The CineStill 400D Film Hands-On Review | New Favorite Go-To

A coming-of-feel and unique colors giving Kodak a run for their money. CineStill might be my new favorite film brand.

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The unveiling of CineStill's new 400D film has genuinely piqued interest in the photography community. The film, offering a delicate color palette, beautifully saturated colors and warmly rich skin tones, feels like an intimate conversation between the subject and the viewer. Notably, its broad dynamic range with an ISO rating of 200 to 800 and the ability to push it to 3200, makes it an extremely adaptable companion, ready for any event or lighting situation. Moreover, the 400D's unique design for still photography and enduring anti-static lubricant coating assures seamless processing and compatibility with both manual SLRs and automatic winding cameras. This latest addition to the CineStill family feels like a trusted friend, delivering consistent and high-quality results no matter the circumstance.

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To Know:

CineStill 400D is a fine grain film that delivers a soft color palette with natural saturated color and rich, warm skin tones. The film has a wide dynamic range, with a base sensitivity of ISO 400 but can be rated from 200 to 800, and it can be pushed up to 3200. This makes the film highly versatile, suitable for any lighting condition, any event, and can be used either outdoors or in the studio. 400D was specifically designed for still photography, to be processed in C-41 chemistry by any photo lab or at home. In addition, it also features a process-surviving anti-static lubricant coating that will make it an ideal film for both manual SLRs and automatic winding cameras.

What We Love:


The light sources in your image will slightly glow red because of the halation in the stock. It can be used (and look stunning) in both daylight and tungsten situations.

Warm, But Cool

I particularly love that this stock is generally warm, but it is not over the top or overwhelming. Cool colors still show through and this versatility balances out a variety of scenes so nicely.

Day and Night Capability

One of the best parts of this stock is that you can use it in the daytime straight into the evening. No more finishing a daytime roll to switch to another stock! This stock can truly get you through any lighting situation or scene.

The Details:

Brand: CineStill

Product Type: Film Stock (35mm & 120)

Best For: Beginners and professionals alike needing an all-around color film stock to add to their repertoire.

A New Kind of Love

The world needed a new color film, something more warm and different than the Portra, yet complimentary to skin tones and a variety of scenes. That's where CineStill's latest beauty child comes into the picture: CineStill 400D.

Cinestill 400D helped fill a hole for stylistic analog lovers. Due to various film stocks staying balanced for daylight or tungsten light, the 400D can shoot both. That means no more panicky-roll-switch-outs when the sun sets for better capturing; hallelujah! The 400D can be loaded in your camera forever, enabling photographers to shoot anything that comes your way — midday, blue hour, sunrise, or whatever you need. A genuinely dynamic do-it-all film stock that pushes the envelope for every creator, hence its name. *winks*

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First Impressions

When I placed my first 35mm roll through my Contax G2, I noticed it held a lovely warmth in each frame without being too overwhelming or unnatural. It casts a beautiful yet unique skin tone result beneath gray, overcast skies. And among the daylight scenes, I particularly loved how the background tungsten lights filled the frame with great character and personality.

The reds have been rendered gorgeously on every scan, not quite as saturated and bold as Kodak Ektar; much more advanced or distinguished feeling. The hues of the background halation render themselves to the nostalgic vibe of film photography. This film roll holds a pleasing palette with rich, vibrant colors and a subdued tone similar to Kodak Gold 200 or Ektar 100. With a spectacularly fine film grain and dynamic range, many creators have said the hues and look of the film are reminiscent of Kodak Vision3 250D.

CineStill's branding boasts its halation beauties. Per their website: "Halation is the reflection of bright points of light off the film base and pressure plate, causing a 'glow' in the strong highlights on some images." A dewet halation effect is rather prominent in all my images, notably on any highly reflective surface, such as the metal frames on the model's sunglasses, and more interestingly, in the hair particles on the portraits taken inside. That warm glow radiates like a halo, making another sweet distinction from CineStill to other film brands

As mentioned above, The D in CineStill's ISO 50 film stands for daylight, but in this newcomer, the D stands for dynamic. So what does that mean? They claim that it can be rated from 200 to 800 with the ability to push to 3200 ISO. I shot all of my frames at box speed, but I've seen some fascinating film results pushed at high yields, like from my friend Linus.

I had high hopes for this stock, which has yet to disappoint. It's versatile, beautiful, and able to handle virtually anything under the sun… what more could you ask for?

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What We Rate

  • Color Tones
    • Poor
    • Fair
    • Good
    • Near Perfect

  • Grain Level
    • None
    • Slight Texture
    • Just Enough
    • Pretty Hairy

  • Temperature
    • Pretty Cool
    • Fairly Cool
    • Fairly Warm
    • Pretty Warm

  • Budget
    • Around $5
    • Around $10
    • Around $15
    • Around $20

  • Dynamic Range
    • Poor
    • Fair
    • Good
    • Perfect

What It Has:

  • Tungsten balanced
  • C-41 processing

What It Does:

  • Daylight-Balanced Color Negative Film
  • ISO 400
  • Soft color palette
  • Natural saturated color
  • Rich warm skin tones
  • Wide dynamic range


  • No push - EI 200-1000
  • 1 stop push - EI 800-2000
  • 2 stop push - EI 1250-3200
  • 3 stop push - EI 1600-3200 (added contrast)
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