coffee and soda crystals

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by carmenloofah, May 18, 2008.

  1. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Has anyone tried to develop a film using coffee granules and soda crystals. I read about it and I would like to try it.
     
  2. Pentax_Junkie

    Pentax_Junkie Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think it works better as a paper developer, but you can use it to develop film. Was there something in particular you want to know?
     
  3. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Google Caffenol, Caffenol+C and Caffenol LC+C
    Original, faster with less staining and Low Contrast faster & less staining for document (microfilm) versions.

    Donald Qualls' recipes may be posted here in the recipe area. Digital Truth may have them also.

    There is also a guy in Costa Rica, Saul (costaricacoffeeart.com?) who has a different formulation and a coffee photo emulsion recipe. (You'll have to Google that).

    Most people say it only works with instant, but I think brewed may have some purpose in a not-yet-optimized recipe.

    Murray
     
  4. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've heard it suggested that the issue may be that instant coffees tend to be made of the cheaper "robusta" beans, which certainly have a higher caffeine content than the higher-quality "arabica" beans and might also have a higher caffeic acid content (which I believe is thought to be the main actual developing agent in coffee).

    I have a bag of green robusta beans in the cabinet with my Caffenol stuff, as it happens; they make staggeringly horrible coffee for drinking purposes, but one of these days I mean to roast some and brew a test batch for developing. They were practically free, I think US$1 for half a pound of green beans---my bean supplier has a monthly special where they sell sample quantities of "bad example" coffees.

    I'll post if I ever manage to do anything, but I've got a 1-month-old baby, so free time is in short supply lately.

    -NT
     
  5. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you use the same proportions as for film? I've never tried it with paper, but I'm curious.

    Thanks.

    -NT
     
  6. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    East Anglia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    It might br worthwhile to extract from ground coffee beans without heating. It runs in my mind that some manufacturers of instant coffee advertise that they do it that way. It's likely that the heat of brewing changes certain of the constituents.
    I have heard that Folgers Instant works best. I bought some once with intent of trying film developing with it but wound up drinking it. I could tolerate it as "Hot Breakfast Drink" but not coffee as I know it.
    OTH, it might be best to drink the coffe first and let your kidneys produce the p-aminophenol or whatever.
     
  8. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The coffee method works for some, but not others. I would recommend a test roll before you try a serious one!
     
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting thought. I've just googled a little bit, and it seems that the cold-brewed coffee is less acidic than the "regular" stuff (someone actually did a test and found a pH of 6.something, vs. about 5.5 for Starbucks brewed in-store), which makes me worry that it might have less of the caffeic acid specifically.

    If caffeic acid even *is* the developing agent here. Do you have an opinion on that?

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Have you recovered from the trauma?

    -NT
     
  10. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Some say there are catechins and phenols in coffee that can work too. It also acts as a staining developer.
    Some say it is even slower with paper than film.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,944
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think instant works better just because you can make it more concentrated without doing something like brewing a gallon of coffee and boiling it down. When I tried it, I used an old dusty jar of some instant coffee or other (maybe Nescafe, if I recall) that was in the back of a drawer in our office. Since I generally made espresso in the office, I figured no one would miss it.
     
  12. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    g'day all

    an interesting concept

    are there any archival issues?

    Ray
     
  13. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Flanders Fie
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The R.I.T. say's it works, see attachment.

    Philippe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2008
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    The mention of coffee and tea made me think. Just on a whim, I dumped a tablespoon of ground coffee and half a tablespoon of ascorbic acid in 100 ml of TEA and brewed it in the microwave. Added some to a little cold water (I should have filtered the grounds out) and it eventually blackened a film snip. I doubt it would be any more harmful to the body than coffee, tea and lemon, though that mixture might be rather harmful to the sensibilities. Lemon coffee might develop film with some added alkali.

    Next, maybe I'll throw some Tylenol, C and TEA in a pot and see what happens.
     
