August 15, 2012

New recipes

Hi guys, something new after a long time. I had lots of fun with Caffenol-C developers in the past and wanted to try something new for me.

Caffenol-C and it's many variants are not real fine grain developers, although Caffenol-C-L is better than most others in this regard. Many commercial fine grain developers use sodium sulfite as a silver solvent agent, making grain smaller in high concentrations. One of the most famous for sure is D-76, containing 100 g/l sulfite in the stock solution. Lower amounts are used as a preservative. For another purpose it is used in waterbeds, it's sold here sometimes as "bubble ex". And that's how I got it from a waterbed supplier, 400 g for 4,60 Euro, shipping included. Not a big venture ;-)

Another thing was adding Rodinal to a Caffenol-C, using a third developing agent for synergistic work and hopefully better film speed. It already worked, but grain was pretty big. Could sulfite be the solution? And could homebrewed Parodinal from Paracetamol painkiller pills substitute the Rodinal? Will we get the desired film speed? Will we get reasonable fine grain? The target is at least EI 1600 from an ISO 400 film, more is better, and grain should be much smaller than with a Delta 3200 for example. That's a great film, speed and shadow details are splendid in many developers, but very expensive and grain is pretty huge for 35 mm film.

So here's the new Caffenol-C-F recipe, F means fine grain:

washing soda waterfree 17 g/l
Vit-C 4 g/l
sodium sulfite aka "bubble ex" 50 g/l
instant coffee 40 g/l
pot. bromide 1 g/l

Together with Rodinal 20 ml/l = 1:50 it worked perfect, so I brewed Parodinal according to Donald Qualls recipe:

250 ml water
30 tablets @ 500 mg Acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Tylenol)
sodium sulfite, anhydrous, 50 g
sodium hydroxide 20 g

Again the sulfite was the "bubble ex" and the hydroxide was "drain free" or "Rohrfrei" in german. If there should be small aluminium chips in there, remove them with a plier.

Use protective gloves and glasses. Never pour water over the hydroxide, give small amounts of hydroxide into the water at the time. Cool the mug in cool water while diluting the hydroxide. Be careful! Stay away if any doubts!!!

I let stand the fresh Parodinal for 3 days, then I use it. See how it worked.

The Cardinal developer - Caffenol-C-F with Parodinal 20 ml/l 

This is a completely homebrewed developer.

The first one is HP5+ as 35 mm film at EI 3200 in Caffenol-C-F with Parodinal 20 ml/l developer, I call it the Cardinal developer.

So the grain is razor sharp and small, scanned with a high resolving Minolta Scan Dual II. Some brightening was necessary in postprocessing, but nothing too dramatic.

Now I tried the TMax 400, 35 mm film, in Cardinal developer. The film was a delicate candidate in Caffenol so far, lots of fog and quite ugly grain at high speed. So again the TMax400 was exposed at EI 3200, developed 15 minutes @ 22 °C in Cardinal, agitation first minute constantly, then 3x every 2 minutes.

Shot in bright sunlight with a Minolta Dynax (Maxxum) 700si with battery grip shutter speed of 1/4000 and a stopped down tele lens, the neg is really contrasty and reminds of a transparency. How I love the look! The 35 mm film was scanned with the reliable Canoscan 8800F, needing some unsharp masking in postprocessing but with better tones and I love the result. The Tmax400 shows almost no fog, very, very small grain for EI 3200 and - of course - a bit compressed tones. For better shadow detail and easier silver prints you should restrict the exposure to EI 1600 and are rewarded with splendid tones, very fine grain and exquisite sharpness at EI 1600 - I'm glowing! Let's hope that Kodak will survive.

Finally I have to give credits - huge credits:

- Dr. Scott A. Williams and his 1995 technical photography class at the R.I.T. - the Caffenol pioneers!
- Donald Qualls and his omnipresence in the universe of homebrewed developers
- Steve Anchell for his great "darkroom cookbook"
- all the guys at "The new Caffenol home" group at flickr for their constant help, encouragement and inspiration
- and the many mostly unnamed friends in the www like Rob, Mike "the englishman in France", Larry, Henrique, Dirk, another Dirk, Gerald, Jon, Khoa, Adrian, Volker, Micha, Berthold ..... just to name a very few by their first names, they will know.......

Thank you very much!

Best - Reinhold


Libby said...

Nice to see you back - I have missed your posts. I have started up film shooting again and stuff is now being sent out, but I have all of the basic Caffenol components - now just need to get some tanks. Thanks for all of your fine hard work.

John said...

Reinhold, that Cardinal shot is outstanding! Thanks for the info and encouragement to try something different - I must have a go with this one and see if Ican get anywhere near your results (doubtful)

Anonymous said...

Hi Reinhold,

really nice to see you back!

I have also recently started development in Caffenol! Until now I have only developed 2 films: One Fomapan 100 (120 format) and one APX 100 (135 format), both in standard Caffenol-C-M. What shall I say ... it works!

I must really say that development in Caffenol is both easy and exciting and great, great fun!

Thank you for your work and the work of the others!

