Friday, March 30, 2012

Common kitchen salt as fixer

I decided to test the myth that salt can be used for fixing photos. I started with a concentrated solution at normal temperature and I decided to wait as much as possible. Well, after 24 hours the film was quite fixed, i.e., clear and resistant to light. I did not test for residual silver, but I putted the negative at my living room window and it remains unchanged for 10 days now. No signs of deterioration. Besides I putted two negatives but one fixed with ammonium thiosulfate to serve as comparison.
I repeated the experience with more concentrated solution, until I reached the value of 1,225 g/l. And the duration dropped from 24 hours to just 3 hours at 28ºC. Well, I can now estimate a graphic like this:

This graphic is valid for the kitchen salt I am using (bought at LIDL) and for the film Fomapan 100 ASA only. Tap water from Leiria, Portugal.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

pH must be higher than 9,5

The last film I developed in Caffcol II (two baths developer), was very thin in density. The color was typical greenish, shifting the positive to magenta but after correction in software, all colors appear, I don't thing that is a problem.
But the second developer bath had a low pH and that didn't help CD-4 to work well. I also added sodium metabisulfite to CD-4 to preserve it from oxidation. And metabisulfite makes solutions more acid, so maybe I had less than 9,5 at the end and that caused the development not to be satisfactory. About the temperature, the experience I already made, showed me that all temperature above 26 ºC until 40 ºC will work with no significant changes in results.
Some of the past ones
Next time I expose and develop a color film I will use the strong coffee developer with sodium hydroxide. It gave good results at the end. And I hope to stablish the recipe for Caffcol II.

Shutter for a homemade camera

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back to old macros

I had to return the Epson scanner V330, it had a problem and scratched the glass from inside. I decided not to buy another one, waiting and see. Meanwhile I'll be making macros again of the color photos. At least untill I find another way to solve the problem.
Today I finished a color roll initiated Sunday and developed it in Caffcol II like this

Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Caffenol* 30 38-30 Stand

3 times fill
Continuous agitation
3 times fill
warm First minute agitation
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
90 min.

I had changed to stand development and the results are not so good as in previous experiments. The film is weak, color shift to green in the negative, magenta in positive.
I used a Fuji film 100 ASA already expired.
The caffenol bath was just 1 tsp soda and 4 tsp coffee, with a measured pH of 9,5 and star temperature of 38ºC, droping during 2.nd bath to 30ºC.

And here some photos that have resulted:

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Example 5

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It is time for Caffcol II

I have a lot of work as teacher of electricity now. Before Easter the pupils must be classified according to their knowledge and works done. But I pretend to be free of work during weekend, and return to the two bath color developer that was going pretty well, with fantastic colors revealed by the Epson scanner. And this motivated me to improve my rig to make macros of the negatives witch is working better than ever, using a LED projector.

Caffcol II will consist of a first bath with CD-4 and a second bath in Caffenol with a pH of ca.11, followed by bleach and fixer. Temperature around 25ºC, 5 minutes for the first developer bath and 15 minutes for the 2.nd. The rest as usual, 3 minutes bleach, 7 minutes fixer using a Fuji film, I guess.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Does another B&W developer work like caffenol?

Today I exposed a stripe of three photos and developed it in a two bath developer like I have been doing with caffenol but instead I used parodinal diluted 1:50 during 20 minutes. The rest as usual, bleach of dichromate and fixer. Something is to be seen but only tomorrow will be posted, must still dry and I have to sleep.

Stay tuned and you will see. But there is still something to adjust in the second clor developer, Caffcol II, the split developing method. One thing I could test, CD-4 can be stored with addition of sodium metabisulfite, it remains usable, it is preserved from oxidation, I think.

Another experiment I should repeat one of these days is the B&W reversal with color film using caffenol or both cafenol and parodinal, one for the first and other for the second developer. Without CD-4 or with very little. Lots of ideas, some will give bad results but even that is worth.

Parodinal doesn't work together with CD-4

Monday, March 19, 2012

Caffenolcolor is not forgoten

Well, I made some «flights» over scanning systems, fixing with salt and what else, but I didn't forget my purpose, to develop color with help of coffee. Today I took some color pictures, but I had only a rest of film in the camera, I taught I had an entire film but I was wrong. Once at home I tried to develop this short piece of film in Parodinal, if I can call it parodinal because I changed a little the recipe. I was told by someone in the Flickr site that parodinal is a weak color developer. But this time it was a disaster, nothing on the film. Next time, maybe. It is not even worth to tell about dilutions, times and temperatures. To be forgotten, simply! I am sorry!

