Last month I had my first try with Cinestill film. Cinestill is motion picture cinema film converted to standard 35mm still photography and C-41 processing. The Cinestill 800T, which I had ordered from Germany, is specifically made for difficult low light tungsten situations, so I thought it’d be good to take on my trip to bright-lit NYC.

It’s very sensitive to lightleaks, so instead of loading it in an old, creaky Pentax, I opted for a Contax T2. And as soon as I had put it in, I thought “uh oh”.
The Contax T2 detects the ISO value by reading the DX-code. But Cinestill doesn’t have a DX-code on the canister. And the T2 does neither have way of setting the ISO manually, nor the shutterspeed. Too bad, because I’ve read the Cinestill holds its own when pushed to 1600 or 3200. Ah well, it was going to be one big experiment.

All things considered, I’m actually rather happy with the results which came out, even in daylight. Even though I erred, the film still did very well. My next trip will be to Paris and this time I won’t be making the same mistake. I’ll be bringing a Leica M6 and I’m looking forward to having full control over the Cinestill.

Interested in seeing more example photos? Head over to the Cinestill website or check back here once I get the Paris rolls developed.

Flatiron building
Flatiron building © Martijn Savenije
Street meat
Street meat on Cinestill 800T © Martijn Savenije