Film Experiments: Tea-Soaked Film


If you cannot do without your daily dose of tea, this tipster is for you. Read on to find out more.

A while ago I wrote a tipster for a film soup that has raised the eyebrows of many followers. I’m talking about I rullini amano il caffè (in Italian). Inspired by this recipe, I went on to try it using tea to see if the effects would be just as interesting and special.

Here’s what you’ll need for this film soup:

  • drinking glass
  • hot water
  • teabag (I tried it with a classic tea)
  • a few cookies (so we can kill time by eating!)
  • a roll of film (I’ve always preferred to use Kodak Gold 200)

First of all, heat some water – a little for your film and a little more for you so you could enjoy a nice cup of tea, too. Once heated, prepare the tea and put it in the drinking glass with the film in it. Put the remaining tea in another drinking glass. Make sure to immerse the entire film in the liquid and let it rest for two hours.

Eat the biscuits with the remaining tea while waiting.

Drying the film

After two hours, it’s now time to dry the film. The simplest but also the longest method is to leave it to dry on its own. On average it takes a couple of weeks.

For a faster drying process, you would have to remove the film from the roll. In this case, the whole procedure must be carried out in complete darkness or run the risk of burning the emulsion with light. Obviously, when you’re drying the film, it’s good to always do it in the dark. Afterwards, rewind the film into the canister but leave a little piece of the leader out.

Regardless of the drying technique you use, the results will still be the same. You just have to load the roll into the camera, start shooting, and wait for the results from the lab.

Here are some examples taken with the Sprocket Rocket.

Credits: simonesavo

As you can see, the effect is very special. You may also notice that the photos are dominated by a purple tint, and are slightly underexposed.

written by simonesavo on 2014-08-28 in #gear #tipster #35mm-films #tea #film-soup #experiments #translation #side-effects
translated by simonesavo

Mentioned Product

Lomography Sprocket Rocket

Lomography Sprocket Rocket

A camera dedicated to those preciously analogue sprocket holes, the Sprocket Rocket features a super-wide lens that flawlessly exposes the whole width of the 35mm film. Flaunt those sprocket holes in every shot! Enjoy a super panoramic view of the world with our series of Sprocket Rocket cameras and accessories.


  1. julea
    julea ·

    Wow, I'll definitely try this out! Thanks a lot!

  2. dotted_dress
    dotted_dress ·

    Cool tipster, I have to try this with some super strong English breakfast tea!

  3. abecd
    abecd ·

    Hmm maybe i will try this with some chinese tea, haha

  4. boredslacker
    boredslacker ·

    Nice! Very close to a tungsten look! Wonder if different teas have different effects.......

  5. barocio
    barocio ·

    Does this need to be done before shooting? What if I do after shooting, before developing?

  6. apneet
    apneet ·

    very cool!!! thanks for sharing, love this idea

  7. anotherlomohomo
    anotherlomohomo ·

    but doesnt it boil and deform the film? I just did this today and I let the water cool down

  8. swamiji
    swamiji ·

    I imagine that the strength of the tea makes more difference that the type of tea. The photo shows pretty weak tea. Too weak for a die hard tea drinker... is this actually the strength of the tea used? If so, I would have to make it full strength, then dilute it with cool water until, it's about 20 degrees, and weaker than drinkable. Then start soaking... but does not soaking film in water start the developing process? Is this equivalent to a presoak?

  9. ari_ck
    ari_ck ·

    i did it and this very cool effect

  10. alexkon
    alexkon ·

    Отличный результат! :-)

  11. olutek
    olutek ·

    It looks the same like after boiling. I'm thinking that tea doesn't do anything : P

  12. anduyunz
    anduyunz ·

    Can i use it after just two weeks? or its better if I let it dry a little longer?

  13. theblues
    theblues ·

    I tried with a mix of black & blue tea and forgot it for 3 hours, then shot the film two months : the film has been too much altered, I think I've waited too long for the soaking and the shooting! so I'm trying again :) :)

  14. amadeusbirca
    amadeusbirca ·

    Trying it now, can't wait to see the results :)

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