Photophysical and photochemical measurements have been made on a series of novel alpha octa(alkyl-substituted) silicon, zinc and palladium phthalocyanines for which the synthesis is outlined. Fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes, triplet quantum yields and lifetimes and singlet delta oxygen quantum yields were measured in 1% v/v pyridine in toluene. The effects of varying central atom and addition of alkyl substituents relative to unsubstituted parent molecules, zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) and silicon phthalocyanine (SiPc), are discussed. All phthalocyanines studied exhibit absorption and emission maxima in the region of 680–750 nm with molar absorptivity of the Q-band 105 M−1 cm−1. The series of compounds also exhibited triplet quantum yields of 0.65–0.95 and singlet oxygen quantum yields of 0.49–0.93.