Question on how to use replenishers
Old 06-26-2016   #1
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Question on how to use replenishers

hi,

i have some questions regarding replenishers, appreciate if you could point me to the right direction.

a. why use a seasoned tank as opposed a fresh one-off developer ?

b. how does one develop with a seasoned tank?

- I have a 5ltr container containing undiluted developer.

- Do i pour out the required solution during each development, eg 600ml for a 2-film development, develop it and then pour it back to the 5ltr tank ? This mean i have to develop in 1+0 rather than diluted.

c. how does one replenish ?

In XTOL literature, they suggest 70ml per 36-exp roll of film. Does it mean i subtract 70ml per roll from the season tank (and dispose of) and add in 70ml per roll of replenisher after each development ?

thanks. I have developed successful for the past few years and now exploring replenishers.

thanks
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Old 06-26-2016   #2
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With X-tol, you add the replenisher after developing the film. If you are using a deep tank, you simply add it and, if the level is too high, you remove some - the quantity is not that critical. If you are using a deep tank with a floating lid, there will be some evaporation, so you probably won't have to take any out. You can keep the same developer going almost indefinitely - I have used the same developer for as long as two years, doing six to 10 rolls of either Tri-X or HP5+ a week. There will be some sludge buildup at the bottom of the tank - you can either ignore it or filter it out every couple of months.
If you are storing the X-tol in a one liter or so glass bottle, you use the developer in a tank, put the replenisher in the bottle, and, when you are finished, pour the developer back into the bottle. You probably won't have to discard any, as you will lose some to the process.
Using the developer will season it. You can use several rolls to season the tank, or you can start with the times/temps for straight X-tol and, as the developer seasons, transition to the times/temps for replenished.
I no longer use X-tol, having gone to D-23 and replenishing that, but X-tol is a fine developer.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by presspass : 06-26-2016 at 06:10. Reason: additional comment
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Old 06-26-2016   #3
mcfingon
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A) I feel that seasoned developer gives better sharpness and less grain. Doesn't make sense I know.
B) I use less developing time than the recommended for the developer/film combination I use. I think you have to experiment to find the time that works for your application. I scan my negatives, not print.
C) I just use fresh developer as my "replenisher". I put aside a 600 ml quantity of developer, re-use that for film after film, then top-up to the same level with new unused developer after each use. If i get some silver goop at the bottom of the jar, I decant it and top-up more fresh developer to make up for fluid loss.
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Old 06-26-2016   #4
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thanks mcfingon and presspass for your replies. can i ask how much to replenish ? ie. as per individual developer literature ? (eg. 70ml per roll for xtol, etc) or is there a rule of thumb. thanks again
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Old 06-26-2016   #5
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Go with Kodak's recommendation to start. A lot is going to depend on how many rolls you shoot and how often. It will work better if you use it frequently - at least once a week for several rolls.
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Old 06-26-2016   #6
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My method is unorthodox. I just top up what is lost after each film is processed. I aim to keep the developing time the same. If it looks like the film is getting less contrasty or thin, then I will tip out some seasoned developer and add more fresh. It will take some time to get an "eye" for looking at negs and assessing density.
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Old 06-26-2016   #7
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thanks all. let me read up again
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Old 06-26-2016   #8
Bill Clark
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I tried replinishers for D-76.

But putting a pencil to my D-76 costs, I passed using it.

Here is why:

1 gallon of D-76 from Freestyle is $6.00
UPS shipping $1.00
1 gallon distilled water $1.00

Total $8.00

For 35mm film developed in a Paterson Tank:

1+1 Working solution takes 5 ounces each 35mm film.

128 ounces (1 gallon) divided by 5 = 26 rolls per gallon

$8.00 divided by 26 = $.31 per roll.

If you use replenisher that has a cost per roll.

You'd need to work out what other developers would cost as well as replenisher.

For me, using D-76, I think 31 cents per roll is pretty reasonable and I use it once therefore I get consistent results.

There are other developers that would cost more and some less.

