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  1. #1

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    XTOL : My way to mix, store, test and use.

    Hi !
    Back at home from an Easter trip to my mother's in law place, I think it is better to start a new thread, than to respond to the old one.
    I use Xtol since it's introduction, and had only once a failure which was predictable (and did not hurt me...)

    First : If the A package is cacked, do not mix it. It has got some wet air inside and is probably dead. Ask for a replacement, you may obtain one...

    Next, boil your tap water and let it settle overnight. This will drive calcium salts into a sludge at the bottom, drive dissolved gasses out, kill all present organical matters, and letting it settle will drive the sludge down. This will ensure a "near perfect" water to mix and keep your product alive.

    Mixing :I mix the stuff in a 5 liter pail starting with 2,5 or 3 liters water (a rubbermaid one with a transparent window at bottom, which I calibrated to 5liters.) Mix the A part until TOTALLY dissolved, using a big plastic spoon, and crack the small cacked spots in the pail bottom. You may obtain a pale orange liquid, this is normal. (using lukewarm water helps a bit)
    Mix with B part stir as long as needed (I miss the 1 liter pack which mixed perfectly using my magnetic stirrer...) Try not to put air in the mix, so DO NOT make a vortex by stirring too hard.... (otherwise boilling the water was a waste of electrical power...) Adding part B will clear the orange color if you've got one.
    Adjust to 5 liters when done.


    Storage : Use brown 1 liter glass bottles with a tight fitting plastic screwing cap. Check it has a gasket of some sort (mine has a "lip" going inside the collar of the bottle and it is a perfect seal) If possible use bottle used to put medicines. They often are good at keeping oxygen out, and at not leaking....
    When you pour one liter on the bottle there is air above the liquid... So add Xtol until the level is at the brim.
    Close tightly and label properlly, adding the mixing date.... Doing this, you have enough Xtol to complete 4 liters and are left with a partial liter....

    Use the remaining to fill small bottles based on the processing tank capacity : My Paterson uses 300 cc for a 135 film. As I use Xtol 1+2, I need 100 CC for one film. So I've bought dark amber bottles of 100 CC with the very same caps as the one liter ones... I preciselly measure 100 CC stock and put it in every 100 Cc bottle. This, as previously, let some air above the liquid. I now top up with water. and close as tightly as I can. Label accordingly.

    This way, my stock Xtol goes well beyond one year storage ! And it is stored in a room without too much heat in winter and no air cond in summer, just under the roof...

    Usage : When I need to develop a 135 film, I pour my full Xtol 100 cc bottle in a beaker and add water up to the 300 CC mark. (it is immaterial to check the exact volume I've got in the bottle because I know I have *exactly* 100 cc stock (which was measured out earlier...) )

    But you must be carefull when you've topped up, because if some liquid goes above the brim, it's lost, and Murphy's law said that it is stock Xtol going out, not water....

    To double check activity, I put the 135 leader in the working strength Xtol during 3 or 4 minutes, during the time it takes to prepare stop bath, fixer, etc... If the leader turns black, Xtol is working. If not, dump it and save your film...

    When my 100 CC bottles are all empty, I use one 1 Liter bottle to fill them repeating the cycle until all Xtol is used up. I loose a little Xtol this way because I've a little more than one liter to cut into 10 bottle of 100 cc. So you've an option: dump the extra, or use it to top up the 100 CC bottles.....I tend to favor the latter....

    It has worked for me since the Xtol introduction, and it gives me one of the finest dev. I know.... I keep all Xtol bottles dedicated to this usage, including the mixing pail and big spoon.... Boilling the water is something I learned when I was a kid in college at my camera club.... So old tricks die hard...
    Enjoy !
    P.S. Claudio Bonavolta ( http://www.bonavolta.ch ) will reach the 3 year storage mark for stock xtol this month using a very similar mixing/storage method.... Maybe he is trying to enter the Guinness book ?

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the info, but I would suggest distilled water if available.

  3. #3

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    I've wondered for some time the source of those 100ml bottles.
    I've any number of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 ounce amber Boston Rounds
    but have never seen 100ml bottles.

