Posted today by Fujifilm
Today, Fujifilm released their fiscal year end report. There's not much in there about film, but there was one blurb.
"In the photo imaging business, Fujifilm sustained sales at the same level as in the previous fiscal year. Owing to the sales of the color paper and the instant camera, such as, the instax mini 8, a instant photo system, which was launched in November 2012, were strong, while the impact of a manufacturing termination of motion picture film and the continuous demand decreases in the color films."
It is hard to interpret this. On one hand, to maintain sales from the previous year is very good. Seeing no drop has to be a good thing. Yet they mention the continuous decrease in demand for color film.
What to make of this?
Do not overestimate the share the motion picture films had in their halide materials range. Furthermore the term sales is to be read as revenue, not as amount of products sold.
I hope they won't discontinue the color 120 print film. I absolutly love it.
I just understand it as Fujifilm as a whole is doing roughly the same in spite of the drop in demand for motion picture films.
Is this good or bad news for print film users? Hard to say. But it does seem like they aren't buckling simply because one facet of their business took a (huge) hit.
We will lose film from Fuji. The testy part is knowing when. Their text is carefully crafted so as not to cause a stir, only enough to be of passing interest to financial markets, investors and analysts. It's no secret that film use globally is decreasing. Kodak will tell you the same. Probably even Ilford. Fujifilm has stated a continuing decrease in demand when it discontinued a number of E6 formats last year. There will come a point in time where Fujifilm will not produce emulsions as we know them. The demand is not there no matter how feral we devoted users get in rushing about to stock up for the future.
Geez, Gary; I thought that we buried Maggie Thatcher last week!! Seems Thatcherism isn't dead after all.
I read this as Fuji still making profit from their film. As such, your theory smarts of Thatcher closing down Collieries because they weren't making enough profit. If you consider the recent [seeming] reintroduction of Velvia 50 sheet film, Fuji's colour films can't be suffering too much.
My opinion is that we are close to seeing the end of removal of film lines. I think that there is a small chance that we could see some reintroduction of Kodak films over the next 18 months (based on who ends up owning this division), albeit a basic range.
I don't think that you have addressed a critical point - the use of film in China. This could be both a saviour or a killer. If the Chinese maintain their love of retro/film/analogue photography, we'll be good. However, if it is just a fad, then the reducing demand could lead to the end of some (but not all) film.
One other paradigm that could occur is Fuji using Ilford's ULF run methodology and doing an annual run on film. I doubt that this will be for all lines; probably just for Sheet film. I think that 35mm and 120 is healthy enough.
All just my thoughts on the issue… YMMV.
All very speculative. Poor moving film formats will be trimmed, others will stay. Manufacturers are catering for a shrinking, not growing market. That's the reality. No amount of sweet talking will convince me we're on a boom home run. We are the ones who said Fuji would continue to provide the films we enjoyed in the formats we used. Then came the announcement last year and the discontinuation of the formats, and surprise, surprise, we were shocked. Why? We cannot deny the undeniable. The news did not surprise pro-level dealers or labs dealing with Fuji films with so little film being sold (at least by them; very different story for online e-sellers). There was a rumour that Fuji would pull two more films "next year" (2013) but nothing has been heard of said of that. The Dealer Bulletin which I read (both at Michaels and PRISM) made it clear that demand for film was continuing to fall and that would steer the decisions made by Fuji's parent (Japan) company re manufacturing.
I am puzzled by the China situation. We saw more digital cameras on our family trip to China than film,and that was 2009. I don't know where the observation is coming from that film is booming in China; they population seems hooked on the latest and greatest of digital; indeed, China is where a large number of digital cameras are assembled, making them cheap for the masses and thus more appealing. Perhaps RattyMouse, being a resident there, can enlighten us on the present situation in China v.i.z. film vs digital.
Remember that Kodak "gave" all E6 film business to Fuji last year, while Fuji just "gave" Kodak all MP business and that, just after Fuji released their archival MP films. So, Fuji gained E6 which boosted sales.
Also, note the Instax comment!
I would take Michael's and Prism's thoughts with a grain of salt.
IMO, Prism is way too small to compete in the film sales arena. Even 10 years ago, their range and stock was small.
And, Michael's is just retail burglary. Not only are their prices absolute bullshit, I feel that I need a shower after every visit there.
Vanbar might be a better source; however, I have no doubt that two areas eclipse retail sales: eBay and off-shore purchases. Obviously, I have no way of knowing volumes, but most of the film users I speak with primarily buy from these latter sources.
How does one reconcile conflicting statements: "demand for film was continuing to fall" vs "boost in sales"?
So long as we all have access to Fuji's little gems, we should continue to use and enjoy them. I've got to get stuck into the 230 rolls of 120 RVP in the deep freeze. No room for the lamb and chooks...