Thinking about moving to Replenished Xtol, some thoughts and questions.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mexipike, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    So I've been reading about replenished Xtol and have a few thoughts that I didn't quite find answered in all the posts I read.

    First here's how I'm thinking I'll set up my system:

    Divide on 5l xtol into working solution and replenisher. After each roll of film I will add 90ml replenisher then top off with the tank after developing.

    I understand that this developer works best after some "seasoning." So I plan to process ten rolls of film of non critical subject matter to get it to that state.

    So there's what I understand, but here's where I have a few questions.

    I like to have a 100 speed film and a high speed film in my arsenal. I have been using acros 100 and think that it would be great in this process. I have a bunch of important rolls of 100 across that need development but I exposed them at 100 iso, It is my understanding that I will lose some speed with this process. Would it be safe to assume that this would give me around 80 ISo with across? What's a good starting point developing time? (35mm ss tank). That may work for my negatives at 100 as I scan them and print in the darkroom so a slightly thinner negative works for me.

    In general if I were to look at the massive developing chart what would be good starting times for the replenished xtol? the 1:2 times?

    As far as high speed film I have been using tri-x pushed in Xtol 1-3 but am not in love with the results, but I love the arista price! I may keep another mix of xtol for using diluted. How does replenished xtol work with something like delta 3200, at around 1000 iso?

    In general what are the advantages and disadvantages of replenished xtol? I understand there is some shadow detail loss. Is there more acutance? If I don't go this route I think I'll use pyrocat hd, but I don't if does much for 35mm.
     
  2. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I found it to be a great process but never was a fan of the results. That's just a personal opinion though. Thomas B will hopefully chime in and he is master of the process.

    Your replenishing numbers sound correct. Might need more or less depending on your water and such.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,245
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You don't say how many rolls you process each month. A replenished system only makes sense if you process film regularly and at a respectable level. If you only process a few rolls per month then a single shot developer like HC-110 is preferable. In general there is little difference in the negatives produced by either system.
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,714
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I know a lot of people use a replenisher system and it works for them, but it complicates the system with more variables. I personally feel that a dilution and discard method will provide greater consistency.
     
  5. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That's one of the reason I had to switch from xtol replenish. I was not putting enought film through it to keep it going smoothly. When I started it was a few rolls a week. Then it was a few rolls a month and went back to hc110 b
     
  6. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Location:
    Wiltshire UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hallo,
    It may not be any help to you but I tried using replenished x-tol (with primarily FP4) and after I had done some initial testing for my personal exposure/dev times I found it to be a good developer. My caveat is that, at that time, a few weeks might go by between putting films through the dev & without a regular (each week) replenishment (even if no film is dev'd) the dev would slowly loose it's 'bite'. My conclusion with it was a great dev for high throughput but perhaps with erratic throughput, one shot devs give more consistent results, for me at least - other users may have different experiences!!
    Sim2.
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,618
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dear mexipike,

    The Xtol data sheet has detailed instructions. Download it and you will be rewarded.

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,202
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    While others have said to move to another developer if your volume of films doesn't justify replenished Xtol and they may have good reasons for this advice, there seems to be no reason why you shouldn't use Xtol as a "use and dump" developer.It is still quite cheap this way especially if you dilute on a 1+1 or 1+2.

    I do and it is fine


    pentaxuser
     
  9. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I did find the results of replenished xtol better then any dilution of "use and dump" method. Again giving that I was not a big fan of any of the results.
     
  10. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Location:
    Wiltshire UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I agree, x-tol is very good as a "use & dump" dev especially diluted. X-tol is equally good as a replenished developer, providing the through-put can be maintained - that would be my primary concern with moving back to replenished & one that wasn't that clear when reading up about replenishment prior to trying it myself. A fine dev though & relatively inexpensive.
    Sim2.
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,536
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,584
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Replenished XTOL starts as stock solution. For each roll [180 square inches] add 70ml stock solution.

    I pour part of the used XTOL back into the bottle add 70ml*number of rolls stock solution then pour in the rest of the used solution until the volume is 1 liter or 1 Quart.
     
  13. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It doesn't need to start as stock solution you can season it with E-6 First Developer starter, or other starters, instructions in the Kodak datasheet.

    It's stock times + 10% iirc according to the Kodak sheet.. generally speaking, but the Kodak sheet does list replenished times.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One practical advantage that few people reference is that a replenishment regime means that your "working" developer" is always at room temperature - if room temperature is near 20C, this means no temperature adjustment.

    I use replenished HC110 which is more complex than X-Tol, but otherwise very nice.

    If I had a bit more room for storage, I would transition to replenished X-Tol.

    It is so convenient not having to worry about wasting developer, due to the difference between the minimum quantity of developer needed to avoid premature exhaustion vs. minimum quantity required to cover the film in the tank.
     
  15. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I, like Matt, used replenished HC-110b, used it for 5 or 6 years and thousands of rolls of film, 95% of it TX. What it did, it did extremely well, but it was very difficult to work with in some regards that no matter how I struggled I couldn't fix, and my work hit a point where I couldn't have those problems.

    Then I tried Tmy2 in replenished xtol. Over the past 6 months I've been working with that. It took me about 50 to 75 rolls to begin to understand it - it is a BIG jump from TX and hc-110b - and a lot of that was getting over old biases and habits as far as a negative and printing, but now that I've begun to figure it out and I can't believe I've been missing it for so long. It's not that it is fully capable as far as making a great photo, almost all films and devs are, it is more that it is extremely easy to work with, from storage, to stability, to mixing, to how it responds to agitation and temp. I'm still a bit stunned at how easy it is compared to what I was doing, and quite frankly, how much better my prints are for it.

    But this is all an aside, back to the OP, the replenishment process is great. Don't get caught up on the stability or the developer loosing it's action...xtol stock has a shelf life of something like 6 months doesn't it? After seasoning it's really really nice in a way that I won't bother trying to explain here since others have done that in other posts. Just give it a try.
     
  16. presspass

    presspass Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    Lancaster Co
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Replenished X-tol also works well in one of the old Kodak 4x5 hard rubber tanks with a floating lid. I used this system for years, putting either Jobo or Patterson plastic reels on a pair of joined stainless steel rods. The only issue was all the development through fix had to be in the dark. The process was simple - take off the floating lids for X-tol, stop bath, fixer, and Permawash, load the reels, and develop film. It was much quicker than measuring, pouring, etc. The process worked wonderfully well and gave great negs for wet printing or scanning and no appreciable loss of film speed. Replenishing with pouring back and forth isn't as convenient, but it works.
     
  17. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    882
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I started my 1.6 litre replenished Xtol batch 6 years ago and it has worked absolutely consistently and predictably ever since. My replenishment rate is 90ml per "standard film". Apart from occasional filtering through a coffee filter it has never needed maintainence. All my films go through this developer; just with different times established by testing.