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View Full Version : My 1st Image from the Toyo C Monorail and some Caffenol CL fun!



Ed Bray
25-Apr-2012, 15:21
My first image from the Toyo C Monorail with the 90mm f8 Super Angulon (1/15 sec @ f22), not 4x5 though just a frame of 6x9. Pan F @ ISO32 developed in Caffenol CL, the shot was unintentionally pulled. I realised after I had processed the negatives that whilst I had a lovely negative with a full range of tones, I could barely see the frame numbers that Mr Ilford had so lovingly exposed for me on the film, this has always meant to me that the film was underdeveloped.

This got me to pondering (dangerous I know) what could have been the cause of the underdevelopment, I suspect that it was because I have started to up the Potassium Bromide slightly (from 0.5g to 0.7g in 500mls) to reduce the base fog, but I was surprised at how much of a difference it seemed to have made.

I decided that if I am going to be successful at this large format film lark, I was going to have to do some thorough testing. I used a FP4+ 120 film in my Hasselblad H1 (16 shots see) and took 4 lots of 4 identical shots of my front room lit by daylight through the window (this gave a massive dynamic range), the camera was set at ISO80 for shots 1,5,9 & 13, ISO125 for shots 2,6,10 & 14, ISO200 3,7,11 & 15 and ISO320 for 4,8,12 & 16, then the fun really began, I had to try to cut the film up into 4 strips inside my Callumet popup changing tent thingy, this was a nightmare, the first bit was easy removing the film from the backing paper, then I got hold of both ends in the same hand and tried to get to the middle of the film to cut it, this took a lot longer (and I mean a lot) than I had imagined, then I cut each of them down again to give me 4 strips of film each the same length. I loaded each length onto a seperate Jobo spiral and stuck three of them in my large multi-tank for storage (oh I forgot that bit, I had a large multi-tank [5x35mm or 3x120] and a universal tank in the changing thing too), the other spiral was loaded into my universal tank for processing.

I processed the first section of film at the same 21 degrees Celcius but for an extended time of 71 minutes (approx 10% additional time) with 30sec (constant agitation) then 3 invertions after 2, 4, 8, 16 and 40.5 minutes this extended the previous time by 6 minutes. The frame numbers looked a lot better but not perfect so it was back to the changing tent thingy and take a spiral from the multi-tank and fit it into a Universal Tank to have another go.

I then made a big mistake, I reused the Caffenol CL that I had just used, bearing in mind that it had only processed 3.5 frames (oh, I forgot to say that whilst the 4 bits of film were each the same length they had a different number of frames) this time I extended the time for a total of 78 minutes which gave nice round agitation figures of 30 secs, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 & 40 minutes, Trust me, I was more than a little tissed off when although the temperature was kept at exactly 21 degrees and I had increased the time the film was in the developer, the frame numbers were more faint than the previous test. I can only assume that the Caffenol CL only likes being used once.

By this time I had had enough of stand processing (each time it is at least an hour and a half without all the rigmarole inbetween) and I have left the other 2 spirals to try again with tomorrow using fresh developer each time.

So after all that, here is the image that started it all: Oh, the crappy bit of foreground (chippings and unkempt plants) is part of my front garden.

If you want to see the full sized version click on the link below the image.

http://i332.photobucket.com/albums/m338/EdBray/ToyoCMonorail90SA6x9.jpg

Toyo C Monorail 90 SA 6x9 large (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbray/6967764684/) by Ed Bray (http://www.flickr.com/people/edbray/), on Flickr

SpeedGraphicMan
2-May-2012, 11:37
Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!

Is that a straight scan or did you tweak it via Photoshop?

I have been wanting to try some caffenol myself, Your info will be most helpful.

I don't drink coffee so I wouldn't consider it sacrilege, are the fumes detrimental to your health :rolleyes:

You could start a Caffenol developing service! Call it Film-Bucks! :rolleyes:

Ed Bray
2-May-2012, 12:10
Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!

Is that a straight scan or did you tweak it via Photoshop?

I have been wanting to try some caffenol myself, Your info will be most helpful.

I don't drink coffee so I wouldn't consider it sacrilege, are the fumes detrimental to your health :rolleyes:

You could start a Caffenol developing service! Call it Film-Bucks! :rolleyes:

That was a pretty much a straight scan from the 6x9cm neg, nothing done in photoshop except resize and a touch of USM.

Caffenol does have a vile smell, but to be honest I'm getting used to it now.

'film-bucks' now there's a thought.


This was my first 4x5 image (on Tri-X @ ISO640) although I did do some localised processing (bit of vignetting around the periphery, USM and some contrast control using Silver Efex Pro 2's control points on some of the bright bramble's leaves).

