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  1. #1
    MrclSchprs's Avatar
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    Spur's HRX-3 as Xtol alternative

    Every now and then I read a post stating that Spur's HRX-3 developer is a viable Xtol alternative. Can anyone comment on this? I am about to experiment with HRX-3 combined with Rodinal as stand developer. I know that very good results are within reach when doing stand development using a mixture of Xtol and Rodinal. But the 5 liter Xtol packaging is too much of a burden. Hence my reach for a alternative.

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    JohnArs's Avatar
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    There is not really an alternative for XTOL in my opinion, but this is just me!

    Cheers Armin
    Good light and nice shadows!

    www.artfoto.ch

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    May I ask why the 5L package is too much of a burden?

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    MrclSchprs's Avatar
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    Due to developer freshness and storage. I think I'll need about 50 ml Xtol stock per film. Filling 100 little 50ml bottles seems overkill. As an alternative, I could use several larger bottles to keep the number of total bottles within limits. But the foresight to redistribute the larger quantities into smaller quantities as needed is very unattractive. Hence my search for a Xtol alternative that can be combined with a Rodinal like developer for stand development. So far I found two alternatives, the mentioned HRX-3 and Fomadon Excel. I've read raving reviews of HRX-3 and it has the advantage that is a liquid developer with a shelf life of two years. On the other hand, Excel is a powder developer that is distributed in 1L packages, a volume that is manageable using little bottles.

    But, please, don't get me wrong, I am open for suggestions, ideas and tips!

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    Maybe you can store Xtol stock in 5 1liter amber glass bottle and fill the space with butane or a butane/propane mix. It does effectively slow down the aerial oxidation.

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    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    How much film are you going to develop? Would you be able to use up the 5L within six months? If so, then maybe look at the air-vac bottles available from Freestyle. This is what I use to store Xtol. If you don't develop much film, then Xtol wouldn't work. I've never heard of HRX-3, but if the formula is similar to Xtol and the price is right, why not go for it? Your only other option is mixing from scratch and I don't think the Xtol formula is a simple one.

  7. #7
    cmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrclSchprs View Post
    Due to developer freshness and storage. I think I'll need about 50 ml Xtol stock per film. Filling 100 little 50ml bottles seems overkill. As an alternative, I could use several larger bottles to keep the number of total bottles within limits. But the foresight to redistribute the larger quantities into smaller quantities as needed is very unattractive. Hence my search for a Xtol alternative that can be combined with a Rodinal like developer for stand development. So far I found two alternatives, the mentioned HRX-3 and Fomadon Excel. I've read raving reviews of HRX-3 and it has the advantage that is a liquid developer with a shelf life of two years. On the other hand, Excel is a powder developer that is distributed in 1L packages, a volume that is manageable using little bottles.

    But, please, don't get me wrong, I am open for suggestions, ideas and tips!
    1. You need a minimum of XTol 100ml stock solution per film, says Kodak. I use XTol diluted 1:1 so that I can process 50 films with 5 liters. If you don't develop 50 films within 6 months, there is not much reason to care, XTol is cheap. As it is environmentally friendly (especially compared to Rodinal) you can dump it down the drain. I could not find out what is inside HRX-3.

    2. Some people dissolve XTol in less than 5 liters. 4 liters can be achieved easily, making a more contentrated stock sulution. Some people say it lasts longer then.

    3. I use 1 liter glass bottles, and of course they are never really full. In order to protect the developer surface against oxygen I spray butane gas (the cheap stuff for cigarette lighters) on top of the fluid, it is heavier than air and lays on the developer like a lid.

    4. Never trust raving reviews of miracle cures.

    5. If you like to make your own XTol here is the recipe:

    http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/

  8. #8
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmo View Post
    5. If you like to make your own XTol here is the recipe:

    http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/
    Another option, linked to from Michael Covington's page, is Paul Lewis' Mytol:

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

    I've only made a couple of runs with it, and haven't had the chance to print yet, but it looks very good so far.

    Lee

  9. #9
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrclSchprs View Post
    Due to developer freshness and storage. I think I'll need about 50 ml Xtol stock per film.
    Kodak suggests 100 mL per 8x10 equivalent: 135-36, 120, 4-4x5.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  10. #10
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    He's using two developers simultaneously, I think, so the need for 100 mL of XTOL stock may not apply here.
    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?

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