28. november 2016

Kodak Vision3 - Cinestill

There's a new film out!

Ok, new and new..... ;)
In 35mm still-photo land, it's new.

The film-brand in question is Cinestill and they make a couple of films, namely Cinestill 50 and Cinestill 800.

So what's up, do they make their own film?

The answer is definitely no on that one. The films they "make" are finished rolls of Kodak Vision3 cinema-stock film, which has been around sine 2007, which is very new.

So why haven't we heard of this before then? Well the Vision3 film-stock is for cinema-film and that film is processed in ECN-2, not C-41.
Vision3 also has a rather nasty remjet-coating on the back, which can be a bit messy to get off.

Cinestill is "cleaned" Vision3 film, put into canisters, ready for processing at your average c-41 lab.

Wait, didn't you just say something about ECN-2? Yes I did.
The film is supposed to be developed in ECN-2 chemicals, but it can be processed in c-41 as well, at a lab, as long as it is cleaned from the remjet before you shoot it, or at home, where you can remove it in various other ways.

What is remjet?

Remjet is an anti-halation/anti-static coating, to prevent highlights from going trough the film and reflect back into the film from the pressure plate.
This is evident when you shoot Cinestill, which has it's remjet removed, that highlights bloom quite a lot.

Some like the effect, some don't.
Cinestill 50
Bessa R3M, Jupiter 3
Tetenal C-41 
The reflection in the white material gave quite a lot of halo, with a red base.

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41 
No more reflections/halo
I also feel general contrast is better

The same holds true with Cinestill 800 and Kodak Vision3 500T (also the same film)

So i prefer the Vision3 films, but I really commend Cinestill for making the film available for the masses trough their production (they are also trying to make medium-format editions of this film these days).

How do one remove the remjet then and when should it be removed?

Well, the advice varies a bit, but the general things I've picked up are:


Baking soda

Use a warm bath of water holding around 40-45 degrees Celsius and mix in around 100 grams of baking soda (natron) per liter water. Pour in, agitate, let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute, shake -hard-. Repeat 2-3 times. Then wash until the water is clear. The film will be clean'ish after this process, but still maintain a fine haze of remjet that can be removed with your fingers under running water later.

Can be done prior to development, or after blix/bleach and fix.

You get most of the stuff off with little or no mess.

There is still remjet left on the film after the process.
I got remjet-pollution into the emulsion of the film from this process, so I had to re-clean the film afterwards (water and 5% ammonia).
If you use plastic reels, they will be quite dirty afterwards.
It's an extra step in the process.

I use a different method all together after trying the baking-soda:

Remove manually after blix/bleach and fix

I read a conversation on some forum, that you can actually just leave the remjet on and then remove it after blix (bleach and fix), before STAB.
This is done, by taking the wet film off the reel, hang it up and then wet a soft tissue with warm water and use it as a squeegee.
That is; Wet the tissue, then wrap it around the film (front and back) then clamp it tight with your fingers and drag downward in one, continuous motion. (don't stop until the film comes clear from the paper at the bottom end). 
Then find another tissue and repeat this process until there is no more black remjet on the paper/tissue.

After the film is clean, roll it back on the reel, wash 2-3 times and stabilize your film.

One operation gets rid off all remjet in one go.
Maybe less risk of getting stray remjet into your developer, but you should filter it anyway (coffee-filter will suffice).
Less risk of getting remjet into your emulsion-side, the clamped paper, prevents remjet from moving onto your emulsion-side.

A bit messy.
You need to take the film off and on the reel again, but as long as everything is wet, it's not that hard to do.
You may risk scratches on the film if your tissue isn't soft enough, so choose your material carefully.


There are people developing this film with success in RA4, which is color paper-chemicals, it has something to do that the RA4 is closer to ECN-2 than C-41. All processes will get your photo's though.

Personally, I am going to try these films in RA4 in time, so see how different they are in that developer.
ECN-2 is a process for cinema-film and both the chemicals and the labs that perform this process, is high-volume (naturally), so they normally don't take in consumer rolls, or sell small quanta.

I haven't seen kits for ECN-2, but the recipe to make it yourself, is online, getting the chemicals though, is another matter.....

Kodak Vision3 can be had from left-over cinema-stock around the web, you need to bulk-load it yourself, but it is definitely worth it.

Both the 50D, 500T and the 205D are superb films.
If you don't want or can't shoot the Vision3 stock, try out Cinestill, they cost some, but still nice films =)

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41 
Kodak Vision3 500T
Voigtländer Bessa R3M with Voigtländer Nokton Classic 40mm S.C
1/30s @ f2.0
Tetenal C-41 for 3:45 (slight push) 

Kodak Vision3 500T
Voigtländer Bessa R3M with Voigtländer Nokton Classic 40mm S.C
1/30s @ f2.0
Tetenal C-41  for 3:45 (slight push)

The Vision3 500T really is a nice film to use, to capture city scenes at  night, and badly lit indoor scenes. The 50D seems to like that sunlight, really gives sweet results. Both films have a lot of latitude regarding exposure too.  =)