5 Frames… Of Winter in Northern Italy on Film Washi A (EI 12 / 35mm Format / Voigtlander Vito B) – by Ivan B. Palli

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Now that we find ourselves on this sort of late hibernation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, I thought it was a good time to put together a few words that have been swirling around in my head for the past months, without ever finding the opportunity to sit down and write them in the form of an article.

I started shooting Film Washi A a couple of years ago because it offered two of my favourite things in a film stock: economy and a look of its own. Less than 5 Euros per roll of 36 exposures it’s hard to beat and an orthochromatic, high contrast film offered the potential for some serendipitous developments (pun intended). Granted, at ISO 12 is not the most flexible emulsion, but since I use a tripod 99% of the time and my main subjects (trees) are usually not in a hurry I wasn’t too bothered about the film’s ISO. Having said that, I also had good results in an urban photo walk in slightly overcast conditions, shooting wide open at f/3.5.


According to Film Washi’s website, ” Washi A is normally used as leader and protection tail for motion picture film copy, but also for recording”. I’m not sure what that means, to be honest. Additionally, the emulsion has a sensitivity of up to 580nm. The site also recommends loading the film in shade to avoid the piping effect, which I think is the cause of the veil that can be noticed on most of these 5 Frames, as the overexposure from the sky area in the farm shot (which I took first) seems to have carried over to the next frame for most of the roll. With a bit of care though, and maybe some bracketing, Washi A can offer very good results.

The only negative thing I have to say about Film Washi A is that it curls pretty badly so scanning it is not easy. Once in the film holder, it tends to curl sideways along the film strip, making a belly that translates in quite a loss of the film’s inherent sharpness. Still, I like it enough to put up with that.

I shot this roll in December 2019 in Northern Italy with a Voigtlander Vito B, a great little camera, perfect for travelling.

~ Ivan

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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