Leica M6 camera with a 35mm Summilux lens attached.
5 frames with...

5 Frames With CineStill 800T and Orange Filters on a Leica M6 – By Christian Schroeder

June 22, 2019

“Shiiiiiiiit, what has happened? I am such an idiot!” That’s exactly what I thought when I was looking through my recent scans from the lab. But what had actually happened? It began with a roll of CineStill 800t. That very roll sat idle inside my SLR with just four frames exposed, all shot during the night. Meanwhile, spring had arrived, and I felt my interest in night photography rapidly waning. Thus, I decided to swap cameras mid-roll and transplanted the film into my M6. “With my orange filters I could easily correct Cinestill’s blue cast and shoot it during daytime”, I thought.

As it turns out, an orange filter intended for black-and-white film is intended for: black-and-white film. The filters heavily over-compensated the film’s character, leaving me with images soaked in an orange-yellowish mess. However, after I applied – in some cases fairly pronounced – color corrections in Lightroom, the results appeal to me. They remind me of the different effect films sold by Lomography.

I shot all images on a cloudy afternoon at the Engesohde cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Hannover. I especially like the statues from the late 19th / early 20th century. These angels radiate dignity and sadness. It’s a special kind of pathos that got lost in the contemporary cemetery architecture. (Dave English reported on similar statutes at the Melaten cemetery in Cologne.)

It’s years ago that I discovered cemeteries as valuable subject for my photography. As with the one in Engesohde, I focus on the rather historic parts – or even chose cemeteries already put out of service. Until now I almost exclusively portrayed them with black-and-white film. I considered this choice as an appropriate way to deal with the gravity of these places. But I must say, I also like this accidentally “bichrome” representation.

tombstone at the Engesohde cemetery in Hannover, shot on CineStill 800t film with an orange filter

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no clue what the symbols mean (earlocks, stars, spiral caps). But each time I see these heads, I associate them with the ancient Egypt.

brick wall surrounding the Engesohde cemetery in Hannover, shot on CineStill 800t film with an orange filter

An old brick wall surrounds the cemetery. While its lower part appears coarse and edged, the wall’s upper half is rather smooth and rounded.

tombstone at the Engesohde cemetery in Hannover, shot on CineStill 800t film with an orange filter

Many photographers love the out-of-focus rendering of light shining through leaf canopies. I am no exception.

mausoleum at the Engesohde cemetery in Hannover, shot on CineStill 800t film with an orange filter

Mausoleum. The tarpaulin on top caught my eye. – In combination with the orange filters, CineStill 800t almost appears like a false-color film.

angel statue at the Engesohde cemetery in Hannover

One of several statues underneath the arcades. Shielded from direct sunlight, they are more diffusely lit. I pretty much like the subtle transition into the shadows.

By the way, this is not the first “5 frames with” post that deals with images from Germany shot on CineStill 800t with a Leica M6 – you can find another here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Reply
    Roger B.
    June 22, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    If you like the look of your cemetery photos but would prefer a bit less of the exaggerated color shift, I recommend you shoot a roll of Film Photography Projet’s RetroChrome. It is ISO 320 reversal film that captures well the look of old, non-Kodachrome transparency films. Well-suited to statuary, old barn wood, and the like IMHO.

    • Reply
      Christian Schroeder
      June 22, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you for your advice, Roger!

  • Reply
    Jens K
    June 22, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Commiserations on your misfortune regarding your choice of the “wrong” filter. But the shots turned out quite well, just the same. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    You are welcome, of course, to borrow my 85B, which I picked up recently for just what you had in mind …

    • Reply
      Christian Schroeder
      June 22, 2019 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you for your kind offer, Jens! I recently stumbled across an 85B filter in the rather exotic series 7 size, which I can use in combination with my Leica 35mm and 50mm lenses. (Fortunately, it came very cheap, less than 10 Euros.) What’s the size of your filter? And have you already seen these new “snap on” filters made by Adox? https://www.adox.de/Photo/filters/

  • Reply
    Graham Orbell
    June 22, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Interesting photos with an interesting look. The correct filter to use is a Wratten 85B which corrects tungsten balanced film to be used in daylight. This amber coloured 85B filter absorbs about 1 stop of light. The idea with traditional cine film is to have the maximum film speed available when it’s used in artificial light. When it is used in usually brighter daylight the filter halves the effective ASA. Considering that cine cameras normally use a fairly slow shutter speed of 1/50 or 1/60 second a reduction in sensitivity is desirable in daylight. The 85B filter both corrects the color balance from 3200*K for 5500*K light and absorbs light. 85B neutral density filters were also available such as 85B ND4. I see that B&H list Wratten 85B filters in 3” squares which would fit a matte box. I think those are glass. There may also be 85B gel filters available that can be cut and fitted in the back of a lens using a spot or two of nail varnish. As gel filters are very thin they do not affect the quality of the image when used behind the lens. For example, Bolex 16mm cameras had gel holder filter slot behind the lens. I still have several glass 85B filters as well as an uncut 85B gel square from my TV filming days.

    • Reply
      Christian Schroeder
      June 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Really interesting, Graham! It seems you possess a very deep knowledge concerning these filters – and cine/TV techniques in general. Your comment reminded me of my Nizo Super 8 camera, which I haven’t been using for years. Maybe, I should change that some day…

  • Reply
    June 23, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I respooled a film once, because I wanted to shoot redscale after I read about it somewhere. A pretty lomo thing to do. After this I wondered why I just didn’t go straight to an orange filter – same effect without the fiddly respooling part.

    Another time I thought there was a black and white film in one of my cameras that I hadn’t used in a while. I finished the roll with a light green filter. Turns out it was color negative, but from the cheap drugstore scans/prints, it was really hard to tell which frames where shot with and which without the filter. After they had been color corrected automatically, these images simply had some subtle, but vintagey color shift going on.

    Similar experience with my few attempts at scanning cross processed reversal film. Contrast, yes! But colors? Totally dependant on what you do during scanning and post processing.

    With that kind of analog/digital hybrid workflow, it really makes me wonder if the “pre” processing is all that important. My personal conclusion from all this is that I got to get my own darkroom running, at least for black and white to finally be able to fully appreciate the medium.

    • Reply
      Christian Schroeder
      June 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      These are some really good points you brought up.

      Years ago, I had my own dark room, re-purposing my parents’ basement. I enjoyed the work in there, having the whole creative process in my hands – all the way from pressing the shutter button to drying the final prints. But I also remember the darkroom work as a very time-consuming and lonesome activity. Today, I prefer the hybrid workflow. It just enables me to spend more time outside, taking pictures. In the end, that outweighs (for me) the pleasure of being fully responsible for the outcome.

      • Reply
        June 26, 2019 at 9:37 pm

        Totally true and the results you get from digitally processing your film doesn’t make your results any less valid as Hamish continually shows in a lot of other posts on here. I guess I’ll just have to go through that phase as everyone else does, anyway. Maybe I’ll grow out of it, maybe I’ll stick to it, but it feels like I should try it at least. Keep shooting and keep having fun, that’s the essential part!

        • Reply
          Christian Schroeder
          June 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm

          Keep shooting and keep having fun, that’s the essential part! – couldn’t agree more. There is a great article by Gregory Simpson addressing a related topic. I strongly recommend you to give it a read (if you don’t know it already): “The Soft Grey Line”.

  • Reply
    Kate Johnson
    June 25, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    I like the orange filter effect. I’ll have to try that.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    I dont use any filters when i shoot cinestill 800 but i do rate the film as ISO500 as
    recommended by them. and it looks great! Try it out.

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