I sometimes will use Rodinal with stand development and that is really cheap!

Thought I would share with you my thoughts.
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Old 06-26-2016   #9
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The correct way is to add the recommended ml's per roll of film as described by the first response. Topping the bottle off with fresh stock developer or using stock developer rather than replenisher isn't the right way to do it. You'll add too much of some components and not enough of others. Consistency won't be good and over a period of time your results will be quite different from fresh developer.

I replenished both color and B&W for many years when I was shooting high volumes of film. It's a great economical way do process. At the time I was running color in a 5 gal gas burst lne and B&W in a 3-1/2 gallon line.

The generally accepted rule is to use no more replenisher than the volume of the processing tank you're replenishing. If you run a 1 gallon line use no more than 1 gallon of replenisher and then discard and mix fresh.

Seasoned tanks contain a higher quantity of bromides. It's hard to put your fnger on why but film imo looks better when run in a seasoned tank. Tonality improves IMO and grain looks better.
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Old 06-26-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Seasoned tanks contain a higher quantity of bromides. It's hard to put your fnger on why but film imo looks better when run in a seasoned tank. Tonality improves IMO and grain looks better.
That's what I enjoy about the seasoned developer, ID-11 in my case. It becomes something slightly different and in my subjective view, better. I didn't know it was a bromide increase. It makes it a bit more objective. Thanks for that x-ray!
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Old 06-26-2016   #11
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Presspass reply is correct.

"The generally accepted rule is to use no more replenisher than the volume of the processing tank you're replenishing. If you run a 1 gallon line use no more than 1 gallon of replenisher and then discard and mix fresh"

This is true EXCEPT for XTOL.
XTOL keeps going and going but needs filtering now and then. I've been using since it came out in 96-97 and once I discovered using it Replenished have used it since. One batch went 5 years with heavy use; a Kodak test lab used it to 5 years and thats what Kodak recommends which is way way more than the original volume. My current batch in one gallon size replenished is at least 2-3 years old and most likely older, I'll have to check my notes. Once stabilized processing times/density are rock solid which was important with the volume of wedding photography I did then. Another photo friend on my advice and influence is working on an XTOL one gallon batch at least 1-2 years with same levels of consistency and control.
Well stoppered in a one gallon glass apple juice jug with a large rubber stopper I often can go 4-6 months between *any rolls* processes and even though I am careful to do an actual test roll after that time to confirm actual lens created density on the film I will be processing i am ALWAYS kind of amazed that not only does this old ancient batch actually work but in fact works correctly and consistently even after long storage.
I've commented on this on APUG and you can read heaps about replenishing XTOL on APUG.

Generally speaking I replenish less than Kodak recommends but 70ml is good to start; in my experience some films put less stress on the developer. During my heaviest use I was shooting Neopan 400 in 35mm and 120 and it needed less to stay stable.
Keep in mind that once it stabilizes the times can be 25-35% more than the listed Stock time (non Replenished) and in my case even over the Kodak replenished time.

In my well seasoned opinion replenished is the very best way to use XTOL.
(2nd is 1:3 ha ha)
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Old 06-26-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
. . . Seasoned tanks contain a higher quantity of bromides. It's hard to put your fnger on why but film imo looks better when run in a seasoned tank. Tonality improves IMO and grain looks better.
But ISO speeds fall by about 1 stop for the same reason. (Basis: Ilford research.)

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-27-2016   #13
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Some replenished developers do loose a stop of speed, but I never found that to be true with X-tol and I'm not seeing it with D-23. When I was using X-tol, I was doing a lot more film for our weekly newspapers and I had to be consistent to get the prints and then the scans right. I do change the D-23 every couple of months, dumping out about a half liter and replacing it with fresh. This may or may not be needed, but it's the way I do it.

