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Thread: XR-1

  1. #1
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    XR-1

    Anyone have any success with this stuff for speed?

    I read the article on XR-1 over on Ed Buffaloe's unblinkingeye.com and thought I'd give it a try to see if I could squeeze some more real speed out of Tri-X than I'm getting with Acufine (EI 640 for a nice looking neg). So I tested it with TXT 4x5" at various speeds and development times in version "B", both 1+1 and stock, and I'm getting shadow detail at EI 1280, but the results are kind of flat compared to Acufine. The best neg I got was with 1+1 at 86 deg. for 20 min--printable, but flat. I tried the stock solution, which is recommended for push processing, but this resulted in high base fog, I'll probably try again at an even higher temperature (up to 105 deg. is possible) and maybe a longer processing time, but even at 86 degrees, the emulsion gets fragile, and maintaining 100 deg. for 25 minutes adds another challenge to the process.

    Here's Ed's article:

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/XR-1/xr-1.html

    Any other experiences?

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    David, I still have some of the original stuff in sealed foil packets (I keep thinking I should tell Bruce Barnbaum). I never used it as a push-processing developer - always as a contrast control developer. Bruce Barnbaum uses it in a split development process for contrast control.

    XR-1 has long been my developer of choice for pictorial photography with Kodak Tech Pan.

    To increase the contrast, you might try "kicking the pH" with some carbonate or hydroxide.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tom. That's an idea. I'll give it a go and maybe try a few other things.

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    I have some of the original stuff in foil envelopes...is it still being made?

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    No, it's no longer being made, but there are two likely formulas for it from the original patent on unblinkingeye.com.

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    Jorge Oliveira's Avatar
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    The dev is already presenting base fog problems, so kicking up the pH will make matters worse.
    If one tries this course, it's better to add some benzotriazole (or maybe bromide) to it.

    Jorge O
    Curitiba - nice place to live, if you don't care about the weather...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Oliveira
    The dev is already presenting base fog problems, so kicking up the pH will make matters worse.
    If one tries this course, it's better to add some benzotriazole (or maybe bromide) to it.

    Jorge O
    Yes, Jorge! It is benzotriazole you want to add (I've done it - back in the 80's). Adding benzotriazole will decrease XR-1's activity, so be careful and add just enough to knock the fog level down - experiment! Adding benzotriazole will also tend to increase contrast with XR-1.

    Adding KBr to XR-1 didn't have a noticeable effect on the fog levels.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Thanks again. I'll try that with the next test.

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Okay, another step forward. I tried doubling the borax and got a better result, but still not quite enough contrast. Then I doubled the hydroquinone (as well as the borax), and this test neg looks to be in the ballpark--possibly on the grainy side, but I'm mainly looking to use this with large format, so that's okay. With Arista.EDU 400 I've got good shadow detail and reasonable highlights at EI 1280, 20 min. at 86 deg. F. Next I'll try a little benzotriazole to see if I can keep down the base fog a little more.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    For further insight check the patent. I've a printout of it in
    front of me. Inventor, Anneman; U. S. Patent 4,083,722. Dan

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