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IanBarber
4-Dec-2016, 13:29
I am using FomaPan 100 4x5 sheet film and would like to know if anyone has used it with Xtol at 1:1 and if so what are your thoughts.

I have only ever used HC110 and would like to try a different developer and Xtol seems to appeal to me from what I have read although I havent spoken to anyone who has experience with Fomapan and Xtol

Ian

Pere Casals
4-Dec-2016, 14:19
I am using FomaPan 100 4x5 sheet film and would like to know if anyone has used it with Xtol at 1:1 and if so what are your thoughts.

I have only ever used HC110 and would like to try a different developer and Xtol seems to appeal to me from what I have read although I havent spoken to anyone who has experience with Fomapan and Xtol

Ian


http://filmdev.org/recipe/search?search=fomapan+xtol


I've been using Xtol 1:1 with Fomapan 100 some 20 times. A good combination.

Compared to HC110 you are to obtain some additional shadow detail. Other differences about better Xtol grain/sharpness are not to be noticed at all with the 4x5 format, IMHO. So tonality is a bit different, but this also depends on what darkroom printing or what digital post.

HC110 is convenient because liquid, Xtol has very low toxicity...


To me, HC-110 can be a good choice for rotary processing if one wants to control contrast by dilution http://www.erikgouldprojects.com/coldcoffee/2015/9/24/an-alternative-approach-to-contrast-control-with-hc-110


Personally, I prefer having that slight shadow detail and low toxicity of Xtol, and controlling contrast with time and agitation in trays.

Just, with Xtol, take care to not blow up your highlights, as Xtol delivers full box speed. If your highligts get blown then you can reduce dev time by 15% to 20% less time.


Regards

IanBarber
4-Dec-2016, 14:27
Thanks Pere for your detailed description. Now that I know that Fomapan does work with Xtol, I can now proceed to mix up the powder tomorrow having just bought a 10 litre bucket to mix it in. Out of interest, what other films do you use with Xtol.

Pere Casals
4-Dec-2016, 15:07
Thanks Pere for your detailed description. Now that I know that Fomapan does work with Xtol, I can now proceed to mix up the powder tomorrow having just bought a 10 litre bucket to mix it in. Out of interest, what other films do you use with Xtol.


Xtol is my main developer, I use it also for TMX, TMY, HP5, FP4, Neopan. Some times (smaller formats) I want grain and then I use Rodinal. For Adox CMS 20 I use Adotech, of course.

Here you have a photographer that uses Fomapan with Xtol (1:1 , 1:3)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/32681588@N03/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/32681588@N03/31196512141/in/dateposted/


IMHO, the developer choice is more important in 35mm or MF because grain structure gets involved, LF shows little grain, so differences are more related to tonality, but tonality it can also be controlled in darkroom or digital post. Still some people will like some developers more than others, to me this is more related with having control of the process.


If you are to use hybrid process (scanner and digital printing) then you can modify tonality with PS as you like. For an authentic darkroom optical print things are not that easy, better if negatives are easy to print for the aesthetics one want to get. There are powerful darkroom techniques (that I try to learn) to obtain the print one wants, but better if negative makes things easy.


Perhaps the kind of developers that are a bit different (some people say) are staining developrers: Pyro, Pyrocat HD

http://sandykingphotography.com/resources/technical-writing/pyro-staining-developers

To me Pyro developers are very interesting if one plans to use the negative also with alternative processes such as platinum or palladium. Others say it is easier to obtain some special aesthetics with it.


But HC110 vs Xtol, IMHO, is more about of convenience, and adjusting its usage to obtain the results we like.

Pere Casals
4-Dec-2016, 15:34
Thanks Pere for your detailed description. Now that I know that Fomapan does work with Xtol, I can now proceed to mix up the powder tomorrow having just bought a 10 litre bucket to mix it in. Out of interest, what other films do you use with Xtol.


One practical thing, drop Part A very slowly to water while agitating, if powder accumulates in the bottom of the bucket it forms an stone.

Use distilled water to make stock dillutuion, specially if your tap water has a lot of iron content. This will allow extended shelf live. Later you may use tap water to make 1:1 dillution at the moment you process the film.


If your stock developer is 2C under the desired temperature, then make 1:1 diluttion by adding water that is 2C over the desired temperature. This is the fastest way to get 20C.


