Thoughts on XTOL-R vs XTOL 1+1

Mustang

A
Mustang

  • 0
  • 0
  • 13
32nd Avenue

A
32nd Avenue

  • 0
  • 0
  • 27
Saab

A
Saab

  • 0
  • 0
  • 51
Chevy Van

A
Chevy Van

  • 1
  • 0
  • 52

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
182,066
Messages
2,519,666
Members
95,487
Latest member
coralluxurycleaning
Recent bookmarks
0

Chuck_P

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
1,982
Location
West KY
Shooter
4x5 Format
So far, I've developed a few sheets of film (TMax 100) in just XTOL and I'm very, very pleased with the grain, very fine.......as compared to my former usage of that film with HC110. Soon to be running my own personal tests for EI and develop times. I look forward to using the new Dektronics Printalyzer Densitometer to accomplish this.

Right now I'm interested in thoughts from those that currently use XTOL-R and/or XTOL 1+1. I've never run a replenished system but I'm thinking on it. I am going to standardize on XTOL and, either R or 1+1. So thoughts on comparing those two......thanks
 
Last edited:

Anon Ymous

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,122
Location
Greece
Shooter
35mm
Replenishing is rather pointless if you don't shoot that much. If you want consistency, 1+1 is hard to beat and gives excellent results. Replenishing might give slightly finer grain, but Xtol is a remarkably fine grained developer and diluting it 1+1 won't make it coarse grained. Realistically, IMHO, whatever sharpness and granularity differences can only be seen at high magnifications.
 

MattKing

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
41,648
Location
Delta, BC, Canada
Shooter
Multi Format
I really like my relatively low volume replenished X-Tol.
I like having a developer that can always be used at the ambient room temperature - just adjust the development time accordingly.
I like the excellent economy.
I like the fact that I need not worry about waste if I'm developing a small amount of film in a large amount of developer - perfect for my friends who use sheet film.
I like the fact that it is a powder developer. I can leave a couple of packages on the shelf, with little or no concern about either the mixed up liquid replenisher or the working solution or the backup powder going bad - it tends to keep well much longer than advertised, although I do clip tests to check for sudden death after 6 months, and make visual checks every time I use it.
It gives me consistent results. It probably would be technically more consistent if I employed control strips and a densitometer to fine tune replenishment amounts, but the review by eye approach to replenishment adjustment that I employ suits my needs.
My perception is that the results are slightly better than 1+ 1 one shot, but that might just be the result of the differences in sulfite and restrainers.
 

Sirius Glass

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
43,894
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
Replenishing is rather pointless if you don't shoot that much. If you want consistency, 1+1 is hard to beat and gives excellent results. Replenishing might give slightly finer grain, but Xtol is a remarkably fine grained developer and diluting it 1+1 won't make it coarse grained. Realistically, IMHO, whatever sharpness and granularity differences can only be seen at high magnifications.

I really like my relatively low volume replenished X-Tol.
I like having a developer that can always be used at the ambient room temperature - just adjust the development time accordingly.
I like the excellent economy.
I like the fact that I need not worry about waste if I'm developing a small amount of film in a large amount of developer - perfect for my friends who use sheet film.
I like the fact that it is a powder developer. I can leave a couple of packages on the shelf, with little or no concern about either the mixed up liquid replenisher or the working solution or the backup powder going bad - it tends to keep well much longer than advertised, although I do clip tests to check for sudden death after 6 months, and make visual checks every time I use it.
It gives me consistent results. It probably would be technically more consistent if I employed control strips and a densitometer to fine tune replenishment amounts, but the review by eye approach to replenishment adjustment that I employ suits my needs.
My perception is that the results are slightly better than 1+ 1 one shot, but that might just be the result of the differences in sulfite and restrainers.

I agree with @MattKing on this. I do not shoot high volumes of film. The replenished XTOL has lasted for years and the grain is finer than 1+1 aka 1:1. I do clip tests every time I use the developer.
 

Donald Qualls

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
10,480
Location
North Carolina
Shooter
Multi Format
I'm 100% with @MattKing as well. I ran low volume replenished Xtol for more than a year with very consistent results. I'll be restarting that soon, but with EcoPro instead of Kodak brand (mainly because I'm annoyed with Sino Promise, who never did send replacement for my two bags of "trade concern" Xtol).
 

Craig

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,744
Location
Calgary
Shooter
Multi Format
I'd echo Matt's comments as well. The economy can't be beat for working with sheet film if I'm only developing one or two sheets at a time.
 

