Once again, Fujifilm has film photographers taking it from behind with its latest price increase. According to Fujifilm’s announcement earlier this week, effective April 1st, all of their color films, Chromogenic photo papers, and disposable cameras will see a price increase of, at MINIMUM, 30%. Thankfully Fuji’s black and white Acros film will be unaffected by the price hike, mainly because they killed it off last year.
This announcement is only the latest in a long series of proverbial middle-fingers in the faces of photographers, following their axing of most film photography products. In the last few years alone Fuji has stopped efforts to produce all of their black and white films and papers, and killed their Superia 1600, 200, and 800, Natura 1600, and Pro 160NS films. Not to mention that several of their products, such as the popular Velvia 50 in 4×5, are not even sold in the United States. Although they have expended their Instax films and cameras somewhat, the majority of their more serious film photography products are no more.
As of right now, the only films they still advertise on their website are:
- Fujicolor Superia X-tra 400
- Fujicolor Pro 400H
- Fujicolor C200
- Fujichrome Velvia 50
- Fujichrome Velvia 100
- Fujichrome Provia 100F
Even with their remaining film stocks, it is questionable as to whether they are here to stay. Several notable film photography advocates have expressed concern regarding Fuji’s production of these films, and even today, @tokyocamerastyle, a popular instagram account about Japanese camera and photography culture, posted this comment on his story.
Obviously there is no news that Fuji has stopped making film completely(yet), but the point is that Fuji’s interest in keeping film around is questionable at best, and people are definitely taking notice.
Meanwhile, in the last year alone Kodak has reintroduced 2 new films to its roster – Tmax P3200, and the long awaited Ektachrome, Kodaks first and only color slide film since the same film stock, as well as Kodak’s “Elite Chrome” line, was discontinued in 2012. And with Kodak investing so heavily in the film photography market, it begs the question, what incentive is there to continue supporting Fuji by buying its film products? Although there is no good alternative to stocks like their Velvia color reversal film, Kodak makes comparable alternatives to all of their color negative film stocks, and Ektachrome is comparable(in my opinion) to Fuji Provia 100F. And in fact, Fuji’s professional films were already significantly more expensive than kodaks, so after this upcoming price increase, will they really be worth the extra cost?
Personally, the only reason I used Fuji in the first place is because Superia 400 can often be found for around $3.50 a roll, and I will definitely be making the switch to Kodak’s Ultramax for an inexpensive color film. Do whatever you want, and if you like a film, shoot with it, but if you want to support film photography, use Kodak, Ilford, or one of any number of small-scale film manufacturers on the market.