A quick review of Arista.edu Ultra 100 35mm
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?