Caffenol Introduction.

After testing the Diana F+’s little modification I thought about developing the sacrificial roll of T-Max in Caffenol to see how it goes.

The roll has been lying around for about a year in a bag especially marked for holding loose rolls. Apparently T-Max is an emulsion that usually requires the dedicated developer which I don’t use so if the Caffenol doesn’t work it’s not a big deal.

My general Caffenol research and recipe came from The Caffenol-Cookbook PDF. I used Caffenol-C-H for this roll.

After reading most of the PDF I popped to the local chemists to get the ingredients:
Pure Ascorbic Acid powder.
Sodium Carbonate (Anhydrous)
and Potassium Bromide.
But as we live in the age of modern medicines the ingredients I wanted weren’t available. I reluctantly turned to the internet and searched Amazon for a supplier; low and behold all the ingredients were there. I purchased them all at once and one even arrived the very next day. After everything arrived and I borrowed some fix from Julia Rushton, and mixed up the 500ml’s I needed. (Halving the required quantity of each ingredient as I wasn’t mixing a litre.)20130731-201956.jpg

At first I wasn’t sure it would work, I didn’t have a great deal of confidence in mixing the powders for the first time and the coffee took a while to fully dissolve and it looked like a pint of stout once it had dissolved. The stop I used is from a 30 year old bottle: stop doesn’t go off, from what I’ve read, but I had my doubts. The fix was the only thing I knew would work.20130731-202011.jpg I used pint glasses since I don’t own any graduates and it’s safe to say pouring in the liquids was messy.

For development I used my own agitation scheme, which differed only marginally from the agitation scheme outlined in the instructions. I used my agitation scheme because it works fine for most films and I now know that it works for Caffenol too. The negatives came out good, nice and contrasty but not over cooked. A couple negatives are a bit thin but you’re never perfectly exposed with a Diana. I could do to have a light box to inspect them properly but I’m really happy with my first try.20130731-202021.jpg

Now that I know it works I might try it on a roll of Tri-X I found in a cupboard without any notes on it. It’s probably nothing important, so I might as well see what’s on it. Plus playing is fun.

Whilst I was waiting for the chems to arrive in the post I started reading the Pyro chapter of The Darkroom Cookbook, now I’m even more excited about delving into the world of staining developers. The most consistent developer according The Cookbook is Pyrocat-HD, provided I can get the chems and a darkroom to use this will be the first Pyro dev I will use with sheet film.


4 responses to “Caffenol Introduction.

    • I can’t see it, it’s in your cart not the viewing page: but am I right in assuming your talking about the KBr? I’ve only ever mixed up ready to use powders, never mixed from scratch, I’m mixing from scratch from now on :).

      • I use Digital Truth all the time, I bought their dev timer app for when I tray dev my sheets, it’s a life saver. There’s a possibility of scanning the negs once I return from my trip, but I need to archive them first or I’ll loose them.

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