Thursday, 17 November 2011

Espresso...(tests with Caffenol-C-L for fast films)

Enjoying quiet days after really busy time related to my last exhibition  I decided to do small experiments from my list ;). Alternative ways of developing are on the top of it. Described some time ago Caffenol-C-M became my favourite developer for slow and medium speed films. It gives results unreachable for other developers available on merket.
It is a time for faster films now and Caffenol-C-L. I have a box of undeveloped negatives. Some of them are even 2 years old. Its a good moment to work it out and try new methods as well. I grabbed roll of Trix (135) for a start.
Chemistry is the same as in case of Caffenol-C-M. Proportions are  different and Potassium Bromide (Kbr) has to be added. (all taken from Caffenol blog /please click the link/)

proportions for 0.5l:
- 8g of washing soda (has to be water free)
- 5g of vitamin C
- 20g of instant coffee
- 0.5g of Potassium Bromide (Kbr)

It is stand dev. 70min with 10 gentle turns at the beginning, 20°C. About 5 min of pre-soaking is recommended to promote even development.  I am always pre-soaking (even before using traditional dev methods) so it is kind of routine for me.
Long waiting time to see the results.
Unfortunately all the excitement has gone when i took out completely empty roll from dev tank. What went wrong? ...
Caffenol-C-L is a very strict developer. All ingredients has to be perfectly prepared and measured. I did everything exactly as it has to be done.
I decided to contact Reinhold, author of Caffenol blog .
He advised me to check bits and pieces i wasn't really aware of. One of them it was to ensure a type of washing soda I am using. I tested it in the oven. 100g of washing soda on the tray in 120°C. After a while I noticed a water allover soda on the tray.

washing soda in the oven (with water)
That’s it! Caffenol-C-L require water free soda! To be honest i didn’t know that washing soda I am using has water in it...especially when it works perfectly with Caffenol-C-M where theoretically water free soda should be used as well.
Anyway, after a bit over an hour I took the tray out of the oven. I checked weight of soda again - Only 38g!
There was almost 2/3 of water in it obviously.

washing soda after over an hour heating
After that I repeated all developing process. This time everything went perfectly.
Below you can see result. This photograph was taken about year ago in Wicklow Mountains.

Wicklow Mountains. Nikon F5, TriX 400 (135) in Caffenol-C-L
After TriX I developed roll of Ilford Delta 400 (120), just a couple of months old. The same proportion, time and temperature as in case of TriX.

Killruddery Gardens, Yashica Mat 124G, Ilford Delta 400 (120) in Caffenol-C-L
According to Reinhold's advice I can add relatively more soda instead of drying it. It would be better to have waterfree soda of course but this method works quite well.
I assume the same will be with Caffenol-C-H. Will try it tomorrow. You can follow my facebook  website to see the results. Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment