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  1. #21
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Xtol is great. I have used a good deal of it for it's sharpness and pushing abilities. The only time I touch d76 is when I teach my classes.

    There are way to many variables. Try a plastic tank. Double check temps. Make sure you use correct times posted by kodak(they updated this a few years ago maybe a 3page list of films dilutions and times for 35mm and 120 kodak films in xtol) I checked it's doc # j-109.

    Try it again. I find it crazy that people give up after the 1st try. If others did you wouldnt even have things internal combustion engines for your model t or the ford pinto lol. Let alone learning how to ride a bike, or propelling a man into space. Try it again and remove variables.

  2. #22

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    I take it that the roll of Tmax you refer to is a 35mm roll and not a 120 roll. Even if it is 35mm then what is the tank capacity for 35mm? If it is a 120 film then 220mls is way too short

    Unless you are using rotary processing and not inversion I have never seen a tank that only need 220mls to cover the film. The Jobo 1510 tank needs the lowest amount of liquid that I have seen for 35mm and that's 240mls

    I don't think that lack of enough developer to cover the film would explain everything you have described but certainly make sure that you use enough liquid. If you don't cover the film then this would explain why the problem or part of the problem occurs with other developers as well.

    pentaxuser

  3. #23
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Erson View Post
    XTOL is the Ford Pinto of film developers. Stick to reliable formulas like D-76.

    You use it but you know something bad's going to happen sooner or later.
    XTOL is great.

    Replenished XTOL is even better.

    The problem the OP had was an Operator Assisted Failure [OAF]. Usage: The OAF is not follow the mixing instructions.

    The Pinto's problem was that Ford wanted to save $0.05US per car to have a better profit by deceasing the safety. There is no parallel with XTOL.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #24
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    After reading all of the above, I have to add my 2cents! I've used Xtol now for about 3 years with consistent and excellent results. These are my steps: I mix the 5 liter solution (from plain tap, not distilled --I have well water) and decant it into ten 16 oz bottles glass brown bottles with plastic stopper tops. I always dilute 1:1 and develop at 68 degrees. I use it for TMax, Acros and Foma 200 for primarily 120 film in clean steel tanks and reels (which I've had for more years than I care to state). I use either a 16oz tank for 2 rolls of 35mm (1 roll of 120) or my 32oz for 2 rolls of 120 or 4 of 35mm. As stated by another poster, I keep my developer graduates separate from the ones I use for fixer. My results have been disaster free and consistent with Kodak's data sheets. Xtol, from my experience, is an excellent developer with no drawbacks. And I also use Rodinal and HC110 as well but Xtol is one of my favorites. My suggestion to the OP is to carefully review every step of his process and make sure of his water sources--that could be the source of his problems.

  5. #25
    clayne's Avatar
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    Not an XTOL issue. Purely a process issue. Pull some film from a new roll in light, clip it at about 6 frames and place it into a 1:1 mix of the same XTOL you just mixed. Swirl the solution and if it turns black after a reasonable amount of time it isn't the developer at all.

    Why hasn't the issue of the shutter or aperture issues been considered here? A screwed up aperture or shutter could result in exposing a roll 4-5 stops off what you think they are.

    What camera?
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    If as you say you've had problems with other developers I'd first stop using the distilled water, if it's coming from a Grocery store it's not necessarily even distilled it may well be de-ionised and even then not properly.

    Also try using a plastic tank it is just possible you have hidden corrosion in the top of a stainless steel tank, unlikely but you need to find the cause of the failure.

    Ian
    i agree with ian
    it isn't the developer but your water ...

    xtol is good stuff for some people, i never could get used to it
    ( and i used it for a handful of years ) ...
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
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  7. #27
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    It has already been suggested that stainless steel tanks can leak out iron ions which will catalytically and quickly destroy ascorbic acid.
    That won't happen with any stainless steel equipment that's been properly passivated.

    All of the name brands have certainly undergone that process during manufacturer. The cheap junk may not.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  8. #28
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albada View Post
    But the leader of the roll has considerably lower density than the test-leader...
    That indicates no in-camera problem, like incorrect exposure. The leader should be max density even if the roll is completely unexposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by albada View Post
    I'm also having identical failures with homebrew developers, so something is happening that's not XTOL's fault.
    As you say, it's not XTOL's fault, contrary to the thread title.

