Scrolling through my Instagram feed introduced me to the wonderful world of CineStill. I had been having an extensive internal debate over which CineStill stock to buy and where to shoot it, but a pre-Christmas 2019 trip to Copenhagen ended up forcing my hand. After the usual trawls through the local camera shops (the best way to see a city), I found one that sold all the CineStill emulsions..so I bought one of each.
I chose to shoot their B&W stock first; BwXX. Repackaged Kodak EASTMAN Double-X 5222 and made famous by some Bonds, Neeson and some angry bulls amongst others. I didn’t know what to expect or should I push this film, Copenhagen was quite dull and overcast for the few days I was there, so I just let my Nikon F100 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G lens do the guesswork, shot on full matrix metering and did what I was told to do.
I was really impressed on how the emulsion handles contrast. It seems to be a bit punchier than my ILFORD Delta 400 Professional go-to and I didn’t really run into any issue shooting as rated ISO 250, even using an 85B orange filter on some scenes. I did most of my shooting with this film while out and about in the morning/afternoon, so I’m thinking the overcast weather did help.
No real deep shadows and no overpowering bright spots to contend with when trying to catch some candid shots. I would love to and will try this film with some heavy filters in and around a beach with some seascapes. With some time on your hands, you could create a moody scene and keep them low on grain for enlargement.
On grain, it is super fine, pretty much un-noticeable on regular scans, I lacked and still lack the true acumen required to fully meter and spot mid-tones, but I feel that all the shots I took have superb tonal range (thanks Nikon). Here’s hoping they enlarge well without too much hassle in the darkroom to add to my hipster gallery of random photography.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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