Stand development, or developing film without agitation by just letting it “stand” is generally considered a foolproof (and lazy) way to fully develop film without worring too much about blowing highlights. Caffenol works well for stand development and is one of my favourites. Below is the recipe I use.
Caffenol Stand – makes 50oml
- 500 ml fresh water (I use filtered tap water)
- 8g washing soda
- 5g Vitamin C powder
- 0.5g Kbr (Pot. Bromide) to restrict fogging, too much will restrict development as well..
- 20g instant coffee
Equipment needed: A thermometer, a scale, and a mixing container (don’t use your significant other’s ice coffee/tea pitcher).
Add in the order listed mixing well at each addition and let coffee bubbles settle before adding to film tank. Presoak film for 5 minutes. 10 gentle turns to start then 60 minutes stand @20 degrees C for any film shot at box speed (I dont worry about the temperature too much after I start unless it is mid summer and it might rise more than a couple degrees over the course of the development).
Pushing and pulling, toing and froing..
You can push film one stop by simply increasing the development time out to 70 minutes and maybe adding another 10 sec agitation the second minute. Another stop increase the time a bit more and add a couple turns agitation as follows: 1 min, 2 min, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 (this is called Semi Stand). I might reduce time to around 45-50 minutes for Kentmere or Acros shot at 80 or less.. Experiment to find out what works best for you. The interesting thing is in my unscientific opinion I don’t think there is anything gained really by pulling the film when you are using Caffenol in terms of grain at least.
I have really gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Caffenol. It works well for push processing so I like to use it with Acros shot at 200 or 400 since Tri-x is so expensive over here in Japan.
The above recipe is from Rhinehold’s site one of the innovators and responsible for a lot of great research given free to all of us- fantastic resource! Also check out the Caffenol Cookbook for some inspiration!
Just before dawn, Tri-x ei1600 / Caffenol semi stand 85 minutes
This frame captured the early morning peace and solitude I felt when I awoke early and finished off the roll so I could start developing. A handheld snap really, possible due to the iso of 1600. Sometimes the discounted frames taken towards the end of the roll hold something when you happen to look at them a few months later.