Cinestill 50D Review

May 22, 2023
David Sunnyside

cinestill 50d review

Cinestill popped up a few years ago as a company repackaging Kodak motion picture film for still photography. Their main product is a 35mm daylight-balanced colour negative film called 50D which they claim to be “the world’s finest grain film”. It offers unrivalled highlight latitude, excellent sharpness and accurate colour reproduction.

This film is a variant of the Kodak Vision 3 50D cinema film stock, but they remove the rem-jet layer so it can be used with any still camera and processed normally in C-41 chemistry (not ECN-2 like the original cinema film). This allows it to be shot by anyone, anywhere and processed at most labs or even at home using standard C-41 chemicals.

The base sensitivity of this film is ISO 400 but can be pushed all the way up to 800. It is also daylight balanced for 5500K and when used in situations that are naturally bright and clear, it will produce a true to life colour rendition with beautiful soft contrast and saturation. However, when put in tungsten or other warm lighting conditions, it will start to lean blueish and show an inaccurate rendition of the lighting.

The two rolls I tested were shot at box speed on a Leica M6, self-developed in Cinestill CS41 and scanned with a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i. The small size photos shared have basic edits only, straight out of Adobe LR at small size and full size images can be found on my Flickr account.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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