CineStill 800T Film
CineStill film is motion picture film adapted for still photography. The Brothers Wright, founders of CineStill Film, started experimenting shooting Kodak Vision 3 500T motion picture film in still photography cameras back in 2012 and got great results. Their next challenge was to make the film, designed for ECN-2 motion picture processing, safe for standard C-41 processing. This led to many hours of experimentation  and thousands of feet of wasted film. The hours, and wasted film, were worth it! They have been able to bring this unique, cinematic quality, high ISO, fine grain, tungsten balanced film to the whole film community. Their next project is to bring 800T film stock to medium format with their kickstarter.

CineStill Interview
We thought you might like to know a little bit more about the company and it’s future plans, so we asked Matthew from CineStill Film a few questions:

So, for any of our customers who might not be familiar with CineStill Film can you just explain a little about who you guys are and what it is you’re doing?

Sure.  In Hollywood, professionals know that all the best film technologies have hit the motion picture industry first and then slowly trickle down to still photographers, if they trickle down at all. CineStill is all about bringing motion picture technologies to still photographers.  The 35mm film was a logical start Рand of particular interest to us as we are analogue photographers. In short, we created a way to take motion picture film, preserve the sensitive emulsion, and then safely convert it for safe processing in still photography labs.  I guess you could say we are hacking motion picture film stocks so that still photographers get to shoot them. Actually I think that sounds kind of cool. There are details about why our process is needed on motion stock on our  if anyone is interested in the chemistry of it all.

Bringing motion picture cinema film to the still photography market is a really interesting move – what specific advantages or unique characteristics do you believe this offers?

Because color motion picture film was not compatible with still photography developing chemistry, a whole division and line of film stocks, some the best in the world, were literally just off limits to most still photographers. We figured out how to make the most advanced color negative film in the world (Kodak’s vision 3) available to, well‚Ķ the entire world!!!¬† It seems obvious now, but this had never been done before.¬† Our flagship product, 800T – previously known as Kodak vision 3 500T – is fantastic! It’s completely unique. Aside from being the only tungsten balanced film available to still photographers it allows for low light, night time shooting with extreme latitude in being able to be pushed up to 3200 ISO.¬† It’s also pretty amazing in mixed lighting and daylight. There really is nothing else like it and it is not a shock why major directors in Hollywood are pushing hard to keep this amazing film in production.

Can you give us any ideas about further new films you may be bringing to market? And are there plans to expand on the formats you offer?

Absolutely we are planning on making other motion film stocks available.  As far as which ones depends on many issues.  Availability and price are of particular importance in determining which ones and when we are able to do this.  But we have some things in the pipeline, and we hope everyone will be as excited about them as we are. So stay tuned.  

As far as different formats, this is a tricky question.¬† We now know it is¬†possible¬†to have the film in different formats, but the task is much, much bigger than Cinestill currently is.¬† With 35mm, we are simply hacking an existing product.¬† Our process is streamlined and self contained.¬† With other formats, there isn’t a current existing product for us to go hack.¬† So it becomes more complicated.¬† For example, making medium format film is not feasible on a small scale, honestly, and is certainly not viable as a business model, we need to do it on a larger scale.¬† This means we have to buy LOTS of materials, retool machinery, and collaborate with companies around the world to source raw materials, paper backing, rolling, packaging, etc… Literally, the product has to be designed and built from the ground up. We were kind of wowed ourselves at how much goes into bringing one little roll of 120 film to the shelf of a camera store near you. When faced with the staggering costs of bringing a product like this to market, we knew we couldn’t justify it or do it with out the help of the film community.¬† Currently we have a . If it is something that photographers want to see available then we ask for their support. We realize we are asking for a lot, but unfortunately this is what it would take for a small company like ours to make it happen.¬†¬†

With so many companies and products disappearing its great news to see one starting up, what’s the future for CineStill?

We believe the future of Cinestill is a bright one.  Honestly, whether the  funds or not, (which we hope it does!!!) we will continue to look for ways to bring motion picture technologies to the still photographer.  There are some other great 35mm film stocks out there, as well as other avenues of production and post production that the still photographer would find appealing.  Film is our passion, and for us it made sense to start there.  As long as people find value in what we are doing, and as long as we can justify doing it, CineStill will be here trying to create more options and opportunity for the analogue photographer.

You can also catch all the CineStill news on their blog.