Last edited by presspass : 06-27-2016 at 05:10. Reason: Additional comment
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Old 06-27-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
Some replenished developers do loose a stop of speed, but I never found that to be true with X-tol and I'm not seeing it with D-23. When I was using X-tol, I was doing a lot more film for our weekly newspapers and I had to be consistent to get the prints and then the scans right. I do change the D-23 every couple of months, dumping out about a half liter and replacing it with fresh. This may or may not be needed, but it's the way I do it.
Dunno about Xtol but D23 is a low-speed, single agent (Metol) developer and besides, you're not actually replenishing, are you? Replenishing normally implies using a purpose-made replenisher rather than just topping up with stock solution, or chucking some out every now and then.

I'll accept that some replenished developers may not show much speed loss, but I'd be surprised if there were any that didn't show at least some.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-27-2016   #15
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Xtol is the only developer I know that is replenished with stock. Something like D76, you need to make D76R and follow exact procedure.

People do just "wing it " with times. But the proper way is to run test strips and use a densitometer to see results. Then adjust time to compensate.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe.../j109/j109.pdf

Since you have 5 liters, I assume Xtol. There is a starter solution to preseason the tank or you can develop film to season it your self adding time with each batch.

My experience is seasoned developer gives better results. With C41 I could never achieve the fine grain I got from a lab.
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Old 06-27-2016   #16
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Roger, yes I am using the replenisher that is designed for D-23 and D-25. i am not just topping off the developer with more D-23.
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Old 06-27-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
Roger, yes I am using the replenisher that is designed for D-23 and D-25. i am not just topping off the developer with more D-23.
Okay, thanks. It wasn't clear from your original post. But I still think there has to be a speed loss as compared with fresh D23. When did you last use fresh (non-replenished) D23?

Cheers,

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Old 06-27-2016   #18
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Roger, I last used fresh D-23 straight about six months ago. I wanted to see if it would give more speed than replenished. I did not do a densitometer test, but the wet prints did not change in time or multigrade filter choice, using a Splitgrade analyzer and head, all on a Focomat V-35. So, is there a difference? Perhaps, but not one that affects my prints or scans.
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Old 06-27-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
Roger, I last used fresh D-23 straight about six months ago. I wanted to see if it would give more speed than replenished. I did not do a densitometer test, but the wet prints did not change in time or multigrade filter choice, using a Splitgrade analyzer and head, all on a Focomat V-35. So, is there a difference? Perhaps, but not one that affects my prints or scans.
Which is the important part, after all.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-28-2016   #20
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I ran a replenished Xtol line for a decade or so, and used test strips to assess speeds and determine times for different films shot at different speeds all based on a huge database I made myself from densitometry of client negs.

APX films in replenished Xtol look amazing - very sharp, very fine grain, more open shadows and low values than with Rodinal. I like the look a lot.



Xtol is its own replenisher. The chemistry of this was somewhat mysterious to me, so I asked Dick Dickerson and Silvia Zawadski who formulated and developed the data for Xtol at Kodak. Their answers were somewhat evasive and when I pressed they essentially said "we're not sure but it works". And it does.

You need to season the batch of developer at the start or it performs variably as the bromides and other development by-products accumulate. You also need to use the developer frequently and, with Xtol, protect it from oxidation (don't store it with an open lid). It is more stable and predictable if you use the developer heavily (tens of rolls a week), which is hard for a lot of commercial operators these days.

One query in the original post that I don't think anyone answered is do not dilute Xtol and re-use it. You can replenish stock Xtol, but diluted it is strictly one use only. Especially at dilutions higher than 1+1 you have only just enough developer to develop a single full tank (and not even enough for some films, it seems).

Marty

Last edited by Freakscene : 06-28-2016 at 17:10. Reason: Fixing spelling
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Old 06-28-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
But ISO speeds fall by about 1 stop for the same reason. (Basis: Ilford research.)