Also you can make a "drop test". Lights open, take a film end and let fall a drop of developer every minute. Fix it. Then 8 months later you can repeat the test and check if densities match, so you'll know if developer has the same strenght, or if you should correct developing time to make it match.

Regards.

Stephen Thomason
4-Dec-2016, 18:06
Pere, thanks for the "drop test" info. I used replenished XTOL and am going to add that test to my arsenal.

peter schrager
4-Dec-2016, 21:05
Foma 100 builds density very fast..I use xtol 1:2 for all my development. ..in mf it's a semi routine
I think this film is a sleeper and renders tones like older films...let us know how it works please

IanG
5-Dec-2016, 02:23
I used Xtol replenished for quite a number of years, it's a very easy economic way of working particularly with LF films. It worked well with Fomapan 100 & 200 and with all films once seasoned gives far better results than Xtol FS or 1+1.

If using dilute I'd go for 1+2 like Peter suggests, I've done the same with ID-11/D76 and I know others using Perceptol at this dilution.

Ian

Pere Casals
5-Dec-2016, 03:54
Pere, thanks for the "drop test" info. I used replenished XTOL and am going to add that test to my arsenal.


Hello Stephen,

There are a number of process control tools. You may know that professional grade one: "ILFORD FP4 Plus PROCESS CONTROL STRIPS", suplied in 30m cans for some $100.

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/webfiles/20114271214382932.pdf

You can also make contact copies of an Stouffer density wedge, processed in the darkness.


Drop test is for free as film ends can be used, and convenient (lights open). If you want quantitative measurements of course you can use a densitometer, or you can scan the film end with the "drop test" ...side by side with an Stouffer density wedge, with all scanner image enhancing features disabled (curves, adaptative contrast, etc).


One important thing with drop tests is to use the same film end and ambient light and routine for the series, as excessive exposition may have solarization effect in some special situations.


What I do to go straight is to make fall the drops at the edge of the film (I use a cutter to cut a 35mm strip in halves). Then I compare both side by side, the reference strip (fresh developer) with the strips processed with seasoned developer, on a light table. This will also deliver information about how much development time it takes strong highlights to built a level of density, with a given seasoned developer. And one knows very well how the thing will work.

I found Xtol is very stable over shelf life, more stable than D-76 for example, this is using distilled water for stock dillution, and tap water to make working dillution 1:1, 1:2, etc.


I think replenishment is nice for tanks, but as I develop in trays (paper safe) I prefer one shot. IMHO some process control is very important with replenishment, but also it is with a seasoned developer.




Regards.

IanG
5-Dec-2016, 06:34
I think replenishment is nice for tanks, but as I develop in trays (paper safe) I prefer one shot. IMHO some process control is very important with replenishment, but also it is with a seasoned developer.

I process film in inversion tanks these days , Paterson or for 5x4 Jobo 2000 series but have used deep tanks as well. I began using replenishment while at school in the late 1960's very easy, simple, incredibly consistent results, no need for any special process control, just replenish as required after every so many sheets or rolls of film. I used to keep a notebook to begin with but found it unnecessary.

The beauty of replenished Xtol is it's self replenishing with fresh solution so doesn't have a separate replenisher. So I kept a 2.5 litre container of stock working solution and the rest of the 5 litre pack - the other 2.5 litres of solution for the replenishment. The only reason I stopped using Xtol was I was living much of the year abroad and often travelling.

Ian

loonatic45414
5-Dec-2016, 17:20
I've done scientific tests and comparisons with several films at different speeds in different developers. My opinion is that Xtol is a small roll film developer, 35mm. With D-76 and HC-110 you get better edge sharpness.

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IanG
6-Dec-2016, 02:32
I've done scientific tests and comparisons with several films at different speeds in different developers. My opinion is that Xtol is a small roll film developer, 35mm. With D-76 and HC-110 you get better edge sharpness.

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In real life use it's the other way around particularly with Tmax and similar fi, and that's reflected in Kodak#s testing and recommendations as well.

Ian

loonatic45414
6-Dec-2016, 07:17
Wouldn't my tests be considered "real life"? Disagree if you will, I'm not disputing your experience, but don't say what I'm doing has nothing to do with real life.

