Mixing X-tol

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by S.larsson, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. S.larsson

    S.larsson Member

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    Sorry, I'm not sure where else to ask/look.

    I'm starting my own darkroom, I've had some practice in school but this is the first time I'm going to be mixing chemicals on my own.
    I have chosen to go for X-TOL because I shoot Tri-X and I believe the results will be decent.

    But I don't want to mix all 5 litres at once, I don't need all that.

    Does anyone know how to mix, say 2 litres with the two packets made for 5 litre mixes. How much do i need of each powder?

    And will the powder i don't use store ok in the bags?

    Regards, Stephan from Sweden
     
  2. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    Kodak had problems selling xtol in smaller packets of 1 L. The whole reason behind the 5 liter bag is that in smaller quantities you may not get good results. Also mixing partial bag contents could lead to an uneven distribution of chems, because part a and part b have more than one ingredient. So you can experiment, and test how it will come out with not doing 5 L, but if you want a 100% success mix the whole bag.
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Given that you are still fairly new at this I'd suggest just mixing the entire package. Xtol isn't that expensive and if you toss out a liter or two 6-months from now it isn't that big a deal.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Try storing it in 3L or better still 5L winebags inside their boxes if you can get some. You should get 9-12 months storage time at least in winebags

    pentaxuser
     
  5. S.larsson

    S.larsson Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys, I was prepared for that answer and have bought a bucket and a 5 litre plastic can to store it all in. Cool idea about the bag-in-box (wine bag), mum uses those quite regularly. :tongue: Any ideas how to completely remove the wine, or does it add some cool effect to the negatives?
     
  6. S.larsson

    S.larsson Member

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    Also, someone mentioned distilled water? Is that necessary?
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Dish soap and water.

    I use the wine boxes/bags for all the stock solutions I mix up.
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Not absolutely but it is also inexpensive.

    Using distilled water eliminates one possible variable/problem.
     
  9. S.larsson

    S.larsson Member

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    Thanks Mark! I'll try without this time round and see how it goes, I think we have quite clean water in Sweden. :smile:
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    how about dissolving all of bag a in one liter and all of bag bin anotherliter to make two sock solutions.then mix these two solutions as required. ust a thought.
     
  11. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    Xtol is good for sure but if you're interested in mixing smaller quantities try HC 110. It's great for TriX, cheap, lasts a very long time- nearly forever, and can be mixed in the amount you need each time.
    Good luck.
     
  12. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    I use to mix my Xtol stock solution with de-ionized water ( awailable at gas stations ). Even if it´s a litle expensive in Sweden ( 7 - 8 US$ for one US gallon ) I think it is worth it. I pour it into empty bottles of either heavy duty plastic or glas and with screw-on caps. If you fill the bottles untill they just overflow a bit and then tighten the cap, the oxidizing risk will be minimal. Just rinse and dry the bottle afterwards. After that I add what is needed of stock solution to my dear old 10-litres batch of replenished Xtol everytime I develop. If you do this regularly and speak gently in a mellow voice to the replenished batch, it will last forever.
    The Swedish water ? Yes it is very clean almost all over the country, but the mineral content can vary considerably. For example in the very south ( Skane ) you have very high concentrations of calcium and sometimes also of manganese. Check the local conditions before you start mixing.
    Good to see a new darkroom starting up. Good luck !

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  13. S.larsson

    S.larsson Member

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    Hey, good to see a fellow Göteborgare! I'll see what I can do regarding the distilled water... It's battery water isn't it?
     
  14. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Clean is one thing. Without minerals, hardness etc. is another. Also, you could all store in several smaller bottles, filled to the brim to eliminate air, although the bag thing idea is also good.

    You empty the bag by drinking the wine. :laugh:

    Good Luck.
     
  15. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    Won't work. You can't get it all in solutiuon in that small of a volume. You can however mix Xtol up in 2.5 liters. That is a 2X stock solution. Then dilute it 1+1 or 1+3 to get the 1:0 or 1:1 Xtol woking solutions. Be warned however that if you store the 2X solution in the cold it will start to come out of solution. You can put the bottle in some warm water and it will go back into solution but it take a while.
     
  16. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    Yes battery water is what is best available. By the way, there are plenty of us analogue enthusiasts in Göteborg.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  17. cmo

    cmo Member

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    It's not about how clean it is but how much iron it contains. XTol just does not like water with much iron. When in doubt, use distilled water. In DIY stores 'battery water' is dirt cheap.

    My method for making 5 liters is like this:

    - I put a new, unopened 5 liter water canister into a bucket with hot water until the temperature in the canister is around 25°C.

    - Then I pour the content of bag A into the canister, close it tightly and shake it for 1-2 minutes.

    - Next is the content of the big bag 'B'. Close it tightly and shake it. Let it stand for a while (ten minutes or so), then shake it again. Quite soon everything is dissolved.

    - I pour the stock solution in 5 glass bottles and add some butane gas as a 'gas lid' that keeps the developer from getting in touch with oxygene.
     
  18. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Depends on where you live

    If you live an area where there's a lot of minerals in your water, I'd use distilled water. I live an area in Northern California where the tap water is from snow melt water from the American River. I mixed 5 liters Xtol and I've used all of it with no problems. I also store it in a wine bladder.
     
  19. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    Speaking of water,

    When my wife and I moved into our house in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area), I made I was going to build a shed in the back yard to use as a darkroom. I tried developing some film in the local water, and ended up with a bunch of crud in the film that would not come out of the emulsion. As a result, I left my darkroom at my sister's place, 45 miles away, since I actually work about 10 miles from there and I can go there after work when I need to use the dark room. The tap water at my sister's place works very well for chemicals and washing, and I only need to use distilled water for Photo Flow. That said, I still use distilled for mixing Xtol since it is sensitive to water quality.


     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    The water in Sacramento is great. Just as good or better than bottled water. Great for photo chemistry.