Tungsten balanced film feels like a relic in today’s world, since our light sources have evolved towards the cooler colors of incandescent and LED. Moreover, modern digital post processing can color balance light sources are “unnatural”, providing a more pleasant look to pictures. In my opinion, tungsten-based films have little usage today, except to get a look of yesterday. For me, I use Cinestill 800T (and equivalent films) only for the fast speed, which is badly needed in winter as the sun sets by 4pm. The additional light sensitivity is all I care about, as I don’t have any nostalgia for the color rendition of this film stock.
Setting for this session: Exposures were set automatically by the camera; all were shot at ISO 800 using the internal Konica FT1 light meter. I chose the Hexanon 50/1.4 for the aperture and focal length; I would have preferred something wide, but I don’t have a lens that is this fast. Because all were shot at night at the light show, the shutter speed was either 1/30 or 1/60, and wide open at the apertures ranged from F/1.4 to F/2.8.
The Portland Zoo Lights is less winter festival and more appropriate for the Christmas holidays. We visited on the last day of the show after the new year, so it was significantly priced down. It wasn’t very crowded, especially because we got there late. (gates were technically closed) That also meant we only have one hour to zoom past everything and walk around the loop. The only animals we saw were the elephants and the bats; everyone else seemed to have retired. Lights were pretty decent, some very unique and colorful exhibitions and nice touch to have a lot of animals. Definitely worth it for the heavily discounted price.
I don’t see the need for using the Tungsten based film; I’m pretty sure Lomo 800 and Portra 800 would fare as well. With that said, definitely recommend shooting high speed film, especially for handheld shots. The only other films I might have chosen were black and white Ilford and Kodak 3200 film, but then it would have defeated the purpose of color lights.