Spur's HRX-3 as Xtol alternative

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MrclSchprs, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    Every now and then I read a post stating that Spur's HRX-3 developer is a viable Xtol alternative. Can anyone comment on this? I am about to experiment with HRX-3 combined with Rodinal as stand developer. I know that very good results are within reach when doing stand development using a mixture of Xtol and Rodinal. But the 5 liter Xtol packaging is too much of a burden. Hence my reach for a alternative.
     
  2. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    There is not really an alternative for XTOL in my opinion, but this is just me!

    Cheers Armin
     
  3. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    May I ask why the 5L package is too much of a burden?
     
  4. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    Due to developer freshness and storage. I think I'll need about 50 ml Xtol stock per film. Filling 100 little 50ml bottles seems overkill. As an alternative, I could use several larger bottles to keep the number of total bottles within limits. But the foresight to redistribute the larger quantities into smaller quantities as needed is very unattractive. Hence my search for a Xtol alternative that can be combined with a Rodinal like developer for stand development. So far I found two alternatives, the mentioned HRX-3 and Fomadon Excel. I've read raving reviews of HRX-3 and it has the advantage that is a liquid developer with a shelf life of two years. On the other hand, Excel is a powder developer that is distributed in 1L packages, a volume that is manageable using little bottles.

    But, please, don't get me wrong, I am open for suggestions, ideas and tips!
     
  5. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Maybe you can store Xtol stock in 5 1liter amber glass bottle and fill the space with butane or a butane/propane mix. It does effectively slow down the aerial oxidation.
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    How much film are you going to develop? Would you be able to use up the 5L within six months? If so, then maybe look at the air-vac bottles available from Freestyle. This is what I use to store Xtol. If you don't develop much film, then Xtol wouldn't work. I've never heard of HRX-3, but if the formula is similar to Xtol and the price is right, why not go for it? Your only other option is mixing from scratch and I don't think the Xtol formula is a simple one.
     
  7. cmo

    cmo Member

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    1. You need a minimum of XTol 100ml stock solution per film, says Kodak. I use XTol diluted 1:1 so that I can process 50 films with 5 liters. If you don't develop 50 films within 6 months, there is not much reason to care, XTol is cheap. As it is environmentally friendly (especially compared to Rodinal) you can dump it down the drain. I could not find out what is inside HRX-3.

    2. Some people dissolve XTol in less than 5 liters. 4 liters can be achieved easily, making a more contentrated stock sulution. Some people say it lasts longer then.

    3. I use 1 liter glass bottles, and of course they are never really full. In order to protect the developer surface against oxygen I spray butane gas (the cheap stuff for cigarette lighters) on top of the fluid, it is heavier than air and lays on the developer like a lid.

    4. Never trust raving reviews of miracle cures.

    5. If you like to make your own XTol here is the recipe:

    http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Kodak suggests 100 mL per 8x10 equivalent: 135-36, 120, 4-4x5.
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    He's using two developers simultaneously, I think, so the need for 100 mL of XTOL stock may not apply here.
     
  11. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Well I don't know where he ever thought he'd get away with 50ml of XTOL, though.

    5L of XTOL easily lasts over 6 months and occupies just a single 5L container (cheaply available at Freestyle). I never can understand when people want to try out some "high-tech" or "boutique" developer but then only want to use it on 2 rolls of film.
     
  12. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    There are some raised eyebrows regarding the 50ml part of my post. Please let me explain. I've seen some jaw dropping good results of Fuji Acros 100 developed in a mixture of Xtol and Rodinal. The recipe used for these negatives uses 1 part Xtol stock with 4 parts water as base for the Rodinal developer. With a minimum of 250ml developer per film, I only need 50ml of Xtol stock solution, 200ml distilled water 2.5 gram Ascorbic Acid, a (very) little sniff of Borax and 3ml Rodinal.
     
  13. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    Thank you very much! I never thought of that.
     
  14. clayne

    clayne Member

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    What you saw was ACROS. The XTOL/Rodinal thing is well known around here - and processing ACROS in EITHER will give you jaw dropping results because the film is incredibly sharp. Don't chase magic solutions - try both separately, then screw around after you've done 20 rolls. Otherwise you don't even have an idea what you're looking for.
     
  15. sgoetzin

    sgoetzin Member

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    I onced tried the HRX-3 developper by developping 2 Acros 100. The result was good, but not that much different (sharpness, grain, contrast...) to XTOL 1+1 (especially for 120 film) which is my favourite developper for Acros.
    The procedure to keep HRX alive is quite confusing as you cannot keep it in bottles with gas (ex. protectan from Tetenal) but rather completely fill the bottle by using water.
    250 ml costs +- 12 € and it should be used at a dilution of 1+29.

    I stay with XTOL, which I keep in 5 bottles of 1 liter. The longest I kept was 8 months old XTOL, I never had a problem of sudden death with it.

    Serge
     
  16. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    I did some additional googling on this and I found out that HRX-3 uses the same developing agent as Xtol (Phenidone) and according to the datasheet it produces negatives with a linear gradation curve. So when the Rodinal/HRX-3 mixture does not work out, I can still use HRX-3 as stand alone developer and end up with excellent scanning negatives. I'm going for it.
     
  17. ath

    ath Member

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    My experience is limited to HRX-2. Compared to XTOL 1+1 HRX-2 gave a significant improvement in sharpness on Delta 100 but at the cost of much lower speed (25 ASA vs. 100 IIRC). There was no visible improvement in sharpness with ACROS; the speed drop was lower as well (50 ASA vs. 80 ASA IIRC). Didn't see any change in grain to bother about.

    This was before the introduction of HRX-3 and I continued with XTOL1+1.
     
  18. lns

    lns Member

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    I totally agree with this. Acros works fine in either X-tol or Rodinal, and both are fine developers for other films too. Pick one. Use it for a while. Fiddle with agitation and time if you aren't satisfied. Then if you still aren't happy, try the other and compare.

    By the way, it sounds like you aren't developing very much film. When using a one-roll tank, pay attention to the minimum amount of developer you need in solution.

    -Laura