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IanG
6-Dec-2016, 07:57
Just look at Kodak's own information, Xtol gives finer grain than HC110 and D76 is a touch grainier than HC110, Xtol gives the best sharpness followed by D76 then HC110 and in terms of shadow detail Xtol is the best of the three, HC110 the worst.

My experience with all three developers mirrors this, it's why I switch to Xtol when it was released back in the 1980s.

Ian

loonatic45414
6-Dec-2016, 09:31
I have tested 22 different films, Agfa, Efke, Kodak, Ilford, Kentmere, Foma, Svema, Rollei, Fuji Acros, even old emulsions Double-X, Royal Pan, Pan-X, Plus-X... Xtol loses resolving power. Fine lines aren't as crisp with it. That's my experience. I prefer to run my own tests using & choosing dilutions, agitation, temperature, film exposure & developing times that emphasizes the traits I look for in a developer. At the 35mm level, grain is much more important & I may sacrifice a little edge sharpness in Xtol to achieve that. What you are likely using is a basic recommendation from Kodak & I'm not knocking that. However, when I do have an acceptable level of grain I am comfortable with having, D-76 is my choice for detail resolution. It varies with film, exposure, dev time, agitation, temperature and dilution, but it is the case in over 90% of tests, and from that I feel comfortable making a general statement. That's not published data, that's my real life experience.

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loonatic45414
6-Dec-2016, 09:48
It is known that solvent developers yield finer grain & non-solvent developers have better image sharpness. D-76 and Xtol have varying degrees of each. But the action of the developer upon the image grains will yield more of one, than the other. Different dilutions will yield different results as will other factors. However, as a general guide for the newbie I am offering that they begin with Xtol for 35mm, D-76 for medium format, HC-110 for large format. Some choose to read the tech publication, that's fine. But for those who want more than a general shake-n-bake, no-brain approach, I am simply offering my experience.

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IanG
6-Dec-2016, 11:01
What you are likely using is a basic recommendation from Kodak & I'm not knocking that.

I've never used Kodak's basic recommendations except perhaps as a starting point, all my developing times, dilutions, EI etc are based on practical testing.

I just totally disagree with your comment below which goes completely against my experience, and that of others and Kodak's own data.


I've done scientific tests and comparisons with several films at different speeds in different developers. My opinion is that Xtol is a small roll film developer, 35mm. With D-76 and HC-110 you get better edge sharpness.

Ian

loonatic45414
6-Dec-2016, 14:29
So why do you suppose people still buy D-76? Please enlighten me with some of your test data and perhaps convince me, otherwise if you've nothing of substance to contribute, good day.

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IanG
6-Dec-2016, 15:34
So why do you suppose people still buy D-76? Please enlighten me with some of your test data and perhaps convince me, otherwise if you've nothing of substance to contribute, good day.

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You could equally ask why anyone uses HC110 it's the worst for shadow detail/film speed, not so good for sharpness - but it's convenient and has extremely good keeping properties.

I've no interested in enlightening you about anything, you wouldn't accept anything anyway. My tests are done so that I can get the best from film & developer combinations, they aren't meant to be something shared as they reflect my own way of working. However essentially you're saying that even Kodak the manufacturer is wrong.

Ian

loonatic45414
6-Dec-2016, 16:09
No, their recommendations are a starting point. You yourself said that you used their data but went further to refine it. If it's so perfect, then why change it at all? There is no wrong when it comes to art. But when I adjust their recommendation to maximize that quality which I seek, i.e. minimal grain, image sharpness, contrast, tonal curve, pushability, shadow detail, gamma, etc, one developer is not the final word on everything. For some of us, Kodak doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of providing us with all the possibilities and nuances. Anyway, I'd love to compare notes with others who dare to explore the possibilities & their findings. Hearing from people who just rehash what little Kodak tells us as gospel really doesn't serve to benefit the discussion. So thanks for chiming in, but I have learned nothing at all up to this point. Good day.

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Pere Casals
7-Dec-2016, 10:23
I've done scientific tests and comparisons with several films at different speeds in different developers. My opinion is that Xtol is a small roll film developer, 35mm. With D-76 and HC-110 you get better edge sharpness.

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It's your opinion, but I think it is not like this: Xtol, D-76 and HC-110 both are very suitable for both, rolls and sheets.


