CineStill 50D vs Kodak Portra 160

CineStill 50D vs Kodak Portra 160

Matthew Osborne Photography (“Mr Leica”)

Here is a non-scientific comparison of 35mm CineSill 50D film vs. 35mm Kodak Portra 160 film.  CineStill 50D is a relatively new film whereas Kodak Portra has been around for years (in various forms).  CineStill 50D is a daylight balanced ISO 50 colour film. Kodak Portra is a daylight balanced ISO 160 film famous for capturing natural skin tones.  Kodak Portra can be bought in the UK for £5 a roll for 36 exposures (£25 for a 5 pack of Kodak Portra 160).  CineStill 50D is bought as single rolls and costs from £8 a roll of 36 exposures here in England.  I have shot Portra for several years but this was my first experience to shoot with CineStill 50D.  I have shot with CineStill 800T tungsten balanced film and was impressed with the results so had high hopes for CineStill 50D.

During my Zurich Model Photography Workshop I decided to shoot CineStill 50D side by side with Kodak Portra 160.

The details of the shoot were as follows:

  • Model: Nadja (Option Model Agency)
  • Camera 1: Leica M3  + Leica Summicron 50 f2 DR + 35mm Kodak Portra 160
  • Camera 2: Leica M2 + Leica Summilux ASPH 50 f1.4 + 35mm CineStill 50D
  • Lighting: Daylight only + Reflector
  • Processing: C41 lab developed + Scan, Lightroom + Photoshop

Kodak Portra 160 Model Photography

Kodak Portra 160 vs CineStill 50D

Leica M3 + Kodak Portra 160

Leica M3 + Kodak Portra 160

CineStill 50D Model Photography

Leica M2 + CineStill Portrait

35mm CineStill 50D

CineStill 50D Model Portrait

CineStill 50D + Daylight

CineStill 50D Model Photography

35mm CineStill 50 D

Results and Conclusion

From my personal experience only I feel these two films produce reasonably similar photos with neither being bad.  For my taste and eye I prefer the look of the Kodak Portra 160 film as I feel the skin tones are more natural vs the CineStill 50D.  CineStill 50D has a slight orange cast maybe vs. Portra.  In different light the CineStill 50D may win hands down over the Portra but that is my conclusion to date.

Will I use CineStill 50D again? Yes I have another roll to use so I will try to use it in different light next time.  Would I buy CineStill 50D instead of Kodak Portra film to use for paying clients such as wedding film photography?  No.  I prefer the look of Portra for skin tones.  Portra film also requires less available light (especially Portra 400 which has a very similar look to Kodak Portra 160)(or Kodak Portra 800). ISO 50 vs ISO 400 = CineStll 50D requires 300% more light that Kodak Portra 400 to obtain the ‘correct’ film exposure.  Weddings venues often don’t have as much light as I would like so films like Kodak Portra 400 are a must have film.  Lastly Kodak Portra 160 is cheaper than CineStill 50D so that is another factor to consider when deciding a regular film to use.

Medium Format Kodak Portra 160

Here are a few extra photos from the same photoshoot with Nadja using a medium format film Mamiya 645 Super + Mamiya Sekor 80mm f2.8N lens + 120 Kodak Portra 160

Mamiya 645 Super + Kodak Portra

Mamiya 645 + 120 Portra

Mamiya 645  Beauty

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CineStill 800 T Film Portraits

CineStill 800 T Film Portraits

MATTHEW OSBORNE PHOTOGRAPHY – “MR LEICA”

A quick recap of why I treated myself to a few rolls of 35mm CineStill 800 Tungsten film..

CineStill Xpro C-41 ISO 800 Tungsten 135/36

Firstly CineStill 800 T film is balanced for 3200K tungsten light so gives useable photos under this type of lighting.  Secondly the box speed of CineStill 800T is ISo 800 but it can be used at any speed between ISO 200 and ISO 1250 without losing highlight or shadow detail.

I took a few rolls of 35mm CineStill film with me on a recent trip to Poland to shoot on location with some of the Malva Model agency models based in Sopot.  I shot one roll with my Leica M3 film camera + Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens and another in the Leica M2 camera + Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens. For daylight shooting I metered at ISO 400-500 and used a 85B filter for colour correction.  For the late evening I metered at ISo 800 and for all the night photos I also metered at ISO 800.  I was interested to test the CineStill 800T under various light conditions, midday daylight, dusk, indoor tungsten room light, flurescent lighting, street lights and mixed lighting.

