Fuji Instant

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Wayne, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I'm posting this here because I'm asking about B&W and color, and there doesnt seem to be a more appropriate place for it.

    With Polaroid biting the dust, lets talk about Fuji's Instant films. To be honest, I didnt even know they made them. Perhaps my despair at Polaroid discontinuing 669 shortly after I bought a Polaroid 180 camera prevented me from noticing Fuji's offerings.

    So what is good/bad about Fuji's products? they are cheap, thats for sure! Are they good? Why? Anyone have examples they can post or direct me towards?


    Wayne
     
  2. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Fuji FP100C colour film beats any Polaroid film I've used into a cocked hat in terms of faithful colour reproduction, the emulsion seems a lot more hard-wearing as well (I never get 'spots' on Fuji prints, whereas I do in Polaroid - both in a Polaroid pack film holder.)

    As far as I'm concerned, Fuji's is just all-round better to be honest. I particularly like the matt finish version.

    The downsides: Not good for emulsion lifts, and they don't make anything larger than 4x5, and the 4x5 they do make is only available in pack film. (If Fuji made single-sheet instant material, I wouldn't be mourning the loss of Polaroid at all... I still hope that they now start.)
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I know vey little about Fuji's instant films. For instance, what cameras do they work in?
     
  4. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    FP100C (ISO100 colour), FP100B (ISO100 B&W) and FP3000B (ISO3000 B&W) are available in 3.25x4.25" packs, suitable for medium-format Polaroid backs. (I use it in the Polaroid back for my Mamiya RB67.)

    FP100C & FP3000B are available in 4x5" packs for a 4x5" Polaroid pack film holder (something I sadly don't possess, so I've never tried them in this size - I guess I'll have to buy one soon unless they start making them in sheet form.)
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Tim's comments are pretty much on the mark. Now if Fuji could just make FP100C in 4x5" and 8x10" sheet formats that would be ideal, at least for proofing.

    I did try a couple of transfers with the FP100C once and got something, but it just wasn't as easy as with 669/59/809. With the demise of Polaroid, there's a bit more incentive to experiment with it. Maybe it would transfer better with more heat, for example.
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The Fuji instants rock. Honestly I have gotten fp100b prints that I then used as a "goal" for my other normal prints. The contrast scale is usually exactly what I am after, though your exposure has to be bang on to get a good print, which is of course why it is so good for proofing. In terms of exposure latitude, it is like a narrow latitude slide film.

    The 3000b is particularly amusing, it is grainless and quite nice for pinhole explorations. I have written Fuji attempting to encourage them to make their stuff even larger than 4x5 but that hasn't yet succeeded. Frankly I would love to do fp100b prints at 5x7 or 8x10.

    My impression is that the Fuji stuff generally has better shelf life. I am not saying that the prints fade more slowly, I am saying that a box of Fuji instant film generally seems to last longer on the shelf than the Polaroid stuff. I have used outdated Fuji material that wasn't refrigerated and it was just fine.

    For emulsion transfer and image transfer, the Fuji stuff presents some new capabilities but also limitations. For proofing, I think there is little doubt that the Fuji materials are far superior.

    If you shoot the Fuji stuff in 4x5, consider getting a new PA45 holder, it is nice. The only drawback is that the 4x5 material is a pack film and so you need to develop each sheet on the spot before advancing to the next. There is no way to withdraw a sheet without developing it, like you might treat the individually-packed polaroid sheets.... unless you are enterprising and have a changing bag! But anyway my guess is that Fuji can make pack films at much lower cost than the individually-wrapped sheet films.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Where do you get the Fuji instant film. I have never seen it and didn't even know it existed. Is it available in the US?
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's widely available at most professional photo dealers that would sell the comparable Polaroid materials. I usually get it at B&H.
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I just ordered some 100c for my dust-gathering Polaroid 180, from Calumet. B&W is back ordered they said. This is going to be fun.

    More questions. Does the B&W produce a negative? is it any good? What are the exposure characteristics of these films? Are the 100s true 100s? I understand the color is more tolerant of long exposures than Polaroid. True? How long?

    Wayne
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Interesting thing I found the other day - on MegaPerls they actually *have* FP-100C in 4x5 format (FP-100C45) - so, it appears to be a Japan-only product (as well as FP-100B45 and an FP-500B45, which doesn't seem to be available in regular pack size). I wonder if that had to do with their licensing agreement with Polaroid - otherwise that seems a waste not to sell in the rest of the world.
     
  11. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Is that FP100C45 not the pack-film version in 4x5? That is indeed readily available - it's the single-sheet versions which are sadly missing from the lineup. That is definitely very interesting though, as I've never heard of FP400B or FP500B before, and I didn't think FP100B was available in 4x5 - so it certainly looks like Fuji have capacity for producing instant films beyond the limited amount currently available 'over here'. Which has to be good news for us in a post-Polaroid world...


