CineStill Unlocks Movie Magic with Medium-Format Still Film

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo credit: Carlo Velasquez

Photographers are dusting off lenses and charging batteries, eagerly awaiting their first batch of CineStill 120—the medium-format version of CineStill’s motion picture cinema film that’s already available for standard 35mm still photography and processing.

The self-styled Brothers Wright are the photographic brains behind CineStill, which they have designed specifically for regular still-photo cameras and made from Kodak’s motion picture camera film. “No other film in the world has the same latitude and fidelity as motion picture film, but in order to use it for still photography, it must first be converted to be compatible both with the cameras and processing,” they explain. “We have done just that.”

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

It may sound a bit like a step back. Actual film film, not high-tech digital? Well, this stuff is high-tech alright. Over the last three years, the CineStill team has been unlocking the technology of motion picture film. But what made them decide to make a new type of film in this very digital age?

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

The Wrights point to its unique look for still photography: “Nothing currently available in analog or digital photography compares to the look you get when shooting CineStill film. It’s a new film for a new growing generation of film photographers.”

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Michael Judd

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Ryan Muirhead

The brothers’ stress that they are not simply repackaging the movie film. They wanted to ensure that it could be processed by any photo developing lab, yet would still offer the benefits of cinema film. CineStill achieves that, and more. (We confess that we don’t quite understand all the tech specs. Look here to get the full explanation.)

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Two different versions help photographers harness the cinematic quality and look that film makers seek for their movie projects:

The high-speed CineStill 800Tungsten is designed for use when you have limited available light. And yes, we’ve all found ourselves in that situation. “It produces beautiful colors in any lighting but is unmatched by any film when shooting under incandescent tungsten light,” says the CineStill tech team.

CineStill 50Daylight is the sharpest color film currently made, the company claims. “It produces beautiful natural colors in daylight and is especially designed for photography in bright daylight or strobes,” explain the designers.

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Adam Golberg



CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Atiba Jefferson

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Danny McShane

Of course you don’t need to be a professional to appreciate good-quality film. In fact, photographers of all stripes helped crowdfund the first production run of medium- and large-format CineStill film. You can preorder it here or wait for it to hit retail stores early in 2017.

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Justin Waldinger

The CineStill team tell us they are hard at work, um, developing new projects, too. “We have also been working on several other new products, such as our Cs41 at home color processing kit, that will make film photography more accessible and affordable for anyone who is interested getting involved in analog photography.”

CineStill's motion picture cinema film

Photo Credit: Anthony Grime

In the meantime, photographers are enthusiastically sharing their CineStill photos on Instagram, racking up nearly 20,000 images with the #cinestill hashtag, and thousands more shots have already been posted by followers of the @CineStillFilm account.

In another weird twist, what’s old is new again in the crazy world of technology.

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