As long as you keep replenishing and discarding some of the old every time you use it, in theory you should be able to keep it going perpetually.
I've found with Edwal 12 that I have identical results with it now to seven months ago when I mixed it up. The color is the same, and its strength is the same.
I keep both that 2 liter batch of Edwal 12 and the one with Xtol in a completely full bottle with an air tight lid. I don't know if the plastic bottle leaks through any oxygen or not (Datatainer chemical storage bottles) but if you use it once a week or or thereabout, I don't see any reason to stop a seasoned batch, ever. And the cool thing is that it is highly likely to go off slowly. If it starts to go off, you replenish with more replenisher to revitalize the activity of it, and off you go again.
I find it a wonderful way of using a developer. I've always been a single shot guy, and those results were nice too, but I feel like I'm getting better results this way. That may be a bunch of imagination, but it works for me; I feel better about my prints than ever.
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I haven't replenished with Xtol yet, but was planning to shortly, which is why I decided to look up the replenishment rate rather than work from potentially faulty memory.
Thomas Bertilsson, df cardwell, bowzart, and I have been trading info on replenished Edwal 12 with a few different films and agitation since late last fall, and my experience with that has been the same as Thomas'.
Since Kodak gives properly stored Xtol a shelf life of 6 months, I'd expect that with regular use you should just make sure that your replenishment source is fresh using a film leader or similar. I'm going to use some mylar bladder storage boxes recommended by bowzart for the Xtol. He's had very good luck with them. http://www.survivalsolutions.com/store/product41.html
df cardwell also notes that traditional wisdom is to replenish routinely even if the working stock is unused. So he treats his working stock to some level of routine replenishment whether film has gone through it or not.
Legend has it that Magnum kept deep tanks of Defender 777 going for years. But they ran more film than I do.
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I'm interested in doing this. So I can mix up 5L of XTOL, use 1L working solution and just replace 70mL for every roll I run? Provided I keep the replenisher in a mylar bag or the like...this should last indefinitely and can actually give better results?
I'm just running my film in a couple of Jobo hand tanks, nothing special.
Does D76 work the same way? HC-110?
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah.
D76 does but the replenisher is different to the developer, HC-110 doesn't
My first batch of working Xtol was a topped-up 1 litre bottle replenished at 70ml per standard film (8x10 sheet, 35mmx 36exp, etc) that was used regularly for hundreds of films for 7 years! Developer activity was less than a fresh solution so I extended dev times by 30% and got absolutely predictable and consistent results. The only maintenance apart from replenishment was an occasional filtration.
Now I replenish my working stock of Xtol at 90ml per standard film. Developer activity again has settled to a reduced value so I do need to extend development but only by 25% this time.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
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If I get a similar result life will be great. I know there will need to be some fine tuning and the longer time is fine by me.
I was amazed to see that Kodak's data sheet showed fresh XTOL taking longer than replenished for sheet films in large tanks. Roll films show the opposite.
My plan is to shoot 2 sheets for each set-up, with the 4x5, so that I can get usable stuff while I fine tune the variables.
After I run my seasoning rolls through I think I'll load a few short 135 test rolls to see where it goes from there.
Originally Posted by Maris
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin