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Coffee developer?

Charlie Hightower , Aug 07, 2002; 03:53 a.m.

Anyone try using coffee or tea as a developer? I'm thinking of trying it just for fun but could it be used for serious work? Those of you who have (if any) I would be interested in your recipes and results. For those of you that just think am a wacko, I was just surfing the web and came up with this: http://www.rit.edu/~andpph/text-coffee.html It's a good read even if you don't try it.


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paul owen , Aug 07, 2002; 04:13 a.m.

I've been using coffee as a developer as part of a demo in a lecture that I give!! However, as far as using it for "serious" work, I don't!! As you can imagine dev times are a bit hit and miss - I rate FP4 Plus at 400asa and leave it in the "dev" for 30 minutes with agitation every 5 minutes - but I've left the film in for an hour!!!! With no ill effects!! I hasten to add that I use it just to prove that it works - not to print from. Top tip - I use a nice strong Columbian and dilute it with warm water 1:1.

Ashley Hosten , Aug 07, 2002; 05:07 a.m.

I'm just an interloper. I've got no experience with this at all, but thought you might check out the photographer Emil Schildt, on this site. I know he does alternative processing - and uses coffee.

Colm McCarthy , Aug 07, 2002; 09:33 a.m.

Schildt tints his prints with coffee and cigarette ash (not a new practice). He doesn't develop his film in coffee. I have to ask: why the heck would you want to do this? You could probably also develop film in Pepsi (or Coke if you wanted to do a comparative taste test) or horse urine, but what's the point?

Lex Jenkins , Aug 07, 2002; 09:51 a.m.

Gee, Colm, aren't you kinda young to be such a stick-in-the-mud? I mean, why do *anything*? Because it's there; because you can.

BTW, I wonder how mud would do as a fixer?

Colm McCarthy , Aug 07, 2002; 10:04 a.m.

Gee, Colm, aren't you kinda young to be such a stick-in-the-mud?

Err...no. I wish I was "kinda young".

Just because something's there doesn't make it worth doing. The web page, while I'll admit is intriguing, smacks of another college professor with too much time on his hands.

Peter BG , Aug 07, 2002; 06:25 p.m.

Actually, Colm, I DID develop some Pan F negs in horse urine one time! Crazy, I know. I left them in for about an hour and a half, agitating when I thought they needed it. They came out bright and beefy with dazzling highlights, creamy middle greys, and thick, velvety blacks. The overpoweringly nauseating stench of the urine was worth it for the best negs I've ever seen. And twenty minutes back in the urine after I fixed them gave them an ethereal golden tone...

Rich Long , Aug 07, 2002; 06:28 p.m.

You all are treading on very thin ice here. I learned years ago that there is only one rule in photography. And you're dangerously close to breaking it.

Freeman Patterson says that there is only one rule in photography: "Never process color film in chicken noodle soup."

Jeez, that probably just gave you another idea....

Rich Long , Aug 07, 2002; 06:32 p.m.

Peter, I'm pretty sure that the local photography shops here in Colorado don't stock horse urine. You must have ordered it from B&H. I don't want to hear ANY details about how you collected it yourself.

Chris Waller , Aug 08, 2002; 05:01 a.m.

Well-stewed cold tea also works. Tea is rich in tannins which are very mild reducing agents.

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