Latest batch of Arista Edu Ultra 400 doesn't curl

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pschauss, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    On impulse, I bought ten roles of Arista Edu Ultra 400 (120 size) after not using it for over a year. I developed the first roll last night in Diafine and was quite surprised to see that it had no appreciable .

    The only downside is that they are making the film a bit shorter. I was shooting it in my Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 (6x4.5) and there was less than 1/8" of blank film after the last 16th frame. I usually have enough of a margin to clip a couple of clothes pins to put some tension on the film while it dries.
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    any pinholes evident?
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Whoo hoo! Glad to hear that. I have some on order from Freestyle. I'll have to see how the shorter roll will translate using 6x6 and 6x7 cameras. It's beautiful stuff souped on HC-110 or Xtol. Stuffing the negs into sleeves won't be so much a chore now.
     
  4. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Please do let us know if this is an anomaly on that roll, or consistent with the new process.

    So far as I know there is a standard length, so simply saving a few mm's per roll is dicey unless you're going to wind up out of spec.

    Of course, if we buy it, and continue to buy it a few mm's short, then they'll keep making it that way.

    OTOH it may be attached at the wrong place on the backing paper at the lead, making the leader longer and the tail shorter.

    I would be concerned that the start line for mechanically indexed cameras might be wrong.
     
  5. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    I have used quite a bit of this film and I find that the percent humidity in the room it is dried in and or how fast it is dried have a major effect of the curl. Perhaps you just dried it in a different way in the past. Relatively high humidity and slow drying with the film hanging with a weight on the end work best for me.
     
  6. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    I have a basement darkroom. In the winter it is cold, about 60 F and low humidity about 40% so the film dries slow at this temp. In the Summer it is much warmer, about 75F but the humidity can also be 75% so it also dries slow. If I dry it on the rare day it is warm and low humidity I am not so happy.
     
  7. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I dried it by hanging it in the shower stall the way I have always done. The last roll of Arista EDU Ultra/Foma that I shot was an old roll of 200 which I shot and developed last August. Humidity was much higher in my house then that it is in January with the heat on. Normally Foma in 120 format curls up like a spring when it is wet. This roll hung quite straight even before weighted the bottom end.

    With regard total length of the film, I did not notice significantly more than usual at the start of the roll. I did notice that my first half frame coincided with the number "2" on the margin however.
     
  8. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    Apparently the flat drying was not a fluke. I just processed a second roll and it also dried flat. As with the previous roll there was virtually no extra film after the last frame, so I was unable to put a weight on it while it dried. Without the weight on the end of the roll, the film had a slight curl on the last frame, but nothing like the way the old stuff curled. After being in the sleeve overnight it had no more curl than the Tri-X that I have been using.
     
  9. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I made a small cabinet to dry Foma 120 rolls. It is a high humidity cabinet, with water still clinging to the film, and a dish of water at the bottom of the closed cabinet. The film dries flat along the length, and unlike many other films, across the width.

    Now if they only perfected the self-adhesive strips so that they did not get stuck in my Rolleiflex. I actually unroll the film and take off the self adhesive strip, then roll it back before shooting it in the Rollei. Worth it? That depends.
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The problem with the Arista brand is that they sometimes switch to a different manufacturer. Same brand name but it suddenly the film behaves differently. That the film no longer curls and is somewhat shorter leads me to believe that this is what has happened. You are essentially buying a pig in a poke.
     
  11. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    What does the backing on the new rolls look like—green and gray-white with a slightly rough texture?
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Can I ask how you know this and who Arista have used to make their films in the past and currently. Not a challenge - just curious about it.

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    IIRC, there was some criticism of the brand just before they added to their line with the Edu label. There were comments on APUG similar to those of this thread, film seemed different...

    I am suspicious of any rebranded film whether it be Arista or another brand. When the backing paper, edge marks, development times, etc change one can only be suspicious that the film is different. I personally recommend sticking with well known brands such as Kodak, Ilford, Fuji

    I picked up several bulk rolls a few years ago when it was obvious that the film was Ilford Pan F. Before that I think they were selling Agfa film. Don't know whose film they are selling now as I don't usually buy this brand.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2011
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Jerry,

    The film they use now for the Arista.EDU Ultra is Foma film. To be fair to their customers they state on their web site what country the film is made in; in this case the Czech Republic - there is only one manufacturer there - Foma.
    To evidence this, they use a blue film base for 120 film, and me knowingly Foma are the only ones using it.

