xtol developer problem/question

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I tried using Xtol developer for Ilford Delta 400 film (120 roll) last week and had very poor results. First of all when I mixed in the second part of the two part developer it formed this giant crystal(at 68degrees) which I had to heat and leave over night to get it to disolve. Then, when I developed my film (used xtol at full strength and developed for 10.5 minutes) the film came out with a slight greenish tint and therefore all my prints are dark and very grainy. I am clueless. Does anyone have any suggestions which might set me in the right direction?

-- anthony (acordasco@hillsborough.k12.nj.us), October 03, 2000


You got a bad packet of Xtol. It should NEVER do that.

Kodak had some problems in the past packaging their Xtol developer product. If the powder is clumpy or more of a solid mass, you can send it back to Kodak and they will send you a good packet. They want the plastic package with the lot code on it.

When Xtol is good, the part A will form a pink color, and the addition of part B will result in a clear solution. Just follow the directions: Start with part A and slowly pour it in while stirring, then do the same with part B. The water should be 68F to 80F. I mix at 80F because the chemicals disolve quicker, then I leave it overnight to cool. The water I use is filtered. You might try using distilled water.

Personally, I would have saved the crystal, boxed it up, and sent it back to Kodak. I'm sure they would have loved to analyze it! (Actually, I would have photographed it first. It sounds neat!)

-- Brian C. Miller (brian.c.miller@gte.net), October 03, 2000.

Last week I purchased two packages of Xtol that, according to the camera store, was a recent shipment. Part A was caked in both cases. This packaging problem has been around for a long time but, evidently, faulty packages are still reaching the stores. You get the impression that Kodak doesn't really care than much.

-- Joe Miller (jmmiller@poka.com), October 04, 2000.

Kodak will replace the packages of faulty Xtol. Call their customer service line. They will want the plastic outer wrapper returned to them.

They have the problem fixed as of date code 0025 (stamped on the outer plastic sleeve).

As to them not caring, they cannot get all the older packages out of the distribution stream. It is up to the distributors and retailers to understand the problem and return the packages to Kodak.

BTW I sent two Xtol wrappers in and got back 3 new packages.

-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), October 04, 2000.

I sent Kodak a packet with an 011 date and received 2 packets back from Kodak. It seems to me that Kodak's actions indicate they do care.The bad packet was bought mail order,therefore,I will only buy XTOL in person so I chan check the date code myself. (For the time being, anyway). BTW Delta 400 (35mm) developed in XTOL (1:1) is my current film /developer of choice.

-- Robert Orofino (rorofino@iopener.net), October 04, 2000.

FWIW, I have had caked Part A only in the 1 liter packs, not the 5 liter packs. njb

-- Nacio Brown (njb@limn.net), October 04, 2000.

Although you did not state which size package you experienced the problem with it would be safe to say that it was the 1 liter size. Over the past year or so I have had to return 12 or more packages that one part had become "clumpy." I assume that the package had not be sealed by Kodak properly and moisture entered the package. I would guess that over half of the packages of the 1 liter size that I had purchased had to be returned. I have never had the problem with the 5 liter size and now purchase this size exclusively. Since discover Xtol about three years ago it is the only developer that I use. It works especially well with all three Ilford Delta films.

-- Bob Bedwell (rlb@triad.rr.com), October 15, 2000.

I too have experienced this Xtol clumping problem and my results at 1:1 with Delta 400 have been fair at best. Even with "unclumped developer" I'm getting sprocket streaks and unacceptable grain. Happened with FX 39 on my 1st try also. Any clues as to what I'm doing wrong?

-- Gary Calverase (grcalveras@aol.com), October 24, 2000.

Gary, the sprocket streaks are probably an agitation problem. The grain is overdevelopment and/or overexposure.

-- tim brown (brownt@flash.net), October 25, 2000.

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