You’ll seldom find me where the cool kids are. I’m too independent and too suspicious of popular trends. All the cool kids are shooting the new CineStill 400Dynamic film these days. Yet when I was in Central Camera the last time I was in Chicago, even I succumbed to temptation and bought a couple rolls of this film.
CineStill 400D is said to offer natural colors, a warm bias, and rich skin tones. It’s rated at ISO 400, but CineStill promises excellent performance from EI 200 to 800, and pushability all the way to 3200.
My older son took me to the Indiana State Fair for my birthday in August, so I got out my Olympus OM-2n, mounted the excellent 50mm f/3.5 Zuiko Auto Macro lens, and loaded my first roll of 400D. I set the camera to 400 — it’s always a good idea to shoot a new-to-you film at box speed the first time.
It was a hot day at the Fair, and except for a few clouds the sun was bright and direct. The 400D didn’t render the blue of the sky very strongly.
But all other color came back true and well saturated. Notice on this photo the strong glow of the fluorescent lights that peek through a couple of the umbrellas. 400D is known for this halation effect.
I am super pleased with how 400D captured the color of this merry-go-round beast. He looks better on film than he did in person!
My experience with 400D is that it loves yellows and oranges, making them look bolder than anything around them.
I am not as impressed with how 400D renders neutral and earth tones. The colors just kind of lie there.
Here’s my son at one of the games of chance. In real life, his shirt is a cool gray. 400D warmed it up and turned it slightly blue. When I corrected this image in Photoshop so his shirt looked right, all of the other colors were wrong.
I always like to test new-to-me color films on black subjects. 400D renders a true, rich black.
This just might be the image that pleases me most from the roll, from a straight-up color perspective. The green of this tractor’s snout is so rich.
There’s a lot going on in this photo but the colors all pop.
I especially like how 400D renders pastels — restrained but vibrant.
A sudden downpour sent fairgoers scrambling for shelter. Just as quickly the rain passed and the sky returned to partly cloudy.
I like this film all right. I don’t like it any more or less than the other ISO 400 color-negative films from Fujifilm and Kodak that I can get more easily. However, even given the scandalous price of color-negative film these days, $15.99 for a single roll of CineStill 400Dynamic is awfully high.
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