View Full Version : Crystals in Xtol

13-Jan-2007, 18:47
I was ready to develop some film and noticed that there where a bunch of small thin crystals in my 6 month old Xtol stock solution. The Xtol was mixed with distilled water and kept in completely full glass bottles. All bottles have the crystals in them. I used this same developer batch last weekend and all was okay. Has anyone had a similar problem before?

I like Xtol but with a half-gallon left I have yet to go through a complete 5 litre batch. Fortunately, I just bought some Rodinal. Can anyone recommend a time/temp/dilution combo for Rodinal and Tmax 400 that will give me a CI of 0.52?


Ron Marshall
13-Jan-2007, 21:58
Six months is about the limit for XTOL, according to Kodak. Shoot a test sheet and develop it to be sure. Perhaps a little heat and stirring will re-dissolve the precipitate.

The massive dev chart on digital truth has times for small tank development with periodic inversion. Reduce the times by 10 to 20% for continuous agitation.


Henry Ambrose
14-Jan-2007, 09:47
I've seen this and used the developer with success.

But "when in doubt, throw it out" is the best advice.

A new pack of Xtol is only $10.00

If you do switch to Rodinal shoot a test to establish your times. You're taking about as big a chance starting up with a new developer as using old developer you're not sure about. A few test sheets developed in your new soup will provide valuable information.

14-Jan-2007, 20:56
Heating up and stirring the Xtol did not get rid of the crystals.

The cost for Xtol is a lot higher because the local camera store doesn't carry it. (Shipping and handling gets you every time.) Also, the cost goes up when you consider I only use half of it before it goes bad.

The whole point of the Rodinal was to find a developer I like that isn't so finicky. Did a test with the Rodinal - too grainy for my tastes, but workable.

Ron Marshall
14-Jan-2007, 21:10
HC-110 is a syrup that will last at least one year, people have reported much longer shelf-life.

I have used HC-110, Rodinal, XTOL, D76, and Pyrocat-HD with TMY. HC-110 did an excellent job with the TMY, not signifigantly different from XTOL.

14-Jan-2007, 21:21
Tried HC-110 several years ago, but I preferred Xtol. Might even go back to D-76 1:1.


Henry Ambrose
15-Jan-2007, 07:19
I keep several packs of Xtol on hand. The powder keeps a long time. Ordering more than one at a time keeps shipping costs down. If you like Xtol I suggest you stick with it. Maybe find someone to split it with each time you mix? Or buy an 8x10 then you'll use it up a lot faster:D !

15-Jan-2007, 10:45
I've tried many developers and I keep coming back to xtol. It works really well with many films, no matter the speed.

In my opinion, rodinal only works with slow films.

15-Jan-2007, 13:00
The only thing I don't like about Xtol is how finicky it is. I haven't used Rodinal in 30 years, because of the gritty salt and pepper look (it's nickname used to be "Rodent toil".) IMO Rodinal looks good with reportage style photos.


15-Jan-2007, 13:15
I am not sure having to use a product within six months is finicky. Xtol is too good of a product not to be used because of this.

Maybe you need to shoot more? :D

frank pinchak
17-Jan-2007, 18:03
I was at Photo Plus show 2 or 3 years ago (NYCity). I met John Sexton who was working at the Jobo booth. He told me Xtol shouldn't be used with T-Max films.

17-Jan-2007, 21:45
That's odd, it seems that almost everyone else thinks that Xtol is the greatest thing since the discovery of beer:D

frank pinchak
18-Jan-2007, 17:16
Correction please.

found x-tol great for roll film T-max. With 8 x 10 the gremlins showed up. Streaks with hangers.
Streaks with trays. Tried Beseler tanks with motor agitation. No luck. Finally talked to Sexton at NYCity show at Javits center. He said it shouldn't be used with T-Max films and I correct myself. I'm sure he meant cut sheet film.

Ron Marshall
18-Jan-2007, 17:28
I use XTOL 1:3 with TMY in a Jobo, and have not noticed any uneven development.