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  1. #1
    Domin's Avatar
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    10 months old Xtol, testing, hama bottle

    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. The roll is waiting and I really do not want to risk it.

    From what I searched in older posts concentrated xtol is probably all right if kept in right conditions. Hovever, im not quite sure if its so in my case. I have two bottles of it. One about half full, PVC (black tetenal bottle), filled with lighter gas, and other is full, hama photo bottle. But its HDPE bottle which, as I've read recently is bad for storing developer.

    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.

    I read about xtol sudden death, but its rather anecdotal and I do not know if assumption that it either works or not is right. Is it? I would make testing very simple.

    Unfortunately I do not have any unexposed films I used to develop in xtol in the past. I think I could make test it against rodinal or id11 (thats what i have) and see if it produces similar density when it should. However I'm not sure if manufacturers dev times are to be trusted as I have rather mixed experience, particularly with ilford data. It would be most convenient to test it with tmax400 expired in 95.

  2. #2

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    Dear Domin,

    First, dump the half full bottle if you think there is any chance you diluted it from stock. Second, I don't know how much it would cost for you to replace the remaining developer, but the time and effort you put into the roll of film in question is probably greater.

    When I first started using Xtol, as it was not my main developer, I kept it in one of those collapsible bottles for around a year. I had no problem. Now I use it almost exclusively so storage time is no longer a problem. Unfortunately, this is also only anecdotal. In any case, I would discard any developer that you had further diluted from stock. In fact, I would not save it in the first place. Developer is a lot cheaper than film. :>)

    Assuming there is stock developer left and testing is the route you wish to follow, I would use the times in the Xtol data sheet. I find them to be quite good when developing in a Jobo system. Follow the timing instructions exactly as the times given include time for filling and emptying the tank. If you are going to agitate by hand I would follow the agitation instructions on the sheet so that the times would be most valid.

    Good luck to you.

    Neal Wydra

  3. #3

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    Neal is right: don't chance it and possibly ruin your roll of film. I recently had an under developing problem with a roll of tri-x film. Was it the 2-month old x-tol which I diluted 1:1 or was it me? Whatever the case, the film was completely unusable.

  4. #4
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    Domin

    One of the reasons I stopped using XTOL in it's poor keeping qualities. I found that my negs were thin after 2 months, let alone 10 months. I would store the stock in airvac bottles with all the air squeezed out as I could. So I would toss it.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal View Post
    Dear Domin,

    First, dump the half full bottle if you think there is any chance you diluted it from stock. Second, I don't know how much it would cost for you to replace the remaining developer, but the time and effort you put into the roll of film in question is probably greater.

    When I first started using Xtol, as it was not my main developer, I kept it in one of those collapsible bottles for around a year. I had no problem. Now I use it almost exclusively so storage time is no longer a problem. Unfortunately, this is also only anecdotal. In any case, I would discard any developer that you had further diluted from stock. In fact, I would not save it in the first place. Developer is a lot cheaper than film. :>)

    Assuming there is stock developer left and testing is the route you wish to follow, I would use the times in the Xtol data sheet. I find them to be quite good when developing in a Jobo system. Follow the timing instructions exactly as the times given include time for filling and emptying the tank. If you are going to agitate by hand I would follow the agitation instructions on the sheet so that the times would be most valid.

    Good luck to you.

    Neal Wydra
    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.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  6. #6
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    My experience with XTOL, mixed with distilled water, then distributed into (full!) half-litre glass bottles, and stored in the refrigerator, is that it lasts for more than a year. I specifically tested this a couple of years ago.

    I used all but one bottle of a single batch and after 13 months (or so...) I ran a test roll using the (old) stock and compared it with a previously developed (same batch) test roll of the same subject. No discernible difference.

    Dave

  7. #7
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    One thing to note here is that many people have theorized that the quality of the water affects longevity. Using distilled water is crucial if you are going to keep XTOL stock solution for extended periods.

    I can't recall for certain, but believe the question was about iron salts. If your water has a higher iron content, the stock solution will last a shorter time than if it has less or no iron.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  8. #8
    Domin's Avatar
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    The xtol I have is not diluted, its almost surely twice as concetrated as stock (5l package diluted in 2,5l water, probably distiled). Unfortunately kodak does not list dev times for non-kodak developers and I have only rodinal and id11. I don't think that comparison against dev times from different sources is a good idea.

    I've just exposed in same conditions two 4x5 sheets of tmax400 (old one, actually very old). From kodak its 6min@20C in xtol stock. The massive dev chart gives 5@20C in rodinal 1+25. The times might target different densities but that's what I have.

  9. #9
    cmo
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    Imagine that there are constant rumours in web forums, people are complaining:

    "In my fridge, I found a bottle with milk, best before '4 months ago'. I drank it and feel sick now. That dairy-farm/that supermarket is bad."

    What would you say about that? Is that clever?

    Just discard old chemistry, I say. Your films don't like indigestion, just like you and me.

    One thing about XTol in general: it is CHEAP. Look at some of those miracle super-developers ("no grain at 3200 ASA, high acutance, smells like teen spirit") that are marketed as if they were sent from heaven. Then compare the prices that you pay for the chemistry and the money you pay PER FILM. Xtol is really cheap, even if you only get it in 5 liter bags.

    Now, if you have stored Xtol too long, why not tell yourself: stupid me, 10 months is longer than the 6 months it is supposed to last - and discard that cheap stuff and make 5 new liters?

  10. #10

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    I wouldn't even risk it. While I've found that XTOL has good keeping properties if stored in completely full and well sealed glass or PETE plastic bottles (the kind that soda pop and bottled water are sold in), you are 4 months over the recommended shelf life of the developer according to Kodak's recommendation. Since you are using HDPE bottles, which are not nearly as good as PETE or glass, and because the bottle is only half full, I doubt seriously that the developer is as active as it was when new. If it isn't completely dead, it might not be potent enough to do the job to your satisfaction. Of course, the fact that XTOL does not change color when it goes bad, doesn't help. Just chuck it and make up a new batch. Ditch the HDPE bottles too. 1L soda bottles seal well and work fine. Been using them as an alternative for glass for years without problems. I do go through a lot more XTOL than you do though, and I rarely have any sitting more than 6 months.

    Oh, and just for your edifiation, ID-11 is functionally equivalent to Kodak's D-76. You can use it just like D-76 without concern. I've done it many times when ID-11 was a better value in my marketplace than D-76.

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