XTOL or Non-Kodak and other higher-silver content films

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mattfou
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:45 pm
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XTOL or Non-Kodak and other higher-silver content films

Postby mattfou » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:59 pm

I teach at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. We have been using XTOL since the word came down about the KODAK films a year-and-a-half to two years ago. At this time I seem to recall a list of those films that did not reduce the silver content. Does anyone know where I could find such a list?
Does anyone out there use XTOL? What do you think about it?
We have recently been having issues with our film developers.
Thanks!


Lowell Huff
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Location: Los Angeles, CA 90061
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Postby Lowell Huff » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:46 am

Xtol is a low contrast developer. If you have been having film developer issues perhapse you would like to try ours. Feel free to talk to me about samples and technical support.
Hello Teachers at SVA:
I have tried to find a way to contact you about our products. We supply many of the photo schools and departments in the west as well as some in your area, with our chemistry. We have unique products that others in our market can’t or will not make. I recently was able to have B & H include us in their marketing program.

mikeseb
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:50 pm
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Postby mikeseb » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:54 pm

I can speak to Xtol. I love it. I have used just about everything, and for across-the-board use, Xtol is my favorite. I plan to use Mytol (its homebrewed equivalent) once my current supply is used up.

Fine grain, sharpness, tonality--it's all there. Diluted, its sharpness and compensating effect increase. Straight, it's as fine-grained as any of the other solvent developers such as D-76.

I don't think I'd call it a "low contrast" developer. Contrast depends on degree of development to a large extent, within limits. This means more concentrated developer, higher temp, or longer development time, or some combination of those. Of course, tradeoffs follow as with any developer.

Highly recommended.
michael sebastian
www.mikesebastianphoto.com

Saulius
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:12 am

Postby Saulius » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:14 pm

I've been using a vitaminC developer since 2000 from an article in the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of Darkroom and Camera Tec hniques called Non-chromogenic Antiscorbutic Developers for Black and White, by Patrick A. Gainer. Patricks formula I believe is similar to Xtols'. I've had good success using it and I also like it because if Xtol dissapears off the shelves I have no worries. Give it a try it's not that hard to mix and you can get all the ingrediants minus the Phenidone at a grocery store, it's friendlier to the environment then other developers and it's cheap to boot. You can see P. Gainers article and chart to mix it at the following web address:
http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/VitC/vitc.html

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: XTOL or Non-Kodak and other higher-silver content films

Postby Ornello » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:57 am

mattfou wrote:I teach at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. We have been using XTOL since the word came down about the KODAK films a year-and-a-half to two years ago. At this time I seem to recall a list of those films that did not reduce the silver content. Does anyone know where I could find such a list?
Does anyone out there use XTOL? What do you think about it?
We have recently been having issues with our film developers.
Thanks!
What 'word' are you talking about? Nothing has been done to Kodak films aside from them being moved to a new production facility. The 'silver content' of the film has NOT changed, and cannot be changed without drastically compromising the film's quality. Anything you may have heard to the contrary is sheer nonsense.

D-76 and Tri-X is hard to beat.

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: XTOL or Non-Kodak and other higher-silver content films

Postby Ornello » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:56 pm

mattfou wrote:I teach at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. We have been using XTOL since the word came down about the KODAK films a year-and-a-half to two years ago. At this time I seem to recall a list of those films that did not reduce the silver content. Does anyone know where I could find such a list?
Does anyone out there use XTOL? What do you think about it?
We have recently been having issues with our film developers.
Thanks!
The following questions were submitted to Kodak several years ago:

"1. I have read or heard in various sources that it is
common practice to manufacture developers at an
extra-strength state to withstand shelf storage for
extended period before sale to the consumer, so that
'normal' strength will be attained after a given
period.

In other words, according to this account, brand-new
product is supposed to be manufactured a little
stronger than normal or standard, so that after
sitting on the dealer's shelf for six months it will
still offer normal results.

Can you enlighten me on this matter?

2. No doubt Kodak has been asked this one before:
according to rumors circulated by various parties (of
which I am not a member), the 'silver content' of
various films and papers is supposed to have been
diminished by deliberate acts of Kodak to achieve
greater profitability over the past few decades.
Specifically, some have reported that films such as
Tri-X have been changed over the last 20 or 30 years
to contain less silver. I would like Kodak to comment
on this.

I am not referring to the new facility.


1. Regarding the B/W developer solution question --
That is not the way Kodak does it. I don't know about other
manufacturers. Although there are a wide variety of B/W developers,
some sold as powders, others as liquid concentrates, and there will be
some differences in keeping characteristics, I would say that a typical
product would show no measurable performance difference if kept under
proper conditions for at least 6 to 9 months. After a slightly longer
time, there might be a difference that would be measurable under
carefully controlled laboratory conditions, but not a difference likely
to be noticed in the normal use of the product. After two years or so,
the condition of a developer is likely to be dependent on the storage
conditions, and perhaps variables in handling that may have affected
the packaging material, etc. Some of the changes at this time are likely
to be noticeable in normal use of the product. After three to five years,
some products may be just fine, but as the elapsed time and keeping
condition variables mount up, the chances of poor results will
increase.

2. Regarding Kodak Tri-X products, there are three basic Tri-X
products that professional photographers might be involved with. I'm not sure
what other films might be included in your description of "films such
as Tri-X." A significant change in silver content of traditional B/W
films would be accompanied by a significant change in other characteristics:
tone reproduction, contrast, and granularity, for example. Consistency
of product has always been a prime goal in the manufacture of Tri-X
products, and, over the years, comparisons of Kodak products with other
manufacturers' products have shown Kodak to be consistently ahead of
other manufacturers in this regard. Any "breakthrough" in technology
that would allow a significant change in the silver content or image
structure would be better introduced to the public as a new product
than as a "secret" change to the Tri-X films. In fact, such a breakthrough
was introduced with the T-Max films. Although some people within the
company expected sales of Tri-X would tail off following the
introduction of the T-Max films and that the products would be
discontinued due to lack of sales, this has not happened.

The current "best practice" for manufacturing these products is to
control the characteristics of all the materials going into the
product, and to control all parts of the manufacturing process so that the
"standard" product formulation will produce product with consistent
characteristics every time. This has been found to work better than
the procedure used in past years, when the film formulation engineer had
the freedom to "tweak" a component slightly to compensate for apparent
changes in raw materials in order to make the resulting product closer
to established aims. So it is probably not true to say that a
particular Tri-X product has always had the exact same silver level for
the past 30 or 40 years. But based on my experience for the last 20 or
so, I doubt that there would be any variations greater than 5%, and
certainly no permanent, intentional level shift.

If you should have additional questions, please be sure to revisit our
site as we are continually adding information to enhance our support.

For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, please visit:
http://kodak.broaddaylight.com/kodakpro ... index.html

For product and technical information, service, support, and downloads:
http://www.kodak.com/go/professional

For information on ProPass Magazine:
http://www.kodak.com/go/propass


Regards,

Peter V.
Kodak Information and Technical Support
Kodak Professional
Ph. 800-242-2424 ext. 19


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