Again, thanks for all the info and tips!
Originally Posted by MikeSeb
I would clip test a section at 1:1 and see what you think. In MF to LF I generally use it 1:2 and even 1:3. I don't scan.
I find that Xtol is a pretty decent developer for pushing film since it gives good shadow detail and finer grain, but not significantly better than using D76 stock. As a general purpose developer I think there are better choices. Although Xtol produces high resolution and fine grain, it is these characteristics that make the images actually appear soft and unsharp. With other developers like D76 you can negate this effect by using higher dilutions for greater edge effects. With Xtol however, I've used it at 1:3 and didn't see any great increase in acutance as I would in other developers and then you have to be concerned with Xtol's tendency to fail when used at high dilutions. You can always use larger volumes of it to be safe but Kodak no longer publishes times for Xtol above 1:1 so that shows you the confidence they have in it. In short I think that if for some reason you need the finest-grained images possible then go for it, otherwise you can get better results with another developer.
Gene -- Mytol is a scratch-mix developer that is similar or identical in composition to XTOL. The formula can be found in the Chemistry Recipes section of this site, under the non-staining film developers category. By comments on XTOL are based on my use of MYTOL.
Originally Posted by GeneW
Skies are always tricky with grain. Be careful not to over-sharpen your skies. Maybe try D-76 stock to see if that solves any of your problems.
Thanks for the Mytol info. I ran my last two rolls through D-76 stock and the skies were smoother, but the rest of the photos was not as crisp as I like. I'll give XTOL 1:1 a try, as soon as I get down to the camera store for a package.
Originally Posted by Jordan
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Funny, I've been using XTOL at 1+3 for a long time and never had an exhaustion problem because of it. I really think that Kodak stopped recommending the 1+3 dilution because many people were using that dilution to make up only enough working solution to cover 1 35mm reel in a small tank. In that case, you don't have enough stock solution in the mix to meet the minimum requirement of 100ml stock for an 80 sq. in. roll of film. Naturally, the developer poops out before the film is completely done. When I use that dilution, I'm limited to a single roll of film in a 2 reel tank and the tank is quite full of developer.
Originally Posted by Daniel Lawton
I use XTOL and scan with nice results. Compared to the T-Max deveoper I used before, the results are better.
IMO, a factor not to be overseen when scanning BW negs is density. Normal to slightly thin negs are easier to scan and get less grain than slightly dense or very dense negs. At least on my Epson 4990 and Nikon Coolscan V ED scanners. Personally, I find it to be the opposite when wet printing...
Here are some XTOL and scanning examples:
When wet printing, I find XTOL to produce too fine grain on medium format Fuji Acros and Ilford PanF+, even on Tri-X. I'm now experimenting with Rodinal for that purpose.
Last edited by timeUnit; 10-12-2005 at 07:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Think of it as the ultimate version of D76. Conceptually, it is.
More speed ( 1/2 stop ), finer grain ( almost absent with Neopan 400 ).
Like D76, more speed and sharpness 1+1 than straight. You DO see an extra zone in the shadows with XTOL.
No question, I'd suggest mixing XTOL in distilled water, decant it in small bottles, use it 1+1. Use Kodak's times and EI as a guide, they are very accurate.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Thanks. That puts it in perspective. And I've always liked D76 so I think I'll like XTOL.
Originally Posted by df cardwell
Be careful with those high dilutions. One of many suggested explanations for "XTOL sudden failure" problems is using too high a dilution, particularly with T-grain films. Kodak recommends at least 100ml of stock solution per 36-exposure roll of 35mm film, and you're likely to exceed that with 1:3 and maybe even 1:2 dilution if you use just enough diluted solution to cover your film in your tank. If you want to keep using these dilutions, I'd recommend at least performing a snip test before each roll -- cut off a bit of the leader and develop it, in full light, to be sure it darkens completely. (OTOH, I'm not sure how effective this test would be if the developer simply "konks out" partway through developing the roll.) Using 100ml of stock solution with 200ml or 300ml of water, even for a single roll, would also be a good precaution. (Obviously, increase these values if you need more than 300ml or 400ml of solution.)
Originally Posted by MikeSeb