Homebrew XTOL?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jerry Cunningham, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Jerry Cunningham

    Jerry Cunningham Member

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    I am beginning to enjoy making homebrews and I like XTOL. I have searched past posts and I can't seem to find a formula. Prehaps I have missed the right thread. Does anyone have a home brew formula?
    Jerry Cunningham
     
  2. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    Look at Mytol

    Jack
     
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    Yes, MYTOL is what you're looking for. It's in the Recipes section of this site.
     
  4. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I have doubts about the keeping qualities of Mytol - the activity of ascorbic acid in water tends to die off pretty quickly without special tricks. Ryuji Suzuki's and Patrick Gainer's formulas deal with this in different ways. Inspired by Gainer, I deal with it by mixing a simple formula from dry ingredients every time I process.

    750 ml water
    8 ml 1% solution of phenidone in alcohol
    3 g ascorbic acid
    64 g sodium sulfite (2tbsp + 2tsp)
    water to 1l

    Delta 100 35mm: 74 F, 8 mins.

    It has XTOL's qualities of fine grain and good accutance.
     
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    One of my favorites is Pat Gainer's PC-TEA (Fine grain and High Acutance)

    PC-TEA Stock Solution

    Heat 100 ml triethanolamine (TEA) 140°F to 200° F (Use a Pyrex container in a oven, on a hot plate or in a water bath). The TEA may darken – this is ok.

    With constant stirring, dissolve 0.2 g phenidone and
    9 g ascorbic or erythorbic acid (AKA isoascorbic acid)

    Dilute the Stock Solution 1+50 with water and develop HP5+ 8 or 9 minutes at 70 F.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2006
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2006
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The precise formula for XTOL is a Kodak secret; however, Kodak has filed patents and issued MSDSes on XTOL, so its rough composition is known. If you're interested, you can look up US patent #5,853,964. Paul Lewis's Mytol is very close to this, except that it lacks some of the preservatives, so it probably won't last as long.

    As others have noted, Ryuji Suzuki and Pat Gainer have both published mix-it-yourself phenidone/ascorbic acid ("PC") developers with reputations for good keeping qualities. Although I've never used it, Suzuki's DS-10 is often compared favorably to XTOL, although I've seen comments by Suzuki himself that DS-10 is a somewhat more specialized developer; it's intended as more of a fine-grain developer rather than a general-purpose developer. I've used Gainer's PC-Glycol, which is a much simpler formula that's probably less similar to XTOL than DS-10, but it still works quite well, in my experience. PC-TEA is another popular Gainer creation, but I've not used it. Likewise, I've not used PC-Gly-TOL, which is a variant of PC-Glycol that's designed to come closer to Mytol (and hence XTOL).
     
  8. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I made up some PC-TEA by the more recent low temperature method decribed by Patrick Gainer,see his first post in this thread:
    www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=19975
    I consider the low temperature method easier and less risky and after 8 months this brew is still working and appears unaffected by the water in it.
    Because it contains no sulfite, some of the claims made for granularity with PC-TEA are a bit optimistic IMO.I tested it wth T-max 100 and found it gives finer grain at the 1:100 dilution,where it gives grain similar in size to D-76 1:1 but it never gets as fine as Xtol.
    I actually prefer this look of small,sharp edged grain and use it in preference to Xtol.
     
  9. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I have been an Xtol user. I found this formula on one of Ryuki's pages, he formulated this for T-Max. I process 4x5 in a Jobo and this seems quite good and reliable. It' easy to mix..

    metol 0.4g
    L-ascorbic acid 1.0g
    sodium sulfite 20g
    sodium bicarbonate 1.0g
    sodium carbonate (monohydrate) 4.0g
    water to make 1 liter


    EC
     
  10. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The improved version of this formula is DS-12.
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    EC, this brew looks interesting, but it doesn't look like it will have a very long shelf life.

    My inclination would be to split the recipe into A and B stock solutions, using Pat Gainer's technique of mixing Metol base and Ascorbate together with Propylene Glycol as the A Solution (with a very long shelf life).

    Then the B solution would only need Sodium Carbonate and Water.

    The working developer would be a one-shot.
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    The formula cited by EC is an accutance formula, and a good one, but is not equivalent to Xtol straight or 1:1 (It might be close to Xtol 1:3 or something like that.) I've tried mixing up that formula at 10x concentration to see if it would keep. It didn't. Tom's suggestion to dissolve the developing agents in glycol would be the way to go.

    PC-TEA is also a great formula, but not a solvent developer of the Xtol type. There are some who say the grain is as fine, but I'm not one of them...
     
  13. Shelly Grimson

    Shelly Grimson Member

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    Why not support Ryuji by purchasing some of his proprietory developers that are now being sold through the web. I can't recollect what company is selling them though. I saw the add within the last two weeks.
     
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  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I hope that Ryuji has great success marketing his formulations Shelly, and I thank him for publishing the formulas.

    However, the title of this thread is


    Homebrew XTOL?
     
  16. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    AFAIK the Ryuji developers that Digitaltruth is currently selling are for paper only. Ryuji's film developers are supposed to be coming later.

    Mytol keeps, but not forever. I got a couple of months out of a stock solution in a half-filled brown glass bottle.

