5 Frames of Cinestill 800t with a Minolta x-300 and the MD 50mm f/1.7

For me, the special thing in film photography is the almost endless possibilities of combinations of camera, lens, film and situation or purpose in which I can use them. There is always something new to try, to work out or even to repair, e.g. when the shutter of the Minolta HI-Matic suddenly jams… Trying out and testing the different films that are available was incredibly fun for me as a beginner.

I shot my first roll of Portra 400 exclusively with my 135mm telephoto and the photos blew me away. It was such a far cry from what a smartphone could offer me.

This hooked me. That was about 2 years ago and ironically only one other roll of Portra 400 has made it into my camera since. I think a main reason for this is that I later fell totally in love with the look of Fujifilm C200, which unfortunately is now no longer sold or manufactured. Instead, the Fujifilm Color 200 is now available, which, if some reports on the internet are to be believed, is nothing more than Kodak Gold?

After a while, of course, I stumbled across CineStill 800t. I found the film render photos in a greenish blue cine look that I really liked and reminded me a bit of The Matrix. At that time the film was still available and not too expensive. So I ordered 3 rolls.

What to do with that Film?

At first, of course, I wanted to go to the local petrol station at night for a long exposure. But then I didn’t want to serve this cliche. I shot the film at boxspeed instead of ISO 500 which is commonly recommended. There was no bright sun so I thought this wouldn’t be a problem.

It was a rather cloudy day, but it was still very bright. Since I knew the characteristics of the film quite well through research, I chose the train station and the university library as suitable locations for the film. The blue shimmering glass surface of the completely glazed library suits this type of Film very well.

The tool of the day was my trustworthy Minolta x-300 with the standard MD 50mm Lens.

I have to admit I edited the photos a bit afterwards and gave the sky a bit of magenta. I also increased contrast a little bit. Is editing film photos a red flag for you? Maybe you want to tell me in the comments…

The shots

So here are my 5 Frames of that day.

side view of the university library in freiburg
Side view of the university library in freiburg
shot from an steep angle up the roof of the university library
My favourite Shot of the roll. The colors, shadows and smooth looking surfaces of the windows are so nice. Kind of futuristic graphic.
A mountain biker with a red shirt and red helmet drives thru a street
I like how the blue and red colors on the shirt of the cyclist are reflecting on the street signs
A couple standing in front of each other on stairs in a train station. you only see their legs.
This was the first roll of Cinestill 800t I shot, but I knew that the lights would have this typical red halation.
A bicycle stands at the foot of a staircase. The colours blue and yellow are prominent in this photo.
I like the repetition of the colors blue and yellow in this shot.

Thanks for reading guys! If you want to see more of my pictures, please visit my instagram at finding_the_view

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11 thoughts on “5 Frames of Cinestill 800t with a Minolta x-300 and the MD 50mm f/1.7”

  1. The X-300/370 is getting some well-deserved publicity recently!

    Your favourite is excellent, but the others are good also. I’m drawn to the legs on the stairs, but haven’t quite figured out why it works so well yet…

    1. Thank you Bob!

      Right? I was also happy to see that x-370 Post!
      Minolta with their x-series, has built small, lightweight cameras in good quality. I love my x-300.
      Unfortunately, it has recently started having problems with the light meter.

      Yes i also love that image of the couple on the stairs.
      I think on the one hand you have the railing as a leading line and on the other hand the neon light act like a frame around the couple.
      Or maybe it’s just because the color of the bright blue pair of jeans pops out :).

  2. I love the X-570, especially with the grip. I had two X-370s, but my impression is they’re just not as reliable for the electronics. Ultimately I found I liked the Canon AL-1 a bit better because of my poor eyesight, but these Minoltas are certainly a joy to use. The colors in the final stairs shot really stand out, but I think the 2nd-to last shot of the people on the stairs shows off the film and a really fantastic use of the halation for creative effect.

    Sad about Cinestill – I like their film. I can’t support their nonsense though – Ford can’t trademark “V8”, Shell can’t trademark “10W-30”, DeWalt can’t trademark “10mm wrench”, Philips can’t trademark “2700k light bulb”, and Cinestill CANNOT trademark “800T”, no matter how much they want to. The trademark will be almost instantly invalidated if ever challenged, and should never have been granted. The fact they’ve used it to hurt a small time sellers that can’t fight back is sleazy and short-sighted given the negative PR.

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      thanks for your comment!
      Yeah like I mentioned in the comment above, i actually have electronic issues with my x-300. Same with the x-700. But thats alright i’ll try to fix them… or destroy them in the attempt :D.

      Sounds a bit like a shitty move since they are just repackaging Kodak Film which is named 500T when i’m not wrong?!
      I thought something similar when I saw the CineStill “Temperature Control System” for development, thats just a fancy expensive sous vide.
      Quite a controversial topic.

    2. Hi Robert !
      For my opinion we should treat the filmphotography in a pure way.
      So i think, the colours, the contrast , the sharpness and other parameters should not changed later.
      But i’m glad you used the Minolta !

      1. Hi Jens,
        on one Hand I can feel your statement on the other Hand (and that was particularly the case with these photos) I think you should use the tools needed to achieve the results you want to have or the creation you had in your head. But there is also a certain limit, at least for me! Exposure, contrast, darken or lighten certain areas is alright for me.

        And doesn’t the influence on contrast and sharpness even begin with the choice of developer?

        Allzeit gut Licht!

      2. Where is the line for you? What is “pure?” Would you accuse a photographer who soups their film of altering the colors and making an impure picture? Or does someone who manipulates the temperature of their developer to change the contrast of an exposure create an impure negative? What about scanning? Two different scanners are going to give two different digitized images based on the engineering of the device, the software, the quality of the scanner, etc. Which of those two would you point to as the most pure?

  3. Enjoyed looking at the images and I particularly liked the 2nd library image, a very strong composition that worked very well. Yet another article that has got me wanting a particular camera. I had two XG-2 bodies when I was young and a dearly loved them. I like the advance lever and there was a quality to the speed dial and shutter button that just felt right to me. I am trying to look for new things that I didn’t own back in the day… but I would love another one of those Minoltas.

    1. Thank you Paul!
      I can absolutely relate to what you say about the film advance lever and the shutter button. These cameras are great and although they are rather cheap and not that hyped in the film community, they have a special value for me.
      I also look for new Stuff like the Fuji x-t3 i recently bought. Great camera with a great Fujinon 35mm f/2 Lens. I quite like it but in the end of the day I *enjoy* shooting Film more. Maybe I just have to get used to it :).

  4. Robert, I quite enjoyed your photos, and yes, the sky with that library and those blues and pinks is lovely! I also like the one with the couple where you only see their legs, something about an anonymous, yet intimate moment, good catch! You’re right there are so many fun combinations with cameras, film, lenses, so many possibilities and so much fun to be had. Thank you!

    1. Thank’s a lot Kary!
      yes i was lucky with the couple on the stairs. They stood a while there so that i could take some photos :).

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