jimrs, I've recently had great results with Tmax 100 at 100 in Xtol straight. I'm running replenished Xtol right now, so my times will be different, but the results in 35mm were so smooth, this combination is on my to shoot list in 120 and 4x5, very 'Panatomic-X' like.
One thing I've noted with Xtol and in particular using with tmax is that its seems almost impossible to get a too dense neg. In dialing in the above tmax 100 I did a test with bracketed frames and multiple rolls at 2 min increases. End result gave me the times and EI for the result that I wanted to see, but some of the 'off' frames, where there was 3 or 4 or even 5 stops over exposure coupled with over-development that would put it so far over 'normal', and yet, when I contact printed or printed thru and corrected the contrast, the image still was far above 'acceptable', bordering on 'excellent'. I'll be keeping those times and EI's in my notebook as well. Have fun, and do the testing.
In case your faith in Xtol becomes shaky read this, especially the comments in paragraph 4:
I have not had any problems with X-tol and T-max 100 in quite some time.
Early in the production of xtol the 1 liter packages had problems with the A component going bad. The new packaging and the elimination of the 1 liter size has eliminated this problem.
The most common problem that people have when using xtol is over dilution. Xtol requires at least 100ml of straight xtol per roll of 120 film.
My normal use in a Jobo, with 4 120 rolls is 500ml xtol + 500 ml distilled water.
I do not have any problems with this. I have also used it with 5 rolls but that is when I do my dual developer technique.
I find that xtol stays quite long in an air evacuation bottle. It safely lasts for months.
A few general tips:
I mix all developers with distilled water.
I buy developer in large batches, usually at least 10 packets of the same lot. I buy the longest expiration date I can find and I put the date of the purchase on the packet.
I buy film in large batches, usually 400 rolls at a time, all the same emulsion. I also buy by the longest expiration date.
I then test a roll of the new film with a batch of the new developer BEFORE I go out and shoot. This way I know that my film is ok and that my developer is ok.
When I come back from a long trip, and I usually have 125 rolls to do plus another 50 sheets of Tmax 100 ready load, I take the film that I consider most expendable, or I shoot some dedicated test rolls while i'm on the trip, and I process that stuff first. When I mix a new batch of developer, even if it is from the same batch I have been using, I always process the most expendable film first.
Do not process film that you consider to have any real value to you in untested developer or with a different process than you usually do. People who complain that they lost irreplaceable images unfortunately have no one to blame but themselves. Hope for the best but assume for the worst. Test everything. If you buy a new lens or put on a new GG, test it before you go out and shoot something important. Shoot some film with it under realistic circumstances, process the film and examine it carefully. Learn from your tests, learn from your mistakes.
Pulling film , N minus, is not recommended with any film especially tmax films. Minus processing kills your local contrast. Either rely on the extended dynamic range of tmax 100 or preflash (a zone I or I 1/2 is usually enough)
As for pushing film, you may be better off processing normally and then using selenium toner to intensify the negative. You can get an N+1 using selenium toner without increasing grain and you can also view the extent of the toning and the contrast increase while you do it. You have more control of the contrast increase this way. If you need to go N+2, then you may have to develope for N+1 and then use selenium to take you the rest of the way.
Test, test, test.
Not enough active developer?
If you developed 4 rolls of 120 simultaneously, isn't it possible there wasn't enough developer (diluted 1:2, I think you said) in the tank for this much film?
[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][/FONT]Chuck B