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  1. #11
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    I have a roll of cheap 35mm film (Arista Edu Ultra) just for testing Xtol. Pull out an inch or two, put it in the Xtol, and see whether it turns black in a reasonable amount of time. It's really quite easy, and I've found that partially filled bottles are often fine for a relatively long time.
    Charles Hohenstein

  2. #12

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    XTOL now sold in 5L containers avoids the sudden death experience a few folks had with the 1L packaging years ago. If your stock solution was not mixed to 5L and is super-concentated, it is unlikely exhausted. I have developed Tri-X negatives to to normal contrast using 8 month old XTOL in a 1/2 filled PETE container. That said, I normally discard developer after 7/8 months to ensure quality.

    The best advice is to use a fresh mix. Developer is inexpensive. You could develop a strip of test negs to determine if the solution is OK. If circumstances are such that you can't mix new developer, you have a good chance the XTOL is OK.
    RJ

  3. #13
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    I'm not complaining. Its just that expiry dates are usually made with "better safe than sorry" in mind. Milk box in my fridge says "use within 48 hours after opening". I find its good even after almost a week.

    Cheap, depends.
    In US its $10 and if you reuse or use 1+3 and its your main developer, it probably is dirt cheap.

    Here, I pay twice that. I have xtol tested only as extreme push developer, use it as one shot stock so its good for 10 rolls. I do not shoot as much of that as I used to, and if I mix next batch there's pretty good chance it will go bad before I use half of it. Just like it happened with this one.

    Talking cheap, for me, Rodinal is cheap. Seems to never go bad and way I use it, its 50 or a bit more rolls a bottle.

    Also, I found that the half used xtol stored in PVC bottle works, I'm only not sure if its full strength or somewhat weakened. The test came thin but I might be just matter of agitation.

  4. #14
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    I used XTOL which was 1 1/2 years old und it worked like a champ.
    But I store it in the dark and at low tempratures in a dark green glass bottle filled up completely!

    So test it and use it, should be still fine, Armin
    Good light and nice shadows!

    www.artfoto.ch

  5. #15

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    I have found it goes yellow-ish when it's bad. It's best in glass bottles and flooded. If you have a new roll of film and a manual camera, shoot off 6 frames and open the back of the camera in the darkroom. Pull out the film canister and cut the film far enough out to be able to pull out and cut a new leader. Then pull the exposed film off the take up reel (remember to push the button) and develop. For AF and cameras that rewind automatically you'd probably be better off rewinding the entire roll and customize the camera to leave the leader out. I can pull film out of my N80 when off but I don't guarantee no problems with any cameras so you take your chances. My N80 has lights that light up when in the on position and in re-wind so I went to a manual camera so I could develop short lengths when I'm not shooting alot or if I want to shoot at a different speed, customize developing or test a film or change to a different film.
    W.A. Crider

  6. #16
    cmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domin View Post
    I'm not complaining. Its just that expiry dates are usually made with "better safe than sorry" in mind. Milk box in my fridge says "use within 48 hours after opening". I find its good even after almost a week.
    Sure. But sniffing at a milk bottle will allow you to determine pretty well whether it has gone bad. But our noses are not good at detecting dead developer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domin View Post
    Cheap, depends.
    In US its $10 and if you reuse or use 1+3 and its your main developer, it probably is dirt cheap. Here, I pay twice that.
    In Poland it is expensive? You might buy it in Germany - it costs 6.49 Euros plus taxes for a 5 Liter package. The shipping costs will not be that bad if you order other things too.

    One alternative is made by Foma: Fomadon EXCEL. It's very similar but comes in 1 Liter packages. Adox alias Fotoimpex sells that stuff.

    One more alternative: mix it by yourself. Here is a recipe:

    http://www.jackspcs.com/mytol.htm

  7. #17
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    I'm another one who votes for full glass bottles (I use amber bottles) of Xtol for longer storage. I've used 7-8 month old stock solution with no problems that way.

    S
    Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domin View Post
    I have mixed 5l xtol in 2,5l of water about 10 months ago.
    I haven't used it in last 6 months, when it was ok. Now I need it.

    I'm also not entirely sure if the xtol in the PVC bottle is
    concetrated. But its unlikely its just stock.
    It seems that I have to do some testing.
    Good thing I switched to Home-brew. Several years ago
    and after many years away from photography I waded in.
    Stocked up on this and that and some more ignoring the
    fact that many other matters needed attention. You
    get the idea, old chemistry, old paper and film.

    Now it's fresh fractional mixes of chemistry and
    fresher paper and film. Dan

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    Be careful with collapsible storage bottles (especially
    those with accordion folds). They can develop leaks
    in the folds (developer leaks out and air leaks in).
    I store XTOL Stock Solution in fully filled Amber
    Glass Boston Rounds.
    I don't know what I was thinking. A few years ago
    I bought one of those accordion folds, gave it one
    look, then put it in the dispose of box. Besides
    being stiff and having folds it was OPAQUE.
    Never any knowing if it is clean or not.

    Amber Glass Boston Rounds are made of clear glass,
    inexpensive, rugged, look good, and extensively
    used. A variety of caps are available. They
    have for generations been a standard
    for chemical storage. Dan

  10. #20
    Domin's Avatar
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    End of my xtol story.

    I tested the old xtol enough to risk the roll. It came just ok. I cant be sure if xtol did not lose some strength, but the neg, judging from contact proof looks good.

    This makes me think that selling hdpe accordion bottles (just what hama does) as containers for photo chemistry is something of morbid joke. Tightly capping, filling up with lighter gas just doesn't help much. On the other hand PVC and lighter gas is quite ok.

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