Film Washi is a small (they in fact claim to be the smallest film company in the world) company based out of France. Their new handcrafted artisanal black and white film, called Film “W”, is not your average black and white film. Film “W” is probably the most difficult film to use: it is very orthochromatic, has low sensitivity, very high contrast and lots of grain. “It’s an extreme product…” says Lomig Perrotin, the company’s founder.
Film “W” has actually been around for a while now in 120 and large sheet formats, but just recently Film Washi gained the capability to make 35mm rolls as well. “I was not able to perforate the film which was the main obstacle for 135 production,” Perrotin says, before noting that he was able to get his hands on an old industrial 35mm film perforator thanks to a partner of his. “This 450 kg machine, build in the 60’s and previously in use in the now closed Hungarian Forte factory, was not in full working condition and they used to keep it for parts. So I had to rebuild the electric and motor system to adapt it for paper negative perforation and now I am able to produce perforated 35mm rolls, so, much more people can discover and use Film “W” in classic 35mm camera.”
An ISO 25 film, Film “W” is a high contrast black and white offering that required precise exposure for optimal results, as well as specific developing techniques in order to achieve the correct results. You won’t be able to send this to a lab, this is for the film photographer that wants to or knows how to process their own film. A unique aspect to the Film “W” is that it is based on Kozo paper from Japan, which give it some of the unique look that you see in the examples below.