I've ordered a bottle of Solarol. From reading the first half of the William Jolly article it seems that a Hydroquinine free developer will give better contrast and 'brighter whites'. Anyway, the Solarol hasn't arrived yet, and I'd always wanted to try a coffee developer, so I mixed up some coffee, washing soda and vitamin C powder according to Donald Qualls recipe. I thought that since reports of Cafenol taking about 5 or 6 times longer to develop film I'd have a similar longer developing time with prints and as it didn't have hydroquinine in it might work well for Sabatier. In fact it worked faster than my normal Ilford Multigrade Dev and gave good contrast! because of the short dev time there wasn't any stain to speak of either.
Having established a good (if quick) normal development I then tried some Sabatier. This is where things got wierd. With the standard developer I had to bounce the light of the roof and use a very short burst, with the cafenol the paper became very insensitive to light. At first I put this down to the opacity of the cafenol, but even wiping the print clean before flashing I was still having to use a ten second exposure, directly over the print (about 3-4 times the brightness of previously).
I couldn't get any reversal as such, any part of the paper even slightly exposed under the enlarger stayed normal, but pure white areas darkened, but also took on a noticeable brown stain. Maybe I need to use an even longer second exposure ? The other problem is trying to wipe the print clean before the second exposure without it going streaky. I tried a quick wash in water but that just halted any further development, even when I put the paper back in the cafenol and agitated alot.
Attached is the best print, not up to Bob Carnie's standard I'm afraid (those are great images Bob!) but shows the effect I'm getting. I might try it with an image with more white in, I used the same image as before so I could compare with my previous efforts.
P.S. Photo Engineer, you said you have posted some Sabatier/solarised images, but I can't find them on APUG. Can you point me in the right direction as I fear I might be being a bit fick.