XTOL processing instruction

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bonk, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. bonk

    bonk Member

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    I just read the kodak processing instructions for the XTOL developer and that leaves me with two questions:

    1.) The docs state the following:

    Now I have mixed one canister with 5 litres of XTOL. After I developed a single film I will put the used developer from the tank back into the canister. With this procedure am I assuming correctly that I will have to discard the developer after 75 rolls of film and increase development time by 15% after 25?

    2.) Furthermore the docs say that the tank should be first filled with the developer and then, in complete darkness, the reel should be loaded into the tank. (No pre-rinse is mentioned). Is this really the desired process? I always thought one loads the tank with the reel closes it an then pour the developer into the tank (optinally pre rinse it).
     
  2. jleeper

    jleeper Member

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    I only use XTOL 1:1, one shot, but I went back and read the Kodak XTOL Tech doc, and I think your interpretation in part one of your question is correct. But considering my usage of XTOL, that 5 liters would probably oxidize and go bad before i got a full 75 rolls through it.

    As to part 2 of your question, yep, Kodak says put the developer in first, film in second, then close the tank. That seems to be Kodak's standard official method for small tank developing. They've printed the exact same process in the D-76 and MICRODOL-X Tech pubs.

    But I'd guess that most users are not doing this and are using the more traditional method of placing the film in the tank, closing the lid, then pouring the developer through the light trap. And I don't think those of us who do that are encountering any problems.

    Jerry Leeper
     
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  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Personally for the cost of Xtol I don't reuse it for rollfilm. Especially when diluting 1:1 or 1:2. I could imagine doing it if not diluting if it was so hard to get, but then why not use something else more readily available? The only time I reused Xtol was when it was in deep tanks of 2000ml quantities for 4x5 film in which case I kept track of total sheets or square inches developed.

    I often fill a tank and insert the reel after loading. It gets the film covered at once if the tank fills slowly, but there are plenty of people whom I believe have no problems developing in daylight and filling after loading.
     
  4. bonk

    bonk Member

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    What is the advantage of XTOL 1:1, one shot ?
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Hi Bonk,

    Let me get on the "one-shot" band wagon here. Keeping track of the rolls and carefully adjusting the development time is just too difficult and adds another source for error. As I was advised years ago when I asked the same question: "Developer is cheap, film is expensive.".

    As for the tank filling sequence, I have poured Xtol into pre-loaded tanks for years without problem.

    One last note: If you add a pre-soak before development you may have to add a bit to the developing time. How much? I don't know.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. bonk

    bonk Member

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    before I add the developer would I pre-wet it by pouring usual tap water in?
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    "What is the advantage of XTOL 1:1, one shot ?"

    According to the Xtol data sheet: "You can dilute XTOL Developer 1:1 with water developer:water) for one-shot (single-use) processing. Dilution at 1:1 will provide slightly greater film speed, enhanced sharpness and shadow detail, and slightly more
    grain."

    My experience is that the above description is generally true, but the differences are subtle enough that you need to do side by side comparisons to really appreciate them.

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. jleeper

    jleeper Member

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    In my opinion, first is ease of use. Second for me would be consistency. I know I'm not going to goof and forget when to adjust development times. And by placing my XTOL in small, tightly capped 250 ML bottles, I'm slowing down oxidation and increasing the storage time. I don't think I'd get thru 75 rolls before a 5L bottle of XTOL went bad.

    I also mix my XTOL double strength, making 2.5L of stock out of the 5L package. This is much easier to store. I recycle green glass Pellegrino bottles, and end up with 10 250ML bottles. From those I use 2oz XTOL with 6oz water to get 8oz for my tank. This gets me back to the correct dilution.
     
  9. bonk

    bonk Member

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    More grain isn't necessarily desireble, is it? So I guess I really have to do a side by side comparison.
     
  10. bonk

    bonk Member

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    With 5 litre XTOL and 1:1 oneshot I could develop 20 rolls of medium format film. (10 lites of developer, ~500ml per film) XTOL can be stored 6 months before it gets bad. 20 films in half a year that's not much. Are these numbers correct?
     
