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Coffee Developers

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  1. Toffle
    It's been pretty quiet here lately. I 'm assuming that is because we have all switched our computers off and are spending our time shooting and printing. The last month has been very productive for me in the darkroom and I thought I'd report a little on my progress as of late. As I mentioned earlier, I have done coffee developing with Ilford MGIV Warmtone to very good results. In terms of exposure and development, this paper responds virtually the same as the other papers in the Ilford RC line. The real surprise is with Ilford MGIV FB paper, which surpassed my expectations and produced some very bold prints. The developing times are very long, but the resulting prints have quite a wide range of tones. This leads me to believe that this paper might be suitable for more lith-like prints, using massive over-exposure under the enlarger and careful snatch-point developing in the coffe bath. I'll keep you posted on any progress.

  2. dances_w_clouds
    I was just wondering why my warm tone paper came out so unusual in the coffee developer ? I think it was the paper from Arista EDU. I have not tackled coffee dev since that incident but will be resuming my conquest in the future.
  3. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Tom;

    You are right; it has been quiet. I have been putting more coffee into me than any other use. We have had a couple of nice days, and there are some nice photographs of the crocuses coming up in the yard. Lots of work on camera equipment. Then there is also the effort to make some sense of this stuff. I have begun an inventory of all of the stuff, and it is making one impressive record file on the computer.

    Enjoy; Ralph Javins
  4. Toffle
    I've had some very good sessions in the darkroom... some nice coffee prints among the lot. Right now, I'm trying to get my hands on some selenium (harder to manage around here than it sounds) so I can test the archival properties of these prints. Coffee or not, they are still silver prints, so I can't think of any reason they won't last as long as traditionally developed prints.

    Cheers folks,
  5. Toffle
    Always the experimenter, (and the procrastinator ) I finally got around to trying to archivally toning some of my coffee prints. I'm not entirely sure what I expected to see, but I do notice that there is a perceptible "warming" of the tones... sort of a more chocolate than coffee... Not a huge amount, but I was also working at a rather extreme dilution. (Berg Selenium Toner at 1:30) As I was toning more for archival purposes than colour shift, I don't know if I should be breaking out the champagne yet.

    To be honest, I took the coward's way out for my first tries, and only toned some test strips that I have saved over the last couple of weeks. Until I find a dilution and time that suits me, I'll stick to these rather than risk my final prints. Seeing as I was just doing test strips, I was able to test a number of papers at the same time, and compare the effects. As expected, FB papers take substantially longer to tone. I also noticed that there was a nice "cleaning" effect on some Ilford WT RC Glossy paper...

    I think my next steps will be to bump up my concentration and try some full-sized prints.

    If anyone has any opinions or advice, I'd be happy to hear.

    When I have some prints that I feel are up to standard, I'll post them in the gallery.

  6. WolfTales
    Actually this gives me an excellent use for bad coffee - ie coffee blends I don't enjoy that have inevitably been gifted to me, or coffee that has gone stale in the cupboard, or coffee I react badly to.

    Also, what is washing soda and where would I find it....

  7. alan doyle
    alan doyle
    ok i am a total idiot but this seems to work.
    i used an unbranded high res 12 asa military film similar to kodak tech pan.
    2 teaspoons washing soda in a tiny little water. stir it good.
    2 shots of strong espresso,delta portuguese blend...yummy.
    650 ml water
    and a tiny splash of paper developer fomadon lqn
    mix it all together and get going.
    quite a lot of agitation
    12 mins at 24c
    fix with filter water tiny tiny bit of stop bath.
    and fix as normal.
    i was shocked when it worked especially using a toy plastic camera with 12asa film.
    not sure if the paper developer was a good or bad thing..
    anybody got any ideas.
  8. DutchShooter
    This topic really made me curious So I decided to try the simple recipe first:
    2 spoons of washing soda in 300ml water (25C)
    5 heaped spoons of the cheapest instant coffee
    waited a few minutes for air bubble removal.

    The I dropped a film of Rollei Retro 100 (APX-100) in it. I shot it at EI 25-100. Wash with tap water until clear water came out, regular fix&wash.

    EI100 was very thin, correct EI seems to be around 25 with this recipe, although the 50 shots were not too bad at all...

    Scanned at 3600dpi with my optic 7200, no adjustments.

    The positive image:

    The negative image:

    Off course the negative is a bit boring, so I decided to adjust it from RGB to B/W using the brown colour of the positive image as a tint:

    I must say that I was quite amazed in a positive sense

    I also have a question. I read somewhere (I think in this topic) that vitamin C can be used to increase speed. Sound good, but does anyone know whether it also increases base fog? And do you use regular pharmacy-vitamin C, without caring about the other ingredients in this "consumer product", as I believe it's not pure vitamin C what they sell?

