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Thread: Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)

  1. #1
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Knezija, Zagreb, Croatia, Europe...

    Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)

    I'm right now on vacation (shooting with my new Tachihara) and would like to develop my film... Well, usually I develop in Rodinal (1+50) but for this year I planed to buy D-76 and to work with him diluted 1:1. But, when I came to store (Kodak center) they just didn't have any, so I bought Xtol. And now, with few exposed sheets, I'm wondering how to use that developer?
    Kodak is suggesting that minimal developing time shouldn't be under 6 minutes. But, developing time for efke 25 (those I have found on Net) are under, or just about 6 minutes... Well, I sad to myself, I will dilute Xtol to 1:1... but, than I have found notice that "Dilution at 1:1 will provide slightly greater film speed, enhanced sharpness and shadow detail, and slightly more
    I'm surprised with some parts of that notice... enhanced shadow detail is normal for diluted developer, but greater film speed? Slightly more gain? I can understood that in longer (and wormer) developing silver crystals will start to join, but in a minute or minute and half?
    Does anyone have any experience with combination of Xtol and low ISO film? I'm shooting Efke 25, (and Efke 100) in 9x12cm and Agfa 25 (last few rolls) in 120 format (with small beautiful Rolleicord... but that is for some other forum:-)).
    Also, I'm afraid that I wont be able to develop on temperature of 20 degrees of Celsius (hot summer just started), 22 or even 24 is what I'm expecting. And, btw, how big will that grain in diluted Xtol become?
    However, I have one fresh bottle of Rodinal with me, but would really like to see some other developer... Rodinal sometimes seems to produce big grain (especially in dark-mid tones).

    Tnx for any tip or suggestion.

  2. #2

    Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)

    As I remember -- and I could be wrong -- the amount of sodium sulfite in XTOL and D-76 is the same. You'll get the same amount of solvent action from XTOL at 1:1 as from D-76 at 1:1.

    I doubt the grain will be identical between the two formulas when diluted, but you're probably not going to see bigger grain from XTOL at 1:1 than you would from D-76 at 1:1.

    And I wouldn't be concerned about less than 5-minute developing times. Just be careful about agitation and timing and it should work out fine.

  3. #3
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)

    I use XTOL with Tri-X. Not exactly what you are asking, but my experience might transfer. You'll have to decide that.

    I use XTOL at 1:3. I've found that I can rate Tri-X at 400. When I was using HC-110H, I was rating it at 250, so I'm getting a 2/3 stop increase in real speed.

    The grain I'm seeing is perhaps a bit smaller than with HC-110H, even though I'm running another 2.5 minutes in the XTOL (5 minutes for the HC-110H, 7.5 for XTOL 1:3). The grain is also somewhat better formed. At a 10x enlargement, you are really hard pressed to see the difference, however. Really hard pressed.

    At an enlargement of 10x (that is, about 1.0x1.3 meter print size) I can see no grain. With your lower speed film, I'm expecting that grain will be vanishingly small in your prints no matter what developer you use.

    Anyway, my experience with XTOL is that it is really well behaved. The grain is at least as good (size and shape) as you would get with HC-110, and the film speed increase is real. Good stuff IMHO.

    Bruce Watson

  4. #4

    Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)


    About six years ago, I was experimenting and developed Efke 25 in Xtol 1+3 as a stand developer for 9.5 minutes at 20deg. C. The negatives printed very well.

    Good Luck

  5. #5
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Knezija, Zagreb, Croatia, Europe...

    Xtol and low ISO films (efke 25, agfa 25)

    Tnx to all your help and suggestions.
    I have developed first 6 sheets of efke 100 in diluted Xtol 1:1 for 10 minutes (without proper agitation - my 2 years old daughter decided to "run away" from home... her friend went on the beach so she wanted too... ouch. so I missed 5-6 minutes of agitation). But film looks good: sharp, just little bit low on contrast (what I prefer anyway), and without any noticeable grain - I have trained eye and I could see it with old Schneider 8x magnifier loupe... it IS there, but so small...
    On 2nd run, I wasn't that lucky: I developed 6 sheets of efke 25 in Xtol, also diluted 1:1, for about (yes, it is "about") 7.5-8 minutes... I would say 1 minute too much. And again reason was child, but this time not mine, another girl who was playing with my daughter felt on the flour and start crying... ah, all I wanted is not to make noise during the night... Tomorrow, I will shoot some test shots again and will wait for kids to go in to the bed. And will try 1:3... I prefer longer developing times (in such case, Rodinal is great: dilute him 1+100 and minute or two won't count that much ;-))

    I started this thread frightened with words "...and slightly more grain." Well, maybe this hardly noticeable grain is more visible than those of undiluted Xtol, but Kodak should mention that it is still very fine grain.

    Btw, Tachihara is working fine... I miss some possibilities what Sinar is offering (depth of field control) but the weight... I'm running over the rocks ;-))

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