Xtol has the advantage of very low toxicity, and some shadow detail. Also Xtol, (like D-76) can be used diluted to avoid solvent action.


Here Alan Ross (a master) tells about Xtol usage for sheets, he says it has an advantage for big enlargements.

http://www.alanrossphotography.com/downloads/getting-the-most-out-of-your-film/


Then see what kodak says about kodak developers:


158407


They say that Xtol is sharper than HC-110 and D-76. Anyway it depends on usage and film.

If you want to know for sure just take a hires USAF 1951 glass slide, make contact copies and develop with both, then take a microscope to see what group element is well seen. I did it. I concluded that Xtol has a little edge in sharpness with TMX, one 1951 element or perhaps a bit less.

Still... there are personal preferences... of course !

loonatic45414
8-Dec-2016, 09:13
Kodak says their chart is valid at full strength, which I don't doubt. But my point again is that once you go beyond the Kodak plain white vanilla wrapper, these developers take on different characteristics. If going for finest grain possible, Xtol quickly loses sharpness, and I should qualify that with an adjective "apparent sharpness". Fine grain and apparent sharpness are at opposite ends. Besides, they're in the business of selling their own products. If you ask Chevrolet who makes the best cars, guess what the answer is. Same if you're asking whether their newest truck beats a truck from 20 years ago. They're not going to say much that's positive if anything at all, about their older truck. D-76 has been replicated at home over and over cheaply using easily obtained chemicals. It's their job to sell you that which you can't make on your own. I respect Alan Ross and your point is well taken.

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Pere Casals
8-Dec-2016, 10:51
Fine grain and apparent sharpness are at opposite ends.

Yes, but not always.

This is general a general rule, but with exceptions.

I would like to notice that Xtol is marketed since 1996, while D-76 is since 1920's, with some reformulation c. 1975. I guess that kodak learnt something in 70 years, and Xtol contains that knowledge.


It's not only the total solvent action but also the speed at what it takes place and also how it is dispersed. So it is true that more solvent action delivers less sharpness... but it is also possible a sharper result with less grain, aganist the general rule, and this is what Xtol does.

What's for LF this is a minor concern, as you have to enlarge a lot to see Xtol technical benefits over HC100 and D76.

IMHO at the end, some use D76 because they like its slightly different tonality (some midtone expansion), some use Xtol because some better shadow detail and very low toxicity, and some use HC100 because it is convenient to mix and it allows contrast control in rotary processing by adjusting dillution for contrast control.

IMHO Xtol is the best product, technically speaking. It is a technologically mature product. But HC-100 and D-76 have their own footprint in every film and are aesthetically desired for lots of people.

Xtol technical benefits are better seen in small formats, or in big LF enlargements, but still it is a perfect developer for LF, like the others.


Also Xtol has the rare capability to render good results when mixed with another developer, Rodinal. This compatibility allows for an additional degree of control, mostly as toe cutter, I feel.

Here you have an example: Peter de Graaf https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterdegraaff/27507083203/in/dateposted/ (zoom in that image... glorious !)

loonatic45414
9-Dec-2016, 08:57
Hi Pere, yes, many rules have exceptions & oftentimes we exploit those exceptions for our purposes! Long live creativity.

Microscope-level sharpness & apparent sharpness often have an opposite relationship. We use techniques like agitation to affect adjacent edge micro-contrast. D-76 chisels grain in such a way that the lines in my experiments with onion skin photography are more dramatic & detailed in ways Xtol can't come close to reproducing. I also experiment with expired film, especially Plus-X, Pan-X and Double-X which may have been developed using D-76 during refinement tests. However, even Tmax 400 seems to spring to life in the midtones with D-76 while Xtol controls highlights better.

Lots of possibilities. I do have to add that D-76 does a lot to inhibit low-level fog in older films. Funny because Xtol is often touted as best controlling this yet in the same breath it is said that it preserves low-level shadow detail better.

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Pere Casals
9-Dec-2016, 10:02
Hi Pere, yes, many rules have exceptions & oftentimes we exploit those exceptions for our purposes! Long live creativity.

