View Full Version : Arista EDU Ultra B&W 200

24-Jul-2009, 13:48
I am new to large format and saw this film on Freestyle. At almost 50 cents a sheet I am wondering how bad this really is (if it is indeed bad at all). i am getting ready to get in to the field this weekend and start using the camera with a much more expensive film, and thought this might be a more economical way for me to learn. your opinions are highly appreciated.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
24-Jul-2009, 13:59
It is a perfectly good film. Things to be aware of: it develops and builds contrast very quickly, and it is much slower than rated. I use 50 ISO in both Xtol and D-76.

24-Jul-2009, 14:05
It is pretty good film but as Jason points out, it is not a true ISO100 film and it builds contrast wickedly fast. I found it nearly impossible to use and gave up after only 100 sheets. I definitely would not recommend starting out with this film - unless you live someplace with very drab lighting. Even if that were the case, I'd still recommend starting with Kodak Tri-X or Kodak TMY-2 or just about anything from Ilford.

Compared to all the time and effort you put into the process, film is cheap. Don't try to pinch pennies too far.

24-Jul-2009, 14:23
i use foma 100 or arista.edu.ultra (same stuff) and i love it. matter of fact i am listing some kodak stuff for sale so i can buy more foma!

i rate the 100 at 100 and shoot using both silver paper and VDB.


David Karp
24-Jul-2009, 14:27
I just developed some 5x7 Arista.EDU Ultra 200 for the first time. I am an HP5+ and FP4+ user and very happy with it. I am also very happy with the Arista. The look is very different. It is hard to explain. Perhaps someone who can describe wine would be able to explain the look. I would try it.

Drew Wiley
24-Jul-2009, 14:46
As noted by others, this film is a bit different and builds contrast quickly. Just takes
some getting used; but since you're new to the game, you won't have preconceptions.
And it is slower than the box speed. But quality-wise there's nothing wrong with it at
all. In fact, it's a very handy film when you need a significant build of contrast in the
lower values, something which most "modern" films have a problem with.

Philippe Grunchec
25-Jul-2009, 04:29
The three Foma films (100, 200, 400) are great! I use them in 135, 120, 4x5 and 8x10 (of course not the 400, which doesn't exist in LF) with Pyrocat HD: excellent results, and better QC compared to Efke/Adox stuff.

25-Jul-2009, 07:28
Another comment, the reciprocity is nowhere nearly as bad as Foma's Data-sheets state.

I did some practical test and found the reciprocity was nothing like as bad as the datasheet. This is what I wrote in a previous post

"At 1 second it only only needed around half a stop (recommendation is 1.5 stops) and at lower light levels 10 seconds it was about a stop (not the 3 stops recommended). These test were made in poor daylight 1 second @ f8 100 EI and very low interior lighting 10 seconds @ f8. These are the conditions the film will be used in.

While the tests were with 120 film I found that the sheet film behaved quite similarly.

Fomapan 100 seems to have very similar reciprocity chracteristics from the two frames I've shot at low light levels so far.


25-Jul-2009, 07:37
My first experiences with 5x7 were with the Arista EDU 200 and was very happy with my results in Pyrocat-MC when rotary processed. So far the only film I like better in 5x7 is the Efke PL25.

Jiri Vasina
25-Jul-2009, 10:00
As others have noted, Arista.EDU Ultra (both 100 and 200) are very good films - they are relabeled Fomapan 100 and 200 respectively. Both of them are slower than box speed for most people - I shoot Fomapan 100 @ EI 64 and develop in Rodinal 1:50 for 10:30minutes - and I don't have a problem with excessive contrast - scans well. In fact, it's my most used film - you can have a look here (http://www.vasina.net/?tag=fomapan-100). I have only one (minor) issue with this film - the reciprocity is quite bad - you need to bear this in mind. If you do, then it's no problem at all, it's just not suitable for long night exposures.

Fomapan 200 I shoot at EI 125 and also develop in Rodinal 1:50, the time is shorter, but I don't have my notes at hand (and I only shoot this one in rolls).

Buy it, try it, there are quite a lot of people who like it, chances are you'll too...


25-Jul-2009, 10:19
Jiri for what its worth I really enjoy the photography you do. Your people photographs put a smile on my face.

Ron Marshall
25-Jul-2009, 13:37
I tried it, and was very happy with it at ISO 100 in XTOL 1:1. Like any film, it takes time to get used to it.

Scott Davis
25-Jul-2009, 19:05
I rate the 200 @ iso 100, and develop in Pyrocat HD, 1:1:100 in a Jobo, and I love this stuff. I just wish they'd make it in some of the odd but not totally exotic sizes so I wouldn't have to buy it in 8x10 and cut it down.

25-Jul-2009, 20:56
E.I. 100. Xtol 1:3. Jobo. Still experimenting with time & E.I. I'll get it right one of these days.

Jan Pedersen
25-Jul-2009, 21:06
Foma 200 is a very unique film and in particular for alternative processes. Scott Davis beautiful Pt/Pd work with this film convinced me to try it and although i don't use it as my primary film i always have some in stock for that special look this film will give you.


Erich Hoeber
25-Jul-2009, 21:37
I really like Foma 200. I haven't tried or tested the 100 or 400. I haven't noted the contrast problems that others have mentioned - probably because per BTZS type tests, I've ended up rating it at 100 and developing it a little less. Very good bang for the buck.

