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  1. #11

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    Thanks all, my apologies. You are quite right I had failed to notice that the developer that had just worked was Microphen and not Xtol

    I have been using Xtol for at least 2-3 years now and in winebags have certainly got about a year out of it after which I had used it all up.

    I must admit that after seeing all the stuff on "sudden death" I did check on it after about 8 months with ath's test which is always sensible to do anyway.

    My condolences to the OP. It is a swine when this kind of thing happens

    pentaxuser

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ath View Post
    Yes, most probably your XTOL was dead. XTOL can easily be stored 12 months or longer if stored properly and the water did not contain too much impurities (iron seems to be a problem with ascorbin developers).
    There's an easy sanity check: just place a drop of the developer on the film leader when preparing the solutions. It should turn the leader black in 10 minutes. The film leader is perfect to determine the clearing time in the fix.

    I had no XTOL failure in 13 years.
    If you tend to sloppy technique XTOL probably is not the best choice.

    Here's seven years old XTOL in action.
    This assumption is nieve at best. I've had crappy bottles keep xtol for over a year. I have had great storage and had it die after about 6 months. I've had it die after doing a strip test. You can even the odds, but not tame the beast.

    I did have success with replenished xtol. I used a 2l pool and actually used up 2 packets. I don't use xtol that much these days, so it is not that much of an option any more.

    My only objection with xtol is they sell it in 5l quantities. It wouldn't be an issue if I shot 8x10 and shot as much as I do with MF and SF. I now make my own in volumes I can use up. No more more problems.

    On the other side, it's fairly cheap. After 6 months or so, pitch it.
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  3. #13

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    Flogging elderly chemicals to death is probably not your best use of time. "Let's see, I've got Judy's phone number in my little black book. I was supposed to call her three years ago but I'll give her a buzz now.... Get the idea? When in doubt throw it out or at least test it with some negs that are not important.

  4. #14
    ath
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrred View Post
    This assumption is nieve at best.
    Which assumption? I stated my observations based on my experience over 15 years with XTOL. And what is nieve? Should that be a english word?
    Regards,
    Andreas

  5. #15
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    When in defence, attack the language..... Nice call, real mature.

    It was my mistake to quote the entire message. It should have just been "f you tend to sloppy technique XTOL probably is not the best choice.".

    XTol usually fails for two reasons. 1 would be from oxygen and 2 would be from iron. Technique will not save you from the iron, sloppy or otherwise. Not using this otherwise perfect product would be silly. XTol is a great product. It's weakness should limit the amount made and unrealistic expectations for it lasting to completion of 5l. There are other suppliers of 1l versions of XTol.
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  6. #16
    ath
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrred View Post
    When in defence, attack the language..... Nice call, real mature.

    It was my mistake to quote the entire message. It should have just been "f you tend to sloppy technique XTOL probably is not the best choice.".
    And what exactly is naive (I assume that's what you wanted to write) in this sentence? And is calling others naive without reason mature?
    I think you got a few things mixed up.

    EOD for me.
    Regards,
    Andreas

  7. #17
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    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  8. #18
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    a) 11 months is pretty old for Xtol
    b) I hope you didn't mix it up using Adelaide tap water? The iron content will kill it.

    I've had xtol stock die at 1 day old when mixed from our tap water, whereas mixing it with the spring water from the goonbag I store it in has lasted me 9+ months with no worries. If you had a real marginal old batch and did the 1+1 thing with tap water, that could maybe have sent it over the edge.

    I also make mine up to 4L from a packet, i.e. 1.25x concentrated stock. Means that there's 20% less contamination from bad things in whatever water you mix it with. No idea if that's actually helped me or not.

  9. #19

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    Iron in water kills xtol?

    Interesting... This might explain why my 3 days old Xtol got really flat the one and only time I used it.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrred View Post
    XTol usually fails for two reasons. 1 would be from oxygen and 2 would be from iron.
    Xtol contains a powerful sequestering agent (DTPA) which inactivates Iron and thereby prevents the Fenton reaction, otherwise Xtol would last less than a week, but aerial Oxygen is an issue like with all other developers. The problem I see with Ascorbate developers is that they contain plenty of Ascorbate but only very little is needed to keep them active. The Ascorbate slowly decomposes over time and nobody notices it, and suddenly it's all gone and your negs come out blank.

    Since it is difficult to determine upfront whether Xtol still works or not, careful observation of its instructions is the only way to ensure proper results.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

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