October 6, 2012

Caffenol-C-F and Cardinal

After a few more results with Caffenol-C-F I have to state that compared with my other Caffenol receipes this is a weak developer giving thinner negatives. It has less Vit-C and the sulfite is also slowing down the development. So for boxspeed you might need about 20 minutes development time, Also less sulfite may be good for better film speed, maybe 30 or 40 g/l. You can play with the amount of sulfite without any other change, but you probably have to adjust the dev time. We see exactly the same behaviour as with regular fine grain developers, smaller grain -> less speed. But together with Rodinal/Parodinal we get a developer on steroids, still producing acceptable fine grain. And still we need more experiances with Caffenol-C-F and the Cardinal developer.

And no, there won't be a pope developer. The original latin "cardinalis" has nothing to do with katholizism, nor do I.

TMax 400 @ 800, Cardinal developer 12 minutes, 20 °C, regular agitation. The Tmax 400 was difficult in Caffenol-C, a lot of fog and rather large grain. Now we have reasonable fine grain, no fog and speeds up to 3200.

Best - Reinhold


imagesfrugales said...

Kai wrote a comment:

"Hallo Reinhold,

mit dem TMax 400 hatte ich bei Nennempfindlichkeit in Caffenol auch so meine Probleme - entweder war er katastrophal unterentwickelt oder aber er hatte so einen dicken Grauschleier, dass kaum noch etwas...."

Sorry Kai, this is a blog in english language. And stand development with Caffenol-C-H for 80 and 90 minutes doesn't sound like a good idea.

Cheers - Reinhold

Kai said...

Hello Reinhold,

sorry, i didn't know that all comments have to be in english, but can translate my post.

First of all: Great work, I began developing my own films a couple of years ago as a little hobby of mine. I since have never used any other developer than caffenol (with various recipes) and often check your blog for advice.

Lately I had a lot of problems developing TMax 400 in caffenol, so I’d like to share my experiences with those problems (and their solution):

Without the addition of KBr developing resulted in such heavy fog that the negatives were almost impossible to scan, whereas after developing with KBr at times from 10 up to 21 minutes the negatives were badly underexposed (even completely clear at times up to 15 minutes).

Finally, after a few tries with different developing times and methods, I found that with developing times of 23-25 Minutes and Caffenol-C-H (according to your recipe), I get good results, fine grain and no fog. I could also increase the time up to 30 minutes without any major difference in the results. 21,5 minutes again resulted in underdevelopment, though.

So by now, I chose 25 minutes as standard developing time, which is safe and also gives some tolerance towards over- or underdevelopment, so it’s no big deal if I happen to make a little mistake (such as, whoops, I totally forgot to start my stopwatch…).

I also tried stand development in caffenol-C-H for 80 minutes, but that resulted in large and unasthaetic grain.

I did not try stand development in caffenol-C-L, since in the meantime I already found out that 25 minutes in caffenol-C-H works just fine, and and I’m not the most patient person on earth :-)

If you are interested in examples, I uploaded some of them in my fotocommunity account:

Cheers from Kassel


imagesfrugales said...

Hello Kai,

there is something seriously wrong with your Caffenol developments. Fast films and for sure Tmax400 need a restrainer for good results. If you got almost clear negs with KBr there is something wrong. 25 minutes in Caffenol-C-H with fine grain and no fog is also doubtable. And 80 mins Caffenol-C-H(!) standdeveloped is really insane. You should check your soda for water content and your KBr for proper dosis, e.g. 1 g/l. You also don't say anything about the exposure index and dev temperature. I hope you used a scale. This all needs to be considered as with every regular developer.

Good luck - Reinhold

Kai said...

Hello Reinhold,

yes, at first I thought I’ve had done something wrong, too. But the underdevelopment at shorter times with KBr and the heavy fogging without KBr was reliably reproducible. I even threw my compounds away and bought fresh ones, and I also used three different rolls of TMax 400 film to exclude the possibility that the film itself might be faulty.

Of course I used a scale to weigh my ingredients, it’s the korona brand scale you can see in one of the examples. It weighs in steps of 1 gram, so it’s not the most precise scale of them all, but I’ve always used it ever since I make caffenol and had never any problems with my developer (until now I developed Agfa APX 100, Ilford HP5 and Kodak TriX 400 films, using the same times as given for rodinal 1+50, and all went well).

The recipe I used is:
250 mL tap water (water hardness here in Kassel is very low),
14 g of sodium carbonate (“Heitmann Reine Soda” bought at a local drugstore),
4 g of Vitamin-C (“Das gesunde Plus Vitamin C Pulver” dm store brand).
After dissolving those compounds and waiting for the bubbles to clear I added:
10 g of instant coffee (“lidl Bellarom” at first, then “Nescafé Gold”, and finally “Kena mild” from local aldi nord discounter. In my tests the coffee brand was of no influence to the result of the developing), and finally
7,5 mL of a KBr stock solution, which was ready-made from 33.4 g KBr in 1 L of distilled water. KBr was of “p.A.” purity and weighed on a precise chemical lab scale. I’ve had help from a friend of mine who worked as a phd student and had access to a chemical lab at the university at that time, so I can be sure that this stock solution is made correctly.

Sometimes the temperature of the developer was below 20 °C after dissolving all the ingredients. If so, I carefully warmed it up in my microwave. I’ve previously tested this procedure and know that it takes 2 seconds at full power for my microwave to heat the developer by 1 °C. So, if the developer temperature was 17 °C e.g., I gave it 6 seconds in the microwave and checked the temperature again to make sure it's 20 °C.

I poured the developer in the tank and started my stopwatch. Agitation was continuous for the first minute, then 3 times every 60 seconds. For the stand development I agitated one minute continuously, then let it stand, but the stand development in caffenol-C-H was just play instinct anyway.
When the time was up, I emptied the tank and watered the film with tap water 4-5 times by filling up the tank with tap water, agitating it 3 times and emptying it again until the water came out clear.
Then I fixed it with calbe A 300 fixer for 20 minutes, agitating it 3 times every minute (that stuff is one freaking slow fixer…), took the strip out of the tank and rinsed it under tap water. Carefully wiped it with a film wiper and hang it to dry. Usually, when developing a complete roll of film, I finally rinse it with distilled water that contains 1 mL/L of amaloco H10 watering agent, but for my test stripes I considered that not necessary.

So that’s it, any suggestions?

Cheers, Kai

Kai said...

EI was 400 ASA, lighting consisted in artificial light from light bulbs only, and I also double-checked the exposure with a second camera and an external gossen lunasix exposure meter as well to make sure that the internal exposure meter of the camara I used (a Minolta SRT with a 50/1.7 Rokkor lens at f/1.7) was working properly.



imagesfrugales said...

Kai, a blog like this is no the best place to discuss individual problems via comments. Also I can't see any fault of you process but I would never put a developer in a microwave oven. There IS something wrong, but I don't know what. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Bin ganz zufällig auf deinen Blog gestoßen. Und wie ich sehe kommst du auch aus Heidelberg:)

imagesfrugales said...

Anonymous said: "Bin ganz zufällig auf deinen Blog gestoßen. Und wie ich sehe kommst du auch aus Heidelberg:)"

And now Mr. Anonymous?

Cheers - Reinhold