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?
Last edited by Klainmeister; 06-20-2012 at 11:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Cool. I have a couple of 100' bulk rolls in my freezer that I've not gotten to yet. Any scans you can post?
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)
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. 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.
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
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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?
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.
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).
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
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.
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.