Caffenol : black and white developer with home ingredients
As a kid I played with a chemistry set (made for kids : In Italy it was a popoular game called "Il Piccolo chimico") When I read that it was possible to develop films and black and white papers with homemade ingredients, I had to try it. You will need: soluble coffee, caustic soda (not bicarbonate, but sodium carbonate), ascorbic acid (perhaps lemon juice would work equally), water.
- 1000ml (1l) Water
- 24g caustic soda
- 20g Ascorbic Acid
- 45g Instant coffee
mix everything slowly, in hot water, leet it cool down and is ready for development (about 10 minutes for a 100asa film) Fantastic!
- Too bad that the smell of the compound is really nauseous
- this blob has a very limited duration when mixed
- It is a non-reusable developer
- The results are good but not exceptional
- In fact, it costs much more than a traditional developer, such as the kodak xtol or some of the rodinal clones: soluble coffee (in italy) is expensive. Ascorbic acid - Vitamin C, also.
- at home I drink cofee made with moka, I use instant coffee only to make this kind of experiments
So, a really fun experiment, but as far as I'm concerned, the thing ends here. Do I recommend it? In special cases: you are a fan of DIY, or if you are in some remote locations, and want to develop at any cost without having a traditional developer available. You must then see if in a remote location you will find all the necessary ingredients ... NB: in some countries instant coffee is very popoular, and You can buy medical chemistry everywhere, so, the whole process might be way cheaper than in Italy. Here a sample with some pictures developed with caffenol