CineStill 50 is a negative color film optimized for daylight. In fact, it is a repackaged Kodak Vision3 50D motion picture film (more information on that here) with the rem-jet layer already removed, allowing the film to be developed using the C-41 process. The film is distributed by CineStill Film. For more information about the film and other products, you can visit their website here. There is also a film for artificial light, and a 120-roll film is in the works.
I found the idea of using motion picture film for photography very appealing, and CineStill Film seemed like a simple and convenient option since you don’t need a specialized lab to remove the rem-jet layer. However, I have since discovered another interesting alternative to CineStill Film, which I will discuss in a future blog post.
I purchased the film in Taiwan through Lomography.com. Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive here, costing 500 NT$ (approximately 14 Euros) per roll. To my surprise, it was shipped from Hong Kong. And now I also know that films can be shipped internationally without any issues. In any case, there are no signs of damage from X-ray radiation.
Due to the very changeable weather in Taipei over the past few months, I had the opportunity to use the film in various lighting conditions. I quickly noticed that ISO 50 is quite slow. I had never used film with less than ISO 100 before and was surprised by how much light you need.
Even on a cloudy day, you have to stop down quite a bit to be able to shoot handheld. On a rainy day, it’s impossible; you’ll need a tripod. In my opinion, that’s the biggest drawback of the film. It’s really only suitable for good weather with lots of sunshine. On the other hand, ISO 50 has the advantage of producing very fine-grained results, and even in bright sunlight, you can shoot with an open aperture to get a lot of bokeh.
My conclusion about CineStill 50D
Will I use this film more often? Probably not. Firstly, it is quite expensive compared to other professional films, at least here in Taiwan. And secondly, I have found a relatively inexpensive alternative (also real motion picture film). Right now, I’m waiting for the development, and then there will be the next blog post on this topic.
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