X-TOL question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Trey, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Trey

    Trey Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm
    How do those of you guys who develop with X-TOL use it? This past summer I started pouring it back into the bottle and reusing it, and things looked fine. But I'm wondering if that's really such a good idea.

    I had a one gallon bottle that I would "replenish" with solution from a one liter bottle. Is that silly?
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can do this, and keep track of the number of rolls you run thru the stock solution. You also must add 5% (?) to the time for each roll until it reaches its limit; it should say on the package.

    However, there is a much better way! depending on the film I'm using and the effect I want, I dilute a dev like X-Tol 1+1 to 1+3. This way, the dev is always fresh, I can get to my proper temp quickly by adding the right temp tap water and the tomality and highlights come out better, IMHO, with a diluted deveoper.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use it 1:1 most of the time when I use it, and I discard the used working solution. This guarantees consistency, and as an added bonus increases acutance a little (at the expense of a little grain which I don't mind).
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,584
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I reuse X-TOL up to 15 rolls as recommended by Kodak. I am sure it is still good for more, but I do not feel like ruining a roll of film just to find out.

    Steve
     
  5. Trey

    Trey Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks guys.

    Hopefully I'll be able to spend more time this coming semester in the darkroom (took alternative processes this past semester) and get my chemistry fresh. I just processed two short rolls of 135 in X-TOL that I had mixed in July and probably run fifteen rolls through... actually, maybe more.

    If it had been critical film, I would have mixed fresh, but I was kind of curious to see what would happen. It was fine, but I still dumped it down the toilet afterward.:smile:
     
  6. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Preveza, Gre
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The Jims have it

    Agree with the 2 Jims. Perhaps we're lazy, but I always use 1:1 and discard.
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've never been comfortable with re-using any developer, except Diafine, in my darkroom. With each use, the developer loses strength and picks up byproducts of development. To compensate, you need to add development time or run a replenishment system. Neither of these methods is convenient or reliable for the home user developing small quantities of film. In a commercial lab with access to test strips, and having a relatively stable workload, running a reliable and stable replenished line makes economic sense. It does not make sense for the home user running only a few rolls of film on an erratic schedule.

    For the home user, the most reliable and repeatable results are to be had by using the developer as a one shot solution. Be it full strength stock solution or diluted makes no difference. For my own work, I typically will use XTOL anywhere from full strength stock solution or diluted 1+1 to 1+3 depending on the application. At 1+1 you might get a little more apparent grain structure, but it's hardly worth mentioning unless you plan enlargements of 10x or greater. Even then, the differences are not worth squabbling about.
     
  8. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Brentwood, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I always use it 1:1 and then dump it down the drain.
     
  9. cao

    cao Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use XTol one-shot at 1:2.
     
  10. Trey

    Trey Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So will the grain be more and more apparent the further I dilute the developer?
     
  11. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Yes, but Kodak doesn't recommend nor even recognize the 1:3 dilution with Xtol anymore. It is still feasible, but you need to use atleast 150ml of stock Xtol per roll of 135, 120, or 4 4x5 sheets of film. Alot of times with small tanks this can't be accomplished.

    I was in this boat at one time, then decided to simply use a 400 speed film (with medium format) and dilute 1:1 and discard after eash use. Very consistant results. Must mention the film I'm using with great results is Fuji Neopan 400 in Xtol 1:1 for 8 minutes at 68 degrees.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I usually use it 1+1 and dump, hasn't done me any harm after what must be around 80 rolls. I used to use 1+2 and 1+3, but the economy wasn't worth the messing about for me, and Kodak doesn't recommend high dilutions any more.
    It's lovely with Pan F+ at stock too, 7 minutes - example here.
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A little bit. Depending on the composition, you may or may not notice it. Grain structure is more dependent upon the film than the developer. All other variables being equal, the image with large areas of near continuous tone in the middle ranges will show more grain than an image with a more varied composition. and, as I wrote earlier, the differences don't really start to show up until you reach about 10x magnification. At that size, you'll be viewing the print froma further distance and the grain becomes less obvious.

    What I'm trying to say here is don't sweat it!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, but your image will appear sharper, too.

    The same principles that make your image sharper make the grain sharper, too. After all, grain is simply undesired detail on your negative. :smile: (I shouldn't use blanket statements like "undesired"; in some circumstances, grain really makes the image.)

