Coffee developer samples....

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by rds801, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. I developed a roll of plus-x pan 125 in coffee and washing soda. Photos are posted here I used my Olympus om-1n, 50 1.4 and a vivitar 2x macro teleconverter. It's just some photos of my sons' toy car. Just something to put on film so I could try the coffee thing
     
  2. Interesting. Could you give some details about the "coffee developer" and your processing?
     
  3. My dog cringes in anticipation of pain when I approach with camera in hand with that same motive. And if you know Labradors, you'll know that pain and fear are not concepts generally acknowledged to exist in their world. It's generally at night with poor lighting, and nothing else handy to point the camera at. His face is half turned and lids half closed in anticipation of the flash; not his most photogenic self. I give him the highest marks for valor and not running away to hide. Pretty soon, the wife will have cut roses out again, and thus spare him his role in my film and camera testing.

    BTW, nice tonality in those shots. What's that recipe you used?
     
  4. Be carefull; I posted Coffee images and got roasted! :)<BR><BR>Imagine a Labrador near the water; and you having to struggle to get him/her into the water to fetch a stick! :)
     
  5. I got the recipe from a Shutterbug article (september2003 issue). Roger K. Bunting is the author.(www.photoglass.com)
    Here is the recipe.....

    8 oz of water, 4 teaspoons of instant coffee crystals, 2 teaspoons of washing soda.

    Stir the ingredients until uniform, then develop film for 25 minutes, agitating every 30 seconds.

    I doubled the ingredients for the 16 oz tank I was using. I didn't have any measuring spoons so I just guessed with the coffee and washing soda. I had to visit a couple of stores before I found the washing soda. I used arm and hammer. WASHING SODA, NOT BAKING SODA! I used water for my stop bath and Ilford rapidfixer for my fix.

    Quote from article...."This simple formula will develop any silver-halide emulsion, but for best results you'll need to experiment to determine the optimum composition and development time for the particular film and exposure level you use"
     
  6. Thanks. That's just too funny to not try. If I had some Folger's instant, my dog would be in trouble.

    Did you shoot it at box speed, then? How did the density come out for you? It's difficult to tell from the scans; they're uniformly good. You can get a rough estimate of density by laying the neg across black text on white paper. Density 1.1 would just begin to occlude the text completely; 0.8 starts to make reading through it difficult. Last, what brand coffee did you use? Really last: I reckon the base got stained a little; can you estimate how much? One way to do that is by stacking normally developed film next to the sample on a lightbox, until the film edge base+fog roughly matches. Sorry to bug you with this... I would understand if you ignored the dunning questions.
     
  7. I sounds really interesting. I can not resist to give it a try.
    Ramiro.
     
  8. light years different from my experiment...
    0083KS-17687184.jpg
     
  9. What film/speed did you use?
    What coffeee brand/temperature?
    Agitation?

    I think that the caffeic acid is what does the job, so depending on the amount of caffeine it should be important to know the brand... I'd prefer to buy the food lion brand myself.


    Anyway, great pics!
     
  10. Much better than my experimental developers using coffee, vitamin C, eye of newt, etc. So *washing* soda is the trick, hmmm? Not baking soda.
    0083TY-17691984.jpg
     
  11. So...could I use my espresso machine for rapid developer or push processing?
     
  12. In answer to Michael's question, yes, I've observed some staining of the film base (presumably on the emulsion side) with most of the homebrewed variations I've tried. Whether this was a useful form of staining, I can't say. I can say that the photos on one roll in particular produced prints with a unique and appealing tonality. I stopped experimenting with homebrews late last year when my time became occupied with other matters. And some of the homebrews produced fogging, especially on prints. Given my limited time at the moment it only makes sense for me to stick with known products.
    0083Ws-17693384.jpg
     
  13. So...could I use my espresso machine for rapid developer or push processing?
    Though I'm sure this was meant as a joke, the amount of coffee crystals to water called out in the recipe posted above was just about the strength of espresso. So, for the instant coffee, you could likely substitute eight ounces of espresso. Unfortunately, that's eight shots (or six, at least), and it would take me twenty minutes to make that much with my machine (and a half hour to cool to room temperature); the beans would cost me a dollar or more, compared to fifteen cents and thirty seconds of stirring for four teaspoons of instant crystals.
    One is led to wonder, however, whether it's possible to buy technical grade caffeine over the counter? It does seem the most likely developing agent in coffee; everything else that's there is in smaller quantities, and as an alkaloid it's chemically related to salycilates, phenol derivates (such as metol), and hydroquinone.
     
