Jump to content

Will Reversal Film Turn out positive if I process with caffenol?

Zachary Stinnett

Recommended Posts

So I am wanting to shoot some film that will then be able to be projected through a super 8 projector, which I already have. If buy B&W reversal super 8 film, Shoot, Then develop with caffenol vitamin c and Washing Soda. Will it turn out positive so I can project it? Nothing can mimic that old projector to a wall look and I can't get enough of it. It sucks that they don't make color reversal film anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cafenol is just a black and white developer. So, it depends on what prices you mean. If you mean dev fix, then no. That makes a negative. If you mean dev bleach clear re exposure dev fix then yes. That is the reversal sequence.

Note that for reversal processing you need to

Mix a very strong mix of cafenol. Google reversal processing in cafenol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have done 35mm negatives in Caffenol; but have yet to do reversal. Is there something you can substitute for Sulphuric Acid to make the bleach? As far as not being able to get Color reversal: Kodak will begin selling Ektachrome again in late 2017 and you can buy FujiChrome from Retro8mm in Japan(Website: Retro Enterprises- For $41.40 plus $5 shipping you can get Single8 or Super 8mm; including processing. Order through their PayPal account.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as developing B&W reversal film in Caffenol for a positive projectable image, I found this to be a good resource in terms of developing reversal with house-hold chemicals; coffee, vitamin-c, and hydrogen peroxide in place of reversal bleach. Here:




It can take a bit of experimenting to get the concentrations and times just right, but with the above mentioned recipe and some testing of my own I've been able to get clear, consistent, B&W reversal images using a Caffenol recipe, 3% hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice, with a normal Kodak Fixer.


Hopefully the link can help you get some results you want and are happy with, if you have the patience for doing a bit of experimenting you can definitely get some really great results, ones you wouldn't getting using standard developing methods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of good and exciting suggestions here. I applaud the caffenol and low toxicity formulations. I suggest using one roll of film cut up into short lengths to experiment with to avoid the higher cost and effort in handling with complete film rolls per experiment. Kraig brings lots of good information to this forum, for those wanting to experiment and also use safer compounds. The end goal is the result, if it works for you and you like it, then use that method that best suits you.


The Caffenol formulations are fun, but as Richard mentioned, it needs to be really strong to work for Reversal Processing. Caffenol is a basic film developer formula, a soft working developer which doesn't have the usual components of accelerator or preservative, thus its life is short once mixed. Unless you are trying for using only a low toxic brew of processing soup here, I recommend using a more traditional First Developer which should be a higher contrast strong solution, such as KODAK D-19 (or the other formulations of D-8 or D-11), but not a line film developer (too high in contrast and not as controllable in a blind processing environment), or even possibly something similar to Polydol or Dektol in a straight mix formula. Then, you can still use Caffenol as the Re-Developer (2nd Developer) and get that stained look which is seen in B&W Negatives processed with Caffenol.


For another look, you can use the T-19 Sodium Sulfide formula for the Re-Developer (in which you do not need to re-expose the film at all!) and get a rich deep Sepia brown tone to the film. I warn you though, use gloves, use lots of ventilation, it does stink to high heaven, but boy, nice images.


Roger mentioned available sources for Color Reversal. Yes, it's coming back this fall, our beloved EKTACHROME, terrific! There is still tons of unexposed outdated film that shows up for sale on eBay and elsewhere; some of my customers have film stockpiled in their freezers. Film that hasn't been cold stored frozen since new will not have good color or results, but I see so many variations in old film processing here, a lot depends on where it was stored. Plenty of KODACHROME out there yet, and that can be used for B&W Processing experimentation, as well as decent images (if the film has been cold stored or isn't too old).


Richard's suggestion for sodium bisulphate is good. I personally don't mind using Sulfuric Acid, it's easily available from auto supply shops here in the USA (just be very careful with it of course). I often wish I had more time for experimentation, but would have to forgo doing films for others to allow more time for myself. My suggestion for safety is to use plenty of ventilation, use rubber gloves, eye goggles and a breathing surgical mask when mixing up solutions. If working in a dusty environment and with hazardous powders even a good breathing mask with filters works great ffom keeping that stuff out of your lungs.


It's so nice to still be able to shoot film in this highly digital era! There is still plenty of strong support for film and I hope it will continue that way long into the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can still get colour reversal Super 8. Wittner Chrome 200D is here (and other places)






I just got three reels back from processing this week and enjoyed watching home movies the "old fashioned way" with my girlfriend last night :o)


Also, Film Ferrania should be up and running by the Summer, which will be another source of colour reversal Super 8.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...