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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My scanner arrives on 5th March

I decided to buy a photo scanner to show the results of this long experiments, trying to involve coffee in color development. At the end I may just come to the conclusion that it goes better without coffee if we want realy quality photos and not this kind of photo-paintings I have been doing until now.

Today I didn't shoot a single photo, I was too busy looking for chemicals. I bought pure sodium carbonate from Solvay, my stock of this substance was finished and it is always an adventure to explain in the shops what I want and what for. First of all, when I say I use it for making pictures, they say «but nowadays you have digital, why don't you buy a digital camera?», then I answer that I like old pictures, bla, bla, bla. In the drugstores they have other names for the substances, it is really complicated. But I am learning the common names and what they are still used for. Some day, all things will be digital, including drinking and eating.

Monday, February 27, 2012

pH meter arrived today and already used

Today I received a pH meter bought at ebay, very cheap but works perfectly, I already tested it.

I could prepare with the help of the pH meter, a developer with 10g Sodium Hydroxide plus 30g Sodium bicarbonate and 15g soluble coffee for 1 liter. pH measured = 9,6.

Protocol of the development

Bath
Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Obs.
CD-4
5
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Caffenol X 13 34-30 Continuous agitation
Rinse 1
R.T.
3 times fill
Bleach 3
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Rinse
1
R.T.
3 times fill
Fixer 7 R.T. First minute agitation
Washing
30
R.T.
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
Dry
90 min.
R.T.


Results

Less grain
More detail

Observations:

I used again the bleach and fix method but I prepared a new bleach bath more diluted than the other and acting more time, 3 minutes instead of 2. With this, great part of the yellow spots did not show but still a little in the upper part mainly but spread over the picture too. The development duration could have been 15 minutes or slightly more.



Now, I have to solve the problem of the digitization, the photo above is better than it looks here, I am sure.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bad news, good news

I used the same 2nd bath that I already used in former experiments for the development at 20ºC. Then I tested it too at 38ºC and the result was the same as for 20ºC, or worst! This means perhaps that this 2nd bath is not efficient in developing color anymore.

I changed now the second bath with a new one made of 9g Sodium Hydroxide, 20 g Sodium Bicarbonate and 20g coffee for 1 liter. I developed for just 10 minutes at 25ºC (because the negs are coming too dark), and I am waiting now for the film to dry. It looks more colored, the rest I don't know.
...
Thanks for waiting. I have now a problem with the grain. This developer is too basic (pH 12 or 13) and in the 10 minutes it lasts I have been agitating it. After this experiment, I already returned to the soft sodium carbonate instead of hydroxide, and I am waiting again for the film to dry. It is a little thin but maybe less grainy.

Here are some of the strong grainy developer:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Final note: Indeed it gives more color, but I have to get the grain out!

Actualization on 13th March 2012

Observation on the above NEW SCANNED photos. The grain is present but it is not like in the macro digital photos posted before. I replace the first posted iimages with this new scanned ones. Many thanks to Epson V330.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Color development at 20ºC

Here I am with the results of the experiment of developing color film at 20ºC. It did work, but not fully satisfactorily. Blue and red were reproduced in the positive but not green, I think. Maybe adding a restrainer to the second bath, who knows?

Another thing that might have contributed to this is the fact that I resolved to use the Blix bath of Tetenal instead of my homemade Bleach with Potassium Dichromate and Sulfuric Acid. Besides, this shift to Blue already succeded with Tetenal's kit also for 38ºC and some kind of films. Bleach does not interfere with colors? I don't know yet but seems to have some paper there.

Well, because I am very tired today, I just put some photos from the 12 I shoot today with Agfa Vista 200 in my Olympus Trip 35.

Scanned from negative


Digital macro but not so well done
Scanned
Scanned from negative

Final note: The yellow borders of the photos in the previous post where, in fact, due to the Bleacher. The middle portion of those photos were better than these ones. Tomorrow I'll be repeating the experiment for 25ºC mean value with the Tetenal's Blix. I think it works very well. But for 20ºC something more has to be added to the second bath, maybe KBr or whatsoever.

Actualization on 13th March 2012

Digital macro photos replaced with scanned ones. They are better than one could think.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The fear of failure

I intended to develop at 20ºC, but I was afraid it could not work as I wish. So, I started with Bat A at R.T. (16ºC) followed by Bath B heated at 27ºC. After pooring it in the tank not heated the temperature drop to 26ºC and went falling until 24ºC when I stoped bath B, 15 minutes later. The rest as usual, I have to change the bleach bath, next time I will be using Tetenals Blix, before I purchase the products to make a good one.
So, I am convinced that the yellow upper and lower borders are due to the bleach bath. Not only that but also yellow spots spread all over the picture, they became more visble when streching contrast.
All other baths were made at R.T., no temperature needed.

