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As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

What do you get when you combine a contrasty film shot in bright sunlight with a contrasty developer? Right! You get a headache when you’re trying to scan the stuff! Nevertheless I can’t help liking all the punch in this batch and all the lovely mid-tones. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is to give it 5 minutes less, since apparently my Caffenol-CL mix is rather potent stuff. And as far as I can see so far, I don’t seem to have the problems with uneven development that I usually get with Tri-X. If I can manage to tone the contrast down a bit this could be a nice combination for me. By the way, in case you ever wondered, the negatives do indeed smell of coffee which is not bad at all.

Did I mention that my Leica M6 and my Zeiss lens arrived? Alas, not in this country though! From what I’ve seen on skype the M6 is in great condition. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Less than a month to wait now.

All pictures taken with: Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.
Tri-X stand-developed in Caffenol-CL, 60min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Comments

  • In fact Caffenol is a low contrast type developer. In high contrast light situations you have to over expose and cut the developing time.

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Depends what you compare it with, Robert. I’ve heard from several people that they find it high contrast and I definitely agree. In comparison to Rodinal stand-development and Tetenal Ultrafin it’s like a punch in the face. Rodinal is very low contrast, Ultrafin medium. Maybe it’s not high contrast in comparison to D76, haven’t used that much …

      I was guesstimating in this bunch, but I was definitely over … However, I developed another bunch of Tri-X today which were metered correctly and they are really very dense as well. As I said, I guess my mix might be a little too potent.

  • Personally I am not a big fan of the Caffenol type developers because their reproducibility is not that good. If you want to have a real low contrast type developer try the Film Low Gamma/Rollei Low Contrast , Udo Raffay developer, TDLC-103 ( simple to make), POTA or equivalent type developers. Normally used for Ortho or micro films. R09/Rodinal works up from 1+100 for lower contrast.

    • Lilly Schwartz

      The reproducibility is actually not that bad as long as you use a fine digital scale and the same ingredients. Mine goes down to 0.01 of a gram. The difference between my results and those of a friend will probably not be entirely the same, different coffee, different soda, different vitamin C, different tanks with more or less liquid. Usually it comes very close though. You take the times from someone else and then adjust to your ingredients, then reproduce from there.

      And believe me, I don’t want less contrast than Rodinal. Somewhere between this kind of punch and the lack thereof in Rodinal would be nice. I think I just over-developed this bunch a little and it wouldn’t be quite as crazy if I leave it 5min less.

      • The biggest deviation will be the coffee. When your instant coffee is empty you can start over again for precise development. Further the fog level of this type developer is pretty high even when adding the KBr or Benzotriazole to suppress the fog.

        • Lilly Schwartz

          Well, I don’t actually go at it with a densitometer, so it doesn’t have to be that precise. Most shots on the Rollei I don’t even meter at all and just guess. On the street there often is no time at all for metering when you’re all manual. Of course it’s not zone system precise when developing stuff in coffee. It’s not as if we mix this stuff from pure chemicals after all. For me this kind of precision isn’t really necessary though at the moment. To be honest, I didn’t notice much difference even when I changed coffee brands from Nescafe classic to some dead cheap local supermarket brand. Still scanned and looked fine at the same times.

          You’re totally right about the fog level too. It depends very much on the emulsion though. The foggiest I got so far was Orwo N74+ … That said, it still scanned fine though even with a base fog thick as hell.

  • Hello Lilly, I want to say that I just ran into your website and blog today and I’m amazed of your photos and projects ! and was more amazed to see most of it of ( if not all ) in analog camera !
    I’ve been working on a long project ( still didn’t finish it ) on the street life in my county which is Saudi Arabia. Still learning a lot about street photography along the way and I think I’m gonna learn more from your blog since I want to try analog camera as well.

    Please if you have time take a look to my blog which is all about my project and tell me what you think, I will really appreciate it 🙂

    looking forward to more from you.

    Zuhair A.

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Hello Zuhair, Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m glad that you like my work and you are right, lately I have become quite obsessed with film. There is nothing quite like the atmosphere film can create and I also love the experimentation involved in developing the film. I also think that analog photography has taught me a lot about light, correct exposure and to be more deliberate in my picture taking. It makes you think and choose more rather than the digital attitude of shooting and deleting. Try it if you can, I think it will give you a new perspective.
      I took some time exploring your blog and you do really great work there! It’s really interesting to see the places you explore, especially because I don’t see much work of street photographers from your country. Really, keep going, this is a very nice project.

      Lilly

  • Great shots and the fact that the negatives smell of coffee makes them perfect 🙂

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Thanks Philipp! It causes odd thoughts on the bus though: “Why does it smell of developer? Oh wait …”
      I used to be addicted to coffee, but sadly now it doesn’t agree with me anymore. All the better that it has a new significance in my life now 😉

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