September 18, 2011

microfilm or high res low speed film

To be honest these are my first experiances with this kind of films. Resolutions of about 600 - 800 linepairs/millimeter at 1:1000 contrast and a gamma of about 3 in their typical applications are the benchmarks. For regular photography they need to be developed very compensating, often used are special developers. But also high diluted Rodinal can be used, f.e. 1:100 and a very short dev time below 10 minutes.

I was given a big box of long time expired films like Kodak Technical Pan, Kodak Imagelink, Agfa Ortho etc. in 35mm format and the first result with Technical Pan in Rodinal was very promising.for the second try I used Caffenol-C-L and it came out even better. 15 minutes with regular agitation (initially 10 times, then 3 times every minute) at 20 °C and with 0.4 g/l pot bromide, because I read that streaks are a common problem with this kind of films. I exposed at EI 50, but 25 or so maybe would have been better, but I need more data for this rating. As the negs were slightly underexposed, I had to brighten the images a bit in postprocessing, but not too much.

I am very pleased with the results, no fog at all, perfect even development, crystal clear transparent base. The TechPan with the panchromatic sensitation (up to 700 nm) has a nice tonal rendering, the grain is invisible and not resolvable with my scanner, sharpness is extraordinary.  A pity this film is not available from new production. Despite of strong backlight no tonal rendering probs and no halation effect at all, the tiny cables are resolved perfectly against the bright sky even in the distance. That's really something!

If you want to go into high resolution film based photography I recommend that you try Agfa Copex Rapid, that is made by Agfa-Gevaert in Belgium. Drawback is the PET filmbase, so the film must be loaded/unloaded in almost complete darkness. The ESTAR base of TechPan is easy to handle besides a strong ugly curl.

Inportant note: I found that using demineralized water is necessary for the developer and the final rinse and I very gently wipe the wet film, otherwise I get masses of small dots on the film. Treated as described here and the dots are gone completely.

Cheers - Reinhold


Tobias said...

Thank you for the good support and the recipes concerning the caffenol development.

This time i like to share my experiences with you with my selfbuild 4x5 Pinhole, 12sec efke100
9min Caffenol C dev.

vl42 said...

sorry, Reinhold. i got left 3 rolls of APX25, made in Leverkusen, stored cold and dry. i definitely wont have them in caffenol but develop them by rodinal just like they are supposed to. i dont see the point of fiddling with a new development for Filmtypes that arent available anymore.

although i really love caffenol: i still use CCL with polypanF as my regular combination and results keep getting better.

just like you i experienced black dots on my negatives which werent directly dirt-caused but developed into the neg. i started to filter the solution of soda before using and it disappeared. it seems that those dots were pieces of soda wich werent completely taken into the solution. filtering them out solved the problem.

i use aqua dest only for final rinse. that is necessary here (i live close to Karlsruhe), as the rhinewater comes with lots of mineralic indegrients wich just wouldn´t dry without leaving any marks. but i dont think its necessary to use aqua demin. or aqua dest. to make a solution of the rather undefined indegrients in instantcoffe and other stuff.

Anonymous said...

dear reinhold,
ı'm writing from turkey, ı wonder , how can you protect the temp (20 degree) during the long development.


imagesfrugales said...

Hi Olcan, I use a mantle bath with the right temperature, a plastic dish will do the job. some cold water from the fridge if needed. It's really easy!

Best - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

Hi Reinhold

First of all thank you for your research of developing film with coffee.
I`ve done some experiments the last 4 weeks with caffenol too, and its magic, i feel a little like an alchemist.
But anyway, now I´am trying a low speed film Gigabit Iso 40/17 They delivered this film with its own developer, but first its expired and second i want to develop it with Caffenol.
Do you have any idea if i should choose Caffenol C L or any other combination of coffenol ingredience

Best regards Christoph

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Christoph, I have no doubt that Caffenol-C-L will work satisfyingly. Iirc Gigabitfilm wasn't a success, the formerly offered developer was more or less a failure. So it can only become better with coffee ;-) For times and usable film speed you have to experiment. Good luck - Reinhold

Pmay said...

Hi Reinhold,

Did you try ce low contrast recipes I've already posted on the new caffenol home?

Brews with ANHYDROUS SODIUM CARBONATE, for developping both the Adox CMS 20 (120/135) exposed at 20 ISO and the Agfa Copex Rapid exposed at 50-64 ISO, with :

Time for Adox CMS 20: 15 mn
Time for Agfa Copex R: 16.30 mn

500ml Distilled Water at 20 °C
Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous): 5g
Ascorbic Acid (pure 99%): 1g
Instant Coffe for Adox CMS 20: 6g
Instant Coffe for Agfa Copex Rapid: 8g

Inversion tact: steadily during the first 60s, then 3 times every 3 mn for (Adox CMS 20), every 5 mn for Agfa Copex R.
Stop bath: 30s
Fixing time: 60s
Final wash: 5 minutes

Best regards


imagesfrugales said...

Hi Philippe,

no, I didn't try your recipe so far. I guess it's not so important to create a new developer as some distributors or producers claim, and another one for every other film. That's clever marketing, nothing else imho.

You can adjust many developers by dilution and dev time to work very compensating, f.e. high diluted Rodinal as a good choice is known since decades for this job. Since Caffenol-C-L is a very compensating and "weak" developer, it is imho very suitable for this job, dev time and agitation has to be adjusted of course. Nothing against your creation at all, I'm sure it works fine. But my 1st motivation is to know how my recipes work with different films. But of course I may be wrong, my experiances are very limited so far.

Cheers- Reinhold

Seeda said...

Hi Reinhold

Thank you so far for your reply.
I`ve done the experiment now.
I had only one film for this test, so i used your recipe for Caffenol C L, 70min developing with Caffenol, stopping the developing with 3 water baths, fixaton 6 min with Tetenal Superfix 1:9, 3 further waterbaths last with demineralised water 30min.

See the result, it`s not art its only testing.

Just one question, do you have any experience with the Adox CMS 20, like Phillipe befor.

Thank you and best regards Christoph.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Christoph,

no, didn't try the Adox. You probably killed the blue sky with a much to long (strong) development. Also the yellow filter didn't anything bad imho but you blew the highlights with the development. F.e. the Technical Pan only needs a few minutes in Caffenol-C-L.

The thin emulsions are very sensitive, so handle them carefully. For best results, use also demin water for the developer. I wipe the wet films with a folded paper tissue for much better drying without stains.

Cheers - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

hello, I just found your blog today. I am glad to read so many posts talking about and giving tips on using Caffenol.
I have experimented a little with it, but with homemade recipe.
I used instant coffee (generic), and crushed up vitamin C tablets; used generic washing soda. Then I used normal stop bath, fixer, etc...
My samples are at

feel free to look if you wish...
I will look for the caffenol recipe on your site and try it. Thanks,