Going Against the Grain

CineStill800T in Broad Daylight

3 min read by Kevan Wilkinson.
Published on . Updated on .
Newport Beach, California. Picture taken with a Yashica T5 and CineStill 800T.

Blue has always been my favorite color, but not when it shows up in my 35mm film scans. The appearance of a dominant blue hue can wreak havoc on pictures and require lots of editing and color balancing, both of which take the magic and spontaneity out of 35mm film photography. That said, I was curious to see what would result if I shot a roll of CineStill 800T in broad daylight with my Yashica T5.

Old Volkswagon Bug in La Jolla, California. Picture taken with a Yashica T5 and CineStill 800T.

Given that CineStill 800T is a color-balanced tungsten negative and my Yashica T5 is a simple point-and-shoot that doesn’t accommodate filters of any kind, I had no idea what the pictures would end up looking like. Would the bright sunlight be too difficult to balance out properly? Would the pictures end up awash in blue and be rendered worthless? There was only one way to find out.

I loaded a fresh roll of CineStill 800T into my Yashica T5 and hit the streets on a bright sunny day in Southern California.

Stag bar in Newport Beach, California.

I took pictures of anything and everything that seemed interesting, what I felt would present me with nice-looking images. Storefronts, classic automobiles, vintage signs, and old buildings.

I made a point of shooting with as much daylight as possible and, as a result, my Yashica T5’s flash never fired. As the late afternoon shadows started to appear, I had already shot two rolls of CineStill 800T. I put them into my camera bag and called it a day.

Apartment building in Newport Beach, California.

The film lab I use specializes in C-41 processing; they use Noritsu scanners. I was really looking forward to seeing my pictures. Once I did, I was pleasantly surprised to see vivid colors, sharp contrast, and the fine grain that CineStill film is known for. There is only a slight blue tone on several pictures, and it looks really good.

Vintage-looking sign in La Jolla, California.

I know that Cinestill 800T is ideal for low-light situations like indoor, nighttime, or under warm tungsten lighting, but it is also great for the outdoors. Street scenes look fantastic. As expected, an occasional red or orange halation might appear when shooting with strong backlight.

I am a fan of 1970s motion pictures and television shows, so this greatly boosts my appreciation for CineStill 800T film. Should you want to experiment a little and go against the grain, I recommend you try a roll of this stock to see what develops.