Visit my new blog

I´ve decided to split my blog in two. I will continue to post DIY projects and musings here, but (serious) pictures, taken on film of course, will be posted in my new blog "Silver Halides"

I now consider Caffenol to be a developer like any else. As such the new blog will focus more on the pictures, rather than the process.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Two new experiences in one: Shanghai GP3 and Caffenol-C-M (RS)

Inspired by my fellow Caffenol advocates on flickr, imagesfrugales (Reinhold) and mikeinlagardette (Mike), I had to try out som cheap (and cheerful?) Chinese film. Also wanted to try out a new version of Reinhold's C-C-M with Reduced Sodium content (RS). I exposed the film to EI 100, but had a yellow filter mounted, so in reality the EI is closer to 160-200. I mixed the modified C-C-M solution with 3/4 of the amount of sodium carbonate and developed without adjusting either my agitations scheme or my timings. I agitate for 1 minute initially (approx 12-15 inversions), then 3 inversions every minute. In this case I developed for 13min, but since the mixture had been used once already, this equates to about 12min for fresh Caffenol. I did however add a 4 minute 20C tap-water presoak to the process.

The revised recipe is:
Sodium carbonate: 40g/l (down from 54g/l)
Ascorbice acid: 16g/l
Instant coffee (gut rot type): 40g/l

And the results are more than pleasing. Both the technical qualities of the film (medium fine grain, classic grain structure is nice, tonal range and graduation is good, but not brilliant, and high contrasting areas are handled very well) and the developer work very well indeed. The Caffenol-C-M (RS) solution seems to be no less active than the regular sort. I need to scan a roll of TMX also developed in the (RS) version, and compare this to earlier C-M developed rolls to be sure, but I hope to see smoother midtones and maybe finer grain.

The results:
Flexaret Va, Shanghai GP3, EI 160, Caffenol-C-M(RS), Studenten, now housing the Hard Rock Cafe, Oslo, Norway

Flexaret Va, Shanghai GP3, EI 160, Caffenol-C-M(RS), Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Really, really mature Caffenol

I´ve not had the opportunity to develop any films these last two months. As a result I have a litre or more of each of the main components maturing in my cellar. They are now more than 4 months old. How will they perform? I finished off a roll of Acros exposed at EI 100, to find out. The first two frames were from my recent visit to Canada, the others not so important - shot in and around my home town. I could live through a dud development if that were to be the case.

When mixing the solutions together, the sodium carbonate and the ascorbic acid first, produced a dark brown colour, very unlike when fresh (light yellowish green), and the coffee being a milky brown (most likely starting to develop mold). Didn´t look at all promising. The only positive change was that when all mixed together the distinctive Caffenol smell was all but absent. Oh well, no guts, no glory. I developed the film as normal, no adjustments. Out of the fix it looked not too bad. Out of the wash even better, and when dried more or less as normal.

When scanned I found that one of the rollers or the possibly film gate, on my camera is scratched, ruining several of the negatives. But on a positive note the negatives didn´t look too bad. If I were to be very picky I´d say they are a tad (1/3-1/2 stop) underdeveloped, and they exhibit more grain than usual, though still quite useable.

Here are three scans that could be salvaged from the scratched roll:

Flexaret Va, Acros, EI100, Matured Caffenol-C-M, 12min@20C, Sande river, Norway
Flexaret Va, Acros, EI100, Matured Caffenol-C-M, 12min@20C, Kicking Horse, BC
Flexaret Va, Acros, EI100, Matured Caffenol-C-M, 12min@20C, Sande, Norway