Testing Caffenol

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cerber0s

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I got tirad of my developer expiring on me and thought I’d try caffenol. I’ve been experimenting for a few days and it seems to work well. I don’t see much difference between this and the T-Max I otherwise use. The film (also getting old) is Fomapan 400. I think I’ll keep using this instead of regular developers. It’s much cheaper too…

this was developed for 12.5 minutes at 21 degrees C. Agitated continuously du the first 30 seconds, then for 5 seconds every half minute.

rollei.jpg
 
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cerber0s

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Welcome on board, here you most of the recipes around. CL and CLCS are my preferred.

View attachment 322067

I don’t have an accurate enough scale, so I’ve bern usung volume measurements. Converting volume to weight, it seems like we use very different recipes.

I use 500ml water, 11g instant coffee, and 2g vitamin c. I haven’t been able to find a volume/weight conversion for washing soda, but I used 15ml.
 
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cerber0s

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I just tried the CL(CS) recipe and it turned out madly under developed. I either miscalculated the conversion from weight to volume, or my chemicals are different.

For the next attempt, would you double the washing soda, or half the vitamin C?
 
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fs999

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I just tried the CL(CS) recipe and it turned out madly under developed. I either miscalculated the conversion from weight to volume, or my chemicals are different.

For the next attempt, would you double the washing soda, or half the vitamin C?

It depends of the type of washing soda you have. You need anhydrous washing soda (powder), if you have decahydrated (crystals) you need to multiply the quantity by 2.7 or put it in the oven at 100°C (212°F) until all the water is evaporated.
Your vitamin C must be powder not tablets, they often put other things in that...

You can also have a look at the Caffenol Cookbook & Bible and there is also a Caffenol group on Facebook.
 

Alan9940

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Probably a good idea to keep in mind that sodium carbonate (washing soda) is hydroscopic. Therefore, even anhydrous powder might contain some water. If you're concerned, then heat in oven, as described above.
 

John Wiegerink

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I just tried the CL(CS) recipe and it turned out madly under developed. I either miscalculated the conversion from weight to volume, or my chemicals are different.

For the next attempt, would you double the washing soda, or half the vitamin C?

If you are going to be mixing your own developers, do yourself a favor and go to eBay and buy one of those cheap Chinese digital scales for weighing chemicals or whatever. They are dirt cheap, but work great.
 

Alan9940

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Not trying to hijack this thread, but I have a question for you caffenol users: Do you start with warm/hot water or use room temp water? I find that warming the water up, even to ~180F, makes it easier to get a good mix when I toss the coffee in. If you use warm/hot water, do you mix a batch the day before, then process the next day?

Thanks!
 

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I mix Caffenol C at 75F and it has been working out quite well. I have been using it regularly now to develop Fomapan 400, and just started working out a formula and some times for my TMX100. I am very impressed with this developer.

I mix fresh, wait for about 10 minutes, and then use it right then. I think having fresh developer that I can mix when I need it is one of the primary advantages.

I have a cheap EBay scale and I do use it but I also just mix up a batch using teaspoon measures. Once I have worked up my recipe with the scale and know it works consistently then I convert that to teaspoons. It works pretty well for me but I start with the scale.
 

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If you are going to be mixing your own developers, do yourself a favor and go to eBay and buy one of those cheap Chinese digital scales for weighing chemicals or whatever. They are dirt cheap, but work great.
Don't forget to buy good batteries, you can't use rechargeable batteries because of the voltage difference, the scale is 30% lower with them...
Not trying to hijack this thread, but I have a question for you caffenol users: Do you start with warm/hot water or use room temp water? I find that warming the water up, even to ~180F, makes it easier to get a good mix when I toss the coffee in. If you use warm/hot water, do you mix a batch the day before, then process the next day?

Thanks!
Yes, I use 1-2 cl of hot water from my kettle for washing soda and same for vitamin C in separate glasses. But I use 20°C (68°F) or even 15°C (59°F) for CLCS for instant coffee in a glass. When everything is dissolved I add refrigerated water to bring down the temperature and mix them together and add the rest of water.
I would not prepare in advance, because the vitamin C is rapidly degraded, especially in the weak recipes CL(CS) and CL-CN. With refrigerated water you can rapidly be ready to develop a film at the right temperature.

The CL recipe and CLCS for high speed films brings less apparent grain and more details in the shadows. When pushing or pulling you add or subtract 10 minutes per EV. I love XP2 and Tri-X @100 ISO !


Plaubel Makina 67 • Nikkor 1:2.8 80mm
Ilford XP2 Super 400 @100 ISO developed in Caffenol CL 60min stand @ 20°C
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 120 at 2400dpi with Silverfast AI Studio 9


Suzuki Optical Co. Press Van • Asahi Kogaku Takumar 1:3.5 F=75mm
Kodak Tri-X @100 ISO developed in Caffenol CLCS (Cold Start) stand 60min @15°-20°C
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 120 at 2400dpi with Silverfast AI Studio 9
 
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cerber0s

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Don't forget to buy good batteries, you can't use rechargeable batteries because of the voltage difference, the scale is 30% lower with them...

Yes, I use 1-2 cl of hot water from my kettle for washing soda and same for vitamin C in separate glasses. But I use 20°C (68°F) or even 15°C (59°F) for CLCS for instant coffee in a glass. When everything is dissolved I add refrigerated water to bring down the temperature and mix them together and add the rest of water.
I would not prepare in advance, because the vitamin C is rapidly degraded, especially in the weak recipes CL(CS) and CL-CN. With refrigerated water you can rapidly be ready to develop a film at the right temperature.

