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  1. #1

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    Tmax-400/35mm with XTOL: Getting thinner negatives than before?

    I'm experiencing what appears to be a problem with Tmax-400 (aka TMY2) in 35mm, and I'm wondering if others have seen this. Here's the problem:

    Developing Tmax-400/35mm bought 2-3 weeks ago in XTOL yields thinner negatives than it did five months ago. The edge-markings are thin. Even with fresh XTOL. Another symptom is that the used developer pours out of the tank yellow instead of clear as it did back then. Has this happened to you?

    My Tmax-400 was purchased a few weeks ago and kept in the freezer, and has the box code "04/2014 0166". The failure occurs with other ascorbate developers too, so it's not XTOL's fault. It also occurs with other graduates and tanks. It does not occur with other T-grain films like Neopan-400 and Delta-400. Here's the strange thing: pre-soaking the Tmax-400 fixes the problem. You can read the whole saga in this thread.

    Even if your results are fine, please reply if you're developing 35mm TMY2 in XTOL (or another ascorbate developer), and indicate when you purchased the film. If this actually is a batch-problem, then surely others are seeing it too.

    Thanks,

    Mark Overton

  2. #2
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Reading the linked thread leaves me clueless. TMY-2 in Xtol 1+1 has never given weird results with me; I always presoak. My current TMY-2 is coded 09/2013, 0161.

    Hopefully Kodak can help you out. Good luck with this annoying issue.

  3. #3

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    "Developing Tmax-400/35mm bought 2-3 weeks ago in XTOL yields thinner negatives than it did five months ago. The edge-markings are thin. Even with fresh XTOL. Another symptom is that the used developer pours out of the tank yellow instead of clear as it did back then"

    Time to switch to a constant reliable developer like D-76...?

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I had used that particular combination for almost three years when I swapped for Tri-X, literally hundreds of rolls of film, and I never had this problem. Presoak or none, developer came out clear; no strange densities, and crisp edge markings. 35mm and 120 - no difference. they all printed the same.

    It seems, for now, that presoaking the film, with a couple of water changes, is the cure. I haven't presoaked a film in years, but this definitely calls for it.

    Let us know if you hear from Kodak.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Erson View Post
    "Developing Tmax-400/35mm bought 2-3 weeks ago in XTOL yields thinner negatives than it did five months ago. The edge-markings are thin. Even with fresh XTOL. Another symptom is that the used developer pours out of the tank yellow instead of clear as it did back then"

    Time to switch to a constant reliable developer like D-76...?
    I understand you're poking fun, but this is a severe problem. There are lots of people who have used TMY and Xtol for years and don't want to spend weeks or months recalibrating their system.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    When will people learn that even though Kodak says otherwise, XTOL will die in the unopened package. Death is much slower than it used to be,but it does die. The solution to the problem is to switch to any one of the dozens of other developers available.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  7. #7

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    Tooooooo late now! I just mixed a 5L batch and was/still am going to try the replenished xtol regime. I have several rolls of Acros and TMY2 to test with, along with some ERA Chinese 4x5. From all I've read so far it seems that it might not be an Xtol problem, but could be a film problem. I've never used Xtol yet so I'm going to be starting from the ground up and that might be a plus for me since I'd have nothing to gauge my testing against. Maybe some P.O.'d Kodak employee spit in a batch of chemicals or pulled/pushed the wrong lever on purpose to get back at Kodak for getting his or her pink slip? I'll let you know how my testing goes in a couple of weeks. JohnW

  8. #8

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    Never had a problem like you describe. Never presoak either. I dump my XTOL only after it's 6 months old. The TMY is usually less than 6 months old, but sometimes a rogue roll slips through and is a year or so old by the time I shoot it. I want to say I've seen slightly yellowish developer pour out of the tank after development, but I really don't recall.

    I usually order a new pack of XTOL when I mix up a new batch, so that when the batch I'm mixing up runs out, I'll already have a packet on hand. This way it's also reasonably fresh. I order from B&H or Freestyle, so I trust they turn over their inventory frequently. My current reserve bag of XTOL expires in 6/2014. My current TMY is dated 4/2014, batch 0166.

  9. #9

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    I tried the New Tmax with XTOL and it yields thin negs, I'd try Microphen.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    When will people learn that even though Kodak says otherwise, XTOL will die in the unopened package. Death is much slower than it used to be,but it does die. The solution to the problem is to switch to any one of the dozens of other developers available.
    Did you not read the original post? Go back and read it.

    Developer worked just fine with other films. It's not a developer issue.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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