My normal mode of film buying is to pick up a few rolls at a time. This is partly because I’m a stingy bastard, even with my own hobbies, but mostly it’s because I haven’t really settled into a groove regarding what emulsions work well for me. I definitely love Portra 800, but shooting a steady diet of just that wouldn’t make a lot of economic sense.
I recently broke with this trend to pick up ten rolls each of Arista Premium 100 and Arista Premium 400. These are — by all reports — rebadged Kodak Plus-X and Tri-X. I need to shoot these films for the Laney photo classes, so they make sense in that regard. I also find myself really warming to Plus-X, now that I no longer suck so hard at shooting it.
I recently developed and scanned the first roll of Premium 100, and I got some shots — particularly with the 35mm f/1.4 AIS — with which I am extremely pleased. Maybe unreasonably so.
It’s a bit odd. One of — if not the — main things that initially appealed to me about film was the ability to shoot grainy images at high sensitivities and get usable results. For this reason, I expected Tri-X to immediately rock my world, but I find that the contrast of Plus-X has an immense appeal that Tri-X does not automatically provide. I really do need to start developing at home, because I know there are ways to get Tri-X to behave more like I want it to. : )