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Coffee Developers

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  1. Guillaume Zuili
    Hi John !
    When there is coffee... I'm always there !
    Would love to get hint about these dev.
    Take care, G.
  2. dances_w_clouds
    I LOOOVE coffee.
  3. Toffle
    I'm in.
    I've been using Caffenol as a paper developer for quite some time now. (I haven't used it for film because I've always been afraid of ruining a film.) I've got an article on the process here:


    I've posted an image in the gallery of a Caffenol print, The Old Pier at Point Pelee. It is fairly typical of my coffee-based prints.

  4. Mattjcuk

    I'm hopefully going to start my own developing in the next month or so and am interested in trying this method out.


  5. rwyoung
    Mmmmmm, coffee good...
  6. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Tom, I don't know about this one. It almost sounds like a gross misapplication of a precious substance to me. This might call for a formal investigation. There is also the point that there may be differences in tolerance to the concept based on geographical location. I don't think it would fly out here in Latte Land.

    Dances With Clouds; single line or multi?


    Ralph Javins

    When they ask you how many megapixels you have in your camera, just tell them; "I use activated silver-bromide crystals for my storage medium."
  7. Toffle
    Ralph, I can't tell if you're knocking it or just afraid to spoil a nice cup. (There's always this: I never drink instant... I don't know anyone who does... There's got to be a reason that it's on the shelves, so I figure it must be for us photographers.) I'll say this though, I think I got very lucky on my first print. It was enough to get me hooked immediately. I've had more than enough failures along the way, but every once in awhile I'll get a print that just sings.

    Cheers, mate.
  8. jnanian
    nice print!
    i never drink instant ( if i can help it )
    unless i am overseas and someone gives me a cup,
    i just smile and drink it thinking what a nice negative it would have made

    when i process film, i usually use a variation of a caffenol C recipe whiteymorange gave me
    8 oz. water
    4 slightly rounded tsp. instant coffee
    2 tsp. washing soda
    1000 mg Vitamin C (1/4 tsp powder)

    i never measure my ingredients, ( i just pour a lot of coffee and smaller amounts of the other two. )
    sometimes, i cheat a little bit and add a little straight print developer into my brew. i had been using ansco 130
    as my standard film and print developer so i just add a few oz.
    typically i let stand for about 25mins, no matter what the film speed and they
    have a nice contrast and stain to them. i am sure any print developer would
    work as a "contrast enhancer" ...

    i have gotten fond of re-using / replenishing my developer too.
  9. rusty_tripod

    Thanks for posting your formula.

    Share a little more a replenishing the developer.

    Finally does the caffenol only work with instant rather than brewed coffee? And how do people use it as a film developer. This is new to me, but as a coffee drinker, I find it intriguing. Especially, since I have viewed some good end products. I just have to figure out where to start.

    My regular film developers are HC-110 and D-76 or Clayton. I have new bottle of Rodinal waiting in the wings. Primary film is TMax 100 or Arista II 400. I have some Ilford XP2 400 ASA that I need to learn how to develop with C41 chemicals.

    Thanks for any insight.
  10. jnanian
    hi rusty tripod

    instant coffee is the stuff you want to use. robusta coffee beans make up most of the instant coffees
    and they are filled with whatever it is that makes coffee good for developing film and paper.
    some folks use folgers, but i tend to buy the cheep bottles of who knows what it is, from my local market.
    when i replensh it i do not have a real methodology.
    to give you an example of what i did recently -
    i mixed up about 3litres of the developer ( with print developer ).
    i processed 7 rolls of 120 film in it, and then another 7 rolls mixed 120+35mm.
    the next time i processed ( the next day ) i took out about 100ML and added about 100ML of
    the developer, and processed another 7rolls of film in it.
    it was still good for more film if i wanted but since i had a good 4 days between processing, i am mixing fresh for
    my next run.

    i'm not sure if i was much help, i kind of wing it most of the time

    have fun!

  11. Toffle
    Hi Rusty;
    I agree with John, use any old rot-gut instant, and don't be too uptight about measuring. (unless you want really predictable results. )

  12. Falkenberg
    I tried to coffee tone a cyanotype. It turned out that it toned the paper more than the picture. What can I do to tone the picture and not the paper.
  13. Toffle
    I've only ever toned a few cyanotypes. The more you read about it, they more you will find that the process is pretty arbitrary. For example, J Brunner's article on toning reverses the order of processes compared to other resources I've read, but apparently, they both work. So, you might change the order of your bleach/toning, or try a second bleach after the toning... Or you might drink your coffee and tone with tea like the rest of us.
  14. titrisol
    Rusty tripod
    4 tsp of coffee in 250ml (8 oz) is quite a lot, you really need to have a super-triple-expresso machine to get such amount of black stuff (tannins+caffeic acid) in the coffe... and it'll be a complete waste of a drink. So cheap instant cofee is better bang for the buck

    The cool thing of this developer is that it can be measured in spoons and mixed quite recklessly.
    Just remember to dissolve the washing soda (soda / sodium carbonate) first until all the grit is gone, then the vitamin C and finally the coffee.
    More vitamin C gives more detail in the shadows and less stain, 4 g/l should be in the right alley so 1g in 250 ml is OK. You can raise it to 2g and get more "speed" from the film.
  15. Toffle
    I just uploaded a shot titled Self Portrait - Broken to the gallery. 'nother perfect pot of java ruined.
  16. pjwaffle
    Hi, I wanted to learn more about coffee developers, so I joined this group... So is it basically like go to McDonalds and buy a coffee, or a bit more complicated, I want a simple easy to use high quality, NON TOXIC developer, so coffee looked good. I have a Olympus OM-707 (just so you know that I use 35mm film.)
  17. Toffle
    Not sure if McDonalds would do it... The stuff we use is mixed beastly strong. Still, for as many people who will tell you that the process is a waste, (of film and coffee) you will find as many who find that the results are worthwhile... even beautiful.
  18. pjwaffle
    I have a question -- what is a good non-toxic fixer that is as easy to get as coffee is? One more question: I use color film, is there non-toxic chemicals for that too... I would use B&W film but I already have lots of color film and a lot the B&Ws use color chemicals.
  19. titrisol
    Fixer is quite non-toxic
    The toxic part is the silver coming from the film itself
  20. dances_w_clouds
    Hi all I am a virgin on coffee development but I really want to try it on 35mm film. My question is I can only get washing soda in 2kg (5lb) boxes. I was wondering how long the soda crystals will last in a air tight bag. Or should I use it up quickly (use it for washing clothes :"gasp). I can get the coffee in smaller containers so that won't be the problem. And you can use it on film AND prints but I am not sure of the different recepies or is it something I will have to find out myself. There are several that I will use when I begin. Thanks a head of time for the input.
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