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|
|Killruddery Gardens, Yashica Mat 124G, Ilford Delta 400 (120) in Caffenol-C-L|
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!