Microscope-level sharpness & apparent sharpness often have an opposite relationship. We use techniques like agitation to affect adjacent edge micro-contrast. D-76 chisels grain in such a way that the lines in my experiments with onion skin photography are more dramatic & detailed in ways Xtol can't come close to reproducing. I also experiment with expired film, especially Plus-X, Pan-X and Double-X which may have been developed using D-76 during refinement tests. However, even Tmax 400 seems to spring to life in the midtones with D-76 while Xtol controls highlights better.

Lots of possibilities. I do have to add that D-76 does a lot to inhibit low-level fog in older films. Funny because Xtol is often touted as best controlling this yet in the same breath it is said that it preserves low-level shadow detail better.

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One thing you can test is different ways to use Xtol (and D-76). Xtol can be used 1:1, 1:2, 1:3... also agitation pattern is important, to see how the textures you want to enhance are seen.

Adjacency effects are not detected at all (IMHO) with LF. To get that effect in LF "Unshap Masking" may be used: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/unsharp/


Then if you scan then Photoshop is what rules the thing, digital sharpenning, adding blur or denoising is what rule on the result. Also scanning is tricky.


With optical darkroom printing we can hide grain or not by using a diffusion enlarger vs condenser enlarger. Also a very slight defocus will have near same effect than developer solvent action.

For this reason some may prefer a not solvent developer like Rodinal, patented January 27, 1891 by Dr. Momme Andresen :) this is 125 years ago.

What I mean is that some effects of developers, that are important in small formats, are of much lower interest in LF, just because negative inmense size.

Also D76 is a mild compensating developer. In LF sometimes it is desired direct control aganist compensation. This is because in LF one can develop each sheet to get a particular result. With rolls you have to make a development that works for the 36 frames you can have there.

loonatic45414
9-Dec-2016, 12:58
158510

This is what I'm seeing. Xtol (top) vs D-76 (bottom). I know temp, agitation, dilution, etc, affect the outcome but my point is pursuing each to an extreme to get the look I want.

Yes, LF is a different animal in many ways, but I also think it's necessary to work in 35mm first because much of what you'll learn does translate to LF, and that which is different, you'll still have a better understanding how.

In LF, you can get sloppy in some aspects where 35 is less forgiving. It's true that grain isn't as much an issue but you'll know to what extent you can make that trade-off. Depending on the film, some emulsions don't change much while others do (at least I'd swear they do). Working with Pyrocat-HD, I've seen them stain differently, for example.

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Pere Casals
10-Dec-2016, 04:54
Testing is the good way !!! this is the way things are to be clarified.

But, repeat this test... if you look at the basket it is way out of focus for Xtol, same difference in sharpness is not seen in the onion by far, this proves that focus has a big share and so perhaps even the onion skin is slightly out of focus.

Also, if you look at left bottom corner Xtol case is sharper, this also proves the focus issue.

Exposition and/or degree of development is also way different. To test that you should bracket development times and exposures to get best case for each developer. Also shutters can be inconsistent. A suitable camera for testing is Nikon F5, it has an electronically auto-corrected shutter.

Differences from developers can be very small, so also accurate focus has to be assured. Better to test bigger subjects or textures from farther to ensure DOF, at optimal aperture, and with very sharp lenses like Nikon 50mm 1.8 (even sharper than 1.4 version).

I love grain structure culture, I hanker it in LF... https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/28286548926/in/dateposted-public/

If you have not read it yet... http://sandykingphotography.com/resources/technical-writing/pyro-staining-developers

Regards

loonatic45414
10-Dec-2016, 07:17
The entire roll was shot the same way, every frame taken one after the other on a manual focus camera with motor drive. This is 35mm. The roll was clipped into pieces to be developed using different developers. Maybe the scan software treated it somehow differently? But I've done many tests at different dilutions, agitations, temperatures to truly understand developer action & these are consistent.

I appreciate your time and thoughts. Sometimes one looks at the trees so much they can't describe the forest. I just want to get better control instead of wondering what could have been had I developed a shot differently.

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loonatic45414
10-Dec-2016, 07:22
I do see what you mean about the basket now. My lighting was not very strong & I had to shoot a stop below wide open and fairly close. Excellent observation.

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Willie
10-Dec-2016, 07:28
Interesting that Kodak no longer recommends Xtol be used at 1:3 dilution. When it was first released that was one of their recommendations. Also stated it would work in marginal quality water worldwide - a big plus that they later backed away from.