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7247/6974771382_aecec120ca_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbray/6974771382/)
Old Garage Window, Brambles and Boards (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbray/6974771382/) by Ed Bray (http://www.flickr.com/people/edbray/), on Flickr

SpeedGraphicMan
5-May-2012, 12:18
Nice!!

I assume the 4x5 was developed in Caffinol as well?

Have you found the suggested development times accurate?

I really need to try that developer... It always looks like it provides a nice long scale.

Have you attempted any "pushing" or "pulling" ?

I wonder how well it would work for Zone system control.

Ed Bray
5-May-2012, 13:41
Nice!!

I assume the 4x5 was developed in Caffinol as well?

Have you found the suggested development times accurate?

I really need to try that developer... It always looks like it provides a nice long scale.

Have you attempted any "pushing" or "pulling" ?

I wonder how well it would work for Zone system control.

Thank you for your comment, as for your questions:

Yes, The 4x5 was developed in Caffenol CL using the semi-stand process, taco style (there are variations of this formula but I have found one that seems to work for me) this seems to be a speed increasing, fine grained, high acutance, compensating developer. I found that using the original times of 30sec continuous agitation followed by 3 inversions after 2, 4, 8, 16 and discarded after a further 34.5 seconds giving a total time of 65 minutes at 21 degrees C, gave me very scannable negatives the frame numbers were very faint which to me stems of underdevelopment (as I assume Mr Kodak and Mr Ilford expose their frame numbers accurately), so I increased the time/agitation by about 10% with a regime of constant agitation for the first 30 seconds followed by 3 inversions after 2, 4, 8, 18 and 40 minutes giving a total development time of 72.5 minutes again at 21 degrees C and I now increase the film speed to + 2/3rds stop to a full stop depending on the film. For example the shot above of the Garage Window, Brambles and Boards was Tri-X, box rated at ISO320 and exposed at ISO640, I would in future expose this film at ISO500

I have found that due to the compensating nature of the Caffenol CL using my version of the formula (and weighed very accurately on a Jewellers scale 100g/0.01 to ensure repeatable results) that if you overexpose or underexpose you still get a very useable negative with a good range of tones, but when you get it correct the results are simply stunning. It also works very well with C41 process films (see image below).

The nearest I have come to using the zone system (as I don't wet print anymore even though I've got enough darkroom stuff to fully equip two darkrooms) is to meter the darkest area that I wish to retain detail in and close down 2.5 stops.

My version of the Caffenol C-L Formula adapted from Reinhold's Blog (http://caffenol.blogspot.co.uk/)

In 500mls of water and in the order in which they are mixed:

Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous) (aka Soda Ash) 8g
Asorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 5g
Potassium Bromide (KBr) 0.7g
Cheap Instant Coffee (Not DeCaf) 20g

Image below from Ilford XP2 Super Chromagenic C41 Black & White processed in Caffenol CL

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7057/6865443812_94ae559373_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbray/6865443812/)
Harbertonford Church 125mm GX-M (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbray/6865443812/) by Ed Bray (http://www.flickr.com/people/edbray/), on Flickr

Jimi
5-May-2012, 15:05
Caffenol or not, a really nice church image!

Ed Bray
6-May-2012, 01:33
Thank you.

SpeedGraphicMan
8-May-2012, 13:26
Thanks so much for taking the time to list all of your findings.

I will definitely have to try Caffenol, the results look amazing.

What mainstream developer would you say it is similar to?

Also you mentioned it works well for C-41 films.

What ISO did you use for the XP2? Are the development times the same as traditional B&W films?
Did you use a standard fixer or a bleach bath for the XP2 film?

I wonder what would happen if you tried to develop a color neg with it?

Also, did you use the "store bought" chemicals that are suggested for Caffenol, or did you buy/use photo grade chems?

Thanks again for all the interesting info.

One more thing... I wonder if there is any differance in coffee brands?
I.E. maybe one is a bit stronger than another, so it develops faster?

Nothing like a good cup of coffee to start the day... Err... Batch.

SpeedGraphicMan
8-May-2012, 13:28
After re-reading my hyperactive 20 questions above... I think maybe I had better lay off the coffee :rolleyes:

Seriosly though, I am as giddy about this info as can be!

Ed Bray
8-May-2012, 13:57
Thanks so much for taking the time to list all of your findings.

I will definitely have to try Caffenol, the results look amazing.

