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Thread: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

  1. #11

    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Key View Post
    I mixed up a batch of Xtol earlier this week. Try as I might I couldn't get the 'A' powder to completely dissolve. I assumed I had done something stupid like not cleaning my mixing bucket properly, added the 'B' powder and filtered the final solution to get the precipitate out. I have had slightly thin negatives but I am testing a new film and a new spot meter so can't be sure it is the developer. I did shoot some HP5 which I have been using for a long time with Xtol and those negs seem fine.

    So now I am in a similar position where my faith in my standardised developer process is somewhat shaken. I guess the easiest step would be to buy another pack of Xtol but I am seriously considering switching developer. There is nothing worse than an unpredictable product.
    It might not be practical for a commercial photographer, but my decision is to migrate my practice over to Pyro instead of Xtol, assuming there are ongoing issues with the manufacture of Xtol. I suppose there's always the Legacy Pro version of Xtol, which I haven't tried yet.

  2. #12

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    I've made two batches of the new formula XTOL. I use a variable speed propeller mixer. No lack of stirring. I dissolve part A, there are still a bit of suspended particles, but I go ahead and dump in part B and rev the stirrer a few times to keep everything moving then stir gently. I always use warmed distilled water (85F)

    I would try the Legacy Pro version. Wait until Kodak (Alaris) gets it together. I've used XTOL since it came out.

    When Tetenal announced the restructuring I bought a dozen packages of the Tetenal produced product. But I have not had any real issues with the new version.

    Easy solution is to shoot Ilford and use Ilford chemistry, then as a Pro, you have issues you have one company to deal with.

  3. #13

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Duolab123 View Post
    I've made two batches of the new formula XTOL. I use a variable speed propeller mixer. No lack of stirring. I dissolve part A, there are still a bit of suspended particles, but I go ahead and dump in part B and rev the stirrer a few times to keep everything moving then stir gently. I always use warmed distilled water (85F)
    I definitely find that for mixing powders, every degree helps. Kodak says 68-85F, so I agree with taking it right to the top. I'll also run the magnetic stirrer as long as I need to. However, I find that for my larger 5L plastic containers, a residue will separate out and build up because the corners are sharply angled. That needs to be chipped out and broken up again. Xtol isn't the only powder that does this. I don't know if there's a better way to handle this. I suppose a 5L beaker would be better.

  4. #14

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    This is what I use. Talboys brand variable speed propeller mixer. I was lucky and found a brand new surplus unit for $120, then the SS prop with shaft was another 30 bucks. I use a German made, probably 25 years old 5L plastic beaker with a handle. I use the marks on the beaker for diluting to 5 liter volume. One really easy way is to buy a hydrometer and at the correct temperature dilute to Kodak's published specific gravity. Then you can use any clean container.
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    I've found that deionized water (I warm up a quart in my darkroom microwave ) @ 85F, I rev the stirrer briefly to keep the sandbars of powder from forming in the bottom of the beaker.
    I had access to a proper ring stand. I think a 12 inch shaft 3 bladed prop stirrer off Ebay and a cordless drill might work. I have a couple magnetic stirrers, they are ok but not nearly so as a prop stirrer. Always be careful not to stir so hard as to whip air into the solution.

  5. #15

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Whenever I hear of quality-control problems in Kodak products, my heart sinks.
    This particular snafu is directly related to their changing supplier/manufacturer for their chemistry line. One would think that it would be reasonable to expect Kodak to test the product extensively before marketing as if nothing had changed. Apparently, HC-110 looks different from the old batch giving the long-time users of the chemical pause and concern.


    I somehow ended up with about 50 (fifty!) packages of X-TOL; a friend and former colleague 'pressured' me into buying it from him because he was moving and needed the money. Now, I am glad that I have it but he question is: how long will it last? (The packages are sealed in thick zipped-locked bags). This year I am still on one package when I would normally be on my fifth.

