November 5, 2011
Cheers - Reinhold
October 19, 2011
September 18, 2011
microfilm or high res low speed film
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.
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
August 25, 2011
it's so easy
some new interesting facts from the still growing worldwide community using coffee as a main agent for b/w-film development. I was never really satisfied with TriX in Caffenol, but when I saw the fine results of Thomas I had to think over my estimations. Secondly his system for developing at boxspeed and a 2 stop push with Caffenol-C-L is simply brilliant. You mustn't tweak your developer depending on the used film brand or desired speed, simply adjust the dev time. He did it with great results and many different films at different speeds and temperatures and his method is incredibly easy. Let's read what he wrote:
i did develop my b&w films for quite some time using highly diluted rodinal and stand development and was very happy with the results and especially also with the uncomplicated way of doing it: one developer for normal and push development, no tweaking for film type or room temperature. the only problem i got was uneven development, especially in medium format. as i was not able to solve this problem i looked around and at that time - about a year ago - i read about your stand- and semi-stand development experiences with caffenol and gave it a try. i wanted to try this strange idea of developing films anyway. i just followed your caffenol c-l recipe and it worked perfectly for me (prewash for 5min, agitating 30sec at the beginning and then 3 times at 2, 4, 10 and 40 minutes and dumping the develper at 70min). the results were amazing and had much of what i liked about the rodinal stand development. at some point i also wanted to be able to use the films not pushed at box-speed and tried to reduce the development time to get there. after some experiments i ended up with 5min prewash, 30sec agitation at the beginning and then 3 times at 1, 5 and 15 minutes and dumping the developer at 30min.
these two strategies for developing film at box speed or with a two stop push i'm using since and it always worked. and that at temperatures from 20-25 degrees celsius and films varying from acros (100+400), agfa apx 100 (100+400), kodak tri-x (400+1600), tmx (100+400), tmy (400+1600), ilford fp4+ (100+400) and some others (the numbers in brackets are the filmspeed i used the films at). the results were always very good. to see some images developed that way, you may have a look at my flickr stream
vielen dank und liebe gruesse
Thank you very much, Thomas, for these easy to follow instructions. I have no doubt a similar procedure would work f.e. with Caffenol-C-M, maybe 7 or 8 minutes for boxspeed and 15 minutes for a push +2 development and regular agitation.
Cheers - Reinhold
July 12, 2011
Rollei Retro 80s again
the Rollei Retro 80s, that in fact is an aerial film from Agfa-Gevaert/Belgium, I used it once before and the film shows extraordinary sharpness and finest grain together with an unusual tonal range. The 80s is extended sensitized for the near IR-range, not as much as the Efke, but still shows the typical IR effect. I supposed that optimal results would be achieved if an EI of 50 - 100 will be used at about 40 - 50 minutes stand development and it seems to be the sweet spot for this film. Gerald already has shown beautiful infrared pictures with this film on flickr, and Yannick uses a slightly different setup with a IR-filter that probably is not as strong as Geralds, and also does fine regular, non-IR photography with this film. It's a matter of taste, but I prefer the decent wood effect over the one from the Efke. The latter may look a bit overdone, the 80s has a more "natural" look imho.
Also non-IR photography works beautiful with the 80s, due to it's sensitization it's predestined for landscapes, but also portraiture works very nice and eases some skin irritations due to the low blue sensitivity. So this film behaves quite contrary to an orthopanchromatic film. A great film for many purposes and with a unique look. But now let's read and see what Yannick did with
this film. Thank you very much for your contribution, Yannick. Cheers - Reinhold
I shot with the IR filter during a sunny day, at f/16 and 1 sec exposure (actually near 2s because the shutter is a bit tired). It means that the film was exposed for 3 iso. On the same roll, I exposed the RR80S without filter at 80 iso. The sniper was shot at f/8 and 1/5 sec, camera on a table. I stand developed the film as Gerald did, in Caffenol-C-L, at 20°c for 50 minutes.
Washing soda"Phoenix" (not waterfree!) : 20 g
KBr : 0,6 g
Instant coffee Granarom (Lidl market) : 24 g
Kind regards from Troyes/France.
Note: Yannick uses a hydrated washing soda. He determined the water content and recalculated the needed amount. So it's a standard Caffenol-C-L recipe with 1 g/l pot. bromide. If you want to use iodized salt I suggest starting with 10 g/l (Reinhold)
July 11, 2011
the salt in the soup
good news, using regular, non-iodized salt works as a restrainer and can replace iodized salt or potassium bromide.
