Color of XTOL stock solution

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by IanRivlin, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. I just mixed up some new XTOL, using the 5 liter pack.
    I poured the contents of packet "A" into 4 liters of water - but didn't fully check to see if it had fully dissolved (I don't think it did).
    It had a blue tint to the liquid, right from the get-go.

    Nonetheless, I then went on to packet "B" and carried on stirring (Using a magnetic stirrer). Shortly afterwards, I looked at the container and it became apparent that there was a white solid mass at the bottom.
    I carried on stirring - filling up the air dead space with Tetenal Protectan, to reduce the chances of oxidation. I let it stir for hours.
    It's all dissolved now and is clear BUT it's still obviously blue - didn't darken or lighten at all, after packet "B" was used..
    Usually, after packet "A", it's slightly orange, then after packet "B" is added, it goes clear.
    Does anyone have any ideas whether this batch is likely to be useless or is the blue color not too big a deal?
  2. Tear off a bit of 35mm leader and develop it in room lighting at the correct time, temperature and dilution.

    If at the end of it you have a suitable density (~2.4D), then the developer is still good; or at least not dead.

    A blue colour could indicate copper contamination, and copper is known to kill developers. Check your mixing utensils for loss of plating or exposed brass/copper.
  4. In the end, I just exposed a roll of TMax 400 120 at 500asa and developed appropriately. I figured that if the developer worked at 500asa, it'd be fine.
    The film came out exceptionally well. (finer grain than I'm used to getting at 320asa and smoother mid-tones). I developed as per "Film Developer Pro" i.e 9 mins at 72.5 f - 1:1 dilution - 5 seconds agitation every minute.
    No idea what caused the blue color. It's not metal contamination from my implements. The only thing i can think of is that the distilled water is from my dehumidifier. Maybe the condensor plates are rich in copper?

    Weird but I love the results.
  5. If it works, great! OTOH, I'd never use dehumidifier water for anything, even if filtered, as it's been exposed to every possible air contaminant, plus the aluminum condenser coils. I use it on the sponge of my soldering iron, but that's it.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
  7. I totally agree. I'm going to stick to either supermarket demineralised water or tap water. (Our local council has won awards for the purest water in the state).
  8. Dehumidifier water is known to be acidic, you're lucky your developer isn't "stopped" by the acidity.
  10. I'm not going to use dehumidifier water again but can anyone tell me why it would be acidic? Isn't it just atmospheric water vapor that's condensed? Where does it pick up this acidity?
    I also have an actual distiller. In essence it's just an oversize electric kettle and a fan cooled stainless steel baffle causes the steam to condense and drip into a receptacle. Isn't that exactly the same process as a dehumidifier?
  11. The dehumidifier handles vast amounts of air which can contain various impurities. Your distiller wouldn't have that much air to handle. In labs they sometimes distill again already distilled water to purify it further.

    I can dimly remember reading that there are some forms of phenidone that can have a colour tint, maybe due to pH differences. Sorry I don't remember the details. Xtol contains Dimezone or Dimezone_S which is a form of phenidone.

    I would not keep your colored Xtol for a long time in case whatever it was has altered it.
  12. Agreed. I'm developing about two or three roils of film per week (ie at an accelerated rate) to use it up. I think I'll go 1:0 dilution instead of the 1:1 I've been using. Strangely enough, it seems fine at the moment but that color just *has* to suggest some sort of contamination.
    Of even more interest....
    I poured some of the dehumidifier condensate into a gallon flask and let it sit for a day.
    It actually went brown - the same color that water is after the plumbers have had a go at the street supply pipes - looked like rusty water.
    It's as if there are ferrous/ferric salts in the condensate or possibly manganese and copper? It makes me wonder what the dehumidifier's condenser plates are made of and if they are leaching out metallic salts. If that is the case, I can't see this (DeLonghi) dehumidifier lasting that long.

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