5 Frames… With CineStill 50D (EI 50 / 35mm format / Nikon F2) – by James Harris

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Whenever I go out shooting with film, which seems to be a lot these days, I take my trusty Nikon F2 and the 50mm F/1.4 AI-S. Can I just say that this camera is a bit of a beast? It’s heavy. But this isn’t a review of the camera.

Normally when shooting film I shoot black and white. 99% of the time it is ILFORD’s FP4 PLUS and develop it at home but I wanted to use something different. I wanted to use some colour film. But not just any colour film.

I had heard of Cinestill and had seen a review comparing the 50D with other colour film and knew this was for me. It is slightly on the soft side and the colours appear to be desaturated to my eyes. According to the review, it is perfect for street photography and portraits. It just so happens that I love both types of photography. But where to use it?

London would have been the usual answer but there was an event coming up that, if the weather was right, would show off the film beautifully. Thunder Road Cars in Hertfordshire were having a classic American car meet. As you can see from the images, the sun was out and made the paintwork shine. I could not have asked for better conditions to shoot with an ISO 50 film.

I wandered around for the best part of two hours trying to find compositions that did not involve modern vehicles or surroundings. Very difficult, I can tell you! But I persevered and got some results.

So what can I say about the film? This was only the second time I had shot with Cinestill 50D film and I was very impressed with the results. As indeed I was the first time I used it. It isn’t cheap that’s for sure at £10.50 per roll from the Photographers Gallery in London. But you do get a sharp film with little grain that is soft and beautiful to look at.

All I need to do now is use it for some portraits.

~ James

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