XTOL dilutions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by :Francis:, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. :Francis:

    :Francis: Member

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    Just a quick question; If I want to make a 1:1 solution of XTOL, is that one part stock solution, and one part water, 1:2 = one part dev and two parts water and 1:3 = one part dev and three parts water?

    I'm using Fomadon Excel, but as far as I know it's pretty much the same stuff.

    Thanks, Francis
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Francis, that is correct. Just remember that there is a minimum amount of stock Xtol to use for a roll of 35 or 120. I believe it's 125ml per roll. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Going below this amount risks uneven development. I use my Xtol diluted 1:1.
     
  3. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Francis, If you hate the use of the colon to indicate dilution you are not alone; so much so that most people use a + instead to be more clear (i.e. 1 + 1, or 1 + 3). The nice thing about a + is that it is an imperative that directs the desired action, "Take X parts of solution A and Add Y parts of solution B. With a colon you have to just know to read it like the word "to" for it to make sense.

    Now if you want more to worry about, just wait till someone tells you to prepare a mixture based on percent-solution where one is a liquid and the other is a solid. Think Sherlock Holmes' 7% solution.

    Denis K
     
  4. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    @Brian, I think the official word is 100 mL Xtol stock per 8x10 equivalent; but I find it most convenient to do two rolls with the stock I keep in each of my twenty 250 mL bottles---regardless of dilution.

    Stinting on developer is a false economy, as cheap as it is compared to the time, money, and effort expended on buying and exposing film.
     
  5. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    So true Mike. There is no reason not to make sure you negatives receive full and proper development. If you do decide to use Xtol at 1:3 dilution you might be better off using a two reel tank and putting the empty reel on top and filling the tank. That way there is no worry about not using enough stock developer. I honestly think Xtol 1:1 is a great one-shot developer that offers great shadow detail with wonderful tonality and decent sharpness.
     
  6. david b

    david b Member

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    I printed TMY2 negs that were developed in xtol 1+1 (at N) and they were so easy. The contrast and grain are terrific.
     
  7. clayne

    clayne Member

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    While the other dilutions are interesting to experiment with - you're not going to find any magic bullets.

    Stick to 1+1.
     
  8. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Totally agree. I just came home from Japan with 30 rolls of TMY-2 120 and have developed about half (so far) in Xtol 1+1 (all N). I'm using a Patterson tank so to cover the reel, it's 250 ml of stock + 250ml water.
     
  9. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    I use XTOL 1:2 because that gives me a bit over 12 min N-development time.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I feel left out!

    I use XTOL straight.

    Steve
     
  11. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    You're not alone, brother. I, too, am an undilutedxtol-holic.
     
  12. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

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    I use it 1+3 because I like the way it looks. I use a two reel tank for one roll, 4 oz XTOL and 12 oz water.
     
  13. ndlshootsfilm

    ndlshootsfilm Member

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    How do different dilutions affect the neg? I use xtol 1+2 with acros - love it. Curious what straight or even 1+1 or 1+3 would do, if anything?
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Straight - I get consistent good results with repeated usage. I have never had a problem because I follow the instructions. Why dilute and use the developer as a one shot when straight usage works well and does not waste the chemical or money?

    Steve
     
  16. :Francis:

    :Francis: Member

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    Cheers guys! You have all been very helpful!

    I scan all of my film so I guess 1+1 (!) will be best for that as I will have lower contrast than with the more diluted solutions, but will only use half the amount of developer compared to using the stock solution.

    I used the stock solution for my first test and got this with TMX:

    [​IMG]

    and this with Fomapan 200 @ 200:

    [​IMG]

    I have experimented with several developers and films, but would like to concentrate on only using a few and learning to use them well. I think XTOL will be one of the few developers I'll keep using. The others I will keep using are HC-110 (for simplicity, and because I have a nearly full bottle) and maybe T-Max, but I'm unsure about the T-Max, as XTOL seems to be as good, but slightly more of a hassle to prepare.

    For film I think I'll stick to TMX, Y, Z, Tri-X, Fomapan 100 (cheap!), the odd slow film like Efke KB 25 and some colour neg and slide film when I need colour.

    I have got FP4+ in my camera now and a roll of Acros 100 that's waiting to be shot, so if I like them I might add one or both of them to my list. Does my plan sound reasonable?

    Regards

    Francis
     
  17. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Hi Francis - that sounds like a lot of different films to keep track of - with that many options, I'd fear that learning effects would be difficult to attain. Why not settle for just one slow film, one medium fast, one really fast? Learn those by heart, then move on (if you want to, that is).
     
  18. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Photographic Rules of Thumb

    #868: When getting a dog always get a black one.

    Denis K
     
  19. :Francis:

    :Francis: Member

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    For pushing film, can I use dilutions like 1+1, or should I use the stock solution for pushing?

    I sometimes shoot TMZ @ 3200 and 6400.

    Francis
     
  20. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    The effective speed gained by Xtol increases slightly as the developer is diluted. Therefore, it should be a better choice. In any case, Kodak provides excellent documentation. All the push processing information you'd like to have and more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2009
  21. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    Instructions? Yes, I use those when I dissolve powder to make stock solution.

    Everything else I do is based on testing. I'll add development time to increase the tonal range of flat subjects and decrease to tame high contrast. And that's easier to control when my development times are a bit longer.
     
  22. clayne

    clayne Member

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    You gotta be kidding me. How does 1+0 waste less solution than 1+1? You trade grain for acutance in the end (less dissolve/re-plate in 1+0). The results are nearly the same.
     
  23. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Another vote for the 1+1 dilution.
     
  24. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I am not sure what he was saying, but I am guessing that he replenishes. I use 75ml per roll and really love the results with a replenished Xtol system. That is somewhat less than I would be using with 1+1.
     
  25. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Diluting a developer such as Xtol, has a slight effect on the characteristics of the film. I have noticed that with HP5+ and TMY, there is slightly more separation in the low density areas of the negative than if you developed Xtol straight. This is more pronounced the more you dilute the developer. Xtol diluted up to 1+3 is the threshold for me. I tested it once at 1+5, and was very disappointed with the results...and the excruciatingly long development time. I should add that I develop in BTZS tubes.
     
  26. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Also, due to interaction with sulfite and the dissolve->re-plate effect, you will gain "sharpness" at higher dilutions. Of course, grain goes up as well. The thing is that at 1+1, it's almost impossible to detect a difference in grain, especially with XTOL. There's also more leeway with longer times associated with higher dilutions.