Pere Casals
10-Dec-2016, 09:50
Interesting that Kodak no longer recommends Xtol be used at 1:3 dilution. When it was first released that was one of their recommendations. Also stated it would work in marginal quality water worldwide - a big plus that they later backed away from.

We'll, it depends... Xtol datasheet in german recommends 1:3, (Page 3) http://wwwfr.kodak.com/AT/plugins/acrobat/de/professional/xtolEntwickler.pdf

It is true that using seasoned Xtol that was mixed with low water quality at 1:3 may give problems.

Beyond 1:1 there is near no benefit in saving costs for one shot in sheets (trays) in 135 and 220, but there is a saving in 120 and for sheets in tanks, as 100cc of stock are nedded for a roll or equivalent.


IMHO 1:2 and 1:3 are of very high interest to go beyond N-2, combining low agitation with dilution it allows to control highlights.

But... IMHO, better to use good water with Xtol, distilled or similar in case of doubt.

IanG
10-Dec-2016, 14:02
Interesting that Kodak no longer recommends Xtol be used at 1:3 dilution. When it was first released that was one of their recommendations. Also stated it would work in marginal quality water worldwide - a big plus that they later backed away from.

Actually a 1+2 dilution is far better than 1+3 and no company has suggested it. The problem with 1+3 is there maybe insufficient developing agents unless you use more volume than a tank requires.

Dilution increases acutance (sharpness) but grain increases, 1+3 gives grainiest results,but FS is best for fine grain but 1+1 and 1+2 are quite close, it's a good tarde off. Taht holds for ID-11/D76. Microphen, Xtol.Perceptol etc.

IAn

Willie
10-Dec-2016, 16:35
Actually a 1+2 dilution is far better than 1+3 and no company has suggested it. The problem with 1+3 is there maybe insufficient developing agents unless you use more volume than a tank requires.

Dilution increases acutance (sharpness) but grain increases, 1+3 gives grainiest results,but FS is best for fine grain but 1+1 and 1+2 are quite close, it's a good tarde off. Taht holds for ID-11/D76. Microphen, Xtol.Perceptol etc.

IAn

Ian,

Kodak had it recommended when the developer first came out. The original information and data showed it as one of the time/temperature options. It has been a long time but I think sharpness was one of the reasons. I do know my Uncle was involved with EK and the sudden failure problem and some of it was traced to the 1:3 dilution and water quality. His sudden failure problems were not due to insufficient chemical in the mix as it was 8x10 film, one at a time in a minimum of a gallon of working chemistry. Also know he has not used it since but with a stroke of good fortune Sandy King came out with Pyrocat HD, he tried it and has not looked back.

IanG
11-Dec-2016, 02:38
Ian,

Kodak had it recommended when the developer first came out. The original information and data showed it as one of the time/temperature options. It has been a long time but I think sharpness was one of the reasons. I do know my Uncle was involved with EK and the sudden failure problem and some of it was traced to the 1:3 dilution and water quality. His sudden failure problems were not due to insufficient chemical in the mix as it was 8x10 film, one at a time in a minimum of a gallon of working chemistry. Also know he has not used it since but with a stroke of good fortune Sandy King came out with Pyrocat HD, he tried it and has not looked back.

There were two issues with Xtol, the first was a packaging problem with the smallest size no always being sealed properly, and the second was poor water affecting the higher dilution 1+3. I always used Xtol replenished and bought the European 5 litre packs, the US packs were an Imperial size. I used Xtol from it's release until moving abroad and switching to Pyrocat HD which was more convenient when travelling, plus I really like the developer and resulting negatives.

Ian

chassis
11-Dec-2016, 06:10
Actually a 1+2 dilution is far better than 1+3 and no company has suggested it. The problem with 1+3 is there maybe insufficient developing agents unless you use more volume than a tank requires.

Dilution increases acutance (sharpness) but grain increases, 1+3 gives grainiest results,but FS is best for fine grain but 1+1 and 1+2 are quite close, it's a good tarde off. Taht holds for ID-11/D76. Microphen, Xtol.Perceptol etc.

IAn

Ian interesting you mention 1+2 dilution, and make note of D-76. I use D-76 at 1+2 with stand development, and like it. Don't see it used by many people at this dilution. I like the highlight control I get with 1+2.

loonatic45414
11-Dec-2016, 07:05
I'll have to try stand developing Tmax 400 with D-76 1:2. That film is notorious for difficult highlight control. I will under expose by 1/3 to 2/3 stop if I really want fine details in the highlights.

