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Movie film. The ECN-2 process

Lately we have been hearing more and more about the existence of not just film, but movie film in the context of film photography. Many people have begun to use this photographic material in their shoots of absolutely different genres - from street photography to studio portraits. Movie film stock is becoming more and more popular among film photographers. Let's find out what the trick is with movie film, and why it's so much fun to shoot with it.

Actually, there are four sizes of film - 8mm, 16mm, 70mm and the 35mm itself. The first three are designed for movie cameras, but the last one is suitable for any photo camera of 135 type: compact, SLR, mechanical and autofocus.

The 135mm film format originally came from the movie film. At the beginning of the twentieth century photographers took a reel of film, cut off just the right amount of frames from it, tucked it into special reels and put it in their 135-type cameras. That's essentially how the film format now known as 35mm came into existence. A little later Kodak invented special reels, where the film was filled by the manufacturer, and so appeared the mass production of still the most popular photographic film.

Movie film, contrary to many factors, is still on the market today. Because directors, especially auteur cinema, very often prefer it to any digital technology. Tarantino and Jarmusch, for example, actively use the movie film in their films. First of all, they choose it for its special color and tone, which can achieve a certain visual effect, stylization, and so on. It's also good for us, as film photographers, because we have access to curious and quite unusual photographic material. Unusual because visually it is strikingly different from what we are used to seeing in ordinary 35mm films. And it's also an opportunity for us to embrace a certain aesthetics of the picture and get a final photo with colors "just like in the movies". The colors you end up with are totally different from what you get with conventional 135 film.

But first about what they have in common. Besides the format, it is that just like photographic film, there is color and black and white film. The main producers are Kodak and Fujifilm, but Kodak is much more common because it still makes movie film. Just like regular film, the movie film has its own sensitivity, which is indicated by numbers (as usual) and a letter - D and T. The digital values are usually 50, 250 or 500, for example. And the letters are D for Daylight and T for Tungsteen (incandescent light). And this is a very important difference between movie film and ordinary photographic film, because movie film is designed for certain shooting conditions: daylight or evening. The ISO number isn't that important because film sensitivity varies - usually from 80 to 1000 on a single film! That wide range is why it's so much fun to shoot the movie film on cameras with fully manual settings: you'll have a lot of freedom of action.

The main difference between movie film and photographic film is the presence of a soot layer on the surface of the film material, which protects the film from mechanical damage when it is shot in the camera. Therefore, the movie film is developed by a different process called ECN-2. First, the soot layer is removed separately and then the film itself is developed in a special photochemical. The finished developed images are scanned and edited as usual, if necessary. Due to the fact that the movie film is processed using a different technique and chemical developer, the development is usually more expensive than the processing of standard 35mm color film. Scanning remains in the same price range.

Kodak comes out as Kodak Vision and exists in three light sensitivities - KodakVision 50D (5203), Kodak Vision 250D (5207), Kodak Vision 500T (5219). These are all color films with some pronounced color reproduction. There is also the black and white Kodak Eastman Double X Black and White Negative Film. Fujifilm has now discontinued the movie film, but you can find an expired film under the brand name Fujifilm Eterna. This expired film is more than suitable for shooting when properly stored at the correct temperature.

All movie films are reels of film. The movie film in our store is not an exception. We rewind in DX-coded reels. This is done for the convenience of using this film in compact cameras, which read the code and give the camera an understanding of how to expose the film. Thus, you can easily put our movie film in any camera at all. But, once again, you can get the most out of our film on a film camera with manual settings. We recommend shooting our movie films at 200-400 ISO to get the best results.

You can also buy the movie film produced by Cinestill from us. Actually, Cinestill set this trend of shooting movie film in a regular 35mm camera a few years ago. Cinestill makes two kinds of film: Cinestill 50 Daylight, which gives the best results in good natural daylight because it has a sensitivity of 50; and Cinestill 800 Tungsten, suitable for shooting at night and in electric light, both indoors and in the city. Cinestill is also available in 120 film type. What makes this movie film special is that the soot layer has already been removed from it - even before it is wound into reels, so it can be developed using the normal C-41 color process used for conventional color photographic films. However, a side effect of the stripped soot layer is a light halo effect around the subject, especially where the light falls into the camera. Many Cinestill fans love this effect and use this film because of it.

You can buy Cinestill movie film here. We also have ECN-2 process development and scanning of your films is available.