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  1. #1
    mehguy's Avatar
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    caffenol vs commercial developer

    Hi. Im new to the site. But ive been enjoying film photography for about 2 years now. I want to try developing black and white film (mainly hp5 plus 35mm) myself since stores around my area charge 17 dollars just to get it developed and printed. No really, I had just payed 23 dollars to get colour film developed.

    Im 14. I really dont have a lot of cash to spend so i wanna know if caffenol is a worth while developer compared to the real thing.
    Last edited by mehguy; 04-26-2015 at 10:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    There's a book available on the subject that includes everything you probably need to know if it will meet your needs and desires. Google "caffenol cookbook".

  3. #3

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    Caffenol is a real developer, it's just not a commercial developer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    Caffenol is a real developer, it's just not a commercial developer.
    Alright. Then should I say caffenol vs commercial developer?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    Caffenol is a real developer, it's just not a commercial developer.
    Yep.

    To the OP. A commercial developer and fix can be very inexpensive. Most of what you are paying for at the lab is time and experience.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Yep.

    To the OP. A commercial developer and fix can be very inexpensive. Most of what you are paying for at the lab is time and experience.
    Well my local camera shop sells 3litres of kodak d76 (powder) for 10 dollars and 500ml of the fixer for 10. Is that worth it compared to caffenol?

  7. #7

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    What you get from commercial developer is guaranteed consistency of product, so any weird or inconsistent results you get when developing are almost always going to be down to your own process and not the developer. So it takes one factor out of the equation when troubleshooting.

    You have to buy fixer anyway really, unless you're going to make your own as well.

    I say all this, as someone who started out with caffenol and sometimes still uses it. When I arrived at APUG as a new member and asked about using caffenol I was told "beginners shouldn't make their own developers" - advice which I blithely ignored, and I never had a problem with caffenol that wasn't my fault.

    However, if you want to experiment with making caffenol, there's no reason why you shouldn't - but I'm simply suggesting you bear in mind what I say in my first paragraph above.

  8. #8

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    I was just about to post about proven consistency of both product and instructions with commercial products. A good thing to have when starting out. I'm with pdeeh entirely.

  9. #9
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    Where are you located? If there are members near you, I'm sure there's one who'd be happy to set you up with the stuff you need to get started.

  10. #10

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    There are a lot of variables to consider in photography. For someone just starting out this can be rather overwhelming. Using as commercial developer eliminates some of these and makes things simpler. Once you become confident in your method then you can explore other things.

    I would suggest Kodak D-76 (Ilford ID-11) since it is cheap and readily available just about anywhere. Data for all the commonly used films is also available so these is no guesswork.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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