August 17, 2010


Welcome everybody,
after more than 15000 hits and readers from more than 60 countries in less than 5 months, here's a chart for your conveniance. You may use it free without any permission for non-commercial purposes.

Again, click on the image for a bigger size and for saving.

Thank you for all contributions and feedback. It's just a beginning .....

I love coffee - Reinhold


fabricio said...



imagesfrugales said...

Hallo Fabricio,

lange nichts von dir gehört. Vielen Dank für deine Anerkennung, bedeutet mir sehr viel.

@ all: click on Fabricios name above to see more of this great artist.

J. M. Golding said...

Thank you for both this chart and for your experiments!

Roadmouse said...

Thanks, this is very useful! :)
Would it also be possible to have a conversion/estimate for washing soda containing water?

Urban Hafner said...

So you would use CMM only if you needed the extra speed and otherwise CCL?

imagesfrugales said...

Thank you guys.

Roadmouse: see here:

Urban: I would use CCM if I couldn't get bromide or if I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Also CCL isn't suitable for any teaspoon measuring. The low pH is delicate. CCM is foolproof.

jojonas said...

you're my caffenol hero!

Anonymous said...

Excellent Reinhold!

Now that you have printed your recipes and set them in stone, so to speak, the field is open for further experiments.

What you and a few fellows have done is proving that Caffenol is a serious developer, just as serious as the traditional recipes, and that we all have a viable alternative in an age where acces to proper chemicals gets more and more restricted.

So far I have not been abvle to locate a local source for KBr here in Norway, what is semi-available is PA or medicine grade KBr, which is 2190 NOK per kilogram, or 276 euro pr kg.....
As soon as I find a cheaper alternative (not medicine grade) I will publish that on norwegian web-sites, together with a link to this spot, which is outstanding!

Thank you.


Jan Bernhardtz said...

Many thanks for your unselfish information about caffenol. I have published your recipes on my photoblog. Hope you don't mind!
Jan Bernhardtz

Anonymous said...

is there really so much use of coffee in this mixture, if you use Vitamin-C? Other developers, like Kodak X-tol, use ascorbic acid as the main developing substance.
Today I tried this:
28g Soda
8g Vitamin C
Only 20mg Ammonium Bromide against fogging.

An Ilford Delta IE100 came out fine after 20min.
Bracketing suggests, I could also try a shorter devtime.
I will show a scan here:

Anonymous said...

Hallo Reinhold,

beziehen sich die Gewichtsangaben des Kaliumbromid auf "kalium bromatum cryst."?
Das habe ich in der Apotheke bekommen ("wollen sie Fotos entwickeln...?"), zuckerartige Konsistenz.

Danke und Grüße aus Hockenheim


imagesfrugales said...

Genau, Wolf. PZN 1791854. LG aus Heidelberg - Reinhold

kyle said...

I have a question about mixing temperature. what is the suggested minimal temperature needed to dissolve the coffee properly

imagesfrugales said...

Nothing special, I mix with tap water of about 20 °C. Takes a few minutes.....

jojonas said...

Hi! another one bitten by the coffee bean bug.
I know I should just print this and not lose it (again!) but in the meantime, I'd really appreciate if you linked to these from the main address somehow so I can easily find/show it off when I need to :)

felix said...

Hallo, ganz toller Blog, wirklich!
Werde am Mittwoch meinen ersten Film, tmax 100 entwickeln, mit welcher Methode mach ich das am besten? Wo sind die Unterschiede am Bild selbst? Wie pushe ich eigentlich mit caffenol?
Danke und liebe Grusse

imagesfrugales said...

Sorry felix, this is a blog in english language.

Gryffon said...

I was wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction to find a KBr distributer. I'm having a hell of a time trying to buy some.

imagesfrugales said...

I'm having a hell of a time trying to answer incomplete inquiries.

Hi Gryffon,

it would be extremely helpful to know where you are living ;-) For northern America f.e.: Freestyle

Otherwise you may use iodized salt instead

Anonymous said...


i´ve just developed my first film with Caffenol a few days ago. As a "coffee" I bought Nestle Caro. As I just read it´s made out of barley. I didn´t know this before. I developed a Fomapan 100 and I think it looks better than the same film developed in APH 09 ("Rodinal"). Developing with this instant "coffee" seems to be possible, too.


imagesfrugales said...

Hi Fabian, I heard before of using coffee surrogates instead of coffee and surprisingly it seems to work. A quick and dirty test I made myself gave me some film blackening. Maybe worth to investigate further. Good luck. If you like, contact me via Flickr. Cheers - Reinhold

MichaelChatfield said...

