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.