October 17, 2021 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Ha - Ajvarol was new to me and pretty ridiculous but it I support that kind of crazy. That said, you can get pretty decent results from caffenol (I prefer the Caffenol C-M formulation - generally you want cheap coffee from Robusta beans in my experience) if you haven't tried. Has anyone used household chemicals that work as well as Sodium Thiosulphate or Ammonium Thiosulfate as a fixer?
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:11 PM on October 17, 2021

I've never worked with film, my experience is all digital; so I may be missing something or several somethings. But...

A lot of those methods don't seem to make an appreciable difference in the outcome, apart from a couple of them adding a slight tint to the final result. I can imagine that replacing highly toxic chemicals with less-expensive/less-lethal ones could be a benefit, but is there anything else to this apart from sheer exploration for its own sake? (not that that's bad either, but you know what I mean)
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:20 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

So if you mix beetroot with your film is it sweet?

Sweeet ... emulsion?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:27 PM on October 17, 2021 [13 favorites]

I may be missing something or several somethings

It is a combination of all those things - less toxic, less expensive, more fun, more a sense of discovery. Film in the age of digital, at least for me, is more about the embracing of the imperfections & serendipity of the medium rather than the clarity of image, more about aesthetics then it is about practicality, more the physicality over the intangibility of digital. Alternative processes, whether it is wet plate processing or caffenol, offer a world of image creation that can be a lot of fun to explore. Ultimately though it is matter of preference. YMMV?
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:47 PM on October 17, 2021 [8 favorites]

This guy said he developed a sensitivity to a common commercial developer ingredient, and Caffenol definitely doesn't have it in it.

I'm not sure there's really a caffenol "look" (other than, you mixed it wrong and it came out weird) but people have fun with it.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2021

That makes sense Ashwagandha, thanks.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:52 PM on October 17, 2021

These will never work - - follow the science!

Oops, thought I'd stumbled into a list of covid cures for antivaxxers.

Never mind.
posted by fairmettle at 7:23 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hey, if I found out coffee and beer cured Covid I'd be a seriously happy guy! (and a wide-awake drunk)
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:31 PM on October 17, 2021

I put my iPad in drain cleaner and now it won't charge. What am I doing wrong?
posted by flabdablet at 7:56 PM on October 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Where do I start...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:07 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm thirsty!
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 PM on October 17, 2021

Sink a few gas station beers and see what develops.
posted by flabdablet at 11:29 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don’t think I saw this among the links but be sure to check out the video by James Hoffmann — coffee professional, film photography enthusiastic amateur, all around soothing presence — on Caffenol.
posted by supercres at 11:30 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I keep meaning to try Caffenol, I still just use HC-110 but my son has used it and come up with some impressive results.

Neat to see Emulsive links on the Blue. It's a great community site and I've even contributed a couple of articles to it myself.
posted by octothorpe at 4:35 AM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

I develop film so rarely that it's easier to keep instant coffee, Vitamin C and washing soda on hand (all things I'd eventually use anyway) than expensive chemicals that might go bad before I use them and be hard to dispose of safely.

Many years ago I found an old Brownie camera with an exposed roll of Kodacolor II inside. I don't develop color so I took a stab at processing in caffenol and was pretty happy with the results. Freaky to think you can bring a 35-year-old photo back to life with just some stuff lying around the house. (Also, RIP to the walking zombie that is Flickr in 2021. It used to have such great communities for film development).
posted by Gortuk at 8:17 AM on October 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

I admit, I did not read the link and assumed this was an expose (ha get it) of professional film lab industry from my long ago career. Because I've consumed nearly all those substances listed while sitting around waiting for the E6 to finish.
posted by winesong at 9:43 AM on October 18, 2021

Wow, learn something new everyday. Or at least relearn something you had completely forgotten.
posted by y2karl at 10:27 AM on October 18, 2021

Shows how long it's been since I was involved in film photography that I hadn't heard of this caffenol thing. Would have been good to know about it back in the day, considering the highly toxic stuff like pyrocatechin I used to use...
posted by Surely This at 11:59 AM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Photographer Kali used all sorts of special materials:

“ The wet gelatin prints (cypress trees, daughter Susan as model, Paul in Speedo, the artists, etc.) were lowered into the swimming pool and sprayed with paint, eyedrops of Dr. Ph. Martin liquid colors, and whatever else was handy. “
posted by Ideefixe at 3:13 PM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I know very little about film chemistry - I was born too far into the age of the digital revolution for chemical film to be an approachable hobby. However I quite by accident stumbled upon the channel of one Adrian Cousins some time ago - he shoots fairly experimental and dreamlike little vignettes on expired film stock (8 and 16mm both) and home processes the footage before having it scanned in 4K. The results are stunning - and his taste in music is excellent.

Experiments in Caffenol Reversal with long expired Kodak 7241 - some interesting notes in the description on his findings with this recipe.

Kodachrome 40 Fruiticonol reversal

Waiting for the Bradford train

Expired 16mm Kodak Ektachrome SO-118

I had at one point considered whether these would make a good post on the blue, but I didn't feel confident in my knowledge of film development to do the description real justice, nor did I know which clips to select. There are several dozen of these he's released, some a minute long, others approaching 20 minutes and they don't have narrative or structure.
posted by the_querulous_night at 7:26 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

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