  14. I can just see it now, on digitaltruth...

    APX 100 @ EI 80 in Folgernol, 10 minutes, 70 degrees F, constant jittery agitation
     
  15. Well, I just had to try this! My first attempt was with some of the brew per cup coffee bags (similiar to tea bags), using some old Plus-X, and it came out way too stained (I think this is due to the type of coffee), with quite a bit of fog (old film). My next attempt was somewhat better, I used Folgers instant coffee this time, and used some current film (Ilford Ortho+). Not too bad, the negative has a slight overall stain, but nothing that should matter for anything.
    0084lJ-17725084.jpg
     
  16. I just finished a roll of Tri-X (old TX, expired about 1999, not 400TX) done with Fred Meyer store brand coffee crystals. Because Tri-X usually takes about 25% longer than Plus-X to develop in the same soup, I gave 30 minutes at 72 F with five inversions every minute, water stop (to avoid problems with gas generation on the carbonate alkali), and my regular Ilford Rapid Fix. The negatives have a definite brown general stain, but (at least to naked eye) look perfectly well developed and with adequate or more than adequate contrast. I'll see how they scan, and check red channel vs. blue channel, but this looks like it could actually be practical (aside from the long process time).

    BTW, I had no problem finding washing sode -- Arm & Hammer brand was on the shelf in the laundry section at the local large supermarket; I also grabbed a box of 20 Mule Team borax while I was there. Total for coffee (I don't drink instant, so had to buy a jar), washing soda, and borax was just over $10, and I have enough chemicals to caffeinate about 100 rolls of film. The filtered water to mix and final rinse will cost me more than the developer!

    The smell was certainly interesting -- the developer smells like the residue in a broiler 12-24 hours after broiling steaks.
     
  17. Interesting. Donald, what did you rate the TX at (or alternately, if you were going to try another roll, what would you rate it at, based on your first roll)? I may give it a try just to see what it looks like.
     
  18. I shot the (old) TX at the rated figure of 400, used the internal meter in my Spottie, and applied no compensations (though I did exercise some awareness of the nature of the center weighted metering field to avoid gross errors). I was amazed at the amount of shadow detail in some shots that I expected to be underexposed; I wonder if the true speed with this process might be 500 or even 640, and I suppose I should shoot a test roll to find out. OTOH, the mid tones are correct with metering at EI 400, so for the next roll I'll most likely leave my meter at 400 and just accept the improved shadows as a gift. The effect seems almost like a slight compression. I'll attach a crop of a 6 mm square portion of one of the negatives which (all credit to the Super Takumar 1.4/50 lens) is one of the crispest negatives I've ever seen, and certainly the best sharpness I've ever produced in my own processing, along with an exceptional range of scannable density. Which is the other thing -- I've only got the roll about 1/3 scanned, because I ran out of time last night, but despite looking very dense, these negatives scan very well as black and white (haven't tried them in color yet, but I plan to, if only to compare red and blue channels to check for imagewise stain).
    0085bP-17753084.jpg
     
  19. Caffenol must be a similar developer to Pyro.

    My guess is that Caffeic acid (CAS NUMBER : 331-39-5) is the main developer and it is similar in structure and activity to pyrogallol (thus staining). [glefkadis photographic chemistry]
    I guess it is naturally present in coffee becomes active by the addition of carbonate (besides boosting the pH). Or it may be th eproduct of some reaction of caffeine with carbonate....

    I don;t have any deccafeinated coffe crystal at home, but if I get some I may give it a shot to see if anything appears.
     
  20. Thanks, Donald. I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some washing soda, so I'll give this a try.

    _View Camera_ magazine (if I remember correctly) published a piece a while back on a green tea formula that essentially replaced the pyro in a pyro developer with brewed tea. The results published in the magazine looked surprisingly good--as in "good enough to use," rather than "good for kitchen chemistry."
     
  21. Glad to see I'm not the only one- The green Tea article was in Photo Vision Magazine ;July/August 2003; Vol 3 No.6: "PMK or TTM" by M.J.Vajed, M.D.; pg. 46-49.
     
