mixing x-tol in 2.5 or 1 liter batches. Dumb idea?
Today i finally dropped by the only half-decent photo store in madrid (its be biggest and best stocked and they don't even have any color chemistry besides the Tetenal one, and a very limited selection of B&W developer, paper and films... oh well, rant over) and i got the Xtol to try and develop my very-pushed Tmax100.
Trouble is i foresee very little use for this developer, and i don't see myself using up the full 5 liters in about 2 months since i'm trying to standardize my development to make my technique more consistent and i'd rather stick with HC-110 as my main and nearly only developer.
Could i mix just a liter of the stuff? say measure out 1/2 or 1/5 of each packets content by weight and mix according to instructions, and then keep the powders properly sealed until i need them again?
Is there some fundamental point i'm missing that makes this a bad idea? I know that if my measuring isn't EXACTLY spot on, there'll be a lack of consistency between batches, but presumably not as bad as if i kept the stock solution unrefrigerated for a few months (i don't have access to a fridge since my family isn't too comfortable with me keeping chems and film in the home fridge)
Any feedback is welcome!
No it may not be mixed well you can't split it, however you can make up two containers full with 2.5 litres and the unopened one should keep for at least a year.
This has been discussed before here, extensively. It is not recommended, because you have no way of knowing whether the dry constituents of the powder are evenly distributed throughout the powder packets. Plus, keeping the powder dry once you've opened the factory-sealed pouches is tough to do. This is how the original 1-L packages of Xtol came to grief--poor packaging.
Others have had success mixing the developer double-strength (ie, 2.5L solution) and storing in completely full GLASS bottles. You can properly dilute it upon use. It should last 6 months in this fashion, and some have reported far greater longevity. Besides, it's so cheap, who cares?
If your family's objection to your using the fridge is safety rather than space limitations, you should educate them better. Xtol is quite harmless, as are most photographic chems. There's no reason that properly marked chemical bottles need be disturbed by family members old enough to read. Not sure if refrigeration makes any real difference, however.
Got to agree with Ian. There is no way you can "homogenize" the powders to ensure equal and correct proportions of the various chemicals. You can't even do this with a single powder like D-76 - I tried this once to prove a point and failed miserably!! On the other hand XTOL is a wonderful developer to have in your arsenal. I too have, or am in the process of standardizing my development and have decided on Rodinal and XTOL. Try some tests with both. Run some 8x10s from each and look at them side-by-side. There will be subtle differences that may make one or the other better suited for certain subjects.
"Why is there always a better way?"
I knew this was probably the case, but there are SO many discussions about xtol and the search utility returns such broad results that I couldn't find it. Sorry for the repost!
Originally Posted by MikeSeb
Educating my family is kinda not an option. My parents don't like their convictions changed, no matter how much reason you throw at them.
I guess i'll just mix the five liters and keep it at hand for push-processing, since for some reason regardless of what speed film i take with me, it never seems to be the right one for that i'm shooting! damn murphy...
thanks a lot for the swift replies!
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You really should try XTOL for normal processing. I think you'll like it. It is one of my main go-to developers, and there isn't much that doesn't work well with it.
Go back to the store and get five 1 liter bottles.
Mix the 5 liters and then separate into the 1 liter bottles. Very easy to do.
Check ebay also for chemical bottles. I found a dozen of them for about 10 bucks.
Not sure where you live but if in the states, there are plenty of options.
What he said.
Originally Posted by david b
Full strength XTOL will last a year. Try it on other films, most of them will have smaller grain than your present developers.
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I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
I split it across two 2.5L containers. Never an issue. In short, yes, dumb idea to mess with the powder contents or other games.
As others have mentioned, you might consider making it your main developer. I know that if my choices were limited to just HC-110 vs XTOL, i'd drop HC-110 in a heartbeat.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.