A quick review of Arista.edu Ultra 100 35mm

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Klainmeister, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Hi All,

    I find that people's opinions and experiences greatly help me choose processes, chemistry, etc. so I figure I'd post some quick observations and info so that anyone doing a search might find the information useful.

    I bought a 10 pack of Arista.edu Ultra 100 for my girlfriend as she learns the ropes of 35mm (coming from a DSLR), but instead found myself really enjoying the film. The first thing I noticed is the blue-ish film base. It prints really easy in my Color diffuser head enlarger--but we'll get to that in a moment.

    I shot three rolls: one through a Nikon FE, one through a Pentax ME, and one through and Olympus XA--all turned out excellent. I developed the first roll in Pyrocat-HD for 12 minutes 1:100 @ 72 degrees, but found the stain to be slightly weak. So the next two I did at 12 minutes 1:100 @ 75 degrees and what a difference! Great stain all across and the grain was apparent, but not overwhelming. I shot at box speed too, and that seemed to work fine. At 100 ISO I got great tonal range and plenty of detail in both shadow and highlights. Very easy to use film.

    In the darkroom, I noticed that the film seems to have more contrast than my other two go-tos: Acros 100 and Neopan 400. The roll through the XA looks as if I had a yellow filter, and the Pentax roll (with a yellow filter) almost has too much contrast.

    The first shot I put into the enlarger I took a guess and added 0 color filters. Almost a perfect straight print right off the bat. Go figure. Next I took another one with flatter light and only needed to add 30M to get proper contrast. This film is easier than Acros to print! Atleast in 35mm...

    Finally, I made an 8x10 to compare to my Acros 100 shots. It appears that the 8x10 has more grain, which is quite pleasant looking, is ever so slightly softer (could have been camera or enlarger), and had a flatter curve than my Acros prints. That's great and exactly what I was looking for.

    So all in all, I think this is a great film, and at it's price, worthy of everyone keeping a well stocked fridge. Dries flat, easy to develop, rates at box speed, easy to print. What more could you ask for?

    Now...should I try it in 120?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2012
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Cool. I have a couple of 100' bulk rolls in my freezer that I've not gotten to yet. Any scans you can post?
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Unfortunately my scanner is down and out at the moment. I could snap a pic of a print and post. Both of the negs as well as the final. Will do when I get home.

    (Scans NEVER capture grain correctly, hence I like to print)
     
  4. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I use a lot of Arista EDU Ultra 100 and I buy it in bulk rolls from Freestyle all the time. I can't be the only one because they run low on stock fairly frequently. I love it because I am still learning, it is very inexpensive, and I can use it in all my cameras.

    I hope this turns out. I am still learning how to attach images but here is a 35mm bulk load sample from a recent shot taken out in Jiggs with the Minolta SRT102 and the MD 50mm Macro. Jiggs Bunkhouse.jpg Not the greatest picture but it does show a good range of tones. One of the things I really enjoy about this film is that it will show clouds quite well without any filtering.

    I also use it in 120, 4x5 and 8x10 (one of the few films I can find that go across the formats) but obviously the visible grain with the larger image sizes is quite a bit less.

    I am really just learning to use this film so I don't stray too far from what is recommended. This picture was developed in Arista Premium Liquid 1+9 for 7 minutes, agitated every 30 seconds @ 70 degrees. I think these seem to come out a bit too contrasty with this regime. I read that Arista Premium is a little smoother at 1+19 so I am going to give this a try with my next few rolls.
     
  5. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    I find it and the 400 curles too much in 120. I do use it 135,120,4X5 and have a box of 5X7 to try. I wish they would make it in whole plate too.
    I develop in HC110. Most of the 120 has been through a Diana or one of our Holgas so contrast has not been a problem :smile:
     
  6. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    Too Curly!

