Washi "D" ISO500 - first impressions

Another Russian film, this time hand rolled by the Washi guys. I got this film pretty cheaply, I paid around €7 for it from a Swedish retailer who had a sale going on. According to Washi, this is:

Originally coated for aerial surveillance and cartography, "D" is a panchromatic negative film, offering high contrast and moderate grain.

The datasheet says it is ISO500, thin polyester base.

According to the same, you can develop it in stock XTOL for 6,5min. My rule of thumb is that you can convert stock XTOL times to 1+1 times by adding 40%. That brings us to 9min, in 20c.

I’d say the development was pretty spot on with that, no complaints there. It’s actually not that contrasty as I initially feared, but it does have the same characteristics as Agfa Aviphot. Near-IR response, weird blotchy grain and highlights block up very easily.

Sometimes the sensitivity curve can work to your benefit, especially in portraits you can get a really nice “glow”. Here’s one of my nephew.

It’s not the sharpest film I ever used, but I’m not sure if that matters very much for me. But it is not grainy really, not for an ISO500 film. Usually the ISO rating is exaggarated but in this case, it does actually feel like ISO500 is pretty spot on. Here is a crop from one of the pictures that will be in the gallery:

As is really common with these films, it’s not bad, but it just isn’t that good either. The polyester base is a super pain in the ass. It’s so thin, you get light piping into the cartridge if you load it in daylight. You will have problems getting the film onto your developing reel. You will have problems getting the negatives into sleeves. They attract dust like crazy.

For the same money I could just shoot HP5, and the results would be better. From this roll I got 35 exposures, the first one was gone due to light leaking into the cartridge.

Having said that, I enjoy trying out these various emulsions while they are still around. Most of them are probably new old stock found in some warehouse, and when they are gone, they are gone. So hey, what the heck, let’s support small time entrepreneurs who are trying to do something creative in our little industry.

That’s it for today. As always, I love getting comments, so let me know your thoughts.