The Delta Recipe (Delta-STD)

Published by dirk on

My Favourite B&W Film is Ilford Professional Delta 400 for the moment. I really like the grain shape of this film: soft and round.

Whenever I plan to do Caffenol Development, I overexpose the Film by 1/2 or stop, but that’s just me. As usual on negative film: Expose for the shadows. I will not go too deep into Zone Metering, but maybe it is worth mentioning it from time to time.

The things you need, supposing you have developed film before, are:

  • Instant coffee with caffein
  • washing soda
  • Vitamin C powder, or tablets

I mix Coffee and Soda seperate, as it makes it easier to see if the Soda is completely dispersed.
150ml Water, 6 rounded Teaspoons Instant Coffee (15 grams)
200ml Water, 4 leveled Teaspoons Washing Soda (8 grams)
Mix all together, add 1 Teaspoon of Vitamin C (7 grams)

Let solution stand for about 5 minutes to clear microbubbles.

9:00 minutes at 20 degrees, fix and rinse as usual.

“Balconies” Leica M6, 35mm f2, Ilford Delta 400

 


dirk

Dirk Essl is the founder of caffenol.org And has done a tremendous amount of coffee development in the past.

35 Comments

Enric Martinez · April 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Nice.
Here you talk about Vitamin C tablets. is ther any commercial brand I should search for ?
What is the Vitamin C content in these ?

Thanks a lot for sharing you knowledge !

Jayvee · August 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Very nice guide and keep up on your works with caffenol, im also experimenting with other brands usually color films and some black&white too like Agfa or Kentmere brand.

Here are some images of my work using caffenol

http://a.imageshack.us/img267/181/62595031.png

http://a.imageshack.us/img832/7758/scan00021.jpg

Mauro · July 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

Hi, this caffenol blog it’s very intresting.
I try to develop kodak gold 200 in this recipes and I follow the film chart but it dont’t work.
Explain better. I use ascorbic acid that it can be the same of vitamin C, 6 Tsp of coffee and 4Tsp Washing Soda. In the film chart kodak gold 200 call 11 min in 20 C° and i do it.
I wash and fix with Ilford Rapid Fixer, but the film como out undevelop. I have the coat too delicate and it come away with nail scrape but don’t develop. Where is mistake? It can be possible that the film it was expired and dont develop?

Thanks to all
Mauro

Chris · October 12, 2011 at 3:03 am

First, I love this site and the other links related to Caffenol. I am new to film and developing and can’t wait to try this out. My main question is the total quantity of fluid to be used. I see a lot of varying volumes, probably due to developing tank size. My question is how much of the tank should be filled with the solution? I just bought a used stainless steel tank with two reels. I measured the water level so that both reels were just covered in water, @ 450ml. If I am developing just one reel, do I fill the entire container (450ml) and base my measurements on that? Or I’ve seen some recipes for a 350ml solution, which would cover one reel for sure in my tank. I’ve never developed before and will be trying this with some old Fred Meyer brand color neg, 200 asa film I just shot as well as some Tmax 400 and tri x 400. I would love some advice and or direction please.

    dirk · October 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Chris,

    That’s a very good question, that I never asked my self as I have a tank for one film and several for two films. You for sure have to put in both reels to prevent the lower one from moving and not getting stuck when you agitate. I would then fill the tank so the lower reel is fully covered in developer and add a bit more just to be safe.

    Of course if you are planning to develop single films more often I would advice you to buy a single film tank.

Chris · October 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Thanks Dirk,

I think I’ll try it both ways at first and see which works best. Hopefully with practice I’ll feel confident developing two rolls at once, possibly get a one reel tank as well.

Logan P · May 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Hi, i am going to be trying out this recipe tomorrow, and I have a package of .500mg vitamin C pills.
how many pills should i use for a good batch?
the recipe calls for 7g..so should i use 14? or more?

also, do you add the vitamin c to the coffee mixture, or the washing soda mixture before combining the two in the tank?

thank you!

    dirk · May 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Logan,

    I have no experience with those pills, I use plain Acorbic Acid which can be bought in a drugstore here in Germany.
    If you try it out, I would add 2 more minutes for developing, just to be on the safe side.

Timo · June 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

I understand that at 9 minutes developing time, this is agitating development, not semi-stand or stand development?

    dirk · June 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

    This is with 10 inversions every minute.

james katz · October 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

The image is quite grainy, especially for panx 50. Anyway to reduce the graininess???

    dirk · October 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    The picture in this post is 1999 expired Delta 400, so grain is expected to show up.

james katz · October 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Oh, my mistake. But even for 400, the grain is high isn’t it?

Thomas C. · November 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

If producing in a colder climate? Say 16*C what would the timings look like?

phrenzel · January 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm

The Delta STD is the formula I have gotten my best results from to date. Thanks for sharing it.

Alan T · April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I tried some expired tmax 400 shot at 200ei, using double quantity of vitamin c, with 4 inversions per minute but could barely make out the frames. Perhaps it was the coffee was too ‘expensive’. Will try again with cheaper coffee and more agitation.

Flip Cassidy · August 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I tried this recently using two rolls of Ilford Delta 100, and both rolls came out ruined – totally overexposed. I loaded the film in the tank in a dark closet in my house, and I’m confident in its total darkness, so I don’t think that’s where the issue came in.

This was my developer recipe:
12 oz. water
5 teaspoons instant coffee
3.5 teaspoons washing soda
0.5 teaspoon vitamin C powder

I developed for just under 9:00. A friend theorized that I may have agitated it too much, and that can really affect things by making the chemicals overreact, but I’ve heard conflicting arguments that overagitation shouldn’t make THAT much of a difference.