Now, tomorrow 20ºC and 20 minutes development. The 15 minutes were OK for the 26-24ºC.

24-26ºC @ 15 minutes development

24-26ºC @ 15 minutes development
24-26ºC @ 15 minutes development


Developing color at 20º C

Later on, I am leaving for work now, I will try to develop a stripe of film in the following conditions:

Bath
Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Obs.
CD-4
5
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Caffenol* 20 20 Continuous agitation
Stop
1
R.T.

Continuous agitation
Bleach
2
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Rinse
1
R.T.
3 times fill
Fixer
5
R.T. First minute agitation
Washing
30
R.T.
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
Dry
90 min.
R.T.


No other changes will be made, but the Bleacher has to be changed some of these days. It is spoiling the negatives, I think.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lowering the temperature without loosing color

Yesterday night I was so tired that when developing the last stripe of negative color film, I forgot using the recommended high temperature, and only too late I noticed that. So, the whole process took place at 16 ºC, that is my room temperature at this time. I was quite sure I would get nothing to see but, hold the air, yes, there was something on the film. Very thin, would give bad positives, but there was some color image on  it. I used the developer like I did before - see last post.

Then, having in attention that the previous experiment gave a very dense negative, I decided to lower a little the temperature and I fixed it in 27ºC, but only for bath B, the other baths were used at room temperature.  The results are very encouraging, but something must be adjusted, the bleach bath, I think, is damaging the images. I already told that this bleach is very strong, it washes the color out if the time is exceeded. This action took place in the last two pictures out of nine, that are blurry. In these pictures the border zones where probably attacked by the bleacher. I have to dilute it more or change to another substance more suitable for color films. This is a B&W reversal bleacher that I am using because I had the substances at home, Potassium Dichromate and Sulfuric Acid and I don't want to use the Tetenal ones.

One of the first pictures

For last picture
The last picture
Resume table for the procedure:

Bath
Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Obs.
CD-4
5
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Caffenol*
10
27 Continuous agitation
Stop
1
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Bleach
2
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Rinse
1
R.T.
3 times fill
Fixer
5
R.T. First minute agitation
Washing
30
R.T.
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
Dry
90 min.
R.T.

R.T. was at 16ºC

Maybe it is possible to lower the temperature to 20ºC if the developing time is extended to, let us say, 20 minutes?

* The Caffenol I used here was made of 9g Sodium Hydroxide, 20g  Sodium Bicarbonate and 14g coffee. It is a stronger developer than the other with washing soda. The same substances for bath B without coffee doesn't work well, I tried before.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No stand development

I tried the recipe of the last post with an Agfa Vista 200 film and it is now clear that one must keep the agitation all the time. Letting stand one gets the shadows of the film holder on the photo and perhaps it affects the color layers balance and color development in general. So, please correct my last recipe like this:


Bath
Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Obs.
CD-4
5
R.T.
Continuous agitation
Caffenol
10
38
Continuous agitation
Rinse
1
Warm from tap
3 times fill
Bleach
2
30-38
Continuous agitation
Rinse
1
Warm from tap
3 times fill
Fixer
5
20-30
First minute agitation
Washing
30
R.T.
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
Dry
90 min.
R.T.


And this means that I almost ruined another film with these experiments. I say almost because it still can furfill artistic purposes but not the photographic ones.

Examples:

Example 1

Example 2

Final note:

Fuji Color gave a green transparency and Agfa Vista 200 gave a magenta transparency.

Monday, February 20, 2012

More CD-4, please!

Like I said before, the experiment using first a more concentrated bath of CD-4 during 5 minutes, followed by development in Caffenol 10 minutes, gave the best results until now, after I started using CD-4 powder!

I made a bath of 3% solution of CD-4 and some drops of lemon to prevent oxidation. This bath, lasting 5 minutes, the time may be exceeded without over-development, is made «at room temperature» . After that, and without  rinsing, a 500 ml bath of Caffenol made of 7 g (1 tsp) Sodium Carbonate, aka washing soda, and 14 g soluble coffee (4 tsp) lasting 10 minutes at 38 ºC. Maybe this bath can be shortened. After this, I fixed the film to see how it was. Very black silver. Then I bleached and fixed again to complete the process. And that is all. The Bleach was like previous made of Potassium Dichromate and Sulfuric Acid and the Fixer is the common one, Ammonium Thiosulfate.

