Fomadon Excel (W27) film developer

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Stefan

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Hello,

does anyone have experience with that film developer and Kodak HIE or any other film?
It should be very similar to Xtol but does it also give the same results and are the dev. times the same?

Thanks

Stefan
 

clogz

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Take a look at: wwwfoma.cz There's an English page too.
 

Aurelien

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Yes I tried it. It's said to be a clone of Xtol, but my experience taught me that they differ. Results are grainier with excel than xtol. Don't know why.
 

altair

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Sorry to revive an old thread..but I'm about to order this developer from Freestyle. Is it any good? Am I better off with something else?
 

Anon Ymous

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Sorry to revive an old thread..but I'm about to order this developer from Freestyle. Is it any good? Am I better off with something else?

Let's get the facts... Fomadon Excel is a Kodak Xtol clone. It costs $3.99 for 1 litre, while Xtol costs $9.19 for 5 litres.
 

altair

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Hmm, it would seem that Xtol is cheaper than Excel. But I thought Xtol is no longer available commercially? Have you tried using Excel Anon?
 

Anon Ymous

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Hmm, it would seem that Xtol is cheaper than Excel. But I thought Xtol is no longer available commercially? Have you tried using Excel Anon?

Xtol is certainly cheaper, on a per litre basis.

Xtol is still in production; the only recent change is that they dropped the 50l package. Not exactly something that a hobbyist - enthusiast would buy.

No I haven't used Fomadon Excel, Foma products aren't available in Greece either. Xtol on the other hand is a nice developer, just make sure you mix it with distilled or deionised water. It's rather sensitive to water impurities, especially iron content and it's useful life can suffer in the long run.
 

Alan Johnson

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Posted wirelessly..

I have been trying it ,it contains sulfite and the measured pH is very close to Xtol.So far I have reused the same 1L nine times with the same development time but think the negatives are getting thinner than when I started.
 

altair

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Anon: Thanks for the info. No problems there about mixing it with distilled water, I do that with my chemicals...either distilled or reverse osmosis water.

Alan: Thanks for the feedback Alan! It's good to know Excel can be reused..at least 9 times. I normally reuse the batch of developer that I've made (normally just 600ml) up to 6-7 times..or until the color is 'off'. One question: Do you pour in the whole 1L of the Excel working solution that you've made into your developing tank? I don't think my tank will take 1L.
 

Alan Johnson

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I only use what is required for the tank full and pour it back into the 1L storage bottle after.It may be similar to Xtol which IIRC requires only 150ml to develop a film so a tank full is plenty.
The special tech tip says it can be re-used 12 times but does not say if the time should be increased:
www.freestylephoto.biz/70022-Foma-Fomadon-Excel-W27-Powder-Ascorbic-Acid-Film-Developer-to-make-1
With Xtol the time is increased after 5 rolls,see time compensation table:
www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/j109/j109.pdf
 

altair

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Thanks Alan. My Paterson tank requires 600ml of chemicals for 1 roll of 120, and around 350ml for a roll of 135. So I was wondering if mixing up a whole liter of Excel and then pouring all of it into the tank is practical or would it be better if I were to use only a portion of it. Anyway, I presume you're using Excel as stock and not diluted?

Yes, I noted the special tech tip from Freestyle. I'd guess a 10% dev time increase for each subsequent roll of film is pretty reasonable and safe.

Do let us know how you get on with your Excel. IIRC, Excel and Xtol won't turn brown or discolor once it's exhausted. I may be wrong.
 