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  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    On the occasions that I use Xtol (like in comparitive developer testing), I use it undiluted as a one-shot. When I want Xtol's attributes, I use Organic Instant Mytol - which - like Pyrocat-MC organic concentrate - has no shelf-life problems.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum223/33880-instant-mytol.html
     
  12. bonk

    bonk Member

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    What are those atrributes ?
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The organic concentrate is inexpensive, very stable and produces very predictable and repeatable results. The organic concentrate has a shelf life of years. You use the working developer once and then dump it.
     
  14. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    "Grain" is a relative concept. Compared to undiluted xtol, 1+1 is indeed grainier. But for Pete's sake, I have printed 11x14 out of 35mm Tri-X in XTOL, and you can't even begin to see the grain!

    Some people call you all sorts of name when you don't reach for the no-grain-microfilm crap. Without some hint of grain, you will lack sharpness, anyway. If you don't like grain, go up to 120 with a 100 ISO film, and you'll never hear about grain ever, even using Rodinal straight from the bottle. :wink:
     
  15. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The reason to use Xtol/D-76 for one shot vs replenishment is consistency and quality. If you store Xtol in optimal conditions in tightly capped 1L bottles it remains active for at least 8 months. Grain increases when you develop general developers at dilutions greater than 1:1 as the sulfite becomes diluted.

    Pre-wetting film should not be neccessary with Ilford/Kodak emulsions. Plunging a reel in a cannister filled with developer is another old school recommendation. Typical developing times for (Tri-X/FP-4) are 10 min and modern film now contains hardening and wetting agents. Some processes from the 60s are out of date.
     
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  16. jleeper

    jleeper Member

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    I'm shooting 35mm, so I'm expecting to get about 40 rolls out of 5l stock. I'm not sure I average more than 1 roll a week. I'd agree, med format might change my thinking on this.

    I've got no experence to confirm this but I'd be concerned about storing 5L used XTOL for six months. I'd be concerned about the used stock excelerating oxidation, even in a full, tightly stoppered bottle. I'd be more comfortable deviding the stock into 1 or 2L bottles then using each until end of capacity and discarding, then opening the next bottle. As I said I have no experence with this, just my concern.
     
  17. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I shoot approx. 15 rolls/week both 120 and 35mm. I use/reuse Xtol stock solution all the time and this is how: Mix Xtol with a magnetic mixer (love the mixer!). Store fresh stock solution in two 2.5ltr brown bottles. I have one extra bottle that contains reused/replenished mixture. I load the tank in the dark, mix per roll 230ml replenished Xtol stock and 70ml fresh Xtol stock and pour in to develop rolls. Once developing is complete I pour the used Xtol back into the replenished bottle (discarding 70ml leftover because it won't fit). This way you never have to discard your entire stock, just keep replenishing it little by little. Nice negs and less wastage. I've happily used the same system now for around 2-3 years or so.
     
  18. j_landecker

    j_landecker Subscriber

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    Bonk, it sounds like you're using Paterson reels... one way of making more efficient use of the 500ml of developer needed per reel is to put 2 rolls of 120 on a reel. Load the first film and then push it by hand until you feel it hit the end of the spiral. Then load the second one and make sure the tail end doesn't go too far past the ball bearings. Any overlap, which won't be much, will be on the clear leader of the film. I've done hundreds of rolls this way.

    Jim
     
  19. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    I work very similarly, processing 8x10 sheet film.

    I start with 5L. One liter becomes my working solution, the other 4 are set aside (in brown glass) for replenishment. I replenish by taking 80 ml per sheet out and adding the same quantity of fresh solution. At the end of a session (usually about 12 sheets), I pour the working solution back into the bottle and top it off to 1 L with fresh solution.

    Once the fresh 4 L I've held back are gone, I start out with a fresh 5 L mix.

    I get about 50 sheets out of a 5 L package.

    Ed