Using instant coffee as film developer (Caffenol)

Here’s my second attempt to use instant coffee as film developer. Using the Delta-STD recipe from the Caffenol site , I got very good results once again.

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When I first tried the Delta-STD recipe, I accidentally had loaded a Ilford Delta 100 film into my camera, instead of the proposed Delta 400. My water temperature was also 5 degrees Celsium above the proposed one (mine was 25C), so I shortened the developing time from 9 minutes to 7:45. The good thing is that I did some bracketing and that helped me determined the ISO I should shoot future films. So, I set the ISO to 125 and developed for 7 minutes and 45 seconds at 25C. It worked fine !!

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I used the Leica M7 with Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 and as you can see from the images, the film looks like it has been developed with a usual chemical developer. I really didn’t expect so good results when I tried Caffenol, I was more expecting to see strange looking negatives, but it seems that I can easily use it as an alternative developer. It’s cheaper, eco-friendly and the results are excellent (there’s evident grain in some of the images, but it’s that tight beautiful grain of film which I like very much). Now, if I am shooting some more “serious” images, I will probably use my trusty Ilfotec DD-X developer, since I have years of experience with it, but I guess that with some Caffenol developing I will acquire a similar experience.

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The tonality of Delta 100 in Caffenol is excellent, and the underexposure on some images is my inability to nail exposure on some difficult scenes, not the developer.

So, Caffenol is here to stay and I will soon try some more instant coffee developing !!

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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