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  1. #1
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Complete failure - Xtol gone off?

    So that was certainly a disaster, two rolls completely blank. But more than that, I don't actually know what went wrong.

    - I mixed up some Xtol no earlier than March (I know this because it was in a goonie-bag that had water in it I bought when travelling in feb-march). I've done quite a few rolls with it with no problems, the last maybe a month or two ago.
    - I had three rolls of film to do tonight, all tri-x pan from the same bulk-roll. First one I pushed to 800 in Microphen and it worked perfectly.
    - The next two I'd shot at ei400 so I thought I'd use up the last of my xtol.
    - only 450ml left, so I added water to 900ml at 1+1, for 7:15 at 24C (it was hot today).
    - I definitely did not accidentally fix first. Fixer was in the accordion bottle while dev and stop were in jugs to begin with. (I may have somehow done stop-dev-fix but that wouldn't have done anything too bad. Or even dev-fix-stop but again, that wouldn't have done anything bad).
    - Anyway, I got nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even the print down the edges. Just two completely blank rolls.
    - The film is good (enough) because I already did one roll, and it can't be a faulty camera shutter because there's not even text down the sides. Not even grabbing an unshot roll out of the fridge by mistake could have happened.

    So all that I can think of is that the Xtol itself was bad. It's been sitting in an air-tight gooniebag since I mixed it in march or april or later. It worked perfectly last time I used it (the last I can find I scanned Oct 20th). It's been sitting in room temp (admittedly, that can be up to 28C sometimes, the aircon doesn't reach into my study). But there's a huge difference between foggy, thin, whatever, and complete nothingness.

    Can Xtol go off this badly? Any ideas? Am I completely losing my sanity?
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  2. #2

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    Xtol stock lasts for 6 months in a tightly closed bottle.

    Many users report it behaves "digitally". It either works, or doesn't. There are also no warning signs - it just dies.

  3. #3
    Photo-gear's Avatar
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    When i was an X-Tol user I managed to use it up within a period of 4 to 6 months, no more, for fear of such an accident as reported above.

  4. #4
    fotch's Avatar
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    So it could be 11 months old? That sounds old for any developer.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  5. #5

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    I have used year-old Xtol successfully. I use it replenished and keep the working solution in a plastic Jobo bottle and my replenish stock is stored in glass.
    It does have that reputation for going bad suddenly though.
    Do you know what plastic is in the goonie-bag, it may not be as air-tight as you think.

  6. #6

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    If I have understood the OP's thread he already had done one film perfectly then in the same evening so maybe an hour later or less he did another film and got nothing at all - not even any hint of the numbers etc that Kodak, Ilford etc put on the film.

    Xtol may suddenly die although I had thought we'd laid that one to bed but die totally in one evening after working perfectly on the first film???

    It surely has to be something else. I can only think of fix first but he is sure it wasn't this

    Totally puzzled

    pentaxuser

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    If I have understood the OP's thread he already had done one film perfectly then in the same evening so maybe an hour later or less he did another film and got nothing at all - not even any hint of the numbers etc that Kodak, Ilford etc put on the film.

    Xtol may suddenly die although I had thought we'd laid that one to bed but die totally in one evening after working perfectly on the first film???

    It surely has to be something else. I can only think of fix first but he is sure it wasn't this

    Totally puzzled

    pentaxuser
    I think you misread. The first film was developed with a different developer.

  8. #8
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I gave up on Xtol when i had some go bad within days of purchase. It is not worth taking a chance when there are so many excelent developers available.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  9. #9

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    The OP said that one of the three rolls was developed in Microphen. Then the other two were developed in the last of the Xtol. It certainly sounds like the Xtol had died. Xtol produces very nice negatives BUT I will never use it because of the danger of sudden failure.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    ath
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    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.
    Regards,
    Andreas

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