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Pushing Cinestill 800T to 1600


That film definitely has a learning curve. My first experience shooting a 35mm roll of Cinestill was full of tears. I metered the light temperature in my living room that day and it wasn’t that off. Yet all the photos came out yellow-greenish and underexposed. It was devastating. But I shot them at 800! What did I do wrong? I decided that I won’t ever buy that film.


But them I’ve gotten my backer kit with two rolls of medium format Cinestill 800T, so why not give it a try again and push it.

At this point of time, I already knew that it’s better to shoot 800T at 500 ISO if you are not going to push it. But if you are, even then a bit of overexposure won’t harm, it will be only for good. Cinestill withstands overexposure pretty well.

According to Cinestill FAQ, shooting at 1600 means pushing it 2 (two) stops! Which would only one stop if it was an 800 ISO film, right? Prepared to another roll of disappointment I shot the roll as it would be 1600.

Pushing it

To develop C-41 at home I usually use Digibase Colortec pre-diluted kit that allows developing of color film at 25ºC which is a room temperature for me. So a bit longer, but no hustle with the temperature control. That could work for pushing too, but I didn’t want to guess the time I need to add for each extra stop. With 38ºC temperature, it’s pretty straightforward – just add 30 sec in the developer for every stop. That’s what I did. I prolong the time in the developer for 1 minute to push the film 2 stops. Bleaching and fixing times stay the same, only developer time gets prolonged.


When time was up I opened my tank and was amazed! It worked out! From the first try pushing a color film. Then I waited until it dries and scanned it. Scanning Cinestill is a separate topic and as you can see I tried different looks for one photo. I love it! I love colors, I love that you can push it up to 3200, I love that you can tune your own look on a scanner!

I will definitely buy it again.


Dmitriy Rozhkov
I'm a Software Engineer with a passion for photography. Engineering mindset and curiosity push me to experiments.

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