fomapan/arista.edu status

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by msbarnes, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    What is the status on the QC issues? Sorry if this is a repeated thread but some people have had success with this film and others have not. I have also read that they were working on some QC issues in the past so I'm not sure if these have been resolved.

    I'm particularly interested in the 100 film for 35mm and 120. But I would also like to hear about the QC issues of the 200/400 for 35mm and 120. I'm not sure if there are issues with the entire lines of films or just certain formats/film speeds. Also which films have the blue fog base?

    Any elaboration would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I just bought some Fomapan 100 in 120 size from Freestyle a couple weeks ago, and I shot two rolls last week. One roll had no QC problems, the other had a little clear spot in the emulsion that showed in the sky on one frame out of the 12 on the roll. I scan my negs, so it was easy to spot out in Photoshop, but if I were wet-printing it would have ruined the image. I bought six rolls of it to try, so I can't say much more without shooting some more. I developed it in PMK and also shot some Ilford FP-4 in 120 that I developed in PMK to compare.

    The Foma uses a clear base now, they've dropped the blue base from the 120 films. It is thinner than the base Ilford uses for 120 size FP-4, and much thinner than the thick base Kodak uses for the 120 size Tmax films. The Foma curled a lot, making it a pain to slide into print-file pages, and a pain to get into my scanner's neg carrier (I imagine it would be a pain to get into an enlarger's carrier too). A week or so under a pile of books cures it, but the Ilford film was flat from the beginning.

    I liked the tonality of the Foma, but it is not as fast as the Ilford. In PMK, its about a 50 speed film. Grain and sharpness similar to FP-4 (but FP-4 works at EI-80 in PMK).

    Here's a couple of photos from the Fomapan 100 in PMK.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are my first test of the film in the developer, and the negs were a little thin. Editing them to adjust contrast made them look ok, but I think I'll develop slightly longer next time.

    Overall, I think that if you can afford it, Ilford is probably a better choice because of the higher QC, thicker base, lack of curl, and higher real speed. Especially if you are printing in the darkroom. If you're scanning like I do, the minor QC issues I saw are easily fixable in Photoshop, but would be a pain in the darkroom. If money is an issue, then the Foma does make beautiful images.
     
  3. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Hi Chris, just to make things clear. You recent 120 Foma was on clear, curly base?? I bought 10-120 rolls in June from FreeStyle and it was on bluish, thick, very Xray film looking base. Also, in the last year I used 2 or 3-100" rolls of Foma 100 and Arista 100 EDU with no QC issues.
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I shot over a dozen rolls of Arista EDU 100 and 400 in35mm and 120 format this summer with no QC issues. It's great film.
     
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Yes, they were clear and the film curls when dry.

    I shot a few 120 size rolls of this film maybe 4 yrs ago in both the 100 and 400 speeds, and it was on the blue base back then, but I had not bought any since then until these new rolls that I got from Freestyle a couple weeks ago. Another interesting thing. The new rolls I bought were Foma, not the Freestyle "Arista.EDU Ultra" brand, which is the Foma film in Freestyle's box. Despite being the Foma branded version, they said Ultra 100 on the developed film edges!
     
  6. flash26c

    flash26c Member

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    I saw a thread not too long ago about "holes" in the emulsion on Arista. EDU and have had a few myself. The recomended fix was to cut the stop bath strength in half or use water. Haven't tryed it myself yet but will do on the next roll.
     
  7. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    With the latest batch, there shouldn't be any problems. They changed the base to a clear film as it was indicated above and also are monitoring more closely the quality.
    Foma is a great film.
     
  8. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I have been using Arista EDU Ultra 100 for at least 3 years now in 4x5, 120 and 35mm. I develop in either Arista Premium or in Rodianl and I have always used plain water for a stop. I have never experienced any spots or holes in the emulsions of my negatives.

    Efke 25, as well as Arista EDU Ultra 100 and 400 have been my mainstay black and white films since 2010. This year I have started experimenting with some Tri-X and Arista Premium, but the majority is still Arista EDU Ultra since it is inexpensive and does the job for me. I haven't noticed any emulsion or backing changes but I am still working on older stock rotated out of the freezer.

    BTW, I notice that Freestyle has been out, or low, on Arista EDU stock for a bit. They have indicated an expected delivery in November. I certainly hope that everything is still good at the Foma plant.
     
  9. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    There was a recent thread about the change to a clear base. Part of an improved quality effort I think.

    Search a bit and you should find it.
     
  10. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I've seen the thread. I mentioned my film having the new base because someone asked me if it did.
     
  11. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Its been almost a decade since I user Fomapan in medium format and a few weeks ago decided I will give another try to see if they've got it right.
    The box of 10 rolls Fomapan 100 120 I bought from my usual local shop in Germany are dated 1/2014, the base is slightly bluish and looks like polyester (ala Polypan F), the side marking read ULTRA 100.
    Excellent result in Rodinal 1+50 and free from any issues that I experienced with Fomapan 100 and 400 films years ago.
    Now that Fotokemika is gone, its looks like the improved Fomapan is my choice.