Testing expired XTol ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Laurent, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Hello all,

    I recently bought some developer for cheap, XTol and Rodinal.

    My trouble is that the XTol is long expired (5 years or so) and I'm not sure I should trust it. So my questions are :

    - how do I test it (a clip test showed some activity, but I'm not sure it's as active as fresh XTol) ? Do I run a film through any camera and process it ? Will these results be meaningful for the shelf life of my 5 liters ?

    - Supposing it's fine today, will a clip test be meaningful in a few months to decide it didn't go bad ?

    I'd rather throw it than risk ruin some films, but on the other hand, if it works I'd be happy to use it...

    To put things at worst, the price I paid for the lot (XTol + Rodinal) is about 1/2 price of fresh Rodinal, so if I only use the Rodinal it'll still be a bargain.
     
  2. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Subscriber

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    This is a typical situation where bulk-loading is handy, because you could just bulk-load 6-10 frames, fire them off and test those and see.
    I stopped trusting my xtol once it got a light brown color, straw-yellow should be ok, brown = bad afaik.

    I am not aware of any chemical indicator of sorts that you could use to test xtol, maybe some here do...?
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I take it that the Xtol is still in its two pack powder form. If so and the packs remain sealed then I see no reason why its shouldn't be fine.

    I am using a 5L pack of Perceptol that was made before the Ilford collapse in 2005 and its fine. Powder dev if it is still sealed should last for a very long time

    Try a film leader and develop in daylight for the time suggested for the film. It should go almost black such that holding it up to a strong light bulb will just about reveal light.

    If on the other hand you bought liquid Xtol then I'd be amazed if it is still useable

    pentaxuser
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    Ascorbate developers can go bad and not show any discoloration. The only way to tell if it is good is to develop some test negatives..
     
  5. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Mine went bad and got a "yellowish" color. It was one year XTOL. I got fine results and clear developer until 6 to 8 months. One can test with a film header, if it won't turn completly black, the develper is not doing his work.
     
  6. OP
    Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Thanks for your toughts. I finally ran a test with 3 frames, which confirmed the XTol was OK, and so I developed successfully the "real" films. I think I should make a clip test systematic before developing, so that I do not get concerned about my developer.