I too use film with similar occasional and haphazard frequency. That's why I've settled on using HC110 as a one-shot, directly from concentrate (mostly 1+63). I puchased some 2 and 4 ounce Nalgene bottles from one of the camping gear suppliers and divide up the concentrate so that all but the working bottle are full to the brim. Even the bottle with air exposure can go for months with no apparent degradation.
(As I do even less printing, I'd love to find a paper developer goop that would work in similar fashion.)
Do you find problems with the viscosity using smaller amounts?
Anything syrupy stored in something that is not plastic will probably keep best over the very long term, aside from sealed pre-mixed powdered developers, which will likely hold their potency forever if they remain sealed. I like Ilfotec HC/HC-110. I use them quickly enough that I do not bother to decant the concentrates into glass bottles, but if I didn't use them much, I might do so. I also have used stock HC solutions that were over six months old and the negatives turned out as expected. Another time, I kept a 1:31 working solution for about four months in a half-full plastic bottle and it also worked as expected. I diluted it to 1:63 before use, and developed an unimportant test roll of old film, just out of curiosity. Pretty amazing.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-07-2008 at 06:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
Another experiment is to agitate 1 ml of Rodinal stock in an open container until it gets really black and then see how much water you must add to make it look like old Rodinal. P-aminophenol is the base of some pretty strong dyes. What I mean is that the color of Rodinal stock is no real indicator of its strength.
As a working solution, the only one that comes to mind is D-76 (and its kin). There are no doubt others, but few are now common (maybe DK-50 and DK-60a). As stock solutions, there are many. HC-110 and Rodinal immediately come to mind. Pyrocat-HD does well. There are also many referneces in the forums to developers that use TEA or glycol as a solvent for the stock solution, and they are said to have long lives.