I shot with various models including Agnieszka, Teresa, Vicky, Karolina and Max that I shot on 35mm CineStill film.  Here are a few of the photos.  All images lab developed and scanned with an Epson v800 scanner.  Not all photos were scanned at the same time and some photos scanned discoloured so I had to try to correct the colour in post.  A few images were converted to black and white as I thought the colours didn’t add to the image.

CineStill 800 T + 85B Filter in Daylight (5500k) @ ISo 400/500

Facebook Cover Photo

CineStill 800T Daylight

Window Light

Cinestill 800 T - Daylight

CineStill 800 Daylight Portrait

CineStill 800 + 85B Daylight Portrait

CineStill 800T in the Snow

Leica M3 + Cinestill Film

CineStill 800T Fashion Photography

CineStill 800 Tungsten balanced film

35mm CineStill 800 T

CineStill 800T - Window Light

Leica M2 + CineStill Portrait

CineStill film - B&W

35mm CineStill B&W

Cinestill B&W

CineStill 800 T + 85B Filter in last of Daylight (5500k) @ ISo 800

CineStill 800T Colours - Portrait

CineStill 800T + 85B Filter

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm Vignetting

35mm CineStill 800T in Daylight

CineStill 800 Tungsten - in Daylight

CineStill 800 T + in Tungsten light (3200k) @ ISo 800

CineStill 800 Tungsten

CineStill + Leica M3

CineStill 800T Film

35mm CineStill 800 T film

CineStill 800 T + at Night with street lights (3200k) @ ISo 800

CineStill 800T Tungsten Light

CineStill 800T at Night

Cinestill 800T Colours

CineStill 800 Tungsten - Night Shoot

CineStill 800 T Night Shoot

Conclusion

I had high hopes for the CineStill 800T film but the resulting images exceeded all my expectations. I love the colours and tones and the fact that you can shoot a single roll at ISO 200-1250 in varying light conditions and it still gives great results.  I will definitely add it to my wedding film photography bag!

CineStill Xpro C-41 ISO 50 Daylight 135/36

I am looking forward to trying 35mm CineStill 50 Daylight film next with my Leica film cameras.  I think with my Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens wide open on the Leica M3 camera.  I also really hope the Brothers Wright get sufficient funding to start producing 120 CineStill 800 Tungsten film so I can use it in my medium format film cameras like my Mamiya RZ 67 and Mamiya 645 Super (plus also in my 120 roll film back for the 4×5 large format film Speed Graphic and Sinar F2!).

Related Post

CineStill 800 T – More Info

Editorial Fashion – Kodak Portra + Leica M3 (2)

Editorial Fashion – Kodak Portra + Leica M3 …(Gina – Session 2)

Editorial Fashion – Kodak Portra Film + Leica M3

Model – Gina Underhill

Photographer – Matthew Osborne Photography (“Mr Leica”)

November 2014

Editorial fashion photography spread using a 1950s Leica M3 camera, 35mm colour film and minimal post processing. Below are photos from a recent shoot with Coventry model Gina who joined me in London as part of a portrait photography workshop. I was demonstrating how easy it can be to get a nice photo with minimal equipment and just daylight. One camera, one lens. We had an amazing day with a great location, a beautiful model and even some brief winter sunshine!

Here are photos taken when Gina arrived to London ahead of the orange dress shoot (first  post).  Hair still pinned up from transit but I said leave it like that as a bit different.  I chose the hat.  Gina was less keen!  I was also using my Rolleiflex SL66E 6×6 medium format film camera loaded with 120 Fuji Pro 400H so will share those soon.

More info –

Camera – 1950s Leica M3 Rangefinder film camera
Lens – Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 @ f1.4
Film – 35mm Kodak Portra 160 colour film
Development – C41 processed lab developed and scan
Lighting – Daylight only
Location – Street close to Victoria Station, London
Stylist / Hair / Make-Up – Gina / Matt

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Editorial Fashion – Kodak Portra + Leica M3

Editorial Fashion – Kodak Portra Film + Leica M3

Model – Gina Underhill

Photographer – Matthew Osborne Photography (“Mr Leica”)

November 2014

Editorial fashion photography spread using a 1950s Leica M3 camera, 35mm colour film and minimal post processing.  Below are photos from a recent shoot with Coventry model Gina who joined me in London as part of a portrait photography workshop.   I was demonstrating how easy it can be to get a nice photo with minimal equipment and just daylight.  One camera, one lens.  We had an amazing day with a great location, a beautiful model and even some brief winter sunshine!