  22. _PhotoVision_, That's right. Sorry for the mis-attribution.
     
  23. I had to make a trip to Walla Walla, WA today (I live in Vancouver, WA). I shot some TMAX100. I will develop that and post the results. I stopped and took some pictures of an old guy (Ben) that ran some type of antique store on HWY 12 in Walla Walla (The last chance store).

    Glad to see people are trying this...and it's working. I am new to developing b&w film. The stuff I did with the coffee was only the second roll that I developed. My next project will be a pinhole camera. Keep posting coffee results have you have any.
     
  24. I'm not sure if caffeine really is the active ingredient that does the developing. My very first attempt was done with individual packets of coffee that you brew per cup (looks like a teabag), and it came out way to darkly stained (the attached photo is my very first attempt, before the one I posted earlier). After I got the coffee working right I decided to try tea, as it's also high in caffeine, but when I tried it, use Lipton Iced Tea bags (I'm assuming that they're the same as 'normal' teabags, just with more tea per bag) all I got was a darkly stained sheet of blank film! I might just go and buy a small bottle of instant decaf just to be able to confirm or deny caffeine as the developing agent! -Mike
    0085xM-17765084.jpg
     
  25. In the Tea article he uses 14 "green tea" bags steeped in 550ml of water. He speculate that the active agent is the formation of Gallio-Tannic acid.
     
  26. It occurred to me the other night, while typing a response to a separate conversation about coffee as a developer, that it might not be so much a case of caffeic acid or one of the various tannins or lignins in coffee acting similarly to pyrogallol -- coffee might well contain pyrogallol, pyrocatechin, or both. Benzopyrenes (which include both pyro developing agents) are common products of roasting operations. And the aroma of the coffee developer, which is almost identical to that of a broiler pan twelve hours after grilling a steak, suggests that there are benzopyrenes present in coffee.

    The fact that there seems to be a toe speed increase suggests pyrocatechin rather than pyrogallol (or a combination of the two); most pyrogallol developers show speed loss, but pyrocat developers often show a small (1/3 to 1/2 stop) speed increase. And small amounts of pyrocatechin are known to appear in places that could come from coffee -- such as human urine and polluted lake water -- as well as in other materials that have been suggested as alternate developers, such as red wines.

    Of course, I could be completely off base; there might well be a previously unknown developing agent in coffee, though it's likely a flavonoid, glycoside, or similar phenolic derivative -- even caffeine is reported to have a structure similar to some of the aminophenols that are known developing agents (metol and p-aminophenol, as found in Rodinal, are in that category), so I don't think we can rule out caffeine and caffeic acid as contributory yet.

    BTW, the failure of black tea to develop film doesn't rule out caffeine as the agent, either -- although tea leaves contain more caffeine per gram than roasted coffee, brewing coffee uses several times as much grounds as the leaves used to brew tea, with the result that brewed coffee contains about three times as much caffeine as brewed tea. A better test would be to use instant tea mixed to about 6 or 8 times normal strength, to produce a comparable level of caffeine to the coffee mixture at 4 times normal strength that's the basis of Caffenol. One might need to adjust the alkali, too, since tea is more acidic than coffee (higher tannin levels), and one might still find too much general stain from the tannin.
     
  27. benzopyrenes, excellent observation!

    Got some decaf last night and found that washing soda was pretty cheap (5 lb box for $2.5) so it'll replace my sodium carbonate from other sources.
     
  28. The perfect complimentary article for this thread~~

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PinCam/pincam.html
     
  29. This article in the rit website:

    http://www.rit.edu/~andpph/text-coffee.html
     
  30. If coffee has components related to pyrogallol, catechol and/o hydroquinone, it ought to be superadditive with phenidone with the addition of a pinch of sulfite.

    Don't forget when you are using washing soda in ordinary formulas, it has a lot more water of crystallization than the monohydrate, so you will require a lot more to be equivalent. IIRC the factor is 1.7. It is still cheaper, but it is also a little more difficult to dissolve. I used it a lot years ago. It seems to think it has all the water it needs. Hot water will get it going.
     
  31. If coffee has components related to pyrogallol, catechol and/o hydroquinone, it ought to be superadditive with phenidone with the addition of a pinch of sulfite.
    Well, that's an interesting thought. What ordinary food or beverage products contain usable traces of phenidone or closely related chemicals? Because it occurs to me -- somewhere in Anchell & Troop, there's mention that educators are always looking for that "completely safe" developer that, it seems, even Vitamin C isn't (ascorbates are toxic even within the doses sold as single tablets over the counter, though not very toxic at that level). But if we can substitute baking soda for washing soda (even if more of it), and find another food product that contains a superadditive component related to phenidone, we might be able to make a developer that is literally safe to drink -- though I doubt any kid would drink much, since extremely strong cofee with baking soda added would taste pretty terrible!
    Sulfite's not a huge problem; it's found in most kinds of preserved sausage, such as the pepperoni on pizza, and is also present in small amounts in most beers and wines.
    Hmm. Phenidone -- 1-Phenyl-3-Pyrazolidone, it says here. There's also a Phenidone B, 1-Phenyl-4-Methyl-3-Pyrazolidone (and I saw a reference to a 1-Phenyl-4-hydroxymethyl-4-methy-3-pyrazolidone, with no common name given); none seems to be present in foods or beverages in even the kind of known quantities as benzopyrenes in broiled meat.
    Well, even if just coffee and baking soda will work, we've got the "safe" developer -- especially if decaf will work as well as the real deal -- it's just slower than we might like (and probably slower still with baking soda, because we won't be able to raise the pH as high). The only issue with regular coffee would be that some people have adverse reactions to caffeine. Now, water stop works well (especially with a carbonate or bicarbonate alkali); can we come up with a fixer that's in the "safe enough to drink" class?
     
  32. According to this article:

    http://www.shutterbug.net/features/0903sb_coffee/

    seawater is a viable fixer, but the fixing times are long.
     
  33. Really?

    I understood sea water would work as a hypo clear, but as a fixer? There must be a trace of sulfite in sea water. But of course you couldn't get away with using sea water as a fixer in a modern school; after all, if little Becky drinks a quart of the salty stuff, she'll probably get sick and throw up all over her party dress.

    Say, if we make the coffee developer with sea water to begin with, would we get a two-hour "drinkable" monobath?
     
  34. Hey, it's not my article. Ask the author.

    Here's my first coffee neg. Base fog/stain is high, so I've got some banding from the scanner, but I'd say it's a printable neg, maybe grade 3 or so. Efke PL100 4x5" at EI 80 (my usual EI for PMK), orange filter, f:11-1/2, 1/10 sec. Developed 20 minutes with constant agitation in a tray (too small a tray--I burned the edges and cropped a bit in PS to compensate for the extra edge density), fixed in TF-4 to avoid pinholes from the combination of the carbonate and acid fixer, but I still got one or two.
     
  35. Oops, forgot to upload the image.
    0086dk-17789684.jpg
     
  36. Back in the days of yore, Fox Talbot that is, table salt was the fixer of choice. Then Sir John (Herschel) recommended that Hypo was better and the rest is history.
     
  37. Also, I would agree with Donald that the result is a very crisp negative (grainy as well), not unlike ABC pyro. Maybe when I get back home I'll post a detail scan.
     
  38. Well, Herschel pointed out hypo to Talbot because Talbot was complaining that his calotypes were turning black, even in dim room light, after a time. The problem was, table salt wasn't fixing, just converting the silver salt to less sensitive silver chloride, which is still not soluble enough to wash out of gelatin or paper at all readily. Sulfite will work, very slowly, but isn't as good as even sodium thiosulfate, much less the rapid ammonium version. And offhand, I don't know of any other chemicals that will convert halide to a soluble silver salt or complex without also bleaching the developed silver (even thiosulfate fixers do bleach, but only very slowly).
     
  39. Dr. Scott Williams, the guy responsible for the article at the RIT website about coffee developers said:
    "Pablo,

    Feel free to post to the net that later experimentation showed that
    boiled fresh mint leaves works FAR better coffee, with just some baking
    soda, and it smells better.

    I have the details to that too - but I need to dig them out.

    -Scott
    "

    how shall we call that? Scope-a-nol?
     
  40. Here's the detail--a 4.1x4.3mm square from the 4x5 inch neg. above scanned at 3000 dpi. These are the windows of the Riverside Church at the center left of the frame.
    0086x7-17799884.jpg
     
  41. Whoa.
    Mint?? And baking soda. That sounds like toothpaste, and it's got to smell better than Caffenol. I'd be very interested in that formula; of course, we need to know if it's spearmint, peppermint, etc.
    Hey, David, that looks very much like the 2400 ppi scan from my 35 mm old Tri-X. Does sorta make one wonder if a little sulfite might not smooth things out, but now I want to get some mint leaves...
     
