FYI . . EDU 200 vrs Astrum 200 in 135-36

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Bill Bowes, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Hello everyone. A recent shipment of the EDU 200 and Astrum 200 films from Freestyle has had me a bit more active than usual. perhaps my two Covid shots did help !
    Both films were exposed in different cameras, at different times, but the Jupiter-8 lens was swapped between the cameras. Pyrocat HDC developer and V600 scans The stacked pictures are without any post production work save the sizing of the full 35mm (if any).
    The Astrum has a better resolving ability but my current Pyrocat HDC developing is yielding much more neg contrast than I really like. If exposed for the shadow values, the highlights will block. Being a thin film emulsion on the PET substrate it is also showing signs of not liking any mishaps during handling or processing. A microscopic bit of grit on the camera pressure plate 2k21-010-028 nc test x-horz-vert.jpg had a roll long scratch on the developed film. Thankfully, pixel cloning works !
    The EDU 200 seems to be a rock. My "standard" 14 minute developing time (3.0 ml HDC in 450 ml DI water) produces excellent negatives with full scale value in the prints.
    The Astrum 200 will be keep in the pantry. I will continue to see what the Pyro developers will produce, since I have Hypercat and some 510-Pyro in stock. Perhaps by the time I leave Hawaii for the mainland stay, I will have completed the two rolls of Astrum 400 film now in the frig.
    Aloha, and Enjoy Bill
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  2. Interesting, Bill, and thanks for posting your results. I wasn't impressed by the first roll of Astrum 200 (rated at 125 IS0) I developed in PMK Pyro, finding it a little contrasty for my taste. For the second roll I dropped the ISO back to 100 and reduced development time by 10%, and the results were actually very nice. The film certainly appears to have a higher resolving power than the Arista 200, with a very full tonal range and an unobtrusive grain. I'll attach a large sample.

    Could you explain the two sets of photographs above? They appear to be the same two images but with the order of presentation reversed. I'll have to say the the Astrum results with their slightly higher contrast are more to my liking that those from the Arista, but I guess that's just a matter of taste. Somewhere in between the two gradients would have been my aim.

    Seeing Double copy.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  3. Hello Rick & Everyone.
    Except for the "double" posting, the prints are correctly annotated. The Farmers Market has a semi permanent placement for the vendors, so I can come back a week later & get basically a repeat. As you noted with your PMK developing, the Astrum Foto-200 with my "normal" Pyrocat HDC also is on the contrasting side. The light intensity for both days was about equal and my meter reading was very similar. Like you, I plan to use 100 asa and drop my 14 mins down to 12 min and see what happens.
    Astrum 400 @ 250 is in the camera for tomorrow at this same market. Weather looks hopefully.
    Here is another from the Astrum Foto 200 roll. Perfectly OK, but I be a nit picker !! 2k21-016-033 ces10 bc bm.jpg
    Aloha, Bill
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  4. I too, would like to know how you managed to take identical pictures at the same instant on two different films?

    If my arm was twisted sufficiently to make me use one of those films, my choice would be the EDU. Its grain is far finer and it appears to have better tonality.

    You say the Astrum has better resolution? How can you see that through the obvious grit?

    Nice pictures despite.

    When I did use film I settled on FP4, and later FP4plus if more speed wasn't needed. My philosophy is to use something you know inside-out and upside-down, and not chop and change things 'just because'. It's just another film Bill. There's no Holy Grail out there. But there might be cheaper disposable cups!
  5. Almost alike Joe.
    Week to week, the vendors have the same stall location. With a few exceptions, the weather here in Hawaii is "almost" the same. Sun with a decent breeze to keep one cool. Where I take these pictures, a red road hazzard cone is placed to keep people our of a puddle (it does rain also !), so I have a "marker".
    I have several other picture combos showing the full neg along with a 1k x 1k pixel crop and use these for comparisons of each film / developer set. Like you I am beginning to form a liking for the EDU material for the bright days, but will also be using the Astrum for those days when we have our hi cloud layers, to make use of the increased contrast of the material. I am also seeing a slight bit of grain in the Astrum vrs the EDU, but must wait for a few more rolls thru the camera and tests with my "other" pyro staining developers.
    I totally agree with your "If you don't know it's character" thinking. I was rock into the Ilford products, both MF and 35mm from the late 90's when PMK-Pyro hit the scene. When everything was destroyed in 2015 by fire, I scrambled to replace my film & developer stashes and discovered the Ultrafine / Kentmere films. I want a source of both sizes in each emulsion. Late last year I noticed that Ultrafine was not replenishing their stocks that were my grail. The current work 2k21-075-021 nc-horz rff.jpg with Astrum is the tail end of finding my "new" rock. EDU does come in 120. Perhaps Astrum might offer something in 120 if sales go up. Freestyle handing the brand might be very good for them.
    Perhaps I will longer than the EDU / FOMA brands !
    Aloha, Bill
  6. Seems the coffee is not working correctly ! This should have been posted. Aloha, Bill 2k21-016-019 ces3 4x5 nm x-horz.jpg
  7. Sorry Bill. I was thrown by the double post marked '2nd set'.

    Good luck with your search for a replacement grail. And it doesn't hurt to 'dabble' with something different now and then. But personally I'd stick with a more mainstream brand.

    P.S. that Astrum's definitely not holding the highlight detail too well, is it?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  8. I think Ilford is back in my life.
    James Bryant likes this.
  9. Bill Bowes said:
    Yes, while I enjoy testing and trialing other breeds, my go-to films are still Ilford FP4 Plus and HP5 Plus. For sheer consistency of manufacture and quality control, they're hard to beat, and their inherent exposure latitude helps in overcoming my frequent mistakes. The Astrum Foto 100 is one of the few "new" films that has made me sit up and take notice, and I'm looking forward to running a few more tests when it becomes available again.

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