Portra 800 vs. Cinestill 800T: the two best high speed color films!

As a traditional dip & dunk film lab, we have extensive experience working with both these films, allowing us to provide valuable insights into their unique characteristics and how they can elevate your photographic endeavors.

Kodak Portra 800: The Warm Elegance

Known for its warm tones, natural color rendition, beautiful grain, and impressive exposure latitude, Kodak Portra 800 stands out as a versatile choice for various shooting conditions. Whether you’re capturing portraits or scenes in natural light, Portra 800’s fine grain makes it a top choice for both 120 and 35mm formats. We find that Portra 800 is ideal for portraiture, as its warmth enhances skin tones, and the film’s grain remains subtle even in 35mm when exposed correctly. Learn more about Portra 800 here.


Cinestill 800T: Cinematic Coolness

Cinestill 800T, derived from cinema film with the rem-jet layer removed for C-41 development, introduces a cinematic flair to your photographs. Notable for its pronounced halation effect, especially in out-of-focus highlights, this film stock is celebrated for its cool tones, attributed to its tungsten balance. In artificial or mixed lighting, Cinestill 800T shines, delivering a distinctly cinematic look. However, it’s important to note that in daylight, the film tends to produce cooler tones, which can be mitigated with additional light or a warming filter. Learn more about Cinestill 800T here.

Development Considerations

At TheDarkroom.com, we have extensive experience developing both Portra 800 and Cinestill 800T. While Portra 800 is generally preferred at box speed for optimal results, Cinestill 800T’s can be shot from 400-6400iso. With the ability to handle pushes up to +3 stops, reaching an impressive ISO 6400, Cinestill 800T becomes an excellent choice for low-light situations, expanding its range and adaptability.

Choosing Between the Two

The decision between Kodak Portra 800 and Cinestill 800T ultimately boils down to your shooting preferences and lighting conditions. If you gravitate towards portraiture and predominantly shoot in natural light, Kodak Portra 800 is the recommended choice. Its warm tones and fine grain make it a reliable option for capturing the essence of your subjects. On the other hand, if your photography ventures into night scenes and low-light environments frequently, Cinestill 800T’s exceptional pushing capabilities make it a formidable companion, ensuring stunning results even in challenging lighting conditions.


In conclusion, both Kodak Portra 800 and Cinestill 800T offer unique visual characteristics, and the choice between them depends on your specific shooting scenarios and personal preferences. At TheDarkroom.com, we take pride in developing these films to bring out their best qualities, ensuring that your photographic vision is translated into stunning images. Whichever film you choose, you can trust us to deliver top-notch development services tailored to the nuances of each film stock. Explore the possibilities, embrace the nuances, and let your creativity shine with Kodak Portra 800 and Cinestill 800T.

TDR Film Developing
3 replies on “Portra 800 vs. Cinestill 800T: the two best high speed color films!”

I prefer the Portra 800 because it has a timeless look and exceptional color rendition, making it my top build now gg pick for capturing portraits and scenes with rich, natural tones.

I especially appreciate the focus on shooting scenarios and personal preference. As someone who loves shooting portraits in natural light, Portra 800 sounds perfect for slice masters. But for those night time vibes, Cinestill 800T definitely tempts me to experiment!

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