XTOL as my default developer?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Mike Marty, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Mike Marty

    Mike Marty Guest


    I've been experimenting with various B&W films (HP5+, FP4+, Tri-X, Tmax,
    etc.), and have begun developing them at home using D76 1:1.

    Looking at the Ilford charts, it seems that XTOL is very versatile-- for
    example I can push further with it than D76.

    Is there any reason I should _not_ switch from D76 to XTOL as my default
    developer? I also hear that XTOL is not as toxic...

    Mike Marty, Jul 16, 2003
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  2. Mike Marty

    Mark A Guest

    XTOL is more environmentally friendly compared to other developers. It also
    yields higher film speed, especially at 1:1 or higher dilutions. There have
    been some cases of XTOL failures reported, and strangely this seems to be
    slightly more prevalent with TMAX 100 (old version), but XTOL is an
    excellent developer. Kodak claimed that the problem was with the 1 liter
    packaging (which has been discontinued). Do not purchase any 1 liter
    packages (just in case you find them) because they are quite old.

    Kodak has an excellent data sheet for XTOL on their web-site, and they
    publish times for various contrast ratios. However, as usual for all
    published times, you should use these numbers as a starting point for your
    own testing.
    Mark A, Jul 16, 2003
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  3. If you don't mind the extra expense, and the necessity of mixing from
    5-liter packets, Xtol is a great developer. See also:
    Michael A. Covington, Jul 16, 2003
  4. Mike Marty

    Wim Guest

    Take a look at the site of a real authority in darkroom land about
    Xtol. http://silvergrain.org/Photo-Tech/film-dev-orig.html
    Wim, Jul 16, 2003
  5. Mike Marty

    brougham3 Guest

    When using Xtol and Tmax, be mindful of the minimum developer volume that
    Kodak recommends. I believe it's 100 ml per 36-exposure 35mm roll.

    I use Xtol 1:3 with various Fuji films and 60 ml give or take per roll with
    no problems.
    brougham3, Jul 17, 2003
  6. Ryuji is very knowledible about photo chemistry but makes
    two statements in the above site which I believe to be
    1, The rise in pH during storage of aeriated D-76 is due to
    a reaction of the hydroquinone and sulfite. This takes place
    in virtually all M-H developers but is masked by their often
    higher pH.
    2, I don't think Xtol is much different in pH from D-76. The
    pH of Xtol is specified in the patent. By memory both come
    out somewhere around 8.5. The finer grain of Xtol is due to
    other factors.
    The buffered version of D-76 was devised in 1929 by H. C.
    Carlton and John I. Crabtree of Kodak Research Labs to
    eliminate the rise in activity in stored D-76. The current
    packaged D-76 is the buffered version. Carlton and Crabtree
    did not know the reason for the pH rise but were able to
    devise an effective way to eliminate its effects.
    Xtol shares with D-76 being composed to two supperaditive
    reducing agents in a well buffered solution. There are
    actually two patents for Xtol, one should see both.
    Richard Knoppow, Sep 17, 2003
  7. Mike Marty

    Jorge Omar Guest

    From the patent, Xtol's pH is 8.2; AFAIK D-76 buffered is 8.4.
    Not a significant difference, IMHO.

    Jorge Omar, Sep 18, 2003
  8. Mike Marty

    Alexis Neel Guest

    Xtol is a wonderful developer and was our standard dev. for all films.
    Easy mixing, "cleaner" developing than D-76, nice tonality. We used
    it one shot, and I am a suporter of that method...1:1, IMHO, should
    not be used.
    Anyway, in machines, such as a refrema, several labs in our area had
    foaming problems, which would affect the developing of the neg, and
    deteriorated the developer also.

    Good luck.

    Alexis Neel, Sep 18, 2003
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