Alan Johnson

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I use Excel stock solution.
During the development bromide from the film is released into the developer solution and this inhibits development.It does much more so with metol based developers eg D-76 than phenidone (or presumeably dimezone-s) based ones eg Xtol,Fomadon Excel.So there is no need for much time increase with Xtol and Excel.In absence of the guy who formulated Excel it does not seem possible to get a definitive answer how much time increase so I will just guess its the same as Xtol, ie, 15% after 5 rolls.
I did not do this but may try it later.
 

altair

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Interesting. You're correct, I think. 15% after 5 rolls it is then. I'm curious how many developed rolls you can get out of that 1L stock solution. Do let us know.
 

wiggywag

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Im using Fomadon Excel now and find it to be a very good developer, smooth, very sharp and fine grain. I use it in Jobo Exoert drum with TMY-2 (Tmax 400) sheet film, dilution 1:2, 21 C and 8.30 min for normal development. I can also highly recommend Foma baryt papers as well, they are really beautiful...
 

altair

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I just splurged a good portion of my monthly student allowance this month to get a Mamiya C220 from a fellow APUG-er. There goes my money for films and chemicals. Oh well, next month it is then. See ya then, Freestyle.
 

altair

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Oh and wiggywag, thanks for your input on Excel! Is 1:2 an Xtol dilution, or is it totally new? Any other dilutions for Excel besides 1:2 and stock?
 

taulen

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Dont know it it of any interest, but I developed my first 4x5 negative in excel only a couple of days ago.
You can see the first image here : http://taulen.org/diverse/viewgraphic/first_images/ The one named "utsnitt" is a 100% crop from the negative scanned at 3200dpi on a epson v600 and then resized abit to get the size down.
Alot of dust as you can see, but thats not the negative nor the developers fault :tongue:
And btw the film is fomapan 100 also from foma, of course.
 

wiggywag

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Oh and wiggywag, thanks for your input on Excel! Is 1:2 an Xtol dilution, or is it totally new? Any other dilutions for Excel besides 1:2 and stock?

It is a X-tol dilution. X-tol and Excel is very similar. I found a german kodak technical document which gave me starting point for testing with 1:2 dilution. Somehow a higher dilution than normal is often recommended with constant agitation as with a Jobo processor.

You can find a lot of info here:
http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/
 

altair

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taulen: Thanks for that, I'm waiting for your image to load right now. From what I can see right now, the photo is a bit contrasty, isn't it? At least on mys creen it is. I'd like a bit more midtones. That's personal taste, of course. Nevertheless, the details are amazign! What 4x5 setup did you use?

wiggywag: Ah, I see..so do you think that for normal processing in a tank (Paterson, agitation by hand), 1:1 or stock is preferable?
 

wiggywag

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wiggywag: Ah, I see..so do you think that for normal processing in a tank (Paterson, agitation by hand), 1:1 or stock is preferable?

It depends on the results you want. A higher dilution increase edge sharpness but also a slight increase of grain. If you use sheet film (where grain is hardly an issue) you will maybe prefer a higher dilution even if you use a normal tank for development.
 
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altair

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Grain is fine by me. And a higher dilution is always good as then I only need a smaller quantity of chemicals. The problem is dev time. How do I come up with times for uncommon dilutions?
 

wiggywag

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Check this german document, it contains development times for X-tol (similar to Excel) with different dilutions. Other dilutions is not published anymore in english:
http://wwwfr.kodak.com/AT/plugins/acrobat/de/professional/xtolEntwickler.pdf
read down the page here as well:
http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/

I made 3 negs of same subject under normal light condition and developed with times from the chart as a starting point and then did some small adjustment until the negative was perfect, making it printable as a normal grade 2 image.
 
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RobertV

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Very close to each other. Only the densito meter shows some small differences. Further slightly more grain with Excel W27 but this is in the margin.

In Europe: Xtol (5 Ltr.) : Eur. 10,- , Excel (1 Ltr.) 2,50 but sometimes for 35mm a 1 Liter package can be more practical. Same short shelf life 4 months - 6 months and heavily depending of the quality of the water. Therefore demi - or destilled water adviced.
 

altair

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wiggywag: Thanks for the links, you've very helpful :D

RobertV: Thanks for the photo and advice, Robert. Of course, I use nothing but distilled or reverse-osmosis water to mix my chemicals..who knows what's floating around in my tap water. But damn, 10 Euros for 5 L of XTOL is cheap!
 
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