Caffenol as a C-41 replacement

Caffenol C-41 replacement. (R.1.)


Example pictures:


R.1. only denotes that it's my "Recipe one" for my own purposes.

Uses at your own risks, my first try for C-41 replacement was a complete failure a few years ago.

Every containers bath in a box of water with a fish tank heater set to around 22C, which leads to inside-bottles water of ~21C.

Prepare your fixer in capped bottle (I uses Ilford Rapid Fixer in 1:4 ratio), and two 1L bottle of water, plus a 500ml one, put all bottles in the heated tank water and let it sit a few hours, check with a food thermometer (the ones with a long metal dart) frequently until the desired temperature is reached, in the tank, and in the bottles.

When I say "rotations" or "agitate" I means to just well, pick the container, returns it, as simple.

Potion magique

Mix it a few minutes before using.

While constantly mixing, add into 500ml of water (water at ~21C temp):

  • 3 teaspoons of washing soda
  • 5 teaspoons of instant coffee, the cheapest, the better. (pick one with coffee, not thoses decafeinated ones)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin C powder

All my "teaspoons" are standard coffee spoons dish thing, and the content I picked from the containers were like 2 to 3mm dome inside the spoon.

"teaspoon" measurement is very precise...


1. soaking

Soak your film in water, uses a tempered bottle you prepared.

Agigate a few times and sit, for around 5 minutes.

Then dump the water in sink.

2. Developper

Put the potion magique into the tank and develop for:

  • 100 ISO, 15 minutes
  • 200 ISO, 17 minutes
  • 400 ISO, 19-20 minutes

Rotate first for 3 minutes, then rotate ~10 times (I mostly did 5 everytime) every 30 seconds. Gently tap the bottom of the tank to makes the bubbles go away.

Then dump that smelly horror into the sink.

3. Cleaning

Clean a few times with water until the water cames clean from the tank.

4. Fixer / Stop bath

Put the fixer solution in the tank for 5 minutes, agitate 3 times per minute, also gently tap the bottom.

Put back the fixer into the capped bottle, you can reuse it.

5. Final cleaning

Rince the tank with water a few times, rotate agitate etc.

You can put a drop of dish cleaning liquid in the tank, put water, and agitate SLOWLY, then dump, and clean with water until there is no more soapy thing.

6. Done

You can now take out the films and let them dry.