Canon QL17 GIII
5 frames with...

5 Frames with Cinestill 800T and a Canonet QL17 Giii (No Gas Stations) – by Marcus Rivera

August 11, 2021

Cinestill 800T is an amazing film stock that has its own unique style and character. I’m a huge fan of its cool blue/green tones, and of course those controversial red halations which I happen to love. 

I remember my first time shooting the film, being so excited to get the perfect shots after doing much research on what camera  settings to use, and carefully selecting locations near me to shoot at night only to be disappointed by the results. My first roll was a major flop to say the least – blurry, underexposed, just disastrous.

This was mostly due to the camera I used at the time which was my Olympus OM-10 that I got off eBay for $30, it was my first time shooting at night and unbeknownst to me the camera had some light leaks. 

For my second roll I was determined to get it right, so I sat on it for a while and continued to study how others were using this film.

I chose to use my beloved Canonet Ql17 GIII, which is my third film camera but the first I purchased in mint condition. I chose this camera for the trip because it is compact and easy to get fast shots off, I also love the quick loading feature and the quiet leaf shutter. It’s the closest thing to a point and shoot while still retaining full manual control.

The 5 frames I am sharing here are from a recent trip I took to Boston with the exception of one which was the last shot I had on the roll by the time I got back home. I am very happy with the results and am looking forward to making an even better third roll of Cinestill!

This first shot is from the parking garage in the theater district of Boston, I really wanted the focus to be on lighting and color and really like the font on the sign that says “elevator” and of course the red halations that can be found throughout the scene.

This one is one of my favorites. It was a quick snap shot I took while waiting outside a ramen join in Chinatown. I love how the two men are framed in this shot and I think it’s really cool to see the masks, looking at this shot years from now I will be able to know exactly when it was taken. I also love the green tones with the hits of red and the fact that this shot is slightly out of focus and has some grain gives the shot a grungy look that I enjoy.

Another favorite! This one was inside of the ramen restaurant, to the left is my cousin and behind him is a group of friends that were sitting at another table, they were having a good time, laughing and enjoying each others company while watching something on one of their phones. In the distance you can also see the chef preparing some bomb food. For this photo, I shot it out of focus to give it sort of a dreamy look to it, this one definitely tells a story with all the little details.

This picture was a fan-favorite on my Instagram (which is @roids___ by the way 🙂 )

I love how in this one it’s not totally dark out yet. I was also taken by the reflection of the theatre from the building across the street. I also like the people in the scene and the bus, I think all those things just make for a great story in this picture.

This shot was the last one I had left on this roll and chose not to shoot it while in Boston, instead I saved it for a shoot I had planned with this S14 Silvia that belongs to my cousin. Posing the car was a lot of fun. I had it parked very specifically between the two arrows which I think give them shot a nice sense of symmetry. I also love the skid marks and debris on the ground, the tungsten lights,  and the contrast between the green tones and the red tail lights. 

When planning this shot I really wanted it to be reminiscent of scenes from one of my favorite Anime’s, ‘Initial D’, and I think I achieved that.

Cinestill 800T is a super fun film to work with once you begin to conquer its learning curve, and I would encourage anyone who has yet to use it to go out and give it a try under one condition, please no more gas stations, Instagram has enough of those. (That was a joke!)

Thanks for reading,

Marcus,  aka “Roids

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  • Reply
    kenneth pape
    August 11, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Why not share your camera settings.

    • Reply
      Marcus Rivera
      August 11, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      The ones taken in Boston were all shot wide open at f1.7 and the lowest shutter speed I could keep steady with (I want to say 1/60th). Next time I’ll be sure to note exactly what settings I used.

  • Reply
    Peter S
    August 13, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Lovely frames, and I love your enthusiasm!

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