    My bottles all have the Polycone or Polyseal caps; screw
    caps with a PE cork included. A very sure seal.

    BTW, would'nt it be a lot easier to mix up some
    Mytol now and then? Dan

  4. #4

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    An alternative approach: I dilute the 5 L. pack up to only 2.5 L (mixing with distilled water), then store in 0.5 L amber bottles filled all the way up. When I am ready for a new liter of developer, I pour this into a separate 1 L. bottle and add an equal amt of distilled water. Saved a bit on storage space AND the cost of the 500ml bottles was less than the Liter bottles. This concentrate really seems to keep well (again, there is virtually no air left in the bottle when it is capped).

    Sam

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    BTW, would'nt it be a lot easier to mix up some
    Mytol now and then? Dan
    Much, much easier! Same goes for Pat Gainer's PC Tea.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    I've wondered for some time the source of those 100ml bottles.
    I've any number of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 ounce amber Boston Rounds
    but have never seen 100ml bottles.
    Hi Dan !
    In continental Europe, try to find 1, 2, 4 ounce bottles, it will prove really difficult !
    Try to ask some chemists stores if they do some medicines by themselves, they may direct you to a specialized bottle shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    My bottles all have the Polycone or Polyseal caps; screw
    caps with a PE cork included. A very sure seal.
    Yes, after checking my sales slip, this is the name they call it ! Wonderfull caps !

    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    BTW, would'nt it be a lot easier to mix up some
    Mytol now and then? Dan
    Mytol, as far as I know, is not the exact Kodak stuff.... The closer looking is Foma FOMADON EXCEL which is a fraudulent copy according to Kodak, so it will be banned from USA ...
    For now, I restrain myself only to mixing my paper s dev. but in a few weeks I'll have a dedicated darkroom (contractor has just finished work) and at that time, who knows, I'll mix everything ....
    Have a nice day !

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info George!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgesGiralt
    Hi Dan !

    Mytol, as far as I know, is not the exact Kodak stuff....
    Mytol makes no claim to be the exact Kodak stuff... but it works very well indeed!

    The same can be said for Gainer's PC-Tea.
    Tom Hoskinson
    ______________________________

    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  9. #9
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Xtol - Replenishing System - Storage and Dev time adjustments

    Georges this is great info, I keep coming back to it. Thanks again!

    Can I as though if anyone has any experience with using a Replenishing system with full strength Xtol?

    How do you store it?
    How do you adjust your dev times?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    I've wondered for some time the source of those 100ml bottles.
    I've any number of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 ounce amber Boston Rounds
    but have never seen 100ml bottles.
    Your profile doesn't say where you're located. In North America, try Specialty Bottle. They've got "Eurodropper" style bottles in 100ml size. Note that I've never ordered from them before (I tend to re-use drink and other bottles from the grocery store), but I've bookmarked their site. Also, I recently discovered that McCormick spice bottles hold precisely 100ml. Of course, it'll take a long time to stockpile a significant number of those bottles unless you're a real spice maniac! I'm sure some medicine and other small bottles also hold close to 100ml.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgesGiralt
    Mytol, as far as I know, is not the exact Kodak stuff.... The closer looking is Foma FOMADON EXCEL
    If you want to mix your own from scratch (as Mytol requires), there are many phenidone/vitamin C (PC) developer formulas available, such as Mytol, PC-TEA, PC-Glycol, DS-10, DS-12, E-76, etc. You can even dig up the "real" XTOL formula if you do a patent search. (I've seen a Usenet post that presents this formula. A substitute for one hard-to-find item is described here; search for "EDTA.") As I understand it, Kodak's patents make mixing your own XTOL legally inadvisable if you sell your photos, but patent law makes it OK to do this for personal use only. Note that I've not tried mixing my own XTOL, so I can't say from personal experience that the formula in the links I've provided works well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Boenig-McGrade
    Can I as though if anyone has any experience with using a Replenishing system with full strength Xtol?
    I don't have any personal experience with this, but Kodak's data sheets for XTOL (available from their Web site, but I don't have a URL handy) say that XTOL functions as its own replenisher. I suggest you dig up their XTOL data sheet.

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