Hi there. does anyone know if it is possible to substitute instant cofffee for a fresh brew of espresso? I work at a cafe/roastery, so always have beans available to make a stove-top or plunger of coffee, but was wondering (allowing for a small variation in caffine content) whether it is possble to use fresh coffee, and if so, how much?

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Michael, it's possible but I neither tried it nor will I. In the flickr new caffenol group (see under links) there's a guy who does it. But it's probably impossible to formulate a "standard", so you are on your own concerning the amount. Double or triple drinking stength should be a reasonable starting point.

Anonymous said...

Hi, here is another case of fresh infection with Caffenol virus ;) Right now I am trying to find out how to adjust for temperature. Forgive if the information is there and I did not find it.

Is there a specific scheme for adapting the development time to the temperature of the solution? E.g. a certain percentage of time to be subtracted for each degree more?

I would like to start with Caffenol-C-L and stand development (for TMY and RPX400). As my room temperature is a pretty constant 24-25° C it would probably best to start development with a solution of the same temperature. It would probably turn out to be rather difficult to keep a lower temperature for an hour or so.

Back to my initial question: Is there a way to calculate the necessary time adjustment for temperatures other than 20°, a formula or a graph similar to those in many developer datasheets? If so, does it apply to all three recipes and agitation schemes? Or is it rather a question of trial and error, simply starting with a good guess?

Thanks a lot!

imagesfrugales said...

Look here:

Or simply add or take away 10 % of the time for each degree Celsius. Personally I wouldn't go beyond 24 °C, cooler might be better (grain?).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice! I already knew the devchart at digitaltruth that ends at 30 min. However, I did not know if it could simply be extended to 70 min in a linear way. But 10% per °C looks like a good starting point.

Practically speaking I might choose a different pathway. With higher room temperature it might be a good idea to start with the solution cooled to 20° C and put the tank into a tray filled with water of the same temperature. Of course the temperature will rise to room temperature at some point. I have however no idea how long this will take . To get an idea of the time needed in such conditions it might be helpful to do an "empty" experiment, either with plain water or with Caffenol, and measure the developer temperature after an hour.

Maybe I am not the only one having to take into consideration higher room temperature. That is why I will post any useful results I might get. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Just made the test. Room temperature of 24°C. Plain plain water of 20° C in the tank and in the tray, agitation as in semi stand development. The temperature gradually rose to a final 21°C after 60 min. No more (surprisingly for me).
If Caffenol-C-L does not behave radically different, higher room temperatures should therefore not pose any problem in stand development if one follows this procedure. Next comes the real stuff ;)

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Anon... got a name? Also my experiance, using a mantle bath, maybe 5 litres, 19 °C starting point and ends up with max. 21 °C afrer 75 minutes. Presoak with tempered water to cool the tank down is recommended. It's quite easy. Best - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

Hi Reinhold,
I finally developed my first film in Caffenol. Unfortunately it was a complete failure, and I feel unsure on how to proceed without being able to identify the reason for this failure.

The film is Kodak T-Max 400 (KB for a trial), exposed at 800 ASA, development in Caffenol-C-L for 60 minutes/20°, semi stand development, exactly as described by you for TMY.

The ingredients for 500 ml of demin. water were measured using precision scales: 8 g of soda, 5 g of ascorbic acid, 0.5 g of KBr, 20 g of instant coffee. Soda and KBr were acquired from a vendor of chemicals, the soda sold explicitly as being waterfree. Vit-C came from the seller recommended by you. Instant coffee was bought at a normal super-market, the simplest one I found there: a freeze-dried varient that says "finest qualities" but does not mention either "mild" or "arabica" (Jacobs Kroenung). After mixing the solution had about 22°, so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes, just long enought to cool it down to 20°.

The developed film displays a pretty visible brown stain and even with presoaking for 5 min and with excessive washing after more than sufficiant fixing (fresh fixer too), the water dropping from the drying film is still a little violet. Main disappointment: There is barely anything visible on the film, only very faint images. The film inscription is faint, too. Obviously some kind of underdevelopment. Does anything sound familiar and provide a clue to what might have gone wrong? I am determined to make this work, as your results look great to me and I would love to reproduce them with Caffenol!

Thanks, Amelie (who is a bit shy in public...)

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Amelie, sounds like you did everything well. This is not the best place to discuss epic failures, you are invited to join the "new Caffenol home"-group at flickr - see under links. And you can contact me also via flickr mail. Are you french?

