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I've always used Rodinal at 1:50 and have been happy with the results...but I want to try X-tol and see what happens to my grain/sharpness (I hope the accutance doesn't go down the tubes!)After spending two weeks England way I have quite a lot of rolls of 35mm (I took my Horseman but proved too bulky and time consuming to do most of my work with it as I was rushed and daylight being limited wanted a lot)--Does anyone know/recommend an x-tol dilution and what the differences are in terms of outcom...am considering 1:2 or 1:3?

-- kirk kennelly (kirk@a-o.com), December 05, 1998


I'd suggest starting out with Xtol 1:1 or 1:2 for most films. IMHO those dilutions result in the best speed/grain/acutance tradeoffs. You should expect to see lower acutance than you're used to with Rodinal, but it won't be mushy, and you'll get finer grain. Actual resolution will be significantly higher. General opinion is that Xtol straight has the least speed and biggest grain; 1:1 and 1:2 are the sweet spots, while 1:3 requires too much volume in order to avoid capacity problems, development times are rather long, and there aren't any benefits to make that dilution worthwhile. On that note, beware that you need to use 100ml Xtol stock per 80 sq in (roll) no matter what dilution. I like Xtol 1:1 for Delta 100, Delta 400 and HP5+, also Xtol 1:2 for HP5+, and especially Xtol 1:2 for TMZ. Full rated speed for all except the TMZ; it's EI 1600, 15'/76F continuous agitation in Xtol 1:2.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (jbh@magicnet.net), December 05, 1998.

I've settled on 1+2 dilution for basically the same reasons John states: fine graain, good sharpness, good speed, economic usage, reasonable development times at 75 deg. F (~9 min).

I have in the past used 1+3 dilution for 120 film. There is a bit of a compensating effect at this dilution. No capacity problem with Patterson plastic tanks and reels.

-- Tim Brown (brownt@ase.com), December 06, 1998.

I recently developed about 15 rolls 35mm Agfa & FP4 film using Rodinal or Xtol as developers. Agfa 400 in Rodinal 1:50 produces distinctive grain in non detail areas. Generally too much for my taste. It works well with storm clouds. FP4 souped in Rodinal 1:50 or Xtol 1:1 is my choice for general photography. Rodinal 1:50 has higher accutance than the smoother grained Xtol 1:1. Both developers produce nice results with FP4. Rodinal has a little more bite. I have not tried it but Xtol at 1:3 is considered a accutance developer.

-- Richard Jepsen (richard.jepsen@tinker.AF.mil), May 29, 1999.

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