Re-using XTOL : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'm just getting started with XTOL. Just now I'm using it straight (no dilution). According to Kodak, a liter of the undiluted stuff can be used five times without any time adjustment in development, and after five uses they suggest increasing the time by specified percentages.

I filled a liter bottle and have used it a total of four times. Wow! The stuff has gone from clear to opaque and there's a heavy deposit of silvery gray in the bottom of the bottle. To me, it looks like the end of the road for that particular soup.

As an economy, it would be nice to re-use developer, but I don't want to sacrifice quality of result. It also occurs to me that the diluted stuff might work better.

Has anyone out there had experience (good or bad) with re-using XTOL? Or with comparing the results of diluted vs. undiluted XTOL?

In case it's relevant, I'll add that mostly I use Tri-X, Plus X and Vericrome. Occassionaly (very), T-Max.

-- Paul Arnold (, September 19, 1999


I don't have any experiences with re-using XTOL developper but I always use it with 1:3 dilution. Because of the dilution, I can't re-use de developper but I can process 16 films (135-36) with one liter of straight developper. I take 125 ml of straight developper and 375 ml of water to make 500 ml of dilute developper. I can process 2 films at the same time with this dilute developper.

I had very good results with dilute XTOL, it's now my favorite developper...

The processing times with dilute XTOL are on the Kodak website.

-- Benont Lemire (, September 19, 1999.

Hi Paul,

Given the cost of film, and the time to shoot it, I'd never consider reusing developer. Xtol works very well diluted (I use 1:1, but take your pick), and is environmentally more friendly than other soups. Dilute it and dump it. Also- per Kodak- it takes 100 ml of full strength Xtol to do a 36 exposure roll of film. Regardless of the dilution used, you must have 100 ml of full strength Xtol in the tank, or there won't be enough active ingredients to fully develop the film. I always use 150 ml of Xtol and 150 ml of water to be sure the film is more than fully covered and to have a safety margin on the minimum quantity. Great stuff!

-- Conrad Hoffman (, September 19, 1999.

On top of what others have said, here's my system: I mix Xtol 5 liters at a time. I store it in 1l plastic and 16oz glass soda bottles filled right to the top, labels removed. I got a "wine saver" kit from a kitchen supply store. This is a hand vacuum pump and special rubber corks. The last partially filled bottle ( that I use out of) gets a wine saver cork and all the air pumped out. When I use up the 16 oz bottles I empty the 1l into the 16oz ones, all filled up to the top except the last working bottle that gets the cork. I use Xtol and Microphen diluted 1+2 one shot. I have kept developers the better part of a year this way with no problem. I also use this system with Dektol. DIluted Xtol gives a little more speed, grain and sharpness.

-- Tim Brown (, September 20, 1999.

I use Xtol, but I give my film a presoak to wash away dyes which leach out (Agfa APX 25 jumps to mind). I have used Xtol with 15 rolls, and I think it's fine. Just adjust the development times as you go along.

-- Brian C. Miller (, September 21, 1999.

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