One question about the new C-C-F:

What would be a reasonable starting point for dev time/temp/agitation for "pure" Caffenol-C-F (i. e. without Parodinal/Rodinal)? Due to the low quantities of both soda and vit C I would assume a dev time similar to CCL, i. e. (semi) stand dev ... am I right? Not sure about the influence of the sodium sulfite in the "pure" CCF though ...



imagesfrugales said...

Thanks a lot, guys.

Pete, for plain Caffenol-C-F I recommend again 15 minutes developing time at 20 °C, but with the film exposed at boxspeed, no push! The negs are probably not so contrasty as we are used to, but should be easy to enlarge on silver paper. This developer has a pH of about 9.5 and that makes a big difference to the 9.0 of C-C-L. A related post will come within a few days. Stay tuned.

Best - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks, Reinhold, will stay tuned :-) .

In the meantime, I'll do some personal Caffenol experiments :-) .



raavi said...

In Cardinal developer, will adding Rodinal 1+50 to CCF gives the same result as Parodinal. Just curious...

Regards from Bremen.

Paitch said...

Just to be clear - I make up a litre of CCF (soda, L-Ascorbic, Sulfite, Coffee) and then add 20ml of Rodinal/PaRodinal syrup?

Or add 20ml Rodinal/PaRodinal already diluted at 1:50 ?

imagesfrugales said...

Yes, make 980 ml Caffenol and add 20 ml Rodinal/Parodinal. And adjusted for other quantities of course. And I use Caffenol always as a one-shot developer, so is Parodinal of course.

Yes,Parodinal - following Donald Qualls recipe - is almost the same as Rodinal, maybe with the tendency to be a tiny little bit stronger than the original.

paitch said...

hi Reinhold . I tried ccf without rodinal on a roll of hp5 and it turned out really badly.
details and images posted in the discussions section of kid .new caffenol. group on Flickr . I'd be very interested to hear your comments there.

Gerald said...

These look great, Reinhold! I'll have to try this brew once I take a break from the wet plate collodion I've been doing.

Unknown said...

Reinhold, I'm very glad and thankful you resurfaced here again. And with a "Cardinal" developer! Don't go overboard with your plaudit! I'm looking forward to the "Pope" developer. Until then I'll try the given recipe. Just ordered bubble-ex and Rohrfrei! (chuckle) and will try as soon as possible.
Thanks for all the effort.

Apple Freak said...

Hello my friend! I've tried your Caffenol-C-M with Neopan 100SS
The result is very interesting. But since this is the first time I've ever develop films, I got some questions to ask:
What is the proper time the film has to be in the developer?
Because it seems like there's a huge difference in the amount of time when the devs and film is in different combination. Like here:

And I also want to ask, say the film is an ISO 100 film, and I set the camera at ISO 200, and I want to push up one stop to get the high contrast effect, how do I do this? Usually I would tell my film shop I want to push up one stop, but how do I do this myself?

Thank you very much!

imagesfrugales said...

Hi, I never used Neopan 100ss, iirc it was the predecessor of Acros?

Anyway, try the usual 15 minutes, 20 °C and regular agitation in C-C-M for Iso 200, if this is a very long expired film (more than 5 years without cooling) use ISO 100. Pushing or pulling is only a matter of dev time or developer strength. Play with time and exposure. It's also a matter of taste. The dev tank won't explode :-D

Best - Reinhold

chrisgavin said...

Hello Reinhold,
I've run Caffenol C-M on my 8mm movie film (APX100) a couple of times now. I'm getting curious about options to reduce the grin size. (The grain is huge relative to these tiny 8mm film frames ;))
Your Caffenol C-F recipe lookks interesting... But, I'm a bit confused, is the Rodinol an 'optional extra' (It's not listed in the C-F recipe), What might I expect if I choose to include Rodinol or not please? I need to make 1 ltr of developer. IF I do add Rodinol, do you mean mix it with water 1:50 to make 20ml of Rodinol solution, then just add this to my 980ml of Caffenol C-F. Surely I could just make 1 litre of caffenol and add the Rodinol (to make 1020ml altogether) do I really need to reduce all the caffenol ingredients to get that mixture down to 980ml? Many thanks again, Chris

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Chris,

all my recipes are specified for 1 liter working solution as it is the international standard.

So above it's specified exactly: Rodinal 20 ml/l 20 milliliter per liter.

Caffenol-C-F + Rodinal makes Cardinal.

BTW, sense of the naming:
Ca(ffenol)R(o)dinal ;-)

raavi said...

May we have development times for HP5+ @400, @800 and @1600?

Is bubble-ex is pure Sodium Sulfite? Just curious, since it is very cheap I may use it for other formulas such as D-23 or in HCA.


imagesfrugales said...

Hi raavi, my bubble ex is called bubble free and is pure sodium sulfite and was also very cheap. E.g. I also use it for a homemade xtol-like dev.

HP5+: don't know why the label search for "HP5+" doesn't work, try these:

raavi said...

Thank you very much indeed.

May we have an extended table of receipt with Cardinal, for printing?

HP5+ seems to sing with this developer. Again thank you for putting all together.

Peter said...

Sorry, stupid question - but it's better to ask, I guess - there is no unit for the sodium hydroxide, but it should be 20 grams, right?

imagesfrugales said...

20 g of course - fixed. Thank you for the hint, Peter.