OK, one hint: I bet you got the wrong soda. Test the soda if it's really waterfree. Heat it as described and weigh before and after. It shouldn't loose more than 2 % of weight. You got a faint image, so there was a bit of development. Imho there's a huge chance that you got a non-waterfree soda. It's always a good idea to check once the soda quality you have in hands, no matter how it is declared.

Good luck - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

Reinhard, you were right! Although the soda was explicitly sold as being waterfree the heating revealed a loss of 12% after 30+15 min at which point I stopped the test. In contrast simple "Heitmann Reine Soda" lost less than 2% after 30 min and then no more. So I am looking forward to have gorgeous Caffenol-negatives soon ;)

Thank for your help and for generously sharing not only such a wealth of general information on Caffenol but also your constantly improved recipes.

Best wishes,

Scott said...

I have just had a great success with Caffenol-C plus salt. I processed a few 4x5's in Caffenol-C four years ago but haven't made any since then. Using the same materials from 2008, I made a half recipe from the table on this page to process some 8x10 Kodak single emulsion x-ray film. Here is what I used, the negatives were outstanding.

10 minutes in developer, agitation for the first 30 seconds, then 10 seconds every minute. Temperature not even measured, I would guess 20 C or just under. Film was Kodak Ektascan B/RA single emulsion x-ray film shot at EI50.

27g Washing soda
8g Vitamin C
20g Instant Coffee
3g table salt with Iodine (to take the place of Potassium Bromide)
500ml water

Thank you, Reinhold!

gordypops said...

Thanks for the info. I've been playing around with this and this was really helpful. I blogged it and linked you. Cheers!

David Reyes ; Israel Ortiz said...

im looking a good recipe to get a good experience with caffenoñ and photopaper, any good idea? thanks every body

Matteo Canever said...

Hello Reinhard,
I just wanted to thank you and let you know that I made Caffenol C-L using the recipe on this page, and on Fomapan 400 @boxspeed with 70 minutes stand development the results are really great! I didn't scan the negatives yet, but I can already clearly see that they are really clean and sharp. I'll post some links if the pictures are decent (I'm still trying to become a better photographer :D ).

I'd like to add some info for visitors from ITALY, just in case they need to repeat my experiment:

Coffee Brand: Cheapest Lidl NON-DECAFFEINATED coffee (GRANAROM)
Soda: SODA SOLVAY (1 kg 2.3 Euros - found in many supermarkets and shops specialized in personal care and detergents.)
Vitamin C: You can ask for ACIDO ASCORBICO PURO (per preparazioni galeniche) at the pharmacy. Not all of them have some. Another source is enologic shops (there it should be cheaper)
KBr: I had to order it on ebay. fotomatica has it sold online

Thanks again Reinhard :) Keep up with the great job!

alm said...

I am extremely happy that I found this site and am overwhelmed with inspiration to make photos that look as good as the ones I see here. I have one very stupid question: how much water do you use in the recipes?

imagesfrugales said...

Hi alm, as almost everywhere in the whole world my recipes are for 1 liter water, measuring units are "g/l" = gramms per liter.

Shigeo OUE said...

Hello imagesfrugales,

I always use your C-C-L recipe.
And it makes good results.
Thank you very much.

To familiarize caffenol in Japan, I translate your recipe sheet into Japanese. Can I release it on my blog?
The Japanese version recipe is here:

Shigeo OUE

imagesfrugales said...

Shigeo, of course you can release the nicely translated sheet. Only one condition: no selling (no exeption) but only free distribution of the sheet. I would prefer a jpg or html, that everybody can see at first sight what it is about and copy/dl the info. I'm stressing that point because there's a lot of ads on your site, sorry.

Best - Reinhold

Paresh Pandit said...

Hi Reinhold,

I have been doing Caffenol C-M for some time now, but am not satisfied with how the film does not 100% clear. From this article, I am guessing that CCL should yield clearer negatives after fixing.

At that, had a query: You mentioned that one can use iodised salt in place of KBr. Was wondering if the proportion still remains the same (i.e. 1-2 gm/L)...?

I am also going to start trying cheap Vitamin C (from GSK etc) tablets as powder is difficult to come by in India in local drug stores, and the 1000mg health supplement capsules (that I got earlier - to ensure purity) are super expensive.

Best regards,

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Paresh, for the salt look here:

Can`t help with the Vit-C tablets if they work as desired. The seller linked in this post delivers pure Vit-C worldwide and at a very good price: