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  1. #1

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    Arista Ultra Cold Tone developer

    Does anyone have experience with this developer? So far I'm not a fan. The last time I purchased from Freestyle I was wavering between this and the Clayton, and basically just mentally tossed a coin. I'm disappointed thus far.

    Tried it on Slavich Unibrom and there was little difference between that and Dektol. Would need to go back and look at my dry prints to see which was better. Tried it on Polywarmtone and Oriental WT, and all the blacks/greys came out in shades of reddish-brown. Not ugly, but not what I hoped for. Finally tried it on MGIV and even after nearly 5 minutes of developing it was still a weak, somewhat greenish black while in Dektol the same print came out with deep blacks.

    I'm mystified. I can't remember the Unibrom times, but with MGIV, the image appeared in Dektol after approximately 40-45 seconds and seemed fully developed by 3 minutes. It took about 30 seconds more for the complete image to appear in the Arista, so I knew I needed more time, but at first I went to 4min, then later closer to 5min, and even then it wasn't enough...but it doesn't seem right for it to take so long (I think the bottle said 2 minutes). I'm using the 1:10 dilution.

    Oh, and I tried it with Ilford's Cooltone RC. Again, it took much longer, and in addition needed .5 grade more contrast to come close to the Dektol look (but I'm not sure that's not paper-related).

    I'll post some examples when I get home, just curious what other people thought.

  2. #2

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    Tried it one time. Paper color (on Foma) was only neutral and wasn't impressed with the range. Mud is a pretty accurate description. It also died in the tray real quick. Used it one session and the results were not encouraging enough to go for two!

  3. #3
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    Never tried it but IMO it is hard to beat Dektol - esp for the price.

    Curious - My Fibre prints in Dektol 1+2 ALWAYS come up faster than what you mentioned - even at really low temps. Just wondering what dilution you are using.

    RB

  4. #4

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    1+2. I haven't timed any of the other FB prints but it's not much faster than this. Maybe 30 seconds? I was only really watching the clock this time because I was comparing it to processing in the Arista.

    Oh wait, this isn't fresh though. I started using this batch last week, my sessions are very long because I only come to the darkroom once a week, and I do print quite a lot with each batch, although it's mainly 5x7s. Despite this, in RC it's still nearly instantaneous so I don't think the age/usage has impacted it that much.

    Oh, and I have semi-high temps, as I believe I've mentioned in the "curly RC" thread. Room temperature is probably around 75F-80F.

    rtuttle: "It also died in the tray real quick." --perhaps that's the issue? When I previously printed on Unibrom, I mixed the Arista and immediately printed. That's when I didn't see much difference w/ Dektol but it also wasn't a NEGATIVE difference, like with the recent MGIV prints, which were done after it had been used for the Cooltone RC, then sat around in the tray for a few more hours.

    Either way, it does seem like it's not worth it. I guess I was looking for some sort of extra boost to getting cold tones besides of course...toning afterwards.

  5. #5

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    For what its worth, my understanding, unless things have changed, is that Arista liquid photo chemicals are made by Clayton.

  6. #6

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    I tried it with Oriental VC FB. Mixed it at 1+14 as the instructions said. After 2 minutes, I didn't have an image. Finally called Freestyle and told them the problem. And, yes, it's a Clayton product. They told me to try it at 1+7. After explaining that the reason I bought it was because of the 1+14 ratio, and that the 1+7 doesn't make it cost effective, they send me free of charge a bottle of Arista Cold Tone, which I had used previously.

    Finally got good prints at the 1+7 with 2 1/2 minutes developing times. With the Oriental FB, it would just sit there and nothing would happen until 2 1/4 minutes and then the image would pop up fast. I got good blacks but will stick to the Cold Tone developer, or finally mix the Dektol I have.

    True to Freestyles reputation, they made good on it quickly without any hassles.

  7. #7

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    It's Clayton?? But there's a price difference, they're both sold by Freestyle....ah well, I guess it's the same issue as the re-branded film products. I almost want to call Freestyle but I don't need another bottle of something I don't like so far....and I ordered it a few months ago but only discovered how bad it was at this dilution last week.

    r-brian, I don't understand this line: "I got good blacks but will stick to the Cold Tone developer"--I thought you were already discussing your experience with the Cold Tone developer, unless you mean you preferred Clayton.

    Oh, and I totally brain-farted writing these initial posts--the problem was with Oriental Seagull VC this most recent session. I didn't do the MGIV in Cold Tone, I was trying to compare prints of the same negative on Seagull in the Cold Tone and MGIV in Dektol, because I thought Seagull was supposed to be somewhat cold already and was trying to enhance that. I'd previously tried one print in Oriental Seagull VC during an earlier session. Not one of my more exciting negs but still...it was just a terrible result. I was so disappointed thinking I'd really just exposed terribly...didn't even occur to me to try developing in Dektol. The only reason it DID occur to me this time was because of the comparison prints... the MGIV prints in Dektol were coming out perfect so I knew it wasn't the neg's fault.

    Anyway...for future clarity of this thread -- I have never tried MGIV in Cold Tone, it was Seagull, Slavich Unibrom, Polywarmtone and Oriental Warm tone.
    Last edited by naugastyle; 01-06-2010 at 10:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    [QUOTE=naugastyle;921220]
    r-brian, I don't understand this line: "I got good blacks but will stick to the Cold Tone developer"--I thought you were already discussing your experience with the Cold Tone developer, unless you mean you preferred Clayton.

    QUOTE]

    There is an Arista Cold Tone and an Arista Ultra Cold Tone.

    Never had a problem with the plain Cold Tone.

  9. #9

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    I thought that might also be what you meant, but then I checked on Freestyle and they are only selling the Ultra. Odd that they also had the plain available to send you.

  10. #10

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    "They told me to try it at 1+7. After explaining that the reason I bought it was because of the 1+14 ratio, and that the 1+7 doesn't make it cost effective, they send me free of charge a bottle of Arista Cold Tone, which I had used previously."

    This I have no doubt, even though I found this developer to be not worth toying with Freestyle and their customer service have to be ranked highest in the business.



 

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