Street Photography on Film: Arista EDU Ultra 100 with Minolta Maxxum 3xi Camera
My second roll of film through my Minolta Maxxum 3xi was my first roll of Arista EDU Ultra 100 (36 exp) black and white. Since I know from my first shoot with this camera in Franklin, Indiana a few weeks earlier that the camera and lens function well together, and seem to both focus and read exposure well, I was confident it would not be a waste of time taking the Minolta 3xi downtown, where I ask people if I can take their portrait while passing them on the street.
It was mid-day in downtown Indianapolis, so the sun was high and harsh, but that added to the contrast of the film. During the times of covid, the best time to capture people out and about in an inner city is typically going to be lunch time. As more things open up, evenings become more of an option. But from where I am, the evenings are the leanest times regarding people out and about in the downtown area.
Because these are one-of-a-kind photo opportunities, I learned from a previous failure with the Nikon N60 that I should only shoot the street portraits with a camera that I know has been tested, as to not lose a potential great shot due to bad camera performance.
The results were fantastic! The black and white Arista EDU Ultra 100 film I used came in with a lot of contrast, which I like in street photography. The images were very sharp, as mentioned above, with excellent contrast. I was also very relieved that my efforts to ask for all these portraits were not wasted on a malfunctioning camera.
Unlike the first time I used this camera, I was able to mount my Go Pro 7 Black on the bottom of the Minolta Maxxum 3xi (as it's hotshoe is designed for only a Minolta flash, and will not accept universal flashes or accessories without an adapter) with an adapter. This made for a nice street photography point-of-view video, showing the several subjects that agreed to be photographed after I stopped them on the street and asked for the portrait.
The grain was fine and not a problem with the 100 speed film. Of course the point of shooting film is to see the grain, but you don't want ugly splotches of it, or for it to appear to be like large cottage cheese. This film at 100 ISO offers a nice, fine grain that is very appealing.
My only issue with the film was my error in development. The film came out with waterspots scattered throughout the entire roll, that I didn't pay attention to until they were obvious from the scanning. I either didn't use enough photo flo, or too much tap water in the rinse. My guess was not enough photo flo, as I did not measure properly, and left the tap running for a long period of time. I'll need to recheck the proper procedure.
I used HC-110, Dilution H (1:63) with the Arista EDU Ultra 100 for a time of between 8 and 9 minutes. I assume that's why the film came out with so much contrast, but again, I like it so that suits me just fine.
The reason for Dilution H was that the manufacturer (also Fomapan) recommends only a 3-minute development time with Dilution B (1:32). It's always best to go over 5 minutes if possible, with a target of 7 to make sure the film and chemicals have a chance to get their maximum effectiveness and quality.
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