Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/26

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Help! Perplexing development problem (D400/Xtol)
From: "Lee, Ken" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 08:24:44 -0500

Hi John,

Is it possible that it is an exhaustion problem (the developer's not yours)?
I remember on the Jobo site they stated that certain films exhausted Xtol
more than others. They got unsatisfactory results with Agfa film even at 1
to 1... they needed 200ml of stock solution per roll. They did not test
Delta 400 but that could be another possibility.


- -----Original Message-----
From: Johnny Deadman []
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2001 9:55 PM
To: BigNeg; Leica Users digest
Subject: [Leica] Help! Perplexing development problem (D400/Xtol)

I shot a bunch of test negs today using 4x5 Delta 400 sheet film. I metered
carefully, and I was using a lens whose shutter speeds I trust. I developed
in Xtol 1:2 using a time of 14' @ 68F. I think I was bang on the
temperature, and I timed it with my digital watch (I still think these are a
pretty neat idea, Douglas Adams fans).

This was an educated guess as there are no official speeds for D400 sheet
film in the Xtol or D400 datasheets, but I just now checked with the massive
dev chart at:

and they use the same time exactly.

Anyhoo, the negs are *incredibly* thin. They are still drying so I haven't
had a chance to really look at them closely but I have to assume this is
pretty massive underdevelopment... I would say at *least* 2 stops, more like
3 or 4.

I'm really at a loss to account for this and need some input. Some factors
to consider:

* I know D400 was reformulated recently but I can't imagine it was so
drastic that the times have changed THAT much

* the metered exposures were pretty much what one would expect, for example
f/11 @ 1/50 in open shade on a cloudy-ish day, around f/4 or f/5.6 at
1/filmspeed if you use the 'sunny 16' scale of guesstimation. So I think the
meter was fine.

* the film was fresh and in any case had been refrigerated until the last 2

So as far as I can see that leaves the developer. This was NOT freshly made
up. However, I used this batch previously and looking now at those negs they
are absolutely fine. Mind you, that was several weeks ago -- about 6 or 8 --
and I'm starting to wonder if I exceeded the time limit on Xtol stock. The
stock I used was from a partially-full, tightly stoppered bottle. I've had
no problem doing this previously, but as far as I can see this is the only
possible f*** up factor in all of this.

Anyone able to cast any light on this?

ta in advance,

- -- 
Johnny Deadman