CineStill 400D Daylight Color Negative Film 120

CineStill 400D Daylight Color Negative Film 120

Analog Film Review

CineStill 400D Daylight Color Negative Film 120

CineStill 400D 120 Colour Negative Film
CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

CineStill 400D

I’ve been eagerly anticipating any new film releases lately, especially since Fujifilm has been cutting back on their line-up. That’s why I was thrilled to hear about CineStill’s latest offering – the CineStill 400D – which they claim to have been developing for years in collaboration with manufacturing partners around the world. Unfortunately, I missed the Kickstarter campaign and forgot to place an order. Thankfully, a friend was able to provide me with a roll in 120 format, which I used during my road trip to New Zealand’s South Island, specifically at Lake Tekapo.

The resulting images have a fairy tale-like quality, with a low contrast and soft pastel look that reminds me of the works of Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky, particularly “The Sacrifice“. Although it is available in the typical 35mm format, it can also be obtained in 120 (with 220 potentially in the works). Unlike other films sold by CineStill, the 400D is not a repackaged motion picture stock without rem-jet, but is instead specifically designed for still photography.

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

CineStill 400D produces a pleasing colour palette with rich, vibrant colours, although with a slightly softer look compared to films like Kodak Gold and Ektar. The film boasts an excellent dynamic rangeand relatively fine grain. Some have even likened the colours and overall look of the film to Kodak Vision3 250D and other brands such as Reflx Lab 400D.

“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. 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.”

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
CineStill 400D 120 Colour Negative Film

Shooting Impressions

I shot landscapes in New Zealand’s South Island around ethereal Lake Tekapo.  400D delivers a signature fairy tale look with muted contrast and pastel colors reminiscent of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “The Sacrifice.” For a pastel daylight look, 400D can seem overly cool, especially for bright skies. I feels to me that the films is like the Vision3 250D that provide warmer hues. Despite C-41 processing for sharp contrast and tonality, 400D’s daylight color temperature remains cooler than original Vision3. For Kodak’s signature warmth, shoot sunsets or indoor scenes.   

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Image Quality

The images produced by this film exhibit sharpness with a low contrast, and boast an excellent grain structure with an impressive range. The dynamic range of the film is noteworthy; from the highlights to the shadows, it performs well. The only downside is the cool tone that results from the 5500k daylight balance, but this should not pose a significant issue as it can be easily corrected during post-processing. Additionally, even when developed using the C41 process, the film retains its low contrast, allowing for further adjustments to be made based on personal preferences. The grain size is not overly noticeable when shooting during daylight hours. If you prefer a warm, golden look, I would recommend using an 85 warming filter when shooting during the day. I plan to test this film again during sunset, or ideally at night, to see how it performs under different lighting conditions.

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Gem Alpaca Stud, New Zealand
CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Gem Alpaca Stud, New Zealand

Film Processing

While most colour negative cinematography films utilise ECN-2 processing with rem-jet removal, 400D is safe to be processed in standard C-41 chemistry. ECN-2 process, which provides a flatter look for flexible post-processing. Check 400D’s base for streaked rem-jet before C-41 processing, which yields punchier contrast.

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand


With a cinematic pedigree yet engineered for stills, CineStill 400D delivers the tonal warmth (cooler during the day), fine grain and versatility of revered motion picture films repackaged for photography. For scenes steeped in magic hour light or swathed by ambient radiance, 400D’s gauzy yet vivid signature will imbue your photographs with wandering wonder, as if rediscovering the world anew through each frame. My only regret? Not ordering more rolls. Or maybe I’ll just go for the Reflx Lab 400D instead!

CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
CineStill 400D, Plaubel Makina 67, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Reflx Lab 800
Reflx Lab 400D
Reflx Lab 500T (35mm Film)
Leica M2/M3 Quick Loading Spool

Photography Techniques and Skills

Looking for Cameras / Lenses or Gears?

If you have any questions related to film photography and you would like to source any cameras and gears, feel free to email me or SUBSCRIBE for free photography tips below. Follow me on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for latest updates!

Support this Community

Recent Posts

Prev A Memorable Journey Through New Zealand's North Island With Hasselblad Xpan II
Next Leica M3 Rangefinder Film Camera Review: The Epitome of Excellence

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.