How To Shoot CineStill 800T by Tanya Alexis

CineStill 800T Film Review by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, Shoot It With Film may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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 Film Review by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

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.

How To Shoot CineStill 800T Film by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

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.

CineStill 800T Film Review by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

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.
CineStill 800T Film Review by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

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.

How To Shoot CineStill 800T Film by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

Shooting CineStill at My Portrait 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.

How To Shoot CineStill 800T Film by Tanya Alexis on Shoot It With Film

Thank you so much, Tanya! You can follow Tanya’s work and learn more about her Embrace the Light session on her website, personal Instagram, and Embrace the Light Instagram.

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!

Click here to read all of our film reviews!

Shoot It With Film Magazine Issue 01 Promo Image
Blog Comments

This is beautiful. And I love the purpose and meaning behind your Embrace the Light Sessions. <3

Unfortunately I have this purple dots on every single frame of the roll I tested and not only a few of them. The film was close to brand new and was stored in a fridge. No radiation due to manual check at the airport and developed barely one week after I shot the roll. Very disappointed.

Oh no! That must be so frustrating. We asked Tanya about this, and she mentioned reaching out to CineStill and that they are really good about handling stuff like that. Hope they find a solution for you!

Leave a Comment