Cheers,

R.
I've never experienced a speed drop and have been replenishing both dip and dunk hand lines, gas burst and continuous processors for forty five years. Every line I've replenished Ive run controll strips to monitor it. If this were the case every processing machine running E6 and B&W would start to lose speed as its replenished. The 1st developer in E6 is basically an MQ developer just like traditional B&W film developers so if an ISO drop was normal then You'd never know what ISO to rate your E6 at or your B&W film for that matter. You might build up enough byproducts to cause this if you replenish behing the recommender volume 1gal repl/1gal working strength but I can't say because I've considered my work to be too valuable to risk problems.

Under utilization of a processing line will cause oxidation and speed loss. Oxidation is not only a byproduct of air and developer it's the chemical reaction that makes film process. Reduction of the silver halide into metallic silver causes oxidation of the developing components. This will occur in the presence of oxygen or without oxygen. It's an ion exchange process that causes this REDOX reaction. These components that are oxidized are what the replenisher adds back without adding additional bromide or sulfite. All of the components are maintained at the proper concentration if replenished and monitored properly. Only what's depleted is added back to maintain activity. My degree is in chemistry and microbiology and did a research paper on the process.
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Old 06-29-2016   #22
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I think there's a small speed drop when using ID-11 as its own replenisher, which is what I've been doing. I'm in the bush in Australia, so you've got to be resourceful. I noticed a while ago that there is a way to mix a "proper" replenisher for ID-11 from two of its part A packs and one part B pack. I may try that. But it seems to be working well as it is despite Ilford saying don't use use it as its own replenisher. Link to Ilford doc on mixing your own:
http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/...1256261906.pdf
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Old 07-02-2016   #23
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Marty,

thanks much on specific xtol and replenishing.

So here is a workflow, can u see if i am more or less correct:

- store 2 x 1 litre container of xtol, one as reuse, and one as a replenisher
- use 1+0 ie. undiluted in the reuse bottle, say up to 3 rolls (assuming 300ml per roll for AP tank
- for 4 - 6 roll, pour out 210ml (3 rolls in a 1 litre at 70ml per roll) from reuse container and add from replenisher bottle of same amount. Of coss, using developing, there will be shortfall of developer, so the replenishment will be slightly more. repeat in batch of 3 rolls for the 1 litre bottle.

- key is to make sure that there is no air oxidation, one way could be to make sure the containers fills up to the brim.
- the assumption above is that i pour the whole 1litre reuse solution into the tank.

is this more or less correct ?

thanks!

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Old 07-06-2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
So here is a workflow, can u see if i am more or less correct:

- store 2 x 1 litre container of xtol, one as reuse, and one as a replenisher
- use 1+0 ie. undiluted in the reuse bottle, say up to 3 rolls (assuming 300ml per roll for AP tank
- for 4 - 6 roll, pour out 210ml (3 rolls in a 1 litre at 70ml per roll) from reuse container and add from replenisher bottle of same amount. Of coss, using developing, there will be shortfall of developer, so the replenishment will be slightly more. repeat in batch of 3 rolls for the 1 litre bottle.

- key is to make sure that there is no air oxidation, one way could be to make sure the containers fills up to the brim.
- the assumption above is that i pour the whole 1litre reuse solution into the tank.
The aim is stability. Develop at least 7 or 8 rolls in 1L of developer following the time extension guidelines on the Kodak data sheet (e.g. here: http://125px.com/docs/techpubs/kodak/j109-1998_04.pdf) then start replenishing. The initial development 'seasons' the developer. If you start replenishing right away you will probably find that the developer behaves unpredictably.

You can also chemically season the developer as per the guidelines on p2 of the data sheet. 2 L may be too little to start with for stability; I've never tried to reuse such a small amount of developer (my processor held 10L of developer). There may not be much advantage in replenishing if you are shooting sufficiently few rolls to be contemplating starting with only 1L of developer.

Let us know how you go.

