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View Full Version : Who here mixes XTOL with tap water?


mknawabi
12-01-2008, 14:53
I did this yesterday, and I'm about to develop some negatives to see the results. Has anyone tried this with success? I know the variability of tap water from home to home is high, but some peace of mind is nice :)

-Yama

troym
12-01-2008, 15:07
I used regular tap water the first time I used XTOL and had no problems. I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time. Since then, I've consistently used distilled water (bought at my local KMart) based on the better-safe-than-sorry theory of life.

CCCPcamera
12-01-2008, 15:11
I use tap water with xtol and all other developers, works fine. I have found that tap water used to make hypo-remover invariably forms a lot of precipitate after about a week. I think it may be a chlorine compound, but I'm not sure what is in hypo remover, I think it's just a detergent.

Keith
12-01-2008, 15:13
I read a comment by Freakscene that the tap water where he lives kills Xtol in about an hour ... it must be pretty bad stuff. I mix mine with filtered rainwater mainly because I live in an area without mains supply but from what I gather Xtol's life can be shortened severely by what may be in tap water in certain areas.

It may only reduce the longevity of the developer in the long term.

venchka
12-01-2008, 15:24
Nope. Distilled. It's cheap.

kipkeston
12-01-2008, 15:29
I've used hawaiian and upper west side tap water with good results =)

Honus
12-01-2008, 15:29
You will probably be OK, but I wouldn't make it a habit. Distilled water is cheap and can save you headaches down the road. Also, make sure you minimize exposure to oxygen if you want it to last. With distilled water and a floating lid, I can easily get 5 months from a 5-liter container.

Mackinaw
12-01-2008, 15:33
I read a comment by Freakscene that the tap water where he lives kills Xtol in about an hour ... it must be pretty bad stuff.

Years back, Xtol developed a rap of mysteriously dying. One day it worked fine, the next day a fresh dose from the same storage container produced blank negatives. Some folks say this is due to the amount of iron in the water though other folks traced it back to bad packaging (bad seams on one of the packages that allowed air in). I've never personally experienced this but, to be on the safe side, use only distilled water when mixing. Do a search on APUG if you really want to learn about Xtol.

Jim B.

totifoto
12-01-2008, 15:37
I do, always have and never had any problems. I live in Iceland and the water here is very clean.

Todd.Hanz
12-01-2008, 15:57
Tap water, always have, always will.

Todd

venchka
12-01-2008, 15:59
You're a brave man, Mr. Todd.Hanz! In my part of Houston the water leaves mineral crud on everything it touches.

Todd.Hanz
12-01-2008, 16:03
You're a brave man, Mr. Todd.Hanz! In my part of Houston the water leaves mineral crud everywhere.

call me lazy, I think it adds texture ;)

Todd.Hanz
12-01-2008, 16:04
You're a brave man, Mr. Todd.Hanz! In my part of Houston the water leaves mineral crud on everything it touches.


BTW, love the new avatar...Shiner Rocks!

venchka
12-01-2008, 16:10
Thanks!

Here's the whole story. I would like your honest opinion.

http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/venchka/Gruene+TX/

Cheers!

Ronald M
12-01-2008, 17:06
Considering 10 liters of distilled is $2.50 you will spend once a year and that Xtol gives no sign of being bad until too late, better safe than sorry

maddoc
12-01-2008, 17:18
I always use tap water for mixing my chemicals and 5 liter of XTOL solution easily survives 7 month stored at room temperature (in these compressible bottles to minimize the content of air). After 6 month it had changed the color to a darker yellow but still worked fine.

mknawabi
12-01-2008, 17:52
Yeah, My old XTOL turned very yellow and I decided not to risk it and toss it out. Next time I mix, I am definitely going to be using distilled water from the market and dispense it into (correctly labeled) plastic water bottles. Is there any adverse effect to diluting it in the water bottle? (half devel, half water)?

Freakscene
12-01-2008, 22:32
Years back, Xtol developed a rap of mysteriously dying. One day it worked fine, the next day a fresh dose from the same storage container produced blank negatives. Some folks say this is due to the amount of iron in the water though other folks traced it back to bad packaging (bad seams on one of the packages that allowed air in). I've never personally experienced this but, to be on the safe side, use only distilled water when mixing. Do a search on APUG if you really want to learn about Xtol.

Jim B.

Water quality around the world varies enormously. In Adelaide, the water is safe to drink but can taste a little strange or strong. Information on average water quality can be obtained for most municipal supplies, such as I found for Adelaide here:
http://www.sawater.com.au/NR/rdonlyres/CA08F92D-4526-482F-9712-E3FD78042638/0/DWQR_2007.pdf

I have tested water at my house, from the tap. It contains about 0.3-0.5 mg/L iron, almost all as ferrous iron and at times contains over 200 mg/L calcium.


The main issue that causes Xtol to lose activity suddenly is ascorbate oxidation. Xtol relies on isoascorbate to act superadditively with dimezone-S. Ascorbates are strong antioxidants and will scavenge oxygen from solution. Unfortunately the oxidation products of ascorbates do not develop latent silver images and do not present a colour change in solution. This explains what we already know empirically; Xtol can die without warning. The oxidation of ascorbates is catalysed by metal ions in water; particularly divalent cations (they are the 2+ ones). These include calcium and iron, the former common in photo grade chemicals, the latter common in tapwater.
I have titrated iron and calcium solutions into Xtol and tested its activity: I found that where the Xtol failed wasn't always predictable and is likely to depend on some fairly complex factors about the conbined load of ions in your water. 5L of xtol is not that expensive - just try it.

To avoid failure you can assess the activity of your Xtol a few ways:

1. Develop a Kodak Black and White Film Process Control Strip (CAT 180 2990) in your sample of Xtol and measure the density steps with a densitometer. Compare with your normal results and Kodak's recommendations.
2. In ordinary room light, using a 100 μL pipette from a scientific supplier, apply drops of Xtol, suitably diluted. Put a drop on, then another at 30s, another 1 min later, another 2 min after that and another 4 min after that, then fixing. Active developer will show a progressive increase in density. If you have a densitometer, you can work out an average, a 95% confidence interval and set criteria for use. Without a densitometer, as long as you look carefully in good light and know what it should look like, you'll be okay.
Don't blame me if tap water causes your Xtol to fail and results in the ruin of your images of a sasquatch, chupacabra, Judge Crater, space aliens or whatever.

Good luck and please report back to us about what you find.

Marty

Turtle
12-01-2008, 22:45
I do, only I boil it first to reduce air bubble issues I get here.

david b
12-02-2008, 00:17
I use distilled water to mix my xtol and then I put it into 1 liter plastic chemical bottles. Works great. Never had a problem.

topoxforddoc
12-02-2008, 02:05
Tap water for me in the UK. I bottle my 5 litre pack into 5 1 litre bottles. It keeps for 6 months without any problems.

Charlie Chan
Cheltenham, UK