Recipes

Caffenol Recipes that are proven to work can be found here. If not stated differently, the temperature of the solution should be 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For all other temperatures, please adjust the developing time accordingly.

If you have never used caffenol before, I suggest that you start with films that are proven to deliver decent results, for example the 400 ISO films Ilford HP5 Plus, or Kodak TMAX 400. Slow films that work are Ilford FP4 (ISO 125) and Ilford PanF (ISO 50). Developing times and links to example pictures can be found in the Film Development Chart.

If you have recipes you want to share or other experiences with any flavor of Caffenol, feel free to contact me.

Ilford Delta 400

Delta Recipe for 1000ml stock (Delta-STD)

Mix Coffee and Soda seperate, as it makes it easier to see if the Soda is completely dispersed.

  • 1000ml (1l) Water
  • 24g Washing soda (multiply by 2.7 if your soda is crystalline -> 65g)
  • 20g Vitamin C
  • 45g Instant coffee

Teaspoon measuring:

  • 1000ml (1l) Water
  • 12 levelled teaspoons Washing Soda
  • 3 teaspoons of Vitamin C (9 if your soda is crystalline)
  • 18 teaspoons Instant Coffee

Let solution stand for about 5 minutes to clear microbubbles.
9:00 – 11:00 minutes at 20 degrees, fix and rinse as usual.


Agfa Copex Rapid

Delta MICRO for 1000ml stock (Delta-MIC)

For high contrast Microfilms I have made some adjustments to the Delta-STD recipe, but I don’t think that I am there, yet. Here is the current recipe for 1l stock:

  • 1000ml (1l) Water
  • 22 g instant coffee
  • 32 g washing soda (multiply by 2.7 if your soda is crystalline -> 86g)
  • 10 g Vitamin C

Let solution stand for about 5 minutes to clear microbubbles.
9:00 – 11:00 minutes at 20 degrees, fix and rinse as usual.


Arista EDU 100

Harmony Recipe

20oz Water (Tap is ok)
6.25 tsp Na2CO3 (Washing Soda) (17 if your soda is crystalline)
10 tsp Instant Coffee (Must be regular)
2.5 g L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C (Tablets ok))

Arista EDU 100:  7-8 minutes
Old T-Max 100:  8-9 minutes


Ilford HP5 Plus

Caffeafine (two step developer)

240ml Water, 7 rounded Teaspoons of Instant Coffee
100ml Water, 4 Teaspoons of Washing Soda (11 if your soda is crystalline), 2 Teaspoons of Vitamin C
Put the Coffee mix into the developing tank, agitate once per second for the first minute
leave it for another 2 minutes, agitate for 10 seconds every minute.
Pour out 100ml of Water and add the Washing Soda mix.
Agitate once per second for the first minute
Agitate for 10 seconds every minute for 9 miutes
Stand development for another 4 minutes.


If you have other proven recipes that you want to share, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

76 Comments

Yvonne · May 22, 2011 at 5:30 am

for the Delta Micro recipe, can I do this without agitating? I have three ww2 films on micro film that I want to process and they are just too tiny for my tank and I donot have access to a dark room, I was thinking pacing them in the tank and treating that as a tray only stomping to get rid of bubbles. I don’t want to sacrifice the film in a test unless I can find another micro film.. DO you think this would have a chance of success??
I have successful gotten images (dark ones) from 1960s film with caffenol. A work in progress.. 🙂

    dirk · May 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Yvonne,
    If it is high contrast microfilm, I would say it is OK to not agitate, as agitation increases contrast and most microfilms are high contrast films. Even if you take normal 135 Film and process it like usual but without agitating, you will get a picture. I am very intersted to see some pictures from 1960 🙂
    cheers,
    dirk

Yvonne · May 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Sure
Here is one of dogs but I think it’s the 1970s

And one from the UK

Daynos · November 15, 2011 at 12:37 am

You filter the solution prior to use right?

jake · February 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi my student wants to try this method of developing. Before i let him do this I want to know what Washing Soda is? I also would like to know if there is any instant coffee that is the best one to use.

thanks jake

    dirk · February 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Jake,

    Washing Soda is Sodium carbonate, you can usually get it in any drug store. From which country are you from? Maybe I can give you some tips where to get it.
    As for instant coffee we found out that the cheaper the coffee is, the better it works for caffenol.

    cheers,
    dirk

    jake · February 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Perfect
    My student said she has seen sodium carbonate at the drugstore.
    We are in California.

    cheers Jake

Tim · March 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Any recommendations on what instant coffee to get in the US (california) it seems every time I look everything is arabica or not labeled if its arabica or robusta. I have yet to find a robusta labeled instant coffee.

    dirk · March 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    You can get Folger’s Instant Coffe for instance. But any cheap Instant Coffee should do. The cheaper the better is my finding here in Germany. Those unlabeled ones usually just work fine.

