Week 45: Kodak Vision3 500T enjoys a summer street party

I sourced some special Kodak cinematographic film and took it with me to one of Frankfurt's largest street parties. Join me for some bright lights and excellent low light rendition from this special film!

When you live in Germany you will soon realise that there is an abundance of fests (street festivals). Whether it be the Christmas markets or Oktoberfest, it seems one cannot go 2 to 3 weeks without having some kind of market going on. In Frankfurt this becomes even more prevalent from May through September, where every other week a street market pops up somewhere in the city, many focusing on wine as the area around Frankfurt is a big white wine region. And most of these markets follow a similar pattern, with similar stalls with Bratwurst and other "healthy" German food and beers. These are usually followed by arts and crafts and other similar stalls. Not all markets are the same, and every year the Bahnhofsviertelnacht (night of the city quarter around the main train station), hosts a massive street and music party. It also happens to be Frankfurt's red light district, which otherwise is not really a recommended area. But as I had never been to this particular street party and the opportunity to take some cool night shots of the neon lights, I ventured over with a friend and some new film: Kodak Vision3 500T.

About the film

Kodak Vision3 500T is a tungsten balanced film (meaning it works really well at night with bright neon lights), and is specially created from old cinematographic film. This is certainly not mainstream film, and can only be found in a few specialist photographic retailers, who also develop it themselves using specialist chemicals. For those of you who are interested, I believe this is the same film that Cinestill use for their Cinestill 800 version, albeit with some chemical modifications.  

 According to Kodak: Vision3 500T is a high-speed tungsten balanced movie film characterised by a fine grain structure, broad dynamic range, and the flexible nominal sensitivity of a 500-speed index. It has a wide exposure latitude with ex exceptional highlight control for working in a variety of lighting conditions, ranging from high contrast outdoor lighting to mixed interior light situations. 

So back to the photos. All taken during the street party with 1 roll of 35mm film and my Leica camera. I had not used it in a while as many of my previous posts were shot on medium format film, so it was fun to bring it out again. I was also really curious to see how this film would weight up against Cinestill 800, which is a great performer for low light situations. 

You can see how popular this party is - that is as far as the eye can see, and only one of about 5 long streets!  


Quite a grainy shot, but I like how the bright colours are rendered, also pretty impressive this is shot handheld in a dark environment. 


This place is actually a real dive, but in this lighting it is a pretty cool photo! 


I won't comment too much on this building, other than the lighting is really cool!  


View along the main road leading to the main train station, usually full of traffic and now pedestrianised for the big street party. I really like how moody this photo is, the tungsten balanced film really brings out the street lighting in a cool way.  


Pretty cool graffiti heading into a car parking area.  


Another packed street scene, with music stages towards the end of the shot.  


My mate Claudio enjoying himself. This shot is cropped from the original and look how sharp it is - I used flash for this one and it came out really well.  


Another cool street scene shot with the bright neon lights, I really like how well this film renders bright colours.  


A group of DJ's playing in the entrance of a hotel in the area. I purposely tried to underexpose this to see how the bright lighting would come out. Apparently this film can be both under or overexposed in a big way, which makes it very fledible


And one final music stage street scene shot.  


Overall observations

This film certainly served its purpose, by providing some really great shots in a low light situation, bringing out the bright neon lights and creating photograhs with lots of character. I also get a kick out of the fact that this film is nearly a one of a kind and is not widely available. I got it from Nik&Trick Photographic services based out of Kent in the UK, where I also got the redscale film, and the ISO 50 and 250 versions of the Kodak Vision3 film. 

There is something really cool about shooting movie film that has been adapted to 35mm. I have also enjoyed the Cinestill 800 variety, although that film has some strange things going on with streetlights, turning them bright red. It's not something I am a big fan of but has to do with how they have re-spooled the film and removing a so-called remjet layer. 

This film is really fun to use, I am definitely going to stock up on it and try it out during the day. It could be one of my favourite films of the entire 45 weeks shot so far! So certainly one I can recommend, head over to Nik&Trick and pick some up, they will also develop and scan it for you. 

I have weeks 46 & 47 back and ready to publish in next few days, with weeks 48 & 49 seeing some really cool film and even cooler locations. All will be revealed soon as we speed towards week 52!

Thanks for dropping by and see you next time!