Arista EDU 100 is a very affordable black and white film that I was anxious to try out. This film cost about 25 percent less than other films of similar speed. I bought a few rolls and set about testing it.
For this test I set up an outdoor scene using large paper signs that I could place in the scene to show the exposure compensation of each test photo. The camera used was a Nikon FE in auto mode. The film was shot at box speed. The exposure compensation was set using the compensation dial on the camera.
The Nikon FE exposure compensation dial goes from -2 Stops to +2 stops in 1/2 stop increments. The FE has been very good at delivering accurate exposure. That accuracy, and the ease of dialing in exposure compensation with the mechanical dial made it an excellent camera for such a test.
All of the test photos were shot from a tripod. The lense was a Nikon 50mm F1.4 AI lens. I shot these photos in the very early evening facing west which gave a bit of backlight to the scene. All five photos were shot quickly within a few minutes so the light would not change.
The film was developed in Kodak HC-110. I used 1 part HC-110 + 31 parts water known as “Dilution B.”
The math for my mixture is as follows. 12.5 milliliters of HC-110 + 387.5 milliliters of water for a total volume of 400 milliliters of mixed developing solution. I always mix my HC-110 straight from the bottle. I never mix a “stock” or intermediary solution.
I bring the mixed developing solution to a temperature of 68 degrees fahrenheit. I also bring a tub of water to 68F. I use a two reel Paterson tank. When developing one roll, I put the reel with film in the bottom of the tank and place the empty reel above it to make sure the film stays down in the developing solution.
After pouring the developing mix into the tank, I set the tank into a shallow tub of 68f water to help hold the temperature at 68f over the 6 minute developing time. I stir the tank for 10 seconds after the pouring the solution in and for 5 seconds each minute thereafter. I use the little stirring stick that comes with the Paterson tank.
Now some folks might wonder why a I use 400 milliliters of mix when the Patterson tank can develop on roll with less solution. If I remember right the minimum amount for one 1 roll of 35mm film is 375 milliliters. I use 400 milliliters to make the math easy.
After the 6 minutes of developing time, I dump the developer and go straight to the fixer. I don’t use a stop bath.
For fixer I use Ilford Rapid Fixer mixed 1 part straight fixer + 4 parts water. (That is 1+4) I usually mix a half gallon of fixer solution at a time. I usually shoot 4 or 5 rolls of film a month and the fixer last 3 or 4 months. It is best to do a test strip to verify your fixer before each use, if you have any doubts or concerns. Fixer is cheap. Actually compared to film all black and white chemicals are rather cheap. I would rather error towards wasting a bit of chemical than messing up my photos.
I hang the film to dry for a few hours and then scan it with an Epson V550. I use a film holder called a “Digitaliza.” It works a lot better than the plastic film holders that came the V550. I scan at 3200dpi because setting the V550 to a higher scan resolution is a waste of time.
Here are the photos.
As you can see the underexposed photos lost shadow detail very quickly. The overexposed photos look much better. That is similar to results I get with other black and white film. If in doubt, I expose for the shadows and let the film try to hold the hilights. I would shoot this film at box speed in auto mode on the Nikon FE.
If I was going to shoot this film in my Nikon FM or Pentax K1000 I would use a different technique. Those are both manual exposure cameras. In the Pentax you can’t always “dead center” the exposure needle by adjusting the shutter speed or F-Stop. You often find one setting a bit high and the other a bit low. With this film I would definitely error towards a bit of over exposure. Now with the Nikon FM it has a set of LED diodes that indicate exposure as you adjust shutter speed or F-stop instead of a needle, but it is still sometimes difficult to get it “dead center.” In other words, the light meter might want the shutter at 1/208th of a second. Your dial lets you choose between 1/125 which is a bit over exposed, or 1/250 which is a bit underexposed. There is no in between seeting on a manual exposure camera to allow you to “dead center” the exposure.
On the other hand, if this was a Nikon FE or other auto exposure camera, it is a different story. On the Auto exposure Nikons in Auto mode, the shutter speed is infinitely variable within its listed range. If the light meter wants 1/208th of a second instead of 1/250th, the camera can do that and keep the exposure “dead center.” This is why I normally use a Nikon FE or Nikon F4 for shooting slide film. Slide film has much less margin for exposure error than normal negative film.
If you are going to use a manual exposure camera with this film, be sure to know which side of the meter is overexposure and keep the needle to that side. On some camera meters, “up” is not always more exposure and “down” is not always less. It is important to consult your owner’s manual and be sure which way is up.
Well folks I hope the information and photos here is helpful or at least entertaining. It wonderful to see so many people taking an interest in film photography again. I am working on a similar test with Ilford HP5+ and I hope to have those results posted on a page here in a few days.
Thank you for stopping by.