Fujicolor Reala 500D was originally used as cinefilm. In March 2013, Fujifilm stopped the production of all cinefilms, and now you can only buy old stock. A few weeks ago, to my surprise, I discovered cinefilms from Fujifilm and Kodak ready to be used for 35mm photographic cameras in a camera shop in Taipei. It appears that these film rolls are custom made by a Taiwanese company from larger bulk rolls. They buy these large film rolls of cinefilm, cut them into shorter strips, and repack them into film cartridges for photographic cameras. The length of the film is exactly for 36 exposures.
Surprisingly, the film was cheaper than regular film, as I paid only 4 Euros for one roll of cinefilm, compared to 6 Euros for a roll of Kodak Ektar 100. The significant price difference motivated me to try Fujicolor Reala 500D.
Before buying, I also had to make sure that the shop could develop this film. Compared to regular photographic film, cinefilm has an additional layer called rem-jet, which needs to be removed before developing the film. Most laboratories are not equipped for this type of film. Luckily, the shop where I bought it specialized in cinefilm, and the developing costs were the same as for regular film. The only downside was that developing took one week instead of one hour.
However, only later, when writing this blog post, I discovered that the film I bought was at least three years old, and there was no expiry date on the roll. Additionally, the previous storage conditions were unclear. So, I was probably dealing with an expired film. Therefore, the results of the photos might not reflect a fresh Fujifilm Reala 500D and should be seen more as experimental.
The following photos were taken on a rainy day
The next two photos were taken on a cloudy day
The next photos were all taken on a sunny day
Some photos show very noticeable grain, others not.
Subway station as example for artificial lighting
Personally, I am delighted with the color reproduction of this film. Regardless of the lighting conditions, the colors appear incredibly natural. Interestingly, upon scanning the negatives, I found that I didn’t need to make any adjustments to the saturation or contrast. However, I did notice that the film grain varies among the photos – sometimes it’s quite noticeable, while in others, it’s barely there. Several factors could account for this inconsistency. It’s possible that I made errors while exposing the film, or perhaps something went awry during the development process. Another potential explanation could be that the film itself was expired and too old.
All in all, this photography experiment was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, it seems that this particular film type is becoming scarce and running out of stock. However, I’m pleased to know that cinefilms from Kodak are still being manufactured, and fresh rolls are readily available. In the future, I may share more of my experiences with different cinefilms.
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