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IanG
11-Dec-2016, 07:48
Ian interesting you mention 1+2 dilution, and make note of D-76. I use D-76 at 1+2 with stand development, and like it. Don't see it used by many people at this dilution. I like the highlight control I get with 1+2.

Apologies for the typos, a friend wanted me to process some films for him in the late 1980s and specifically requested I use ID-11 (D76) at 1+2, I never liked it at 1+3 I found the tonal range insipid and lifeless. Another friend uses Pan F with Perceptol at 1+2 which controls the film's contrast perfectly.

Ian

Willie
11-Dec-2016, 08:10
There were two issues with Xtol, the first was a packaging problem with the smallest size no always being sealed properly, and the second was poor water affecting the higher dilution 1+3. I always used Xtol replenished and bought the European 5 litre packs, the US packs were an Imperial size. I used Xtol from it's release until moving abroad and switching to Pyrocat HD which was more convenient when travelling, plus I really like the developer and resulting negatives.

Ian

Yes, Kodak was very effective with the PR baloney about the 1 litre packets being the culprit in the Sudden Failure fiasco. Trouble it that three I know who suffered it mixed 5 litre packets. All were experienced darkroom workers who knew how to develop film. Two with smaller formats and one mainly sheet film.
It happened without any type of warning and I know with two it happened within three days of mixing the stock solution. Develop one batch or sheet and it was just fine. Mix the next working solution from the same stock and nothing on the roll or sheet of film. Sudden and unexplained failure. One of them got to talk with Sylvia Zawadski who had come up with the developer as well as other Kodak tech and science types and no one could figure it out. The "one litre packet" PR story came out but by then each of these moved on. I know all three found Sandy Kings Pyrocat HD developer. The one I have kept up with still uses it.

Xtol is an excellent developer and seems to have moved past the early failure problem. As for "1+2 dilution is far better than 1+3" - that is in the eye of the user. Kodak recommended the 1+3 initially with Xtol in the written directions and many like it.

David Lobato
11-Dec-2016, 09:58
I use Xtol 1:1 in rotary tubes for sheet film. In the 90's I had several failures from the Xtol 1 liter packs when they were first mixed. I called and was surprised to be connected to a Kodak engineer who worked on the Xtol production packaging. He acknowledged the machine that seals the 1 liter packs had a problem with proper heat sealing. According to him Kodak declined to fix the machinery and so abandoned the 1 liter packs. He wasn't thrilled with that decision, but he assured me the 5 liter packs had no sealing problems. I haven't had problems with the few dozen 5 liter packs since then. (YMMV) It's difficult to rationalize what Kodak does. They stopped making Kodachrome which shocked many of us.

Pere Casals
12-Dec-2016, 02:49
I use Xtol 1:1 in rotary tubes for sheet film. In the 90's I had several failures from the Xtol 1 liter packs when they were first mixed. I called and was surprised to be connected to a Kodak engineer who worked on the Xtol production packaging. He acknowledged the machine that seals the 1 liter packs had a problem with proper heat sealing. According to him Kodak declined to fix the machinery and so abandoned the 1 liter packs. He wasn't thrilled with that decision, but he assured me the 5 liter packs had no sealing problems. I haven't had problems with the few dozen 5 liter packs since then. (YMMV) It's difficult to rationalize what Kodak does. They stopped making Kodachrome which shocked many of us.


Well, Kodachrome is an inmense aesthetical heritage, this is true. But Velvia took the market, E-6 was the standard, and mantaining a revelsal color system with low sells was not profitable.

I'm pretty sure that they could make an E-6 ektachrome version of kodachrome with same (or close) response.

It is interesting your direct contact about the sealing...

IanBarber
10-Apr-2017, 12:59
I am developing my FomaPan 100 in Replenished Xtol for 6 minutes @20 C but still feel I could do with reducing the dev time to control the highlights.

Would going lower than 6 minutes create other issues.

loonatic45414
10-Apr-2017, 13:56
You ought to use a step wedge, develop at different times then use a densitometer. I don't shoot any emulsion until I've tested it. After that, I know exactly how I want it exposed & developed.

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