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  1. #1

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    How to restart my replenished Xtol?

    Last November, I mixed up a new batch of Xtol and developed a number of rolls through the winter months using the replenishing option, and was very satisfied with the results. For some reason, my film shooting and developing came to a near halt during the spring months when I shot only a few rolls of Pan F that I developed in Rodinal. So my replenished Xtol has been sitting untouched since mid-February.

    My Xtol stock solution and 1/2 gal. jug of working (replenished) solution are now well out of date and I need to mix a new batch of stock solution. I would like to continue using my 1/2 gal. Xtol replenished solution, but don't know how much of that should first be discarded and and refilled with newly mixed stock solution to start the replenished process going again.

    Any suggestions?

    Dave

  2. #2

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    Dave....I used seasoned HC-110 developer and unless it's completely spoiled, I would start with discarding 25-50% if you haven't touched it in a long time, assuming it's the 1 gallon jugs. I do not have a scientific reason for this. You would have to run a test strip through it though to accurately measure the developing time.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    25% should be sufficient, I was leaving Xtol part replenished for 6 month spels here in the UK while I was living in Turkey and that was fine. I usually developed less important images as a check to make sure.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Yep. It would be OK to dump about 25% and add fresh Xtol to bring activity back up. See, the reason you use a replenished developer, in addition to economy, is that the byproducts from developing is what gives the developer its unique characteristics, compared to just diluted stock. And the good news is that these byproducts remain in the developer, even if it's very old. If you have a batch of developer that's very old, you can use it as 'starter' for a new replenished system, as it effectively adds those byproducts, (which act as restrainers), directly to the developer so there will be no need to season the batch.

    Taken well care of, making sure it doesn't get contaminated, a replenished batch can last years or decades.

    For your information, if you don't use your replenished Xtol batch for about two weeks, replenish 100ml fresh developer anyway. Do this every two weeks, and activity will remain stable. I've come to do this with my own 2 liter working solution, and it works great. If you have a much larger working solution, like 5 liter, or 10 liter, you will need to replenish more solution. Do your own testing to see how much you need.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

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  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies. I was concerned that I might need to dump much more than that.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    How much does it cost to buy and shoot a roll of film, which might be ruined by a dead developer,
    compared with the cost of just mixing fresh developer?

    This is a no-brainer.

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

  7. #7

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    Leigh,

    I agree that developer is cheap compared to ruined film, but if I start over from the beginning with new working solution, it takes around 10 rolls to season the working solution and get it to the point it was when I stopped using it in February. If the experts here fell that by adding only 25% fresh Xtol to my existing working solution I can get the process going where I left off, then that is a good way to go. My first roll will be one of less importance just to be safe.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    ?? season it ??

    If your tenth roll doesn't come out exactly the same as your first, there's something seriously wrong with your process.

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

  9. #9

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    Leigh,

    When using Xtol as a replenished developer it tends to acquire a somewhat different look after about 10 rolls have gone through it. It becomes "seasoned" or "mellows" after that. If you have time, do a search on Xtol replenishing. Thomas Bertilsson, who posted above, has posted quite a bit about it along with others. He could more accurately describe the difference between fresh and "seasoned" Xtol.

    Dave

  10. #10
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Kansas View Post
    When using Xtol as a replenished developer it tends to acquire a somewhat different look after about 10 rolls have gone through it. It becomes "seasoned" or "mellows" after that.
    That violates the most basic tenet of b&w film processing... consistency.

    This appears to be an excellent example of the old marketing ploy: "If you can't fix it, feature it".

    The underlying concept being that if you can't make something work properly,
    put a spin on it to make gullible customers think what they observe is "normal".

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

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