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Thread: X-TOL question

  1. #1
    Trey's Avatar
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    X-TOL question

    How do those of you guys who develop with X-TOL use it? This past summer I started pouring it back into the bottle and reusing it, and things looked fine. But I'm wondering if that's really such a good idea.

    I had a one gallon bottle that I would "replenish" with solution from a one liter bottle. Is that silly?

  2. #2

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    You can do this, and keep track of the number of rolls you run thru the stock solution. You also must add 5% (?) to the time for each roll until it reaches its limit; it should say on the package.

    However, there is a much better way! depending on the film I'm using and the effect I want, I dilute a dev like X-Tol 1+1 to 1+3. This way, the dev is always fresh, I can get to my proper temp quickly by adding the right temp tap water and the tomality and highlights come out better, IMHO, with a diluted deveoper.

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    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I use it 1:1 most of the time when I use it, and I discard the used working solution. This guarantees consistency, and as an added bonus increases acutance a little (at the expense of a little grain which I don't mind).
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

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  4. #4
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    I reuse X-TOL up to 15 rolls as recommended by Kodak. I am sure it is still good for more, but I do not feel like ruining a roll of film just to find out.

    Steve
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    Thanks guys.

    Hopefully I'll be able to spend more time this coming semester in the darkroom (took alternative processes this past semester) and get my chemistry fresh. I just processed two short rolls of 135 in X-TOL that I had mixed in July and probably run fifteen rolls through... actually, maybe more.

    If it had been critical film, I would have mixed fresh, but I was kind of curious to see what would happen. It was fine, but I still dumped it down the toilet afterward.

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    The Jims have it

    Agree with the 2 Jims. Perhaps we're lazy, but I always use 1:1 and discard.
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    I've never been comfortable with re-using any developer, except Diafine, in my darkroom. With each use, the developer loses strength and picks up byproducts of development. To compensate, you need to add development time or run a replenishment system. Neither of these methods is convenient or reliable for the home user developing small quantities of film. In a commercial lab with access to test strips, and having a relatively stable workload, running a reliable and stable replenished line makes economic sense. It does not make sense for the home user running only a few rolls of film on an erratic schedule.

    For the home user, the most reliable and repeatable results are to be had by using the developer as a one shot solution. Be it full strength stock solution or diluted makes no difference. For my own work, I typically will use XTOL anywhere from full strength stock solution or diluted 1+1 to 1+3 depending on the application. At 1+1 you might get a little more apparent grain structure, but it's hardly worth mentioning unless you plan enlargements of 10x or greater. Even then, the differences are not worth squabbling about.

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    I always use it 1:1 and then dump it down the drain.

  9. #9
    cao
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    I use XTol one-shot at 1:2.

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    Trey's Avatar
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    So will the grain be more and more apparent the further I dilute the developer?

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