    It's actually very beautiful looking film. But my experience has shown just what you point out, that it's probably better to buy film from Kodak, Ilford, or Fuji, mainly for quality and consistency reasons.
    I was forced to use the Arista.EDU Ultra a while back due to financial constraints, and while the prints were beautiful when it worked, there were times it didn't work, and that was aggravating as hell and frankly not worth it. I ended up shooting two frames of everything just to make sure I got what I wanted, so the film ended up costing more than TMax400 or Plus-X, and then what's the point?

    I'm not knocking Foma, but truth be told - they are not at the same level quality wise as Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji. They just are not.

     
  15. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Here is what I have heard since I have been back in photography over the past ten years or so:

    The original Arista film (I think that it was the original) 125 and 400 was Ilford FP4+ and HP5+. This was well established and I think Simon Galley from Ilford confirmed it. Ilford no longer rebrands their products and these films went away a few years back, around the time Ilford was reorganized.

    Arista EDU was Forte, I think it went away with Forte, but Forte might have stopped selling it to Freestyle before they went under. This one was pretty clear since they marked the packages Made in Hungary and there weren't any other factories there. Also, it had the characteristics of Forte.

    Arista EDU Ultra was introduced to replace the original EDU. It is Foma. This is also very well established, they advertise it was made in the Czech Republic, and I think that there are not other suppliers there.

    Arista Premium is Kodak. The 100 speed is Plus-X and the 400 speed is Tri-X. This appears to have been discontinued and they are selling the remaining stock. (I am not totally sure it is discontinued, I think that this is a rumor at this time.) Again, it is made in USA and what other possibilities are there? Also, many have used it and reported it as Plus-X and Tri-X.

    There was a Japanese made Freestyle or Arista product, not sure what exact film it was, but again, made in Japan can only really mean it was Fuji.

    Also, Freestyle got a mess of 35mm Agfa APX toward the end of Agfa Photo and sold it as Freestyle Private Reserve.

    In response to Jerry, one thing that Freestyle has not done since I have been buying from them is change a product or supplier without changing the name to make it clear it was a different product. I think it is an unfair criticism of Freestyle to imply that they will change the manufacturer of a film and not let folks know. When Forte ceased production and they started with Foma, they changed the name from EDU to EDU Ultra. It was very clear that this had happened. They did have both products available at the same time and made it very clear which was which.

    As for quality, yes, I find that the quality of Kodak, Ilford and Fuji (and Agfa back in the day) is much better than other brands and I tend to stick to them as well. I am currently using Arista EDU Ultra 4X5 film, as I have just gotten back into it and want to get all of the wrinkles worked out with a cheaper film, but I have a feeling I will be back with Ilford or Kodak soon.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks both for that explanation of Arista's sources

    pentaxuser
     
  17. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I like to buy Foma film and its Arista EDU sister.

    With traditional manufacturers winding down their film offerings, providing Foma with cash flow is a good way to keep film around.

    Hopefully, when Kodak and Fuji abandon film completely, Foma and Ilford will be strong and healthy enough to thrive for decades to come.
     
  18. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Almost as I recall Paul.

    The Japan made film was sold on the Legacy Pro Name.

    And the AgfaPhoto made film was sold as "Arista II the next generation"

    The previosu stock which I enjoyed for years was originaly sold as "English Professional Film" and then Later "Arista" - it disappeared when Ilford decided to make it a policy to stop selling any private label products. Hence the Arista II Unfortunatly they just got it going and Agfa Photo decided that they were a real estate company rather than a photo manufacturer.

    "Private reserve" is a photo paper which is advertised as "made in The E.U." although the customs declaration on my last order lists "BE" as the country of origin. I have just made a bunch of proof sheets using it and the EDU Ultra paper and the Private reserve did not have the "picture on the surface" appearance that the Ultra paper did.