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  1. #1
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Testing expired XTol ?

    Hello all,

    I recently bought some developer for cheap, XTol and Rodinal.

    My trouble is that the XTol is long expired (5 years or so) and I'm not sure I should trust it. So my questions are :

    - how do I test it (a clip test showed some activity, but I'm not sure it's as active as fresh XTol) ? Do I run a film through any camera and process it ? Will these results be meaningful for the shelf life of my 5 liters ?

    - Supposing it's fine today, will a clip test be meaningful in a few months to decide it didn't go bad ?

    I'd rather throw it than risk ruin some films, but on the other hand, if it works I'd be happy to use it...

    To put things at worst, the price I paid for the lot (XTol + Rodinal) is about 1/2 price of fresh Rodinal, so if I only use the Rodinal it'll still be a bargain.
    Laurent

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  2. #2
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    This is a typical situation where bulk-loading is handy, because you could just bulk-load 6-10 frames, fire them off and test those and see.
    I stopped trusting my xtol once it got a light brown color, straw-yellow should be ok, brown = bad afaik.

    I am not aware of any chemical indicator of sorts that you could use to test xtol, maybe some here do...?
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    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
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  3. #3

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    I take it that the Xtol is still in its two pack powder form. If so and the packs remain sealed then I see no reason why its shouldn't be fine.

    I am using a 5L pack of Perceptol that was made before the Ilford collapse in 2005 and its fine. Powder dev if it is still sealed should last for a very long time

    Try a film leader and develop in daylight for the time suggested for the film. It should go almost black such that holding it up to a strong light bulb will just about reveal light.

    If on the other hand you bought liquid Xtol then I'd be amazed if it is still useable

    pentaxuser

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helinophoto View Post
    I stopped trusting my xtol once it got a light brown color, straw-yellow should be ok, brown = bad afaik.
    Ascorbate developers can go bad and not show any discoloration. The only way to tell if it is good is to develop some test negatives..
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Ascorbate developers can go bad and not show any discoloration. The only way to tell if it is good is to develop some test negatives..
    Mine went bad and got a "yellowish" color. It was one year XTOL. I got fine results and clear developer until 6 to 8 months. One can test with a film header, if it won't turn completly black, the develper is not doing his work.

  6. #6
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Thanks for your toughts. I finally ran a test with 3 frames, which confirmed the XTol was OK, and so I developed successfully the "real" films. I think I should make a clip test systematic before developing, so that I do not get concerned about my developer.
    Laurent

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    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

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