Marty
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Old 07-07-2016   #25
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Thanks for the replenish detail Freakscene. I noticed that it was hard to get predictability when I was using D76 and D76R replenisher, but I didn't do the 7-8 rolls "seasoning" before starting replenishing. I don't think Kodak mentioned that part I will try ID-11 replenishing, but I've been very happy with just topping up with more ID-11 from a 1 litre pack. Results below with Delta 100:
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Old 07-08-2016   #26
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thanks much for all the suggestions. okay. i am already into my 8th roll this week using replenishment...

and i replenished immediately after the first 3 rolls...oops.

i am using a one litre bottle for reuse while using another foldable bottle as replenisher,
i am making sure i don't have air bubbles trapped in the bottles.

I am now adjusting the time for development, as well as trying out 70ml instead of the original 100ml replenishment per roll.

i am currently at: [email protected] (!), 1 agitation per minute, and 70ml

previously it was [email protected], 2 agitation turns per min, and 100ml. it came out quite contrasty.

here is a picture from yesterday.

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Old 07-08-2016   #27
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Only make one adjustment at a time. Don't change time and replenishment at the same time. There's no way to know which is effecting the contrast and you most likely will under replenish.

Why 30 degrees C? 20 degrees is the norm. I don't believe the recommended 100ml is the problem. I believe your contrast is coming from over developing as a result of either too high a temperature, too long a time or a combination of both. In any case only adjust one variable at a time.
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Old 07-08-2016   #28
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Ray is in SE Asia and routinely, if I recall correctly, develops at 30C. I've worked in the tropics a lot without the ability to control temperature much, and found Xtol was great for this. Kodak gives times for Xtol up to 27C, and it's not too difficult to work out standard times or an adjustment factor for 30C from the 27C times.

Kodak recommends adding 70mL/roll. Stick to that.

The high contrast is probably from developing too long in developer that is still very active.

X-ray's point about changing only one variable at a time is the best advice for understanding that that change does to your development.

I'm still not sure why you want to replenish given that your film volumes are not very large. For good control in tropical temperatures, dilute Xtol is fantastic, and 5L goes a long way. Replenishment is good for tens of rolls per week.

Marty
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Old 07-09-2016   #29
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Fascinating stuff. I have some Microdol developer here (not the 'X' variant) and a can of replenisher. Both have been around the house for years, but I never got around to using the stuff that way, and probably never will. It's simpler for me to just use fresh developer whenever I want to develop something, or use what is mixed up within it's shelf life. Consistency is what I'm looking for, and as mentioned, I think the op should look at how much film they develop regularly before looking at replenishing. For my photography needs it makes no sense..
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Old 07-09-2016   #30
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hi all thanks much for advice.

* yes 30c is my temp of my tap water, and i have never really developed in 20c before.

* my volume is actually quite high, currently 281 rolls this year, but i understand may not be high enough for replenishment system.

* i just wanted to find out if the negatives are enhanced by this method rather than a single use system, and not really to save costs, as the cost is roughly the same as xtol 1+1.

* also, i have using AE on my camera (as opposed to Sunny 11/16) so that I get consistent exposure.

today into the 10th roll using this system, and my negatives are showing more shadow regions rather than just a dense negative (unlike roll 1) I have reduced by agitation with only 1 turn per minute (rather than 2). The highlight areas are still showing a bit of high contrast, something which I will focus on by reducing time.

thanks

Here's a pic from today's dev:
contax G1 with 45f2 and RPX400 film
[email protected], XTOL with 70ml per roll replenished, 1 agitation turn every min.

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Old 07-09-2016   #31
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Two things to consider, if your development times drop below 5 minutes you may have a consistency time. 5 minutes or more is considered ideal. Second, some developers aren't designed to work above certain temperatures. I don't know about xtol but would do some checkng. In the old days there were specific tropical developer formulas designed for the higher temperature processing. The activity level of certain components may not remain linear as temps increase so formulas need rebalanced.
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Old 07-09-2016   #32
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~500 rolls a year is enough rolls to justify replenishing. Replenishing is cheaper than any other way to use Xtol except 1+3 and even then, 1+3 is only cheaper if you can make 1+3 work at lower stock/roll amounts than Kodak recommends. This depends on what film you are developing and how the films are exposed.

Xtol works very well at tropical temperatures.

