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Thread: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

  1. #1

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    Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    I searched high and low for some substantive info on development times for Efke PL25 sheet film -- and I used the DigitalTruth recommended 1:2 / 11 min formula and had good results -- but I would like to eke out a sharper image from my negs and I know (and have seen) the difference in sharpness that various dilutions of Xtol produce with other films.

    Is anyone out there processing this film in straight Xtol or Xtol 1:1? What are your development times? Are you happy with the results you're getting?

    I realize that this film is not Tmax and I don't expect similar results -- and yes, before you go on and on about Rodinal and Pyrocat, I could process it in those developers, but I'm not going to for several reasons (environmental, kids, I'm washing my film in the kitchen sink, etc etc).

    Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    So what's a problem with Rodinal????
    I doubt you can beat it for sharp without EXTREME measures- some home brew using lye ?, especially with what i assume is an old-timey film-
    AFAIK there's no "radioactivity" in it.
    What about washing film in the sink? - I wouldn't think i the sink would be clean enough for film, but if you do why not Rodinal in there too?
    I did a lot of roll film processing- SS tanks - in the kitchen sink, including Rodinal, D-76 etc. I first used Rodinal a long time ago with Panatomic X in 35 and it looked , well , so not sharp for such a fine grained film etc. So my brother gave me some mystical procedures with Rodinal 1:100 , explained to me about sharp vs grain and Vooo-allah.
    Now I DO use Xtol, but for TriX and HP5. For Plus X I still turn to Rodinal-its native grain is small enough and the edge effects are very strong. Oh yeah , and stopped using 35mm long ago, even with some incredible success [and not] with Tech Pan

    Environmental?? no really.

    As for kids, grandkids, I don't let them drink my Xtol, or other stuff in the darkroom, even for stuffy noses.
    I love Xtol- just grumpy today account I musta checked the news this am and was reminded of the sorry state of my state and country

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    I just don't understand why there are so many Rodinal fanatics.

    I didn't say there was anything wrong with Rodinal -- but I was hoping to keep this thread clean and devote it exclusively to XTOL processing: in my opinion, that's one of the problems with trying to glean any useful information from online forums, i.e., they tend to get "dirty" as people post answers that are off topic!

    I'm not suggesting that I won't ever use Rodinal -- and I'm not disparaging it! The fact is, I have a fresh batch of Xtol in my kit and I'm not buying any more developer at this moment. Is that a good enough answer???

    Now, PLEASE, no more Rodinal / Pyrocat hijacking of this thread!

    I am interested in XTOL full strength or 1:1 development times for Efke films, thank you very much.

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    Experience with other films suggests to me that XTOL 1:1 will give sharper-looking images with a tiny bit more apparent grain, and a slightly longer scale, than XTOL undiluted. I've never used XTOL at greater dilutions but by extrapolation I'd think that a 1:2 dilution would give the most sharpness and grain. (This is in line with Kodak's recommendations, and the same effects are seen with D-76 as well.)
    Of course developing time is directly related to how contrasty you like your negatives, a personal decision, so a published time may well be only a ball park figure. I'd run some tests, say 25% less time @1:1, 40% less for straight, and see what happens. After that you should be close enough to your right answer to figure out just what your developing times should be for those dilutions. When you have the contrast levels the same for each dilution, then you can decide which dilution produces the sharpness that you like. This type of testing is widely thought of as a PITA, but it's the only way to know, and you'll only have to go through it once.
    But using an EI 25 sheet film, I would expect grain to be invisible at any moderate enlargement, and any sharpness differences hard to discover without a loupe. What size film are you using, and how much do you enlarge?
    Remember that apparent sharpness, or acutance, (not the same as resolution) is partly a function of the developer. Rodinal has the reputation of being a high-acutance developer, best for slow films. For example, Brett Weston used Agfapan 25 and Rodinal 1:100 for his later medium-format work, which looks stunningly sharp. But then he never had the chance to try XTOL at any dilution. And I'm not suggesting that you try Rodinal until you have XTOL figured out and if you are then still dissatisfied.

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    Thanks, Mark. I realize now that I had that backwards -- more dilution, greater sharpness -- maybe what I should try is the 1:3 dilution first. The published time for the 1:3 mix at DigitalTruth is also 11 minutes, which may or may not be right.

    I knocked a minute and a half off of my dev time for the 1:2 mix because I'm using tubes; I might also try cooking that mix a little longer.

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    Don't forget that there's an absolute minimum amount of XTOL necessary to effectively develop the film. I think it's 100ml of XTOL per 80 square inches of film. That's one reason I never tried higher dilutions when I developed roll film- I'd have had to use a bigger tank than I owned.

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    I use Xtol 1:2 trays HP5 for speed, sharpness, economy
    I'd use 1:3 but times are longer than I can stand.
    I use 1:3 for rollfilm, 4 reels in a 4 reel Nikor tank 1 roll 120 per reel

    If you want info why throw in all the other , er, stuff ?
    No hijack intended, just thought you were framing a question on poor criteria- sharpness
    Next time just say "I got Xtol, now what"

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    It's a pretty simple question. Maybe if I put in all caps it will be clearer.

    DOES ANYONE DEVELOP EFKE PL25 IN XTOL 1:1 OR STRAIGHT XTOL? WHAT ARE YOUR DEVELOPMENT TIMES?

    Is that better?

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    Efke 25 (EI 16) and Xtol 1+1 9:30. I tend to develop a tad longer than most and even longer for carbon transfer printing. BTZS tube, 4x5 and 8x10.

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    Re: Efke PL25 M 5x7 / 4x5 in Straight XTOL or XTOL 1:1, Dev Times?

    Thanks -- that's what I needed.

    I used 9:30 in a tube with 1:2, but could've gone a little longer (probably 10).

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