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  1. #1

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    Kodak XTOL... Thin negatives and sprocket numbers!

    I have recently tried XTOL on two test rolls, and have had very disappointing results.

    First off was a roll of Tmax 100 shot at 100, developed in XTOL 1+1 for 14 minutes. Negatives are thin, as are the numbers by the sprocket holes.
    Same with ilford PAN 100, developed for 13 minutes. I used times from the massive dev chart and threw on a couple of minutes for each, so i could start working with my process from there. But the results are poor, and I am not sure if i just have a bad batch or something else is up!

    Any advice would be appreciated, i have never had such problems developing B/W before these are the worst two rolls i have ever processed! Good thing they were not critical ones.

    Or have i experienced the dreaded XTOL failure? I mixed it a week ago exactly, in a 5L PET container with butane gas to protect it, as i do with all my B/W and colour chemicals. I have had no problems with home-made ascorbate developers, or am i missing something?

    Advice would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    Kodak XTOL... Thin negatives and sprocket numbers!

    It sounds like you're WAY overdeveloping. According to the Massive Dev Chart, both films should be developed in XTOL 1+1 for around 9:15 to 9:30. No wonder your negs are anemic -- you're effectively pushing the film several stops by adding on extra time.

    And the fabled XTOL sudden death syndrome is much over-hyped. It was a product of the discontinued 1L packets. I just finished off a batch of 5L that was over a year old and worked as well as the day it was first mixed.
    Last edited by Terry Christian; 02-06-2013 at 01:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Wouldn't overdeveloped negs be generally darker not thinner? When you mixed the x-tol, did you dilute it then, and then possibly dilute it again when you prepared to process the film? Also, how often did you agitate the film? Just thinking out loud...

  4. #4
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm94 View Post
    I have recently tried XTOL on two test rolls, and have had very disappointing results.

    First off was a roll of Tmax 100 shot at 100, developed in XTOL 1+1 for 14 minutes. Negatives are thin, as are the numbers by the sprocket holes.
    Same with ilford PAN 100, developed for 13 minutes. I used times from the massive dev chart and threw on a couple of minutes for each, so i could start working with my process from there. But the results are poor, and I am not sure if i just have a bad batch or something else is up!

    Any advice would be appreciated, i have never had such problems developing B/W before these are the worst two rolls i have ever processed! Good thing they were not critical ones.

    Or have i experienced the dreaded XTOL failure? I mixed it a week ago exactly, in a 5L PET container with butane gas to protect it, as i do with all my B/W and colour chemicals. I have had no problems with home-made ascorbate developers, or am i missing something?

    Advice would be appreciated!
    Those are times I use for XTOL 1:3, so they are plenty. I bet you have a problem with your camera.

    Always decant your developers into smaller bottles; 500mL is very practical. I do this and XTOL lasts more than a year, although I'm embarrassed that it takes me that long! The whole XTOL fail thing is more urban legend than reality.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
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    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  5. #5

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    Camera exposure won't affect the sprocket numbering. It's a developing issue.

  6. #6

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    Even with correct time, there needs to be 100ml of the undiluted Xtol in the mix. Be sure you follow that. If your tank needs 250ml per roll to cover the film, and you did Xtol 1+3, you'd think you only need 250/4 = 62.5ml of Xtol and the rest in water. You'd not have enough Xtol to do the development.

    Trust me on that one
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  7. #7

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    With these times and mixed a week ago I cannot see how it can be a developing issue. What the OP doesn't say but we are inferring, rightly or wrongly is that he has used Xtol at these times in the past with TMax 100 and Ilford Pan without the problem.

    Maybe he can say if the combination of Xtol and Tmax is new to him. Has he tried to do any darkroom prints and if so are the negs a problem to print?

    I had my first experience of TMax 400 this week and with Xtol 1+1 at 9.25 mins(official Kodak time) the negs looked thin and very grey compared to both Ilford and Fuji Acros films but the prints were fine.

    It is the prints that count and until an attempt at printing has been made then I don't believe the OP can conclude that there is a problem

    We need to know more before we can help him or decide if indeed he needs any help

    pentaxuser

  8. #8

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    Just as a frame of reference, my normal time for 35mm TMax 100 in XTOL 1+1 is 12 minutes @ 68F. I have never had XTOL fail on me - ever. And that includes 1+3 dilutions.

    Developer or developing tank contamination perhaps? How much developer volume was used? What was the agitation scheme? Temperature too cold?

  9. #9

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    This happened to me several times until I realized that my stirring when mixing the powders was stirring in WAY too much oxygen. My efforts lasted anywhere from a week to 3 weeks, depending on how much stirring I was doing. Very frustrating! The last batch was mixed with virtually no stirring and was decanted into smaller bottles and it lasted several months with full activity.

    With the recommended colder water temperatures (compared to D-76) there is the tendency to 'stir it up a bit' to get the powder to dissolve.

    How much stirring were you doing while mixing? What was the water temperature? You need to adhere to the temps recommended on the package. Warm water will zap it also.

    After discovering this tidbit, the last batch of D-76 was prepared without stirring; I simply poured the chemicals into a distilled water bottle at room temp, swirled the bottle several times and put it away. The next day it was completely dissolved. I am going to try this with Xtol next time around.
    Last edited by Fred Aspen; 02-06-2013 at 02:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    -Fred

  10. #10

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    I may have been lucky but when I mix 5L I stir quite vigorously and have never had a problem. I decant into two 3L wineboxes and have recently developed TMax400 ( this week in fact) in Xtol that is now 18 months old

    pentaxuser

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