For the test I made a demanding setup, Rollei RPX 400 @ 800 stand developed @ 24 °C in Caffenol-C-L urgently needs a restrainer, without you will have huge problems concerning massive fog and uneven, cloudy, streaky development. Last afternoon I shot the 35mm film and cut it into 3 peaces. One was developed with 20 g/l regular non-iodized table salt aka sodium cloride. For the second piece 12 g/l iodized salt (0.0025 % iodate) was added and the third piece got the addition of the well working 1.2 g/l potassium bromide aka KBr.
Regular table salt without iodine (20 g/l) works good enough to prevent any streaks or uneven clouds in the image, that you will get with stand development if no restrainer is used. Yellowish stain and quite a lot base fog can be noticed. Again, base fog is not as evil as often told as long as the develoment is even. I guess that 30 or even 40 g/l will be fine for fast films.
Iodized salt (12 g/l), although much less is used, works slightly better with a bit less base fog, but still even enough developed that the image is not disturbed, only some unevennes at the borders where the spiral covered the film during development. And the stain is also less. Iodine does a good job. I would now adjust the salt to 15- 20 g/l for fast films, slow films need less salt.
You can see that KBr (1.2 g/l) gives the least fog and no stain, perfectly even developed, no surprise at all.
I couldn't notice any significant differences in grain or effective film speed. EI 800 was fine.
Here's an example with the regular table salt, no post processing exept a bit unsharp maskening and scaling. The neg was really quite dark due to the high base fog level. Do you notice any drawbacks? I can't. And increasing the amount of salt will probably reduce the fog. But most important, the development is even, no streaks, no clouds, simply fine.
It was a rainy day, so an orange filter was used. Probably I overdeveloped a little bit. It was really war in my lab and temp increased up to 25 or 26 °C during development. There's a break point in time and temp, if you exceed it, the RPX 400 shows immediately increased fog and grain. So that was probably a little bit too much. But all three chunks were developed simultanously under the same conditions.
These are my very first experiances. Go and try regular table salt and let me know how it works for you. It will work with other Caffenol variants to. Sharing your experiances via The new Caffenol Home on flickr is much appreciated.
Cheers - Reinhold
important update: my flickr buddy Rob showed that salt (sodium cloride) causes dichroic fog. Since iodized salt is widely available it's recommended to use it because you need much less salt and dichroic fog is less. Adjusting the amounts for your needs is quite easy. Potassium bromide still is the best restrainer but I love the idea of using commonly available agents.
June 28, 2011
reuse or not?
sometimes I reused a caffenol batch. Up to 2 weeks of storage I could not find any major drawbacks, maybe a slight loss of contrast. Here I reused an only 2 days old one, one 24 exp. 35mm film was developed with it. The negs were underdeveloped remarkable, the border printing was faint and overall density quite low. So I had to brighten up the images and work on the curves quite a lot. Fortunately there was still enough substance to do that. It whould have been a shame if this picture would have been ruined. So I stay on the safe side in the future and will discard the developer after a single use like I did in the beginning. But there's no need to hurry, the developer will remain usable at least some hours without degradation.
Rollei RPX400 @ 800, Caffenol-C-L with 1.5 g/l pot. bomide. 90 minutes 22 - 23 °C stand development. Presoak 5 minutes, constant agitation in the first minute, 3 gentle inversions at 2, 10 and 40 minutes.
Cheers - Reinhold
June 19, 2011
Vit-C worldwide seller
since Vit-C is difficult or not available, or only very expensive or in poor quality in some parts of the word, I thought it might be useful to post here a wordwide supplier of affordable 100 % pure ascorbic acid (Vit-C). It's a family owned business in the 4th generation, located in Germany and usually supplies bakeries and grain mills with bigger quantities. Smaller quantities he sells via an ebay.co.uk shop worldwide. Mr. Breinbauer's answer on my email inquiry was very fast and friendly. Prices and worldwide shipping are very attractive, no additional taxes.
You should store the Vit-C in the dark and in airtight boxes or bottles.
Added to the link list. I'm not related in any way to the owner of the shop, I just post the link for your conveniance.
June 16, 2011
Infrared: Efke IR820
things "develop" more and more. Today I got a message from Gerald (Nashville, USA) about successful developments of the Efke IR820 in Caffenol-C-L. To be honest, I've seen some really ugly pictures (from a technical point of view) with this film souped in Caffenol. Gerald demonstrates impressively what's possible. WOW! Also you might want to have a look at his magnificent flickr stream:
Gerald @ flickr
Here's what he wrote:
"These images were taken with a Yashica Mat 124G loaded with medium format Efke IR 820 film. Exposures were in bright sun at f-16 for 1 second on a tripod, using a Hoya R72 deep red (infrared) filter, making the effective exposure index about iso 3.
The film was processed in a daylight tank using Reinhold's Caffenol-C-L recipe without modification for a 70-minute stand development at 20 degrees celsius after a 5-minute presoak in distilled water. Initial agitation was for 45 seconds (about 12 inversions) and then I did not touch it for the rest of the time. I used a plain water stop bath and Ilford Hypam to fix.
My source of sodium carbonate (washing soda) was Spa-Kem pH Plus (100% sodium carbonate) from Kem-Tek (http://www.kem-tek.com). I used crystalline ascorbic acid and Folger's Original Instant Coffee. The potassium bromide came from Photographer's Formulary.
Thank you very much, Gerald, for the detailed explanation, the supply sources and of course the beautiful pictures. I'm really proud I can post this report here.
BTW, I'm not related in any way to any of the merchands, producers etc. mentioned here on my blog. This blog is and always will be free of advertisements as long as the hoster supports that. I don't sell my soul ;-)
Best - Reinhold
June 15, 2011
Ilford Delta 400 @ 800 - Caffenol-C-L
"Hello my name is Kyle LeNoir. I have been doing film photography for 6 years. I currently work freelance as an event digital photographer and film photography tutor in chicago (USA). Stand processing is my preferred way to process film since I darkroom and alternative print or scan depending on the print size. So far I have done 10-12 rolls with C-C-L. I found the results comparable or better to standing in rodinal 1:100 or GSD-10. I am thinking of changing my times to 60min to ease printing in wet darkroom.
Caffenol C-C-L @70 degrees Fahrenheit
nescafe clasico instant coffee
jacquard soda ash (anhydrous)
Vitamin Shoppe C-1000 Powder (Ultra-fine ascorbic powder)
photoformulary potassium bromide ( I used 1.5g per liter)
Ingredients weighted with black box jewelry scale
Camera was an agfa isolette II with apotar lens and metered with a sekonic studio deluxe (incident)
Epson Perfection V750 (no post processing except for cropping,setting white and black points,resizing)
slow agitation for first min (15 tilts) left still for 60min.
Ilford Delta 400@800 was a pleasant surprise. I have never been a fan of the look of this films tonality. I decided to give it another chance while on my local film store visit. The results were better in C-C-L than any other developer I used with this film so far. I got the tones I wanted from the film finally. The roll gave an good amount of overall detail and printed in the darkroom very well. I feel pretty confident that it should do pretty well at @1600."
Thank you very much, Kyle. Indeed looks like EI 1600 is very possible.
Cheers - Reinhold
May 31, 2011
iodized kitchen salt can replace bromide
May 2, 2011
some pictures - Caffenol-C-H
April 12, 2011
next new film - Rollei RPX 100
March 31, 2011
new film - Rollei RPX 400
Anyway, here's the original post, it was a great film, r.i.p.
March 10, 2011
sidestep - hot soup
March 8, 2011
available light - HP5+ @ 1600
PS: fixed the mistake, of course I used Caffenol-C-L, not -C-H for the semi stand development.
March 6, 2011
large format on Fomapan 100
February 28, 2011
First of all the basic darkroom techniques are exactly the same as with any other developer. If you are a newbie to film development, look for instructions you find a lot of in the web or very often in public libraries. It doesn't matter if the book is 50 years old. If you can develop a film with proper results in Rodinal f.e., you also can with Caffenol. And vice versa :-)
What are the special items to notice for a proper Caffenol development? It's the kind of "agents" you use and the kind of measuring.
Different coffee brands aren't so different as some people might think. Even expensive coffees work, I got reports f.e. for Nescafe Gold, but why wasting money? There may be very few exeptions, but if any other step of your procedure is OK you will get something and may eventually have adjust the amount of coffee slightly. By the cheapest "strong" or "classic" instant coffee available. Don't use deacidified coffees that are frequently branded "mild" and don't use decaffeinated coffee at all. Use pure instant coffee, no mixes with surrogates etc.
Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) doesn't make any problems if you get pure one. Crushed pills or something like that may be another thing, try to get pure ascorbic acid. Here in Germany we are lucky to get it in any pharmacy at a very low price.
Soda definately can make probs if you don't know exactly(!) which kind of soda you have in hands. Please read this post first: http://caffenol.blogspot.com/2010/03/soda-myth-and-truth_07.html
I asked in some discussion groups for veryfied data concerning the quality of soda they use. I didn't get too much feedback and I must believe that many users don't know what they have. But that's important to know, and demanding to know for developers containing a low amount of soda like Caffenol-C-L.
So dry your washing soda in the oven and meter the weight before and after. The loss of weight is the water that was in the soda before drying. All my recipes and most others are based upon anhydrous, waterfree soda. When you know the water content, it's easy to recalculate the amount of soda.
Verified data i have got for different brands of soda:
"Holsten reine calzinierte Soda" (and most other brands in Germany) is anhydrous/waterfree, containing neglectible 2 % of water. So far I didn't hear from a hydrated soda sold in Germany.