  42. I'm thinking maybe a dash of Edwal Liquid Orthazite, which has some sulfite to keep down the grain and benzotriazole to help with the base fog. I guess that makes it less drinkable, but I wasn't planning to drink it anyway. What about steamed milk? That should give me those creamy tones.

    I think I have some dried mint leaves in the cupboard that have been sitting there a bit too long. The coffee was from a dusty jar of instant Nescafe that looked like it had been sitting in the back of a drawer in my office for at least 15 years.
     
  43. What are the tell tale signs that this developer has gone bad?? I mean the darn stuff is already brown from the get go!
     
  44. It is a one shot developer
     
  45. Well, I tried adding 1/4 oz. Liquid Orthazite to 8 oz. Caffenol and it looks like it restrained the image right off the film. Base fog was certainly minimal! That was the maximum recommendation for paper developer, but I've used it for very old film with high base fog without completely destroying the image. Edwal's recommendation for D-76 for a little extra solvent effect is 2 ml./gallon, so maybe if I do this again, I'll try something a little more in that ballpark.

    I'm fairly sure I didn't make any mistakes like forgetting to set the proper exposure or remove the lenscap, and I was using a Grafmatic filmholder that was advanced to the right number, so I didn't forget to pull the darkslide.
     
  46. David, I think the benzotriazole in the Liquid Orthazite might just be too much for the (already slow) developing agent (whatever it is) in Caffenol. My next batch I'm going to try adding 1 tsp of iodized table salt to the mix; that will add solvent action that should reduce grain, and the trace of iodide will act as an inorganic restrainer and ought to cut the fog somewhat -- though honestly, my Tri-X negatives don't have fog so much as general stain, which I think will just have to be endured with Caffenol. I doubt I'll get to it this weekend, though, so this one will have to be continued next week -- and by then, it'll probably be time to start a new thread, since this one is almost two weeks old now, and getting rather deep down the list.

    Hmm. Table salt. Still pretty non-toxic stuff...
     
  47. I think that's probably true. I'll be interested to see what the table salt does before I produce another hommage to Malevich's "Black Square."
     
  48. "I'm not sure if caffeine really is the active ingredient that does the developing."

    ==================

    Has anyone tried No-doz?
     
  49. Has anyone tried No-doz?
    There is some reason (based on reading I've done since this thread started) to believe that the developing agent in Caffenol is something other than caffeine, or at the least caffeine and something else -- the original RIT article about developing with coffee mentioned that they had tried various other caffeinated beverages with little or no density produced; with soft drinks, it's possible sugar might have restrained the development (sugar is used as a restrainer in the Bath A of some two-bath developers), but brewed black tea has about half the caffeine of regular drip coffee, so should have produced something detectable if caffeine were primarily responsible. Green tea has been found to produce some development, as well as mint (in the latter, at least, thymosin has been implicated, but there are complications in that thymosin is oil soluble and the oils bearing the agent float in water, producing an overdevelopment in the top 10% to 25% of tank depth).
    If you look at the structures, caffeine does bear some resemblance to phenidone and metol, but instead of the benzene ring being joined to the pyrazole at a single point, it's joined at two carbons -- if I had to guess, as someone who never took organic chemistry, much less doing deep research into development chemistry, I'd say most likely the pyrazole is doing most of the work in common developers (it's present in pyrogallol and pyrocatechin, as well as several compounds in coffee, thymosin, and a number of other substances that aren't known as developers), and something about binding it to the same reactive group at two points inactivates it (on a structural level, I'd think the reduction of silver requires the pyrazole to rotate relative to one or another of the reactive groups bonded to it, probably the one at the 4 position based on structures of developing agents and similar molecules that don't develop silver).
    Of course, I could be completely full of beans on this, since my knowledge of organic chem is limited to what I soaked up by osmosis when my first wife was studying to be a chemical engineer -- in about 1982.
     