    Quote Originally Posted by albada View Post
    I have several tanks and graduates, and have been using various graduates, always with this result.
    You have a contamination problem.

    First off, buy a new set of graduates, label them "Developer", using them only for same.
    I have a full set of graduates and beakers that I use only for developers in general,
    plus a full set used only for Diafine Part A, and another set used only for Diafine Part B.

    Fixer is tenacious stuff, and fixer residue can remain even if not visible. It will ruin the developer.

    Obviously you can't switch tanks in the middle of the process (unless you're doing sheet film), so you should thoroughly soak the tanks in hot water
    for an extended period of time (perhaps an hour) to remove any fixer residue. There was a darkroom cleaner available, but perhaps no longer made.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 03-25-2012 at 07:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #29

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    I am the OP. Thanks for the suggestions! I even got a PM with an idea (thanks Ian C).
    I've read this thread and was busy all day taking these suggestions. All have failed! Here's what I tried:

    • Three kinds of water. Two brands of distilled, and tap water.
    • Cleaned all equipment in hot soapy water, scrubbing everything well.
    • Used different sets of graduates.
    • Paterson tank (plastic).
    • Different SS tank and lid (both new, BTW).
    • Both XTOL and home-brew dev.
    • 220 ml XTOL diluted up to 320 ml (w/ longer time).
    • 320 ml undiluted XTOL, instead of the usual 220 ml. This worked fine for me 5 months ago.


    I measured some densities of leaders with the densitometer. Leaders developed solo (i.e., leader-tests) had typical densities of 3.1. Leaders on the rolls had densities of about 2.4. Leader-density is supposed to be about 3.0.

    I've dev'd 11 rolls in the last couple of weeks troubleshooting this issue, and four rolls today. I am the reason Kodak is staying in business.

    Anyway, I conclude that the water is not at fault -- tried 3 kinds. I doubt the equipment is contaminated -- all was cleaned well, and different sets were used. XTOL is not at fault -- my home-brews fail identically. The only thing in common that I can think of is my changing-bag. And fixer has been in that bag, running test-strips as part of my home-brew testing. Maybe fixer dust is getting on the neg's? That bag needs replacing anyway, so here's a good excuse. Anyone have recommendations on a good bag or tent?

    BTW, I discovered that the plastic caps for SS tanks can be disassembled for cleaning. The light-baffle is held on by five round snaps. Pry each off with a screwdriver to remove the baffle. Snap back on after cleaning.

    Thanks again for thinking about this and responding.

    Mark Overton

  10. #30

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    Yes, the OP was very clear about his suspicions lying elsewhere, unlike the stories about 'Xtol being a problem and unreliable' which always surface. Its frustrating that such anecdotes are almost never qualified with when they occurred and if 1L packets were involved. The 1L packet issue topic has been beaten to death and, as far as I am aware, there have been no failures related to the use of 5L packets when adhering to the instructions and without other factors at play. 1L packets were discontinued about 15 years ago.

    While I understand that some would rather use devs that go yellow as they age, many that do so go bad in 1 month or two.... yet Xtol, if stored properly, will reliably last many times longer. Unless you have a contamination issue, Xtol just does not drop dead within the manufacturers storage description.

    While Kodak may say the leader test does not work I disagree and understand why they would not say that it did (how could they commit to something with so many variables?). If 10ml of stock will develop a section of fully exposed leader in the bottom of a graduate in reasonable time, there should be plenty of active ingredient in a tank to develop a roll of normally exposed film, as long as you ensure 100ml stock per roll.

    Due to its incredible consistency and, in my experience, robustness, I consider Xtol to be the most reliable developer I have ever used. Having used three brands of mineral water (cleaner than tap water in Kabul) and water form several bore holes (one of which was contaminated with black sand and needed to be left to stand), with the nastiest house plumbing, I have not had a failure. I have used 1yr old developer at 1+2 without problem once and 6-9 month or older developer countless times. Then again, I take the same precaustions I would for any developer that might be stored: dedicated brown bottles.

    Back to the OP, have these homebrew devs been Xtol related i.e. Mytol?
    Last edited by Tom Stanworth; 03-26-2012 at 12:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.



 

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