Expired XTOL & Fixer (dry)

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dan_brown|4, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Howdy everone.
    Bought an M6 and I'm back to shooting film (HP5 in XTOL). Digging out my B&W processing gear, I have a dry pouch of XTOL and a dry pouch of Kodak Fixer, which both show expiration in 8/2013. They are flowing and granular in the pouches, and have been stored indoors in a sealed container. They looks and feel good as new.
    Question: Would you use these chemicals, or toss them and buy new?
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    - Dan
  2. I would test them.
    Testing the fix is easy. Cut off the leader from a roll of film, immerse the undeveloped leader in a sample of the fix and see how fast it clears. If it clears in less than a minute, the fix is good (my film usually clears in 30 seconds).
    Shoot a short test roll at box ISO and develop for the normal time in the standard working solution. If the negatives look good, the developer works.
    I suspect both chemicals will be good, but always test to prevent losing the irreplaceable shot.
  3. The fixer would be the lesser of the two issues. Even if it has lost a little of its capacity, it will still work and an inspection of the fixed film will reveal if it needs a bit more immersion time.
    I'm a little nervous about Xtol but if the powder looks good then my guess is that it will be fine, subject to the usual caveats about using suitable water and containers. There have been so many things written about Xtol's keeping qualities that I don't know what to believe. I'm about to mix up a batch of similarly expired Xtol to deal with a backlog of films, none of which are really irreplaceable or valuable, but still worth developing. My approach is going to be to use a generous sized dev tank and more developer than actually needed, just to be on the safe side (sort of).
  4. I have had developer die in the package. The powder was a little brown, and the solution looked like dead developer. I suspect mine was much older, though.
    I think that was for paper developer, so easier to test.
    Rapid fixer doesn't last as well as sodium based fixer.
  5. Thank you all for the good information. Shot some Tri-X at 400 and developed for 7:15 (75deg F) in 1:1 XTOL (Kodak's spec) and the negatives were a bit thin, but printable. I did test the fixer, and it cleared in about 3 minutes, so I fixed it for 10, which is Kodak's recommendation for film in that fixer. There was a light magenta hue in the dried negs, but not bad. Anyway, that's all fairly good for 2013 chemistry.
    Today I shot a couple rolls of HP5 bracketed in various lighting. First roll is rinsing right now, ISO 400, 12:00 min (68deg F) in 1:1 XTOL (Kodak spec). Will decide on dev. time for second roll after I get a look at these. Hopefully I can get this dialed in PDQ and just run with it.
    Thanks again.
    - Dan

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