We recently wrote a piece about a truly unique film company - Washi - and gave you a rundown of their various films.
Well, we’ve now shot a roll of Washi F (ISO 100)
What is Washi F?
We’ll let Washi head honcho - Lomig - tell us all about it;
“Washi F is originally an X-ray medical film for mass diagnosis of lung diseases. It was intended to be used originally within a special medical 70mm camera, but I cut it into 35mm and made the perforations myself.
I can then spool it into normal 35mm film cartridges, and you can shoot it in a 35mm camera!
As an x-ray film there is no anti-halation layer in it so there is a maximum diffusion effect. This gives them a very dreamy (or perhaps creepy) look to them.
You pretty much can’t make “normal” looking pictures with this film - it gives a totally unique look.”
Well now we’ve shot with it, we can confirm that last point is accurate!
As you can see from these, you definitely get the dreamlike look Lomig describes. We think they look a bit like something people would create with digital processing to give a haunted feel - why rely on digital to create a processed looking version of that when you could just get it for real with film though!?
It turns out the camera we tested with - Pentax S1a - clearly had some light leaks. You can see this in the images where one part of the side of the image is really over exposed, showing almost pure white. By sheer happenstance we think this worked well with the film - another example of the thrill of the randomness that can come with shooting film. But at the same time, we definitely need to get that light leak repaired with some new light seals!
We initially got these developed and scanned by our local Boots.
We then sent off a few of the negatives for re-prints from Digitlab. Here’s a side by side of the two photos.
That’s the Boots one on the left, and the Digitlab on the right.
You can see that Boots have scanned the image in a way that gives it quite a blue tone to it. That is not present though on the actual film negatives, as you can see from the second image. This shows them in their true light, as the film creator intended.
You can clearly see the negatives have quite a different tone to them. You might actually prefer the scans - that’s entirely subjective - but it’s a good example of why finding a reliable developer for your films is important, and why it’s important to get prints straight from your negatives, and not to rely on somebody scanning them right for you.