Caffenol - no visibility here

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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:48 am

Caffenol - no visibility here

Post by roscoetuff »

I've been mixing up Caffenol - mostly CHrs variety - for several months now. Curious why it was left out of the 2nd edition of the cookbook, and actually surprised to see zero mention here. I've switched to it for now as an eco friendly way to develop film given a move to seaside where water quality and what we pour down the drain matters.

Prior to that, I've used plenty of other developers: Bergger most happily, but lots of XTOL, ID-11, Perceptol and even Pyrocat types. Nice thing about Caffenol CHrs is that it has only 3 chems - 4 if I'm adding Potassium Bromide - and for the most part, I keep these pre-mixed in concentrated solutions until ready to use. I use it one shot, and FWIW, there's a lot of pretty decent work out there using Caffenol. Yes, there's some terrible stuff too that I'd be afraid to show my mother and claim as my own... and probably gives the stuff a bad name. But otherwise, you CAN do a decent job of it.

When I first started years ago, folks suggested Caffenol was voodoo. It's not. And if you buy Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous), and Potassium Bromide from Photo Formulary, it's pretty doggone pure. Coffee is the variable, but I'm using Dollar Tree which is $1 a jar. Not sure I'm saving $'s (probably not), but it isn't expensive, and it isn't an environmental threat either, or a handling issue.

Results are pretty decent with 35mm. So far, my 4X5 has been Foma which is new-to-me and I'm not finding that as satisfactory as FP4.
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:18 pm

Re: Caffenol - no visibility here

Post by Relistan »

I've wondered the same. I've used it successfully also. Not my favorite developer but many people have obtained really excellent results.
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