Different Slant on Caffinol

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Aurum, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    There has been a press release in the UK, that describes the reduction of gold salts, to a colloid by the use of Darjeeling tea.Allegedly to produce materials for chemotherapy trials Very British, even though the guys doing the work were at the university of Missouri (!)
    Big Scientific paper here.

    This of course got me thinking on a cold, wet Wednesday morning in the UK.
    Developing film in the blend of instant coffee and washing soda is now well documented, but has anyone ever tried replacing cheap instant coffee with a brewup of tea and washing soda instead?
    If this is a first I might get shooting some cheap rolls of film this weekend and giving it a blast
     
  2. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Not that this should be the final word on the subject, but I have read that that while tea has enough active ingredients for print toning (especially cyanotypes and the like) it is not concentrated enough for development purposes. That being said, I was also told that coffee based formulae were of no possible use in print development, yet I find this works quite well with most papers. Give it a try, don't be afraid to fiddle with the formula. You just might prove that it works.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Rosemary tea is said to work well.

    I tried caffenol with paper last week (I was impatient and wanted to try something). It did work but was very slow and I don't think it achieved maximum black.

    I tried Ilford DD-X (a film developer) which is all I had at the time. I found it quicker if I added a bit of washing soda to it Totally un-scientific but it worked.

    I think it's a good idea to experiment with paper as if it doesn't work, you have only wasted the paper, not the 'once in a lifetime' latent image which may be on your film.


    Steve.
     
  4. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Part of me is thinking if Rodinal can be used in stand development as low as 200:1, absolute concentration may not be an issue. The only doubt I have is that with caffinol I belive the working life of the blend is around 30 minutes, so a circa 2 hour dev time may be an issue.

    Just need to rummage for some out of date B&W or if I feel really reckless I have a pile of poundland Kodak Color plus that could be sacrificed (Might be a step a bit far)
     
  5. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I have seldom done printing sessions to the point of exhausting a batch of caffenol, and that is certainly much longer than 30 min. I have even re-bottled some "fresh" caffenol and reused it the next day. The results from this experiment were less than stellar, but a few minutes in selenium perked it up quite a bit.

    Cheers,
     
  6. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

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    I have tried instant ice tea and washing soda mix for film. I think it took 8 heaping teaspoons or more tea with 4 teaspoons of washing soda to get any image at all on a very dark stained base. Fun to try, but not real useful.