August 16, 2010

Caffenol-C-L stand development

Real stand development with TMax100 as 120 type film. Shot with my 65 years old Bessa 66, vignetting of the first picture caused by filter (old fashioned yellow-green) and lens shade. Coloured with Gimp. First image EI 400, second EI 100, same roll. Click on the images as usual for bigger size.

Recipe as posted before, but only 1 g/l bromide. 5 minutes presoak in tap water, 10 gentle turns at the beginning, then let stand without further agitation. 60 minutes at 22 °C. Stop, fix and rinse as usual.

BTW, C-C-L has a pH of about 9.0

Perfect transparent film base, no fog, very little yellowish stain from the coffee. Usable on the same roll from EI  50 to EI 800.Scans very easy and surely will print at EI 200 - 400. For wetprints from EI 100 and below you should reduce dev time, otherwise negs become very dense, but no blown highlights!

My best Caffenol so far.

I love coffee - Reinhold


Marcel Schepers said...

Wow! These are very, very good! The toning, the sharpness .... excellent, very very well done!

christian said...

Hi Reinhold,
a simple question here... how do you manage the temperature while the stand period ? Something like a water-bath or just a room with constant temperature ?

Thanks a lot...

Best regards,

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Christian, if room temperature is between 20 and 24 °C I use this with adapted time. Otherwise I use a water bath. Best - Reinhold

Kristian Heitkamp said...

Hi, I tried this receipt with Acros 120. I developed at 18º C for 85 Minutes. Presoaked for 5 minutes.
My negs developed very thin, it is impossible to get nice scan-results on an Epson Perfection 2450.

I also had problems to dissolve the coffee. It got really thick and sticky and I had to squese it with the spoon to get it dissolved. Do you know a special trick for this?

Anyway a big thank you for this blog!

Kristian Heitkamp said...

Sorry, I forgot to add: I agitated 10 times initially, as supposed by your receipt-sheet.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Kristian,

some people complain that the negs are too dense ;-) but never too thin.There must be something wrong.


Which exposure index? Metering and camera reliable? Waterfree washing soda, no(!) hydrated or baking soda. Agents measured by weight or volume? How much bromide did you use, 1 g/l (not per tank filling!) of potassium bromide should be sufficiant? Right order of adding the agents? First soda, then Vit-C, wait until all bubbles cleared. Finally the Bromide and at last the coffee. If you add the Vit-C after the coffee, you will get a very ugly foam! The proper order is VERY important! Stir a bit and let stand for some minutes. Stir again a bit and you will have a perfect dilution. Nothing sticky any more. Dont't use the mix before it is evenly diluted.

Caffenol-C-L must be measured much more precisely than f.e. Caffenol-C-M, because only a little bit less of soda than necessary will. And hydrated soda must be adjusted properly for the right amount.

So far I didn't develop at 18 °C, your time semms to be reasonable, but who knows.

Acros 100 doesn't need stand-development and bromide at all, it works perfect with Caffenol-C-M. Try EI 200 - 400 and you will be perfectly satisfied.

Best - Reinhold

Kristian Heitkamp said...

Hello Reinhold,

probably the dilluting was not quite right. I first mixed all dry agents, excluding the coffee. Than I added water (first a little) to dilute.
Afterwards I added Coffee and the rest of the water.
The Soda should be correct (Heitmann Reine Soda) I also used it for C-C-M before and had fine results here.
The only strange thing: I had a water temperature of 17 ºC before adding the soda so it should have risen to 20 ºC. But it only went up to 18 ºC.

I measured with a scale that measures in 0.1 g steps. So everything should have been accurate.

Maybe it is just the problem with the low temperature and the wrong order in mixing/adding agents.

I wanted to use the stand development because I was too lazy to shake …

Kristian Heitkamp said...

Oh forgot, exposed at EI 100. Camera is a Rolleiflex 3,5 F, but it was my first roll in this camera.
Anyway the shutter sounds correct and I was using a Metz 45 CT-5 flash on some pictures – so shutter times shouldn't matter that much.
This is also coherent to the fact, that there was no difference between those exposures with the flash and those using the cameras exposure meter (which matches my Gossen Lunasix 3) without flash.
So I assume it was not a cameras fault.

imagesfrugales said...

