May 24, 2010

next summary

Hello again everybody,

the blog develops more and more, thanks to anyone who contributed with submissions and comments. More than 5000 hits and 70 comments in less than 2 months, wow! That's much more than I ever expected. Good to see that so many people are interested into coffee development and film based photography in general. Analogue photography becomes again more and more respected after a long suffering time, gently ridiculed. Self-confident again we enjoy our passion.

There are many ways to become happy with coffee development. My way is to prove that coffee and Vitamin-C can deliver the best of the best. Therefore only recipes I'm convinced of myself will be published here. The best overall way is still Caffenol-C-M as a speed enhancing developer with medium speed films of 100 ASA in my opinion. Easy to use with great and very predictable results. Other recipes and more experimental kinds of developing are frequently discussed at the caffenol group of flickr. A great ressource you shouldn't miss with many highly respected members participating.

It's just a beginning - cheers - love and peace - Reinhold

Tmax100 @ EI 200, Caffenol-C-M, 65 years old Voigtlander Bessa 66 with Skopar lens and yellow filter (2x)

May 11, 2010

Caffenol-C-H "highspeed"

Hello coffee junkies,

a new chapter of Caffenol development is ready to be published. I was not satisfied with Caffenol/C and high speed films and I didn't recommend it. Too much fog, flat in contrast, poor usable speed, ugly grain. but I constantly thought of trying to modify Caffenol-C-M for these films. Potassium bromide (KBr) is well known as an anti-fogging agent, but I thought it would mess up the concept of great shadow rendering. I was wrong. So good and bad news: KBr works well with Caffenol, but it is not available in regular supermarkets. In Germany a pharmacy in my neighborhood was able to deliver it within a couple of hours, 100 gramms for 15 Eur. Quite expensive compared to the other ingredients, but it will be good for 100 litres of developer and some hundred films. So the additional coast will be about 4 - 8 Euro-Cent per development. Potassium bromide is not toxic and doesn't spoil the environmental friendly coffee soup.I don't know how easy potassium bromide is available in other countries, reports are welcome. The german name is Kaliumbromid, or you may ask for the scientific latin name "kalium bromatum" in pharmacies.

Crops 10x10 mm negative size, Neopan 1600 @1600 ASA left, HP5+ @ 400-800 ASA right :

So here's Caffenol-C-H, "H" for highspeed, recommended for 400 ASA films and faster. There is considerably less fog, although there will be still some, but not any more disturbing. Tonality, contrast and shadow rendering are amazing for available light with lot of shadow areas. On the minus side we have still quite big grain. For example, the Neopan1600 developed in Diafine produces much nicer grain and was my preferred developer. But I never got better shadow details as with Caffenol-C-H. And I slowly begin to love the bigger grain, together with the wide tonality it gives a special look. Boxspeed or pushing is possible. More detail for exposure index must be evaluated, rating under available light conditions is difficult and I made no densitometric tests. Try boxspeed or +1 push.

How to: I made a stock solution of 10 gramms KBr in 300 ml destilled water, stored in a glass bottle. It will last almost forever. 1 ml contains 0,033 gramms KBr. 250 ml developer need 7.6 or easier 8 ml of the stock solution. This equals 1 gramm per litre KBr. Simply add the 8 ml to the ready mixed 250 ml Caffenol-C-M and voila: Caffenol-C-H. Be sure to do the math right! I'm sorry.

Edit: if still too much fog, use 2 g/l of potassium bromide.

So far I used HP5+ and Neopan1600, both with excellent results. 1gram per liter KBr was added to the Caffenol-C-M recipe, no other changes. Developing time was 15 minutes like before, or 30 minutes stand development with agitation first 30 seconds and 3 minutes presoak in tap water.

Thank you very much Caro and Chris for allowing me to publish the images. Finally an example of the Acros100 in Caffenol-C-H, also works perfectly. But for 100 ASA films I still recommend the simple Caffenol-C-M because the KBr isn't really needed.

Best regards - Reinhold

Acros 100 in Caffenol-C-H, 15x15 mm negative size, the bromide doesn't disturb