View Full Version : Arista.EDU ISO 200, 4x5 Provisional Test Report

Robert J Cardon
26-Apr-2004, 13:20
Howdy ho to all those out in LF land.

This weekend I conducted a crude test of Arista.EDU 4x5 sheet film. The subject was a bridge with pronounced shadow areas, axis lighting, and a 4 stop overall brightness range, sunshine with a few clouds. Yellow filter # 15, given a filter factor of one stop.

I based my ISO ratings on the settings of a Pentax digital spot meter, 1/3 stop increments. I took several exposures at each setting and developed the film in a Jobo 3010 drum using ABC roller pyro 1:2:100 and Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 (both from Photographers Formulary). I went for 7 minutes on the ABC pyro, my standard FP4 mix, and 8 minutes with the HD, both drums on speed three Ė IOWs, normal development. Perhaps this time was a bit short for the EDU based the Bergger 200 recommendations offered by PF, but I wanted expedite the testing; the recommended 8 minute time shouldnít have increased the shadow details much. I also shot some FP4 at ISO 83 for a control.

Initial observations:

1) In the ABC pyro, the EDU rated at 66 to 83 gave the same shadow details (metered placed on Zone III) as the FP4 when rated at 83 (my normal rating), the equivalent shadow detail was around 70 ISO for the EDU. ABC pyro has never been a full speed developer for me, but I was surprised that the EDU would be that slow.

2) The EDU in pyrocat HD exhibited aproximately a 1/3 stop increase in film speed, as did the FP4. The EDU rated at 83 was very similar in shadow detail to the FP4 rated at 100.

3) More overall base stain was noted with the EDU than the FP4, with the EDUís stain level appearing similar to HP5. Might be advisable to skip the second solution C afterbath if running EDU in ABC roller pyro.

4) The EDU had significantly more pronounced grain that the FP4, appearing similar to what I see in HP5. The grain was the same in both developers.

5) Sharpness was excellent.

6) EDU negs printed beautifully. Didnít detect any unique ďlookĒ to the prints. Contrast was similar.

Conclusion Ė While I plan to do more testing, I can say that the EDU seems like an excellent choice for those on a budget. However, given the slow actual film speed and grain, I donít see any advantages of it over FP4, Delta, T-max, etc., assuming you can afford these emulsions. I suspect the grain for the EDU 400 would be too much for my tastes. The EDU may have special push/pull properties that will be revealed through further testing.


Gem Singer
26-Apr-2004, 14:47
Hi Robert,

I was told that Arista EDU 200 4X5 film is re-badged Forte Fortepan 200, which B&H sells for under $12 for a 25 sheet box. I wonder if there is actually that much savings by purchasing the Arista EDU 200 version?

Robert J Cardon
26-Apr-2004, 15:07
$7.99 per 25 sheets of 4x5 at Freestyle. At that price, you can't afford NOT to take pictures!


Philippe Gauthier
26-Apr-2004, 19:13
Thanks for the test. I'm still not sure about 4x5 sheet film, but 8x10 is sure expensive and since it doesn't get enlarged anyway, Arista.EDU is tempting, if they ship it to Canada for a fair price.

Kevin M Bourque
26-Apr-2004, 19:25
Thanks for taking the time for doing the test. You didnít mention surface defects, which might mean there werenít any. Iíve had problems with Forte films and holes in the emulsion.

Can you really tell the difference between 1/3-stop increments? Iíve found that 1/3-stop is smaller than any other errors Iím likely to make, and certainly within tolerances from lens to lens. Thatís great if youíve got things pinned down that tight, though.

Robert J Cardon
27-Apr-2004, 08:27
Kevin Ė I didnít see any surface defects.

With a 7x lupe, I could see subtle differences in 1/3 stop increments (all shot at the same two speeds and with the same lens). I had some pronounced, detailed shadows. The idea was to get FP4 and EDU negs that were identical with respect to the shadows, which I think I got. Now the difference in the staining between emulsions makes the comparison a bit more difficult, but I think I accomplished my goal.

The highlights are a different story, one I didnít spend time analyzing this part of it. And youíre right, normally 1/3 stop is too small of an increment to bracket when shooting live. Lately instead of bracketing, Iím finding it more productive to shoot two identical exposures, develop the first, then change the development of the second if necessary.