Revisiting Arista EDU Ultra 400

In a previous post I reported on my observations with Arista EDU Ultra 400. I wanted to shoot some more of this film and use a different developer. I still shot it at box speed like before, but I developed it in Rodinal instead of HC 110.

To shoot these photos, I used a Nikon F4 with a 35-135 AI manual focus lens. That is a cheap, reliable and well built lens. It is not the sharpest lens but it is OK for casual use.

Here is the outline of how I developed the film this time.

Rodinal 1+25 I used 16 ML of Rodinal and 400 ML of water.

68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius.)

Developing time was 5 1/2 minutes.

Agitation was constant for first 30 seconds. Each additional 30 seconds I agitated for the first 5 seconds. The agitations were slow and steady and I tapped the tank bottom on the table each time I set it down.

I did not use a stop bath. After dumping the developer at the 5 1/2 minute mark, I filled the tank with water and dumped it out twice. I then poured in the fixer.

The fixer was Ilford Rapid Fixer mixed 1+4. That is 1 part fixer plus 4 parts water. I fixed for 5 minutes, with 5 seconds of agitation each minute.

After fixing, I rinsed with water for 5 minutes and added Kodak Photo-Flo at the end of rinsing. I then hung the negatives up to air dry.

I love using Rodinal because it is super easy to mix, gives predictable results and is very cheap to buy and use. It also seems to keep for years without going bad. Now that the developing recipe is out of the way, lets right to the photos.

This photo is of the Dairy Bar in Science Hill Ky.

The Dairy Bar in Science Hill Kentucky
An interesting store front in Science Hill Kentucky
Old truck beside the road in Somerset kentucky
A building on Highway 90 between Monticello and Stearns Kentucky
Highway 90 Bridge in Burnside Kentucky
Old house in Science Hill Kentucky
Blue Bird Cafe in Stanford Kentucky


Last time I shot this film, back in late 2018, I liked it but thought it scratched easy. This time I saw no evidence of scratching. The film dried nice and flat which makes scanning easier. I see plenty of grain, but any 400 speed film developed in Rodinal is going to show some grain.

In my opinion the film is about middle of the road for contrast, sharpness, and shadow detail. This film does resemble Tri-X 400 shot at box speed, at least to my eyes and developed in this way. I would not try to push it to higher speeds the way I often do Tri-X.

This film might have a lot less grain if developed in a different developer. I don’t like mixing powder developers and monitoring their shelf life. I prefer concentrated liquid developers that have a longer shelf and the ability mix up what is needed.

For my use Rodinal and HC 110 work well and keep the developing cost per roll down. Every time I mix D-76 or Xtol I ended up not using it all before it goes bad. There is another liquid concentrate developer that I would like to try on this film, and that is Ilfotec DD-X. The next time I order film and chemicals I need to get a bottle of that. DD-X is more expensive per roll to use and develop but is said to be great at reducing grain.


I do like this film and recommend it. If you are looking for a decent quality film with a low price, it is hard to beat. On the other hand, if you are wanting to push B&W film, I would stick with Tri-X or HP5 because they proven and predictable in such use.