XTOL minimum volume for replenishment

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by markbarendt, May 22, 2009.

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Okay, I've got a Nikor tank that will do 12 sheets of 4x5 and a Nikor tank that will do 4 rolls of 135 but I want to be able to process before the tanks would be technically "full" of film. If I shoot 2-sheets of 4x5 and 1 roll of 135 this week, and 4-4x5s and 2-135s next, I don't really want to wait 4-weeks to develope one shot.

    I've been thinking about how to do this well and replenishment seems a natural here but my volumes aren't huge so I'm wondering how small a replinished storage tank I can get away with.

    What size and why?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I used Xtol in 5 litre packs and split it into 2.5 litre working solution & the other half as replenisher which I stored in smaller containers. This worked extremely well for me for quite a few years, it's much simpler than other replenishishable developers as it doesn't have a special replenisher/

    2.5 litres was plenty for my Jobo 2000 series tanks which needed 2 litres per 12 sheets of 5x4.

    Ian
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I would fill the tank with developer. If just developing one or two rolls in a Nikor 4 roll tank I would place empty reels on top of the loaded reel or reels. After you develop pour the developer back into the bottle. Figure the replenishment, pour out some developer from your bottle, pour in the fresh, and top up with old.

    Xtol is replenished with fresh developer at 70ml per 8x10 sheet. An 8x10 sheet has about the same area as a 35mm 36 exposure roll, or 4-4x5 sheets.

    If you keep replenishing, you should be good for a long time. I would advise keeping a gallon bottle of ready-to-use developer and working from that, and replenishing back into the gallon bottle. Replenish after each processing run.

    As long as you have a quart or more of ready-to-use developer I don't think you need worry about having "enough" to keep replenishing.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    What's the capacity of your tank?

    I am currently using Xtol replenished. I mix up the entire 5 liter kit and keep 2 liters as my working solution (my largest tank takes 1.5 liters of liquid).

    Kodak recommends 70ml per 35mm roll (or equivalent area - in your case four 4x5 negs) - but that you may need to adjust the amount based on how you shoot and process to keep your process calibrated. It could be less and it could be more. I replenish with 70ml per roll until I see a change and then adjust.

    The farther into the kit I'm getting the better the developer gets. It seems like the byproducts of running the film through is good for the process.

    I don't think it matters whether you keep a gallon or two liters of working solution. The amount of replenisher is the same per roll either way. If you don't use the working solution in a long time, replenish it anyway as that will keep it active.

    - Thomas
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Kodak recommends replenishment rates of 70ml per 80 square inches of film developed. Make the 5 liters. Store 4 liters for replenishment and use 1 liter (or more if you need it) for processing. You'll likely need to season the 1 liter with three or four rolls of film, or shorten times for the first several rolls.

    Once your liter of working solution is seasoned, after each use drain off 70ml for each 80 square inches of film processed and replace it with fresh Xtol. Keep doing that.

    80 square inches is a roll of 35mm, 4 sheets of 4x5, one sheet 8x10, etc.

    See Kodak Tech Bulletin J-109 on Xtol for details.

    Lee

    Wow! 3 other answers while I was typing and looking things up. Gotta work on my typing speed. :smile:
     
  6. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Since I use Xtol as my primary developer, I didn't look up anything. Typed from memory.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Same here, I've only recently stopped using it, this is the first time I've not used Xtol while back visiting the UK.

    It's an excellent developer which had an unwarranted bad reputation due to an early packaging problem many years ago.

    Ian
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Ian, Phototone, Lee, Thomas,

    Thanks for the info.

    My tank for the 4x5s holds about 1.2 liters the 4-reel 135 tank holds about 950ml or so.

    So now that I have a feel for your experience here I'm going to get busy drinking. Got pre-mixed Margaritas in 1.75 liter bottles I need to empty. :D

    I knew about the 70ml from the tech sheet but didn't know if there was some low threshold where replenishment stopped working well, or above which it worked better.
     
  9. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    How long have you kept a replenished tank going? Does anyone use replenishment with a Jobo?
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I guess I've kept replenishment going for about a year, possibly slightly longer in a good bottle kept full. I use Jobo tanks but the old 2000 series are Iinversion not rotary, you run a higher risk of oxidation in a rotary tank.

    Ian
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    As long as you keep replenishing and discarding some of the old every time you use it, in theory you should be able to keep it going perpetually.
    I've found with Edwal 12 that I have identical results with it now to seven months ago when I mixed it up. The color is the same, and its strength is the same.
    I keep both that 2 liter batch of Edwal 12 and the one with Xtol in a completely full bottle with an air tight lid. I don't know if the plastic bottle leaks through any oxygen or not (Datatainer chemical storage bottles) but if you use it once a week or or thereabout, I don't see any reason to stop a seasoned batch, ever. And the cool thing is that it is highly likely to go off slowly. If it starts to go off, you replenish with more replenisher to revitalize the activity of it, and off you go again.

    I find it a wonderful way of using a developer. I've always been a single shot guy, and those results were nice too, but I feel like I'm getting better results this way. That may be a bunch of imagination, but it works for me; I feel better about my prints than ever.

    - Thomas

     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I haven't replenished with Xtol yet, but was planning to shortly, which is why I decided to look up the replenishment rate rather than work from potentially faulty memory.

    Thomas Bertilsson, df cardwell, bowzart, and I have been trading info on replenished Edwal 12 with a few different films and agitation since late last fall, and my experience with that has been the same as Thomas'.

    Since Kodak gives properly stored Xtol a shelf life of 6 months, I'd expect that with regular use you should just make sure that your replenishment source is fresh using a film leader or similar. I'm going to use some mylar bladder storage boxes recommended by bowzart for the Xtol. He's had very good luck with them. http://www.survivalsolutions.com/store/product41.html

    df cardwell also notes that traditional wisdom is to replenish routinely even if the working stock is unused. So he treats his working stock to some level of routine replenishment whether film has gone through it or not.

    Legend has it that Magnum kept deep tanks of Defender 777 going for years. But they ran more film than I do.

    Lee
     
  13. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 8300: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.266 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

    I'm interested in doing this. So I can mix up 5L of XTOL, use 1L working solution and just replace 70mL for every roll I run? Provided I keep the replenisher in a mylar bag or the like...this should last indefinitely and can actually give better results?

    I'm just running my film in a couple of Jobo hand tanks, nothing special.

    Does D76 work the same way? HC-110?
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    D76 does but the replenisher is different to the developer, HC-110 doesn't

    Ian
     
  15. Maris

    Maris Member

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    My first batch of working Xtol was a topped-up 1 litre bottle replenished at 70ml per standard film (8x10 sheet, 35mmx 36exp, etc) that was used regularly for hundreds of films for 7 years! Developer activity was less than a fresh solution so I extended dev times by 30% and got absolutely predictable and consistent results. The only maintenance apart from replenishment was an occasional filtration.

    Now I replenish my working stock of Xtol at 90ml per standard film. Developer activity again has settled to a reduced value so I do need to extend development but only by 25% this time.
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Maris,

    If I get a similar result life will be great. I know there will need to be some fine tuning and the longer time is fine by me.

    I was amazed to see that Kodak's data sheet showed fresh XTOL taking longer than replenished for sheet films in large tanks. Roll films show the opposite.

    My plan is to shoot 2 sheets for each set-up, with the 4x5, so that I can get usable stuff while I fine tune the variables.

    After I run my seasoning rolls through I think I'll load a few short 135 test rolls to see where it goes from there.