Monday, February 7, 2011

Caffenol: Oh my God it works!

If you have ever heard that B&W film can be devveloped in Coffee, well, yes it can!  And I've tried it, although not with the best results.  But try again I will..............

I started with some Rollei Retro 400.  Don't remember why I had it, so why not try a film I don't care about first.  Load it in the Holga so I won't be 'wasting' a roll of 35mm 36 exp.  Shoot in a day and try developing.  Follow this link for a History of Caffenol, also a great resource.  He has really worked on the the details of the technique.

One of my neighbor's gardens

As you may notice a major problem with Caffenol can be fogging.  Regardless of using KBr, the best results are obtained be using a fog resistant film such as TMAX.  I'll try that next.

A local tree up close.....


Another problem you can see is uneven development. 

But I think Caffenol definitely fits into my world of experimental photography and alternative processes.  Although my love affair with high speed films may or may not be compatible with Caffenol.

Are you ready for Caffenol?


  1. I'm running on caffeine for years, so I'm not surprised at all! Great stuff.

  2. Loved finding caffenol........I too live on caffeine.

    Probably developing my TMAX this week. So I'll be reporting new results soon.

  3. Now this is interesting.. seems like I would have heard about this somewhere along the line after more than 35 years, but I haven't. Here I am drinking perfectly good developer every morning:)
    I was surprised and pleased to see your link to Chris James in the sidebar.. He was my first photography teacher back in the 70's. I later attended the Art Institute of Boston, where he now works. Haven't really followed his career, although another student of his that has remained a good friend of mine all these years (and now teaches also) is still in contact with Chris..we were just reminiscing about that back before Christmas.

  4. I'm on track to develop my next roll with Caffenol sometime next week.

  5. Hi Kathleen,

    did you use old Rollei Retro 400 (= APX 400) or RR 400s (= Aviphot Pan 400) The "s" makes the difference.

    Especially the last shown pic reminds me strongly at my results with the Rollei Superpan 200, that also could be named RR 200s. These films are aerial films made by Agfa Belgium and are something very special. The Superpan 200 was the one and only film so far that gave extremely poor, almost unusable results with Caffenol-C, and maybe the 400s behaves similar.

    Best regards - Reinhold

  6. Interesting that this film was originally aerial photo film, because the contrast level does remind me of some aerial photos I've seen.

    It was Retro 400, no's'. I'm trying TMAX next.

  7. I've been pretty happy with Caffenol-C and Ilford Delta 100 Pro film in my Holga WPC pinhole camera. I've also tried it with Tri-X. I found the Caffenol-CH (with KBr) definitely cut down on the fog.

  8. I do need to try it with a slower speed film.