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  1. #1
    shyguy's Avatar
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    Benefits to extended development and diluted xtol?

    I am wondering if there are any real benefits to be realized from diluting xtol to say a 1:3 and taking the time out to ~30 minutes vs. stock for ~15 minutes.

    What might I expect, more rendering of detail in the shadow area? Less grain?

    S.

  2. #2

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    My experience with many film developers including D-76 and Rodinal would indicate (1) the need to about double development time, (2) a slight decrease of about 1/2 stop in effective film speed, (3) higher acutance or sharpness with more distinct but not larger grain.

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    Keep in mind that Kodak recommends at least 100ml of stock solution per 36-exposure roll of 35mm film (or equivalent in other formats). Diluting beyond 1:1 can produce less stock solution than that, depending on your developing tank. In fact, this is one of many factors that's been offered as a reason for the "XTOL sudden death" syndrome, so it at least might be worth paying attention to it.

    OTOH, rumor also has it that this 100ml recommendation was based on the way TMAX 100 reacts to XTOL, and most other films are more forgiving of higher XTOL dilutions. Thus, you might be OK if you shoot anything but TMAX 100. Also, "XTOL sudden death" has not, to the best of my knowledge, been completely and convincingly explained by anybody, so this warning is based largely on speculation rather than solid facts.

  4. #4

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    In fact, Kodak stopped giving times for those higher dilutions just because of the "sudden death" fear. But there's a link to the old recommended times at this site: http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/

    I've developed HP5 in xtol 1:3 for about 35min with agitation every 5-6 minutes. Turned out fine, but it was a unique scene and I developed no control sheets that showed whether the torture of sitting in the dark for half an hour really benefitted shadow detail. Grain, accutance, etc... looked okay, but I'm not overly worried about that stuff in LF anyway.

  5. #5
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    I have run into developer exaustion with rodinal, but was not aware of the potential with xtol. I'll be sure to run 100ml min. in the soup.

    As i haven't gotten much feedback on this post, i have decided to run some tests. I have now developed identical sets of negatives in stock xtol, hc110 dil. B, 1:3 xtol, and 1:1 xtol.

    I'll post the results here when i have them tomorrow. For what it is worth the film is hp5 sheet, shot at 1600 processed in a jobo at 24c

    S.

  6. #6
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    I did this test recently,too. Basically, I tried pushing TXT out to 1600 and 3200 (and to 6400, but I haven't souped those rolls yet) and developed in Microphen (per my usual technique and agitation) and Rodinal 1+50 with decreased agitation (per the FDC - 10s every 3 minutes).

    I found that the shadow detail at 1600 and 3200 for both developers was just about the same. In fact, the Rodinal might have a bit more detail.

    I have scans somewhere...

    allan

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by shyguy
    I have run into developer exaustion with rodinal, but was not aware of the potential with xtol. I'll be sure to run 100ml min. in the soup.
    Wow! Somebody who knows what XTOL is but hasn't seen the massive flame-fests on it! Seriously, in some forums (like Usenet), you can't mention XTOL without having somebody trash-talking it. It seems to be one of those "religious" issues. I honestly haven't used enough XTOL to have strong opinions on it, but I have researched it on the Internet, and I believe a little extra care in mixing, storage, and use is appropriate. You should also probably run a test snip before developing any particularly important negatives in it.

  8. #8
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    Over the years i have heard various rumors of developers being completely dead, with no color change or other sign. There are always reasons for such problems. I move through a lot of product in my lab. If i move into xtol, it will always be fresh, and consistent.

    I ran half a dozen batches of sheet film through it today, from stock to 1:3, and everything was as i expected. I am testing xtol for it's ability to produce results in pushed film, particulary hp5 at 1600, or 3200. I'll know in the morning if it's worth the effort of stocking it. i tested it along side hc110. we'll see.

    Of all the crap you hear on the web, 1/2 is shit, and the other half is suspect. You always have to test. I'll ask for opinions, but i go into it with eyes wide open.

    gee sort of sounds like a rant, sorry about that. I guess i need a drink.

    S.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by shyguy
    I am wondering if there are any real benefits to be realized from diluting xtol to say a 1:3 and taking the time out to ~30 minutes vs. stock for ~15 minutes.

    What might I expect, more rendering of detail in the shadow area? Less grain?

    S.
    I`d be careful of diluting Xtol too much, there are some reports of the stuff suffering from a sudden loss of activity. Similar reports have been made for FX-50 also.



 

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