View Full Version : Arista 8X10 ... How Tri-X is it?

25-Nov-2009, 22:03
So being a Photo Assistant in Phoenix in a recession, it's not easy to shoot anything ... let alone 8x10. So I've been playing with X Ray film & Paper negs.

But on those days when shooting Real Film comes to play, how are the Arista EDU films? Is it T- Grain? Don't care for T grains.

I shot loads of Tri-X and of course love it. It's Tri-X after all, but at $5.00 a sheet lately I just can't afford to shoot it & eat too.

So a $2 a sheet film is very welcome.

It's hard to be Free & Creative when money's on the brain.
Any thoughts ?


25-Nov-2009, 22:21
Arista EDU Ultra 200 (Fomapan 200) isn't a T-grain film, but it isn't a straight conventional grain structure either. In any case, the tonality is beautiful and it's very sharp and fine-grained. I found the big downsides to be the soft emulsion and the terrible reciprocity failure. When the light starts to go, you might as well pack up. I also occasionally found defects in the film. It's worth a try, but it's not Kodak (or Ilford) quality.

25-Nov-2009, 23:02
I've shot it quite a bit. Beautiful tones, sharp, pretty grain, much slower than box speed, terrible reciprocity, develops fast, and I've found one emulsion defect out of 100 or so sheets.

25-Nov-2009, 23:25
I'm a rank novice, but I am pleased with my results @ 100 and Xtol 1:3. 4x5.

David Karp
25-Nov-2009, 23:37
I use the 200 version in 5x7 and really like it. Well worth investigating.

26-Nov-2009, 04:10
i have been using it for years now in 4x5, 5x7 , 8x10 , and 11x14. awesome stuff. i actually have some other films to try suck as tri x and hp5 but i always reach for the arista....i just know it. i could learn the others as well but i have not.

the reciprocity SUCKS bad on arista. i used it on pinhole photography for years....killed a lot of time!

almost all the photos i post here and at apug are on arista.


i develop in pyro hd 2:2:100 for 8 min and hc110 63:1 for 9 min. i have also tried the two bath pyro at 1:20 for 4 min per bath. i am still experimenting with the two bath.

Gem Singer
26-Nov-2009, 07:26
Same film as the original, discontinued Bergger BPF 200?

I still have some in my freezer.

A nice film when developed in pyro.

26-Nov-2009, 07:40
Have you considered Efke 100? It has better reciprocity, and is still rather economical...

Deniz Merdanogullari
26-Nov-2009, 07:50
I use this film aswell..
And found many many defective sheets in 5 boxes.
Does very good AZO G3 prints
I cooked it in Rodinal before, now gonna try with some XTOL

26-Nov-2009, 09:51
Hi Everyone,
So when does reciprocity start to show it's ugly head? 1 sec, 10 sec ... 1/15 !
Seem most of you guys like it except for that.

If I stay under 5 sec or use strobes am I ok?

And Pyro HD seem a fav too ... is this true?

Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving!!


Jan Pedersen
26-Nov-2009, 10:21
Same film as the original, discontinued Bergger BPF 200?

Gem, The Bergger film was the same as Forte 200 quite nice but very different than the Foma/Arista film.
The Foma/Arista 200 is currently unavailable due to coating issued at the factory but the 100Iso is also quite nice and should be available. Still with bad reciprocity values.

Steve, at 5 seconds you are already way into reciprocity teritory for this film, if it is serious work, testing would really be the best way to go.

26-Nov-2009, 10:34
Recpirocity starts at 1s if you ask me.


Drew Wiley
26-Nov-2009, 11:22
I'm just about to drymount some prints made with 8x10 Arista 200 - just need to let
the press warm up. So far I haven't had recip issues with this film, simply because
I also generally have something like hp5 packed along too, if I need more speed.
I like Arista 200 because it has a very straight line with almost no toe - you can get
incredible shadow separation with plus development, while still retaining highlights.
I've got one large print ready to mount where almost all the revelant content was
either in deep shade (Zones 0-3), or clear up at the top, in blinding fog; yet all the
detail is exquisitely rendered even on a grade 3 paper setting. Bergger 200 was
faster and less fragile; I'll miss it a lot; but TMY400 seems like a nice replacement.
Tri-X has a different personality altogether - it has quite a bit of toe and some pretty harsh grain in some developer, but has long had its own fans (I'm not one of them).

Gene McCluney
26-Nov-2009, 14:13
The Fomapan 100 (Arista.edu.ultra 100) is a conventional "old style" film. The Fomapan 200 (Arista.edu.ultra 200) is a type of engineered grain film not like Ilford or Kodak though. Both films in general need to be de-rated in speed by about 1/2 for general use.

On the Fomapan 200, any exposure longer than 1 second starts having reciprocity issues.

If you use flash (STUDIO STROBES, ETC), then you will never encounter reciprocity issues.

Gem Singer
26-Nov-2009, 16:44
Thanks jan,

I knew that the name began with an "F". Didn't remember if it was Forte or Foma.

Foma and Forte were made in two different Eastern European countries. Bergger film
was not made in France, but was packed and distributed by a French company.

Isn't Bergger film and paper now being made by Harman Tech. in England?

Drew Wiley
26-Nov-2009, 20:50
Gem - Bergger is a marketing company. However, the film called Bergger 200 is no
longer made because Forte shut down. There is no direct substitute. It was similar to
Super-XX although it couldn't be developed to the same degree of contrast. Arista
200 can take a lot of plus development. I used to shoot Bergger at rated speed, but
have to shoot Arista typically at ASA100. Same story with papers. Forte paper is gone, except for some odds and ends. Harman paper is completely different.

Oren Grad
26-Nov-2009, 21:04
Isn't Bergger film and paper now being made by Harman Tech. in England?

Yes (but at this point, paper only):


Drew Wiley
27-Nov-2009, 11:44
Oren - your observation misses the point. Just because Bergger is coming out with
a new replacement paper with Harmon as the contractor does not mean it has any
relation to a previous paper made by Forte. Harmon makes Ilford and Kentmere
papers, which have little resemblance to those previously made by Forte. This is just
like when Calumet acquired the Brilliant name and applied it to paper made in
England, which didn't match the French Brilliant paper at all. To duplicate the former
offering, you'd need not only the formulas, but probably the same technicians and
equipment. Making film is both an art and a science; and if you already have products which you fit a particular marketing niche, why would you go to all the
trouble of replicating someone else's product? These are business decisions which
sometimes help us and sometimes hurt us as individual photographers. I will indeed
miss Bergger 200 film; it is probably not ever going to come back, but there are worthy replacements on the market.

Oren Grad
27-Nov-2009, 12:36
Just because Bergger is coming out with
a new replacement paper with Harmon as the contractor does not mean it has any
relation to a previous paper made by Forte.

No disagreement. The Harman-made papers are clearly not the same as the Forte-manufactured product, they're just a way for Bergger to continue to have something to sell.