Technique & Approach #20 - Film Review Cinestill

Having shot a number of rolls, Cinestill offers 800T, 50D and BwXX (of either 200 or 250 speed depending upon light conditions. Essentially cine film with the remjet layer removed.

Tech Alert - (Remjet, a removable jet black layer, is the coating of carbon black particles in a water-soluble binder on the bottom of the film. It has four purposes: anti-halation, antistatic, lubrication,and scratch protection. Light entering the film can reflect off the front or back surface of the film base and return into the imaging layers to expose them. When light spreads laterally beyond its intended boundary, an image appears to have a halo around it (halation). The anti-halation layer prevents this by absorbing light that reaches it. The remjet carbon layer is conductive and prevents the build-up and discharge of static charges that can fog film. This is especially important in conditions of low relative humidity. Rem-jet also has lubricating properties. Like the supercoat on top of the emulsion, remjet resists scratching on the base side and helps transport the film through cameras, scanners, and printers. --Kodak)

800T, view of Brisbane City by night from atop Mt Coo-tha. - Long exposure time, allowing for more light to hit the film and so because of this 'hotspots' occur with much brighter light sources. A sort of halation effect or cinematic effect. A little bit longer exposure time and stars would be much clearer.

800T, view of Brisbane City by night from atop Mt Coo-tha.
- Long exposure time, allowing for more light to hit the film and so because of this 'hotspots' occur with much brighter light sources. A sort of halation effect or cinematic effect. A little bit longer exposure time and stars would be much clearer.

Cinestill 800T shot at 1600 (+2) daytime in Monaco, French Riviera. - Due to it's tungsten white balance, without filtration it gives daylight a blue/ purple tint. This can be corrected with filtration (85B - warm)

Cinestill 800T shot at 1600 (+2) daytime in Monaco, French Riviera.
- Due to it's tungsten white balance, without filtration it gives daylight a blue/ purple tint. This can be corrected with filtration (85B - warm)

Both day and night have their different colours, I probably prefer night / dusk. Although I haven't really shot much of the 800T during the day and probably won't. Being that it is definitely obviously suited to tungsten lighting / artificial.

50D, early morning. Sigma 70-210mm lens, Canon A1 - Shallow depth of field (horizontal compression - limits depth of field at longer focal lengths). - This can also be obtained with a wider aperture (iris).

50D, early morning. Sigma 70-210mm lens, Canon A1
- Shallow depth of field (horizontal compression - limits depth of field at longer focal lengths). - This can also be obtained with a wider aperture (iris).

BwXX at 200 speed, Canon A1, Canon 50mm f/1.4 - With the shallow depth of field and wide aperture, you get some rather nice scratchy bokeh from the lights in the tunnel. - BwXX has little grey, selecting different films for different looks. This particular stock is similar to the Kodak stock that Schindler's List was shot on.

BwXX at 200 speed, Canon A1, Canon 50mm f/1.4
- With the shallow depth of field and wide aperture, you get some rather nice scratchy bokeh from the lights in the tunnel.
- BwXX has little grey, selecting different films for different looks. This particular stock is similar to the Kodak stock that Schindler's List was shot on.

Grey Street

"Black & white is the new black & white. Film."

Keeping it simple, a vintage camera, lenses to suit, 2 rolls of film. Cinestill bwXX 200 and Kodak Tri-x 400. Styled and inspired by Ruby Reginato and Amber Rose Stewart, set amongst slightly disused warehouses in Virginia Brisbane.  With a sort of cinematic approach, an emphasis on light and lines. So mood. Much mono tone.

Going for a relaxed / casual approach, working with both of the girls in different parts of the yard in the mid afternoon until sunset. A number of fashion items, mixed and matched in a thoughtful way. The sun being the only source of light, working with different shadows and tones, High and low key photographs.

Ruby, on Cinestill bwXX. At 200.

Amber on Kodak Tri-x 400. With the afternoon setting sun, making some beautiful silhouettes and some softer grey tones. 

It's all about the light, considering it's position and how I can sculpt each portrait in a different way. Using a 70-210mm lens for most of the shooting, allowing for nice background dropout. When the light started to dim, the 50mm f/1.4 was perfect.

High key ~ very little grey tones.
Low key ~ with lots of grey variation. 

Technique & Approach #17 - bwXX

Excerpt from Cinestill.com

"CineStill bwXX is a high speed, classic black & white film emulsion, with an EI of 250 under daylight and 200 under tungsten lighting. Recommended development in Kodak D-96 developer, but is compatible will all black and white film developers.

Double-x is a classic black and white film stock left relatively unchanged since it's release in 1959 for still and motion picture use. Some of the movies using the classic Eastman double-x film stock (5222) include: Schindler's List (1993), Memento (2000), Kafka (1991), Casino Royale (2006), I'm Not There (2007), and many many more.

Kodak no longer offers this wonderful still stock to the still photography community so CineStill Film has decided to release and distribute it under their label. This is a limited run (only 2000 rolls available) sold out fast, but if all goes well it will become a regularly stocked CineStill Film's emulsion.

CineStill bwXX is an excellent choice for those looking for a classic film stock to fill the void left by the discontinuation of it's wonderful sister films, Kodak Plus-x (discontinued in 2010) and TXP320.

36 exposures professionally spooled into high quality 135 Non Dx-Coded Cartridges"


My first roll and let me just one word "wow". Such mood, such rich mono tones. Shooting a mixture of street, portrait and architecture. Blown away by the results. Certainly has a unique look to any other black and white film I've shot. Very contrasty and certainly works well for portraits coupled with a bright lens, such as my Canon 50mm f/1.4. Shadows are a bit low in limited light, but this can be manipulated in either develop or print / photoshop edit. I generally choose to leave the editing out. Only in rare circumstances will I edit my work. And of course like the other 2 cinestill films, 50D and 800T, bwXX has that unique halation effect, a sort of glow in certain light. 

I'm still looking at getting an anamorphic lens, which I believe will the icing on the cake with these films. 

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane reflected off of the Cultural Centre

Wheel, Southbank Brisbane reflected off of the Cultural Centre

For portraits

For portraits

Canon 50mm f/1.4 love the dropout on this lens. 

Canon 50mm f/1.4 love the dropout on this lens.