Ultrafine Xtreme 400 Review

 My friend Joe mailed me a roll of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 and 100 the other day to try out. Without any knowledge of this film, I think the results are very impressive.


  • Nikon N2020 (set at ISO400)
  • AF Nikkor 50 1.8
  • Ultrafine Xtreme 400 135/36
  • Kodak T-Max developer Standard Dilution 20C 5:45 Rotary
  • Epson Scan (Sharpen on low)

Lets look at some photos first.



  • Sharp, fine grain, comparable to Kodak Tri X and Ilford HP5+
  • Ample latitude
  • Sufficient Anti-halation layer
  • Strong film base. (Not the lucky or foma kind)
  • The emulsion is not easily scratched
  • Physically flat after the negative is dried
  • It is priced competitively
  • In addition, the 120 version of this film is just as good.
  • I do recommend this product



Some people suggest Ultrafine Xtreme 400 is Ilford HP5+. While I can not prove this scientifically, let’s look at similarities.

  • They share similar film base
  • They share the same color anti-halation layer
  • They both dries relatively flat, physically that is.
  • They share the same, if not similar developing time
  • 120 Version of the Xtreme 400 has the exact same backing paper with the 120 HP5+
  • They produce similar result.


Further Reading:
Ultrafine Xtreme 400 – 135
Ultrafine Xtreme 400 – 120
Ultrafine Xtreme 100 – 135
Ultrafine BW 400 (Old) – 135

Please remember film tests are subject to Film Developer, Agitation Methods and other variables.

23 thoughts on “Ultrafine Xtreme 400 Review

  1. Nice contrasty turn-out. That extra layer makes all the difference. I dont know about that electric pole either…kind of distracting. Love that shot of the theater…Man, makes me wish i could get out and find some stuff around here to shoot! The sun is out today…we’ll see.

  2. Came here for this review and checked out your portfolio site, you have some fantastic work my friend. Are you still playing with this film? I just spotted a 100 foot roll on ebay at a good price, but I can get Ilford FP5 at the same cost or lower from B&H (I’m in Canada, shipping is killer)

    • First of all, thank you for your compliments. Yes i am shooting ultrafine xtreme again since they don’t sell arista premium 400 over at freestyle anymore. Most of the recents 35mm shots were shot on that film.

      Well, i mean, if you can get HP5+ for the same cost you might as well get the real deal . Sigh, I know, I try not to buy anything from Canada because it cost so much for shipping.

        • I hope you are joking, or there’s in an error on their website. 90 bucks itself is a lot of film. I can buy a box of 4×5 TXP for that price almost.

          • Nope, that’s just shipping. They force you to use UPS or something silly like that. I can get 100 feet of Ilford HP5 and some other bits to get me to $75 for free shipping from B&H (well, $9 for brokerage.) I need bulk cassettes anyway

            • I looked at bulk before, nowadays i feel like you’re not really saving a whole lot. Even though I am equipped with doing so, I never buy it bulk. I would volunteer myself to ship to you but if BH already have free shipping 😀

  3. Excellent results! I went back to Tri-X after they stopped selling Arista premium, but I don’t like Tri-X prices so I don’t take as many shots. I checked the prices for Ultrafine at Photo Warehouse and it looks like a great replacement for Arista. I might try this film thanks to you 🙂

    • I am the same way, I like tri x, i shot lots of arista premium, but they stopped so i can only afford so many rolls of real tri x ( or sometime my friend pity the fool and left me some ). I shoot that Ultrafine Xtreme 400 here and there. One little note, the last couple batch i got from them had a stick on label (instead of printed before), and seems like it’s hand loaded too. Same film, except you might find some scratches at the very last frame, and it uses tape at the end with the “latest version” too. I supposed they gotta do something to keep the price down.

      Truth is, I can’t even afford the ultrafine nowadays even though they might be the cheapest and best 400 for me, ha, jokes on me!

      But do try it out, i had good results with D76, Xtol and Rodinal, it was a thoroughly tested film through the years ( though I haven’t updated the review since then).

      Thanks for your support Sam.

  4. Thanks for the info Derek, sounds like another “grassroots” film, but if it keeps the prices down it’s ok with me. I will definitely give the film a shot. Strange how people who’ve never met can be in the same place in life because right now it’s hard for me to afford a lot and I’ve sold off a bunch of stuff just to make it. But viewers of my blog will never know that! Hang in there man, a better day is coming and thank you too for your support.

    • Hey you trying to tell me you had to sell your newer DSLR to go back to you D2H? Yeah man, I am being very careful on spending and contemplating to thin out my collection a lot. Sad thing is I think the majority of my collection is not anything expensive or special.

      Alright, If you get ONE ( i dont know why ONE because that doesn’t make sense for shipping) roll of Xtreme 400 and you absolutely hate it, I’ll give you a roll of Tri X 😀

  5. The newer stuff I usually sell because they lose value fast. The D2H is now about as low as it’s going to get so I don’t mind having it now as a “fun” camera to shoot. Ok you got a deal with that Tri-X, but somehow I don’t think I will hate the Xtreme 400! I’ll surely make a post once I shoot with it, but you know how it is as a slacker too, it’s going to take me forever! But thanks again for the post cause it gives me new film options, which is always a good thing 🙂

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