Caffenol + rotary processing (JOBO)?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Denis P., Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Does anyone use Caffenol with rotary processing - e.g. in a JOBO processor?

    I'd like to try Caffenol, and everything I've read about Caffenol praises it as either semi-stand or stand developer - i.e. usually as little agitation as possible.
    Haven't found much reference to rotary processing...

    Since I do all of my processing using a JOBO rotary processor, I'm thinking that trying Caffenol in this setting perhaps might not be a good idea...

    Any special formulas or deviations that would adjust to constant agitation?

    TIA,

    Denis
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi denis

    its been a long time but i used to only caffenol in a unicolor drum
    the film came out fine ... i don't remember my development time though
    probably between 10-15 minutes, and this was with store bought instant, not the sumatra-stuff i use now ...

    good luck !
    john
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Hi Denis,
    I just did an 8x10 in a unicolor drum. Caffenol (4 tsp instant coffee, two of washing soda and one short tsp of Vit. C powder in about 8oz. water.) -with a tiny splash of old dektol (thanks, John). I shot the film (old txp 320) at box speed and let the drum rotate for about 20 minutes... got a negative that looks to the naked eye like it might be tough to print in a reasonable time but which actually printed very quickly, with good tone. i don't have it scanned or I'd post it.

    The drum did get a bit smelly, but I rinsed it out well and let it air. No harm done. Caffenol stinks. No two ways around it. I just ground up the beans jnanian roasted up (in his electric frying pan!) when I went to see him last week, and I'm cold-brewing them for more developer. I soak the grinds in cold water for 24 hours and then filter well. With good coffee, I do the same but for 12 hours. It makes a very nice coffee concentrate that I use for iced coffee.
     
  4. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Whitey, thanks for the exhaustive reply.

    I think I might try the usual (manual) developing first, and then see what happens.

    I got the ingredients, and I'll try my first negative most likely over the next weekend.

    If the stench is so bad, I might as well stick with Rodinal, while I still have some :smile:

    Regards,

    Denis
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2013
  5. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    If you think Caffenol stinks, you should try the red wine variation. (same amounts of soda, vitamin C and old brown if you use it, but with the coffee/water portion replaced by that bottle of wine your aunt gave you. :blink: ) Stinky, and somewhat slower, but quite effective. I recently printed about six paper negatives that were intended for a Caffenol show and they look almost identical.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  6. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Eh, just one more thing: when you say it "looked tough to print", do you mean it was too dense (overdeveloped), or too thin (underdeveloped)? 20 minutes' rotation sound it might be too much, from what I managed to gather regarding developing times with Caffenol... So, I presume the negative looked a bit too dense, right?
     
  7. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Yes, very dense and dark. I remember the first roll I ever did in coffee having the same look... I think "bullet-proof" is the term jnanian uses for it. The 20 minute time seems right for this film at this time with this batch- no promises intended about yours. Try a test batch of less important negatives first.
     
  8. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Thaks for the confirmation, I'm looking forward to testing this... I have a roll or two of relatively unimportant stuff, so I might try that for the initial test :smile:

    Thanks,

    Denis
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    denis

    careful ... it may become an addiction :smile:
    (i know it is with me ! )
    - john
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    It's not true... I can quit any time I want. :whistling:

    (I will suggest that if you are nervous about ruining a perfectly good roll of film, to use Caffenol as a paper developer instead. You can always re-print, but not always re-shoot)
     
  11. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Well, here are the results...

    I'm underwhelmed.

    First, this concoction is really foul smelling - and I've been doing darkroom work for almost 30 years :smile:

    Second, it looks like I either did not have proper ingredients (while mixing in vitamin C after soda, there was no foaming!), or my dev. time was too short.

    In the Caffenol cookbook I found times of 13-14 minutes (for manual processing), so I used 12 minutes at 20 deg. C, since for rotary processing I usually reduce dev. times by 15%.

    I souped one 40 ASA and one 100 ASA negative in the same drum: 40 ASA is underdeveloped, but salvageable, and 100 ASA (EFKE), is almost totally clear. Waaaay underdeveloped. So, Whitey's time of about 20 minutes might be closer to the mark for me and my 100 ASA negs.

