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.
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.
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.
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.
The resulting negatives were almost completely clear, with only the brightest highlights (zone VIII and up) being visible.
I'm a big fan of Xtol. I tried it when it first came out and haven't even thought of switching since.
I use it one shot 1:1 through 1:3, although have a client who exposes Delta 3200 at EI 12,800 and I use stock for that. Love the dev. Sharper and less grain than D-76 and, I think it gives me smoother tonality. It's a great all round developer.
The only other one I use is Rodinal when I have images that just need that special Rodinal look.
I can't explain what happened with edebill and the sudden death. I know it'll drive me nuts all weekend. But then I really do need to get a life!!
I only use straight when doing 'large' sheet film (8x10 or 11x14) because when I started, I was doing them tray, 1 at a time, and the longer times were killing me.
Now I use a jobo, but having five 8x10 sheets in one tube make me worry about the dev dying on me if I don't use stock. When I used trays, I re-used it in the tray til I had finished at least 6 sheets of 11x14. Can't remember exactly how much chem I used though?
I never re-use it when I'm doing roll film, as it's diluted, and I feel like it would exhaust sooner, though I can't really back that up.
I will say I love this stuff more than almost anything.