Washi X, First Look

It seems new color films are appearing monthly. So far, I have bought rolls of Washi X, CineStill 400D, and Wolfen NC 500, and I hope to try Lomochrome Color 92. As I later discovered, Washi X is repackaged Kodak Aerocolor IV, a surveillance film. Washi X appears to be the earliest release of this Kodak film, but other companies have  released it as Elecktra 100, SantaColor 100, Luminar 100, and in 120 format,  CatLabs 100 Color.  The results I have seen vary greatly. Some have a decidedly greenish tinge with muted colors, while others seem to have an underlying warmth with vibrant reds and greens. It seems scanner settings have a lot to do with how the final images appear.

Using the Epson V600 scanner and Epson Scan 2 software, I found that turning off all automatic image adjustments yielded the best results. With all automatic settings off, I made the usual two histogram adjustments: 1) setting the basic histogram Output Levels to 0 and 255, 2) then adjusting Input Levels to the upper and lower extremes of the histogram exposure image, and finally moving the middle arrow until the image looked correct. Occasionally, I had to adjust the red or green channel, but that was rare.


This film loves sunlight. In bright daylight, it seems to give to the most true-to-life colors. In subdued indoor light, it is quite warm—which I like. Cloudy days seem to result in a greenish cast. I only shot a few flower images with the Washi X, but I think it will be great for flowers. Oddly, it seems to favor reds but does not blow them out as readily as Ektar appears to. I’ll have to experiment more to see if that observation holds. Overall, I like this stuff, so I bought some Elektra 100 because it was cheaper than Washi (at the time).  One caution, this film is really light-sensitive. There was significant light piping on this roll, even though I was careful when loading it.

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