Delta 3200, Xtol and me : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hi all- After thoroughly studying the responses of this group, I decided to test some 120 3200 (exposed @3200) and straight Xtol for 9 min @68 degrees. First 30sec of constant agitation, then invert tank for 5 sec every 30. Then stop bath, fix, rinse, perma wash, and final rinse. The negatives are drying as we speak...images appear maybe a bit thin, but there is a fairly dense base (a decidedly grey color). The Ilford lettering on the side appears to be black, but not overblown. What I find most disturbing is an occasional dense streak that seems to originate at the edge of the frame and extends about half the way across...but only on 3 of 12 pics (of course, this includes the most promising pics). I mixed up the Xtol today...the part A pack was caked, and since I had read that was a BAD thing, I opened another to find it powder. Part B took and enormously long time to dissolve, but was completely dissolved before use...Any and all thoughts on these results appreciated...Thanks. Deb

-- Debra Rozin (, December 19, 1999


Is it possible that the backing or camera allowed some light to leak in? Did you change the film in unusually bright light? Did the film roll tightly onto the take-up reel? My first reaction to this dense streak is a light leak. Maybe others have a better idea.

-- Sam (, December 19, 1999.

Straight Xtol gives the lowest speed, unlike developers we're used to. You'll get significantly higher real speed...shadow using it at 1:1 or 1:2.

The streaks are light leaks, either in the camera or the roll wasn't wound tightly enough.

-- John Hicks (, December 19, 1999.

So, if using Xtol diluted w/ 3200 is the way to go, then what are the details. From this group, I have gleaned the following suggestions...Xtol 1:1 @75 for 18 min, Xtol 1:2 @75 for 20 min. Kodak's website does not even list 3200 on the development sheet. The Digital Truth lists a 1:2 dilution @ 75 for 20, but no rec for 1:1. Are these reccommendations reasonable starting points? Any suggestions for agitation style (I agitated continuously for the first 30 sec, then 5 secs for every 30)? Thanks again. Deb

-- Debra Rozin (, December 19, 1999.

Debra, you are asking for answers from the group. It will probably not occur to you, but YOU have now become the expert, and the rest of us will review your results with great interest. That's how it works.

-- Bill Mitchell (, December 19, 1999.

OK, here goes:

DD-X 1:4 11'/75F EI 2000

Xtol 1:1 12'/75F EI 1250

Xtol 1:1 15'/75F EI 2000

Xtol 1:2 17'/75F EI 2000

Xtol 1:2 20'/75F EI 3200

Microphen 7'/75F EI 2000

Microphen 9'30"/75F EI 3200

Microphen 13'/75F EI 6400

Microphen 18'15"/75F EI 12800

The EI 1200 spec is "true" speed, .10 DU above fb&f for Zone I, "normal" contrast. The EI 2000 specs are a 2/3 stop push, with slightly lower shadow density and slightly higher contrast. The higher speeds are of course more pushing, with lower shadow density, higher contrast and more grain.

IMHO the "sweet spot" is EI 2000; tonal rendition is very nice and the grain isn't horrible.

The reason there's no EI 3200 recommendation for Xtol 1:1 is that I never got around to testing for that. I'd guess around 18'/75F would be a good starting point.

My choice is Microphen; it's less gritty than Xtol but has sufficient sharpness. DD-X of course works, has about the same apparent graininess as Xtol but less acutance. Plus with Microphen I don't have to stand around sloshing the tank near as long.

Agitation is continuous inversion for the first 30 seconds, then two inversions (5 secs) every 30 seconds.

I just tried an old trick I used to use with TMZ, adding sodium sulfite to the working solution at the rate of 50g/L. With Xtol I saw no effect, but with the one roll of D3200 in DD-X I've tried it with I could print at 11x rather than 8x with less graininess. Sharpness appears to be sufficient, but these shots were slow-speed avaiable-darkness so I need to do a bit more testing, probably next time with Microphen. The additional sodium sulfite worked very well with TMZ in Microphen.

-- John Hicks (, December 19, 1999.

BTW, I like Delta 3200 so much I bought a camera to use it in, a Graflex XL 6x7 RF camera with an 80 f2.8 Planar. It's a wonderful film in 6x7.

-- John Hicks (, December 19, 1999.

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