You didn't mention what your water-quality is. I suggest making two changes:
1. Mix a new batch of XTOL using distilled or DI water. I shake it to dissolve in a *capped* 5L container (with say 4 or 4.5L in it) to avoid adding more oxygen. Top it off to 5L after dissolving.
2. Pre-soak the film for 4 minutes before developing. I find a pre-soak gives Tmax-400 more density, and maybe that'll help Tmax-100 too. I doubt it would make a difference with the Ilford film though.
People seem to have trouble with the MDC all the time. Check the folllowing site for development times and other information on Xtol.
BTW, Kodak no longer recommends any higher dilution than 1+1 for this developer because of inconsistant results.
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~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It is definitely not an exposure issue, due to the thin sprocket numbers, and an ISO 100 ektar 100 home processed C41 film was shot just before this one which came out stunning, photos of squirrels which have become a final for this college project i am on and i printed duplicates (RA4) tonight along side my B/W printing. I 'over developed' with extra time as that is how i have introduced myself to new developers as i wanted a bit more contrast in these photos photos, i then adjust times to suit. So the fact i have added an extra 3 minutes and got this indicates a serious problem that had i developed normally the negatives would be even more unprintable than they are now, they are garbage!
I attempted to print the negatives, tried all grades, starting from 5, too under developed to be of any use.
I mixed the developer as directed on the packet, 4L of water in a 5L container, added part A, shook like mad and let it sit for 20 minutes until all was dissolved, added part B then added an extra L of water to make it 5, then shook like mad again until that was dissolved, then capped the bottle where it has sat until now.
I used 500ml stock solution from this bottle and 500ml of water to make 1L of 1+1, 500ml for a 500ml tank per roll as i developed two as stated, both with the same outcome.
The only thing i cannot rule out it seems apart from a dodgy batch would be water as someone here has stated, but the problem there is it has been fine for C41, and E6 chemicals and RA4 chemicals, all of which have been fine and i have superb negatives, prints and slides from developed films. Not had a single one go wrong using this tap water.
I want to try the solution stock but am scared of ruining another roll, it seems a waste.
Personally i have never used a pre-soak with tmax, it seems to have good density anyway when D76 or rodinal is used, but i prefer D76 1+1 for Tmax and TMZ. I have a second 5L batch still in its packets, i ordered two lots, both are from the same batch
How does the leader look? It should be solid black (virtually opaque with a brownish tinge). If it wasn't max black, I would be pitching the developer out. I think perhaps you were bitten by the same bug that I was, namely, the over zealous mixing process.
You can also do a snip test: put a piece of film (leader) exposed to daylight in 50ml of stock developer and wait 6-7 minutes. You should be able to see it start to turn black in about 2-3 minutes and then proceed to opaque in 8-9 minutes. My dodgy developer never did turn pitch black even after 12 minutes. Good luck.
PS. If you used tap water, some water supplies contain a great deal of dissolved oxygen which will kill it also. Excess iron/minerals in your tap water will also compromise the activity of Xtol. Best to always use distilled water or DI water.
Last edited by Fred Aspen; 02-06-2013 at 04:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
So it appears you are saying that you are new to Xtol? Are you new to TMax as well? What other B&W developers have you successfully used with what other B&W films, if any?
We need photographic chemists to contribute but what it is about Xtol that makes it susceptible to the water quality that doesn't affect C41 and E6 films?
Have you tried printing? We still need to know more to get to the cause
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It affected some users and not others. The original 1Litre packaging was part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that ascorbate developers don't keep as well as most others, and are probably more sensitive to water impurities than others. For those that it affected, it was not an urban legend, whatever that may be.
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
Hello everyone I am just joined...Hi Hi, just like to say I use XTOL almost exclusively besides ADOX Adonal, and I recently got a bad batch of XTOL. Not less than a week old and had the negs come out super thin. I thought it was handler error, but did a test a half a roll in Adonal and the other half in XTOL. XTOL again produced thin negs. So chucked it made a new batch and everything was fine....To OP if you have another developer you are used to then just do a test roll and you will know if you screwed the pooch or got a bad batch....I absolutely love XTOL, especially for pushing film so dont let it discourage you. Also consider if it is an important roll do a snip test first.
also like to add I have been using XTOL for close 7 years and this is the first bad batch I have ever gotten..
Welcome to apug!
Originally Posted by YBFOTO
To both of you who had these problems:
The front right bottom of the bag for part B has an expiration-date and other codes printed sideways on it. Could you post that info?
My bag from 6 months ago has this on it: EXP DATE 2015-05 1218 B1 0066900
I dont have the bags i toss em after mixing.
Originally Posted by albada