More info –

  • Camera  – 1950s Leica M3 Rangefinder film camera
  • Lens – Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 @ f1.4
  • Film – 35mm Kodak Portra 160 colour film
  • Development – C41 processed lab developed and scan
  • Lighting – Daylight only
  • Location – Victoria, London
  • Stylist / Hair / Make-Up – Gina / Matt

 

Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra  Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra  Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra    Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + PortraLeica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra  Leica M3 + Lux 50 ASPH + Portra

Hope you like them!  I plan to do similar spreads going forward showcasing different films, cameras, lenses and models.

http://www.MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

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Leica ASPH & APO lenses. Do we really need them?

Leica ASPH & APO lenses. Do we really need them?

Matthew Osborne Photography

Model shoot using vintage Leica pre-ASPH/ pre-APO and third party lenses

For the September 2014 London Photography Workshop model shoot I decided to take the oppotunity to pack the follow vintage camera lenses for the day.  I would be teaching flash photography and portraiture so I can do this with lenses from any era.  It’s great to shoot with one lens on the camera all day but sometimes I just want to go longer or wider so I decided on –

  • Leica M9 camera body
  • 35mm –   1953 Leica Summaron 35mm f3.5
  • 52mm – 1950s Russian Industar 26M 52mm f2.8 *
  • 90mm – 1973 Leica Summicron 90mm f2 pre-ASPH **

*I have a 1951 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 lenses but I prefer it in lower light.
** My 1960s Leica Elmar 135mm f4 is also a fantastic lens but I did’t want to carry two telephoto lenses.

Plus less vintage extras..

  • 1x Speedlight
  • 15mm Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar f4.5
  • Fuji GF670 Medium Format Film Camera

The workshop

Tom booked me for a day of 1-2-1 photography tuition and I invited Latvian model Lauma to join us as our model.  I have shot with Lauma once before but last time it was with available light only.  This time I was teaching off camera flash photography and portrait lighting so I was in my element. All photos were taken using a single bare speedlight without any light modifiers.

Portrait Photography Workshop

All a myth!

The workshop day proved two common photography theories wrong.

  • We don’t need the latest Leica lenses to get great pictures on a Leica M camera body
  • We don’t need fancy light modifiers and ETTL speedlights

Am I guilty of believing all the ‘hype’? Yes of course I am!

I own the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (“Lux”) and the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO (“Cron”).  I bought the 50mm Lux as my first Leica 50mm lenses because of the glowing reviews but find I rarely use it as prefer other 50s.  I bought the 75mm Cron because of the magnification it could produce focusing at 0.7m rather than anything else. The 75f2 focal length has become one of my favourite portrait lenses and my go to detail lens for Leica weddings.
I write ‘hype’ as yes both ASPH and APO lenses are technically brilliant but you dont ‘need’ them as such to get a nice image.  I own both new and old Leica lenses but if I was someone trying to get into the Leica market I think potential buyers should not rule out the older glass.

Photos with vintage Leica M mount lenses

Here are some recent examples images using vintage lenses on a Leica M9 camera from flash photography portrait workshops both in London and at my Coventry studio.  Models are Gina, Roisin and Lauma.

1953 Leica Summaron 35mm f3.5

Leica Summaron 35mm f3.5

1951 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 Portrait

Leica Summarit 50mm

1950s Russian Industar 26M 52mm f2.8

Leica M9 + Industar 26M 52mm f2.8

Industar 26M 52mm f2.8

1973 Leica Summicron 90mm f2 pre-ASPH

Cigarette Break

Beauty and a Geek!

Leica M9 + Summicron 90

Leica M9 + Vintage Leica Summicron 90mm f2

Leica M9 Strobist

1960s Leica Elmar 135mm f4

Modern Classic

Black and White Fashion

Leica Elmar 135mm f4

Leica Noctilux 50!

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 (1981-1982)
Leica Noctilux 50!

I just bought one!!! 🙂

As a Leica photographer and even before owning a Leica camera I always dreamed of owning a lens that was faster than f1.2. I love shallow depth of field (“DOF”) and my best lenses for this to date include Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 (medium format lens on the Contax 645 – equal to 50mm f1.1 approx on a 35mm camera), Nikon 200mm f2 AI-s, Nikon 50mm f1.2 AI-s, Carl Zeiss Pancolar 80mm f1.8 (M42) and more recently on the Leica cameras; Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii, Leica Summicron 90mm f2, Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 (1954) and Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (to mention a few).

