Kodak BW400CN Processed in Caffenol C

The testing continues… BW400CN (C-41) by Kodak processed in my tweaked Caffenol C… the testing for this film is almost done… usable EI is around EI 50 – 400 / 800 all with the same processing time! Grain has a nice defined presence but not overpowering. A big advantage to this material beyond the flexability of the EI as mentioned above is the fact that is has fantastic reciprocity characteristics (no compensation required till 120 seconds) and it is very easy to scan on almost any scanner.

Below is a sample image shot with my Leica MP with a 28mm lens – the EI for this shot is 200. The dark barn board above the doors was placed at Zone 3… the light snow outside which has full detail is Zone 16!! This is a straight scan with minor adjustments in PS for contrast / levels… more soon.

Here is an example just for comparision of the same test shot on Kodak Tmax 400 processed in PMK using the technique outline here… instant coffee is looking pretty dam good!

Note: both shots were done using only natural light.

16 thoughts on “Kodak BW400CN Processed in Caffenol C

  1. This is really cool, thank you for sharing. Your site was recommended by google’s reader, and I was stunned to find out about the Cafenol. What times are you using for the BW400CN in it? And you also said you had tweaked yours?

  2. Stephen,

    Wow, that 400CN shot has even more detail in the highlights than the Tmax shot! There’s more grain, but it really works and grain is a small price to pay for that much latitude. I also really like that vintage record player. What a cool place!


    1. I love records… they just sound better to my ear. Yeah the BW400CN in my tweaked Caffenol C has an insane range… I am still working on refining the process but in my most recent test the grain is much smaller…not as fine as Tmax 100 but more like a traditional 100 / 200 speed grain…


  3. Found this comment online regarding the Caffenol BW400CN image:

    “His BW400CN result is what you expect from a neg film (silver or C41) when pulled one stop, which he did. It’s good but it’s pretty normal.”

    Actually the range is the same from EI 50 to almost 800 so the pull has nothing to do with it I just chose 200 as it was in the middle of the negs. With regards to being pretty normal… normal on what planet… this type of dynamic range is very difficult to achieve even with flat C41 film…. the combo of Caffenol C and exceptional latitude of BW400CN is a very nice marriage indeed.

    I end my rant…
    Viva la Revolution- Stephen

  4. Hi Fig, I’ve lots of this film which I don’t like in C-41. So I will try Caffenol. But how do you brew Caffenol C? I know the C-C-M, C-C-H, and C-C-L recipes. But just C???

  5. I shot my first roll of XP2 today – I have stuck to traditional silver films all these years, but I was curious about the possibility of reduced grain. I used 1:100 Rodinal semi-stand, not having any instant coffee in the house. Wow! Very smooth indeed and easy to scan. Example is at http://tinyurl.com/parrwnc

    I’m trying Diafine with the next roll. ISO200 again.

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