Coffee + soda + vitamin C and some analogue passion are all the thing you need to make a photograph, you don’t believe me? Let me show you…
The New Coffee Developer Receipt by dogma
I think we all remember Matt’s coffee developer tipster, it made us aware of the potential of household stuff in film developing. Who would think that coffee and soda can do such thing? That combination really works, but it has one weakness – low contrast negatives and tell you what, there is a way to fix it, just add a pair of vitamin c tablets. Coffee + soda + vitamin C and your film gone look perfect! You don’t believe me?
Vitamin C – Lemons, limes, oranges and other Citrus fruits immediately come to mind as good sources of vitamin C. Unfortunately though, that vitamin doesn’t have enough concentration needed for this experiment. I have tried to develop film with fresh lemon juice and the film came blank. You’ll need head on over to your medicine cabinet and have yourself a couple of vitamin C tablets.
So what you will need? here’s the list.
- Instant coffee (not decaf)
- Vitamin C
- Washing soda
- Room-temperature distilled water
- A tiny wee drop of dish washing liquid
- A daylight developing tank & reel
- A roll of exposed film
- A bottle opener
- Measuring beakers
- 2 glasses
- A timer
- 2 clothespins
- Clothesline or coat hanger
- 350ml water
- 5 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
- 3 1/2 teaspoons washing soda
- 1g vitamin C (2 tablets)
Set up the dark room and load the film on the reel. You can find more info about this here
Crush the vitamin C tablet, combined it with the coffee and mix them together in a glass with 125ml of water. Stir until all the crystals and gritty bits are completely dissolved.
Mix the washing soda in a separate glass with 125ml of water and stir until dissolved. Mix the two solutions together in a container that is large enough to hold all of the liquid.
Take your tank with the film and pour developer in it.
Hit start on the timer and agitate slowly and constantly for the first minute. (agitate – turn the tank upside down and then right side up again once.)
After the first minute, agitate the tank 3 times once a minute.When the timer goes off, drain the developer and fill the tank with water. Agitate 6 times, then drain the water from the tank.
Repeat this step 2 more times.
Again, drain the water or stop bath and fill the tank with fixer. Set the timer for five minutes and agitate 3 times each minute. Now about fixer, if you want to make the process more interesting you can use salted water instead, it will do just fine. The only thing is that it takes much more time and water because of the high concentration level of salt; 1L water + 500g salt.
Pour out the fixer and fill the tank with water. Agitate 3 times and drain the water. Refill it again with fresh water, agitate 6 times and pour out. Refill, agitate 12 times and pour out.
The final step – In a separate container, dissolve a small drop of dish washing liquid with enough water to fill the developing tank and put in in the tank, agitate slowly 24 times then drain.
Open the tank and remove the reel with your film. Use a clothespin to hang the roll of film and let it dry and then finally you can scan the images!
I have only one more, but very important tip to add: if you plan to develop films in coffee overexpose it by one or two steps to get better contrast because you can not push process with coffee, so you have to do it manually by overexposing it in your camera. I have used Kodak Tri-X 400 ISO film and shot them 200 ASA settings.