    Similarly, using undiluted or less-diluted solvent developers like XTOL and D-76/ID-11 results in less grain, but diminished image sharpness. The same principles that make grain less sharp and more invisible make your image details less sharp.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've always replenished Xtol, and before that ID-11 (D76), ID-68 (Microphen) etc. I make up 5 litres and use 2.5 litres as the working solution and the rest to replenish it.

    The advantages are far better grain, sharpness & tonality once the working solution has ripened, in fact the results are closer to using Xtol diluted 1+2.

    Ian
     
  17. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I process a lot of film. Monday is film day and multiple people bring their film to me. I do over a thousand rolls a year. I use XTOL because I can re use it. I mix 10 liters for my developer tank with a floating lid and I run 150 rolls a film through it undiluted. In general I figure +15% every 50 rolls but in reality I do smaller more frequent increments than that. I have been doing this for 15 years. Though I have gone through phases of diluting 1-1 and 1-2. I like straight because the extended developing time gets too long with the diluted developer. I have printed from this all these years as well and I have always been impressed that the 150th roll in the tank prints just as well as the 1st roll. I date and number the rolls I process as well as track the date and number of rolls I have put through a batch of developer so I can see differences and really I can't see any differences.
    Dennis
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dennis, like you I'm often processing 15-20 rolls of film at time and re-using the developer makes a lot more sense, its faster, easier & very economic, and what many forget is these developers were designed to be used like this.

    Ian
     
  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    It was a Kodak rep who gave me the extension guide lines. So I think it is as you say.
    Dennis
     
  20. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    How long do you feel it lasts in a deep tank? Not quantity of film processed, but length of time in the tank.
     
  21. eworkman

    eworkman Member

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Central Coas
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    1:3 equivalent, oneshot. Diluted from freshly mixed stock.
    As 5 liters doesn't fit in a nominal 1 gallon jug I do the math to get 1:3 from slightly more concentrated stock
     
  22. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I mix about every month and a half. I use a 6 inch plastic tube that is 2 feet tall. I float a tight fitting plastic lid on it and then put another lid over the top. I have never experienced the sudden death syndrom but I do find that not all films follow the extension guide line the same. I keep a running log on the wall of every film and temp and time and roll number. Then refer to that with every batch. I find that FP4 in particular gets reluctant to develop after awhile and I have to extend the times for it far more than for Kodak films. I am finding that ACROS also needs greater time extension than Kodak films as the developer exhausts. FP4 and ACROS print really nicely though regardless.
     
  23. Patrick Kolb

    Patrick Kolb Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Question for Dennis. I have seen your prints and admire them. As I am just starting to use 120 film and searching for a film/developer combination, I was wondering if you had any favorites using the Xtol. You have seen all types of film I am sure. I am just starting with 120 as I memtioned, and would really appreciate any input. I mostly shoot landscape.
     
  24. edebill

    edebill Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I got hit with this for the first time a couple weeks ago. I mix up a 5L XTOL kit and put it into 5 1L datatainers. I dilute 1:1 and throw it away after the first use (this works fine for 6 4x5 negatives in 270mL of the dilute solution).

    When I got zapped I was switching to a new bottle of XTOL at the same time as I switched from TMAX-100 to TMAX-400. It took me about 3 batches of film (the second two being test exposures after the first 6 sheets were ruined) to realize that the problem was the developer not my developing time. The bottle was completely full and closed tightly (though apparently not as tightly as I thought) but was mixed 5 months earlier. The next bottle I grabbed (mixed at same time) works fine.

    I'm now entertaining thoughts of a switch in developers.
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    is there a possibility that one bottle was contaminated? I was of the impression that the sudden death syndrome was fixed when kodak went to non paper packaging for part A. Somehow it doesn't make sense to me that you mixed up the whole bag and then divided it into 5 parts and one of the parts died but the rest did not. Or did you divide the powders first into five parts and then mix? I am pretty sure you wouldn't do that.
     
  26. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was an XTOL user and found that 1:1 dilution produced excellent results. I didn't reuse or replenish, as tracking how much extra time was needed for each roll was more hassle than it's worth. I generally didn't use XTOL enough to worry about economy. Since then, however, my processing requirements have risen dramatically but I've opted to use actuance developers. As a result, XTOL is no longer part of my arsenal.