Yes, we live in an increasingly digital world. But just like physical books and vinyl, there's a lot of love still out there for photographic film.
Pursuing this traditional way of taking pictures helps teach you about light, color, and how cameras work, forces you to get a shot right the first time (there's no 'delete and try again'), plus you can create cool effects using overexposure, double exposures, light leaks, and so on.
• Read more: Best film cameras (opens in new tab)
The audience is undeniably dwindling, though. Which means that the best film (opens in new tab) is getting harder and harder to find, with many much-loved products being phased out due to lack of demand.
Now three Fujifilm products are going to the great darkroom in the sky, namely the Fujicolor Pro 160NS 120 (opens in new tab), and Fujichrome Velvia 50 LF sheet film (opens in new tab) in 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 sizes.
Gone but not forgotten
The Fujicolor Pro 160NS 120, which is expected to no longer ship after March 2022, is an ISO 160 daylight-type color negative film designed for professional use. It features impressive grain quality, smooth skin tone reproduction and neutral grey balance, making it especially useful for portrait photographers. Most frustratingly, Fujifilm has no alternative film to recommend once it's no longer available.
The Fujichrome Velvia 50 LF sheet film, meanwhile, is known for its vibrant colors, high contrast and rich textures. It's expected to stop shipping in December in 8x10 sizes, and March 2023 in 4x5 sizes.
Anyone looking for large format slide film in the USA will henceforth be directed to the Fujichrome Provia 100F (opens in new tab), while photographers outside the States will also have the option of the Fujichrome Velvia 100 (opens in new tab). That film, however, was banned in the USA this July, due to updates to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.
A statement from the company says that, "Fujifilm has been working hard to absorb costs such as improving production efficiency and reducing costs for the 160NS 120 size color negative film for photography and the Velvia 50 CUT size reversal film that have been used for many years.
"However, because it became difficult to procure some of the raw materials used for production, we have no choice but to discontinue production and sales."
What's left for film lovers?
While we could rant and rave about the injustice of it all, there's no real point: Fujifilm has clearly taken the decision to phase out many of its films due to a pincer movement of supply issues and declining demand, and more cuts are likely on their way. Indeed, the press release accompanying this announcement points people towards the Fujifilm Film Simulations Group (opens in new tab) on Facebook, which gives you a clear idea of where its collective head is at.
For the record, Fujifilm now only has five film products left in the US: the Velvia 50 in 35mm and 120, Provia 100F (opens in new tab) (35mm, 120, and sheet), Neopan 100 Acros II (opens in new tab) ( 35mm, 120), Fujicolor C200 (opens in new tab), and Superia X-Tra 400 (opens in new tab), plus the Velvia 100 (35mm, 120, sheet) in other countries. So if you truly love any of these products, we'd urge you stock up while the going's good.
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