So the bad news first: according to Japan Camera Hunter, Fuji is discontinuing 5-packs of all their 35mm slide films, plus Natura 1600 and large format Acros 100. http://www.japancamerahunter.com/2017/10/film-news-fujifilm-end-nigh
Considering that a single roll of Velvia 100 costs $15 and a 5-pack costs $55, it will be costing $4 more per roll. I’ll be stocking up as much as I can now because I certainly can’t afford a 25% increase and I’m sure neither can everyone else. Now this is only the 35mm, it seems medium (and large) format is safe for the moment. It might be the beginning of the end, but we probably have a few years left. Still, I’d say that by 2020 Fujifilm will be making film no more.
While I love Fuji slide film and will shoot it as long as I can, I hope that Ektachrome will be a tremendous success for Kodak and that it will have been reworked for increased longevity. While Fuji slide film is supposed to be stable for 300 years, Ektachrome has a reputation for fading rather quickly, and this problem had better be addressed in the new formulation.
Also, I learned today that Cloutier Fotographic, local camera store #3 (and run by a friend of mine) will no longer be carrying film and darkroom supplies, due mostly to the bankruptcy of their distributor of Ilford products, but also because of Fuji’s announcement. I try to support my local camera stores as much as possible, but honestly things like film, etc I’ve been getting from Freestyle Photo for quite a while. I do hate that so much stuff is going online (especially as Cloutier just started carrying JCH Streetpan recently), but I’d rather that my dollar went further, and I’m really more interested in supporting the film manufacturers than I am brick and mortar stores that mark up the prices.
Now on to the good news: there’s a new black & white film company from Russia called Silberra, and they’re holding an Indiegogo campaign right now. Please contribute if you can! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/silberra-b-w-photographic-films#/
Also, don’t forget that the Reflex 35mm camera will be going onto Kickstarter November 7th (originally they said it would be yesterday but they pushed it back). For all the bad news, there are plenty of exciting things happening in the film world.