Despite owning all those mentioned lenses the dream lives on. Today I decided to make that dream come true and reinvest some savings that had matured into Leica glass rather than a low interest deposit account. No price can be placed on the enjoyment I get from my photography and as Leica lenses retain their value well I see it more as an investment than an expense.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 vs. Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 – Price
The fastest Leica lens and in current production is the latest Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95ASPH that was released in 2008. (Canon actually made the first 50mm f0.95 lens years earlier) Here in the UK the retail price to buy a new Noctilux 50/0.95 is in excess of £7.2k. Used Noctilux lenses hold their value well but this is more than double the cost of a used Noctilux 50mm f1.0. Most of the Leica shooters that I know use a f0.95 not the older f1.0 but I was not in a position to spend that kind of money on one lens.

Was I tempted by the newer sharper faster Noctilux f0.95?
Initially of course yes. I do like my apparent lens sharpness combined with a shallow DOF however my taste seems to be changing as my photography matures. I own the famous ‘Lux ASPH 50mm f1.4 and it does indeed have edge to edge clinical sharpness at f1.4. That said, it is not my first or even second choice when selecting a 50mm lens to use for my portraiture photography. Until recently I favoured the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 for a combination of sharp, contrasty, punchy images with a nicely rendered OOF area/ bokeh. I then bought a 1954 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5. That has changed everything. It is soft, low contrast and prone to flare yet I absolutely love its quirks and the vintage imperfect look it applies to images.

Sample image using the Summarit 50/1.5 @f1.5 on my Leica M9

Classic Black & White Photography

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 vs. Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 – Images
If I compare photos taken with the older Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 vs the current Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 I would say it is like comparing the 1954 Summarit 50/1.5 vs the current Leica Lux ASPH 50/1.4. Many people say photos taken with the Noct. f0.95 are not dissimilar from those taken with the Lux 50 ASPH. Both these lenses give clinical sharpness. The older Noct f1.0 however has real character and ‘proper’ imperfections that you just cannot make or add to an image after in Photoshop. A particular favourite characteristic is the misshaped bokeh balls of the f1.0 that are more akin to bokeh of the Summarit 50 lens. I think the f1.0 images capture many of the best bits seen in the Summarit 50 photos yet 10 fold.

Painting with my camera not etching with micro precision
The vintage Summarit really is a fantastic lens if used correctly but I feel I will be able to get even more out of the Leica Noctilux 50 f1 lens. I like to ‘paint’ things of beauty with the majority of my photography regardless of the subject. Having a lens that appears to paint on the detail with a big fat brush rather than etch in the finer details with micro precision is exactly why I chose the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 over the 50mm f0.95.

I have not even received my lens yet but this is my conclusion to date drawn from the research I did prior to my purchase. Most of the reviews I had read for the Summarit 50 were terrible but it turns out the lens is a real gem. I hope to prove that the older Nocti f1.0 is more than a match for its newer sibling for some types of photography.

More about the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2
I bought the v2 model that has an E60 thread and removable Leica hood. Many people praise the v4 as being the most sought after of all 5 models released. The v4 has built in slide out hood but the v2 is lighter and often cheaper than the v4. I like using flare in my photography so there is a very high chance that I will not fit the lens hood. I will just protect the end of the lens with a ND filter or UV filter. Lens hoods often make lenses much more imposing so I currently do not use any add on lens hoods on my LM mount lenses.

I bought my 1981-82s Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens from Italy via eBay so I must now wait patiently before I get to try the lens and share some sample images with you. The Noctilux lens is the now the most expensive item in my photography bag but I see it as a long term investment rather than a luxury expense. It may seem that I buy new camera gear almost every week and sometimes this is true but I buy almost all second hand and I spend little to nothing on anything other than photography! I get paid working as a Leica wedding photographer, fashion and beauty photographer and for running photography and lighting workshops from my Coventry studio and on location. Any money I receive from my photography is reinvested 100% back into my passion.

I am excited for the arrival of my Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 and I will of course report back soon once it arrives.

Have a great weekend!

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer

Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Here are some examples images using my Leica M9:

Leica Portraits

Leica Cron 50
Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5
Summicron 50
Leica Summicron 50mm f2
Leica Summicron

Other Example Photos

Merry Christmas!

Leica Summicron 50/2

Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Leica Film

Leica Summicron 50 vs Leica Summilux ASPH 50 vs Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50

Thoughts so far ..

The Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 (“Cron”) is fast becoming my go-to 50mm Leica M mount lens.  It focuses closer than the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 C (Cron = ~0.68M / ZM 0.9M) and is lighter and smaller than the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (“Lux”) lens.  The Lux can be quite clinical in it’s rendering whereas I think the Cron is closer to the Sonnar with more character.    Plenty more testing to be done with each lens but those are my initial findings.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Photographer

Rekated Posts

Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50/1.5