Tim · March 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Thanks, Dirk!

Antonio · March 29, 2012 at 12:53 am

This is great! Problems solved….BUT

is there any of those recipes that need NO FIXER to develop the film???

that thiosulfate bit is hard to find…

    dirk · March 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Antonio,

    No, Caffenol is only a developer. You always need to use fixer. To my knowledge there is no B&W or E6 or C41 Developer that doesn’t need fixing.

    Just buy regular fixer, I use Ilford Rapid Fix, and reuse it.

    Cheers,
    Dirk

    Sean · May 20, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I use regular table salt as a fixer filtered through a coffee filter. Takes about 24 hours to see a result. Looks better than the chemical fixers to me.

Alex · April 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Was wondering about TriX (400) and delta 3200, what recipe would be best for each and has anyone found good times for them?

Also, how many rolls can be done per working solution?

Alex · April 4, 2012 at 8:27 am

Another question:

I live in Chicago and at the local CVS all I can find is Vitamin-C pills, will these work just fine? (since each pill = 1g, use 20 pills)

    dirk · April 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I think pills will just work fine if you squelch them and the properly dissolve.

Derek · May 20, 2012 at 3:51 am

What is usual for the fix & rinse?

Jorge Martinez · May 29, 2012 at 1:03 am

Greetings. You provide a great resource but could you please convert the units of measure? Not everyone has a scale to measure grams, especially in the US. It would then be much simpler if you were to be teaching this to a child for instance. Additionally, “rounded” or “heaping” is not the same to everyone so maybe suggest using an actual measuring spoon(leveled out)would be better. Granted, this isn’t rocket science, we aren’t going to purposely develop the next Moonrise, Hernandez in coffee(or maybe somebody will), but a little more standardization would be good. And much easier to instill interest in shooting film. Just a thought. JM

    dirk · June 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Gramms is apretty standard scale, and here in Germany we don’t have those measuring spoons. If you send me one, I am happy to give those measures as well.

Maarten · August 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Argh, caffenol seems to be caffenon for me… I’ve got a load of C41 films (Solaris 200 ISO) and I want to use them. The films definately are ok, I tried them with normal developer. I use 15 gr. instant coffee (cheap 100% arabica from “Aldi”), 7 gr. pure vitamin C powder (http://www.ebay.de/itm/1-kg-od-500-gr-Vitamin-C-100-reine-Ascorbinsaure-feingepul-NON-GMO-E-300-/170876864387#ht_553wt_1378) and 8 gr. washing soda (http://www.action.be/fr/products/view/id/4035) . 20 degrees for 8 minutes. And all I get is a very faint stroke from the beginning of the film (that is fully exposed while loading the film). What can be the problem?

Dragos Dorojan · August 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Hello. I used Caffenol on Kodak 200 color plus and i have good resoults. The images are verry fine but with a small green tone, i dont have the famous copper tone. i used for 500 ml wather- 5 table spoons instant coffe, 3 table spoons washing soda(sodium carbonate) and 2 tablets of c vitamin Redoxon (1000 each) because i didnt find c vitamine poudre. So, the resoults are verry fine but how to get the coper tone? adding one more talet of c vitamin, or increasing the developing time ? mine was 15 minutes. Thanx in advance for all your oppinions.

    dirk · August 24, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Can you show me examples of the copper tone, you are talking about? You mean the color of the negative strips, or how they look like after scanning?

    cheers,
    dirk

      Dragos Dorojan · August 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

      They are look green after. I givet the negative to photo lab only for sban, and they just scan and put on CD like that. I like this green tone, but if i want the famous copper tone what to do? here are examples
      http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g460/croissantro/18820008.jpg
      http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g460/croissantro/18820003.jpg

        dirk · August 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

        This is because of the orange mask, all color film has. They scan in color and simply invert the colors. And so they come out green. But as this is not really color, you could tone them in Adobe Photoshop or Gimp, or any Photo Editing Software.

        cheers,
        dirk

          Dragos Dorojan · August 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

          Thanx for answer. So is good the recipe i use it for that negative? The results are good? Next time i must ask to scan as b/w and transform in positive or wath? Thanx

          dirk · August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

          They look good to me!
          I would let them scan in color, as it is easier then to change the hue of the color.

        dirk · August 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

        You like it more this way?

          Dragos Dorojan · August 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

          Exactly. i am wondering only if the development recipe and time was good. and if my negative can give the resoult that you have posted here.

Dragos Dorojan · August 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Ok, i will as every time to be scaned in colour. I dont like to make to much digital interventions on my photos and i was wondering if the copper toned resoults of color films developed in caffenol are natural or are result of any digital intervention.

Yarr · October 5, 2012 at 6:20 am

what caffenol chemistre would result in a long development time, say 6 hours standing time with little agitation?

