Tri-X woes

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mesh, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

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    I've just souped up three rolls of Tri-x in 35mm and 95% of the frames are extremely flat and around a stop under-exposed. I used my standard times with XTOL 1:1 @ 9 min. Everything as per normal... camera is fine, metered with a handheld which is accurate. I also shot many rolls of Portra using the same camera which came out fine. Only 'new' thing was a light yellow B+W filter so I exposed everything @200. My only conclusion is that my XTOL has expired.. it was just a little flakey so that should have warned me I guess. Its been stored properly at full strength for about 6 months. Could expired developer explain very flat negs? I don;t think I'll even try and print these... lessons learned! ;-) Any advice appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    6 months is about the end of life for Xtol so you might have had expired chemicals. I think the filter you used needs 1.5 stops extra exposure too, so that compounds it.
     
  3. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

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    Thanks very much Chris. I thought light yellow was only 2/3 of a stop... silly me. Thanks for your help. I will make up another 5L batch now and get rid of the old XTOL!
     
  4. kreeger

    kreeger Subscriber

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    Kodak tells you what the alkaline ph should be of the stock solution. On eBay, you can buy an inexpensive PH meter and measure the strength of your developer when it's fresh. You check the ph before you use it and that way you know for sure and avoid less than potent development in the future.
     
  5. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

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    Thanks kreeger - I'll check that out. A worthwhile investment.
     
  6. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    The light yellow filter wouldn't make that much difference with tri x, I always give a stop more weather light or mid yellow, so I would say your Xtol is expired, mix some more and try again.
    Richard
     
  7. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    Simple thing to remember: if the edge printing on the film look like it usually does, the problem is you and your filter, or your camera. If it's light and flat like your negs, the problem is your developer.
     
  8. Sundowner

    Sundowner Subscriber

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    I've found Tri-X to be developer sensitive, although I use HC-110 and Diafine, mostly. Using a water bath beforehand has helped me with more even development, but I notice that when I get to the last couple few drops of oxidized HC-110, the negatives are a bit more flat. I tend to just dispose of my chemicals if they're questionable.

    Good advice on the edge printing! Thanks!
     
  9. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I think your problem has been answered. I just want to add that storing the full strength developer in full amber glass bottles or other light blocking bottles is best. Fill to the top to keep exposure to air at the very minimum. Some use marbles but I found that to be a nuisance. I got some brown bottles from a pharmacist a number of years ago. The have measurements and are easy to clean and have been faithful for over twenty years.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/