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35mm and 120 film reviews - Ikigai Camera Blog

One Roll - Cinestill BwXX (Kodak Double-X)

Peter Davison

cinestill bwxx kodak double-x ikigai

Most of us know of the Cinestill brand from the infamous 800 speed tungsten film with the crazy highlights you either love or hate (we love it for the record).

Cinestill have now added a black and white stock to their mix with a limited release re-spooling of Kodak Double X motion picture stock.

This definitely isn't a new film, and people have been re-spooling bulk rolls for 35mm still camera use for years, but it's nice to have a readily available source from a company with a decent track record. 

Originally released in 1959, Kodak Double-X has been used in many Hollywood movies such as Casino Royale, Kill Bill and Cinderella Man to name a few.

One of the interesting things about this stock (and something that can't be said for many others) is that is has been almost entirely unchanged since its originally release.

Cinestill recommend this film be developed in D-96, but it can be a little hard to get so we just used tried and true Kodak XTOL at a 1:1 ratio.

Despite it looking grainier than one would expect from a 250 ISO film, it isn't entirely unpleasant and it is definitely quite sharp while still maintaining a classic look.

There are so many black and white films on the market these days, you might think a film that is slightly slower and grainier than the rest would be a hard sell, but Double-X has quite a cult following. 

I guess the old adage is true; if it ain't broke!

BwXX is sharp, has nice tonality and has great dynamic range. If you can get past the grain and want to try a piece of cinematic history, it's hard to go wrong.

Want to try some?