The tungsten aesthetic really is my thing. I love seeing it used for night outdoors shots; I’m convinced that even the most mundane things, shot at night, on tungsten film, automatically become statement shots… Tungsten just has a lot of character. I took a couple of rolls of CineStill Tungsten 800 when I went on vacation in Japan. The initial plan was to use them at night and enjoy the strong blue/green tones and contrasting red halos.
However I found myself shooting a roll during the day and indoors, and ended up really loving the delicate blue cast over my photos, and this detached feeling the film gave them. This grey rainy day would have looked washed out on a balanced daylight film.
These pics were shot with my trusted Minolta X-700 and the camera’s 50mm f/1.7 lens.
I prefer the CineStill colors to other tungsten films I’ve tested. Lomo X-Tungsten film is not very versatile at an ISO 64, and to be honest I find it doesn’t compensate the low speed with less or smoother grain. Lomo X gives orangey-turquoise hues, so if you’re looking to shoot a beach in daylight, you might get some photos that remind you of your favorite Instagram filters, however to me it doesn’t have the colors I expect from a T-balanced film.
Comparing the CineStill to Kono! Tungsten, well I’d say the two films are comparable in terms of quality – however keep in mind that the Kono is an ISO 400 that I had to shoot as an ISO 200 in order to properly expose, while CineStill is significantly faster at ISO 800 – this would be important if you want some nighttime photos. The Kono has more of an orange hue to it, which might be nice if you plan to shoot people! If you have another easily available T-balanced film to recommend, please definitely let me know!
I hope you will enjoy these photos as much as I do. I’d definitely keep shooting CineStill tungsten!
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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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