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Thread: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    142

    Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Hi,

    B&H sells Arista EDU 400. It does not sell Foma 400, not in the 4x5 format.

    Adorama sells both.

    While Arista sells for around $54, (for 50 sheets), Foma sells for around $78.
    I don't know why, as Foma is the apparent manufacturer.

    At $78, people will either choose Ilford HP5, (for $98), or Arista EDU.

    Regardless of Arista's and Foma's price, the reviews written on the B&H
    website don't fare well for Arista 4x5", (50 sheets package) and Adorama
    has no reviews for Foma 4x5" yet.

    I would love to buy Arista 400 in the 4x5" format to shoot it at its box speed
    and even push it as much as possible: (800?, 1600?, 3200?). However, the
    reviews don't send a good vibe. The film, Arista, has been found defectuous.
    Is Foma, its manufacturer, also bad?

    Thats why I would like to ask, what has been your experience with Arista or
    Foma 400, in 4x5 format?

    Has your experience with Arista EDU 400, or Foma 400 been bad in any way?
    Look, here are the mixed reviews for this film on B&H's website:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...400_black.html

    Have you pushed any of these two films? If so, by how much?

    Thank you in advance, kind regards,

    Ig.
    Last edited by Ig Nacio; 1-Dec-2021 at 07:34.

  2. #2

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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    I'd not push Foma 400 at all, the datasheet shows it's really a ISO 200 film, and it has rather nice tonal curve when exposed around 200, but I personally don't like the tonality that much when shot at box speed (Foma publishes decent data sheets for their films, you will not run into any great surprises with what to expect if you read through that.)

    As for quality, I can't speak for Arista, but nowadays I shoot Foma almost exclusively and my experience doesn't bear out the poor reputation Foma has in some circles. Sure the QC at Foma is not on the same level as at the other three film manufactures left, but it's good enough to satisfy the needs of medical uses and NDT, and lot better than can be said for some of the new niche film offerings. The main things to know about Foma film before using it:

    1. The main defect you encounter with Foma are the tiny black dots (white on positive) which I think are caused by something undissolved in the emulsions. These afflict all film manufacturers, but you will see lot more of them with foma; they are easy to fix in post and on prints (but I find with 4x5 it's rarely necessary); other defects are rare, I have had two dud rolls of some 100 or so, and a handful of frames with minor emulsion damage, one scratched 4x5 from a 100 or so.

    2. The foma emulsions are old-fashioned, cubic grain (the 200 is mixed T and cubic grain), they all have certain classic feel. If the look you are after is near-digital, like Acros, you will not get that from Foma (though if you look at the Foma sharing thread on this forum, you will see that you can shoot beautiful, very high standard images with these films).

    3. The foma emulsions have a fairly severe reciprocity failure, I find from about 1s onwards (the datasheet says 1/2s).

    For me personally, the quality/cost ratio works very well, but I mostly use the 100.

    Here is Foma 400 at box speed, developed in Excel 1+1 (the scratch is mine, not a defect):

    Does my bum look big in this? by tthef, on Flickr

  3. #3

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    37

    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Have never had any quality problems but even EI 200 is too high for me, I shoot at 160.

  4. #4

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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Hi,

    Thank you for your messages : )!!! They are very encouraging!

    I'll get the one manufactured for Arista EDU. I'll get both ISOs, the 100 and the 400.
    I'll shoot both at box speed.

    I would like to use the 400 ISO in the afternoon or early evening when the sun has
    gone down a bit, but the extra sensitivity of the film helps to shoot at a not too slow
    speed. I think 400 ISO should help for group portraits in a garden. I have a strobe
    with a small diffuser to use 100 ISO for portraits as well.

    I hope both films are helpful for the above mentioned uses.

    The price of the Arista EDU is lower, so I'll start with it instead of the Foma.

    Thank you very much again, kind regards,

    Ig.

  5. #5

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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    I’ve never used Foma films, but out of curiosity had a look at Foma’s tech sheet for the 400 film. I would have to agree with the responses above suggesting it is not an ISO 400 film. The data/graphs in the tech sheet clearly indicate it is not ISO 400. Foma should be using the term Exposure Index for its suggested speeds, not “ISO” which has specific criteria.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    142

    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Hi,

    Thank you again for your messages : )!!!

    So, if I am understanding correctly, the
    Arista EDU 400 or FOMA(pan) 400 for 4x5",
    is basically and literally a 200 ISO film,
    and it should be developed as a 200 film.

    So, what you guys mean, is that it should be
    pull processed, or developed as if it was
    the 200 ISO film
    they make ??

    Thank you again, kind regards,

    Ig

  7. #7
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Elkhart, IN
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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    My first encounter with Arista.edu was with Freestyle Sales Co. (California) a number of years ago. I was called by one of their customer service people to tell me that they were out of the 8x10 Arista.edu sheet film I had ordered and asked whether it was all right to send me Foma as it was the same film. I've bought Arista.edu in 4x5 and 8x10 sizes and like the 100 and 200 speed films. Reciprocity is lengthy and the emulsion scratches easily but once you learn to be careful it's very nice film. I really like Freestyle, for what it's worth. They work hard to support film.

    "Arista" is owned by Freestyle Sales Co. and denotes that the film is relabeled and the rest of the name indicates the original manufacturer. ".edu" is Foma and Arista Premium was Tri-X (35mm only as I recall. The boxes say, "Made in USA. Packaged in Mexico." I believe that Kodak was trying to head off another anti-trust investigation at the time.) I bought a bunch of rolls of that for less than $2.50 per roll when Tri-X was $4.25 per roll. Still have some in the freezer.

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  8. #8

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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Hi,

    Thank you : )!!!

    Very interesting to read! I didn't know Arista Premium was Tri-X.

  9. #9

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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you again for your messages : )!!!

    So, if I am understanding correctly, the
    Arista EDU 400 or FOMA(pan) 400 for 4x5",
    is basically and literally a 200 ISO film,
    and it should be developed as a 200 film.

    So, what you guys mean, is that it should be
    pull processed, or developed as if it was
    the 200 ISO film
    they make ??

    Thank you again, kind regards,

    Ig

    Middle of the night here so I won't make a link (or not without messing it up) but the curves on the datasheet show the EI, Gamma, density, temperature and time for a good selection of options. Their Excel developer is rather similar in effect to Xtol, and they show curves for Microphen and D76/ID11 as well. The information will enable you to choose a developer and time quite sensibly, rather than just someonelse's time that includes the effects of their exposure-meter and shutter in the results.

  10. #10

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    Sep 2014
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    Montreal, Canada
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    Re: Arista EDU and Foma 400 - Are you using them in spite of .... ??

    It is difficult to assign a speed to Foma 400 because it is not clear how they determine speed. If we assume an average gradient on their graphs it appears to be somewhere around EI 200 (using their speed numbers) although as evidenced by the graphs this speed will depend on the developer.

    This doesn’t mean you adjust development. Develop normally. It just means set your exposure meter to a speed less than 400. 200 might be a decent place to start. Then, if you find your negatives are consistently overexposed, set the meter to a higher exposure index. If you find your negatives are consistently underexposed, set the meter to a lower exposure index.

    That’s about all there is to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you again for your messages : )!!!

    So, if I am understanding correctly, the
    Arista EDU 400 or FOMA(pan) 400 for 4x5",
    is basically and literally a 200 ISO film,
    and it should be developed as a 200 film.

    So, what you guys mean, is that it should be
    pull processed, or developed as if it was
    the 200 ISO film
    they make ??

    Thank you again, kind regards,

    Ig

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