Donald Qualls

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
10,480
Location
North Carolina
Shooter
Multi Format
The economy can't be beat for working with sheet film if I'm only developing one or two sheets at a time.

I can use replenished D-23 for less per film -- but it's not as sharp and loses a full stop of speed compared to Xtol.
 
OP
OP
Chuck_P

Chuck_P

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
1,982
Location
West KY
Shooter
4x5 Format
Thanks for all the input on this. I certainly don't shoot high volumes of film either. I try very very hard to be consistent in all my processing steps (especially as I use TMax 100) and I have reservations on maintaining that consistency as it relates to replenishment. It's good to hear that Matt feels consistency is not an issue with his processes. I would say as of now that I am leaning toward the 1+1, but I see that is in the minority of these responses. Something to think about.
 

Donald Qualls

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
10,480
Location
North Carolina
Shooter
Multi Format
I would say as of now that I am leaning toward the 1+1, but I see that is in the minority of these responses. Something to think about.

Really, the only downside of using Xtol diluted (or reused stock with time adjustment) rather than replenished is cost -- and a 5 L pack will process about 40 rolls (35 mm or double loaded 120) at 1+1, which makes it still pretty inexpensive.
 
OP
OP
Chuck_P

Chuck_P

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
1,982
Location
West KY
Shooter
4x5 Format
Question:

I've been looking at Kodak publication J-109 on using XTOL. The suggested starting point development times for sheet film are given for tray processing and large tank processing. I'm not tray processing but am using the SP45 daylight inversion tank, which in my view, is not a large tank either, it only uses 16 ounces. Does this matter or am I over thinking it, which is entirely possible. There's no small tank processing of sheet film described. I'm not looking at the replenished charts.
 

Anon Ymous

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,122
Location
Greece
Shooter
35mm
@Chuck_P What actually matters is the agitation interval. They typically suggest agitation every 30" for small tanks and 60" for large ones. I'd make my choice based on this.
 
OP
OP
Chuck_P

Chuck_P

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
1,982
Location
West KY
Shooter
4x5 Format
@Chuck_P What actually matters is the agitation interval. They typically suggest agitation every 30" for small tanks and 60" for large ones. I'd make my choice based on this.

Thanks, my first use of the SP45 I did every 30 sec, 5 to 6 inversions in 5 sec.....the negative turned out seemingly fine. I gotta admit, never understood how the volume matters to the agitation interval of the film. With tray processing, it's supposed to be constant agitation.
 

npl

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2021
Messages
79
Location
France
Shooter
35mm
I've been using XTOL almost exclusively since last spring, and tried a few films in stock, 1+1 and a replenished solution. There is 3 things to compare between 1+1 and a replenishement workflow : the negatives, the workflow, and the cost.

So far, I can't say that I saw significant differences between the same films shot at the same EI and souped in 1+1 and XTOL-R. But I'm shooting 35mm, and my prints are not that big.. you may come to a different conclusion with sheet films.

1+1 workflow is hard to beat : half stock, half water, develop, dump. It's quick, easy and consistent. As for the replenishement workflow, it's a matter of personnal preference.. it's neither long nor complicated, but when some enjoy the process, some will find it cumbersome. You do need to do some sort of monitoring and adjustements.

Cost : with 35mm the difference is marginal, as you only need 150ml of working solution to do 1+1. With sheet film needing more chemistry, XTOL-R has more advantages on that front

If you liked the results with stock, you can also reuse the solution with time adjustement. That's what I'm doing right now with the foma clone (fomadon excel), and it's working great.
 

Steven Lee

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2022
Messages
410
Location
USA
Shooter
Medium Format
There is no visual difference between negatives developed in 1+1 and Xtol-R. At least I wasn't able to find any using high-magnification loupes or high resolution scanning with HP5+ and Delta 100, the films I shoot.

In terms of consistency, I did observe slight activity drift with Xtol-R if your replenishing volume is constant. But if you have a densitometer and the ability to measure activity (control strips or DIY equivalent) you should be able to correct for the drift. But 1+1 consistency can't be beat.

Therefore the only difference is cost. 1+1 is going to be slightly more expensive especially when you shoot a lot. @Anon Ymous summed it up nicely: at low-to-mid shooting volumes 1+1 is more practical, but above certain volume Xtol-R begins to look more attractive.
 

Anon Ymous

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
3,122
Location
Greece
Shooter
35mm
This is an interesting question. Sounds like a great subject for a new test. Hmmm.

Well, yes, it is a great subject for a test. I'd be very interested in your findings, especially regarding ISO speed and curve shape differences for a given film. I really enjoy your work.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom