I tried to develop my first role of Adox Scala 160 with Caffenol, Hydrogen Peroxide+Vinegar and the final outcome was an all black role of film.

Here is the process I went by: -Rinse film -First development in Caffenol-C mixture (that I use for normal BW film) for 6-min (normally I do 10min for BW same strength) -Rinse -Hydrogen + Vinegar mixture -Rinse -Expose (note: I could see the images on the film as if I just finished with the fixer with BW as normal. The only difference was that the lights were much more noticeable compared to a negative, perhaps due to the base layer of the film) -Second development in Caffenol-C (I made a new batch of the developer with the same amounts as the first development) for 10-min (my normal developing times for BW film that works) -Rinse -Ilford Rapidfix for 10-min as I normally do for my BW film

The outcome was a completely black role of film. Under extreme LED flashlight lighting, I can barely make out the individual slides, but no details. If you didn't know there were images, you may not even notice them with the LED flashlight.

Wondering where the mix-up was. Did I expose it for too long? Did I not develop the first step for long enough? Was the second dev too long? Something to do with the fixer?

I only have a couple more roles of Adox Scala 160 left and want to be able to actually develop it properly (Caffenol dev only, not harsh chemicals)

  • Are the edges clear? Can you read the film data from the edges? Are the frames individually delineated? It's unclear what you mean by "completely black"...
    – BobT
    May 20, 2021 at 16:46
  • No edges (as in name of film or DX data etc,), the frames were visually each there separately at exposure, and under extreme lighting you (as a photography knowing there's actual images on there) can tell where the images start and stop. It's literally black as night
    – Phyxiis
    May 20, 2021 at 16:49
  • 1
    Also, this is reversal film that requires (I assume) processing a particular way. Are you sure caffenol works? Do you have a reference for the process?
    – BobT
    May 20, 2021 at 16:52
  • ilfordphoto.com/common-processing-problems It's the "FILM IS BLACK, FOGGED OR PARTIALLY FOGGED" section. Except, this being reversal, it needs to be exposed to light again. Ref: youtube.com/watch?v=XVOgi3QcGzk filmlabs.org/docs/citric-hydrogen-peroxide-bleach.pdf
    – Phyxiis
    May 20, 2021 at 16:53
  • Does temperature play a part at all in having it come out completely black? or agitation?
    – Phyxiis
    May 20, 2021 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Sounds like your 1st development was off and/or the peroxide (bleach) bath didn't remove the developed silver from the developed negative image, either because the dilution was off or the time was off. The fact that you can see some vestige of image points to the bleach step being the culprit.

The bleach step gets rid of the negative silver image, and the re-exposure and 2nd development affects only the silver halide which is left after the bleach step. If you leave the bleach step out, the second exposure will overexpose (blacken) the entire film strip.

Here's a guy that's doing it in a similar way. He has times and temperatures for each step.

  • Caffenol developer and hydro vinegar bleach: photos.app.goo.gl/snVPuxXhf53XQK6C9 After exposure and second dev and fixer photos.app.goo.gl/dxtLGpVGhDt7nJEb7
    – Phyxiis
    Jun 13, 2021 at 14:28
  • And here is with an led flashlight behind the film. In the red circle you can see a faint image of my dog photos.app.goo.gl/dE7gnMu6BgRJajxa9
    – Phyxiis
    Jun 13, 2021 at 15:04
  • Could I not be exposing it to enough light? I guess I’ll try another roll as it seems to be something after the bleaching stage is causing it
    – Phyxiis
    Jun 13, 2021 at 17:07
  • I think it most likely WAS something up to and including the bleaching stage that caused the problem. Underexposure and/or 1st development problem and/or bleach problem.
    – BobT
    Jun 13, 2021 at 23:21
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    Because the bleach step is supposed to completely remove the negative silver image and leave the unexposed halide alone. Your processing didn't remove most of the negative silver image. The re-exposure step worked- the film is black in the margins, but without removing all of the initial development's silver you had both a negative image and a positive image superimposed on each other.
    – BobT
    Jun 14, 2021 at 1:46

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