Cinestill 800 Shot at 1600 but developed as normal

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by bvttle, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. I shot a roll of cinestill 800 at 1600 last week and my photo lab received it today. I asked them to push it 2 stops as recommended by Cinestill's FAQs.

    The lab told me they can't push C41 and asked me what I want to do..

    The first half of the film was shot at night / in low light, which is why I shot at 1600, so I'm apprehensive to develop as normal and get awful results. The second half is shot in a brightly lit gallery so will probably turn out ok if I develop as normal.

    Has anyone used this film before and pushed it then developed as normal?

    I know the film is actually 500iso Kodak 500T, but have no idea whether to instruct my lab to devleop as normal or if I should have the film sent back and pushed in a different lab?
  2. C41 can't be sensibly pushed. The highlights block up and become unprintable/unscannable. A so-called pro lab screwed up and overdeveloped a couple of rolls of C41 of mine once; the colour was off, the negs too dense and were practically useless.

    Besides that. It's unreasonable to expect a continuous process minilab to slow up their machine just for your order. Not going to happen.

    Also, I believe that Cinestill has a thick anti-halation backing that messes up the C41 processing chemicals. Cinestill themselves ought to offer a special processing service for it IMO.

    My advice: In future pretend that 'push' processing doesn't exist and expose normally.
  3. True Cinestill doesn't have a rem-jet (anti-halation) layer on it from what I understand. A lab near me will push C-41 film up to 2 stops even though they don't recommend it, so you may just need to find another lab, - or learn to process C-41 on your own. Processing it on your own isn't as hard as you may think.

    I believe that Rodeo is right and perhaps your lab is too in that their machine won't allow you to push process C-41. That doesn't mean it can't be done.
  4. Two things: Cinestill - and probably all negative films - don't need pushing. Have a look here:

    Twin Lens Life ~ Fine Art Film Photography ~ Los Angeles Southern California ~ Bwright Photography: In The Bleak Midwinter - New Kodak Portra400 vs Vision3 500T 35mm

    Pushing does make films easier to print, obviously.

    Rodeo, I don't know what you mean when you say that C41 can't be sensibly pushed. The earliest example I can show you comes from 1985 - Fuji 400 pushed by three stops. I bet people were successfully pushing colour negative film long before that.
  5. @Karim Ghantous That's really promising ! After seeing this I'm really considering just asking them to develop as normal and taking the risk.. will pass this onto my lab and see what they think, and if I go ahead will share my results
  6. C'mon, Joe, read the Cinestill website. "Tight" C-41 lines have always been critical to consistent, successful push-processing. Problem now, though, is that few labs run the processing equipment that was designed to handle volume that simply doesn't exist now. Mini-lab machines just don't offer that degree of customization. Some pro labs still reliably offer accurate push processing. Problem is, they're no longer easy to find.
  7. "C'mon, Joe, read the Cinestill website."

    - I have. There's no technical information worth reading on there.

    For example: What exactly do they mean by 'push' processing? It's not clear if they simply mean underexposing the film, or modifying the development time - or by how much.

    No sensitometry curves, no recommended development times, nothing. And all followed by a disclaimer that amounts to the company washing their hands of any responsibility for using their product.

    Everyone with any knowledge of sensitometry knows that push processing only increases contrast (and saturation in the case of C41). It does not increase the ISO speed of any emulsion, making the reference to various ISO speeds on Cinestill's website totally bogus.

    EI may change at a whim, but ISO speed does not.

    $10 for a little clipping of pre-washed cine film? They're having a laugh!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  8. As Karim indicates.

    Most color negative films can still be printed more-or-less* from 3 o r 4 times overexposure to 2 times under without altering the processing.
    *'more or less' in this case means equivalent quality to what you'd get from slide or B&W shot at a speed and pushed or pulled in development

    Modern Photography 1988-04
  9. Cinestill 800 will be just fine in standard processing when you rate it at 1600. I've rated at 3200 and normal development is fine. Portra 400 is fine at 800 and 1600. When I rate at 3200, it does indeed benefit from a one stop push. Natura 1600 is great at box, 3200 and 6400 in standard development...but once again...a one stop push when rated at 6400 improves results a bit.
  10. I never push my film no matter what i shoot it at especially if it is very expired. I will open it up 2 stops when it is that old. Always developed at box speed. No problems either.
  11. IMG_4743.JPG Here's the data sheets from Kodak Portra 800 when pushed one and two stops.
  12. I rather like Portra 400 pushed to 800. This means expose at 800 and develop at 3:45 per Kodak Z-131. These are Portra 400 at 800:


    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  13. And those graphs show exactly zero leftward shift in the toe of the curves, proving that there's no real gain in light sensitivity. All that happens is that contrast - and hence saturation - above the threshold exposure is increased. Also note the 'hump' that occurs in the green-sensitive layer; showing that mid-tones will acquire a green cast when wet printed, along with a blue highlight cast.

    ( I have to assume that the -2.0 & -3.0 Log Exposure markings being out of sequence is a typo)

    'Pushing' kind of works for reversal film, since only the 1st B&W development is extended, and the colour development is normal. However, with C41 there's only a colour developer to extend, which inevitably leads to exaggerated saturation and colour deviation.
  14. Looking at the density vs Log at 2 and 1, we can see the curve is indeed shifted up...thus showing a gain. Looking just at the toe does not tell the whole story. I've pushed enoigh enough C41 in wedding work to know there is a benefit...not nuge....but you'd be mistaken thinking there is no benefit.
  15. "..we can see the curve is indeed shifted up."

    - Indicating simply an increase in contrast (slope of density versus exposure).

    The curves do not shift left along the exposure axis, which would be needed to indicate increased light sensitivity.

    Compare the Log Exposure (Lux-seconds) scale of films with genuinely different ISO ratings. You'll see that the 'toes' of their curves start at different Lux-second values. It's the horizontal axis that indicates light sensitivity, not the vertical one.
  16. More to it than that Rodeo. Underexposed C41 gets very grainy. The enhanced contrast by pushing reduces that. When I compare Portra 400, rated at 3200...and compare a one stop push vs no push...the results are better with a push. Done it for hundreds of weddings.

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