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A Look at Film Washi V, The Handmade Film on Japanese Gampi Paper

Film Washi V is probably the most unusual film announced in 2017, and I had the privilege of being present when Lomig, the founder of Washi Film, introduced it at the Salon de la Photo in Paris last year. Since then I have always wanted to try it and see what it’s like to shoot with this very special film.

If you’ve never heard about this film before, let me introduce it briefly. For Film Washi’s V film, the standard polyester film base has been replaced by a traditional Japanese Gambi paper. The emulsion is coated directly onto the paper and then loaded into normal 35mm canisters or 120 spools.

It’s an ISO 100 film and the process is identical to the original W film (which uses Kozo paper). However, the paper used for the V offers a higher transparency. Once enlarged, you can clearly see the paper’s fibers, which makes every picture unique. Depending on the situation, this can really add to an image and give it a special character.

As you can imagine, the processing of this film is a bit different and requires some extra equipment. The paper film base will not load onto normal reels, which leaves you with only two options:

1. Send your rolls of Washi film to Nation Photo, which has received the equipment and training to process this film.


2. Roll-up your sleeves and follow my tutorial to do it yourself.

If you have decided to go for the DIY solution, you will need the processing kit from Film Washi. This kit allows you to develop the films V and W into your Paterson or Jobo tanks. What’s special about it is that it will separate the film to help it avoid sticking to itself once in the tank.

Here’s my 8.5-minute video tutorial:



January 2019
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