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  1. #1

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    What's your experience with Caffenol?

    I've attached two images. The one of the room is Caffenol-C @ 20min. The monkey is Caffenol @ 30min.

    The Caffenol-C negatives came out looking dark. I couldnt put my up to them and see through them like tinted glass. However, when put up to extreme light I could see tons of highlights. They scanned like crap though. There wasn't enough range and I think the scanner had to blast too much light.

    The Caffenol negatives came out with being able to clearly see through them. The highlights werent black enough so I know I must simply adjust my development time.


    I'm wondering why the Caffenol-C behaves so much differently. The negs dont seem to be underdevloped, but they don't seem to overdeveloped. Yet I can't see the images at all with my naked eye like I can with regular negs.

    *Extra Info:
    Caffenol Negs - see images with eye, see through, tinted
    Caffenol C Negs - only see images with backlight, not tinted, not much range
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0007.jpg   IMG_0010.jpg  

  2. #2

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    The development looks pretty uneven on both of them, which makes it that much harder to judge what's going on. 20 minutes is a long time for Caffenol C, assuming we're using the same recipe (mine is 8 rounded tsp coffee, 5 tsp washing soda, 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid, to make 16 ounces)---I use 12 as a starting point.

    Is there general fog on either roll? I occasionally get a pretty foggy roll out of Caffenol C, which makes it harder to judge the negatives by eye, but it usually seems to be OK for printing/scanning through.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  3. #3

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    I'm using:
    5tsp of coffee
    2tsp of soda
    1/4tsp of vitamin c

    There's no fog on the C negs. Only on the Caffenol negs but that's expected.

    I read one guy got the same result from C and said he fixed it by fixing the negs longer.

  4. #4

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    It's confusing how the negs are so black but under intense light the images can be seen. As you can see, my scanner has a hard time scanning them.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

  5. #5

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    Clearly there is something wrong with both (with a good formula and development you should be able to get much better results). I agree that the 20min for the Caffenol-C is long based on most of the formulas out there. However you will need to specify the volume of water in your formula in order to make any comparisons to what others are using. A couple other things to check - that's washing soda, not baking soda, right? And for the vitamin C, is it pure vitamin C powder/crystals or something else? It makes a difference.

  6. #6

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    I don't understand why anyone would bother with this poor developer. We have much better homebrew developers available. Such as PC-TEA. Total waste.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwrules View Post
    I don't understand why anyone would bother with this poor developer. We have much better homebrew developers available. Such as PC-TEA. Total waste.
    Your opinion. I'm a college student. I'd rather buy tons of coffee and washing soda and vitamin c and develop from that than order developers or ingredients for home brew developers online right now. It's a hassle ordering to a dorm building.

    Different strokes

  8. #8

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    Yes I'm using washing soda. I'm using 8oz of water. The Vitamin C is ascorbic acid and rose hips.

    I fix for 4min, agitation for 1st min then 10sec for each. Is it possible that I'm not fixing long enough to get rid of the silver that wasn't developed and clear the necessary parts of the film?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwrules View Post
    I don't understand why anyone would bother with this poor developer. We have much better homebrew developers available. Such as PC-TEA. Total waste.
    It is amusing to me that some still make such claims given the number of people who are now getting very good or even excellent results. Check out for example the Flickr Caffenol group or Reinhold's blog for samples, as well as a ton of discussion on how to tweak the formulas. I think the mis-perception that caffenol can only yield poor results is in part an unfortunate side effect of its relative popularity and the fact that it can be formulated entirely from household ingredients. The latter means more potential variablity in those ingredients and a lot more trial-and-error experimentation going on. The wider audience also means that there is bound to be a lot more discussion of the fundamentals of formula and developing technique than one finds for other home brews that are more well-established chemically, or which tend to be practiced mainly by the more seasoned experts among us. As such, it is in no way a detraction from caffenol's potential and certaninly no reason to jump on it as a "poor developer," every time someone experiences a development failure or asks basic questions about it. It is to be expected.

    In my opinion, results speak for themselves and there are enough technically excellent images being produced via the various caffenol concoctions, that it cannot be considered a "total waste" by any stretch. I have no doubt that the OP will start realizing good results too once the the kinks are worked out in his/her formula and development regime refined.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwrules View Post
    I don't understand why anyone would bother with this poor developer. We have much better homebrew developers available. Such as PC-TEA. Total waste.
    LOL your attitude about caffenol is the same attitude digital photographers
    have to say about using film " digital cameras and digital methods
    are so much better, using film, paper and chemicals is a total waste "

    i have used caffenol c for 5 years and have found it to be one of best
    and most forgiving developers i have ever used ( i have been processing film since 1980 ...)
    im empty, good luck

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