On a sunny Saturday at the end of March 2020, I had the idea to try out Film Washi S, an ISO 50 sound recording film in the field. I love sunny Saturday mornings. A few days before, I had already made some shots in the house in my Minolta 9000AF, mounted with the Sigma F2.8/24mm, my favourite for this camera.

Washi S, another one of those strange films where I don’t know what to expect. According to Film Washi, S is a very high contrast film, better not shot in direct sunlight. I must have overlooked that.

I took my pictures on a walk, partly in the bright sunlight. Not Washi’s recommendation but I don’t care! This was followed by a few more in the town and in my brother-in-law’s garden.

Now it was time to develop the film. According to Washi, that would be in Rodinal 1+25 for 11 min. When I took the spool out of the Tetenal Mirasol bath and opened it, I was a bit shocked. My God, it has become so dense. I cut off the first piece of film and dried it with a hairdryer. I wanted to see what it said in numbers first, so I put the snippet on the light panel and put my Techkon RT112 densitometer on it. Density around 4.0.

Hui, that’s dense, damn dense.

That’s where most home scanners stop scanning. I was and am still thinking about developing the film next time with the same time in Rodinal 1+50. Or 1+25 and only 7 to 8 minutes.When the film was dry, it went into the Epson V800.

I am lazy and often use the automatic exposure of EpsonScan, as I did here. I’m usually satisfied with a bit of post-processing in Adobe Camera RAW.

The film was, as already noted, very dense in highlights but also damn fine-grained:

The last time I saw such fine grain was with Agfa APX 25. I used this film in the 1990s mainly for repros of old photos.

I also really liked the greyscale of the Washi, a crisp film with a great richness of tone. If it should be something special, this could be it.

~ Olaf

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I'm a hobby photographer who has been pursuing this for a long time. I really started in the mid-1980s, when I got my first and especially my second SLR camera, a Minolta X-300. It still serves me faithfully today. But then it went blow by blow, I discovered...


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