getting very tired of arista.edu curl in 120

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bobby Ironsights, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Hi, I shoot the cheapest. ALWAYS. I reason that a silver halide is a silver halide and I'll worry about the rest when I can afford to.

    I shoot a seagull not a hassie, I decided to splurge and get the fancy model with the 4 element coated lens. Cost me all of 200 bucks.

    I do get very good images though, and shoot the hell out of my seagull feeding it the dollar eighty rolls of Arista.edu in 100, 200 and 400.

    The thing is though, the negatives curl.

    ALOT! I've shot alot of 120, but I've ONLY ever shot arista in it, so I assumed it was a function of those teeny little spools. It's actually a bit of a handful to contact, and I find it's best to leave it in the binder a couple months before it starts to flatten out enough to avoid forming a roll out of the sleeve the moment it's allowed out of the binder.

    I gave a couple rolls of arista to my photo instructor the other day though, and she in turn gave me a roll of T-Max. I didn't think about it again, till today, when I slapped it in and went downstairs to shoot my GF.

    It developed no problem, and annoyingly, it has a teensy bit of purple dye after fixing for ten minutes...

    No biggie, I've had that before.

    Then she comes out of the bathroom to sleeve it....IT'S FRIGGIN' FLAT!!!!

    I can't beleive it, the negs are flat, and sleeve and contact like a dream.

    I like flat, and I went online to look at the price and nearly shat myself. It's more than four dollars a friggin' roll!!!

    That's just not going to happen, so I start perusing the other films that are cheap, like foma, and lo and behold they have fuji acros, for about two bucks sixty a roll.

    Two bucks sixty a roll is no joke mind you, that's alot of money when you hog through film like a fool like me. But I've got to wonder, does it dry flat like the T-max?

    Because if it dries nice and flat, I might start living the high life on Acros.:D
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    My acros is flat.
     
  3. RoBBo

    RoBBo Member

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    10 minute fix?
    Jesus man.
    3 minute fix!
    15 minute wash!
    What is this!
     
  4. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I'm a huge cheepass, too. And I shot a Seagull and arista.edu (and then ultra), too.

    After having to fix the stuck shutter in the seagull about 10 times, I gave that POS away and got a used Rolleicord. And after trying to scan and wetprint curled up arista.edu films for a couple years, I decided it was well worth it in time and aggro to spend the extra $1.00 or so a roll and use Tri-X in 120.

    Dont get me wrong, Im still a cheepass. In 35mm I favor an old Kiev and Heilos 108 I got on ebay for $40 and I wind my own Tri-X onto carts I got $20 for 200 on ebay as well. And I soup my own film (except for the rare roll of e-6). Hell, I even use Rodinal (on 120 where grain isn't so much an issue) to save money when I can -- 1:100 dilution will make a bottle last years. And I print on arista.edu ultra FB paper. So yeah. Cheep.

    But having said that, my time is the most valuable thing I have and I refuse to spend it fighting crappy chinese cameras or crappy croatian film. When you decide to change the emphasis from cheaper to better or faster, it still pays off -- it's a zero-sum game. Trust me on this one.
     
  5. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    If you want to remain a cheapass, there are some things you can do to reduce curl. You can...

    - Use clip weights. Distribute the weight evenly and avoid weighing down the center portions of the film.
    - Avoid wiping your film of excess water. Allow the film to drip-dry and this will reduce concave curl.
    - Avoid using anything to accelerate the drying process, like a drying cabinet.

    I use plenty of APX 100, which can curl and by doing the above has significantly reduced this tendency.
     
  6. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser Advertiser

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    As far as I know, arista edu is Foma or Forte. I don't remember exactly, but the problem is the same with curling, and treatment same too. In fact, if you use a hardenning fixer, and let your film dry with a heavy weight for one night, your issues will be solved. That is what I do, and clearly my negatives are almost flat. And clearly, it's nicer to use them...
     
  7. Keith Cocker

    Keith Cocker Member

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    Cheaper film curls - more expensive film doesn't in my experience. As some have said you can try to reduce the amount of curl but I have found that if I use Foma, Forte, Bergger, Rollei (Agfa) etc it will curl. If I use Kodak, Ilford, Fuji it doesn't. That's life!
     
  8. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Acros dries flat, and is a very nice film in other ways too.

    As for curly films (I like Efke 25 and 100, both of which curl), the best way I have come across to get them flat is to sleeve the roll (when completely dry of course) and roll it in the reverse direction to the curl. Roll it tight enough to fit in one of the Ekfe/Adox 120 film cannisters. After a day or two, take it out and it should be nice and flat.

    I've tried all other methods (bar the hardening fixer) and none have cured the curl.
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    You buy cheap, you get cheap.
     
  10. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    I have recently developed a few rolls of Kodak Verichrome Pan and Tri-X 120 film from the early sixties. Since these films came out flat after development I wonder why current films like Rollei Retro and Fomapan still curls to the point that it makes it hard to fit them in a negative holder… Is it still that hard, or expensive, to make 120 film flat?
     
  11. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser Advertiser

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    The only reason of their curling is their PET base. All PET bases films curl. Cheap or not...
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It will flatten. Use weighted film clips as recommended above, and let it hang overnight. Store negatives flat in pages or sleeves under weight, and they'll relax. The current Arista.EDU 120 film is Fomapan, made in the Czech Republic. Adox/Efke 120 is on the same base.
     
