A few years ago, I did a one-roll review of the Mr. Brown film from the Film Photography Project Store. Over the past month, I have managed to shoot my last two rolls. The first roll was shot at ISO 6, and developed in my caffenol recipe for 15 minutes at 20°C. It was quickly apparent to me that the negatives were overdeveloped, as they were quite dense. Well, one fix for that was to try the second, and last roll at a higher ISO and cut a smidge off the development time in caffenol. Since Mr. Brown is now out of stock, you may wonder why I am publishing this now. Well, I imagine that there are some users that have yet to shoot all that they purchased and have some rolls left. Also, film photography is also about experimenting and sharing results, so here we go.
First of all, here is the Caffenol recipe that I use:
450 ml water
27 grams Sodium Carbonate
8 grams Ascorbic Acid
20 grams Instant coffee
5 grams Iodized salt
Mix in 30°C water and let cool to 20°C before using. Development times can be from 10-15 minutes, depending on film, so experiment to see what works for you.
Roll 1: Mr. Brown at ISO 6, shot with Nikon N80, 15 min development time. The negatives were very dense, so I had to adjust the curves in the scans to get a normal-looking image:
You can tell that the highlights are blown out. So, after that, I decided that in Caffenol, Mr. Brown could be rated at ISO 12-25, perhaps even higher.
Roll 2. Shot in my Nikon F2S, 105mm Nikkor, I rated the film at ISO 25. Quite different subject, with the high contrast ice and dark water, but I also figured that I would develop it for 1 minute less in the caffenol, for 14 minutes. I still had to do some adjustments in the scans, but still very good for this type of subject, which is about as contrasty as I could get. These are all along Mill Creek in Dexter, MI.
Overall, very good. So, this tells me that Mr. Brown is certainly a film worth trying in Caffenol, with the added benefit of being able to shoot at a higher ISO than 6! Of course, you may want to also try this recipe with other low-ISO films to see what you get. I'd be happy to hear about your results.