Caffenol Recipes

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Standard Developers

 

Caffenol C-H (rs):

Instant Coffee: 40g/l

Washing Soda: 40 g/l

Vit. C (pure): 16 g/l

Potassium Bromide/Kbr: 1 g/l or Iodized Salt (0,0025 % potassium iodate KIO2 – Kaliumjodat): 10 g/l

20°

5 min. presoak

12 min dev. (Starting point!

Adjust according to exposure index/previsualized contrast)
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Continuous gentle agitation for the first 30 secs
Then 10 secs of fairly vigorous inversions @ every minute marker.

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Stand or Semi stand Developers

 

Caffenol C-L:

Instant Coffee: 40g/l

Washing Soda: 16 g/l

Vit. C (pure): 10 g/l

Potassium Bromide/Kbr: 1 g/l

20°

5 min. presoak

70 min dev. (Starting point for +1 – +2 exposure of ISO 400 films)

I recommend around 40-50 min. for slow film.

Adjust according to exposure index/previsualized contrast

 

Caffenol C-L/S:

Instant Coffee: 40g/l

Washing Soda: 16 g/l

Vit. C (pure): 10 g/l

Iodized Salt (0,0025 % potassium iodate KIO2 – Kaliumjodat): 10 g/l

20°

5 min. presoak

70 min dev. (Starting point for +1 – +2 exposure of ISO 400 films)

40-50 min. for slow film.

Adjust according to exposure index/previsualized contrast

 

Caffenol C-F(l) – Highly experimental (not recommended):

Instant Coffee: 40g/l

Washing Soda: 12-16 g/l

Vit. C (pure): 5-10 g/l

Potassium Bromide/Kbr: 0-1 g/l

Sodium Sulfite: 10-30g/l

 20°

5 min. presoak

70 min dev. (Starting point for +1 – +2 exposure of ISO 400 films)

40-50 min. for slow film.

Adjust according to exposure index/previsualized contrast


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 Continuous gentle agitation for the first 30 secs 

Then 3 inversions @ 1 -2-4-8-16-and 32 minute markers

Then let it stand for the remaining time.

(a slight shake to release any bubbles around the 40, 45 or 50 minute marker, depending on your development time)
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I recommend a very dilute acid stopbath or just plain water depending on filmtype.
I´ve used 32% acetic acid diluted approx. 1+300 with most films, except Fomapan 100 and 200.

I now use Moersch Alkaline Fixer exclusively, it handles ALL the films that I use without any problems.

14 thoughts on “Caffenol Recipes

  1. Hi Bo,
    browsing through your blog and I really have to say that most of your pictures are just perfect!
    I have been developing some films in caffenol myselfe but somehow lost the interest after some drawbacks…I mainly Ilford XP2+ (I know, no real B/W), which worked quite well in caffenol C-L; however when I tried to swith to e.g. Kentmere 100 or Ilford HP5+ I really had problems getting it right. I think this mainly depended on the developing times…
    Could you maybe suggest developing times for Kentmere 100 and/or HP5+, both shot at box speed, for Caffenol C-H and C-L?
    I would really appreciate that!
    Best regards,
    Johannes

    1. Hi Johannes
      For C-H, I would try around 12 minutes at 20°C, that´s what I use with C-H(rs)
      For C-L, well that´s is going to take some more experiments to get perfect according to your tastes, but if you start somewhere between 30-45 minutes, i think that you will hit it eventually.

      I suggest that you shoot 3-5 rolls of a neutral grey (18% reflectance aka a greycard, measure your exposure on this card) in front of 1 white and 1 black object. Develop each roll differently in fresh developer than the one before, like this:

      roll 1: 45 minutes at 20°
      roll 2: 30 min.
      roll 3: 40 min.
      roll 4: 35 min.
      roll 5: 25 min.

      Your aim is deep textured blacks and texture in the whites, let me know when you´ve nailed your perfect dev. time.

      Good luck and have fun! 🙂

      Best,
      Bo

  2. Hi Bo,
    thank you for your swift reply!
    I assume the ~40min for Caffenol CL would be for a stand development?

    And just one more question…
    Coming from the other side, the 70min starting point for a full stand development, as you described in you recipes, would this then be for pushing the film by one stop (eg the HP5+ to ISO800)? or even two stops to ISO1600?

    Maybe I made my mistakes there in the past…

    Thank you very much for your help!
    Johannes

    1. Hi Johannes,

      Exactly, 40 min C-C-L stand.

      The 70 min. starting point is indeed for +1 – +2 fast iso 400 film development, you´ll end up with extremely dense negs. using slower films (ask me how I know :D).
      I´m going to revise the guide to reflect that, thanks for pointing it out!

      On a side note, you should really try the C-C-H(rs) @ around 12 min. It´s all I use now: Great developer, with some great negs right out of the tank!

      Best of luck,
      Bo

      1. Hmm….well if you recommend that (and looking at your pictures) I think I might have to give C-C-H(rs) a shot…

        I read around a little bit, the 12min you suggested seem to be for slower films (ISO100 or so at boxspeed) and ~14min for e.g. HP5+ (ISO400 at boxspeed) or did you make any different observations?

        Thank you very much for your help again!

        All the best,
        Johannes

  3. Hi

    I’ll start my first tests with Caffenol and I have plan to start with TMAX-100 and Caffenol C-M, why not put the recipe Caffenol C-M, has given you bad results?

    Sorry for my English
    Thank you for your blog

    1. Hi Mario
      I´ve never used it, so no experience nor bad results at all, others have had great success with it.
      I went straight for Caffenol C-L when I used TMAX-100, to eliminate any chance of uneven development.
      Now I only use Caffenol C-H(rs) which I recommend, it´s great!

      Your English seems pretty perfect to me 🙂

      Best regards,
      Bo

  4. >> Now I only use Caffenol C-H(rs) which I recommend

    In Caffenol C-H (rs), what is the meaning of –> (rs)?
    You also recommend Caffenol C-H (rs) for TMAX-400?

    Thanks for your answer
    Best regards

  5. I have found the answer
    Caffenol-C-M (RS) is just a version of Soda Reduced C-M

      1. Hi

        >> Adjust according to exposure index/previsualized contrast)

        Could you give a quick rules about these adjust
        More ISO more development time?
        More contrast less development time?
        etc…

        Thanks

        1. Hi Mario

          It all boils down to how you want your negatives to look and print.

          Let´s say that you would like:

          1 soft (low contrast) negative for a very harsh/ too high contrast light scene: develop for a shorter time, with less to almost no agitation
          1 hard (high contrast) negative, typically used on foggy/all grey/dull scenes: develop for a longer time, with more to constant agitation.

          To find exactly where your sweet spots are, so that you still get perfect negatives, high or low contrast, you will have to do a lot of experimenting with the dev. times and agitation schemes!

          The ISO adjustment is normally for zone system users. You develop several rolls, with shots of a grey-card, in a standardized manner to find your blacks (zone 0 to 3) and whites (zones 7 to 10) and by doing so, arrive at your optimal ISO for that specific camera, lens and film.. It´s essentially “expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights”. It´s very involved, so I recommend that you start out with the factory ISO.

          Best of luck,
          Bo

          1. Thank you so much for your advice, for me it is a great help as a starting point

            Thanks
            Mario

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