Best film for xtol

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by richard_golonka, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Usually its the opposite question, but for me the developer is harder to get than film. I can order any film possible through amazon or ebay or sold privately locally, but shipping chemicals in Canada is expensive for some reason, even in powdered form. A 500ml bottle was 30 dollars for just the shipping costs to my house from a store that had it in stock 300km away because of hazardous goods regulations or something like that.

    So instead, 2 blocks away my local shop carries xtol and the ilfosol 3. That's it. Those are my only 2 options. I have used ilfosol and its good but I want to move on to mixing my own.

    I know all of this is "oh it depends, shoot whatever looks best to you and the look your are going for :) " etc etc. Lets just pretend I know that and if that kind of generality was all that mattered to me then I would not be posting here. So.... try not to go there too often o_O

    And its not entirely true either. In any thread about any film stock people will invariably chime in with their recommendation of what to develop it in. This is just the opposite.

    1) I would like to know what film looks the "best (warning, subjective)" to you in xtol.

    2) And if you think my question is impossible, then answer which film you know to be terrible in xtol, and I will avoid.

    3) If you'd rather not answer because there really is no best, could you share some knowledge about xtol in one sentence that will be helpful to me as I commit to a year of using it (I buy all my film in Jan for the year, and will be buying soon. I would like to buy as much developer as I can now also)

    I would just like to learn. There are countless blogs I know but they are typically film centric with different developers tossed about.

    I generally like low grain film and shoot 400, 100 and occasionally under but not regularly.

    I use a canon eos 620 and a series of new canon lenses, not that that matters too much, and do dabble with printing. I am trying to get away from scanning and as my printing gets better I would like to ditch the scan entirely and just photograph the print. That's where I am headed. Maybe that will happen this year maybe it wont.

    Thank you
  2. Assuming proper development technique, I'm not sure that any film is inherently 'bad' in XTOL, at least at 1:1 dilution. I shoot mostly Tri-X, HP5+ and some TMY, all @ 400.
    Henricvs likes this.
  3. For TMax P3200 (TMZ), and I believe other TMax films, the three recommended
    developers are T-MAX, T-MAX RS, and XTOL, for the highest speeds.

    I believe it is also recommended for TMX and TMY.

    Kodak seems to recommend it:

    for pretty much all their films, along with Fuji and Ilford films.

    Kodak even recommends it for HIE, (in early 2018), though as far as I know, they
    aren't making HIE anymore.
  4. I find fomapan 200 gorgeous in Xtol. This applies to the stuff in 120 format, no experience with 135 FWIW.
  5. My experience with XTOL is limited, but like others have said I don't think that there's anything that's BAD in it.

    I'm mostly a D76 guy, but I actually find TMAX/Delta films a bit more palatable in XTOL than in D76(although ultimately I prefer TMAX developer for those films). The classics like Tri-X and FP4+(my main film stocks) look great in it to my eye.

    I honestly don't know if there's a common commercial film where you can really go wrong with it.
  6. XTOL is an excellent general purpose developer. I've used it with Fuji Acros, Kodak TMax, and with Ilford HP5+ with excellent results.
  7. I like Xtol for everything, though I prefer Rodinol for ISO 25 film. Xtol seems to be a lot like D-76 in tonality, only better. It seems to give me a little more speed, or maybe a little more development in the shadows. I use it undiluted most of the time to avoid the risk of dead or weak developer, though I've liked it a lot, maybe better, 1:1. If you can get Xtol and nothing else, you're actually fine.
  8. awesome. Thanks everyone. This is good to know

    The one film though I would go out of my way to find a specific developer for, is Acros. Sounds like xtol works for everything, acros included. But that is such an amazing film if there was one I want to go off the board on, it is that one. I have heard things about RPX-D and acros

    But anyway, thats a side track and should really be for another thread, But meh, Ill figure that one out myself :).
  9. Acros has been discontinued (since Oct. 2018), so enjoy what you have left.
    I like Acros a lot in Pyrocat HD and Perceptol, for what it's worth.
  10. :eek: what?

    how did I miss that! ahh, I only have 2 rolls remaining...
  11. Where I live, Acros in 120 is still reasonably available, but I cannot find it in 35 anymore. So if you still find it, get it..... I won't get in your way, since I'm always well stocked up on Delta 100 anyway.
  12. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

  13. oh wow this is awesome thank you!
  14. X-tol, so I've read, was to be an improvement on D-76, the standard of b/w film devs. It should be no surprise that most films will do well in it.
  15. Note that there is now Across 100II. It seems to be a new film with a similar name, but maybe
    with some of the properties of the old one. I haven't tried any, yet.
  16. I remember trying XTOL when it first came out and being very happy . . . I was shooting TMX and Tri-X at the time.

Share This Page