What Fuji reworking Acros 100 means

Old news now, but I’ll start off with the link if you haven’t seen it already: https://emulsive.org/articles/news/brand-new-film-from-fujifilm-neopan-100-acros-ii-announced-begins-shipping-autumn-2019?fbclid=IwAR1AHH93iDb-r_nGjKXmUnBZzfNoZqA6ezcfFvBf_moKLVE-JXQOSp5LtQY

This is the kind of news I would have thought to read on April Fools’ Day but I’m incredibly happy that this is happening for real!  The best thing to take away from this announcement besides the new Acros is the intimation that Fuji has been restructuring their manufacturing, scaling down to meet current demand.

I’ve read the rumors that Fuji made one last gigantic batch of film and has been selling it off piecemeal for the last few years, and it sounds like a plausible one to me.  If true, perhaps it wasn’t because they had decided to stop production and scrap their machinery, as much as it was to streamline production, and rework their emulsions to use more easily-sourced ingredients.  I’ve been one to spread the message of doom and gloom in the past, I hope I was wrong there and so have an alternative.  If Ektachrome can be bought for $13 after Kodak had to spend a lot of time and effort with reworking the emulsion, I see no reason why Velvia and Provia should be selling for nearly $20.  The constant price hikes in the past few years could be explained as a way to manage demand while they were working on restructuring, which would mean that they should be going down.

Now that Fuji has reworked Acros, I expect to see announcements for Velvia and Provia to come soon, and probably the color negative stocks as well.  Here are a few other things to hope for:

-reworked emulsions for Neopan 400 and 1600, Reala 100, Provia 400X, more?

-better prices, around $7-10 per roll

-better communication with customers.  It’s obvious that they’ve been reading what we’ve been writing.  Kodak needs to work on this more as well, but at least they’re trying.  Fuji has been a black hole of information and it’s annoying.

Why I love the Olympus Trip 35

RIP 1968-2018.  Unfortunately after shooting this camera for 3 years the shutter is now stuck halfway open and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.

It will happen though, because it’s small, light, easy to use, gives me spot-on exposure, and has an absurdly sharp lens.  The Olympus Trip 35 and it’s my favorite mirrorless camera.  Reading about some of my photo friends’ experiences with the Trip and also finding this fantastic store made me want to sing again the praises of this mechanical wonder that I found at the thrift store for all of $8.00.

It needs no battery: it has a selenium meter which gives perfect exposure, something I tested by shooting slide film in it.  After reading about “night tripping” (which basically means using high-speed film in the Trip manually set to f/2.8 and its slower speed of 1/40sec), I’ve felt comfortable using the Trip in all kinds of situations indoors and outdoors.  One thing that I’ve talked about a lot (though never tried yet) is putting a few rolls of Cinestill 800T through it; or now that T-Max P3200 is back that might have to happen.  Either way I’ve yet to test the extremes of film latitude yet, but it will happen.

And the Trip 35 does indeed live up to its name: it travels so well!  I took it to Wales where it was my camera for color film, and threw it into my bag for a last-minute trip to Ohio.  Though the lens sticks out a bit it still easily fits in a jacket pocket without getting in the way.  Speaking of the lens and its zone focusing, you do have to be careful when shooting inside, but made it perfect for shooting my William Klein masters’ study.  Since then focus doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to, though most of the time I’ll get it right.

When looking through all the shots I’ve taken with this camera I couldn’t believe just how much I’ve used it in the last few years!  It’s a large gallery–in order we have: Tri-X (6), Velvia 100 (3), Double-X (4), Provia 100F (3), T-Max 400 (4), Fomapan 100 (2), Kodak Gold 200 (2), Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (2), and Ferrania P30 (2).  There will be other films shot in this camera one day, but for a while now I’ve been concentrating on the Spotmatic for my photo project that’s been going on since January (and long before).

I would definitely recommend this camera for people who don’t want the bulkiness of an SLR, don’t like relying on batteries, but still want an AE camera.  My camera’s shutter still had accurate speeds after nearly half a century.  Zone focusing can take practice but is doable, so don’t let that dissuade you!

Cowboys and Jeeps

(If you’re looking at the header group pic, from L to R that’s Buffalo Phil, Twister, Dutch, Scorpion Cowboy, P-Dog, Denim, Rowdy II, Sidewinder, and Dusty)

One thing that my instructor in Intermediate and Advanced Photo taught me was to make projects out of what you happen to be doing.  Since Summer 2016 I have been dressing up like a cowboy and driving jeep tours around Colorado Springs.  Here are some of the shots I’ve gotten when have a free hand (none while moving, I promise).

 

Besides being an ongoing photo project, I’ve also started making a documentary about life as a tour guide, the growing Colorado Springs tourism industry, and how Colorado and the western states differentiate themselves from the rest of America.  We’re living in the age where cowboys traded in their horses for jeeps.

There have been sprinklings of pics in the past here and there, but not one post dedicated to them.  Some of these pictures date to last summer, and a lot of different rolls of film here, too.  In order: Fujicolor 200, Cinestill 50, Fuji Neopan Acros 100, Kentmere 100/AGFAPhoto APX, Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Tri-X.  I plan to do a lot more shooting and interviewing this summer if I can, but this was conceived as more of a long-term project and probably won’t be finished until I finally graduate, and who knows when that will be…