To replentish XTol or not?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mrred, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I last mixed up a 5l batch of xtol 1 1/2 years ago and it only went "poof" a few weeks ago. No tears, as there was only 1/2 liter left.

    XTol is not the only dev I use, but an important one. But I can only use so much, so fast!

    Now, my usual one shot dilution was 1:2. This was my favorite for tonality, grain and sharpness.

    In an effort to actually "use" the whole batch before it goes boom, I am considering using 1:1 or stock. This is what brings me to my question. Replenishing requires a "top up" of about 70ml, which effectively gives me the same consumption of 1:1 (my drum only uses 150ml of dev / roll). Is there any advantage to replenish over just developing 1:1?
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Sure, But the real answer to using up all your XTol is just shooting more film.

    XTol replenished is actually as economical as 1:4 not 1:1 so it will actually last longer. About 70 rolls.

    Replenished it provides some gains in both sharpness and grain. It also is very efficient. Actual replenishment rate is driven by square inches of film so if you use 24 exposure rolls you can do about 105 rolls.

    For sheet film many tanks hold a liter. You can fill that tank and develop a single 4x5 sheet and only use 17ml to replenish.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Xtol is great replenished I agree with Mark it's all gains in terms of economy and also improved grain , sharpness and tonality.

    Ian
     
  4. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    "Economy" is not a big deal, as the stuff is quite cheap to start with. It does bother me to throw the stuff out though. I've got rodinal 10 yrs old... :wink:

    Lately I have been doing a lot of reversals, but I leave all my pushes to XTol and my pulls to pyro. There is nothing better than Neopan400@3200 for indoors without a flash.

    I have some film hanging to dry now. I guess I will see what stock is like, until I build up enough to seed......
     
  5. ath

    ath Member

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    One bag of XTOL per year; after the year throw away the rest. After all, what's the difference when you change dilution only to "use" the XTOL? Either way it ends up in the drain. It's just psychology. Get over it.
     
  6. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    How long would the replenish developer last? In theory forever, but is there a practical limit?
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    As long as it is constantly being freshened and well cared for I see no reason why it would need replacement.

    Occasionally running the working/replenished solution through a coffee filter into a fresh clean container is a good idea to get rid of the sand. :wink:
     
  8. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    In XTOL lore one of the test labs had a replenished batch in a very large commercial processing machine last 5 years before being changed.
     
  9. Hal Reiser

    Hal Reiser Member

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    I've been using Xtol replenished for a while now and love the results.

    My problem is that I don't have the ability to put that much film through it so I end up starting over with a new working solution every 6 months or so. I work with a 2 liter working solution and replenish with the remaining 3 liters.

    The question I have is;
    When I mix a new batch of stock solution can I season it with the old working solution? If so how much of the old working solution should I use.

    Hal Reiser
    MP 30 Hudson Division
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You need to use around 10% old working solution. I've left my replenished Xtol unused 3-6 moths while abroad and it's been fine but I do a quick test first, I find unused stock lasts about 12-18 months in a good airtight bottle.

    Ian
     
  11. vegardjde

    vegardjde Member

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    mrred, i'd like to see some of your neopan at 3200 shots. thanks.
     
  12. herb

    herb Member

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    I mixed up 5 liters, put away some in a 1 gal jug, the rest in small bottles, add 70ml per roll to the gal before refilling from the dev tank. When the small bottles are gone, I have 5 0ne liter bottles, so on and on. I am happy with xtol for several films, although I like Rodinal for some work
     
  13. Stephen Benskin

    Stephen Benskin Member

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    I ran a Refrema Olympic with a 70 gallon tank of Xtol and it was never dumped and only system cleaned once. It's the cleanest most consistent seasoned developer I've seen.

    The thing about seasoned is that it isn't full "strength," and it requires constant use and monitoring to keep it stable. This isn't a problem for a commercial lab running over a hundred rolls a day and using control strips, but it seems like too much extra effort for use at home. Fresh chemistry almost guarantees consistency which for me far outweighs any savings with replenishment.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I don't agree with that comment.

    In just over 40 years I've used replenishment first on a small scall. later in a colmmercial film darkroom in deep tanks with 3 or 4 photographers processing 35mm through to LF every day. then back to smaller scale processing with Xtol.

    It's just as easy on a small scale and the results avery consistent. The beauty of Xtol is it's unique as you replenish with fresh developer rather than a seperate replenisher.

    Ian
     
  15. Stephen Benskin

    Stephen Benskin Member

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    Ian,

    Fair enough. I've never replenished on a small scale, but have noticed the instability during slow periods. How closely do you monitor? Control strips? Wedges?

    BTW, T-Max R/S is a developer/replenisher too.

    Stephen
     
  16. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    This is one I hung on my wall at the office..... Port of Montreal, sometime last fall (I think). Kiev 88cm , 45mm, 645 back, Neopan 400@3200

    [​IMG]
     
  17. chioque

    chioque Member

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    The shadows look good. How long did you develop it for?
     
  18. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Xtol 1:2, 20 mins on Beseler motor base, @20c. It's just magic.
     
  19. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Does anyone use replenished XTOL in a Jobo or other rotary system?
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I use Xtol replenished in a Jobo 2000 series tank but mine's pre rotary so I use it nearly full and inversion agitation.

    Volumes are a bit low and there's more aerial oxidationwith rotary processing and there's less advantage in terms of economy.

    Ian
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've used control strips in the past, but I learnt a long time ago how to spot when a replenished developer is changing/deteriorating.

    With Xtol Kodak's recommended replenishment rate is more than is actually needed so includes a generous safety factor and I've never found any noticeable varirations beteween negatives and they always print consistently.

    Ian
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've been experimenting recently with replenishing HC-110 and have discovered one practical advantage of a replenishment regime that hadn't occurred to me before-hand.

    With replenishment I'm always developing film in developer that is already at a stable room temperature. I don't have to worry about getting the diluting water to a particular temperature, I only need to measure the temperature of the room temperature liquid, and adjust my development time accordingly.

    Of course I do live in one of the most temperate climates in the world - my opinion might be different if I was travelling back and forth between, as an example, Turkey and the United Kingdom :smile:.
     
  23. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    The Xtol tech sheet gives seasoning instructions, easiest is probably kodak E-6 First Developer Starter which is inexpensive.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This is a major advantage that many overlook, in the UK I simply stick the bottles of dev, stop & fix in a bowl of warm water in the winter (no central heating :laugh:) which is very quick.

    I used to process while travelling in the UK and would just take the bottles in the car, the no mixing or critical measuremnts of volumes meant I could process easily when camping on longer trips.

    In Turkey I've not been using Xtol, however the ambient Summer temperature where I store chemistry is very stable and I just process to the water temperature which is the same so there wouldn't be any issues.

    Ian
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use replenished XTOL with a Jobo 1540 tank for 35mm and 120 film and a Jobo 3010 Expert Drum for 4"x5" film. I also use replenished XTOL in steel tanks with Hewes reels for single rolls of 35mm and 120 film for convenience rather oxidation.