    But, after thoroughly washing my tanks with detergent, they still kinda smell of that foul instant coffee :sad: Phew!

    Well, my curiosity is satisfied, and I'll definitely stick to Rodinal and Xtol :smile:
     
  12. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Denis, pour the caffenol in your trays and do some printing! :smile:
     
  13. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    Here are the recipes I use and aways get great results. I also use pharmaceutical grade 100% vit c as well as chemical grade chemicals for the rest of the ingredients. Not stuff purchased at the grocery store. Only buy my instant coffee from grocery.
     

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  14. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Thanks for the handy chart. I'm going to print this for my darkroom wall.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  15. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Thanks - that's the chart I used, from the "Caffenol Cookbook" - however, I went for the "RS" variant, with somewhat reduced soda content...
    But, my chemicals (vitamin C) might be off: like I said, there was no foaming when I poured vitamin C powder into dissolved soda, so...

    However, since I already have both Rodinal and Xtol (plus some other tried and tested developers), I don't really see the point: besides, the smell definitely puts me off. Doesn't smell like a darkroom at all :blink:
     
  16. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I often read comments that Caffenol smells awful, but I use it a lot and have never thought it particularly obnoxious (and I have a good sense of smell) - certainly no more than rapid fixer
    Wonder if it's similar to the "asparagus effect" where only certain people can smell the taint in urine?
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sounds like you needed more soda, more vit c and more time developing ...
    i hope you saved your old developer, you can just add the stuff into it and
    use it again, and then as tom suggested, make some prints with it :wink:

    good luck !

    john
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    So, Denis. What part of my post didn't get through, the part about 20 minutes in the developer or the part about how bad the stuff smells? :smile:

    In truth, I seldom use caffenol because of the smell. It reminds me of one of my first summer jobs, as a short order cook on Cape Cod. The grease trap on the grill smelled like that after a heavy week of hamburgers. The effectiveness of the developer is not, IMHO, in question. It's worth however, after taking into account the smell, the long timing, the stained equipment and, oh ya, the smell, is a big question. I think I will continue to use it occasionally, but it's not my go-to developer, that's for sure. Sorry, John.
     
  19. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Well, I got what I deserved for not sticking with your info :smile:

    I went with the Caffenol Cookbook, changed a recipe a bit (I used RS variant), their times are shorter (and you did say that your negs turned out rather dense).... I subtracted about 15% for the rotary processing, so... I tried "going by the book" :confused:

    But, I should have listened to you and should have used about 17-18 minutes, and should have used your formula, too.

    Anyway, I didn't expect too much, therefore I used unimportant film... I just wanted to see what's the fuss about - I did see some nice results online.
    Like I said, I'm unimpressed (mostly because of the unpleasant smell, but also the stain...). I had to scrub and wash my tank and reels like a maniac - and I think they still have a faint smell of that stuff. Ilford Rapid fixer smells like roses compared to that. (Besides, I actually LIKE the smell of fixer....)

    In the end, it's too much trouble with not that stellar results (as compared to tried and tested stuff, like Rodinal, Xtol or HC).
    If I have to mix my own chemicals from powder, I'd rather mix 5 liters of Xtol - which might be a bit more expensive, but in the end is actually MUCH easier to obtain than, for example, potassium bromide :sad:
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    denis

    it sounds like you gave it a try .. i lot of people don't even bother.
    now, what to do with your leftover ingredients ..

    drink some coffee, do some laundry, and ward off that cold :wink:

    have fuN !
    john
     
  21. Pioneer

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    Hope it didn't put you off coffee all together Denis. :laugh:
     
  22. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I agree with John, it's good at least that you did try it. I have grown so accustomed to the Caffenol smell that I hardly notice it. Do not consider it a failure; not doing it at all would be the failure.
    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  23. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Heh, not bloody likely :wink:
    Never touch the stuff (instant coffee, I mean): I only (and quite regularly) partake of the brew as it should be done: "Turkish" style (or Greek, for any Greeks reading this)...
    Grind the coffee beans (freshly roasted, if possible), and put the ground coffee into boining water - let it boil twice (ot three times, as they do it in the Middle East), and drink it hot, no sugar, and black as the night :smile:
    - not very healthy, I admit,but then most things that give us pleasure in life aren't :wink: