Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is Caffenol a fine grain developer?

 I got two packs of 30.5 m TMax-400 film expired in 1998. From the beginning I saw that this film was very grainy and I had to search for a fine grain developer. After some bad experiences, I decided to make a batch of a Diafine clone and it worked more or less well, giving still grain but acceptable.

Expired TMax-400 developed with a Diafine Clone

But I always had the impression that films developed with Caffenol using only coffee and not too much soda had very small grain. So, I tried it with the above mentioned expired film. I was positively surprised. In fact, I got much less grain, as shown bellow:

Expired TMax-400 developed with Caffenol

The Caffenol I am using now has following recipe:

20 g/l soluble cheap coffee
10 g/l Potassium Carbonate
4 g/l Table Salt

Usage: 90 minutes at 20ºC, almost stand development. Agitation each 5 minutes or so.

My last developed film with this developer was a 120 TMax-400 but not expired, exposed with a Weltaflex 6x6.

TMax-400 developed with Caffenol


Vasile Guta-Ciucur said...


The last photo it seems a little flat or too big contrast than the first one... Is this the case, or the scenes are such?

In the first photo seems that I have a lot more gradations of gray between white and black.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Do you remember what EI you shot these photos on TMAX 400 at? Was it box speed (EI 400) or did you push/pull the film a stop or two? I have really enjoyed your very informative posts. Thanks!

Henrique Sousa said...

Maybe one f-stop more, for sure. I don't use light measurements, just the sunny f/16 rule. So, perhaps f/11 at 250.