Caffenol experiment

Not sure what went wrong...not sure what went right. I kind of need to figure it out before I try again, though.


  1. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    I think you got some great results out of it. But honestly I dont care for the whole Caffenol thing.

  2. dinospork
    dinospork ·

    @clownshoes I'm still deciding how I feel about it. I like the idea of doing my own processing, and of processing without using toxic chemicals, but I will need to get better results out of my second run to try a third. I'm going to bulk load some short rolls and try again with fewer pictures. I definitely need a new developing tank. I used an old bakelite tank with a bakelite reel, and that thing was a pain to load.

  3. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    Digitaltruth has some chemicals they boast are eco friendly. I find with real chemicals there is alot less mixing and measuring and they don't smell gross. Also there is a speed loss with Caffenol.

  4. lighthouseblues
    lighthouseblues ·

    I can understand your frustration, even though it is a great victory just to try!! I have been curious for this caffenol dev for a while, but never got to the point that I can say to myself; now, now is the time to try!..... So CONGRATS, both to your results and for trying!!

  5. dinospork
    dinospork ·

    @lighthouseblues Thanks! It wasn't so much frustrating (except for trying to load that stupid bakelite reel) as just puzzling. I think I've got it figured out now. I'm going to bulk-load some short test rolls and try again.

    It's not hard, by the way. Once you have all your supplies, it's as easy as cooking something pretty basic. Getting the timing right is really the only challenge.

  6. adash
    adash ·

    Use rodinal, stand development is 4ml per film, and a bottle will last you years. I've been reading about this caffenol prank for a while, but apart from curiosity, I find no real use for it.

  7. dinospork
    dinospork ·

    @adash after some repeated failures, I'm definitely falling swiftly out of love with the idea. I'm planning to give it one more go after replacing my ridiculous development tank with something more functional. If I don't get a result, I'm done with caffenol and will be ordering some Rodinal.

  8. adash
    adash ·

    Give it a try, buy the smallest bottle you can find (you anyway need very little per roll) and try semi-stand. That is develop in cool water for two or more hours, with inversions every 20 or 30 minutes. It gives a lot of grain, but great sharpness, and lower than ordinary contrast, just perfect for scanning. I am sorry, I have none uploaded, but the thing works like a charm. Remember that you need about 4ml of concentrate per roll, no matter 35mm or 120 film. 8ml for two rolls in the tank, etc. Pre-soak, stop, fix and rinse as usually. Probably a good compensating developer (promicrol?) is needed for speeds higher than 400 however, as Rodinal may expose too much grain.

More photos by dinospork