Visit my new blog

I´ve decided to split my blog in two. I will continue to post DIY projects and musings here, but (serious) pictures, taken on film of course, will be posted in my new blog "Silver Halides"

I now consider Caffenol to be a developer like any else. As such the new blog will focus more on the pictures, rather than the process.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Acros 100 Re-used Caffenol-C-M and night photography

Acros 100 saves time when doing night photography. Why? Because it has practically no reciprocity at all. For shots up to several minutes in length you can shoot as metered. See examples below.

Secondly, I´ve tried re-using Caffenol-C-M. I processed one 120 Acros 100 roll, and once out of the tank I developed yet another roll in the same soup. Caffenol is reputed to be one shot, however the active agents would seem not to be spent after just one film after all. Its not as if I couldn´t be bothered to mix another batch, I just wanted to try it out. Reinhold at the Caffenol.blogspot has met with success re-using Caffenol, and he´s the master of all things Caffenol, so why not? I added a teaspoon (5ml) of instant coffee to the mix, just in case and added a minute to the development, and adjusted nothing else. And hey presto, the negatives came out just as good as the first roll through the same mix. Same contrast levels, any differences could be attributed to variations in exposure as much as anything else.

I might continue doing this in future. Saves both time and effort.

The first three night shots. The last midday fog.

Flexaret Va, Acros 100, EI 200, 2 min metered and exposed, 13 min in Caffenol-C-M reused

Flexaret Va, Acros 100, 20 min exposure, pure guess metering, 13 min in Caffenol-C-M reused

Flexaret Va, Acros 100, EI 200, 2 min metered and exposed, 13 min in Caffenol-C-M reused

Flexaret Va, Acros 100, EI 200, 13 min in Caffenol-C-M reused

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Acros 100 unintentionally overexposed by not one, not two, but most likely 5 or more stops!

My Kowa leaf shuttered 85mm lens developed a shutter issue at the exact same time I started testing Acros 100. At first I thought my very dense negatives were due to my getting the development all wrong, and subsequently went out and shot another roll. The second roll showing the exact same symptoms, even after changing EI from 100 to 200 and shaving 4 minutes of the development time. This is when I started suspecting other things, like my new light meter, and went out and shot another roll with the old meter. Still dense negatives bordering on opaque. I should of course have just studied the film borders and the film base to see if the development was off, or if it indeed was an exposure issue. But I panicked!

I finally cottoned on to the party to blame, the lens´leaf shutter was sticking, on all speeds. It didn´t really matter which speed was set, the time it took for the shutter to close was at least a couple of seconds, and sometimes it didn´t close at all. I managed to get my flatbed scanner to interpret a few frames out of three rolls of negatives, barely. I suspect that a better scanner would have been able to salvage something from most of them, and that wet printing could get nice results. But alas, I´ve not a $1000 scanner, nor is my darkroom ready yet.

To wrap up the winging, I´d like to say that I´m impressed with what Acros can tolerate of overexposure. Because these negatives got their fair dose of it. Reinhold rates Acros to an EI of 200 in Caffenol-C-M. These negative probably got exposed in single digit EI´s. The results being big chunky grain in the lighter (most overexposed areas) and still quite nice and fine grain in the darker areas. There´s even some quite nice midtones evident on most of the negatives in question. I now know that not only does Acros push well, it pulls well too. Not that I´d want to pull 5 or more stops out of a fine grained film, at least I know there´s a lot of exposure latitude on hand with this film.

A couple of examples:

The two tallest buildings in Oslo. EI 1 to 5, Acros 100, Caffenol-C-M 12min @ 20C

Self portrait. In shadow, so EI probably 5-10 somewhere,Acros 100, Caffenol-C-M 12min @ 20C
In fact I rather like the first picture, the gritty look is becoming and suits the subject material. I´ll be printing this one once I´ve got a darkroom going.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Acros 100, the long route

I´ve been trying to test Acros 100 for ages now. But for some reason a compound of non-related issues has prevented me from doing so. First my Mac decided to have a disk crash, so scanning any negatives was a no go. Then the camera that I´ve come to rely on felt it needed a hiatus, the shutter giving in. First intermittently, then more or less all the time; ruining three rolls of Acros in the process.

Finally though I´ve been able to both expose, develop and scan enough Acros negatives for form an opinion. It rocks! Its even more fine grained than TMX, though I think I still might prefer TMX midtones. Its pushes very well, but funnily enough it pulls even better. I know, since the shutter stuck I have a host of negatives overexposed by at least 5 stops, probably more. Boy are they dense, but some are scannable on my lowly Epson V500, resulting in very heavy grained images - but not without some merit. More on that later.

Acros 100, rated at EI 200 for the most part. Developed in Caffenol-C-M (C-H without the bromide remember) for 12 minutes @ 20C.

Acros 100, EI200, C-C-M 12min @ 20C, taken with Flexaret Vb

Acros 100, EI200, C-C-M 12min @ 20C, taken with Flexaret Vb

Acros 100, EI200, C-C-M 12min @ 20C, taken with Kowa Super 66

I´ve also tested EI 50-80 and up to 15 minutes @ 20C, and they work just as well. Acros is almost as robust as TMX when it comes to exposure and development latitude.