I have had the will to try out CineStill 800T for a long time but never had the chance to do so until recently. Indeed I moved to Vienna, and in Vienna is an old amusement park called Prater. Its entry is free and it’s a great place to get those neon lights that work so well with Cinestill, and for photographers who love to post on Instagram 😉
Before going out to shoot this roll I contacted a photography friend from Instagram who has some amazing shots with CineStill 800T for some tips. Christopher (@christopherhamberger on IG, go check him out!) and I had already talked several times and he gave me all his secrets and tips for the film. One of the things he said is that he would often slow the shutter speed down to 1/30th or 1/15th even when shooting 50mm. This would greatly influence my choice of camera to try out the film.
Indeed if I was to slow down so much, I needed a camera with very little shutter and mirror movement. this is why I decided to load my Leica M3 with the film. I assumed a rangefinder would be the best way, at least to start off. I was betting on the fact that the absence of a mirror would allow me to shoot at low as 1/30th handheld.
Spoiler alert: It did.
With my freshly loaded roll of Cinestill off I went to the amusement park to try out for the first time this film I had heard and seen so much about. The reason this film exists is to capture the tungsten neon lighting and the humidity on the ground added a certain glow to the images which I loved. I had also asked a friend to tag along and shot one or two night time portraits. He was extremely happy with the results of the roll.
I have to say for the first attempt at shooting this film I was extremely delighted with the result and according to my IG followers, they also loved the results. As I was asked the question several times online I will address the elephant in the room here as well. I have no clue how it would compare to other 800 ISO film stocks. Indeed I never shot Portra 800 and never shot Lomography CN 800 in these conditions so I can’t compare.
What I will say though is that the halation effect on the lights does give an added value to the pictures, and I do believe this also helped got the glowing colors in certain shots.
One thing is sure, this is not the last time I will be shooting this film stock!
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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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