What mainstream developer would you say it is similar to? Nothing I am aware of

Also you mentioned it works well for C-41 films. See answer below

What ISO did you use for the XP2? ISO400 Are the development times the same as traditional B&W films? Yes, the Caffenol CL is a standard semi-stand time for all films including C41 chromagenic and colour print
Did you use a standard fixer or a bleach bath for the XP2 film? Personally I use an alkali fix, but many people just use Hypan or similar fixer

I wonder what would happen if you tried to develop a color neg with it? I haven't done it but on Reinhold's blog others have successfully.

Also, did you use the "store bought" chemicals that are suggested for Caffenol, or did you buy/use photo grade chems? I was lucky with the Sodium Carbonate anhydrous as I was looking for the pure chemical rather than 'Washing Soda' when I realised that it was aka 'Soda Ash' we use Soda Ash at one of my works and we get it for 4 (6$) a 25kg bag, I bought a small bottle of Potassium Bromide and another of pure Asorbic Acid from ebay and the coffee I use is Tesco Classic Rich Roast. It appears that the cheapest instant granulated coffee you can get is okay and in fact works better than more expensive coffees anyway.
Thanks again for all the interesting info. No problem, we are all here to help each other, I hope. Now what do you know about Horseman LX monorails?
One more thing... I wonder if there is any differance in coffee brands? Answered above, apparently, the cheaper the better as long as it's instant, granulated and caffinated. DeCaff does not work!
I.E. maybe one is a bit stronger than another, so it develops faster? Apparently not.

Nothing like a good cup of coffee to start the day... Err... Batch.

The best thing you will find when using the semi-stand technique with Caffenol is you can develop all makes of films, all speeds, B&W, chromagenic and colour print (comes out in mono though) in the same tank at the same time and same temperature.

jnantz
8-May-2012, 15:28
[QUOTE=SpeedGraphicMan;885490
One more thing... I wonder if there is any differance in coffee brands?
I.E. maybe one is a bit stronger than another, so it develops faster?
[/QUOTE]

hi speedgraphicman --

caffic acid is the chemical in the coffee that develops the film.
instant coffees often times tend to be high in robusta beans ( they are the ones with caffic acid )
and cut with arabica beans ( they are the good ones/ flavorful, and have very little caffic acid )
some of the instant coffees are higher in robusta, some are low in robusta, usually the cheapest coffee
is what to get seeing the arabica coffee beans cost more you will be in good shape !.
there are some people who say they have processed their film in espresso ...
i wouldn't discount this because often times arabica espresso beans are mixed with a tiny bit of robusta beans
because without the robusta beans there wouldn't be any creama ( the foam ) on the espresso shot :)

if you want to experiment a little bit, i have a garage full of robusta beans that i use for coffee developer.
i'll be happy to sell you some ... i usually roast it myself about 1lb at a time ( wok on the stove )
recently i didn't even roast the beans and it worked OK. i usually make a 10 cup perk worth of coffee for developer, and put an extra scoop
in for the pot ( like for regular coffee i make ) so 11 scoops ( the same as 22 heaping tablespoons ) / 10 "cups" ( 750cc or 40 oz ).
the developer i make lasts months and months. i process film and paper of all sorts in it. it can be replenished or just used until you get
freaked out and worry it will die .. ( 6 months is when i freaked out :) )
like with caffeine, roasting kills caffic acid ( or so i have been told ) --- so this means the darker the coffee, the less the caffeine
and the least useful it will be for your developer.

trader joe's has inexpensive vit c
and the grocery store will have washing soda ( arm and hammer )


have fun !

john

SpeedGraphicMan
14-May-2012, 12:05
Wow...

Thanks for answering each and every one of my questions.
It helped fill in the "holes" in the information I had.

One more thing... If I were to use some efke 50, what would be a good starting ISO?

Oh, and should I use the liquid vitamin c or the crystals?

Thanks again, I am going to try this out sometime this week... I will be sure to post my results.

SpeedGraphicMan
14-May-2012, 13:06
Also, some have suggested using Arm and Hammer washing soda, while others have said Borax. I think the Borax is wrong... But thought I would ask.

Ed Bray
14-May-2012, 14:24
As I understand it the Arm and Hammer is not anhydrous so requires a bit more than the Soda Ash I use. Don't know about Borax.

jnantz
15-May-2012, 07:20
don't use liquid vit c. powdered is what you need
the liquid stuff ( fruit fresh ? ) contains other things
that you don't want to use and will lead you to trouble.
arm and hammer works fine, if you can't find it ...
you can use baking soda .. but you need to expel the water from using your oven
( put it on a baking sheet lowest heat and you will convert it )

if you poke around the caffenol blog you will see that borax won't be much help
http://caffenol.blogspot.com/2010/06/reducing-ph-for-highspeed-films-fomapan.html ...
and you'll see recipes and starting points for efke
http://caffenol.blogspot.com/search/label/Efke%2025

good luck !