I am disappointed with the Epson scanner

I was posting macros made with a self made rig and a digital cheap camera. But they were not good enough to show the results of the experiments. Somebody insisted with me I should buy a photo scanner, and I did. I bought an Epson V330 that only can scan 35mm without the sprocket holes. Then I joined a group of disappointed too and I learned that a macro of a negative needs a very good lighting and the camera should be set to ISO 100 or less. So, I improved my rig and now I will be giving the stinky scanner back, it already started making strange noises and scratching the glass from inside. On the other hand, my rig is much better than it was before and produces excellent pictures now.

The parts of the rig
Assembled ready to shoot
Scanned with my rig

Alternative to the fixer bath

First of all, I suppose that everybody knows that the fixer bath is constituted with a chemical capable of dissolving silver halides without damaging the silver itself that constitutes the image. Normally there are two substances that are mostly used, sodium thiosulfate or ammonium thiosulfate also known as hyposulfites.

Searching the internet you will find references to other substances that may be used as fixer but nobody gives you results of their own experiences. Well, guided by the references I could find, two other substances went under my experimental tests: ammonia and common salt, sodium cloride. And I can announce you that both this substances really work. So, from now, you are not limited to the special substance used in photography, you may replace them with either ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) or common kitchen salt. But...

Ammonia is available at drugstores, I have no difficulty in purchasing ammonia at a big drugstore called AKI (Portugal), it works fast but the fumes are terrible. But in former times I used to make heliocopies of drawings and the developer was also ammonia and we were used to it and I am still alive. So, if you can stand smelling a little ammonia, open the window and use it as fixer, quickly, and put back in the bottle.

Common salt is also a fixer, it dissolves silver halide. As first use it very concentrated, I putted half a kilo in 500ml solution and stired for a while. It still remains undissolved salt at the bottom, never mind. Filter this in coffee filter and use it for fixing films. But you have to be prepared to wait quite a long time, some 24 hours and the film is fixed at room temperature.

If you wait some more hours I will show you photos of the first film fixed with KITCHEN SALT!

Actualization at 20:40, 19-3-2012:

Kitchen salt passed this test. The film came out with white areas completely transparent after 24 hours fixing time with a very concentrated solution but without solid parts. If nothing else is available you can use salt, be prepared to wait 24 hours at least. After the first hour, you may open the tank at light and control visually the process. That was what I have done without problems, so far.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some other old photos

After buying the scanner Epson V330, I could see the difference between what I was showing and what is possible. In fact, some photos remained unveiled because I thought they were too bad to post them. At last they were not so bad, I simply couldn't make better with the means I had.

Split developer at 24-26 ºC
As a matter of fact I love this colors npt so intense, almost a sepia of the color photography.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Modify your scanner to scan transparencies

Today I will talk about a byproduct of the Caffenolcolor saga.

First of all, I bought a cheap film scanner, the Epson V330, that makes very good pictures of my 35 mm films and slides, but unfortunately can't scan other film formats. The bigger brother of this scanner, witch scans also medium format but only up to 6x9 (I think), the Epson V500, costs the double and I couldn't spend so much. I deal mainly with 35mm but I have a lot of old negatives I would like to scan, and I like medium format very much and I have the dream of purchasing a Mamiya or Hasselblad at ebay some of this days or even a Calumet or some thing in that direction.
Because now I have 3 scanners at home, I could take the risk of hacking one of them, the oldest one, an Epson DX-3800. Below is the scanner/printer I am talking about, not touched yet.

Weekend is coming

Since almost a week, I didn't shoot with film. This weekend I will expose a roll of 35mm with one of the cameras hunging somewhere in my home. My favorite camera is the Olympus Pen Trip 35 because I always forget adjusting something with the more sofisticated manual cameras.
It is my purpose to try again one of the recipes in order to stablish a standard, like I almost did with Caffcol I. With Caffcol II (split development) it is intended to save CD-4, because the first bath only picks a little developer to the second where it will be oxidized. With the time the second bath will be richer and richer in CD-4 and at a certain point maybe it can serve as only developer, who knows...
Another thing that must be studied is the paper of coffee (or other similar agent), varying proportions and mantaining pH. Well, well, this costs a lot of efforts and money.
But let us enjoy next weekend making good photos during the maintenance walks.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Testing my Epson scanner V330

I am testing the scanner since two hours and I still can't produce decent images. Well, it takes too long to scan a single image if you want perfection. I don't know if it was a good thing. The only advantage until now is that you don't need to sharpen the image, the scanner does it alone. About dust, it is not like I imagined, you must clean the negative very well before scanning.
Here are the two pictures I posted before but now they were scanned.

Some more of the same roll, also scanned: