CineStill 800T Overview: CineStill 800T is a tungsten balanced film created to be shot in low-light with indoor, tungsten (yellow) lighting. This color balance makes it a great film for experimenting, and it is a great choice for night photography with neon lights. If you are shooting in natural light, a 85B filter (find on Amazon) can help balance out the blue tones. Also, try to avoid underexposure as it will bring out a lot of grain. You can pick up some CineStill 800T on Amazon here: CineStill 800T in 35mm, CineStill 800T in 120
CineStill 800T by Tanya Alexis
I’ve been shooting CineStill for over 4 years now. It will always hold a special place in my heart, because it is incredibly versatile. So much so, it requires time to play and experiment to figure out how it works best for you. I love that you can use the halation (a glow that forms around bright highlights) to your advantage.
Also, the skin tones are amazing! I feel so connected to it that when I began my Healing Portrait Sessions, I knew I wanted to exclusively shoot CineStill for my sessions. (Read more about my Embrace The Light Sessions at the end of the post.)
One of the things I LOVE about this film is you can create a wider range of styles depending on how you want to use it. I use it for portraits, for street photography, and for nature photography.
Working with Tungsten Based Film
800T is a Tungsten Based film, meaning the film is naturally very blue to compensate for the yellow tones typical with indoor lighting. To get the best skin tones and colors, you can do one of two things:
- Shoot it at 800 with an 85 B filter (find on Amazon). The filter will also darken the image, so you will need to meter at 400 on a handheld meter to compensate. Sometimes when you use the filter, the images turn out a little too warm, but it is very easy to correct with the color balance in Photoshop. Or
- Shoot it at 400 without a filter. If you shoot it at 400, you have to be mindful of what you are shooting, because the image can turn out quite cool, especially if you are shooting a scene with cool light.
Where CineStill 800T Shines and Struggles
There are so many situations where it excels…at night, dawn or dusk, shooting portraits, and shooting neon (but you want to be mindful of the halation). It pushes really well, too! However, it does not like being underexposed at all and gets very grainy when it does. Also, because it is so versatile, it requires playing and experimenting to see how to best use it for the look you want. It definitely took a few rolls for me to be happy. It needs to be shot within 6 months to get the best colors and it prefers to be cold stored. Occasionally, there will be imperfections (little purple dots) on a few frames.
A little bit about my Embrace the Light Sessions….
A year ago, I decided to combine my photography with Energy Healing, and Embrace the Light Sessions were created. Shot exclusively with CineStill, here is a little more about the sessions…
The session begins at a location where you are your truest self: in your home, at the ocean, in the woods… anywhere you feel joy! We will find a quiet spot, and you will spend 15 to 20 minutes receiving Reiki (a healing energy) channeled through me. After your healing session, we will spend the next 40 minutes photographing you at your most peaceful, at your most joyful – meditating, dancing, twirling, moving your body in any freeing manner that makes sense to you in that moment. During this time, 36 frames of film will be shot.
Following the session, you and I will sit together while I rewind the film, holding an intention of authenticity and love. When the time is right, I will open the bottom of the camera to let the light in, to let your light in. One to two weeks following our session, you will receive the digital files of 3 to 7 beautiful color photographs*. They will be yours to keep as a reminder of who you are, your vibrant spirit.
*These photographs are not Photoshopped. They are purely a mixture of film, you, me, and light.
Leave your questions about CineStill 800T in the comments, and if you want to pick up some CineStill film for yourself, check it out on Amazon here!