    Wayne - my copy of the Fuji professional dataguide lists the reciprocity characteristics of FP100C/FP100C-Silk (love the silk version) as follows:

    Exposure time - Exposure correction - Colour correction
    1/1000 - NA - NA
    1/100 - NA - NA
    1/10 - NA - NA
    1 - +2/3 stop - 5R
    4 - +1 stop - 5Y+7.5R
    8 - +1.5 stops - 5Y+7.5R
    16 - 2 stops - 7.5Y+12.5R


    I am now slightly confused, as the version of the guide which I googled-up in order to put a link in here shows different numbers... (I was looking at the version which I have safely stored on my computer for reference.)

    I'll see if I can work out which one is out-of-date...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2008
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  13. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    OK, since there seems to be some confusion here.

    Readily available 'over here' Fuji instant films:
    FP100C in medium format pack film and 4x5 pack film.
    FP100B in medium format pack film.
    FP3000B in medium format pack film and 4x5 pack film.

    Apparently available in Japan but not here:
    FP100B in 4x5 pack film.
    FP400B in various formats.
    FP500B in various formats.

    Not available anywhere because they don't make it as far as I can tell:
    Anything in 4x5 single sheet form (i.e. Polaroid 545-style single sheets.)


    Oh, and the Fuji dataguide can be found here.
     
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  15. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Just to clear up any confusion the film Fuji calls FP100c45, is the 4x5 ISO 100 color pack film, comes in 10 exposure film packs to fit 4x5 film pack holders as made by Fuji and Polaroid. If it doesn't have the "45" digits at the end of the item number, then it is not the 4x5 size pack film. It indeed is far better color and consistency than current Polaroid stuff.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    There is no separable negative like you get with 55 or 665.

    The 100 stuff is 100, bang on the money in my experience. It is excellent proofing material. I have also been impressed with the colour 100, the 400, the 3000, all of them seem to rate [almost] exactly at box speed. Actually there is much less ambiguity on this than with the Polaroid films. I also found it a nuisance with polaroid to have to convert an ISO 80 proof to an ISO 100 exposure etc.

    Long exposures: I have done seconds to many seconds with 400b and 3000b with no apparent problems. My attitude on that is kind of blase, though; if I don't get what I want I just dial in a longer exposure and reshoot. Matching reciprocities could be computed, in principle. Anyway I think I've done ~8 sec exposures with 3000b (pinhole!) and also some rather long, multisecond exposures with the fp100c, no problems. I don't recall trying fp100b over more than a second or two but certainly ~ 1 second should be no problem. Short answer: no guarantees, but I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    P.S. the reason to watch megaperls is that sometimes they have special deals or some unique things that haven't yet appeared in the US. We'll have to watch the prices now that the patent situation is probably in limbo; I guess Fuji may be able to supply directly to the US at lower cost now. That which can be found in the US will usually be at a lower cost than at megaperls. But for the longest time there was no fp100b45 in the US at all and I just got it through megaperls at fair cost.
     
  18. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    Tim, that's all I needed to hear, thanks! -- Terry
     
  19. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Hah, glad to be of service - yep, it works fine in the Mamiya polaroid back. I noticed someone asked for some examples in that other thread, so here are a couple of completely random ones; these were taken with the RB67 on FP100C-Silk, in Iceland last summer (forgive the dirt on the second one - shows it's real :wink:.)...
     

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  20. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    The Fuji materials use sigma-grain technology, their version of t-grain. It results in a much sharper B&W image with much better enlarging capability via scanning. I also agree that the Fuji prints in B&W and color are more resilient to the environment (scratches, pinholes, drying faster, etc). I mourn the loss of 4x5 sheet film. I will mourn the loss of integral material for my SX-70. But, when I opened the fridge to review my stash, I noticed that most of the boxes are green, rather than blue. Fuji instant material is great stuff! I order from B&H.

    I easily enlarge my 3.25 x 4.25 pack films 3-5x with incredible results. I've posted a hybrid technique on the Flickr Polaroid group.
     
  21. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I hope that Fuji will produce 4x5 single sheet film, as Polaroid discontinues it. And while I'm hoping, I hope that they will consider making Type 55. It seems a little more realistic for Fuji to pick it up, since they are already making Polaroid-like products, compared to the slimmer chance that Ilford would do it.
     
  22. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I really like the look of those. Thanks! Feel free to post more...It'll be 48 hours before I can do my own, and I can hardly wait.


    Wayne
     
  23. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Okay, lets say I wanted to use the 4x5 FP100C in my Crown Graphic. What would I need?
     
  24. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Jason - I've not tried it, but as far as I know you need a Fuji PA-45 holder, and that's it. (Well, and the film of course :smile:.) I'm adding a PA-45 to my shopping list...
     
  25. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    I don't want to flood the group with my holiday snaps - so here's just the one more from the same trip. Not exactly high art (hey, like I say, they're holiday snaps,) but hopefully this one shows a bit more of the colour palette of FP100C. This is Reykjavik city centre, by the way...
     

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  26. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    You can also use a Polaroid 500 or 550 holder instead of the PA-45. Two weeks ago they were selling on ebay for < $5. Now, a lot more ;-)