Alex C. · October 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I just mixed the caffenol ingredients together but it began foaming up. Is there a certain way to mix them?

    dirk · October 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Most people do Soda first, add Vitamin C, coffee last. It will always foam up, but you should anyhow let the solution stand for 5 minutes once everything is completely dissolved. What I often do is to mix soda and coffee separately. To make 250ml I take 100ml and add the soda and in another beaker I take 150ml and dissolve the coffee. Then I put everything together and add the Vitamin C.

tremendousPanda · November 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hi there
So i tried Caffenol last week and it didn’t work for me. Since i couldn’t find Washing Soda anywhere i just bought Sodiam Carbonate, which is the same thing as far as i know, at a pharmacy.
I then mixed the coffee and vitamin c with water and as soon as i added the sodium carbonate it startet to foam up and i ended up with a total mess in my kitchen.

The items i used where:

Vitamnin-c – from a pharmacy
Sodiam Carbonate – from a phamacy
Instatn coffe that expired 2 years ago….

Could it be thtat it didnt work because the coffee was expired.
Also to all the People from Germany, Switzerland and/or Austria, can i buy normal washing soda at Aldi or Lidl?
I would really love to develop with caffenol since i really like the results i’ve seen on this page.

    dirk · November 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I would always add soda first. And then measure the temperature, as adding the soda will increase the temp.
    Soda can not be bought at Lidl or Aldi, I always buy mine at Rossmann.

john harris · February 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm

walmart might sell washing soda and a health food stores sell vit C

stu · September 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Dirk,

Great work! just a quick question, I love using high contrast developer like rodinal and D19, what is the best recipe for SUPER high contrast, I mean really high contrast!

Please mail me!
stu

I'm · December 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Would it be better for me to make 1000ml of delta STD and then leave what I didn’t use in the fridge, or better for me to slim the recipe?

Pia · February 2, 2014 at 1:49 am

hey Dirk,
how long can a solution be shelved before it is unusable? i would love to make some and bottle it up to have on hand.
also, is the developer disposed of after use, or can it be recycled? ie – using the developer for film to use on the prints themselves.
thanks!
-Pia

Taylor · August 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Help! I have tried many times to develope my paper with caffenol and every time it comes out like I never made an exposure all types of paper and to the point where I feel it’s not strong enough and have made a very strong batch so I thought. What is the perfect recipe for enlarging?? I’m losing faith

Alayna hughes · January 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I tried the dirst recepie with ilford black and white and it stripped the film completely! I’m guessing it was too strong for the film. I’m about to give up on this as i have tried regular developer and this 8tes with no luck

    Adam Brewer · November 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hi Alayna,

    I have also recently tried the Delta Recipe with black and white Ilford HP5 400 ISO film and mine turned out really well. My total developing time was 12mins. Agitate slowly for the first minute. Then three times every minute afterwards. Then wash and fix as you normally would.

    I got my agitation scheme from another site so I accidentally developed for 12mins instead of the 10mins this site recommends. They still turned out really well.

    I also developed Kodak Portra 400 color negatives with the exact same batch the next day and they also came out really well. I developed for 30mins, same agitation scheme as above.

    I then made 4 contact prints with the same batch of caffenol. I decided to dump it out afterwards but I think it would still be quite useable.

    Were you developing 400 or 100 iso film? Also, I’ve found that 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit works really for the films I listed above. Also, what were the specific ingredients you were using?

Deanna LaLonde · December 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I want to use coffee recipe for developing paper negatives from handmade pinhole cameras…can anyone tell me anything about paper negative development – what paper is best? what times are used? and alternatives for stop bath and fixer if any/ how well does the coffee process- I want kids who do this to see that the images turn out good- I am good with it not being in extreme focus but I do want them to turn out- we are comparing pinhole photography to digital photography.Any information will help. I don’t want to buy hundreds of dollars in natural ingredients if they don’t work. Any websites, blogs, etc with useful info is appreciated

Rifat Jamil Eusufzai · March 14, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I would like to try this method as there is no developer / fixer available in Bangladesh. Three questions
1. Can I use Nescafe instant coffee ?
2. I found some Hypo (crystal) in a local store. How to use that as fixer ?
3. Any alternative fixer ?
Thanks in advance.

vitek · June 18, 2018 at 3:20 pm

it have some expiration date??

Stephen Chan · August 10, 2019 at 10:12 am

Hi, everyone I’m looking to try out some of the recipes for caffenol here but got one quick question, many of the recipes are listing vitamin C in grams. Is this in terms of pure vitamin C (asorbic acid) or the stuff we can buy in pharmacies? If it’s the stuff from pharmacies what concentration are we talking here?

Arvaan Kumar · July 8, 2020 at 11:03 pm

Hey, just wondering if it makes a difference if the vitamin c is cosmetic grade or not. How would that affect the recipe and/or development times

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