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


vl42 said...

indeed a great shot!

actually i am developping my summerholidays-pictures. altogether 10 rolls need to be worked out. therefore i was thinking of reusing the soup as well.

i wonder, if a loss in Contrast might be fixed by enhancing temperature or increasing processing time. maybe only a small part of the solution has to be replaced in some kind of a fresh-up. Did you try any of these?

imagesfrugales said...

Yes I tried it and more or less it works with both time and/or temp. Here I increased the agitation to compensate, usually the RPX400 is developed full stand by me. So I don't recommend it. At least the low-pH Caffenol-C-L seems to be more critical. Why sacrifice one of the biggest advantages, to have always a fresh and 100% reliable developer with ever same perfectly reproducable results? Any of the rolls I shoot is important enough for me to stay on the safe side. So should probably be your holiday pictures. But it's up to you to decide - as always ;-) Depending on where you live, 3 bucks for developing 10 films is peanuts, isn't it?

gerald said...

Wow! I never thought to reuse Caffenol because of all the warnings about using it quickly after mixing. I'll have to try this with some batch processing some time!

Ezzie said...

I´ve reused Caffenol several times. To begin with I added a teaspoon of coffee, or a minute or so between each. But have dispensed with that. I develop up to three 120 films in the same soup. The main difference to Reinhold´s approach is that I do it straight away, I do not try to store the soup until the next day.

imagesfrugales said...

Thank you Eirik/Ezzie for the additional info.

@ all: here you can read more about how Eirik works with Caffenol-C: http://on-your-kitchen-worktop.blogspot.com/

vl42 said...

i live right around the corner - seen from Heidelberg.

speaking of prices: I calculate 16 films out of a 3 eur pack 200g Instantcoffee. add a little soda and Vit C and dont forget the KBr (I bought 1Kg for 10 eur, the Idea about using iodized salt came too late for me) and you get to 4 to 5 eur for 16 rolls. that means 35ct per Roll. that really sounds affordable.

but as a child of the 80ies i am used to always keep an eye on the environment. why throw away what i could reuse?

tadaemdg said...

This comment may come a bit late, but in the interest of possible interest, I'll post it anyway.

I developed one 120 TMax 100 film 6 weeks ago in caffenol C M, stored it in a glass bottle after development, in the garage, and used it again a week later to develop some contact prints, which developed without any problems. The blacks were deep, the whites were white, not even hinting to the fact that the paper had been floating in concentrated instant coffee. I put the caffenol back in the same bottle. Two days ago, after having printed quite some more contact sheets in still that same caffenol, I decided to develop another roll of TMax, still in the same brew. I left the film develop about 7 minutes longer than usual (~25 min total), and it even came out slightly overdeveloped. The caffenol seems to refuse to expire…

I'm very tempted to let it sit in the garage another few weeks, and try developing another film, see what the result are.

Unknown said...

I mixed a batch of CC-M last summer. I processed about 10 rolls of 135 film, several 4x5 sheets, a few 2x3 sheets and probably 6 or 8 120 rolls.

That was last summer, early summer, at that.

Just a few days ago, I processed a 2x3 sheet of Arista EDU 100, and made no adjustments to time, temp or agitation and got perfect results.

I think the anxiety about never reusing or storing this stuff is mindless paranoia.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Mike,

sorry that I can`t confirm your results and don`t recommend doing this at all. And no, it's not mindless paranoia. It's mindless paranoia to try to save some cents. Try the teaspoon method. It will work for you. But not for me.

You should really listen to Ezzie, if you don't trust me. He's the most reputable Caffenol-user I know and he knows what he's talking about.