  16. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,369
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Regarding robusta and Arabica et al, are we on the cusp of photo developer snobs demanding higher prices for prints from negatives developed in Jamaica Blue Mountain instead of Hill Brothers? Will we find developers made with Ethiopian coffee work best at high altitudes? And what about developer made from those beans that pass through the digestive tract of monkeys -- will they produce an extra-strong stain? The mind reels....
     
  17. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Probably not. I would guess that reduced silver is reduced silver and it doesn't care what reduces it. I would say that archival status comes from proper fixing and washing.
     
  18. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Starbucks gives away bags of grounds to gardeners, just ask for them.
     
  19. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In my experience, using caffenol as a paper developer works almost identically to traditional/commercial developers. Exposure times are virtually the same, and developing times are comparable as well. I tend to mix my caffenol a little strong, so my bath times are typically under a minute. The results, of course can vary widely, from simple staining to surreal blotches and swirls.

    Forgive me for referencing (again... it does seem like tiresome self-promotion :rolleyes: ) my article on the subject:
    http://tomoverton.images.googlepages.com/caffenol

    Even better, read about it in David Vickers' online mag:
    http://creativeimagemaker.co.uk/
    It's a good site and deserves more traffic.

    Cheers,
     
  20. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    That'd most likely have everything brewed out of them, though. What use would that be?
     
  21. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You'd get negs that are much calmer, less stressed out and don't have to pee every 20 minutes! :smile: (sorry couldn't help it)
     
  22. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is interesting. Do you suppose there's any chance the TEA would improve the keeping qualities of the developing agents in the coffee, as it does for phenidone IIRC?

    PC-TEA is on my Things To Do In Copious Free Time list, so when I have the TEA on hand maybe I'll experiment with this combination too. I'd suggest calling it CTC (for Coffee/TEA/vitamin C, of course, but it also happens to be the name of a commercial processing method for tea (not TEA)).

    -NT
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,990
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    most world's supply of robusto coffee comes from vietnam these days.
    when i buy instant ( only for my developer ) i look for the cheepest stuff
    on the shelf! it works great :smile:
     
  24. Aurum

    Aurum Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Landrover Ce
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    By TEA I'm assuming you mean Triethanolamine rather than the extract of Camellia Sinensis favoured by the English.

    Though Come to think of it if I save up a pile of old teabags it might just work....... :rolleyes:
    Could our South African chums substitute Rooibos (Redbush) tea instead.

    I feel a bit of experimentation coming on:D
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Most things that will dissolve in either Propylene glycol or TEA will be better preserved from oxidation than in water because they don't ionize as they do in water. For that reason, TEA or glycol should only be used as a solvent for stock solutions that will be diluted with water for use. If the developer doesn't oxidize itelf in the presence of silvr halides, it won't reduce the halides to metallic silver. It may be that you will have to use the coffee extract as you would p-aminophenol, along with ascorbate or catechol or hydroquinone to get enough concentration in the stock. I'm not much inclined to try to perfect anything like it. A developer like Pyrocat PC or a simple P-C Carbonate, with the P being p-aminophenol from Tylenol, would be my idea of a better way to get a high quality developer I could still get if all the photo chemical suppliers were forced out of business, which, if it comes to pass, will more likely be caused by do-gooder laws forbidding sales to ordinary people than by lack of demand. Its also nice to know you can develop a roll with stuff you can get almost anywhere even after most people have gone to bed.

    If I do come up with something good in one of my whimsical moments, I will certainly spread the word. Don't let my preferences govern yours. The argument from authority is the weakest form of philosophical argument. Pretend you're from Missouri even if you're not.
     
  26. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm glad I asked, because to my astonishment I actually understood the answer! :smile:

    Living as I do on a septic system (and with a baby in the house), I'm attracted to the negligible toxicity of coffee developers. The p-aminophenol developers are probably septic-safe but not baby-safe, and I assume anything with "pyro" in the name is a deathtrap, right?

    As it happens, much of my family *is* from Missouri. Don't worry, I'm not looking for an argument from authority, but where other people know more than I do, I try to avoid reinventing the wheel. I have the chemistry competence of a developmentally disabled wombat, so I depend a lot on other people's brains in this area. :smile:

    -NT