Kodachrome and Caffenol

480sparky

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So I decided to use all that old Kodachrome I was given and experiment with souping it in caffenol. Yesterday, I bought some instant coffee and washing soda, but could not find any vitamin C in crystal form, so I decided to forge ahead without it.

I loaded up a roll of Kodachrome 40 (made for 3200K lighting) and fired off 6 frames, exposing it at ASA 10. I developed it at 68°F for 9 minutes, followed by several rinses. The caffenol came out MUCH darker than it went in, so I was hoping the remjet got dissolved.

I fixed with normal Ilford fixer for 5 minutes, and there was just a touch of remjet still clinging to the film. Several swipes after a thorough rinse removed a bit more of the (very soft) remjet.

What I ended up with was some very faint (negative) images on orangish film base. This is pretty much what I expected.

2015-11-05%2020.08.03.jpg


Not bad for my first caffenol job, 'specially considering the film expired 25 years ago.

I am doling out the film in short sections just to characterize it and plan my next move. Hopefully, it will only take 3 or 4 full rolls before I can start getting usable images.
 
@limr has some cafenol recipes and data; she might chime in. If not, you can catch her in the coffee house.
 
Sparky, I bet those will still scan pretty well. They'll come out blue-scaled.
 
I dunno. They're very faint. Maybe nice highlights, but nothing in the shadows.

Started to scan them, and I ended up being forced to update the scan software. It'll take a few more minutes now.
 
The local GNC carries it, they're just out of stock. It will be quicker to wait for them to restock it than to order online.
 
Any ideas on using a real, conventional B&W film developer on this stuff? Do you suppose there's a need for a really lowered Exposure Index on this, in order to get some shadow detail? I mean, ASA 40 was always in the realm of slow film speed, so maybe with only "one layer" of the multi-layer Kodachrome (8-step process?) being worked on, maybe there's gonna be a need for a really generous, low E.I., like maybe ASA 1 or something ridiculous like that? And maybe a need for push processing as well? Addendum--I see now that your E.I. was ASA 10...so, gosh...

I think the developer just does not have the energy. Obviously without the Vitamin C, it;s not a really good recipe, but the development times I've seen on caffenol are lengthy, so I'm wondering if you might really ought to go with a high-energy developer, yet diluted a bit, like HC-110?
 
I've thought about using 'normal' developer, but heck... I've got dozens of rolls to play with. By this time next week, I should have some VitC to add to the mix. I was more interested in how to deal with the remjet.

And...... I ran another test strip through and souped it for 20 minutes. Still not there, but much better. It's hanging up and drying right now.
 
The Caffenol times aren't that lengthy. I usually do higher speed films at 14:30 and slower at 12:30. Maybe this just needed a bit more time in the soup. Or the Vitamin C. Or both.

(Edit: Simulpost. I see you tried it again with more time.)
 
The remjet isn't a problem. The caffenol is pure black coming out, and it takes at least 15 changes of rinse water for it to come out clear. So the remjet is getting dissolved during developing. There's no discoloration in the fixer.

Proof is the fact that I now have black stains on my reels.
 
From WIkipedia, for people who've not read much about Kodachrome's odd processing steps:

"Kodachrome, and other non-substantive films, required complex processing that could not practicably be carried out by amateurs.[33] The process underwent four significant alterations since its inception.[34] The final version of the process, designated K-14, was introduced in 1974. The process was complex and exacting, requiring technicians with extensive chemistry training and large, complex machinery.

The first step in the process was the removal of the antihalation backing with an alkaline solution and wash. The film was then developed using a developer containing phenidone and hydroquinone, which formed three superimposed negative images, one for each primary color.[34] After the first developer was washed out, the film underwent re-exposure and redevelopment. Re-exposure fogged the silver halides that were not developed in the first developer. A color developer then developed the fogged image, and its exhaustion products reacted with a color coupler to form a dye in the color complementary to the layer's sensitivity. The red-sensitive layer was re-exposed through the base of the film with red light, then redeveloped forming cyan dye. The blue-sensitive layer was re-exposed through the emulsion side of the film with blue light, then redeveloped forming yellow dye. The green-sensitive layer was redeveloped with a developer that chemically fogged it and formed magenta dye.[34] After color development, the metallic silver was converted to silver halide using a bleach solution. The film was then fixed, making these silver halides soluble and leaving only the final dye image. The final steps were to wash the film to remove residual chemicals which might cause deterioration of the dye image, then to dry, cut, and mount the film in slide frames.[34]"

I sure do miss Kodachrome 64...I shot a good amount of it in both regular and "professional" forms in the mid-1980's.
 
From WIkipedia, for people who've not read much about Kodachrome's odd processing steps:

"Kodachrome, and other non-substantive films, required complex processing that could not practicably be carried out by amateurs.[33] The process underwent four significant alterations since its inception.[34] The final version of the process, designated K-14, was introduced in 1974. The process was complex and exacting, requiring technicians with extensive chemistry training and large, complex machinery.

The first step in the process was the removal of the antihalation backing with an alkaline solution and wash. The film was then developed using a developer containing phenidone and hydroquinone, which formed three superimposed negative images, one for each primary color.[34] After the first developer was washed out, the film underwent re-exposure and redevelopment. Re-exposure fogged the silver halides that were not developed in the first developer. A color developer then developed the fogged image, and its exhaustion products reacted with a color coupler to form a dye in the color complementary to the layer's sensitivity. The red-sensitive layer was re-exposed through the base of the film with red light, then redeveloped forming cyan dye. The blue-sensitive layer was re-exposed through the emulsion side of the film with blue light, then redeveloped forming yellow dye. The green-sensitive layer was redeveloped with a developer that chemically fogged it and formed magenta dye.[34] After color development, the metallic silver was converted to silver halide using a bleach solution. The film was then fixed, making these silver halides soluble and leaving only the final dye image. The final steps were to wash the film to remove residual chemicals which might cause deterioration of the dye image, then to dry, cut, and mount the film in slide frames.[34]"


Translation: Chemical trichrome.

.....I sure do miss Kodachrome 64...I shot a good amount of it in both regular and "professional" forms in the mid-1980's.

I loved the 25. I lost count of how many rolls I burned up.

Every once in a while I stumble across someone who's determined to recreate the process. I don't think most of them know how complicated it really is and think it was just a series of liquid chemicals. They may succeed in creating in image, and maybe even a color one. And they certainly aren't going to be able to bring the process to the DIY market.

I truly doubt anyone today has the drive, wisdom and resources to resurrect a 'true' Kodachrome color image. To do that, they would need a huge amount of film to work with. And not having 'fresh' film to use, it would take a miracle to find a large batch of one emulsion that's been in someone's freezer since it was purchased.

One would more likely succeed in licensing the process, adapting it with modern technology, and bringing something that's close to Kodachrome to the market.
 

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