I use the Jobo black plastic 1 litre bottles intended for the various Jobo processors. I am now mainly using XTOL which comes in a 6 litre package,
and after mixing split it up in the bottles. Kodak claims a 1 year storage life in a completely full bottle of XTOL.
The only XTOL packages I've seen are for 5 liters, not 6. (I'm sure there are bigger packages, and there used to be 1-liter packets, but those have been discontinued.) Also, Kodak officially states the storage life of mixed XTOL to be 6 months, not 1 year, on their official XTOL page. I believe they used to say it was good for 1 year, but they changed that (and stopped recommending dilutions greater than 1+1) after the "XTOL sudden death" problem started appearing. That said, in practice you might easily get a year's storage life out of XTOL. I've done so; it worked fine after slightly over a year, when I used the last of that batch.
Originally Posted by David A. Belew
Looking at the photos of your bottles...
The gallon jug looks like a useless thing. OK, I guess for stop bath and fixer, but I wouldn't store any developers in it. Probably leaks air like a sieve.
The accordion bottles are worse than useless. I have a couple of them. The caps do not seal well and they are really floppy when full. Don't waste your time or any money on them. I won't mention that the pleats are likely to crack over time and might be difficult to clean before the next fillup.
The bottle on the right looks like the bottles that are used for hydrogen peroxide here in the US. What really burns me up about these things is that you can buy a 1 qt. bottle of H2O2 for 1/3 the cost of one of these empties. Print "photo" on the bottle and you can jack the price up to obscene levels.
The best thing I've found are just plain old 1L soda pop bottles. Seltzer, club soda, tonic water all can be had for as little as $.60/L in the US. Use the contents, remove the labels and keep the bottles. Write on the bottles with a Sharpie magic marker. They seal well and keep developers (and any other chemistry you'll use) just fine. Top off any partially full containers with an inert gas and you're done.
Not counting Ansco 130 (a useless developer for longevity tests, as it lasts for months in a tray covered with cardboard to reduce evaporation), I've had print developer still fine after three months. A batch of Gevaert G262 I was trying to "kill" was used intermittently for three months until I finally killed it by leaving in in open trays for a week (I was after a "dead" developer for a special effect).
Originally Posted by Bob F.
I checked some D-23 I mixed in... in... in... in 1999, and it was still almost colourless. So I tried it, and it still works. So I guess I'll have to buy another bottle instead of recycling that one...
But that brings up the question of developer differences: Some last forever regardless of storage conditions, some are clearly affected by storage conditions, and others tend to die suddenly for no apparent reason.
In general I only keep print developers for long enough that storage could make a difference. Most of the film developers I use are mixed just before use, and used one-shot. So print dev, fix, bleach and toners go in bottles - wide-necked ones. Film dev and sometimes even film fix is used one shot, and goes down the drain. I don't use a stop - except for lith printing, and then it's just water with a little citric acid in it, single day use.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Thanks Ole: looks like I can use that type of bottle for everything except possibly long term storage of film developer stock solution.
I get embarrassed at how long Ansco 130 lasts and end up dumping it just because it's been around for so long... Neutol WA seems to last a long time too, in my Nova at least, so it looks like my two favorite print developers & the fixer will be fine.
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Thanks for all the info and input. Ok, Developer in either glass or PET, with inert gas or marbles.
One more question to clear up my understanding.
Is the plastic jugs that I have ok for Fixer, Hypo Eliminator, Photo Flow, Short Stop?
Fine for everything except Hypo Clearing Agent. That stuff is primarily sodium sulfite and oxidizes easily. It won't change color or give any other indication that it has gone off either, so you'll have no easy way of knowing if it's spoiled. You'll do no direct harm with spoiled HCA, but spoiled HCA is useless as a wash aid. Best to store that in either glass or PET with tight fitting caps, same as you would for a developer.
Originally Posted by fotch