And here are the photos





Actualization

Resuming, the normal procedure should be:


Bath
Duration /min.
Temperature / ºC
Obs.
CD-4
5
R.T.
First minute agitation
Caffenol
10
38
First minute agitation
Rinse
1
Warm from tap
3 times fill
Bleach
2
30-38
Continuos agitation
Rinse
1
Warm from tap
3 times fill
Fixer
5
20-30
First minute agitation
Washing
30
R.T.
3 times fill and then take from tank and leave in water
Dry
90 min.
R.T.



Formulary:

Developer (H. Sousa, 2012):

Bath A - 3% solution of CD-4 (CAS n.º 25646-77-9) with some drops of lemon juice to prevent oxidation
Bath B - 7 g soda + 14 g soluble coffee + water to make 500 ml

Bleach (Franz Dietrich ,1988)
9,5 g Potassium Dichromate, CAS number 7778-50-912 ml Sulfuric Acid Concentrate
Water to make 1000 ml
Diluted 1:3

Fixer (universal formula)
160ml Ammonium Thiosulfate 60%, CAS number 7783-18-8Water to make 1000 ml

Slowly but it goes!

In the last post I showed you photos whose negatives were treated differently, but still very far from a color picture.

Today I insisted in the idea of the split developer, with two baths but I also tried stand developing only with a unique bath CD-4&Coffee, with a very bad result.

The last try, however, lead to a more satisfactory result, I made a two bath development, one bath only CD-4 (with drops of lemon to prevent oxidation) during 10 minutes, but it could be less, I think, and the other bath only Caffenol made with 7 g soda and 14 g coffee for 500ml. The former bath of CD-4 had 15 g CD-4 pro Liter, and probably needs more. Next time! I made this choice because the first time I made split with coffee instead of just soda, the image appeared but was very thin. That meant for me: needs more CD-4.

And here are the results, I am just exposing small pieces of film of course. But now that I have a direction I am leaving for a photo walk and I will expose an entire film 24 exp..
Example 1
Example 2
Final note: The results could be better if I already had a digitizer. In fact, depending on the digital camera settings I can have different results. I have got less grain than usual in this experiment.

One of the following steps will be skipping bleach and fixing the film after the coffee developer. I hope to get an image where some black will also play a role in the picture. And if it works, we will have a process completely equivalent to B&W processing with the only difference that the film is first soaked in CD-4 to produce some color.

Actualization:
Before I leave home, I made quickly another experiment. Soak exposed film in 3% solution of CD-4 for 5 minutes, develop with caffenol for 10 minutes, bleach and fix. I had better results, just looking the negative. It must dry first. Yesss!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Never give up, keep trying!

I told you about an idea that someone gave me at Flickr. Well, the idea is this you can see here. A two baths developer. First of all I tried the version without coffee. I don't have sodium sulfite, nor sodium bissulfite, nor Potassium Bromide. Searching the internet I found out that the sodium sulfites only prevent the oxidation of CD-4. The idea is to get CD4 soaked in the film layers and then start developing in a basic medium, the sodium carbonate. So, I thought this would work with CD-4 in the first bath and only sodium carbonate in the second, without the developer restrainer Potassium Bromide. Because in this process it is not possible to overdevelop, I gave some 10 minutes each bath, then I bleached and fixed as usual. The film was fast completely transparent and don't ask me why

Then I decided to use caffenol as the second bath, and I got a better result. Finally I added some 5 ml of the 5% solution of CD-4 to the caffenol, maintaining the first bath of CD-4 alone. The result reached now fast the point where I was working with the Tetenal solution and coffee.

This result gave me the suspection that maybe my 5% solution is stronger than Tetenal's one. To be checked tomorrow, trying to develop without the first bath but with less CD-4 with the Caffenol.

All three pre-soaked in CD-4, the first developed only with Soda, the second with soda and coffee, the third with soda coffee and a little CD-4
Photo from the second negative
Photo from the third negative

First disappointment

Yes, a first disappointment!

Using powder CD-4 to make a 5% solution, is not the same as using the CD-4 solution from Tetenal. To start, the two solutions have different color, they have different degree of purity, perhaps. The solution I prepared is pink, the Tetenal's is colorless.
I got some 'picture' but hard to distinguish colors.


