Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/04/02

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Subject: Re: x-tol developer and tri-x400
From: (Robert Brummett)
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 07:06:34 -0500

>Robert Brummett wrote:
>> >Robert Brummett wrote:
>> >>
>> >> >Hi friends:
>> >> >
>> >> >Some months ago, in the LUG there was an interesting thread on
>> >> >There was somebody that pointed out the new Kodak x-tol developer, and
>> >>seemed
>> >> >to have quite an expertise in using it.
>> >> >I started using it, and although I already prefer it to my former T-max
>> >> >developer, I still have some black holes.
>> >> >
>> >> >Could this person please tell me what does it change to use it at full
>> >> >strength, or at each of the different dilutions? I find the info that
>> >> >has on the internet, insufficient.
>> >> >
>> >> >Also, when I use it at full strength(supposedly reusable for an amount of
>> >> >rolls) and keep it in the common black plastic bottle, when I want to
>> >>it
>> >> >for the second time, after some days, it has a grey color, totally
>> >> >from the transparent color it had after the first use. Is this normal?
>>If it
>> >> >is not, I am worried that it could be my chrome M6 dying its color into
>> >> >negatives and them to the developer.
>> >> >
>> >> >P.S: As you see IT IS a Leica-related message  : )
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >        Nicolas Levinton. Madrid. SPAIN
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> Nicolas-
>> >>
>> >> You may be seeing the residue of anti-halation (and perhaps other) dyes
>> >> from the film you have developed. I use, and recommend, a water pre-soak
>> >> immediately preceding development. In addition to removing some of the
>> >> dyes, this pre-soak renders the film more amenable to even development and
>> >> helps toprevent airbells. I doubt that the discoloration represents any
>> >> serious problem, BUT it is just another reason to consider going to a
>> >> developer that allows fresh, mix-on-the-spot, one-shot doses.
>> >>
>> >> Robert
>> >Nicolas:
>> >If you are going to pre-soak, you will probably need to increase your
>> >development time about 20%
>> >Randolph
>> Test this with care! I have pre-soaked for years, and my times are always
>> 20-25% BELOW Kodak reccs. I don't doubt Randolph's warning, but I'd like to
>> know how he arrives at it.
>> Robert
>I had better looking negatives after increasing development about 20%
>Pre-soak completely eliminated any problems I was having with air bells,
>but was giving negatives that were a little thinner than I liked.  Of
>course, any statement concerning time/temperature development needs
>testing by the individual.  I have lived places where the water supply
>gave a one stop push to development in relation to distilled water.
>There are a number of emulsions that should not be pre-soaked, according
>to manufacturer's recommendations.


Thanks for your clarifying note. I went back and looked at the original
post and Nicholas did not say (so far as I could I find) what sort of film
he was using. I use Tri-X, in 35mm, 6cm, and 4x5, and always presoak. It's
been YEARS since I've even bothered to read a Kodak recc sheet on the
stuff-- maybe I should! But you're absolutely right about the variability
of results: it is almost useless to give super-specific data like dev times
to someone else. My teaching experience, howvere, does indicate that my
results aren't too far off from those of most others. Fred Picker's old
motto still stands: TRY IT!

On another theme, though, something else can rear it's very ugly head:
subtle, unannounced manufacturer changes in materials! Ooops! I think I'm a
little far afield here--but has anyone in the last fews years noticed
anything "different" about Tri-X and HC-110? Now, to keep this within
guidelines, I will go and clean one of my LEICA CAMERAS!