greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Follow-up question regarding the demise of XTOL 1l. Since XTOL is my favorite developer too, I will be more or less forced to use the 5l packaging. Now, I have a question for the chemists: Suppose: I bring Part A under a solution of 1 liter and Part B under a solution of 1 liter. These solutions could be stored for a long time (I hope ?) When making a batch, I use 200ml of solution A, and 200ml of solution B to make 1 liter stock. Good idea ?

Thx, Marc.

-- Marc Leest (mmm@n2photography.com), December 21, 2001


If you attempt to mix Xtol (or D-76 or many other powdered developers) in high concentration you'll simply find that the powder won't fully dissolve.

-- Tim Brown (brownt@flash.net), December 21, 2001.

That might be a good solution. I don't think XTOL is close to saturated, so I think it might work. Why don't you try mixing a 1L package in 1/5 the solution and see if it will dissolve. If it does, your only concern will be shelf life. I would think it's good for a few months at least, if you keep the oxidation to a minimum by storing it in several smaller, topped-off bottles, or use nitrogen or marbles to displace the air in your container.

-- Ted Kaufman (writercrmp@aol.com), December 21, 2001.

Good idea to mix at a high concentration if it can be done. Probably not a good idea to keep A and B separate. Wouldn't there be a preservative in one and not the other?

I think I read in a Google rec.photo.darkroom that someone had successfully mixed Xtol stock at double strength (i.e. half the volume of water). I avoided xtol because of the reports of failure, but there are good reports of it for my favourite film, Neopan 400.

I have a 5 Litre pack unused, so i'll try to dissolve it in less water, and see what happens. If Part A dissolves, and then Part B doesn't, then more water would need to be added. I'll let you know.

-- john stockdale (jo.sto@bigpond.com), December 21, 2001.

If the separate packages of XTOL are of developer components and alkaline, which would be the logical way to package them, they should have longer shelf-life if you dissolve them separately. I don't know what the alkaline component in XTOL is, but most alkaline solutions will last a very long time and don't need a preservative.

By the way, if you're feeling the slightest bit daring and would like to mix your own developer from scratch, check out Pat Gainer's vit-c developers on the unblinkingeye.com website. I've been very impressed with the results I've gotten using his formula--decidedly better than XTOL. See related threads for details.

-- Ted Kaufman (writercrmp@aol.com), December 21, 2001.

I just mix the recommended dilution and store it in smaller, light proof plastic bottles, filled right to the cap. It has kept fine for a couple of months, with no oxidizing... t

-- tom meyer (twm@mindspring.com), December 21, 2001.

I do not recommend to prepare separate A, B solutions of XTOL, Microphen, ID-11 and probably many other packaged powder developer. The part A usually contains reductants and possibly acid, but little or no preservative. Even in mildly acidic (boric acid etc) solution, metol and phenidone do get oxdized and the stock die quickly, and I won't be surprised if it completely dies in a few weeks.

Sulfite is usually packaged with alkali in part B. Why do they do that? Because if they added sulfite in A, metol won't dissolve for a very very long time.

If you can make a double concentration, it might be a good idea. But I recommend you to test keeping a small sample in a refrigerator for a few days to see if any crystal forms. If you get cristallization in the concentrate solution, they are very difficult to dissolve again even after dilution (that's partly why we don't prefer crystalline form when mixing chemicals).

I think the best suggestion I can give is to mix the stock solution as instructed, and store then in many small bottles completelly filled up. Make sure the bottle caps are very tight. With PET bottles it's easy to check. Most bottled water use very good bottle and cap, and you can test them by squeezing very hard.

Ultimate solution in minimizing wasted chemical is to mix from scratch.

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), December 22, 2001.

A month ago I made up a 5lt pack of XTOL to double strength (ie 2.5 lt). I had the water temperature at about 80-90degF and had no problems getting the powders to dissolve. I did this more as a precautionary measure against the possible bad keeping properties that I read about.

On the idea of keeping A and B in separate bottles, I suspect its a bad idea. As mentioned above, A would probably oxidize without the preservative in B (although someone from Kodak would probably have to confirm that there is no preserving agent in A). I presume the two portions exist due to solubility and pH levels. Chemicals in A may not dissolve as easily in the pH created by B and therefore need to be disolved first.

-- George Paltoglou (stellar@optusnet.com.au), December 22, 2001.

Xtol rocks, in the venacular of those half my age. I would make it work, if only offered in 10L packaging. two observations. my processing times are consistently 30% greater than Kodak's recommendations, and no other developer delivers anything close to the results I yield from working Xtol. past failure modes seem to have been irradicated, as Xtol now delivers consistently.

-- daniel taylor (lightsmythe@agalis.net), December 23, 2001.

I've just dissolved a 5L pack of xtol in 2L. No apparent problems. I'll dilute it to 2.5L before putting it into numerous small bottles though, to keep the arithmetic simple.

-- john stockdale (jo.sto@bigpond.com), December 27, 2001.

Want to ask Kodak to keep making 1-liter packages?


-- Bob Fleischman (
RFXMAIL@prodigy.net), January 03, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