August 4, 2010

perfect development with Caffenol-C-L

2 posts belowyou can see the effects of different agitation. From extreme uneven development with stand development to a dramatic improvement with standard agitation. 

When adding the restrainer potassium bromide (KBr), we see perfect even develpment up to the reel covered borders - even with minimal agitation as shown here. With intension I made no proper black adjustment here to show the improvement in the clearest possible way. 

So here's my recommendation:

If you are satisfied with "regular" Caffenol-C like C-C-M, be happy. If you experiance uneven development, agitate more (you will have to adjust developing time). If still not satisfied use Caffenol-C-L. 

The benefit of C-C-L besides the 100% perfect even development are reduced grain and almost fog free negatives.

Caffenol-C-L will be my standard in the future.  My 100 g box of potassium bromide will last for a couple of films ;-) Caffenol-C-M will still be my standard as an easy to use and easy to get developer with enhanced film speed..

 So if you can get KBr for a resonable price in your country, buy it! You won't be disappointed.

Cheers - Reinhold


Unknown said...


Thanks for VERY interesting work. One email to a pharmacy here in Iceland and I got KBr - quite easy.

I still plan to start with having C-C-M and Acros as my standard combination, but have a couple of 400 ISO films already exposed that I want to use KBr for.


imagesfrugales said...

Thank you August,

I will probably use only C-C-L in the future, and heve to get more data with other films.

As said in the Caffenol-C-H post, the Acros doesn't suffer when KBr is present, but I found that sometimes a bit more than 1 g/l is neccessary. So simply add 2 g/l also in CCM for a great high power developer.

Cheers - Reinhold

Urban Hafner said...

Thanks for experimenting Reinhold. So how does Caffenol-C-L compare to Caffenol-C-M? Does it have the same characteristics? Like producing great shadow details and pushing without any change to the development time? It just sounds too good that you can (almost) do stand-development with Caffenol now.

imagesfrugales said...

Hallo Urban,

it's funny, we are almost neighbors, but never met and talk english here. We should meet for a cup of coffee! See you at the "hobby"-board.

It's a bit too early for making too detailed statements about film speed. I guess there is some speed loss, but I guess boxspeed will be very possible also for wet prints. Shadow detail seems to be very good, experiance will tell us more. So we have to collect more data for diffent films.

Bis dann - Reinhold

Urban Hafner said...

We definitely should Reinhold!

FiatluX said...

You´re a regular goldmine Reinhold! I´m off to get some KBr.. :)

imagesfrugales said...

There shall be light! :-D THX - Fiatlux.

Anonymous said...

Hi I was also into caffenol and did some experiments on my own based on the recipes i've found on the web. Some images were clear and some are not and im still on the process on experimenting on different film brands too,check out my link to see some of my works.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Anonymous,

very "experimental", not my cup of tea - aaah - coffee. That's definately the opposite of what I regards as "perfect even development".

Sorry - Reinhold

jayvee said...

Hi I have a question, in order to make good images like yours(c-41/colored film) do I need to make the developer exactly 100F or should I go for more?

imagesfrugales said...

JV, I have not much experiance with C41-film, very ugly grain and thin negs with a small tonal range. If you like this or want it as a special effect, go for it.

You can use a temperature range between 20 °C and 24 °C, of course you must adjust the developing time for the used temperature.

Best regards - Reinhold

jayvee said...

I have used several c41 films with caffenol and ended up with a very thin images and dark almost non visible ones. I was thinking maybe because of the fixer im using which is an Ilford Rapid fixer (1-4 liter) 500ml and just dump the whole thing on the developer tank (during fixing). I never knew anything about ratio can you help me on this one? thanks.

imagesfrugales said...

As I said before I have only very few and bad experiances with C-41-film. I don't follow this path further. Sorry, I can't help.

pietjs© said...

Wow, have recently started to use caffenol C M for the first time. Nearly fell of my chair at seeing the results.

Tonight I first used C L and again I was simply amazed.

Great work!

imagesfrugales said...

:-) thank you, Piet

Anonymous said...

restrainer potassium bromide

was ist das auf deutsch, und wo bekommt man das?
kann leider nicht immer in english folgen.
gibt es rezept für apx 100 // rollei retro 100?

mein gruss uwe

imagesfrugales said...

Hallo Uwe, Antworten auf deine Fragen:


APX 100 funktioniert mit allen hier in diesem Blog vorgestellten Rezepten.