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 overlook at Buck’s Pocket State Park. This was taken on a cloudless day in the early afternoon:
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!
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.