After this disaster, I made some important changes in the process and, in the next post, I can show some better results. I was discussing the subject with somebody in Flickr that gave me a very good idea. Keep connected with the blog, Caffcol is not dead yet, but maybe suffered some serious injuries. I can already hear someone saying: «I told you it wouldn't work, I told you!»

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Preparing the color developing kit

I started with the CD-4 powder that I received two days ago. The 50 g were dissolved in one liter warm water. It has a beautiful reddish color. Below you can see the work I had today preparing the concentrates and finally three 1 L bottles filled with Developer, Bleach and Fixer. The last one is normal universal fixer from Foma.

50g CD-4 Powder

Dissolving to make 1 Liter 5% solution

I made 3x330ml bottles of 5% solution of CD-4

250 g Sodium Carbonate to make 1 L solution

I made 3x330 ml 25% solution of Sodium Carbonate

Preparing Bleach bath with Potassium Dichromate and Sulfuric Acid

I made 3x330 ml Bleach concentrated solution

So, this is now the color kit

First developing batch
Tomorrow I will expose a film to be developed with this batch.
Meanwhile I am thinking of buying a digitizer. I heard that the Epson V330 is good enough for domestic users, and I can afford buying it after receiving my salary this month.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I have got CD4

According to the advise of a faithful commenter, I ordered CD4 from a supplier in Germany and it arrived today. So, the next step will be testing the developer made of raw substances that one can buy. These substances are: CD4, Coffee, Soda and lemon juice.


First of all I will prepare a 5% solution of CD4 in order to avoid contact with the powder that is not so healty. Well, I can also prepare solutions of the other components, solutions are always better to handle than powder, also because you will not be weighting but measuring liquids which is easier.

So, be pacient while I prepare a new C41 developing kit, I need some amber bottles and other bottles that I can buy at the next Pharmacy. Bye...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

From theory to practice

In the last post I putted an hypothesis, that maybe the Hydroxilamine Sulfate was a kind of B&W developer, like Hydrxylamine itself as referred in the search docs I read.

Now I am testing it, I prepared a 500 ml solution with 1tsp soda and 10 ml Hydroxilamine Sulfate solution, bottle 1 of Tetenal kit.

Putting inside a strip of B&W film there were some bubbles, the surface changed the grey color to a milky color, I waited some 5 minutes and putted it in fixer bath. The fixer dissolved completely the milky substance. Then I tried with a strip of color film and I got no apparent change in the surface color but after putting in the fixer  this strip and another that hasn't been in the 'developer' they were identical in opacity.

This means that the Hydroxilamine Sulfate is perhaps alone at least not a good developer.


My theory has not been confirmed by the practice!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Caffcol works?

Let me resume the experiences made until now.

First of all, I just developed a color negative film with Caffenol to wich I added just 5 ml of color developer from Tetenal already mixed with its three components. In this experience, developing at 40 ºC, I have got color in the pictures. The other steps of the process remained the same as Tetenal, Blix and stabilizer.

In the experiences after this event, I just added one of the components of the Tetenal developer, the one containing just a solution of CD-4, the color developing agent, to the Caffecol. And it worked. Then I tried only with CD4 and Sodium Carbonate and it clearly didn't work very well, giving a very thin and not defined image. Coffee was important, then.

I assumed from the beginning that a B&W developer is present in C-41 processes because there is silver in the emulsion and the dyes are developed with CD-4 but in the presence of oxidized B&W developer. The new developer I made with coffee differs from the Tetenal developer only in one component, the coffee instead of Hydroxylamine Sulfate.

Reading about this component, Hydroxylamine Sulfate, it is the Sulfuric Acid salt of Hydroxylamine, substance that can be used as B&W silver developer but explosive in pure state. So, the so called stabilizer, Hydroxilamine Sulfate is perhaps not only a stabilizer but also a silver developer. It seems that it can be replaced with coffee or maybe some other B&W developer too.

OK! With coffee it takes 30 minutes and with hydroxylamine only 3' 15". But we are still in the beginning.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Living in a terrorist country

Yesterday I ordered CD4 from England and only today I noticed an email from the company telling me this:


Hi,

Thank you for your recent order with Silverprint, we regret to advise that we are unable to forward ANY chemicals (diluted, raw, dry or wet) outside of the UK, as pre our website.
We apologise for not being able to fulfil you order on this occasion.

We have cancelled your order and no money has been taken for this order/transaction.

