Film can be expensive and learning how to shoot film isn’t exactly the easiest on the pocket book, there’s plenty of ways to mess up. And that six dollar roll of Kodak Tri-X can turn into a clear piece of acetate by messing up several different ways. But thanks to my good friends over at the Film Photography Podcast you can now test/learn/play with film and not have to spend too much money. As they’re now releasing their EDU line of film! There are three different flavours available, in 100, 200, and 400 speed films. I recently had a chance to test out all three to see how they responded. And don’t let the price fool you, this is solid film stock!

Film on the cheap? I’m game

The 100 speed film is actually Kentmere 100 stock, a film I’ve shot with before and wasn’t 100% impressed with the results. But when I’m faced with heavy grain I usually turn to two different developers, the first is Xtol the second is PMK Pyro. The roll I had shot before was developed in Xtol was far too grainy and not a pleasing grain either. So I went out on a limb and souped it in TMax Developer (1+9) for ten minutes.

International Communist Camera Day - 1st of May, 2015

International Communist Camera Day - 1st of May, 2015

International Communist Camera Day - 1st of May, 2015
Having a little fun on International Communist Camera Day.
ФЭД-2 (Fed 2) – Индустар-22 f=50mm 1:3.5 (Industar-22 f=50mm 1:3.5) – FPP EDU 100 (Kentmere 100) – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 10:00 @ 20C

This is a grainy film, no matter what developer you put it in. From Xtol to TMax, it might do better pulled a stop and souped in PMK Pyro.

The EDU 200 came initially to the FPP as a mystery film, but it was soon discovered to be a special run of Fomapan 200 for a surveillance camera to it was on a polyester base for greater strength when being run through a high speed camera. So it was pretty easy to find developing times. Having two rolls of the stuff I was able to test out two different developers. This time I left my favoured Xtol alone as fellow FPP staffer, Leslie, didn’t have good luck with the film and the developer, she did get better results pushing the film to 800 and developing in Diafine.

TFSM - Winter '15

TFSM - Winter '15
Taking to the cold streets of Toronto at the Winter 2015 Toronto Film Shooters Meetup.
Nikon FM2 – AI-S Nikkkor 105mm 1:2.5 (Deep Yellow Filter) – FPP EDU 200 – Kodak Microdol-X (9:00 @ 20C)

FPP EDU 200 - Test Roll

FPP EDU 200 - Test Roll
Tooling around with a camera on my way too and from work
Nikon F4 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – FPP EDU 200 (Fomapan 200) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:00 @ 20C

From the first time I pulled the film out from using Microdol-X I was pretty impressed with the results, I think the yellow filter helped out kicking the contrast up just that notch needed to make the film sing. The second roll I shot without a filter, but using the HC-110 (a notable developer for higher contrast) and it showed. However there was a notable up tick in grain. I really should have used a filter again as it seems to get a good level of contrast (in my view) out of this film you really need a filter or push the film.

We’re again dealing with a Kentmere stock here, so I was again expect grain city! So I turned to PMK Pyro, my usual tool of choice when I need to tame grain but keep sharpness. And to make everything even more interesting, I was testing out my new-to-me Nikon F2 Photomic. It was pretty cold outside the day I testing and the ASA-400 film was overkill for the bright winter day outside, and we had just gotten heavy snow the day before.

Nikon F2 Photomic - Test

Nikon F2 Photomic - Test

Nikon F2 Photomic - Test
Sheridan’s HMC Campus
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – FPP EDU 400 – PMK Pyro 1+2+100 (13:00 @ 20C)

The results, while grainy, I was really happy with them, it’s no Tri-X in my view, but for a fast film on the cheap this will do in a pinch!

If you want to try this film out for yourself or need a handy and cheap film stock to test cameras or learn to develop or shoot film, this is the film for you! Why not head over to the FPP Store and pick up a nine pack (3 rolls of each flavour) today!

1 Comment

  1. The price of the FPP EDU is why I chose it to test in some of my thrift store cameras. And it was the film I selected to use for my first home developing sessions. I shot two rolls of the FPP EDU 400, one in a Minolta X-370 and the other in a Minolta Himatic 7S. With the help and chemicals from a friend, I followed some of the info found in the Massive Dev Chart. I agree with your comments about the grain, but for testing or general shooting, it’s a great film that’s not going to break the bank.

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