” If something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly “. I suspect this was an Oscar Wilde quotation – it has that ring about it. And the less time we spend contemplating Oscar’s ring, the better. But it also seems to be the philosophy that has driven an unknown maker of films to release a new 120 roll film. I say unknown, but may only mean that they are unknown to me – and I don’t know all that much.
CineStill are the firm and the roll film is 120 size. It is apparently re-spooled negative motion picture film. The size suggests that it was intended for 70mm cameras and has been passed through something that trimmed off the perforations. Presumably in the dark…
The blurb advising us about it comes through Digital Photography Review and mentions that it has undergone ‘premoval” operation to strip off something called remjet. It then promises great dynamic range, a unique halation effect, and enhanced scanning performance.
Remjet seems to be a name for an anti-halation backing that can come off in C-41 processing and foul up the chemistry. One forum says it is carbon black particles suspended in a water-soluble binder. If the respooled CineStill film has had it removed, perhaps it has been through a water bath in the same production line that trimmed it.
So why use it at all? Why not put perfectly good Kodak or Fujifilm 120 colour negative film through your camera and then just take it in for processing? Why not indeed?
For the same reason that we all tried re-loading 35mm cassettes with Watson loaders in the 60’s and made such scratched, dusty messes of our photography. Because we thought it would save money and make us cool. What we saved in film we paid in Spotone…and pain.
Now it is the turn of a new generation to learn.