The CL recipe and CLCS for high speed films brings less apparent grain and more details in the shadows. When pushing or pulling you add or subtract 10 minutes per EV. I love XP2 and Tri-X @100 ISO !


Plaubel Makina 67 • Nikkor 1:2.8 80mm
Ilford XP2 Super 400 @100 ISO developed in Caffenol CL 60min stand @ 20°C
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 120 at 2400dpi with Silverfast AI Studio 9


Suzuki Optical Co. Press Van • Asahi Kogaku Takumar 1:3.5 F=75mm
Kodak Tri-X @100 ISO developed in Caffenol CLCS (Cold Start) stand 60min @15°-20°C
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 120 at 2400dpi with Silverfast AI Studio 9

Those look amazing!
 
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cerber0s

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Probably a good idea to keep in mind that sodium carbonate (washing soda) is hydroscopic. Therefore, even anhydrous powder might contain some water. If you're concerned, then heat in oven, as described above.

Thanks! I’m not too concerned about that. I get reasonable good results now and just need to dial in the developing times a bit.

I developed an Adox CMS 20 ii the other day. Not in Caffenol but in Adotech IV, all according to the datasheet. When I got the negatives out I thought they looked way over develeoped, but they turned out pretty good when I digitized them. This makes me think that I can push the times even more with the caffenol to get some more density.

This sort of leads me to another question (yes I’m hijacking my own thread), would you develop differently if you’te goung to digitize the negatives than if you’re printing on paper? I know it sounds like a strange question, but there sjould be some difference in dynamic range beteeen paper and whatever you use for digitizing. As long as the negatives are within reason of course.
 

fs999

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I developed an Adox CMS 20 ii the other day. Not in Caffenol but in Adotech IV, all according to the datasheet. When I got the negatives out I thought they looked way over develeoped, but they turned out pretty good when I digitized them. This makes me think that I can push the times even more with the caffenol to get some more density.
Caffenol CL-CN works really well with Adox CMS 20 II. I still have 3 films in 120 :smile:

Pentax 645N • Pentax FA 645 75mm f:2.8 ED
Adox CMS 20 ISO film in home made Caffenol CLCN 15min @ 20°C
Scanned with Epson Perfection V500 at 2400dpi and Betterscanning MF Film Holder


This sort of leads me to another question (yes I’m hijacking my own thread), would you develop differently if you’te goung to digitize the negatives than if you’re printing on paper? I know it sounds like a strange question, but there sjould be some difference in dynamic range beteeen paper and whatever you use for digitizing. As long as the negatives are within reason of course.
When digitizing over exposed or over developed film are not a problem, when enlarging with masks you can also get good results with a softer grade.
 

Alan9940

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I know it sounds like a strange question, but there sjould be some difference in dynamic range beteeen paper and whatever you use for digitizing. As long as the negatives are within reason of course.

I guess there could be some dynamic range consideration between printing in the darkroom vs scanning, but I've never worried about it. I print the same negative in the darkroom and on the desktop.
 

Alan9940

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@js999 - Thanks for the great info! You even answered another question I was going to ask regarding change in development time for lower EV exposure.

I'm going to try a cold start with HP5 for my next test. I haven't used caffenol for a long time and it's great fun getting back into it. And, the darkroom smells so good, too! :wink:
 
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cerber0s

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Caffenol CL-CN works really well with Adox CMS 20

That is great to know! I still have three rolls, but I’m saving those for summer, or if we get some snow…

I have another test roll of Fomapan waiting to be developed tonight. I plan to increse the time to see if I can get some more density in the negatives. The plan is to go from 12 minutes with 5 seconds agitation every 30 seconds, to 15 minutes with 10 seconds agitation every 2 minutes.
 

Alan9940

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Don't forget to buy good batteries, you can't use rechargeable batteries because of the voltage difference, the scale is 30% lower with them...

Yes, I use 1-2 cl of hot water from my kettle for washing soda and same for vitamin C in separate glasses. But I use 20°C (68°F) or even 15°C (59°F) for CLCS for instant coffee in a glass. When everything is dissolved I add refrigerated water to bring down the temperature and mix them together and add the rest of water.
I would not prepare in advance, because the vitamin C is rapidly degraded, especially in the weak recipes CL(CS) and CL-CN. With refrigerated water you can rapidly be ready to develop a film at the right temperature.

The CL recipe and CLCS for high speed films brings less apparent grain and more details in the shadows. When pushing or pulling you add or subtract 10 minutes per EV. I love XP2 and Tri-X @100 ISO !

Welcome on board, here you most of the recipes around. CL and CLCS are my preferred.

View attachment 322067

You provided me with such good tips in this thread that I was hoping to start a conversation with you asking some more Caffenol processing related questions. But when I hover over your handle "fs999" I don't see a "start conversation" button like everybody else has. Is this a preference you have set? I certainly don't want to bother you, if you don't want to receive PMs.
 

MattKing

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You provided me with such good tips in this thread that I was hoping to start a conversation with you asking some more Caffenol processing related questions. But when I hover over your handle "fs999" I don't see a "start conversation" button like everybody else has. Is this a preference you have set? I certainly don't want to bother you, if you don't want to receive PMs.

FWIW, I see that Conversation link when I click on fs999's "handle".
 

FotoD

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I mix Caffenol C at 75F and it has been working out quite well. I have been using it regularly now to develop Fomapan 400, and just started working out a formula and some times for my TMX100. I am very impressed with this developer.

Do you need any KBr or iodized salt to get good results with Fomapan 400?
Thanks!
 

MattKing

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I don't understand why, but it appears the @fs999 Conversation link isn't available to Members. I see it as a moderator. I don't know whether subscribers can access it.
 
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