My guess is about the same. I'm using XTOL 1+3 for many types of film, usually using 25% more than the minimum recommended amount, with good results as well.
An additional question on Xtol??
Has anyone directly compared the results of a film in both D76 and Xtol at whatever dilution is the norm for you??
What are the characteristics that make one "better" or more suited to your work style?
If you're implying that Kodak wants you to use less-diluted XTOL to bolster their profits, I'm skeptical. If that were the case, Kodak would simply have never recommended 1+2 or higher dilutions, and/or they'd have quietly changed their recommendations for D-76, HC-110, etc., in addition to XTOL.
Originally Posted by cao
It seems to me that most of us here on APUG are working from very limited data sets. Kodak is the only entity that's likely to have enough data to draw any conclusions about the cause of XTOL sudden failures. Of course, a certain amount of skepticism is in order when interpreting any corporate statements, but on balance, I'd rather trust Kodak on this point than assume there's no problem with higher dilutions.
As to frequent reports of success with higher dilutions, consider this:
- The claim is that higher dilutions are most likely to cause problems with TMX and less likely to cause problems with other films. Thus, if you're using higher dilutions with non-TMX films, it's not really a contradition.
- The real issue seems to be the 100ml of stock developer per 35mm roll (or equivalent). If you're using a plastic tank with 1+2 dilution, you're probably meeting that requirement, and not missing it by far with 1+3 dilution.
- XTOL sudden failures seem to be pretty rare. Kodak isn't claiming that you're certain to run into them even when processing TMX with high dilutions, just that you're more likely to encounter problems under these circumstances. For instance, to apply completely fictitious numbers, suppose that XTOL has a 0.01% chance of failure (1 failure per 10,000 rolls) overall. Suppose further that the failure rate climbs to 0.5% (1 failure per 200 rolls) when processing TMX with 1+3 dilution in a 250ml stainless steel tank. That's still a pretty small chance of failure in absolute terms, so lots of people here would not encounter this problem, even after processing 100 rolls or more. From a corporate point of view, though, that's a huge jump in the failure rate, and something worth addressing in a CYA sort of way.
- Chances are the high dilution/less than required amount of developer problem isn't the only cause of failures. This issue probably interacts with others that Kodak may or may not have identified or be able to address, such as as-yet-unresolved packaging issues, the water used to mix the XTOL, storage conditions, etc. If (a big caveat) Kodak has conducted studies, they may have found a statistical correlation between failures and any number of factors (dilution, water impurities, etc.). If that correlation is strongest with dilution, then the safest way of addressing it is to change their dilution recommendations. That doesn't mean that the other factors aren't important or even necessary for a failure to occur, but they might be things Kodak can't or doesn't want to address. For instance, they can't exactly tell you to test your water for iron content, and they might be afraid of scaring off customers by telling them to use distilled water.
I've used Xtol 1+3 and 1+2 for years in a Jobo processor for 4x5 TMX since the year Xtol came out. I've never had an 'xtol failure'. Some of my stock was up to 8 months old and stored in tanks with floating lids. It's odd that I didn't have a failure if there really is a problem with the developer.
Not necessarily. First, I have yet to see anybody claim that XTOL failures are likely in an absolute sense, although XTOL detractors like to imply it. I haven't seen any hard numbers, but I'd guess the odds of a failure on any given use, assuming correct mixing and reasonable storage, are less than 1%, and probably much less than this. Unless you shoot a lot of film, the odds of any given photographer encountering a failure are therefore far from 100%, even over the ten years it's been on the market.
Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
Second, odds are that there is no single cause of XTOL failures, but rather that a combination of factors is required to cause a failure. By this view, Kodak has addressed the dilution issue because it's easy. It could be, for instance, that a combination of (a) high dilution and (b) TMX film with either (c1) water high in iron content or (c2) sub-optimal storage is required to encounter problems. If neither c1 nor c2 applies to you, then you wouldn't encounter failures, but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem with the product. Of course, this is just an example; I am not trying to say that the specified conditions of a, b, c1, and c2 are actually the root of any XTOL problems.
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Not at all. I'm merely resentful of a CYA approach. If the answers aren't clear, then I want to know this, and I do not like to have my perceptions managed.
Originally Posted by srs5694
XTOL gives the smooth grain that d76 gets but adds a sharpness that d76 lacks. Less grain erosion - better accutance - finer grain. In my opinion - XTOL is better than d76 in every way. It is my first choice for big enlargements.
Originally Posted by chiller
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...
Back to the original question: has anyone had experience with pouring the powder out of the two XTOL envelopes, keeping the contents separate and sealed, and then mixing the powder with water at the appropriate ratios prior to each developing session?? Would that reduce the SDS rate, or would it extend the life of the developer??
I use a 5 litre wine cask to store Xtol stock solution. I'm using my latest lot at 1:3 and it's 5 months old. If you can drink 5 litres of average wine you end up with a very convenient, air-free vessel for developers.
I too mix 5 liter batches of Xtol with distilled water: fill 3 glass bottles to the rim, and the rest I divide over smaller glass bottles with either 150 or 500 ml stock, and I fill these bottles to the rim with deminiralised water. So when I either process a 35 mm or a 120 film I take the appropiate bottles, and dilute it to either 300 or 1000ml for Xtol 1:1 in my patterson tank.
The oldest stock used in this way is 2 years old: no problems.
The only problem with Xtol is that it does not change colour when its dead.
Just to be overly sure I dip an exposed piece of film in the mixed developer, and see if it slightly blackens..