    To close the post, here are a few more:


    (gossen sixtomat, the light meter which is easy enough in use to explain to a 3-yr old - unfortunately, he is too young to read the numbers on the scale, otherwise I would have a nice talking light meter)
  9. Toffle
    Those are pretty clean negs, considering the process. Caffenol can produce very uneven development at times. I don't know if Vitamin C would increase fog, but it is a regular part of my formula. I buy mine in the grocery store in the canning section. (now would be a good time to get some, as it's seasonal) The brand I use is called Fruit Fresh, but as long as it's ascorbic acid, you are good to go.

    Great work.
  10. jnanian
    hi dutchman ..
    i usually get my vit c from a healthfood store ..
    i haven't been able to find some in my regular grocery store.
    i've also gotten it at a pharmacy. i get the powdered-stuff with no additives ...
    tom, you are lucky

    since i wasn't wise enough to start this thread / group so it is like a thread in the main forum
    i can't figure out ( really too lazy ) to do the html tags to load an image from my webserver to appear here
    so i will post something showing a neg+positive of 1/2 frame 35mm film


    it was processed in my usual haphazard dumping of coffee/washing soda/vit c (fizzzes like mad!) then add about 100cc of
    straight ansco 130 ... i just realized tom, ansco 130 has bromide ( like you add ) but it also
    has glycin ... i had been doing stand development in dilute ansco 130 before i started to add it into my coffee
    so started to add it to give my film a little more of a punch. ...
  11. DutchShooter
    jnanian, can't see the pics, get an error if I click the link...

    I just thought of a vitamin store we have here in the shopping area...gonna have a look tomorrow for vit C powder.

    The posted shots are relatively clean, but some of them are full of specks (maybe bad dissolved instant coffee?): especially the last 4-5 frames (on the outside of the reel) are very bad. These also developed worse (much thinner). So next time, shaken not stirred

    Something else: I really like to look of the grain of the film: would this be comparable to how the results of a staining developer would like (never tried a staining dev)?
  12. DutchShooter
    Just found out that the washing soda I use is the decahydrate-version: more than 50% of its weight is water compared to the usual monohydrate. I thus did the same again with another roll of APX using double the amount of washing soda (no Vitamin C yet, all I could find yesterday in the shops were tablets consisting of a lot of other things (like citric acid) in addition to the ascorbic acid itself).

    I must say I was quite please with the result (APX-100 shot at EI 50 were perfect whereas in my previous test with half the washing soda I got good results with EI 25):
  13. jnanian
    nice dutchshooter !

    sorry my image did not show up.
    i just realized it is in my subscriber's gallery ..
    and if you are a member, not a subscriber it won't appear ..
  14. Toffle
    Just saying hi here... Like everyone else, I've been more busy than I'd like, and just realized that my last serious shots and prints were over a month ago. This week might be my opportunity to get back in the darkroom and create a stink.

  15. ags2mikon
    Hello all, I tried this coffee stuff with Kodak tech pan a few years ago and I must say it was the best tech pan I did. But, the great yellow father killed it too. If you go to the figital revolution site you will see some Fuji acros that looks very good. Happy shooting
  16. rustyoldbug
    Hi people.

    Coffee rookie here. I am gearing up to try some coffee developers, just need to pick up the washing soda from the store this afternoon. I was curious if anyone has tried any older ortho films with the caffenol? What sort of results did you get? I scavenged up a few 100' rolls of old still frozen Kodalith (6556 type III) and Kodak High Contrast Copy film (5069) and was looking for some good starting points for development times. Also wondering if it would help tame some of the contrast?...

    I am heading up to Yosemite with some friends and wanted to try using some of this film at around 8-12 ASA doing some long exposures, maybe throw the ND filters on and do some really long exposures. So I figure I should spool up a few more short rolls and spend some time working out my processes before I go up there and shoot a bunch of pictures I don't want to screw up. Any input is welcome.
  17. Removed Account2
  18. mepanom
    Hi everyone, I am new in the coffee business but I do have the feeling it is going to become my favorite developer! I posted an image in the group gallery, "cat", from the first roll I developed. Ilford FP4, shot @200asa, Caffenol-C, scanned negative, no photoshop.
  19. Removed Account2
    Hi Rusty_Tripod!
  20. mepanom
    Hey Erik, I just developed 3 Kodak Color 200 expired about a year ago in Caffenol-C and it worked great!!!!! Of course the negative is as always quite dense but it was the expected result. I used 13 mins, agitation for first minute and then 10" every minute and fixed normally. Standard receipe with double the vitamin (half a teaspoon) as found in caffenol.org.
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