    I use edu ultra 100 and 400 in 120 size, and the curling is a real pain! I have to use little bits of tape to hold the film down long enough to get my contact printer assembled. I tried some tmax 100 in 120 size the other day, and after drying it was just as flat as you please. Wow, it's worth a couple of bucks to me just for that difference. Anyone else feel that way?

    Best regards,
    Chris
     
  7. mfohl

    mfohl Subscriber

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    I bought some Efke film a few years ago. I thought it would go good with my Holga. The images are OK, and I find the bluish film base rather strange. But I just can't abide the curling. That stuff just does not stay flat. Consequently, I don't use it any more.
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Is this the made-by-Foma film (made in Czech Republic)? At various times Freestyle has sold film by almost everybody, and the only way I can tell it apart is by where it is made (Hungary = Foma, Czech Republic = Foma, UK = Ilford, USA = Kodak, Japan = Fujifilm).
     
  9. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've used the 400 a bit, and have some more in the fridge. I don't have much problem with the curling. I use Jobo reels which, IMNSHO, are far easier to load than steel anyway, and put the negatives into neg pages (for 120.)

    I like it in 120 and 4x5 - quite a lot in 4x5. I shoot mainly TMY-2 in 4x5 but the Foma (and this stuff is just re-branded Foma) has a different look that I also enjoy. It's far grainier, but that doesn't matter at all to me in 4x5 where I never print larger than 16x20, maybe 5x with some cropping. In 120 I don't mind, and in fact it's nice to get some visible grain at sizes where even Tri-X will not show any.

    I don't understand the argument about cheaper in 35mm, though. In 120 and 4x5, yes, but you have to be getting this from Freestyle to get the Arista brand, and for just a few cents more you can get re-branded Tri-X in their Arista Premium. Sure, a 100' roll is ten bucks more but that's still a pretty good deal. I don't see the point in bulk loading it unless you want shorter custom lengths, given how cheap the 36x loads are. 36x loads of Arista Premium aka Tri-X are $2.89. The Arista.edu Ultra aka Fomapan 100 is $2.59, 400 is $2.69. If you want inexpensive film in 35mm without QC or curl problems, just use that. Of course you're stuck with 400 speed now that Plus-X is sadly gone.
     
  10. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    I use Foma a lot in both 120 and 35mm, and a few years ago the curl was really bad fresh processed and dried, but it very soon straightned out in a file, but for the last year or so the curl is very little, still there but only slight, I concluded that Foma had done some work on the base and sorted the problem out, at least, with the new stock sold this side of the pond, I love the stuff, the look is unique, the nearest I can say is it is very much like Tri X from when it was first made, before Kodak started updating it, but still a look of it's own, and as far as the QC issues I have heard about, well, for me at least, I have yet to have a problem, and I shoot a lot of it, it is my main go to film.and as for grain, well yes the 35mm is grainy, but I find it a nice grain, 120nthe grain is very slight, Lovely stuff and long may Foma go on making it.
    Richard
     
  11. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Well, I wouldn't say the Kodak variants are better. I am one of the few people on earth who really cannot stand the look of Kodak films...not sure why, hence my go-to has been Acros and Neopon 400 forever. That said, I find the Foma 100 (Arista.edu Ultra) does a fine job at a cheap price and has it's own look that I appreciate.
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I may not have put that very well. If you like the look of the Foma (and I do, but not for all my work) by all means shoot it. I just meant that, in 35mm, the cost argument isn't very convincing to me, at least in pre-loaded rolls, when the rebranded Tri-X costs only about twenty cents a roll more.

    Shoot it because you love the look - absolutely yes! Shoot it to save twenty cents a roll? Not so convincing, to me at least.

    This goes completely out the window in 120 and sheets, though. I still shoot 120 Tri-X because it's my favorite film ever, but I do shoot some Foma/Arista for the look. In 4x5, much as I say that the price of film isn't that much in the overall scheme of things, Kodak is about to price themselves completely out. I'm arguing with myself whether to buy any more TMY-2 when my current box is done, or just switch to HP5+.
     
  13. Pioneer

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    Curly??

