Saturday, 25 March 2017

My Best Caffenol C-L Recipe - so far!

Switch to Potassium Bromide

The iodised salt was worrying me when I read that the iodine is not so good for film development. So I went hunting for Potassium Bromide and finally located it from a Compounding Chemist. Unfortunately it is only in bulk amounts of 500 gram and as I only use 0.35 gram to my 350ml mixture, it should last me close on 150 years.

This is now my go to Caffenol recipe that is proving consistent on most types of B&W film.

Soak in 400ml of water for 5 minutes.

Per 350 ml of filtered water which covers 1 spool in a 2 spool Paterson Tank.

  • 5.6 grams of Washing Soda.
  • 3.5 grams of Vitamin C.
  • 0.35 gram of Potassium Bromide
  • 14.0 grams of Aldi Instant Coffee.
  • Thoroughly mix and let stand for about 10 minutes
Times - 60 min @20c, 54 min @21c, 48 min @22c, 42 min @23c, 36 min @ 24c, 30 min @25c.

Agitation - First minute gentle swirls and 4 inversions then gentle inversion at 2, 4 & 8 minutes then let stand to finished.

Rinse Stop - Tip out developer, fill with water, tip out again, refill and gentle swirls for 1 minute. Tip out and repeat for another minute.

Ilford Rapid Fix - 70ml + 280ml water = 350ml mix. Fresh mix allow 2 minutes with most B&W film with one inversion at 1 minute. If doing multiple films over the 7 day mixture life I add 15 seconds for each film. But check the instructions for testing fixer. Using Bergger Pancro 400 I follow their instructions of 6 minutes fixing time (and I invert at 2 minute intervals).

Rinse Stop - Tip Fixer back into storage container and fill with water and tip out. Refill and start standard Ilford wash instructions. Swirl 5 times tip and refill, swirl 10 times tip and refill, swirl 20 times and done.

Final Rinse - I use a few drops of Adaflo to 400ml of water and swirl it for a few minutes.

Drying - I shake off as much water as I can feel coming off the reel whilst the film is still on it Then I hang the film horizontally on my push bike rim that has multiple hooks and is hanging from the ceiling through the centre. This has proved the best drying method for me and it stops those long water runs down the middle of the film that you get with vertical hanging.

Film Types

I have had great success with this recipe so far on the following films shot at box speed.
  • Agfa APX 100 ASA - Nice results.
  • Rollie RPX 100 ASA - Seems exactly the same as the Agfa negs.
  • Fuji Neopan 100 ASA - Really beautiful clear negatives that scanned a treat.
  • Ilford HP5 400 ASA - Best results with this film so far.
Bergger Pancro 400
Today I am conducting a trial with this new film and have just finished developing half the roll in Rodinal 1 + 25 @ 8 min as recommended. The other half in Caffenol C-L as per above 48 min @ 22c. The negs look awesome and as they are drying on my bike wheel I cannot tell them apart. Should be really interesting to scan them side by side. Check my next post for the results.


Example Results - click to enlarge.

Nikon FE - Ilford HP5 400 - Caffenol C-L

Nikon FE2 - Rollie RPX 100 - Caffenol C-L

Nikon FE2 - Agfa APX 100 - Caffenol C-L

Nikon FE2 - Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros - Caffenol C-L

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