Caffenol CL vs. Kodak HC110 😵

featured, Film, Project, The Streets

Hello Everyone,

My apologies on the time between posts lately as I’ve just moved to a new place and also got a quick mini-vaca in recently (more on that later) from work

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been developing ALL my black and white film with Caffenol (specifically Caffenol CL) in place of all the chemicals I used to use

I mostly shoot Kodak Tri-X, ilford HP5 and also the Lomo Earl Gray films these days. All have been developed in Caffenol mixtures

I was very serious about being happy (also a bit shocked) about the results I was seeing

But is it really as good as I’ve been viewing it or has the romance between this developer and I finally ended?

Everything has a romance period, but if you still find yourself wanting something after this amount of time then you know you are still loving it for sure 

In Reality, i actually hate coffee with a passion. I know lots of friends who are really addicted to this and cannot function without it…but as long as i can develop with it 🙂 it’s all good

I’ve become so comfortable with this developer that it got me thinking “I should do a comparison next time I go out shooting”

I need to prove to myself that this is real

I need to show myself i’m not just making it up in my mind because it’s new to me and i’m still amazed at how it works

So that is exactly what I did

I had recently accumulated enough off time at my job and had a good solid week out of office to focus on this 

I decided to put it the Caffenol against one of my old favorites (and very popular) Kodak HC-110!

The images shown today will be from different parts of Boston, New Jersey and New York City 

So before I move on to results, I’d like to give you some info on gear

The following shots are taken using my Leica M6, Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 ASPH and the film, Kodak Tri-X 400 Pushed to 1600

Yes there was also an XPro2…thats a story for another time lol 😁

The first of the images will be Caffenol CL

The second set of images will be with the HC-110 (Dillution B)

As i look at them now, side to side i can honestly say i see the difference..but is one better than the other?

I’m not sure..I think its more of a decision of preference

Caffenol CL

30457323543_78be98c55f_k 30457325353_8832d3d8e2_k 30457326073_84575e7fc3_k 30457326993_17499d4ac0_k 30457328793_ffc2307402_k 30897352000_2b968a7ce5_k 30897353510_ac08abe4fe_k 30897353800_6d7ca147b0_k 30897354590_85eb5388a3_k 30897355710_d2f291bbf6_k 31265155905_03f6b10f43_k

Kodak HC-110










After looking at all of the results, I really can’t pick one over the other

There may be some increased contrast and clarity with the HC-110 but that could be due to the CL formula of Caffenol being a sort of semi-stand development process compared to the HC-110 needing rotation every minute during development (which in my experience increases contrast and sharpness)

I’m sure i could use another Caffenol recipe (CM maybe?) and get similar results to what i see with HC-110 (maybe I’ll perform test with that)

In either case, i love them both but i think the HC-110 performed slightly better for Kodak Tri-X in this instance..or maybe I just like the content more? The actual content of the images does matter to me 

Does this mean that i will never use Caffenol again? Absolutely not

I still think the fact film photography addicts like me can develop using products usually found around one’s home is astounding and incredible

Also, These tests i do not only keep me motivated but they also show the beauty of film

The various cameras and their styles, the various films and their looks, and the many many different development methods is more than enough reason for anyone to fall in love in my opinion

Hope everyone enjoyed the imagery from the tests

Which is the better result in your eyes? Have you ever tried any of the Caffenol recipes? How were your results?

Feel free to reach out with any questions and hope all is well with everyone this holiday season!



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