    After developing I usually hang it to dry in the office. It usually hangs there a couple of days before I get around to sleeving it and contact printing the negatives. I have very little trouble with the Arista EDU 100 or 400 curling, no more then my Kodak TriX anyway. I do use a glass negative carrier for my Beseler and I always tape it down when I am enlarging, but mostly to ensure maximum sharpness.

    On the other hand, my Efke 25 120 certainly does have to be sleeved and flattened and it can take quite some time before it flattens out.

    I am not sure if humidity has anything to do with it or whether the process of developing influences it.
     
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  15. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Understood Roger.

    I have noticed that things curl wayyyy worse here in the desert than back where I'm originally from (Orygun). I switched the RC printing since I moved here because it's too much damn work flattening fiber when it dries in 1 hr hanging.

    I tried the 4x5 Foma and found that it didn't stain at all very well. Maybe a 16min development time is in order.
     
  16. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    I shoot this stuff (freestyle's) in 35mm, 4x5, and 5x7 . . . primarily because it's cheap, and also because I'm so accustomed to it's behavior. But, sadly my desire to use roll-films has fizzled. There's just enough bang for the buck . . . even at today's price for a 100' tin. But overall I have no complaints with the film and will probably continue to use it in sheet form.
     
  17. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    More too curly

    I have used the 100 and 200 and found the curl to be a pain.
    I tried carefully reverse rolling the film after processing and leaving it sitting for a week; that straightened things out for me.
     
  18. AFenvy

    AFenvy Member

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    I just shot a fresh roll of this (Foma branded version however). It is a very nice film. I have read many times of people having issues with curl and this film, but for me it dried flatter than anything else I have shot recently. I live in the desert, so I steamed up my shower before hanging them and let them hang overnight. In the morning they were paper flat, perfect. Developed mine in Rodinal. Grainier than most 100 films, but with gorgeous tonality and detail. Great look to it.
     
  19. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Here's a 5x7 print (sanded edges on the 35mm holder) from a roll shot during the Santa Fe Century bike ride. This is a straight print. I guessed the exposure and didn't touch the contrast dials. Also, from the little Olympus XA...
    2012-06-21_08-05-07_546.jpg
     
  20. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    Thanks!

    This has been a good thread, thank you Klainmeister for starting it.
     
  21. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I've never used this film in 35mm or 120 but I have used it in 4x5 and I really like the negatives I got with it (in D-76 1:1). May have to get some in 35mm.
     
  22. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I love the 100 and 400 in 35mm and 120. Haven't tried the asa 200 yet.

    I found that it doesn't like Ilfosol at all and HC-110, D-76, Clayton F76+ all work very nicely.

    My experience is it can over develop easily and gets grainy fast with aggressive agitation. I like to agitate one or two smooth, soft inversions per minute.

    I'm just a beginner with home development and haven't printed with the enlarger yet.

    Oh... I don't get any curling problems. Coastal Southern California, drying in a steamy shower.

    It can attract a lot of dust and is easy to scratch before it's really dry.
     
  23. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Humm, I run it in my Jobo and it doesn't seem to mind. I use a 5 minute water pre-soak followed by D76 1+1 for about 10% less time than called for - well I also run it at 75F like all my film, because that works better in the CPE2 without a cold water inlet (or, in my current darkroom, any cold water to hook to it even if I had it!) and adjust the time per the Ilford chart for time adjustments with temperature changes. It gives a slightly "punchy" negative but I like that. A bit grainy but again I'm only shooting it in 120 and 4x5 so I'm not too concerned. Don't see the grain in 4x5 even so and not bad in 6x6.
     
  24. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Bad?? Grain is why I shoot film!
     
  25. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    That's fine but if I want more grain I'll be sure to shoot 35mm, not my medium format or 4x5 cameras.
     
  26. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    Sounds like an interesting film to try out. I think I will get a brick and see what its like.
    Is the emulsion on this film "hardened", or will I need some hardening fixer?