29-Jul-2009, 19:10
it's good, but it scratches very easily...

Mark Sawyer
29-Jul-2009, 23:35
When you guys say 'special look'... can you give a bit more information. Orthochromatic leaning images? High sensitivity to parts of the light spectrum? No anti-halation coating so you get blooming highlights?

Also, how does it look holding highlight values processed in Pyrocat HD? Any experience here is appreciated.

Which of the Ilford or Kodak films does it come closest to so we have a point of comparison. Or, if not close how about more on how it renders similar subjects/lighting compared to some of favorites with film from the Big Two?

My "films of choice" are Ilford HP5+, FP4+, and Arista.edu.ultra 200, so I'll chime in...

The Ilford films are a bit more forgiving of development/exposure errors, but not by a lot. I attribute this to the Arista/Foma film having a bit sharper toe and shoulder on the gamma curve. You'd expect from this that the Ilford films would be a bit flatter in the highlights and shadows, but that isn't the case. The shadows and highlights in the Ilford films simply seem to extend a bit farther on the chart. Especially in the shadows, the Arista seems to just drop the detail. Usually this makes the Ilford the better film, but sometimes it makes the Arista/Foma the better film. Depends on the image...

Overall, I'd say Ilford has a "smoother flow" of gradations across a longer range. But not by a lot. Beautiful prints can still be made from Arista/Foma negatives.

Arista/Foma, in my experience, is a bit more prone to physical damage during processing. I've also found occassional (not frequent) quality control issues in the Arista emulsions sufficient to ruin a negative.

Ilford HP5+ from Freestyle costs $80 for 25 sheets, or $3.20 a sheet. Arista.edu.ultra 200 costs $105, or $2.10 a sheet.

Honestly, I have a preference for Ilford, but on a school teacher's salary, the cost is a factor. I end up using one, then the other. And with my salary being cut a few thousand dollars this year, I'll probably use more Arista...

Drew Wiley
30-Jul-2009, 12:37
The Arista 200 film is an attempt to replicate the look of old straight-line films like
Super-XX. The difference is that it's finer-grained and definitely slower speed. These
types of film can separate values over a very wide range. I have recently printed some
shots from extreme lighting conditions where detail was held well all the way from deep
shadows up to brilliant highlights. You can't do this with ordinary films with more of an
extended toe to the characteristic curve. This film does build contrast quickly, which
would seem to be a real advantage to a contract printer. For ordinary enlarging you
just have to make sure you don't overdevelop it. Various pyro developers work quite
well. In my opinion you do have to be a little more careful handling it, but after a bit
of practice I haven't gotten any more scratched negatives. This is a very useful film
and you just have to print some of it to get a feel for its particular look, which is in
fact different from the look of films like FP4 or HP5. At the moment, I often carry all
three films with my 8X10, because not every scene I encounter is the same. I have
gotten beautiful texture on othewise flat subjects where the Ilford films would have
had a very difficult time developing sufficient contrast. But there's nothing
old-fashioned about it. And it's pan not ortho.

peter schrager
30-Jul-2009, 14:55
I use this film with Ilford PQ 1:24 for five minutes for alternate process; strictly @68 degrees...works nicely
Best, Peter

Jim Cole
2-Aug-2009, 07:59
[QUOTE=I shoot Fomapan 100 @ EI 64 and develop in Rodinal 1:50 for 10:30minutes - and I don't have a problem with excessive contrast - scans well.


I assume the time you quoted for Rodinal 1:50 is for normal inversion developing, not rotary. I am getting ready to shoot my first batch of this film and use a Jobo 3010 and 10:30 seems quite long.


Jiri Vasina
2-Aug-2009, 11:08
Jim, that's my time with rotary development. Somehow, it works very well for me. When I scan the negatives on Epson V700, the histogram is usually well spread over the low-to-high values (if the scene had them too ;) ). And you can see my results for yourself, I don't think they are too overdeveloped (but no, I don't have a densitometer, and have not run a scientific test).

By all means, use my values only as starting point for your finding the best time and EI. They might be different, because of different water (hardness), base fog of the film, different sensitivity of your light meter, or whatever...


Jim Cole
2-Aug-2009, 11:41
Thanks, Jiri. That will save a lot of time and film.


6-Aug-2009, 18:38
It looks beautiful in PMK rated at iso100 developed in trays, it almost glows.
I just tried out a couple boxes of hp5 for more speed, and I am going back to arista.

23-Sep-2009, 09:24
It is a perfectly good film. Things to be aware of: it develops and builds contrast very quickly, and it is much slower than rated. I use 50 ISO in both Xtol and D-76.

I have found that rated at 100 I get good results with D-23 and Rodinal and with their roll film I rate it at 200 and develop in microphen 3:1 with good sharpness fine grain and good shadow detail.

23-Sep-2009, 09:46
I rate it at 200 and develop in microphen 3:1 with good sharpness fine grain and good shadow detail.

Is that 3:1, or 1:3 = 1+2, or 1+3 i.e. 1 part Microphen plus 3 parts water ?


23-Sep-2009, 15:29
I use the 200 and 100. Rate it at 1/2 box and develop in D23. I use 5 min at 20C in trays but I'm still dialing that in since I was forced to buy 100 this time (freestyle was out of 200). This film has a unique look; very good with things like stone buildings and sculptures, or anywhere there is texture that needs to be brought out with contrast while at the same time having fairly flat light.