Xtol shelf life? Particles floating on bottom of bottles..
I store my xtol in plastic soda bottles. Once I developed a roll of Neopan 1600 with about 5 month old xtol. It came out severely underdeveloped, and when looking at the bottle I saw some kind of white, fungus-like particles floating on bottom of the bottle. I dumped rest of it and nearly thought of stopping using xtol completely.
I still had a extra 5l set of xtol though to get rid of, so one day I mixed it. Now it's maybe 2-3 months old, and I have two unopened, full 1,5 liter soda bottles of xtol left.
I thought of developing a few rolls today, and when examining the bottle I saw these same kind of particles floating on bottom. I'm very hesitant to try to develop anything with that kind of looking stuff again, so....
What I am doing wrong? Kodak promises at least six months of storage life, but I've never gotten it myself. Do the soda bottles suck? How much storage temperature affects it? It has been around 20-26C depending on time of year. I must be doing something wrong since other people have so good experiences with xtol.
When turning the bottle around now it's naturally full of that stuff... took a photo:
Last edited by Ihmemies; 03-02-2010 at 12:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I had the same trouble with Xtol until I mixed with distilled water (my water is about 40 gr. of hardness!) and stored in glass containers. Plastic containers do 'breathe,' as it were, and eventually air oxidizes the developer.
So basically tap water is not ok, neither are plastic bottles. Great :-P
Might as well use dd-x & rodinal while considering if I should ever buy these kind of developers you need to mix yourself again... Hauling distilled water from god knows how far away, buying glass bottles, removing the excess air or replacing it with some gas is just not my cup of tea.
Not trying to be a SA but, how far is civilization from you? You had to haul the bottles your using now so hauling glass would be a one time event.
If you fill to the brim and use a Saran wrop cover before screwing on the cap, you should not need to use Nitrogen. Kodak I believes makes their chemicals to use tap water but the quality of that can vary.
Do you have the problem with any other powder to mix formula's like D76 or ID11? You can also try running the Xtol thru a coffee filter prior to use. This may be a good idea for any product anyway.
I don't mind glass bottles, but if the tap water is not good enough and I needed to haul water, that isn't very funny.
Maybe I need to try to source glass bottles somewhere and google what a Saran wrop is. What one does with half-full bottles, or should I plan my developing so that I use a bottle till it's empty in one session?
Xtol is the only powder chemical I've used so far. Would that kind of looking xtol work if I ran it through a coffee filter? (I don't drink coffee but buying those isn't a problem :-)
Last edited by Ihmemies; 03-02-2010 at 01:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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If it doesn't work anymore, using a coffee filter won't recover it. It just removes the crud.
Ihmemies, "Saran wrap" is Elmu-kelmu in Finnish . The purpose here is to make the lousy cap tight.
This is very surprising and XTOL mixed in same tap water (in the same city as Ihmemies) and stored in the same kind of PET bottles has always been fine for 6 months for me. 2-3 months sounds unbelievable. There shouldn't be so much iron here, either.
Xtol mixed with my tap water expired in 2-3 months, regularly. I did go to glass but the problem wasn't truly solved until I bought the distilled H2O. Now it meets Kodak spec.
I mix X-Tol with demineralized (??? not exactly distilled, hope this is the right word) and have no issue, except the white thingies that float on the glass bottles from time to time...
I'm not sure it takes me more than 2/3 months to fully use a 5 litres batch though
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somehow looks like my xtol... (maybe I have slighlty less particles). I do use demineralized water and glass bottles. recently bought them new, produced in cleanroom, (-> medicine bottles). Have had the same probs with D-76 and Calbe A49. (Maybe the problem is me...) This time I noticed this fallout only some days after mixing it... So I proceeded as I did with Calbe A49 and D76: Simply ignoring the particles- And in my case it still works well (6 weeks after mixing it). As a precaution I make a check with a small piece of film every time I develop af film
In my case the reason could be, that I do not mix it according Kodaks recommondations, I mix it slightly "stronger", (625/530), and in winter it is not really warm in our flat, but never below 17°, so actually this should be no problem.
I am going to watch if it will have any discernable effect on the results, today's negatives look good.
Xtol needs to mixed with water up to the recommended hot temp, around 90 deg F. Don`t do the room temp stuff.
Don`t store colder that 68 F/20 C. or you can get precepitation.
decent glass bottles with well sealing caps are an investment every darkroom needs. Sometimes plastic works, sometimes not. Some plastic have an air impermiable membrane. All this is hard to tell by looking.
Soda bottles need to be cleaned completely, not rinsed out.
The exp date is important on Xtol. If the bag is past date, toss it. Even if it all goes into solution and looks good, the shelf life after mixing will be a week or so. It was a bad experience that Kodak resolved by dating the bags. My bag was before they were dated. They replaced the Xtol, buy my photos are gone forever.
I now mix D76 a liter or two at a time. Always fresh, always works, cheap as dirt. T Max 100 and 400 are beautiful in D76. TMY-2 is shockingly good.