Film Washi B&W

A few months ago, a good friend gave me a roll of film made from sound recording film by a company called Film Washi. It’s supposed to be a very fine grain B&W film at 50 ISO. I loaded it into my vintage Pentax Spotmatic and carried it on a few trips.

The first trip was in October 2017 to the North Carolina High Country. The trip was mostly for fall color, but I did some B&W work as well. The second trip was to Buck’s Pocket State Park in AL. I usually hit the B&W during the middle of the day when the contrast is too much for slide film.

I didn’t know it at the time, but after looking at the spec sheet – it’s not good for high contrast scenes either. In particular, it has a tendency to blow out the sky.

Here’s a shot of the ranger station at Linville Gorge Wilderness area, taken around 2pm in the afternoon. This shot has strong sun filtered through the trees.
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Here’s a shot of the overlook at Buck’s Pocket State Park. This was taken on a cloudless day in the early afternoon:

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Most of the shots on this roll were unusable for printing and took a good bit of level & curves work with Photoshop before they were good enough to post.

Fortunately, I did have a couple of shots from the Rough Ridge trail where I had been shooting the sunrise with my Hasselblad. There was a group of students from Lees-MacRae College that were also watching the sunrise. I was able to get this shot – handheld at 1.8 aperture. Good thing the Pentax has an incredible Japanese made lens!

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This is the kind of shot that makes this film shine. Just remember, it shoots more like slide film than traditional B&W. I would guess that is has an exposure latitude of 4 to 5 stops. I think I will pick up another roll to keep in the bag in case I need a high contrast B&W with a very fine grain.

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