"Arm & Hammer washing soda" (US) is also anhydrous/waterfree with 2 % of water.
Senzora Soda (Netherlands, Ukraine) 20 % water. Monohydrate as stated by the manufacturers lab.
"Soude cristeaux" (France, Belgium) contains 50 % water. You need the doubled amont measured in gramms! It seems to be neither a monohydrate nor a decahydrate but something in between.
These are only examples showing that it's important that you determine the water content if not absolutely 100 % sure. There are different kinds of hydrated soda with different water content. Store the soda in an airtight box, otherwise it will attract water from the air. BTW, anhydrous, waterfree soda is a very fine white powder.
If you can't get washing soda (sodium carbonate, Na2CO3) you can use baking soda (NaHCO3, also known as Natron) but you must heat it in the oven or a pan and not only water but also CO2 gas will evaporate in quite large quantities. No warrenty for your safety if you inhale a lot of CO2 gas!!! You will end up with waterfree washing soda. How long it takes? No clue. Heat above 120 °C until it doesn't loose any more weight as you do when drying a hydrated washing soda.
You can use hydrated washing soda once you know how much water it contains. You can't use baking without transforming to washing soda, it will fail.
Don't use any other washing additives like bleech.
Dilute always in given order, first the soda, then Vit-C (let bubbles clear), coffee at last, let stand for some minutes and stir gently.
Last and winning hands down as a source for trouble is measuring. I highly recommend using a scale/balance. Digital kitchen scales are fine for measuring 100 gramms or so, but may have a big deviation at low weights like f.e. 10 gramms. My digital kitchen scale is unusable below 50 gramms but precise above 100 gramms. I bought a cheap lab scale for about 12 Eur with a resolution of 0.01 gramms. If you have no scale precise enough you may use premixes with larger quantities that are easier to measure. Ezzie explains how to do this on his fine, fine blog:
If you stick to volumetric measuring it's important to determine the density of the agents you have in hands Scientific density data are absolutely useless. Believe me. You must do it yourself. That's why recipes based on volume are so unreliable. They are only suitable for the agents you use. Different brands of coffee, Vit-C and Soda can vary extremely regarding the volume, but not the weight. 1 gramm is 1 gramm. Always. But also pay attention to the water content of your washing soda. Once you determined the densities for your agents you may use your now individually calibrated teaspoons.
So as an extract : Know which kind of soda you use. Use a scale/balance. Or at least calibrate your teaspoons for each agent. A scale is better ;-)
Happy developings - Reinhold
February 16, 2011
January 31, 2011
sidestep: direct positive paper
I received a message from Anton, who developed the Harman direct positive paper in Caffenol. Read the french report here: http://www.galerie-photo.com/positif-direct-papier.html
translate.google is very funny, but you will understand the sense.
Best - Reinhold
January 19, 2011
400ml water with 8 scoops of Soda Wash
2 tsp of Powdered Vitamin C
Kodak Stop bath for 1 minute
Kodak Fixer for 5 minutes
10 minute water wash.
January 12, 2011
Lucky SHD 100 - Caffenol-C-M
my name's Frank and I started developing film about 1.5 months ago. I have developed various drugstore C41 films with B/W-chemistry to be familiar with the development (it was just cheap) and to test my analogue cameras. Then I developed some APX100 and TMax100 using Rodinal.
Being a lover of drinking coffee I immediately was enthusiastic about developing film with coffee as I heard about it. Searching the web I found Reinhold's blog and was grateful for the recipes in grams and liters. Looking for cheap films to experiment with I got notice of the Lucky SHD 100. The film has no halation protection and is said to produce what sometimes is called an "aura" effect.
The images shown were taken with an Olympus 35 RC rangefinder at EI 100 and developed in Caffenol-C-M for 15 minutes at 20 °C. The first minute I agitated constantly, thereafter 3 times per minute. Fixing was 4 minutes in Tetenal Superfix (1+3).
Subjectively, I would say that the film can be compared to Caffenol-C-M developed APX100. A strong aura effect is not noticable, but I had exposed the critical subjects sparingly.
I also shot at EI 200 up to EI 800. EI 800 was unusable. EI 400 still seems to be working well. Since I have not documented the settings and I'm not so sure I don't want to make an "official" statement.
Thank you very much, Frank. Again the pictures show all the good properties of Caffenol. Excellent contrast handling, awesome shadow details, sharpness and very nice grain. And the good quality of the film is quite a surprise for me. Read more (german language) about Franks very first experiances with film development and more: http://www.frank-eberle.de/ Well done, Frank
January 3, 2011
Thank you very much for your awesome research and my highest appreciation, Eirik.
Best regards - Reinhold