So a while back i promised i’d show everyone how to do “caffenol” development and the results it could bring once i had familiarised myself with the process.
I’ve used a few different brands of coffee and vitamin c so i shall be showing uk readers brands that i can personally guarantee work for this process.
You will need:
It is said the cheaper the better works for this process i personally found Sainsbury’s “Rich Roast” works rather well, another note when experimenting with this process is not to use decaffeinated coffee as it does not work in this process.
Vitamin C powder otherwise known as ascorbic acid. I had bought dispersible tablets as i was told from an unreliable source that they would work and i’ll clarify when i used them i had no results just a see through film. I was told that the tablets have sugars etc in them that mess with the results.
And washing soda, not to be confused with baking soda as apparently that is a common mistake when using this film, in the uk this particular brand can be found in the big four supermarkets to my knowledge and is normally about £1 a packet. In america i know most people who i’ve seen do this process use the arm and hammer brand.
I’ve seen a lot of variation to recipe however i’ve found an almost average mesure that pops up consistently across the board which means its easy enough to google developing times.
400 Ml (12 oz) Water between 19-23 degrees
5 tsp Coffee
3 1/2 tsp washing soda
1/2 tsp Vit C
I’d recommend putting the coffee in last as once you have poured in the coffee there is no going back you will not be able to see if everything has disolved. It is also advisable once everything is mixed to leave the developer to settle for five minutes then you are ready to develop. I’ve found dev times for almost every film i’ve needed online however it is not an exact science so you may end up making up your own dev times particularly with colour films as this process isn’t particularly suitable for them however yields interesting results.
Once you have passed the developing stage pour the developer out, stop, fix and wash as usual.
This process takes time to learn and i havent completely mastered it yet so i’d advice using it on film that you are not desperate on seeing the final result. it is mainly an experiment and practice makes perfect.
If you have any questions feel free to ask box me :)
I’m still fairly new to large format photography which is obvious in the picture above the camera is actually mounted backwards on the tri pod which was pointed out later on. Anyway i spose i should do this review as i’ve owned the camera since october!
Price: I paid £199.99 for the camera a copal one 150mm f/4.5 lens and the owner threw in a super8 camera which i will probably stick on eBay or give to a friend at some point.
Problems: The way the camera was described i imagined it to be in perfect condition, however when it arrived i shone a light on the bellows to reveal that the camera was full of pinholes, however i overcame this problem quickly by using black electrical tape to make the camera light tight once again.
Test shot: The image above was the second attempt i’ve had at using the camera on monday, it’s ridiculous that i’ve owned this camera since october and used it twice. However i took the camera to aberdeen beach, and the camera was an absolute breeze to use. All of the locks and catches etc worked well and held everything in place. I even had a go at moving the rear element in order to move the focal plane, as the film i used was unbranded ortho film i cannot find a dev time for it i decided to experiment with the caffenol recipe and i developed it at 20 degrees for 15 minutes. i’m extremely happy with this shot and the camera and over the space of the summer i plan to do some road trips etc to the mountains etc.
The only downside is my beloved epson v500 is gonna have to go on sale to make way for something that can handle 5x4 negs.
Ok, so before i start i will admit i owned a Nikon FM for one week before upgrading to an FM2. I had used a friends FM2 and thought the FM also came with the multiple exposure option however the one i had didn’t so to avoid disappointment i upgraded.
Its been a while *Breathes* here we go….
How much did you pay and what did you get? I ordered the camera from an actual camera shop (Ffordes Photographic) I paid £59 inc shipping and got the camera all of the relevant bodycaps etc and a pack of batteries with 3 replacement sets and a six month mechanical warranty.
Test roll: When i first received this camera i was fairly sure it would work so i loaded it with a roll of kodak ultramax, being a skint student spending £6 on a roll of film is extortion for me theese days as i could get 6 rolls of agfa vista for that. Not being used to using a slightly faster film along with a 50mm f/1.8 lens i was amazed with the shutter speeds i was being asked to use by the camera. However i had faith and kept plodding along i can safely say appart from being disappointed about no MX i was in love with the camera it was light and snappy the shutter makes a great noise. By the time i had these images processed, I’d sold the camera i’m sad to admit. However i have to say the meter in the camera was absolutely incredible, it’s not often i get so exited by a test roll but i think due to a combination of the good weather slowly coming back and the cameras outstanding perfomance it just really inspired me. Appart from when i first bought the d300s this is probably the most exited i’ve ever been by nikon kits, and that is saying something as i’ve had a go on a d700 & a d3!
The only negative thing i had about the camera was the odd light leak, however im sure those are probably from user error and not the camera. They are rather pleasing to look at but if i was using this image with the shift lens i bought with it i would be planning to use it commercially so leaks wouldnt be acceptable.