View Full Version : how much film in developer?

17-Jan-2007, 17:55

I'm sure somewhere there's a rule of thumb for this:

I'm developting tri-x 4x5 in xtol 1:1 total volume is 800ml (400ml dev 400 h20 in case there's confusion :) )

How many sheets can I develop before the soup exhausts?



Ron Marshall
17-Jan-2007, 18:59
According to the Kodak data-sheet, 25ml of stock, ie. 50ml of 1:1 per 4x5 sheet.

Henry Ambrose
18-Jan-2007, 06:40
Download the Kodak pdf on Xtol for complete information on adjusting times for re-using the developer.

But - I would not use the developer this way. If you can use it "one-shot" I think you will get more dependable results. I think re-using the same developer is OK for large quantities (big tanks that hold gallons and gallons) when carefully monitored as in a professional lab. For small quantities like you are using it becomes sort of a crap shoot.

100ml of stock Xtol per 80 sqare inches is the minimum amount. 80 square inches is approximately one roll of 35mm, one roll of 120, four sheets of 4x5. Minimum means just that - the very least you can get by with. Unless your pictures and all the trouble you go to make them is not worth the extra $.05 it costs --- use plenty of developer. That might mean 125 ml or more per 80 Sq. in.

If mixing one-shot seems to give insufficient quantity of working solution, add more water and increase your time.

How are you developing your film? Trays, tanks, Jobo?

18-Jan-2007, 07:24

Thanks for the info.

I'm dev. in trays. Usually 4-6 at a time. I was assuming that I could dev. more sheets in the soup but I wasn't sure how many more.


Ralph Barker
18-Jan-2007, 08:12
FWIW, I also process in trays - 8x10 trays for 4x5 film and 11x14 trays for 8x10 film. In the 8x10 trays, I use 1 liter of mixed developer (2 liters for 8x10 film in the 11x14 trays), and use it on a one-shot basis, as Henry suggested, for better consistency. The practical side, I think, is that the number of sheets processed also depends on how many one can effectively "manage" in the stack. For me, that's about six sheets of 4x5. Going beyond that starts to stretch my "dark dexterity".

Then, there's the difference in total time in the soup between the first sheet and the last inserted into the developer. Personally, I can't keep track of the sequence and where each sheet is in the stack, so I pull them all at once. Smaller stack sizes keeps the difference in time to a minimum.

Henry Ambrose
18-Jan-2007, 15:14
At the dilution you are using there is theoretically enough stock developer to do 16 sheets of 4x5. But since you state that you process 4-6 sheets at a time in trays you'd have to do multiple runs to develop all 16 sheets that your 400ml stock developer can handle.

I suppose it is possible to do this but keep in mind that you're dealing with a different developer strength each run. To get the same development each run there will be a time difference between each that I think will be impossible to quantify with sufficient accuracy.

At the same time I doubt that using half or your current mixture will be enough fluid in your tray for easy shuffling of the film. So I would dilute further so that I have plenty of fluid in the tray. For 4-6 sheets I'd try 200ml of stock Xtol and 600ml of water for 800ml total. (1:3 dilution) Your time will increase but you'll not waste any developer and have sufficient working solution and enough stock. Maybe figure on 30-50% longer times. I have the 1:3 Xtol .pdfs somewhere if you need them or maybe Google them. Kodak quit 1:3 sometime ago but I've never had any problems with high dilutions (then again I always use way plenty of stock solution)

Now all thats based on you being happy with 800ml in your tray. I use 1000ml at 1:3 (250ml Xtol and 750ml water) because I like that much fluid in the tray for shuffling the film but thats a pretty fine point. (actually I nearly always use hangers these days)

And you can just keep on doing it the way you are now, I just don't think re-using the same working solution is the best idea for certain, exact results. So its either dilute more and stay in the dark longer or waste a little developer.