  13. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I tried this stuff in 120 for a very short while, I can only hang so much weight on the line I dry film on. I've used two weighted clips and didn't help a bit.

    I'm like the OP, if you can get it into sleeves it took weeks not over night to get it semi flat.

    After that 10 roll experirment, back to Tri-X.

    YMMV

    Mike
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Don't think 'cheap', think 'Value for Money'.


    Steve.
     
  16. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I don't mind the curl. I can slide it into sleeves pretty easily, so long as I take my time. Printfile Ultima sleeves are slightly oversized and are easy to slide the negatives into. A hardening fixer does help too, I use a separate hardening bath. I like the quality and don't feel it is cheap but to each their own.
     
  17. Metroman

    Metroman Member

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    I found loading the film emulsion side out on the reel and weighted clips helps solve the worst of the curl.
     
  18. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Thanks Metro, I'd never tried this trick and I'll definitely give that a shot. I've got a whole lot more rolls to get through before I go acros!
     
  19. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    PET is much stronger, more dimensionally stable, and much more archival. That is important to me - I will deal with the curl. Letting it dry with a weight on the end solves the problem satisfactorily for me.

    On the other hand if it isn't important for you, use film on an acetate film - it is definitely easier to keep flat.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Actually, the emulsion side swells and shrinks with processing which introduces part of the curl you observe. The more expensive films have a coating on the reverse side of the film to help prevent the curl. Also, the use of the particular hardeners, polymers and humectants in film helps prevent curl.

    And, of course, all of the R&D to bring this technology to you costs money. That is why Ilford, Kodak and Fuji films cost a bit more. BTW, most of the initial R&D on this was done by Kodak and therefore they set the stage for others to use it too, but they bore the brunt of the R&D technology and therefore bear a heavier burden. This is very easily seen in the fact that most developers and fixes are look alikes and work alikes for original Kodak product such as D-76 and etc.

    PE
     
  21. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Freestyle uses (or has used) several suppliers for its "Arista" line. Most of these suppliers are now defunct or have stopped reselling under other brands. Specifically, Ilford ("Arista Pro" and "Arista Dmax"), Agfa ("Arista II," IIRC), and Forte ("Arista.EDU") all used to supply Freestyle but no longer do. Foma supplies the current Arista.EDU Ultra. I believe that Kentmere does/did supply a variety of Arista-branded paper, but I don't recall the name for it. (The Arista.EDU Ultra paper is made by Foma, though.) I haven't checked the Freestyle site, but I doubt if much stock of the non-Foma Arista film remains. Still, the similarity of names can be very confusing. I believe it's important to be precise, if only so as not to lead to problems when looking up development times.

    I sympathize, but there are differences even aside from curling. In extreme cases, there are defective emulsions; for instance, check this thread about some defective Fortepan film. If you do comparisons, you'll find differences in grain size and patterns, tonality, etc. Personally, I happen to like the look of Foma 400 film (except for its poor anti-halation characteristics in 35mm), which is great for my budget. For lower speeds, though, I rather like Ilford Pan F+ 50 and Kodak T-Max 100.

    Back to the topic of curling, I agree that it's less of a problem with some of the more expensive brands, on average. Some of them do curl, though. I shot a roll of medium format Ilford XP2 Super recently, and it had some pretty substantial curl, but in the short direction (side-to-side if the film were hung as to dry) rather than the long direction that seems to be a problem with Foma, Efke, and some others.
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In the trade, the curl which takes place the length of the film is called piping, as it makes the film look like a length of pipe. The other curl is called curl or 'set' because it comes about by being rolled onto a roll. It is most prevalent on older film or film stored improperly. If you have both types you are in a world of hurt.

    Film that curls before processing is old or has been stored very poorly and is difficult to thread onto a processing reel.

    PE
     
  23. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    My experience is the same. I can live with it---I mainly use this film for "smoke-testing" new cameras and the like---but it does take some extra effort. I can get it into sleeves without too much trouble now; my technique is to bend it slightly in the transverse (short) direction near the point of entry into the sleeve. What's *really* hard, I think, is cutting the roll into strips and keeping it from sproinging into a tight roll as soon as the weight is gone.

    I could live without Fomapan/Arista, but not without some other seriously curly films like Adox ORT25; I'm stuck dealing with curl anyway, so I might as well put up with it from the Arista film as well.

    -NT
     
  24. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I occaisionally use Arista Ultra EDU in 120 also. Seems ot be ann in tersting film, but I get the same curl no matter how I dry, weighted, unweighted, stored inside neg files under a large book for a few days. The only way around it for me is to stop down my enlarger lens 2 stops more :-( I use it very occasionally though so I can live with it for the times I do use it. I also use Fuji ACROS and it does stay flat, but is very thin.
     
  25. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Yeah, what I don't know is why arista.edu in 35 mm is so flat that it takes a few seconds to figure out which side is the emulsion side,:smile: but they can't do that with the 120 size.:confused:

    Maybe I'll just switch to acros for 120 and keep using the arista.edu for bulk 35mm and sheet film.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, as has been argued elsewhere, some 120 films are coated on thinner support, but even so, all things being equal, the narrower the film the less curl in either direction.

    PE