  6. #16

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato Tonelli View Post
    Whenever I hear of quality-control problems in Kodak products, my heart sinks.
    This particular snafu is directly related to their changing supplier/manufacturer for their chemistry line. One would think that it would be reasonable to expect Kodak to test the product extensively before marketing as if nothing had changed. Apparently, HC-110 looks different from the old batch giving the long-time users of the chemical pause and concern.


    I somehow ended up with about 50 (fifty!) packages of X-TOL; a friend and former colleague 'pressured' me into buying it from him because he was moving and needed the money. Now, I am glad that I have it but he question is: how long will it last? (The packages are sealed in thick zipped-locked bags). This year I am still on one package when I would normally be on my fifth.
    The stuff produced in Germany by Tetenal should be fine if you literally have 50 5 L packages and intend to use it, I would find a air tight container like a small drywall bucket, with a gasket and pack it full. I've used XTOL packages that I panic bought when EK went bankrupt, I used these for years. Then whenever it was that Tetenal went into receivership I bought a bunch at least a dozen 5 liter packages. I'm not worried.

  7. #17

    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Consider home brewed "Mytol" as a replacement. I have used it for 15 years and my testing showed it to be indistinguishable from 2005 Xtol.

  8. #18

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    One really great investment I've made is a Reverse Osmosis water system. I have bought 2 systems over the years, for 2 homes. I bought a 5 stage system, really all that's needed is a 4 stage. Basically there's a sediment filter followed by a couple of activated carbon, takes out chlorine and organics, followed by the RO membrane that removes ionic dissolved crud, like calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate etc. This is how the huge desalination plants work. This water goes to a storage tank, choose what size you want.
    The downside is many areas discourage or don't allow a contractor to install RO systems. As we all know, there's no free lunch. For every gallon of purified water produced you have effluent runoff, it's perfectly fine for watering plants, toilets etc. But in most cases, like mine this water goes wasted down the sewer.
    Carbon block filters like what come in refrigerators are quite good at removing tastes and chlorine odors, but don't really purify the water.
    I installed RO systems for my darkroom, my wife just thinks it's for her.

  9. #19

    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato Tonelli View Post
    Whenever I hear of quality-control problems in Kodak products, my heart sinks.
    This particular snafu is directly related to their changing supplier/manufacturer for their chemistry line. One would think that it would be reasonable to expect Kodak to test the product extensively before marketing as if nothing had changed. Apparently, HC-110 looks different from the old batch giving the long-time users of the chemical pause and concern.


    I somehow ended up with about 50 (fifty!) packages of X-TOL; a friend and former colleague 'pressured' me into buying it from him because he was moving and needed the money. Now, I am glad that I have it but he question is: how long will it last? (The packages are sealed in thick zipped-locked bags). This year I am still on one package when I would normally be on my fifth.
    Kodak Alaris last week seems to have changed powder manufacturer again, and has given control of production to another company. they are basically rebadging someone else's stuff. All the powders have had problems. For Dektol, check your numbers... If it's 516 0270 it's the good old stuff but if the no is 105 8296 you will have problems like Xtol.
    Kodak RIP
    I am gone.

  10. #20

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    Re: XTOL not mixing well and not working any more!

    Quote Originally Posted by almostpilot View Post
    Kodak Alaris last week seems to have changed powder manufacturer again, and has given control of production to another company. they are basically rebadging someone else's stuff. All the powders have had problems. For Dektol, check your numbers... If it's 516 0270 it's the good old stuff but if the no is 105 8296 you will have problems like Xtol.
    Kodak RIP
    I am gone.
    I absolutely get what you're saying. Their customer service (caring) has gone by the wayside for a long time now. I hope they will keep making Tri-X and T-Max with the same quality control to date.

    If and when the time comes that I have to switch to another developer, it will be D-23. When I did my Zone tests for
    X-TOL, I also did them for D-23. One of the appealing things about this developer is that has just two ingredients.

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