August 1, 2010


First results, Minolta X-300, 50mm Rokkor, orange filter, APX 100 in Caffenol-C-L

16 g/l washing soda waterfree, 10 g/l Vitamin-C, 40 g/l instant coffee, 1,5 g/l potassium bromide (KBr)

Use 1 - 2 gram/liter KBr, 1,5 seems to be a good idea. Do not use more than 2 g/l, it will restrain development too much up to blank negs.

40 minutes semi-stand development at 24 °C. Agitation first minute continuos, 3 inversions each at 2, 4 and 8 minutes, then let stand.

No fog, fine grain, perfect even development, about boxspeed.

Maybe some minor tweaks in the future, but looks fine so far. 

Maybe not everybody is able to get potassium bromide easily? I got it from my next door pharmacy. It's not toxic and environmentally safe with the used quantities.

Looks promising that C-C-L may also be good for high speed films.

Do not try (semi-)stand development without a restrainer like KBr -> agitation is the key! 

PS: I didn't use semi-stand development for another reason than comfort, I don't like shaking for half an hour. ;-)

Cheers - Reinhold


teamsuperoxide said...

Awesome, I just loaded a roll of APX100.

But I'm a bit confused by the agitation regime. What do you mean by "3x after 2, 4 and 8 minutes"? Three inversions at each time or agitate once at each of the three times? And no agitation from 8-40, right?

imagesfrugales said...

Hi tso,

3 inversions at the given times, then let stand. Thanks for the hint, will fix the text.

K Matthias said...

Great results! Quite classic looking tone and good grain.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Karl,
thank you very much. Your second comment got lost, happens sometimes at blogspot.

You mentioned developing with reduced agitation and Rodinal and that it could be worth doing so with CCL without using bromide.

Strictly no from my point of view. See the post before - uneven development. Agitation is the key without a restrainer.

Concerning classic tones: an orange filter was used. Cheers - Reinhold

FiatluX said...


V. Lino said...

Hi Reinhold. I always wanted to develop my own film but was never able to find the chemicals for it. But when i heard about caffenol and found your blog i though i finally might be able to give it a shot.

But since i can't have acess to regular stuff, it also means that i can't use a regular fixer.

I heard that you can use Sodium thiosulfate as a fixer. Do you have any experience with it ?

imagesfrugales said...

Hi V.Lino,

thiosulfate is "the" fixing agent:

I heard of people using only the sulfate without the sulfites. No own experiances. You should make a clearing test with the self-brewed fixer. Take a small piece of the fully daylight exposed film leader (35 mm film), count the time until the film becomes 100 % clear and use 2 -3 x time for proper fixing. Also recommended for checking if the fixer is still usable or exhausted. Clearing time will increase a bit with every film, when it becomes too high, discard the fixer. I do this test with every 35 mm film I develop.

Best regards - Reinhold

V. Lino said...

It might take a while but if everything works all right i'll try the caffenol-c-l too. As it seems i can also get a hold of some bromate.

Thanks a bunch Reinhold this really helped!

best of luck to you -victor

FiatluX said...

Hi Reinhold
I tried the above Caffenol-C-L recipe and agitation on 4X5 and the results are spectacular, with a more pronounced stain on the negative than with Caffenol-C-M altho that same stain does make it harder to scan, I can only imagine how well it will print in a quality enlarger and on some oldfashioned silver rich graded paper.
This is without any doubt my new favorite and standard developer, the development is perfectly even as you can see!
My son acted as model! :)

Linhof Tecknika IV
Voigtländer Apo Lanthar 150
4X5 TMax 100 f/8½ 1/100s @ boxspeed
Caffenol-C-L 45 mins @ 23°C


imagesfrugales said...

Thank you Bo, a beautiful portrait! As you can see in my latest post, I'm very satisfied with Tmax100 in Caffenol-C-M and real stand development.

He, you own an Apo-Lanthar! That must be a great lens.

Cheers - Reinhold

FiatluX said...

Yes, its an astonishing lens, made in 1953 but the shutter mechanics could need a overhaul as the shutter times are very very unpredictable, making it hard to calculate the exposure and thus giving me negatives with a variety of exposures @ the same f/ - shutter time :D But the glass, slightly radioactive and that smooth sharpness.. A true jewel! :)

Your Tmax findings are very similar to mine, I might try cutting back on the agitation too as I did a regime slightly more vigorous than your original C-C-L to avoid any unevenness on the 4X5´s, I did: continuous 1st minute, then six normal inversions @ 2, 4, 8 and three very calm inversions @ 17 and 30.
My negatives are very dense, beautifully stained and extremely sharp.. Very PYRO like, I love it!


imagesfrugales said...

Yes Bo, the sharpness is remarkable. Altough taken with the old uncoated Skopar lens it was easier for my modest scanner (8800F) to show almost 1-pixel lines at 2400 DPI with some pp-sharpening.

First I wasn't brave enough to try no agitation at all after the few initial ones, but it works. Bravo bromide!

If your negs are too dense, try to eypose like for a 2-stop push. Kodak says for a 1-stop push you mustn't change anything, and pushing 2 stops is easy with Caffenol-C.

Stain: my theory, Vit-C becomes less active at low pH first, so the stain preventing effect decreases and the original coffee qualities come out more visible. Maybe the best compromise between dirty coffee and clean Vit-C development. Cheers - Reinhold

FiatluX said...

Thought you might be interested in the sharpness of Caffenol-C-L on Tmax 100 4X5, it´s a straight 32bit HDRi greyscale scan without any sharpening or other filters, just level adjustments in photoshop.

Impressive don´t you think!?!

Have a great day

imagesfrugales said...

Wow! Can you send me a flickr mail? Would like to have this here if you agree.

Best regards - Reinhold

FiatluX said...

Signed up as FiatluX - Optimistic Illusions @ Flickr, but I dont see a "mail" options.. How do I go about that? :D

Anyways, feel free to use the pics on my flickr as you wish!


imagesfrugales said...

Bo, you got mail at flickr - R.

dghagi said...

Dear Reinhold, I recently discovered your blog and I'm very happy with the results I found here. After I read everything from the beginning, I've decided to give it a try with the Caffenol-C. Here are my results: .
Camera and film used: Nikon F3, Efke KB100
More photos in Foto Srbija Forum:

Henricus said...

I wanted to try Caffenol-CL with some 4x5 film, specifically, Ilford fp4+. I want to use the BTZS tubes to do this, but this precludes stand development. Any ideas, or should I just use a tank? I am going to use Caffenol-CM with the BTZS tubes, but I was just wondering if I could do the same with Caffenol-CL using a shorter time.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Henricus,

of course you can use Caffenol-C-L for regular agitated development or rotation, just play with the times.

BTW, I loke your photo blog very much. You got a flickr mail.

Best - Reinhold

Henricus said...

Fantastic, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge here. I just used the Caffenol-C-M on Tmax and it came out really good.