Quote Originally Posted by B&Wpositive View Post

Why would Fuji revert to older technology, even with price pressure? Are the proposed 3-layer replacements for Superia supposed to be better than or at least equal to the current 4-layer films? Or is there a compromise? They made a big deal about the 4 layers when they introduced the Superia line.

Are we reaching the end of the era of readily-available high-quality, low-priced C-41 film? Or is my 'information' just wrong?

Fuji's so called "4th layer technology" was/is not automatically better than the "established" technology without this special color correction layer.
Fuji's technology has some advantages, but also disadvantages.

I have here two interviews with Kodak and Agfa researchers, published in German photo magazines in 1998 and 1999.
One interview is with Dr. Gerhard Popp, former director of the Color Negative Technolgy Division at Kodak Research Labs.
The other interview is with Dr. Willsau (former head of research developing and finishing at Agfa) and Dr. Lohman (former head of research photo chemistry).
Both Kodak and Agfa researchers said, that the advantage of the "4th layer" is indeed the better color accuracy with some artificial light sources (e.g. neon lamps).
But the disadvantages are
- less speed, because this additional layer absorbes light
- less sharpness and resolution
- more complex coating process and higher production costs
(all that at least in theory ).

They said that with an optimised spectral sensivity you can achieve most of that what you gain with the additional layer, but without the disadvantages.
And I think Fuji is now doing exactly that with their new films without the "4th layer".
Probably that is part of the progress in emulsion technology.

I am currently involved in a very detailed film test project. At the moment I can't comment on color accuracy under artificial light conditions (so far we've not tested it, but it is planned for the future).
But I can comment on resolution, sharpness and grain of the new films.
And concerning sharpness and resolution these new Fuji films are better.
For example we've got 120 Lp/mm resolution with Fuji's new ISO 200/24 emulsion (without the additional layer). In the same test the Kodak Ektar 100 resolves 105 lp/mm.
And this emulsion is very sharp, much sharper than Kodak Ektar 100. The Fuji film has significantly coarser grain, but also significantly better sharpness and resolution than Ektar 100.

Best regards,