I decided to take the plunge and try some Arista films when Kodak and Ilford prices started creeping north. With Arista EDU Ultra 100 at less than $6 a roll for 35mm or 120, I figured why not at least test it out?
I am so glad I did, because I have quickly fallen in love with this film and will sing its praises, so let me begin.
Arista EDU Ultra 100 is a panchromatic film, meaning it’s sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light, but lacks color.
This film is by all accounts the same as Fomapan black and white film. Just think of it as a generic version. And like all good generics, it’s even slightly cheaper than the brand name. (Which, if you know me, you’ll know generic is my jam.)
Arista 100 is a low ISO film, making it less ideal for wide ranges of lighting situations. It is best used in daylight or if you want to use a slow shutter speed.
But beware, this film is relatively grainy for a low ISO film, which I actually love, because black and white grain is essential.
What I Love About Arista EDU Ultra 100
What do I love about this film? Arista EDU Ultra 100 has high contrast and rich tonality, making it an all around fantastic black and white film.
I am particularly impressed with portraits. I found the skin tones to be so soft and glowy. Albeit, I say this with the caveat that I only photographed my children, and they all have fair skin, so my sample size is very small.
The 35mm version of Arista 100 film doesn’t have a DX code. The DX code is a marking on the film canister that tells cameras with automatic ISO readings the ISO of your film. This means you’ll have to set the ISO manually.
For most of us, we do this on our cameras anyway or we use handheld light meters, so it doesn’t matter. This often won’t even matter for point and shoot cameras that use a DX code without an option to set the ISO manually, because most of them default to 100 ISO.