  50. In the _Photovision_ article mentioned above, green tea is the developer of choice. There are two different formulas, one a version of PMK that substitutes green tea for the pyro, and the article shows images of two negs, one without the tea to demonstrate that the tea really is doing the work. The metol-only neg is flat, while the neg that has the green tea/metol combo looks about as good as a good PMK neg.
     
  51. I liked your idea of Caffenol-Plus (by adding salt)

    I developed some 120 FP4+ this weekend using Caffenol for 20 minutes @25C. The results are not bad, the pictures were taken using a toy camera (Spartaflex) and in a cloudy day.
    The contrast is kinda low but the negatives are printable.
     
  52. More.... I printed contacts last night and I think the stain we see is a coffee stain, just like in the coffe pot after a while.

    The prints look fine for a toy camera, but not nearly as nice as Roland's
     
  53. Pablo, you're correct, the general stain in the emulsion *is* a "coffee stain" -- the question is, is this stain due to a reaction product of whatever tannin, lignin, or benzopyrene in roasted, brewed coffee is acting as a developing agent, or is it a side effect produced by an unrelated chemical or complex; from another angle, is there (desirable) image-wise stain, as should be the case if the stain is due to a developing agent, or only this general stain that acts like fog and possibly a contrast filter (by reducing blue light relative to green, due to its overall yellowish tint, it should reduce contrast on VC paper)?

    I still haven't had time to revisit my negatives with a color scan to try to verify if they have higher contrast in blue channel than in red (which would suggest imagewise stain), or attempt to sample densities locally in highlights and shadows on blue vs. red. I do know that they scan more easily and produce better scanned images (scanning with white light, as a B&W so presumably color channels combined within the scanner, though some scanners scan with green channel only for B&W) than any comparably dense negatives I've produced previously.
     
  54. "Pablo, you're correct, the general stain in the emulsion *is* a "coffee stain" -- the question is, is this stain due to a reaction product of whatever tannin, lignin, or benzopyrene in roasted, brewed coffee is acting as a developing agent, or is it a side effect produced by an unrelated chemical or complex"

    > Well, all my roll was stained with the same color, brown and had a
    > grayish tint when you looked at it from an angle. The stain seems
    > to be present in both emulsion and base sides, so I guess it is
    > unrelated to development.

    "from another angle, is there (desirable) image-wise stain, as should be the case if the stain is due to a developing agent, or only this general stain that acts like fog and possibly a contrast filter (by reducing blue light relative to green, due to its overall yellowish tint, it should reduce contrast on VC paper)?

    >I guess it is a general stain due to tannins.
    >We are using a lot of coffe (4 tsp/cup) so it is like those super
    >syrupy brazilian cafezinhos or turkish coffees.

    "I still haven't had time to revisit my negatives with a color scan to try to verify if they have higher contrast in blue channel than in red (which would suggest imagewise stain), or attempt to sample densities locally in highlights and shadows on blue vs. red. I do know that they scan more easily and produce better scanned images (scanning with white light, as a B&W so presumably color channels combined within the scanner, though some scanners scan with green channel only for B&W) than any comparably dense negatives I've produced previously."

    >Good point, it acts like a VC filter, I checked the times of
    >exposure using and EM-10 enlarger meter (that I calibrated a while
    >ago) and found that after printing, the midtones were about 1/2 stop
    >below what I thought they would. Lowtones looked a bit light and the
    > highlights seemed OK.
    > Since I used 6x6 negs I can't scan them.
    > Let us know what you find with the color experiment.
     
  55. I scanned a couple fo my enlargements from 6x6 Ilford Fp4+ in Caffenol Plus (2 tsp of salt/500 ml added)

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder.tcl?folder_id=395970
     
  56. In the daughter detail picture, it looks like it's reticulated grain.
    Or am I seeing something else?
     
  57. It is a 3x enlargement and then I scanned that portion of the enlargement.
    I personally could see little grain with my scope. Mybe it is the Pearl Texture showing in the scan?
     
  58. Okay fellows, I should have weighed in on this earlier but I just moved to another city and haven't had access to my books or a good Net connection. Caffeine has nothing in its structure to suggest developing activity. But I looked up caffeic acid, and its structure has nothing to do with caffeine (all they seem to share is their name, which indicates their initial isolation from coffee). The crux of it is that caffeic acid is a catechol ("pyrocatechol") derivative. That explains its reducing (and film developing) action. It can be isolated from green (unripe) coffee as well as roasted coffee beans, and from the leaves of plants.

