Movie Film

This is a cute shot from a baptism I documented recently. I’m posting it because a) it’s cute, but b) because it also shows how I deal with low-light situations.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “hey so what, it’s low light…just crank up the ISO on your digital camera and keep shooting.” Yes but I shoot 100% film!

Now most all-film shooters would be out of luck in a situation like this. A dim church, with stormy skies outside and indoor “tungsten” lighting inside. An all-film shooter would have to shoot this on grainy black and white film. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s nice to have options. Some photographers shoot a mix of digital and film, but I’ve found the two types of images never seem to really blend with each other.

But I have a secret weapon: 35mm movie film! It’s high speed (this was shot at ISO 1000), and tungsten-biased so that indoor lighting looks more natural. So why doesn’t everyone shoot it? Because movie film has a black layer attached to it that’s a pain to remove, and most labs and photographers don’t know what to do.

But I do. 🙂 And the result is that same gorgeous color film look, even in situations that would normally require alternative plans. I can only do this because I’ve tested and re-tested, so I know how to create my “look” no matter what the conditions. I use this film at weddings quite a lot, and here are some more examples:

See my wedding photography here.


6 thoughts on “Movie Film

  1. Hi Matt,

    I love the look of this film. I would love to try it (in my Nikon F6), where can I find some? 🙂

    Thank you,

  2. The best place -well, the ONLY place – to get it is from CineStill. They remove the remjet before exposure, so you process the film like any C41 film. I have in the past used ‘raw’ movie film stock, and then removed the remjet process myself, but it has proven to be too difficult for extended use.

  3. I will check it, out thanks a million. Do you use Richard Photo lab to process your cinestill film? I have used them in the past but did not notice the cinestill option on their order form.


  4. I have never had RPL process CineStill film for me. I’ve used them in the past for weddings etc, but I find them too expensive for many orders. I’m quite sure they’d do a good job though. Interesting that they’re also selling it! (It’s still the same people making it, RPL is just acting as a reseller). Good luck!

  5. How interesting, I did not realize RPL was selling this too. If they are they must know how to process it but I will confirm that before I send it.

    I hope Cinestill will make some more; the website said “16 available” after I purchased a pack.


  6. Oh I’m sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying RPL was selling the film. There is no special processing required for CineStill, because the remjet layer has already been removed. That’s why it’s so awesome…you just send it to any lab that can process color film. RPL will know what to do with it, and it won’t cost you any more than regular color.

    One thing to be aware of: the film is very sensitive to light. If you have a camera that has a film window in the back (to show what you have in the camera), you will need to cover that with opaque tape. Without the remjet, light can get through that window and leave marks (regular film obviously doesn’t have this problem). I use Nikon F100 bodies and have to do this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.