I've mixed Xtol three times now, and it always hard to get it to go into solution.
I warm up distilled water to about 85-90 degrees, and s l o w l y add part A, then part B, and finally add enough distilled water to make a liter solution. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to get most of it dissolved. I get tired of waiting after about twenty minutes and pour it into a storage container, while leaving a few crystals behind in the graduated cylinder.
Anybody have similar problems, or am I doing something wrong?
I've never used Xtol but for mixing chemicals for other developers a much warmer solution is necessary, about 52-C or 125-F. Perhaps this is the problem.
I avoid leaving something behind in the graduated cylinder by mixing directly in the storage container. Graduates are only used for mixing final solutions from stock.
Will my stock solution volume be exact?
No, usually not. Pyrocat HD will be, because I mix it on a balance so I always know the total weight. More concentrated (or larger volume) solutions won't be, but anything closer than +/- 5% probably gives less variability than the differences between film batches.
BrYan, I had the same problem with XTol and as it gave some shocking results with conventional film (Classicpan) I decided to give this dev. a miss in future.
I use a magnetic stirrer for that purpose. Bought mine on Ebay for a few bucks. Take care not stirring any air into the developer (not too fast).
One of the cool things about XTOL is supposed to be that you can mix it at room temperature, unlike D76 and others.
When I used XTOL I had the same problem, and after awhile I stopped worrying about a little undissolved chemistry swirling around the bottom of the mixing vessel. I would always pour the solution into another container, careful not to let the sinkers (as opposed to floaters!) transfer over. Honestly, I never saw a difference in development based on fully dissolved or partially dissolved chemistry. Once or twice I did see some dense spots where a particle would stick to the film, but then I started pouring from the mixing vessel to something else to stop that.
Bottom line...unless huge portions of the chemicals are not dissolving, I don't think you have to worry about it.
I always mixed 5 liter XTOL in hot water 125+ and mixed by shaking 3 quarts of water in a gallon plastic bottle (I'm partial to HI-C bottles). after fully disolved, add cold water to make a gallon. mix slightly less stock to make working 1:1 concentration. Never had a problem with negs.
I've always had a little residue when mixing Xtol. I filter it out when pouring it into the storage container. Never affected performance of the developer.
I mix 5L packet of Xtol in 2.5L water to save space and to (perhaps) improve keeping. It is important to dissolve part A completely (really completely) before adding part B