Let us know how you go.

Marty
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Old 08-01-2016   #33
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hi. just a quick followup.

i have shot 31 rolls with replenishment. I used a 1litre bottle and replenished roughly 70ml per roll.

I have switched to a 2litre bottle since this gives me more room in case i need to develop in my 5 roll AP tank.

A couple of observations:

* the method works with Kentmere 400 (Ultrafine Xtreme 400, Rollei RPX 400) and at 28-30c (my usual work temp), it is 4mins 30seconds, with 1 turn agitation per minute. I tried 2 turns but the contrast tend to be a bit high. ISO 400 and ISO 800 work well.

* There is a fine soot inside the sides of the bottle, and it smears on my fingers when I touched the bottle sides. I think i will change the inexpensive supermarket 2lite drinks bottle when the gunk accumulates too much. Any idea on how to clean it off easily, or should i just dispose of the cheap plastic bottles ?

* I am still not too sure about the "replenished" development magic. Perhaps this is because I have only developed in 1+1 dilution previously and can't really compare 1+0 unreplenished and replenished.
Only observation from 1+0 replenished and 1+1 is that 1+0 tends to be smoother but lacks edge sharpness (which isn't an issue for me)


Here is a recent picture from last week, contax T RF at iso 800 at 6mins.

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Old 08-07-2016   #34
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hi. just a quick followup.
Thanks, good to know how you're going.

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i have shot 31 rolls with replenishment. I used a 1litre bottle and replenished roughly 70ml per roll.

I have switched to a 2litre bottle since this gives me more room in case i need to develop in my 5 roll AP tank.
Volume does help with stability.

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A couple of observations:
* the method works with Kentmere 400 (Ultrafine Xtreme 400, Rollei RPX 400) and at 28-30c (my usual work temp), it is 4mins 30seconds, with 1 turn agitation per minute. I tried 2 turns but the contrast tend to be a bit high. ISO 400 and ISO 800 work well.
In general I think controlling contrast with time works better than with agitation, but at 30C and 4.5 minutes you don't really have any scope to shorten your development, and even a 30s decrease is a very large percentage at that short time.

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* There is a fine soot inside the sides of the bottle, and it smears on my fingers when I touched the bottle sides. I think i will change the inexpensive supermarket 2lite drinks bottle when the gunk accumulates too much. Any idea on how to clean it off easily, or should i just dispose of the cheap plastic bottles ?
This is the remains of the antihalation layer. It builds more with more rolls of film. Filter the developer and either use a new bottle, or wash the old one with ordinary dish soap, rinse in the same water you use to mix your developer, and re-fill with filtered developer. In large replenishment systems it does not get removed, but sinks to the bottom of the tank(s).

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* I am still not too sure about the "replenished" development magic. Perhaps this is because I have only developed in 1+1 dilution previously and can't really compare 1+0 unreplenished and replenished.
That's because replenishment is not magic. It does make a given volume of developer last longer, however.

Apart from for the APX films, I think dilute Xtol (particularly 1+3) looks better than replenished. But there is a point where the developer is very well used where the tones are lovely with almost any film but at the cost of, as you point out, edge sharpness.

This is Tri-X in replenished Xtol.



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Only observation from 1+0 replenished and 1+1 is that 1+0 tends to be smoother but lacks edge sharpness (which isn't an issue for me)
This is about right.

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Here is a recent picture from last week, contax T RF at iso 800 at 6mins.
These look good, but also not very dissimilar to your other work developed different ways. Do you wet print? That's where you really see the differences.

Marty
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Old 09-12-2016   #35
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hi. just a quick feedback, i am into my 2nd pack of 5litre xtol. and still holding up.
i add the replenished xtol into the 2litre bottle THEN pour back the used developer from the AP tank, so i don't have to worry about topping up further to close out the air bubbles.

attached thumbnail is roll#337 using rollei ir400 exposed as a normal film.
time is 4mins 30sec at 30C (my normal dev temp).

thanks!
raytoei
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