Glass Bottles : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Now that I got my 1 gal Diafine developer kit, I need to mix it. Seems glass 1 Gallon bottles are hard to come by these days. Used to be able to get fruit drinks in them, now all I can find is 4 liter Carlo Rossi wine, and after drinking all that wine, I don't quite feel like mixing the developer.

Anybody got a favorite source? BUrp!./ Escuze mee. gotta get some bvertter vhien./ charrLIE

-- Charlie Strack (, June 25, 2001


I got my amber glass bottles for my photographic chemistry at a scientific store nearby that sells base chemicals, geological instruments and other supplies. They were able to order them in one gallon size in three working days. I thought about ordering them myself off of the internet, but delivery from the local store insured that I did not have a problem with the glass getting broke during the shipment. Amber glass was the dominant selection, so I went for it.

Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (, June 25, 2001.

Photographer's Formulary...

Lousy website; good company.

-- Chad Jarvis (, June 25, 2001.

Don't know about the rest of the country but around here some micro- breweries sell take home brew in refillable gallon jugs. Good beer, good bottle and won't give as bad a head ache as cheap vino.

-- Bob Finley (, June 25, 2001.

Free 1 gallon amber glass bottles from Guitussic (sp) syrup at your local pharmacy. free free free

-- Wayne (, June 25, 2001.

I agree with Wayne that pharmacies are a good source for free amber glass bottles in various sizes. They have plastic bottles too. Also ask any friends or neighbors that work in a biology/chemistry/medical lab for bottles. My lab tosses a few each day. The 1 L and 4 L solvent bottles are excellent, especially if they are plastic coated (the coating contains the glass and mess if you drop the bottle). Solvent bottles are clean when you get them - just allow the last few drops of solvent to evaporate.

I only use glass bottles for developers and other potions that degrade in an air permeable plastic bottle. Everything else goes in plastic bottles - fixer, stop bath, toners, stabilizers, hypo clearing agent, etc. Whenever possible, I use plastic measuring cylinders and containers also. A darkened room full of fragile glass is not a safe room. For what it is worth, in twenty years as a chemist, I've suffered one chemical burn and innumerable glassware cuts.

Tom Gould

-- Tom Gould (, June 26, 2001.

The gallon size apple juice plastic jugs at the grocery stores are fine for holding solutions and they have a sturdy plastic handle. Pat

-- pat krentz (, June 26, 2001.

Charlie, why do you feel you need the glass? Diafine is so stable that you really don't need the dangers of glass in your darkroom. I have been using the same Diafine for the past year and a half with no problems or deviations! Just get the dark darkroom containers. Your going to love the Diafine but don't expect the speed that is stated!Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, June 26, 2001.

"you really don't need the dangers of glass in your darkroom"


-- Wayne (, June 26, 2001.


Check with They have all kinds and sizes of glass bottles.

-- Ken Burns (, June 26, 2001.


Amber glass bottles are OK for storing developer and other chemicals, but I prefer plastic. The trouble with most plastics, is that they breathe; air will pass through the plastic via osmosis. The best and most easily obtained plastic bottles, are recycled soda bottles. Even if you don't drink the soda, they're still cheaper than glass and wont break when dropped. The key is to get bottles that come with a carbonated beverage; plastic water bottles wont work. The soda bottles contain a laminated vapor barrier, between layers of plastic that prevent osmotic action. A gallon of liquid can be stored in two 2 liter bottles and another advantage is that the bottles can be filled, lightly capped, then squeezed slightly to remove all the air. One caution, do not squeeze the bottles severly, as a sharp crease in the plastic can break the vapor barrier. Give it a try; it works well.


-- Pete Caluori (, June 26, 2001.

Even if Diafine was not stable you could use brown plastic bottles if you get the right kind. I use the PLASTIC high-pressure bottles sold at beer-making stores. They are similar to the non-transpiring hard plastic you get with plastic Coke\Pepsi bottles, but brown. They are made specifically with beer making in mind. Any oxygen transpiration would ruin the beer faster than it would ruin developer, but these work admirably. I've broken a whole glass gallon jug of developer on my darkroom floor. This cured me of glass. The bottles come in a few sizes too. I mix and decant into various sizes of bottles so all are full and then just cut to the right mix right from the right-sized bottle. They even sell the little nips in some places.

-- Rob Tucher (, June 26, 2001.

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.

Best regards, Charlie

-- Charlie Strack (, June 26, 2001.

Great answers....but Charlie you're on it. Where do you live? I'll help with the wine.

-- Jim Galli (, June 26, 2001.

In the UK these jars are available from home brewing / winemaking shops.Rubber and cork bungs are also available for these bottles (the bottles are known as demijohns. Good luck

-- Pete Watkins (, June 26, 2001.

I use plastic Coke bottles of various sizes. They can be squeezed to eliminate trapped air. I transfer from larger to smaller bottles as the solution is used up. Being able to get all the air out of the bottle is the key to preventing oxidation. The brown color is not necessary if you store them in the dark!


-- David Rose (, June 26, 2001.

Another way to keep air out of the bottles is to add in glass marbles that you get at a crafts store. This raises the fluid level back up to the top of the bottle. When the bottle is empty, just pour out the marbles into a dedicated collander and wash with soap and water and you are back in business again....


-- Scott Jones (, June 27, 2001.

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