X-tol @1:3?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Zelph, May 17, 2018 at 7:59 AM.

  1. Zelph

    Zelph Member

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    Have not used X-Tol for more than a decade. Was one who experienced the Sudden Death of the developer - with a 5 litre pack. Never used it again. Part of that was moving completely to 8x10 and no more small format film at all in B&W.

    Now have a newer 120 film camera for square format and will be shooting B&W.

    What's the verdict these days on X-Tol. My use and old notes are all diluted 1:3 which was recommended when I was using it before. I see Kodak now does not have that information and only goes to 1:2.

    Any "sudden Death" reports lately? Any rational reason not to try the developer now?
     
  2. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    D-76 works fine and it's super-reliable...
    I'd never try a "Russian roulette" dev like Xtol.
     
  3. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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    I have been using it for at least the last 10 years and have never had a problem ! the sudden death problem was a lone time ago . 1:3 ifof is available from a german site but I forget the name. I am sure someone here can point u in the right direction. if I remember correctly Xtol is what my friend Alan Ross has used for a very long time also
    mitch
     
  4. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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  5. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    X-Tol is excellent at 1:3. Get the older Kodak factsheet that has the development times for that ratio too. As for the sudden death of xtol, testing the tongue of an old roll in some proves if it is still active or not.
     
  6. foen

    foen Member

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    I thought that times for Kodak films in german datasheet are unrealiable
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    At 1:3 in a roll film tank you're right on the edge of not enough developer (vs water) in the tank to seal the deal, that might be the reason that the times in the German data sheet may be considered unreliable.
    Kodak stopped publishing times for dilutions other than 1:1 quite a while ago.

    As for "Russian roulette", it isn't. The batch of Xtol I'm using at the moment is 1 year + old, works fine. IME it's as reliable as any other commercial developer.
     
  8. Kawaiithulhu

    Kawaiithulhu Subscriber

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    I'm a very casual user, keep 1L clear plastic bottles of the stock out in the open, filled to the brim, and every 1-2 months I'll decant a little for the 1:1 one-shot and haven't had a problem in a couple years.

    Keep it away from Iron and oxygen.

    If you want crazy reliability for decades of storage then grab some HC110 or Rodinal :smile:
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    I'm going to try and upload a copy of an old data sheet.
     

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  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    Kodak stopped recommending 1:3 XTOL years ago. I found that I get the best results with replenished XTOL.
     
  11. Tim Stapp

    Tim Stapp Member

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  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link. I had not seen this before but the 1+3 times are in red as they are taken from the MDC and are not Ilford's own figures. I think it important to make that clear to anyone wanting to try 1+3

    pentaxuser
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    +1
     
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  15. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I've been using Xrol 1+1 (1:2) many years and found the Kodak publication J-109 a great help.
     
  16. Tim Stapp

    Tim Stapp Member

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    Sorry, I'm stone color blind and didn't see the red :smile:. However, I believe that they are taken from the original Kodak data sheets. I suspect that Ilford did not desire to quote Kodak, so used the MDC instead.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Zelph

    Zelph Member

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    Don't like D-76 as it gains in activity after mixing. Ilford ID-11 is what I would use if going that way.

    The older Xtol negatives still look very good which is why I am asking.

    As for developer capacity I use one shot and the tank is one litre, developing in darkness with the metal reel and long lift wire. Won't run out of active solution, or shouldn't doing it this way.

    Pyrocat HD for the 8x10 negs but want to go with another for the roll film. Might try Rodinol with Sodium Ascorbate if Xtol doesn't do it.

    Interesting to read what has been written about it from so many quarters since Xtol came out. Kodak recommendations and the first information are different. First intro was basically a hardy miracle developer impervious to water quality. Good for the Gobi desert to Belize to Oklahoma. Wonder if Eastman Kodak changed the initial formulation after Sylvia Zawadski came up with it?

    Thanks for the replies, they are helpful.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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  19. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    D-76 and ID-11 are the same thing. Different companies and packaging, but same thing.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    zelph
    good luck with your xtol, i won't touch the stuff.
    i did for years but found it to be too flat and contrast-less
    and unable to get contrast + density for my tastes
    ( even when i over exoposed and over processed the film, it was WEAK while
    anything else would have been bulletproof )
    with regards to why you should or shouldn't use it ... IDK time spent exposing film
    which is locked up in the latent image is much more valuable to me than using a developer
    that doesn't give me satisfaction //
    the only thing i found it is good for is mixing, its a lot of fun watching the orange stuff turn clear
    when you mix part a and part b..

    IDK some say its a clone but not the same thing..
    i use sprint film developer sometimes its uses the same times as d76+1d11 but
    is much better, it won't bind up highlights like the other 2 will do.
     
  21. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Xtol is quite amazing.

    However, I always use up the 5L solution withib a few days. Same with ilfosol-3. I wouldn’t risk keeping it 6 months.

    Tri-x has been a revelation in Xtol 1:1
     
  22. paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    All the hand-wringing about Xtol "drop dead syndrome"! Honestly.
    If you have stock of Xtol and you're concerned about its efficacy, drop a snippet of film into some to verify that it is still active before you toss valuable film into it. If you process film in Xtol you've had in storage for 6-12 months without testing it first, then you can only blame yourself for being too casual - don't blame the Xtol.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John's experience is, with all due respect, completely unusual.
    (of course, many might argue that John is completely unusual :D )
    I've had no difficulty in achieving too much contrast with X-Tol replenished - just use times for replenished developer when the developer isn't seasoned yet :whistling:.
    This is 35mm T-Max 400 in almost seasoned replenished X-Tol (hope it survives the re-sizing):
    20a-2018-04-03A-res-apug.jpg
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    I have had nothing but stunning results from stock XTOL and replenished XTOL. As with all developer use a test strip before each development set.


    .
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the person who recommended i try using xtol told me it would be like that,
    not sure how unusual it is if more than 1 person has similar results ...
    as i have said in other "should i use xtol" threads .. it wasn't like i used it once
    and never used it again .. i used it for a couple of years .. put countless rolls and sheets
    through it, used it replenished and 1:1, stock and 1:2 ... varied exposures .. and
    a handful of years later ... tried it again after thinking " hmm maybe it was me, i have a handful of years more experience"
    after 2 or 3 runs i got rid of the developer and never bought it again.
    interestingly enough i got similar results when i first started using caffnenol c ( tablespoons+instant coffee ) years later
    ( maybe its vit c developers==>> low contrast ? ) and i remedied the problem by adding a shake of stock ansco 130 ..
    years after i stopped using xtol, i read how les mClean mixed his xtol wtih rodinal i figured maybe if i mixed ansco 130 ( sorry i have never seen or used rodinal )
    i'd probably still be using xtol ...
    my recommendation to the OP is use it 1:3 but add some stock dektol into your developer, you will get better results than using xtol 1:3 )
    YMMV
    LOL
    i'd rather be an outlier than run with the pack .. :sideways:
     
  26. paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    It is my experience that Xtol is best used with films that tend to have "sail-away highlights" that block up quickly in many developers. In such cases, Xtol has a remarkable ability to "tame" hot highlights. Its definitely not a good developer to pair with less contrasty films shot in flat lighting situations. Or so it has been for me. As you say - YMMV!
     
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