Any help would be awesome. I’d love to get this straightened out so it works.

Dirk · August 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I tried the Delta recipe on an Adox CHS 100. I started with 10min. The negatives look a bit flat but scan well. sharpness is OK and the grain is quite subtle …
http://blog.dirkvietzke.de/?p=457
http://blog.dirkvietzke.de/?page_id=509

Grayson · February 12, 2015 at 6:01 pm

what about a recipe for sized 120 t-max 400 film? Shouldn’t the volume be almost 500ml of developer to reduce the chance of foam/bubbles/imperfections? Have you tried altering the recipe for that kind of volume yet?

jcdubbelu · April 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Hi, i have a question about The Delta Recipe (Delta-STD)recipe time is it 9 or 11 minutes to develop?

julius · April 12, 2015 at 6:54 am

Hi there,

I have just tried caffenol developing and over developed two rolls of film,

I checked the coffee (instant) and see that it has strength 3. Could that be an issue?
i also used soda crystals.

this is the way i worked.

following the film developing chart (www.caffenol.org/film-development-chart/) supposing i have developed film before;
are:

Instant coffee with caffein
washing soda
Vitamin C powder, or tablets

I mix Coffee and Soda seperate, as it makes it easier to see if the Soda is completely dispersed.
150ml Water, 6 rounded Teaspoons Instant Coffee (15 grams)
200ml Water, 4 leveled Teaspoons Washing Soda (8 grams)
Mix all together, add 1 Teaspoon of Vitamin C (7 grams)

Let solution stand for about 5 minutes to clear microbubbles.

9:00 minutes at 20 degrees, fix and rinse as usual.

I would do the following, please advise.

-add the film on the reel and into the tank.(total darkness)

-Mix the developer
I mix Coffee and Soda seperate, as it makes it easier to see if the Soda is completely dispersed.
150ml Water, 6 rounded Teaspoons Instant Coffee (15 grams)
200ml Water, 4 leveled Teaspoons Washing Soda (8 grams)
Mix all together, add 1 Teaspoon of Vitamin C (7 grams)

I still need to by all of this and also the fixer.

Let solution stand for about 5 minutes to clear microbubbles.

-Prepare the fixer for the one roll of film depending on the total rolls of film.

-agitate for the first minute.

-after the first minute agitate three times every minute and give it a tap on the surface.

-After 9 minutes quickly poor out the developer

-rins the film with water agitate three or four times and dump it, and do this twice more.

-Pour in the fixer and let it sit in for five minutes agitating three times every minute.

-Safe the fixer for the next time because its usable.

-now rins the film four times agitating the water in the tank more and more each time.

-At the fourth rins add a drop of detergent.

-Drop out the water and remove the film.

-Hang it to dry.

hope to hear from you, Kind regards.

julius

Assi Petesh · February 9, 2017 at 11:49 pm

I have a question about the the doses, according to my digital scale 4 leveled TS of washing soda don’t amount to 8 grams, (it’s much more) and thats true for coffee and the vitamin C could anyone clarify it for me, much appreciated.

chris · May 2, 2017 at 12:51 am

does anybody know how long to develop delta 100 and hp5+ in this stuff

and on the off chance, Fomapan R100

Vitek · June 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

the developer o of this recipe have some tme to become expired??
I can make like 10 litters of it and use it on next couple years??

Guitou · October 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Hello, I tried to develop my first caffenol TX400, 11minutes of development. The film came out completly transparent 🙁 I used 6g sodium, 3,75 VitaminC, 075g Bromium, 15g coffee. for 375ml solution (one spir). Where did I missed something?

    Leslie Tihor · January 2, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Hi. I recommend you google caffenol-c-h. It is the best recipe for iso 400 and faster films. Also, note that the amount of washing soda is for dehydrated powder, not crystals. If you can get only crystals there are instructions for increasing the amount or dehydrating in your oven. Good luck.

Val · August 3, 2020 at 2:36 am

contributing my experience because I just used this recipe:

developed one roll of HP5 plus (400 ISO) at 22 degrees and reduced the time to 7:00 minutes. results look good at a glance and the exposure seems accurate

Using instant coffee to develop film | Konstantinos Besios Blog · June 30, 2012 at 5:54 am

[…] insane coffee, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in powder form, and washing soda. I decided to try the Delta-STD recipe since I was going to test an Ilford Delta […]

Using instant coffee as film developer (Caffenol) | Konstantinos Besios Blog · July 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

[…] my second attempt to use instant coffee as film developer. Using the Delta-STD recipe from the Caffenol site , I got very good results once […]

A brown and sticky development | Pattaya Days · September 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

[…] B&W film, with 1950 Kiev camera and equally ancient lens (I forget which one). Processed using Caffenol Delta recipe with double the recommended Vitamin C for ten minutes, with ten tank inversions per minute […]

Coffee Please | digipainters blog · July 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

[…] and easy, it is a skill that you will develop over time and prefect. Other fave formulas are the Delta-STD  and for stand development there is Caffenol C -L/S . . . it’s all fun, and … YOU can […]

My Fav Caffenol Recipe – Let's Bring Film Back · August 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

[…] Delta-STD […]

Photography – Human Habitat – Site Title · February 8, 2018 at 11:58 am

[…] Delta Recipe for 1000ml stock (Delta-STD) […]

Caffenol | Empty · July 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm

[…] recipe I started from is the Delta STD which I found on Caffenol.org I tweaked it slightly and so this is what I […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: