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Thread: Xtol

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by seadrive
    I'm sure you guys all know this, but Kodak claims the problem was mostly (entirely) related to using XTOL in 1:2 and 1:3 dilutions, which is why they no longer provide development times for any dilutions over 1:1.

    I've really just started using XTOL, so I don't have any storage experiences to share...
    I've read that the main problem was iron in the mixing water. Then again, I've only used the 5 liter package.

    All I know for sure is that I mix and dilute with steam distilled water, and I've processed about 1000 sheets of 5x4 Tri-X in XTOL 1:3 without any problems whatsoever. Never had a failure. Never seen the "sudden death" problem. Used XTOL stock that was 8 months old to process at 1:3 and never had a failure.

    Maybe I'm just lucky ;-)

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson
    I've read that the main problem was iron in the mixing water. Then again, I've only used the 5 liter package.

    All I know for sure is that I mix and dilute with steam distilled water, and I've processed about 1000 sheets of 5x4 Tri-X in XTOL 1:3 without any problems whatsoever. Never had a failure. Never seen the "sudden death" problem. Used XTOL stock that was 8 months old to process at 1:3 and never had a failure.

    Maybe I'm just lucky ;-)
    I'm not saying that the problem is caused by the dilution, rather that, according to Kodak, it only presents itself when using higher-than-normal dilutions.

    I always mix developer with distilled water. Why take a chance?
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  3. #13
    Rolfe Tessem's Avatar
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    Actually, I think Kodak said that the problem with high dilutions occurred, or at least was reported to occur, primarily (exclusively?) with the Tmax films, especially TMX.

    FWIW, I mix my Xtol with my filtered well water, which has a high mineral content and I've never had a problem. But then again, I use it 1:1.

  4. #14

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    This is directly from Kodak's technical data guide for XTOL (publication J-109, September 2004):

    Note: Kodak has tested XTOL Developer for long-term keeping by using typical equipment and procedures. Results indicate that mixed XTOL Developer stored for one year at room temperature in a full, tightly closed bottle provides satisfactory results with Kodak black-and-white films when used at full strength. Some customerrs, however, have reported problems with developer stored for periods between six months and one year. Most often the problems related to loss of developer activity when customers were using a 1:3 or 1:2 dilution of the developer to process Kodak T-MAX 100 Professional Film.

    ...

    If you have been consistently obtaining satisfactory results with diluted developer and you use the mixed developer before keeping characteristics become a concern, you may want to continue your current procedures. However, Kodak publications will no longer include development recommendations for the 1:2 and 1:3 dilutions of the developer.
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  5. #15
    cao
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadrive
    This is directly from Kodak's technical data guide for XTOL (publication J-109, September 2004):
    No-one, to the best of my knowledge, is disputing that Kodak published this statement, but those of us who have succeeded consistently despite this warning are disputing its validity and motivation. For what it's worth, I've processed TMY and TMX 135(36) and 120 rolls in XTOL 1:2 with good results. I mix my stock with distilled water, I dilute with Traverse City tap water, I keep headroom in the bottles as small as practicible in storing the stock, and I use no less than 100ml stock per roll.

  6. #16

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    "If you have been consistently obtaining satisfactory results with diluted developer and you use the mixed developer before keeping characteristics become a concern, you may want to continue your current procedures."

    Can't you just feel the "wink-wink" that's clearly implied by that statement?
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  7. #17
    Dave Swinnard's Avatar
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    My experience with Xtol (always used 1+3) has been that stock stored in FULL-to-the-brim glass 500ml bottles and capped with a plastic wrap under the lid and refrigerated is good for at least two years. I did a test with the same film as when the batch was fresh and saw no difference with the two year old stock. (test was a sanity check). It may have lasted longer but I ran out and the new batch is still fairly young.

    I always mix with distilled water, stock and working solution, to avoid the vagaries of the Vancouver water supply (fairly nice to awfully muddy - depending on mud slides into the mountain lakes serving as reservoirs). I have never personally experienced the dreaded Xtol failure either in the earlier 1 litre packets nor the current 5 litre ones.

    Dave

  8. #18
    cao
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadrive
    Can't you just feel the "wink-wink" that's clearly implied by that statement?
    Why the FUD and inuendo? The great yellow father is not an omniscient great yellow god. I suspect XSDS was a packaging or water quality problem. Their suggestions while perhaps prudent did not root out the problem. The dilution hypothesis hasn't been supported in runs by a fair number of darkroom workers, myself included, who routinely run XTOL in high dilution. I've used XTOL for the last three years, and outside of opening an unprocessed tank in light (ouch), I've not flubbed a roll. XTOL from the metalized plastic 5 liter packs has been an absolutly rock solid performer. Again I ask, why the FUD and inuendo? What do you mean to achieve with this snideness?

  9. #19
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    flawless XTOL performance noted here too - Use without fear.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  10. #20
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    My guess is that Kodak figured that users reporting failures at 1:2 and 1:3 were using less than the recommended 100ml per 35mm roll or equivalent so they simply withdrew the 1:2 and 1:3 times from their site. I'm aware that many users claim good results with less than 100ml per roll, but there are probably many inexperienced workers who simply mixed up dilute solution and filled the tank just enough to cover the reels, thus resulting in far less than the needed stock solution to achieve development. TMX apparently exhausts developer more quickly than other emulsions due to its greater activity and thus probably resulted in more failures.

    Just my guess, but it seems like a reasonable one. Of course, the 1 liter packaging problem was a different issue completely.

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