    PC-TEA and PC-Glycol are good options (I use both) but are not the same as Xtol. You can make a developer that is very close to MYTOL/Xtol by taking the PC-TEA or PC-Glycol stock solutions and adding appropriate quantities of metaborate or sulfite. I worked out the amounts needed and wrote them up in an article on this site: http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=184 I call these variants "PC-TEA-TOL" and "PC-Gly-TOL". They have the same phenidone concentration and working pH as Mytol.

    The advantage of using these formulas is that you can make two developers (a solvent-type Xtol-like soup or a higher-acutance Gainer-type developer) using the same stock solution. I would guess that the end results of PC-Gly-TOL or PC-TEA-TOL are very similar to psvensson's formula (they are very similar).
     
  17. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I just push processed some TRI-X in Mytol that was mixed in November - 2005. It was perfect. The mixture was in a purged bottle (no air.) Although I like PC-TEA, it is not Mytol. PC-TEA is a lot edgier and has much coarser grain. Mytol is has much smoother grains.


     
  18. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Homebrew Xtol

    I mix about 2 liters of the stuff and normally have it used in at least a week. It dissolve very quickly and is easy to mix. If I need a fresh batch, I have it made before my Jobo warms up. I am intereted in the DS-12 and also the Gainer method you describe, the chemicals just arrived and I will give both a go as soon as I have more sheets!..EC
     
  19. Jerry Cunningham

    Jerry Cunningham Member

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    XTOL Homebrew?

    I want to thank everyone for all the great information. I can now get to work and make things happen!
    Jerry Cunningham
     
  20. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    EC, my statement: Then the B solution would only need Sodium Carbonate and Water.

    Is only true if you can tolerate some proportional image stain and emulsion tanning.

    To prevent image stain from forming, you need some Sodium Sulfite in the B solution.
     
  21. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Thanks, Tom...EC
     
  22. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I know I'm getting old when I cannot see the grain everyone else sees, and I use 35 mm almost exclusively. HP5+ at that. If I cannot see grain at the viewing distance for proper perspective, nor even at half that distance with a good magnifier, it doesn't count. If I show a print to my 27 yr. old grandson whose eyes are eagle sharp, he will tell me if there is any grain. He will also tell me if the definition is lacking in any way.

    I have been testing the substitution of hydroquinone for catechol in Pyrocat MC. I'm amazed. It is water white clear, and has remained so for several days. It immediately colors up when the carbonate is added, and the stain it produces is not so much different from that of catechol to my eye, but it may be quite different to alternate printing processes. It is a very vigorous developer, about the same as Pyrocat MC, and tanning is quite evident. So far, printing on VC paper has been easy. I have not tried increasing or decreasing contrast, but it may be a case where the otherwise unused cyan filter would increase contrast if the stain is as red as it appears to my old eyes. Cyan, of course, is also called minus red.
     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    On the other hand, so is VC printing paper minus red.
     
  24. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    This formula is DS-2. It's an excellent developer for T-MAX 100, Delta films, Fujifilm Acros 100, Pan F Plus, APX25, etc. HOWEVER, it doesn't keep well. DS-12 is an improvement that extends the shelf life considerably. DS-2 is still a workable choice if you use it shortly after mixing.

    DS-2 or DS-12 is a bit coarsely grained than D-76 and I prefer not to use it for 100+ speed conventional films or 400 speed films, possibly except for Delta 400. This developer is a good choice when increase in accutance is desired, such as T-MAX 100. It's also a very good replacement for Ilfosol-S.
     
  25. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    DS-10 is a very good fine grain developer. Usually, fine grain developers cost in terms of loss of speed, sharpness, or both. However, DS-10 affects neither speed nor sharpness, so in this sense, I use DS-10 as my general purpose film developer. One thing to remember is that it shouldn't be used for Pan F Plus, APX 100 and perhaps some other slow films using non tabular grain technology. The result is obvious loss of speed, contrast and density. (It's very obvious so a clip test should tell you.)

    I've made several improvements to DS-10, but they are meant to improve image quality with 100+ speed films, and to improve keeping properties. As fixing the above incompatibility issue costs in terms of image quality, I am not sure of incorporating such improvements in the future. (However, I have a new developer that works superbly with those slow conventional films, as well as fast films, with excellent push property, so they are nicely complementary.)
     
  26. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    Golden oldie I revisited here,but I have a note on the shelf life of PC-TEA mentioned above.
    I checked the PC-TEA made by adding water in the initial mix (low temperature method of making it) At 9 months old it gave very thin unprintable negatives and was clearly exhausted.I had used it about a month before and it was OK.It was kept in a sealed glass bottle with about 1/3 airspace.If long life of the PC-TEA is the aim, adding of water in the initial mix does not seem a good idea.
    I also checked 2 samples of PC-TEA made by the usual high temperature method (no water in the initial mix).One sample was a relic that occupied 1/3 of a sealed glass bottle and was over a year old.The other was freshly prepared.The negatives from the old PC-TEA were definitely less dense, low contast,probably not satisfactory but contained all the shadow detail and were printable.The PC-TEA made by the usual high temperature method only slowly lost its activity in my test.