decided to go with 12 minutes and 20C and recommended agitation at 15-second intervals. Judging from the amount of adjustment I had to make in my scanned images, 12 minutes seems to be excessive. I probably should have stopped at eight or ten minutes.
In spite of some degree of misjudgement regarding the processing I was not real unhappy with the results. The images show good sharpness, nice contrast and little grain. Still, they were not better than what I can sometimes get from other developers which I often use, including HC-110 and Rodinal. So unless I come up with some reliable info on using Kentmere 100 with PMK elsewhere, I'm going to try eight minutes in the developer in the next round.
I still have seven rolls of Kentmere 100 to experiment with, so it seems likely I should eventually get the processing right. I'll probably also try some other films for which there is good time and temp information including Acros. Chris Crawford's site has a good chart of developing times for PMK Pyro using ten film types. Sandy King, who developed the Pyrocat-HD formulation, has a very through treatment on his site about the history and use of pyro staining developers.