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  1. #1
    jun
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    Fuji announces New 400 Color Negative, for Japanese market (only)

    Hello everyone.
    Since we are getting in to the New Year, and I donít think that most of you donít access Fujiís Japanese site, but you may be interested for a new color film popping out these days, even currently targeted only for the Japanese market, I will inform it here.
    Here is the announcement that Fuji did on Dec. 18th, 2008.
    URL below (NOTE: All Japanese)
    http://www.fujifilm.co.jp/corporate/...ffnr_0245.html

    Very rough and abstract translation of the above URL:

    FujiFilm will introduce a new 35mm color negative film ďFUJI COLOR SUPERIA PREMIUM 400Ē as a new product lineup from the beginning of March 2009.
    This color film has a new designed emulsion layer that have a better overexposure latitude than the current offering.
    Also this new film emulsion is designed and adjusted for the average Japanese skin color, to reproduce Japanese skin well and look healthier.

    As digital camera have been popular these days, and people are shooting more pictures than ever before, and people are also recognizing that the photographic film has the merit for better tone and 3 dimensional like reproduction and still supporting films.
    Also there is some new demand for film from users who never shoot film before.

    Futures:
    (1) Better over exposure latitude from newly designed emulsion layers.
    (Allows one stop over exposure than the current product)
    (2) Adjusted for average Japanese skin color for better skin tones (for Japanese)
    (3) New Super Uniform Fine Grain Technology for higher efficiency and fine grain
    (4) Vivid Color Reproduction Technology for Sharpness and Vividness

    As you may see, I donít think this product is drastic product like the EKTAR 100.
    But it may be a practical 400 film, since the current Fuji Film 400 speed 135 commercial film offerings in Japan, i.e. ďFUJI COLOR SUPERIA VENUSĒ (I donít think this is exported) is too high contrast for my taste (I donít think that Fujion is not that low contrast lens but???) and may have corrected this problem.
    Well, the highest contrast Negative Film that I have experienced was the EKTAR 25 (completely blown out highlights), but I think this is the fate of thin emulsion high-resolution film.
    I know that Fuji also offers X-TRA 400 film in Japan now, which was not introduced in Japan before.

    I am not so much interested in 35mm system in color, because it seems to be difficult to have acceptable exposure range, tone/gradation, sharpness and grain simultaneously.
    I seldom use my Nikon F2 / FM3A any more for film (my more than 50 years old 6 X 9 MF camera brings much better results).
    I think 35mm system is made and suited for motion picture rather than for still application technically, which was definitely true 50 years ago, which I think is also holds true for today.
    May be, the new EKTAR 100 (supposed to debut in Japan mid of January 2009), and new type of film that Fuji will bring may change my mind a bit.
    However even the new EKTAR 100 cannot come close to PORTRA for exposure range / latitude performance (which I think is the very important feature especially for color negative) without any doubt.
    I have to test these new 135 films to get my own conclusion whether these new films can meet my requirements.

    The bad news from Fuji is that they also announced to increase the price (about + 15%) of the 135 / APS size negative films starting from March 2009 in Japan (only).
    Well I think that this is inevitable.
    But it will not affect pricing of Reversal Films, B&W, and color negative other than 135 / APS.

    The cheapest 135 size color negative film per roll available today in Tokyo Japan is Kodak 400 gold film in 3 or 5 roll packs.
    DNP films (=KODAK OEM) are bit more expensive but if you buy it in single roll pack, I think it is cheaper than the yellow box.
    Fuji is the most expensive (+10% or more), but average Japanese tends to buy Fuji.

    For Color Negative I normally choose Kodak rather than Fuji, but for Color Reversal, I will definitely choose Fuji.

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

  2. #2

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    Fuji has tacitly phased out most 4-color layer negative films (Superia X-tra 100, 200, and 400) and replaced them with 3-color layer films, also available as several drugstore chains' private label films for a very moderate price (Fujicolor 100, Superia 200 = C200, Superia 400, and equivalents). I like the new Superia 200 = C200 for its perfect hybrid capabilities, while the crappy prints I got with tis film from commercial photofinishers are by no means of any use in judging a film's quality today. All these new films have a lighter mask and a quite high contrast as optimized for scanning in the widespread Fuji Frontier minilabs, and an excellent dynamic range for exposure at nominal speed without losing shadow detail, but they don't tolerate overexposure too well. Maybe the new film has a flatter gradation.

  3. #3
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I can see why they target Japan, considering the comment on Japanese skin color.

    The color reproduction of various skin tones in color films is a complex subject and I spent months mastering the subtle nature of this. We tailored all of our color films to have spectral sensitivities to cover all possible skin tones from freckle faced redheads to African Americans, with teenagers with severe acne in between. Belive it or not, the latter is a problem to reproduce well without them looking very ill indeed.

    So, if they target one skin tone, I hope they manage to cover them all with one film, or they will be faced with either poor tones, or a redesign of the product.

    PE

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    I can see why they target Japan, considering the comment on Japanese skin color.
    (snip)
    So, if they target one skin tone, I hope they manage to cover them all with one film, or they will be faced with either poor tones, or a redesign of the product.
    They'd have a rich market here in Los Angeles if it is true that all Asian skin tones are similar.

  5. #5
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    Asian skin tones are not entirely similar.

    PE

  6. #6
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    Do amateur photographers in Japan shoot a lot of film? This seems like a consumer product, which is odd given the low volume of consumer film being used nowadays. Obviously there is some market, or else this film wouldn't exist.

  7. #7
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    This seems to fly in the face of the "film is dead" chorus.
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank View Post
    This seems to fly in the face of the "film is dead" chorus.
    And Ektar 100 didn't?

    PE

  9. #9
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Japan is film paradise Didn't someone post photos from a Tokyo camera store a little while back?
    Those who know, shoot film

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiberiustibz View Post
    Do amateur photographers in Japan shoot a lot of film? This seems like a consumer product, which is odd given the low volume of consumer film being used nowadays. Obviously there is some market, or else this film wouldn't exist.
    From the first time I stepped into my local Yodobashi Camera (when I lived in Japan), in 2003, to the last time I visited it (in 2007), the film section (mostly a large refrigerated unit, such as one sees in US food super-markets ala the "milk section") shrank by about 3/4.

    What is interesting about the latest Fujifilm domestic announcement is the price increase for 35mm color films. The demand curve for this type of product may show that the few remaining customers are willing to pay much more for the product than the average customer of say 20 years ago.

    I use Fujifilm products... mostly because they are cheaper! Back here in the US now, I see that I can still get Fujifilm C41 120 film for $2 (from Ultrafine on sale), just as I can get Acros from Freestyle for $3. I'm wondering though if the fall of the $ vs the Yen will make for a significant price increase in Fujifilm products here, perhaps to be announced before PMA?

    Oh, and the Japanese women whom I know would all prefer to have creamy white skin, compared to the sallow look of other Asians... thus perhaps the driving force behind the sometimes pink-ier Fujifilm renditions, and also the color algorithms used in the digital cameras.

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