5 Frames… With Cinestill 50D (EI 50 / 120 format / Zenza Bronica ETRSi) – by Giacomo Lanzi

Written by and published on .

I first bought this film to try Cinestill out as a brand. I was really curious about the company because of the concept of using movie stock film to create still photographs. I wanted to try Cinestill 800T in the first place and I bought a roll of that, but I don’t have any filter and I never had a good occasion to use a tungsten-based film. I decided to try out the 50D, balanced for daylight and relatively slow.

I used my Zenza Bronica ETRSi and Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 lens, an excellent camera that I sold to switch over the 6×6. The Cinestill 50D was actually the last roll I shot with that camera. I metered every shot with a manual light meter, a Gossen Lunasix 3 that, I later discovered, was not calibrated (a couple of stops away) but the film did however a really good job holding the details in place.

As you can see shadows and highlights are both good and smooth, the grain is amazingly fine and almost invisible, details came out really nice. I developed the film at home and scanned with an Epson V600, that is not a high-quality scanner. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the results.

I am very happy about the stock and I wish Cinestill will do a medium speed film calibrated for daylight, it would be amazing. I will definitely shot the 50D again, and I will try the 800T as soon as possible to feel that one on my new 6×6 camera, a Bronica EC-TL.

I suggest trying the Cinestill 50D on a good sunny day in order to appreciate every colour in its palette, the results may surprise you. I shot in medium format, but I guess the fine grain is amazing also in 35mil. Absolutely to give a shot.

~ Giacomo Lanzi

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

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.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

More related reading

EMULSIVE’S most popular darkroom related articles of 2020

Here’s listicle #2 for this year, and it’s 100% focused on darkroom alchemy. From bringing back Kodachrome (development, that is!), to RA-4 color printing, to ... Read moreEMULSIVE’S most popular darkroom related articles of 2020

Photography: Slow Day – Shot on Lomography Berlin 400 at EI 800 (35mm format)

Photography: It’s all theatre – Shot on Kodak Portra 160 at EI 160 (35mm format)


5 thoughts on “5 Frames… With Cinestill 50D (EI 50 / 120 format / Zenza Bronica ETRSi) – by Giacomo Lanzi”

  1. Cinestill is an interesting film for sure and it does yield fine results when shot without the remjet layer and developed in C41. However, it seems the true potential of that film is only shown when developed in ECN-2. This gives a flat negative (I suppose, in a way a bit like if you develop BW in a compensating developer, or like a camera RAW file) that is meant to be colour graded after shooting. I’ve only taken baby steps in this, but I might come back when I have done more testing.

  2. Cinestill is my “go to” film for color, and like you I wish they would find an emulsion in the 200-400 ASA range from existing cinema stock. Great shots with your Bronica, and I wish you all the best with 6×6. I currently shoot 6×7 with a Mamiya RB, but I’m looking forward to a return to 6×6 with an Agfa Isoltette II I ordered off of Ebay, as my entry to medium format was in 6×6 with a Yashicamat 124G while in college.


Join the discussion