Arista Film Redux : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Someone had said that Arista 4x5 film is a thinner Ilford. I just ordered some from Freestyle and was told that it is 4 mil while all of my other 4x5 is 7 mil. So it is thinner than most Kodak but I don't know how thick Ilford HP & FP is.

Is there anything I need to know when using the 4 mil film?

BTW, I miked a number of sheets of Kodak and most are .0082 - .0085".

-- Bill Brady (, November 21, 2000


Just the ASA/ISO and or your personal film speed. I've been using it for years with no ill effects. Love the stuff at that price!

-- Sean yates (, November 21, 2000.

You will need less exposure time to make a print, I first noticed this when I started using Panotomic X Aero which is .0025 and had to close down to maintian the times I needed to dodge/burn. Pat

-- pat krentz (, November 21, 2000.

I received the Arista film. First, it's the same thickness as the Kodak and Agfa film, perhaps a tad smaller, .0078 vs .0082.

I shot some test sheets using the scale in the Kodak Prof. Photoguide and other stuff, developed in D-76 1:1 according to the instructions on the box and scanned. I used 2 #2 reflector photofloods and calculated the exposure using the Kodak Master Photoguide for photoflood lighting at ISO 125, 5:1 lighting ratio so I got some light shadows in the pic. I used a quick disk to get a bellows compensation of 1.1. I bracketed + - 1 stop using both shutter speed and f-stop. Negs that should have matched did.

The highlights somehow have too much contrast. From Zone V up, the scale is stretched giving the soft shadows a harsh appearance. Zone 3 density is OK. There is quite a bit of grain and local contrast is only fair, no real "edge effect".

So far, I don't like the results. Perhaps D-76 at 1:1 is the culprit.

What am I doing wrong? - Thanks in advance.

-- Bill Brady (, November 24, 2000.

Is your D-76 fresh? Oddly enough, it can become more active as it oxidizes, pushing up contrast. I made that mistake last week with three rolls of TMX, which is quite sensitive to such variations, and found I had to print them at grade 0. Arista might show similar results, but to a lesser extreme.

-- David Goldfarb (, November 25, 2000.

Yes, I mixed it about 2 hours before I used it. I used RO (pure) water. I don't see how it could have oxidized but I suppose anything is possible.

I have some Microphen I could try, but that's primarily for pushing I think. I also have some Rodinal on the way.

-- Bill Brady (, November 25, 2000.

Use ASA 80 and cut you development time by 15 to 20% for starters.

-- Pat Raymore (, November 25, 2000.

>>> Use ASA 80 and cut you development time by 15 to 20% for starters. <<<

OK, I'll try it. How about the ISO 400?


-- Bill Brady (, November 25, 2000.

I don't know what went wrong, in fact I have no idea, but something did. You should not be getting "quite a bit of grain" with the Arista 125 and D-76 1:1. Quite a bit of grain compared to what? Tech Pan? Are you sure you didn't overexpose? Did something screwy happen with the temperature in your development process? It sounds like you were pretty careful but the results don't make sense to me; I use this stuff by the box and even in Rodinal the grain isn't so bad. (I haven't used Rodinal with the 400 speed Arista roll film, and haven't printed the 400 speed 4x5 sheet film that large, but the 125 I've used in Rodinal with quite a bit of enlargement.) I'd go out and shoot something other than a test strip and develop and print. Give it one more try. If it still doesn't work for you, give up and go back to whatever you like to use.

-- Erik Ryberg (, November 26, 2000.


I see now you apparently were using the 400 speed. Even so, in D-76 grain should not have been noticeably bad.


-- Erik Ryberg (, November 26, 2000.

Exposing at ISO 80 and decreasing the development time by 20% made a huge difference. Perhaps allowing the D-76 a day or two to "season" helped. (I wonder if my using RO (pure) water has anything to do with it?)

Now I can see every step on the Kodak scale and the shadows are smooth while the overall density is up. The sharpness is better as well. I can see all this with a loupe.

Anyway, this is a much better starting point. Thanks!

-- Bill Brady (, November 26, 2000.


Put you most recent negatives on a light box. Ask yourself and answer two questions. Is the negative(s) too dense. If so you can increase your working ASA, but don't over do it. You want healthy shadow detail. If your shadow detail is still too weak decrease your working ASA further.

Next question. Is you negative still too contrasty (if you print it on your paper, which I am assuming is approximately grade 2-3)? If so you may need to decrease you development time even further.

If all this is confusing, then, stay with what your doing right now, except for contrasty situations where you can drop your development time another 10% .

-- Pat Raymore (, November 27, 2000.

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