Storage of diluted Xtol : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Is there any particular reason why one cannot store already-diuted Xtol (whether 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3)? I currently have full strength Xtol (as mixed per directions) and dilute as desired just before use. Since my "darkroom" is my kitchen table I'd like to have a workflow which requires no mixing or measuring - I'd ideally like to pre- prepare one-shot solutions, already diluted, which I can grab, use, and dispose of quickly.

Thanks, and sorry if this is a dumb question...

-- Jeff Hughes (, January 03, 2002


It won't last very long (probably less than a day) if you dilute it. Besides, you really won't save that much time or mess. Either way you have to measure it out before you use it, right?

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 03, 2002.

One second thought, if you really want to store it fully diluted, provided you keep it in a container filled to the top, it probably will last a reasonable time. But where are you going to store 40-60 one liter bottles (given that XTOl will soon only be available in 5gal packages)? I don't know about you, but my kitchen would get mighty crowded!

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 03, 2002.

I think you need to provide more information on what you do. If it's for occasional rolls of 35mm or 120 I don't see any advantage of storing Xtol at working strength. Aside from a much shorter developer life, you'd have to use a larger jug, or multiple jugs, to store that much solution. And I don't see having Xtol diluted already as much of a convenience gain. If convenience is important I'd suggest switching to one of the liquid 1-shot developers such as Ilfosol, DD-X or TMAX that don't require mixing a powder. However, if you're developing 4x5 or other large amounts of film and going through a pack of developer in a day or two, then it might be fine to store Xtol diluted ready-to- use.

-- Jon Porter (, January 03, 2002.

I've had storage problems even with full strength Xtol. Things tend to grow in it. I'd suspect the problem would get worse with dilution. Much as I like Xtol, I'm switching to other developers because of the 1l/5l and storage issues. Rodinal is very convienent, but not for all subjects and film types.

-- Conrad Hoffman (, January 03, 2002.

Well, I realize that one would easily get into needing to manage and store a lot of bottles if pre-prepared one-shots were made up (though I had not heard that Kodak was changing to only offering Xtol in 5 _gallon_ packages - that would probably cause me to forgo continuing to use it). It's already a given that the periodic mixing of chemicals is necessary. It's the subsequent, day-over-day, routine film processing which I'd like to make as quick and painless as possible.

I only process 1-2 rolls of 35mm per week. It's precisely because of that low usage that I was looking to streamline things. Say one evening I have one roll of film to develop. What I was hoping was to be able to grap a one-shot (8oz or 16oz, depending upon whether a one or two reel tank is used) bottle of (previously prepared, back when I did the mixing of chemicals) developer, along with the (larger) bottles of stop bath, fixer, hypo clearing agent, and photoflo, take 'em to the kitchen sink, bring them to temperature, and do the deed. Relatively quick and painless. And I would trade the hassle of having to deal with lots of little bottles for the added convenience of not having to mix or measure anything.

It's a moot point, of course, if diluted Xtol has storage properties significantly worse than full strength Xtol.

-- Jeff Hughes (, January 03, 2002.

Here's what I wrote in answer to an earlier post about Xtol: ** What I do is make the 5 liters, divide it into 1 liter, 500ml, and 125ml bottles. All brown glass, quite full and tightly capped. When the smallest bottles are used up I transfer the contents from the larger ones to the smaller ones. So I have 125ml premeasured bottles to work from that are always as fresh as possible. If I think its getting old I just dump it and make a new batch. Why 125ml? Because I can simply mix it with 125ml of water for 250ml of 1:1 or 250ml water for 1:2 or 375ml water for 1:3. Want 500ml of 1:1? Use 2 125ml bottles. Simple, fast and always as fresh as it can be. ** I've kept it for up to 5 months this way. In completely full bottles only. Make your stock solution with distilled water only. Follow the directions on the bag. Let it sit for a while after you've mixed it - until its all dissolved. Then pour it into the small bottles.

Also I noticed that someone wrote above in this string that it was only going to be made in 5 gallon packs. Its actually 5 liters. Thats a lot less!

So buy small glass bottles that hold the amount you desire for one-shot use. Cole-Parmer is one place. Photographers Formulary is another. They'll probably be in American units i.e. 4 ounces but don't worry, filled to the top they hold 123-125ml or 8 oz. bottles @235-250ml Keep the box they ship in and you have a nice orderly way to store them.

-- Henry Ambrose (, January 03, 2002.

While on this subject, to let Kodak know what you think of their discontinuing the one-liter package,


-- Bob Fleischman (, January 03, 2002.

Thanks everyone for your help. I expect I'll do something like what you suggest, Henry. That sounds about as close to what I had in mind as is possible.


-- Jeff Hughes (, January 04, 2002.

I haven't personally had any problem storing XTOL stock solution, even in partially empty bottles over a period of months. I use glass bottles and mix in deionized water. Assuming deterioration is due to oxidation over time, you'd probably be able to store diluted XTOL if you go to greater measures to limit oxidation, like degassing the solution, topping and sealing the storage bottle, etc. However, why bother? A 2x dilution doesn't really require any special equipment or space. Any one-shot developer should be diluted immediately before use to avoid oxidation and other time-dependent deterioration.

-- Tim Nelson (, January 08, 2002.

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