    For the organic chemists out there, it is basically a 3,4-dihydroxy derivative of cinnamic acid. It appears to be found naturally as a glycoside ester through its carboxylate group (in which form it is known as chlorogenic acid) and that this glycoside is lost in the harvesting/roasting process. Looks like chlorogenic acid would be just as effective a developer anyway. I couldn't identify the sugar part of the glycoside.

    My Merck Index gives several references to older literature on its isolation, synthesis, etc. Anyone who is interested can e-mail me.
     
  59. Cinnamic acid sounded familiar, so I went to an old thread and found
    this information~~


    >Some time ago, there was a discussion on Ilford ID-11 plus. Here's the information I just received from Ilford. Interesting. So now we know.

    **************************************************************************

    Cinnamic acid disulfide is a silver sequestering agent which helped to keep silver in solution. It was added to help reduce the re-depositing of silver into the film emulsion. The result was reduced overall fog levels, produced cleaner, brighter looking negatives.
    ILFORD ID 11 Plus was discontinued about 4 years ago because it was found that Cinnamic acid disulfide appeared to reduce the film speed of some new technology films.<
     
  60. Interesting stuff, Gary, but ultimately, organic chemistry is a funny thing and 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid has very little to do with cinnamic acid disulfide. They are about as similar chemistry-wise as rubbing alcohol and natural gas.

    It's all a plot by us chemists to confuse the rest of the world :)
     
  61. I scanned a couple fo my enlargements from 6x6 Ilford Fp4+ in Caffenol Plus (2 tsp of salt/500 ml added)
    Pablo, do you have a comparison with the same film type done in Caffenol without the salt? I had hypothesized that the salt might reduce grain, as it does in the original Microdol formula, as well as the trace of iodide in iodized table salt reducing fog by acting as a restrainer -- but without a comparison of similar negatives done with and without, it's still just a hypothesis.
     
  62. >It's all a plot by us chemists to confuse the rest of the world :)

    Thank you for verifying one of my most sacredly held beliefs }:^)>
     
  63. in my caffenol folder there is a picture of a dogwood tree.
    that one is with caffenol w/o salt.

    My main problem is tha I'm using a cheap-o camera (Sparaflex) and focusing seemes to be a probem, everything seems outa focus.


    Pablo, do you have a comparison with the same film type done in Caffenol without the salt? I had hypothesized that the salt might reduce grain, as it does in the original Microdol formula, as well as the trace of iodide in iodized table salt reducing fog by acting as a restrainer -- but without a comparison of similar negatives done with and without, it's still just a hypothesis.
     
  64. in my caffenol folder there is a picture of a dogwood tree. that one is with caffenol w/o salt.
    Ah. Hard to compare against the picture of your niece; very different subject and exposure, and much more light fall off, but similar crops at maximum resolution might tell something.
    My main problem is tha I'm using a cheap-o camera (Sparaflex) and focusing seemes to be a probem, everything seems outa focus.
    That shouldn't affect comparing grain, since it's the scanner's (or enlarger's) focus on the grain that's critical, not the camera's focus on the subject. Of course, the other side is that grain matters a great deal less with your larger film; I probably wouldn't even think about grain changes if I were doing this with my Moskva-5 and its 6x9 cm negatives.
    I should be able to develop another roll of 35 mm old Tri-X this weekend, I'll try Caffenol Plus and should get something directly comparable to my original Caffenol negatives from a couple weeks ago. Same film, same camera (Spottie), same lens (50 mm f/1.4 Super Takumar) -- should give a nice comparison of with and without salt relative to grain. Then, if necessary, I have a bottle of sodium sulfite solution I can use to try it with sulfite, though to me part of the experiment here is to provide a simple, cheap developer that will meet the educational desideratum of extremely low toxicity.
     
  65. Good point, I should get some BW rolls pretty soon on my newly acquired Nikon FE with the 50/1.4
    Probably next week sometime....
     
  66. Green tea has been found to produce some development, as well as mint (in the latter, at least, thymosin has been implicated, but there are complications in that thymosin is oil soluble and the oils bearing the agent float in water, producing an overdevelopment in the top 10% to 25% of tank depth).
    I wonder if catnip would work? It's a mint. Maybe I should try to sneak some past my managers... (if I don't make it out alive, it means they did not approve.)
     

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