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Matt Richardson @ MAKE recently explored homebrew film developing with “caffenol” in this how-to video.

Only recently did I find out that you can develop negative film with instant coffee, vitamin C, and washing soda. This homebrew developer has become known as “caffenol” and there are plenty of photographers out there who have used this method in the darkroom. I read up on a few different recipes and tried my hand at developing my own snapshots with caffenol. As you can see from the video, it took a couple tries, but I did eventually get it right. As a matter of fact, I was impressed with the results:

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


  • Jenn Wisbeck

    How cool! Sounds like a great way for people to try developing film without lots of chemicals.