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jonbrisbincreative
25-May-2015, 21:14
My first experiments so far have yielded some very promising results. Having only gotten into LF recently and still not having a handle on developing sheet film with Caffenol, I thought I'd try my hand at paper negatives since I heard they could be easier to deal with. I've got a huge box of 5x7 paper that I took into our storm room with a red light bulb and hacked several sheets down to 4x5 size and loaded them up in my film holders.

To be honest I wasn't sure what I'd get because I've read you should use grade 2 paper and not RC. Well I didn't have anything else and with no filters or really a way to preflash the paper. I was pretty much in unexplored territory.

What I thought I'd do was just use the stock solution of Caffenol I've been using to develop film negatives. It's formulated for stand development so has a pretty slow "burn" to the development. I thought this might counterbalance some of what I'd heard were problems with the contrast of paper negatives as well as the variability of RC paper. I had no clue what a good development time with this might be so I started at 5 minutes. I've adjusted some things in Photoshop but honestly not much. This was my second sheet developed in Caffenol in a plastic sandwich container inside my dark bag.

I put the paper in emulsion side down, snapped on the lid, then agitated constantly for 30 secs. After that I let it sit for a total of 5 minutes, untouched (like stand developing film). Transferred to another sandwich container inside the dark bag and fixed for at least 5 minutes with pretty aggressive agitation and then resting. Water wash in the kitchen sink.

I was really happy with the results so far. I've still got a couple more sheets to process, so I might play with the development time and see if I can't pick up some more detail. But I can't believe how well these turned out with a process I've never even attempted before. I just need a proper scanner now as that seems to be my Achilles heel.

koraks
25-May-2015, 23:48
That looks pretty good indeed!

Michael E
26-May-2015, 01:07
Well I didn't have anything else and with no filters or really a way to preflash the paper. I was pretty much in unexplored territory.

Looks good!

You can pre-flash your paper in the camera: Just shoot an "image" of an evenly lit white wall out of focus. Meter reading and shutter will give you exact exposure control.

Michael

jnanian
26-May-2015, 05:56
caffenol is a great developer for paper negatives because
it is sort of low contrast ..
looks like you are cooking with gas !

good luck !
john

jonbrisbincreative
26-May-2015, 09:45
Looks good!

You can pre-flash your paper in the camera: Just shoot an "image" of an evenly lit white wall out of focus. Meter reading and shutter will give you exact exposure control.

Michael

That's a really good idea! Can't believe I didn't think of that.

How do I know how much to pre-flash?