More bad news to come no doubt, but we can still shoot while we've got film and a place to process it. B+W at least will never completely dry up.
I wonder why there is not as much concern expressed for transparency film to be find among the APUG community. Come on we need to support E6 full force, let's not let it die as we did Kodachrome. E6 is the analog process that needs it the most right now.
In the pre-digi-devolution of the pro market, when transparencies were king, this process seemed highly regarded and the lattitude and exposure limitations didn't seem to be a valid point to prefer color neg over it. Now that the pro market has switched mostly to digital and that the mass-market of everyday people have forgotten about the experience and benefits of projecting slides, the market for E6 has shrinked dangerously. We need to revamp the concept and find smart ways to sell it to as many people as possible. Now is actually a great time to do so, with all those youngsters and new comers from the digital world starting to discover how much analog photography processes can bring to their practice and enjoyment of photography. I admire what Lomography has already achieved in promoting analog photography in a way few people could predict. I dream of someone coming up with a complete DIY at home kit for developing and viewing slides of all sizes (including 3D). They could sell it in partnership with Lomography for example: a small batch developping machine (à la Jobo ATL 1500), E6 films and chemistry, and a portable lightbox with a good loupe or any other smart new device that would be able to provide similar practical viewing experience as an iPad does. Hip and clever marketing to promote medium and large format transparencies as what they really are: one of the most awesome photographic medium ever created.
Last edited by Lionel1972; 09-08-2011 at 11:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Just thought I'd share a note I got:
Dear Mr. Fox
Thank you for contacting FUJIFILM North America Corporation. Please allow us to assist you.
Please be advised that the has all 1600 speed film has been discontinued. Therefore, we do not have information regarding dealers who may still be carrying this product. We are sorry that we are not able to assist you further in locating this item.
We sincerely hope this information has been beneficial to you. If you should have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us in the future. It would be our pleasure to assist you again.
Thank you for your interest in FUJIFILM products and services.
Authorized Customer Care Representative
Customer Care, Imaging Division
FUJIFILM NORTH AMERICA CORPORATION
I shoot all Fuji film, first with Neopan 400 and then Acros and Velvia 50.....but what the heck? I'm starting to get nervous. It seems like this is a really drawn out departure from the whole film scene altogether.
Several reasons. Digital display like computer projectors have replaced the hassle of slide shows. I love projecting slides but it IS a hassle. The digital version doesn't have the impact, of course, but it's so much easier and, for most people, unfortunately good enough. That's the same thing that's going on generally too.
Originally Posted by Lionel1972
Second, negative films have improved tremendously. Back in the days you mention negative film could give you nice skin tones and maybe a white not-too-blue and not-too-yellow wedding dress if you were lucky, but that was about the extent of their virtues. If you were a pro who needed, say, exact matching for product shots, that required transparency film, careful lighting, test exposures with the same processing, careful filtering etc. Now that's not true either. Negative films are now very, very good, and happen to have far more dynamic range and latitude (another way of saying the same thing really) than transparency film. Finally, for we hobbyists, the disappearance of type R paper and the elevation of the price of Ilfochrome into the stratosphere have pretty much removed the reasonable ways of getting a print from the stuff at home using a totally analog process. If you want a print from a transparency now you either buy some very expensive Ilfochrome supplies and learn to print with it, including contrast masking for many images, or you scan it, one way or another - either YOU scan it or you have it scanned for output by a lab.
I still shoot some in 35mm but only in 35mm so far. I bought a box of 4x5 because the price was right and I plan to buy a v700, but I haven't been that tempted to shoot it yet. It would look gorgeous on the lightbox but until I get the scanner what would I do with it? And once I do, I can scan it and, if I buy an expensive ink jet using expensive inks, make expensive prints that look no better than ones I can make in the darkroom on RA4 paper from negatives for much less money at every step of the process, and with more latitude and dynamic range at the same time.
Don't get me wrong, it may not sound like it but I DO like transparency film. I just understand why it's the fastest disappearing type of film.
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts about my wonderings Roger. I understand your points. I didn't know color negative film used to be so bad. I agree that a digital slide-show is way much easier to set up and share (especially if it is just on a monitor) than traditional projection of slides. I also think that the ability of large monitor screens to display a punchy backlit image often bigger and brighter that the usual 4x6 or 8x10 print has won people over to digital viewing (and thus the commercial mass-market decline of prints altogether). My love for transparencies also come in part from the wonderful experience of viewing a transparency on the lighttable. Now if color negative film could be easily inverted (in the way they produce movie picture prints) maybe I would be all for color neg, althought I still think transparency film provides one of the more direct ways to experience and to connect physically with the light that came from the subjet.
I have to say I don't have any experience with printing RA4, but what I saw so far lets me think that the results are way above anything I've seen from a scan of color negative film. I have found that with my flatbed scanner I never get a satisfactory scan of any of my color negative, so I tried to get a roll scanned through a minilab and I actually loved the scans produced but I couldn't say that they look very natural. I will continue to explore C41 but I would be very sad without any transparency film to shoot. Oh please give 4x5 large format transparencies a try, it's just mindblowing. Having just seen online what a WWII old 4x5 Kodachrome could look like is what decided me to seek out large format cameras and to get into analog photography. I wanted to have the change to capture my parents and family members with the degree of extraordinary sense of presence and beauty they can provide.
Color negative films were "good enough" for most mass market purposes, and had lots of latitude then as now, so they weren't truly horrid (at least, C-41 - I have no direct experience with earlier processes though I vaguely remember shooting Kodacolor-X before I was really "into" photography) but they didn't compare to Kodachrome of the day and, later, the best E6 films. Vericolor type-S was hailed as amazing in its day, and it was in a way, but it was far inferior to modern films like Portra.
I will shoot that 4x5, I just wonder what to do with it once I do. I can scan it or have it scanned (the latter at very considerable cost) for inkjet output myself or Lightjet from a lab, but end up with something probably no better and more likely inferior to a print I'd get starting with good CN film and printing myself on RA4. I'm not back into color darkroom yet but will be soon and I've done it before so I don't expect huge surprises.
I was thinking the other night that if we had something like a little LED based light box, thin enough to hang on the wall and with a way to hold a transparency, in different sizes, it would make an awesome way to display sheet film transparencies! Build in a little magnifier behind the main display surface and you could make, say, an 8x10 that displayed a 2x magnified 4x5. It would be such a niche product it could probably never be manufactured economically but the wall display would sure be beautiful!
Astia never really caught on in a big way like Velvia did. Too bad. It was possibly the best balanced chrome film ever made. But folks were more concerned with how chromes looked on a light box (like a
slide projector) than how they actually printed. Keeping inventory fresh was a real problem. I loved
Astia for certain things but frankly didn't buy much at a time. It was hell to get in 8x10 anywhere. Its
own demise should certainly not be forecasted as the doom of E6 in general. Times are tough and all
kinds of manufacturers are trimming inventories. Meantime, I've been honing my skills with the newest
color neg systems, just in case Humpty-Dumpty does come tumbling eventually.
Several of us mentioned this in another thread, but if you like and miss Astia probably the closest replacement is Kodak E100G. It's a bit more contrasty but only a bit, less contrasty than, say, Provia (which I find too contrasty for general use, YMMV.) I've been shooting it in 35mm and like it a lot, and it's available in all sizes up to and including 8x10.
Last edited by Roger Cole; 09-08-2011 at 09:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Meant to say it's less contrasty than Provia, not Portra
I've got one 50 sheet box left in the freezer...but I cant afford to print Ilfochrome anymore so I'll probably never use it...