Kind Regards,

Tyson
Silverprint
"The spirit of photography"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let's try it with powder

Today I ordered 100g of CD4, the P-Phenylenediamine derivate that is used in C41 processed films and that I also mix in my homemade Caffcol.

I am wondering now if the 5% solution I need  is prepared putting, for instance, 5 g in 100g total solution weight. In the absence of any advise, I am assuming so. And if it is right, this also means that the 20 ml/liter of a 5% solution I am using now only has 1g of CD4 and develops, for sure, more than one roll. In this particular it should be comparable to the 20 or more from the Tetenal kit. But it is still too soon to make this calculations.

I haven't made photos today, I leave you with one from yesterday


Monday, February 6, 2012

Not too little CD4

I am posting two picture, one made with a 500 ml bath with 5 ml CD4 and the other with 15 ml.



15 ml CD4


5 ml CD4
The last picture has more color information than the former, this means that the amount of CD4 must not be exceeded.
The conclusion is, then, let us still keep the recipe unchanged by now, that is to say, 10 ml is a good compromise.
Now I need to control the grain and I wread somewhere, I am not an expert just a lucky man, that to get less grain the pH should be lowered. Well, I am measuring it with some old stripes and it is about 11. But I already ordered a cheap pH meter with precision +/- 0,1 so it will be possible to put the pH lower, near 10, I guess.

I leave you now with one of the photos made with 5 ml CD4 in 500 ml developer bath, showing different colors, they are all there:




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Not too much CD4!

Today I went outside with my daughter and, more confident with Caffcol, I exposed a complete color negative 35 mm film, 36 exposures. Very nice walk, nice landscape, I took very nice pictures. Well, I had, for sure, a small digital just in case. I am not that confident on Caffcol yet! Eheheheeh!
At home, I prepared new developer and unfortunately I decided to increase CD4 amount to 15 ml instead of 10 ml. The result was less color, I would do perhaps better decreasing the amount. Well, thanks to GIMP I could still have pictures like these:
Bridge over land
Houses near train station
Old house
Waiting for the train

Saturday, February 4, 2012

It is only a question of persistence

As already told in the last posts, I am using now a homemade bleacher and fixer. According to my feeling, the bleach bath was too strong and was bleaching the color or a part of it. So, I decided to dilute it even more, adding one more equal part of water. So, considering the formula:

9,5 g Potassium dichromate
12 ml Sulfuric acid concentrate
Water to make 1 liter

This ammount was first diluted 1:1 (plus 1 liter water) and then again (plus 2 liters water), we end with 4 liter bleach solution, or, if you want to make just 1 liter, divide all quantities by 4:

2,4 g Potassium dichromate
3 ml Sulfuric acid concentrate
Water to make 1 liter

It is a very cheap formula but worked, and the colors are now somehow better. But maybe the developer was exhausted. I have used the same 500 ml bath developer for several experiences, since I decided to establish the developer formula as the final one by now, see recipe page.

The duration of the bleach bath, after trying with some small pieces of film, was fixed at 2 minutes, with permanent agitation.

This is without any digital reatment
The same photo after  'contrast strech'  and 'white balance' with GIMP

The same photo after a little more saturation and less luminosity

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What colors do we get with Caffcol I?

The recipe for Caffcol is, by now, the very first version witch will be slowly changed if needed. The bleacher I am using is changing a little the colors I got with Tetenal. It is, although very diluted, acting in one minute. I am afraid that if I let more time the colors will be washed out.
So, what colors really result from this version I of Caffcol? If I make nothing but only adjust luminosity and contrast, I will get a blueish picture like this one:


But in fact the sofa is green, that means we don't get the real colors. What must then be done to get more realistic colors? Suggestions are wellcome. I don't know about colors behaviour, what layer is prevailing, what layer is weaker. I looked for information on negative color film (AGFA Vista + 100), and the first layer is the blue sensitive and gives yellow, the reverse of blue.


I have no idea what is happening during the process, but I suspect the bleacher is bleaching the upper layers...
Will I succeed diluting more the bleacher? Or must I change this one for another? I don't know, I will just try more.

Today I used a 200 ASA film from Fuji and exposed it as I do for 100 ASA. The image is more dense, I thought it was better, because I am obtaining somehow weak negatives.

The upper negative is 200 ASA and the lower is 100 ASA
 And now a positive of the FUJI film above:

Fuji 200 ASA


I don't think it is better than the photo with AGFA 100 ASA. The over-exposure did not work.