Since there is much less soda in C-C-L, the temperature rise is about or below 1 °C.

"I first mixed all dry agents, excluding the coffee" -> If you added dry bromide, you might have taken too much. You should make a stock dilution of maybe 10 g/l, for 250 ml and 1 g/l KBr you only need at add 25 ml to the mix. That's much more accurate. The more bromide, the less fog but also less development.

Kristian Heitkamp said...

I'll try this and will report back. But it might take a while, at the moment I have my last roll of Fomapan 200 in the camera and since I got all this child-breeding and job stuff to do time is rare.

So long a big Thank You

k said...

Thanks for the blog Reinhold. Your clear instructions and fantastic results have got me inspired to start doing my own films.

You've had some nice results with TMax100 in CCM. Do you prefer CCL for this film now? what differences would you expect to see between using the 2 variants?

Regards and thanks

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Kev,

thank you for your appreciation. Hard to tell whether I would prefer CCM or CCL for TMax100. Witj both you get fine results, CCL might be a bit more on the finer grained side, but you can also reduce the dev time with CCM. In general it applies to all developers, the longer developed the more speed, contrast and grain and vice versa. For best speed CCM will probably be better if you don't mind a bit of base fog.

damian dzialoszynski said...

Hi Reinhold

I just develop 2 sheets 4x5 Shanghai and ilford fp 4 100 in coffenol c-l and have strange results.

i measure ingredients with scale and mix with order : in half liter i mixed washing soda , later i ad vit c after i ad potassium bromide AR.

another half liter of water i mixed coffee and later mix together coffee with rest.

1. Shanghai 20 c 70 minutes first 30 sec inversions after 2,4,8,15,50 but i forgot presoak.

Negatives come out very thin and thay ambrotypes !!! when i look to light i have negative but when i put on black i have positive image !!!

2. ilford fp4 : i develop ilford in the same developer after shanghai but i presoak 5 min.

developer temperature was 22 C so i cut time to 55 min.

negative is very thick and base is almost no translucent - gray. but images are visible.

Some thoughts about what happens here ?

example of Shanghai 100 it was very hard to scan and a lot PS work done:



imagesfrugales said...

Hi Damian,

sorry, Im have no clue what went wrong. One film heavily underdeveloped, the other one heavily overdeveloped. Hm, makes no sense imho.

Good luck - Reinhold

Deivison said...

Hello Reinhold,
first of all, nice blog! Very useful.

I am starting with Caffenol, I've ready many and many posts from the beggining. I've learnt a lot. My question is about agitation.
I've been using daylight developing stuff like Rondinax 35 and Essex 35. I think you know it, but in bref we do not have intervals of agitation while using it. We just turn the knob making the film roll into the developer during all process.

Do you have any idea about how to use Caffenol with this kind of daylight development tank?

Once again, I love the blog. Congrats!

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Deivision,

usually you reduce the dev time for about 20 % for continuos agitiation, but that's compared with regular agitation scemes e.g. 3x every 60 secs. You can't compare that with stand development wich is very compensating and so can be used with great results for enhanced film speed. I don't call it push processing, because you have real gain of speed. The drawback of continuos agitation is that you can't tweak the contrast the way different agitaion scemes do.

Nevertheless I guess you can use C-C-L with great results at boxspeed and about 25 - 30 minutes, 20 °C in your Rondinax as a starting point. Now, spinning the wheel for half an hour wouldn't be my choice, instead I would use C-C-M(rs) for 8 - 10 minutes, 20 °C instead for boxspeed. Remember to adjust the times for your needs. Add some pot. bromide or salt of course for fast films above ISO 100.

Thank you for the appreciation, best - Reinhold

Deivison said...

Hi Reinhold,
Thanks a lot. I will try your recommendation. Keep you updated.
Best wishes


imagesfrugales said...

Looks very fine, Chris. Thank you for the note - Reinhold

Unknown said...


Thank you for everything. I have one question: I actually really like the yellowish stain from the coffee, so... what should I do to improve it? Just add more coffee?
Also, do you think this recipe will work with my ordinary kodak colorplus 200?

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Marisa, it may work but I have no good experiance with the Kodak budget films and Caffenol.