A Photographers Guide to Shooting 35mm Motion Picture Film in Still Cameras.

35mm motion picture film gives photographers access to emulsions that are currently not available in pre-loaded cassettes. Some of these emulsions have unique qualities, such as extremely fine grain and classic character.
Short ends of color motion picture film are widely available on the web, I was lucky to find some locally for free to experiment with. Color motion picture film has a rem-jet backing which makes development by a traditional lab difficult. Rem-jet is an anti-halation backing that prevents light passing through the film to reflect off the base and expose it again. As well as prevent static and scratches on motion picture film when it travels quickly through the camera. I have used a lab in California, Little Film Lab, which can handle bulk loaded motion picture film with the rem-jet still on the film.

FilmShortEnds

I have used several different types of motion picture film.

  • Fuji 64 Daylight balanced color negative.
  • Fuji 500 Tungsten balanced color negative.
  • Kodak 5222 Double X black and white negative.
  • Cinestill 50 Daylight balanced color negative.

The Fuji 64D, 500T and Kodak 5222 XX are films that I have bulk loaded onto reloadable cassettes using a Watson bulk loader. This is an easy system to use, with demos available on YouTube.

BulkLoad1

I found that the Cinestill film is an excellent color film, and my favorite color film to use. The colors have more of a punch than Portra, but not as overly saturated as E-6 films. The 50 daylight Cinestill film also handles mixed lighting very well. The Cinestill film comes loaded onto a cassette with the rem-jet already removed. Making it easily developed by any lab using traditional C-41 chemistry.

Cine 2 Cinestill 50D taken with Leica M6 with 50mm Summicron version V.

Cine 1Cinestill 50D taken with Leica M6 and 50mm Summicron version V.

The Fuji motion picture film that I have been using is pretty old for color film, with dates around the mid 90’s.
The results are still good, just not ideal, with larger grain and a slight color shift. It is best to over expose the film to compensate for the age of the film. I was able to test this film in a few different cameras and it always advanced smoothly and correctly.

Fuji64D 4Fuji 64D taken with Leica M6 and 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH.

Fuji64D 3 Fuji 64D taken with Leica M6 and 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH.

Fuji64D 2 Fuji 64D taken with Leica M4-2 and 35mm f1.4 Summilux pre ASPH.

Fuji64D 1Fuji 64D taken with Canon 1N and 50mm f1.2 L.

Fuji500T 1Fuji 500T taken with Leica M6 and 35mm f1.4 Summilux APSH.

The Kodak 5222 XX is a classic motion picture emulsion. It offers unique results, as it has remained relatively unchanged since it was first released in the late 1950s. Even Tri-X was re-engineered in 2007 with a more modern look.

KodakXX 4 Kodak XX taken with Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux pre ASPH.

KodakXX 3 Kodak XX taken with Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux pre ASPH.

KodakXX 2 Kodak XX taken with Nikon SP with 35mm f1.8 Nikkor.

KodakXX 1Kodak XX taken with Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux pre ASPH.

KodakXX 5Kodak XX taken with Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux pre ASPH.

6 Comments

    1. Hi Alan. Yes I used a large changing bag and hand spooled the film onto 100′ reels and into empty 100′ canisters to break down the 400′ rolls. I hope you enjoy shooting the 250D.

      Reply

    1. I used an empty spool and hand loaded it, sort of guessing when I hit 100′. Then put it into an empty 100′ canister. Took some time hand spooling it like that, but worked out well for my application.

      Reply

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