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Caffenol for paper

  1. hovmod
    I'm planning a trip to the darkroom this weekend, and plan to develop the paper copies in caffenol.

    Anything I should know or think about?
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  3. hovmod
    I might be. I'm also interested in your collection of Fotografi, so we should talk...

    Anyway, Caffenol-C-M works fine as paper developer, with a few minuses:

    -First of all, being black as night, Caffenol does not let you see the image appear magically on the paper. No matter how many times I see this it still tickles me, and I missed that.
    -Caffenol colours the stop and fix baths.
    -Caffenol is rumoured to have a really short active life, and I found myself doubting the developer a couple of times last night, wasting paper on test strips and so on. This will not be a minus as I get more experienced with it, but it might prevent me from using it which makes the experience a perpetual thing of the future...

    But here's a scan of an A4 copy I made last night.
    Both film and paper developed in Caffenol. Softness is due to the lens (Nikon 55/1.2 wide open) and focus being a smidge too far back.
    The dust is from the last scan, the paper copy is clean.
    I like this.

  4. Removed Account2
    Hmmmm hehe
  5. Removed Account2
  6. Removed Account2
    PS nice picture, I like the slight soft effect, and the extreme placement is excellent works well with his eye-focus.
  7. jnanian
    i just added one of my own images to the gallery ...
    a paper negative processed in sumatranol 130 for 2-3 minutes
    ( used developer already for film with roughly 30cc/750cc ansco 130 : sumatranol )
  8. Toffle
    Sorry I missed this. I do a lot of work with caffenol as a paper developer. It can be hit and miss, but with patience you can get good results from virtually any paper. The developer does exhaust fairly quickly, but it is easy to mix up a new batch at any time. As for it colouring your stop and fix, this can be taken care of with a thorough water bath between stop and fix. (yes, that probably negates the need for a stop bath, but I like to be consistent.) I have found, though that it can cause precipitate in my selenium bath, which is odd, because in my memory it didn't do that before. That incidence could have been because I was doing a print run of 40+ "identical" caffenol prints and I just wasn't washing as thouroughly as I should. (no plumbing in my darkroom)

    Nice work, by the way. It's nice to see others printing with caffenol. When I first started, all I got was assurances from "experts" that it would not work and I was wasting my time, despite the fact that I got reasonable images every time I went into the darkroom.

  9. Oxleyroad
    I have been playing with caffenol for about 6 months now. I learnt the hard way that using bath crystals which are up to 60% water are just too expensive and unpredictable to consider. Why did I use this when everyone says use dry washing soda, well my wife uses it a lot to soak in in the bath, so it was on hand.

    Have found C-M to work a treat with paper after being used with film. Have not found it exhausts rapidly as yet, and even after a fortnight in bottles it still brings out a brilliant image on paper particularly Ilford papers. These papers do not stain and development is over in 90 secs.

    This begs me to ask why is the coffee present? It must be to stain, but I have had no effect of staining with Foma films and Shanghai films I process nor with Ilford papers both FB and RC. Lately I have been leaving out the coffee just so I can see what the prints are doing with out any noticeable effect. Leaving out the coffee leaves out the interesting smell in the darkroom though.

    The one paper that I have found a big loss of contrast when developing in Caffenol is my old Agfa MCP paper. Just have not been been able to get a soup that this paper will work well in.

    I will post some images in due course.
  10. salan
    If you leave out the coffee then what is doing the developing?
    I am just starting to use this method and have only developed one film so far, but it worked!
    Even though I managed to do just about everything wrong lol(well I AM recovering from an op and haven't developed a film for nearly 15 years. Well that's my excuse!)

    I am really interested in using it for paper as well (Ilford RC).
    So if you have any tips and/or examples then please say/show.
  11. Oxleyroad
    Salam, I will get some pictures up. I use have successfully used Ilford and Foma in RC and FB. Not had much luck with Agfa or Adox FB papers.

    The coffee I have found I just don't need when developing papers. The contrast of the paper is lowered when using Caffenol so I adjust accordingly with the filters.
  12. mikendawn
    I have done a Coffee develop, and really really really liked the results..
    The film was developed in Diafine 3+3 (Adox CHS20) and the print on Agfa RCIII 8x10 paper.. The paper took the staining wonderfully, which is why I used the Coffee developer.

    err, you'll have to pardon the left side of the image.. That's my fault.. A little over-zealous with the paper..
  13. Terry Christian
    Terry Christian
    Well, I just made my first "Caffenotypes," if you will: Ilford Direct Positive paper developed in Caffenol-C-M. I'll post a scan or two once they dry. I was rather amused that the stain isn't brown, but PINK!... at least while they're wet. Perhaps that has to do with the direct positive emulsion, or perhaps my using Ilford Rapid Fixer instead of an alkaline fixer such as Formulary TF-5.
  14. Toffle
    I have not tried the Ilford DPP, but really like the results with Art 300. (albeit sloooooow)
    If you want quick results with amazing tone, try the Ilford WT glossy RC... especially toned in selenium.
  15. Terry Christian
    Terry Christian
    By the way, here's my result. I haven't done any more extensive testing, sorry to say, but I do plan on doing so soon. Not a great shot, I know, but I was aiming for just a quick and dirty test.

    2013-02-21CA-001 by Terry Christian Photo, on Flickr
  16. Toffle
    Great start, Terry! Is this the DPP?

    I myself had a miserable day trying to print with Caffenol on some mystery paper. I have had amazing results with the Central Camera house-brand FB Matte paper, so I had my daughter pick up two more packs when she was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, even though she showed them a photo of the label and emulsion number that I had emailed her, they gave her the FB Glossy paper, which yielded HORRIFIC results today. Fortunately, not all is lost; it does print well in standard developers, though it does not pick up toners very well.

    I just wish I had the Matte paper.

  17. Terry Christian
    Terry Christian
    Yes, Tom, this is the Ilford Direct Positive, and I believe it is FB glossy. I'd had this paper already loaded in some film holders for a few weeks before I made these tests, so I don't know if that has some bearing on the pinkish tinge or not. Overall I'm rather new to printing and did no printing at all most of last year, but with warmer temperatures creeping in here, I'm determined to do more, and I'm just now discovering the possibilities and the look of caffenol. Good to make your acquaintance on Facebook as well!
  18. Helinophoto
    I tried to develop Fomatone 131 MG classic. last night, using standard Caffenol C-M.
    A baseline time at 45 second exposure for a 30*40cm print @ f8 with standad 1+9 Ilford developer, gave a really nice print in 2 minutes dev.

    However, my caffenol-print was totally black after trying with the above mentioned parameters. I had to reduse the exposure time for the print to 9(!) seconds to get a normal'ish print out of it in Caffenol.

    Still, the print was pretty dark and gloomy.
    Any idea what happened here?

    Maybe Caffenol C-L with an extra boost of vitc/soda/coffee would yield a better result?
    (my previous attempts with Caffenol C-L gave dev-times as high as 10-12 minutes, so it needs to be boosted somehow to reduce dev-time)
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