Four years ago, I began wondering if a new film stock at the time, Bergger Pancro 400 had done the impossible; given me a BW film that looked like my beloved Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222 in 120 medium format. It got close but now, in 2021, how about we try the real thing? Available for the first time in medium format, say hello to CineStill BwXX 120 aka medium format Kodak Eastman Double-X film.

Understandably, CineStill is quite proud to release this classic cinema motion picture stock in true 120 format for the first time. Double-X has been in use continuously with little change since 1959. This release marks the only availability of this film in this format as of May 26th 2021.


In short, if you want medium format the frankly stunning Kodak Eastman Double-X film, right now, CineStill is your best, and only bet. If you’re not aware of Kodak Eastman Double-X, please allow me to make an introduction by way of:

The Lighthouse (2019), Raging Bull (1980), Schindler’s List (1993), Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Malcolm & Marie (2021), Memento (2000), Kafka (1991), Casino Royale (2006), I’m Not There (2007), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Manhattan (1979), Cinderella Man (2005), Aferim! (2015), Frantz (2016) and American Horror Story (2011-2017).

By way of a visual example:


About CineStill BwXX 120

As Kodak Eastman Double-X, CineStill’s BwXX 120 is a variable speed, panchromatic black and white negative film for both outdoor and indoor/studio use. Close in feel to the legendary Kodak Plus-X, it is an excellent choice if you’re on the lookout for a classic film stock with excellent performance and versatility in a variety of conditions.

It has a variable base sensitivity of ISO 250 under daylight (5500K) and ISO 200 under tungsten (3200K) lighting conditions and can be rated PAST to EI 1600 with the appropriate processing compensation. It is ideal for low light situations and delivers exceptional blacks and and wide range of tonal steps, while also providing very high sharpness, crisp micro-contrast, and a fine grain structure.

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Check out these real-world examples:


As you will expect, contrast varies based on developer and method, but as a rule of thumb pushing (higher EI) increases contrast, and pulling (lower EI) lowers contrast. CineStill recommends you develop with D96 developer for better control. For lower contrast, they recommend you shoot and process at EI 200

Please do reference CineStill’s film development time chart for a variety of processes used for at-home or lab development.

CineStill’s BwXX 120 is immediately available for sale on cinestillfilm.com and shortly at film retailers around the world. What are you waiting for? This is such wonderful news for 2021!

~ EM

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I'm EM, founder, overlord, and editor-in-chief at EMULSIVE.org. I may be a benevolent gestalt entity but contrary to increasingly popular belief, I am not an AI.

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9 Comments

 

    1. To be very clear about this, there is no paid content or content which appears as a result of reciprocated products/services on EMULSIVE.org. This article is part reference to a statement I made in 2017 (linked above), part press release issued by CineStill, and part just being bloody excited about a new product release.

  1. It would be a dream come true except for the ridiculous price tag. I hope Cinestill doesn’t have a monopoly on this film stock and some less overpriced versions start to appear on the market.

  2. Good news indeed! Will try to find it in Europe this Summer and shoot it 6×6 to 6×9 format. Probably first with my Yashica Mat 124-G and Bronica GS-1. But also my RealitySoSubtle 6×17 pinhole camera 🙂
    Will even try developing it with homebrew Caffenol.
    Bert from Holland

  3. Pleased to hear about this – I really like how Double-X negatives look when they’re developed; the emulsion has a really strong, clear, quality to the eye.
    I wish it wasn’t £12 a roll for this 120, as part of the draw of Double-X, for me at least, is the economy of spooling it from bulk cine stock – but that’s the premium one pays for such an unusual product. Just glad it exists though, I’ll be sure to try some out soon!

  4. Wow, like Plus X, eh? I might need to try this. When plus X was discontinued it literally depressed me.

  5. This is great news. Just ordered a few rolls to test out. I can’t wait for their arrival!