Film almost transparent

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Franssoa, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Franssoa

    Franssoa Guest


    Please excuse my poor English, I speak french.

    I own a Lubitel 166B, and I've tested the Caffenol processing.

    I used the classic recipe (C-H), with a 1mn vinegar+water stop bath (I
    need to buy acetic acid) and a 5mn fixing using Ilford Rapid Fixer. The
    result was an almost transparent film :

    I tested my washing soda, and he have a 20% water. So I tested a 2nd
    film, adjusting the washing soda quantity and processing 16mn instead of
    15mn... for an almost identical result.

    Is a transparent film a sign of a too short processing ? Must I let the
    caffenol acting for a 30mn time to be sure ?

    Franssoa, Feb 23, 2014
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  2. It can be sign that the developer did not develop. If
    there are edge markings on the film it indicates the film
    was developed but not exposed, if no edge markings the
    developer did not work.
    I am skeptical of these odd developers. There are
    plenty of conventional developers that work very well.
    Richard Knoppow, Feb 23, 2014
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  3. I do not remember who said it (Kenneth Mees?) that the plethora of film
    developing formulae gives us many means by which identical results may
    be obtained. Start with D-76d or something and change only if you need to.
    Jean-David Beyer, Feb 23, 2014
  4. Attributed to Kenneth Meese but I don't remember where I
    first saw it. I must agree, Kodak did a lot of research on
    reliable developers, their characteristis are well
    established. Almost every manufacturer of film, paper,
    chemicals, had some version of the Kodak formulae. The main
    differences were in AGFA formulas which sometimes specified
    potassium salts in place of sodium. The main reason was that
    AGFA produced enormous amounts of potassium as a by-product
    of their chemical industry. They also had a couple of
    patented reducing agents (like Rodinal). For the most part,
    until the relatively recent evolution of ascorbic acid and
    Phenidone derivatives, most formulas used Metol (originally
    an AGFA trade-name, called Elon by Kodak) and hydroquinone
    in various ratios depending on the results desired. While
    some very modern formulas, like Xtol, are somewhat superior
    to the old ones its not be a lot so one can do very
    satisfactory work with D-76 (preferably in its buffered form
    published by Kodak as D-76d) for film and D-72 (formula
    version of Dektol) for paper. I am fascinated by the use of
    eccentric developing agents like tea or coffee. They may
    have properties as reducers but are thoroughly inferior to
    the half-dozen agents that were found over the last century
    and a half. Even the use of pyro is somewhat eccentric
    because M-H formulas are more reliable and generally longer
    lasting. Its fun to experiment but for serious work an
    established and reliable developer is very desirable. There
    are not many left in packaged form. I am not sure what
    Kodak is currently offering but I think T-Max RS, which is
    an active developer which is its own replenisher, Xtol,
    which yeilds somewhat finer grain than T-Max and similar
    developers from Ilford. Ilford also offers Perceptol, an
    extra-fine-grain developer identical to Kodak Microdol-X
    which is now discontinued.
    Richard Knoppow, Feb 24, 2014
  5. I think the problem was the original poster was in a location where film
    developers were no longer available and it was impractical to mail order

    Caffeine and vitamin C developers have the advantge of being made from
    easily available household items, no one is going to become suspicious
    if you buy a kilo of either.

    There also was a flurry of activity at one time using the active ingredient
    in Tylenol as a developer, but in many places it is very expensive, even
    as a generic medication.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 24, 2014
  6. Franssoa

    Franssoa Guest

    Le 24. 02. 14 09:44, Geoffrey S. Mendelson a écrit :
    Thank you (all of you) for your replies.

    I know there is plenty of good products manufactured by Kodak, Ilford,
    Agfa... and I have used some of them .... a lot of years ago.

    I wanted only test the Caffenol as a more ecological alternative. It's
    only as an hobby, and I don't care much the quality (I know the quality
    would be a lot better with commercial products).

    My original post was only to try to discover where was a failure and how
    to correct it.

    This film ( ) is almost transparent with my
    recipe and 15mn processing, and I was curious if I can go to 30mn ?

    I think I'll just try, and report results to you.

    Franssoa, Feb 24, 2014
  7. I would not bet on that. Someone I used to know wanted to identify
    whether or not some wild mushrooms were the psychedelic ones or not, and
    she wondered if I could get some para methyl aminophenol sulfate for her
    to use for testing. I sent her a small film can of the stuff. Not
    something I would do. I do not even know if she ever used it or not. But
    if word got out in a restrictive society, they would probably make it
    Jean-David Beyer, Feb 25, 2014
  8. Franssoa

    Franssoa Guest

    Le 24. 02. 14 13:44, Franssoa a écrit :
    Same recipe at 22°C (~72°F) with 30mn processing, and the result is a
    lot better :

    Franssoa, Feb 25, 2014
  9. Very good, I would not have thought this developer could
    work so well.
    Richard Knoppow, Feb 28, 2014
  10. Franssoa

    franssoa Guest

    Le 28. 02. 14 07:22, Richard Knoppow a écrit :
    Thank you, yes I'm happy with this results.
    Now I have to manage the focus (and exposure) on my Lubitel. More than
    30 years with an autofocus and automatic camera give bad habits...

    franssoa, Feb 28, 2014
  11. Franssoa

    Ken Hart Guest

    A coffee-based recipe that I saved (but never tried) specifies 25-30 minutes
    developing time. It also claims good sharpness and tonal range.
    Ken Hart, Mar 1, 2014
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