5 frames with...

5 frames with Fuji HD-M and Cinestill 800t – By Linda Terstad

Together with my previous 5 frames with… I guess this will make a niche-y little sequence of 80s/90s underwater cameras. But rather than a review of the Fuji HD-M, I intend this to be an appreciation post and a love song to a particular film – CineStill 800T.

What film is and feels like, is magnified with Cinestill 800T. Negative color film, I should add. Sounds grandiose, but I think it’s quite true to my view of things. This is my second roll of it and I feel I am starting to understand it and fall in love with it.

The first roll left me kind of surprised. It looked very ordinary. Good, but ordinary. Daytime shots weren’t at all very “cold”, for instance, as would be expected of a tungsten film. That was a roll from my Yashica 35GX, which is a bit off with the metering and overexposes a lot. And this is a lovely thing about this film, it doesn’t only have great latitude, but its expression will change a lot with how much light you give it. Overexposing it, like putting the ISO dial to 400, will make it warmer. Underexposing, for instance by putting the ISO dial to 1600, in my opinion still looks very nice. Thus, I would personally not put this film in a point and shoot with no control over things. The Fuji HD-M is nice in that the ISO setting is easily changed during a roll (it goes up to 1600).

Also the light accidents of film are, apparently, more likely with the sensitive Cinestill 800t. I was very surprised at the light leaks, as this camera has never had that before – and it was successfully used in the water on the same roll too, so sealing is all right. Leaks were only on the first 4 frames.

Some grain and grit, although I think something with the rendering of this camera also produces this look (I have used it before with Superia 400, which also looked rather grainy and gritty.) For future rolls, I am looking forward to shoot more outdoors daytime, giving it lots of light. A film for romantics rather than perfectionists, perhaps? Not that you can’t be both, but you get my point.


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  • Avatar
    Dorian Farrimond
    March 27, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Great article and photos, enjoyed discovering about Cinestill. Funnily enough, also saw this at the same time – possibly relevant? https://www.thephoblographer.com/2019/03/21/question-light-leaks-cinestill-film/

    • Avatar
      Linda Terstad
      March 27, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Dorian, much appreciated! Yes, I’d make the same conclusion, that one “has to be super careful with it”, as in that article.. the only thing that bothers me a tiny bit is that I dare not fly with it and risk it be destroyed in the x-rays (just guessing it’d be extra sensitive to that too).

  • Avatar
    George Appletree
    March 27, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    That’s really pop. That camera hasn’t a filter thread, but the first thought was giving a try to infrared. That could be fun.
    My HD-M is a bit lazy in the last roll frames, but I still use it from time to time… It has a flash and can be dropped with champagne.

  • Avatar
    Charles Higham
    March 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Interesting film and I like the light leaks in these shots!

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