Posted by: 6x6pix | June 25, 2010

Fuji Isn’t Really Discontinuing Most C-41 Films… Are They?

I went into Calumet this morning to pick up a 5-pack of Fuji Pro 160C for my weekend shooting. I was in a pretty good mood, glad a really crappy work week had ended yesterday and looking forward to buying a collage from my friend Dave Mahan this afternoon. This trip to Calumet was just a quick, routine errand on my way to the T; I had no idea I would learn something there that would ruin my day (to say the least!).

I walked through the door and, as always, straight to the counter by the film fridge. Uh-oh: no 160C. I quickly scanned the whole fridge — maybe they’ve rearranged things and the 160C isn’t where I’m used to seeing it! — but, no. Just my luck, I thought, they’re out. At about the same moment that a sales associate asked me if he could help me, I realized I was seeing no Fuji film in the fridge at all. That’s when I got that slightly woozy feeling in my gut.

“No Fuji 160C… today?” I asked pointedly, trying to will him to answer in a way I could stomach.
“No — gone. Done,” was the dread reply.

I think I gasped out loud. I may have screamed. I know I was breaking out in a sweat as I learned that Fuji is discontinuing not only my favorite film stock, Pro 160C, but a bunch of their C-41 films: all 160-speed in all types and formats; T64 in all formats; Neopan 400 120;  plus four types of Velvia 4×5 quickload sheets (the Calumet man also mentioned 800Z, but that was discontinued last year…).

Now, when I refer to Pro 160C as my “favorite film,” I’m downplaying my true feelings in the interest of not sounding like a crazy person. The reality is, I have a long-standing, deep, and perhaps slightly unnatural love for that film; I’ve said many times that I’d marry 160C in a heartbeat if only that were possible. So the news I got today was heartbreaking. My survival instinct kicked in right away; I considered blowing off my afternoon plans so I could go home and buy up all the 160C I could find online. But, back out on Bent St. with a fiver of Kodak’s Fuji-160C-wanna-be (Portra 160VC) in hand, I realized there’s no need to panic until I’ve gotten verification of this news from a more authoritative source.

Turns out the story was all over the interwebs back in March (huh? Where have I been??), but Fujifilm has never announced these (alleged!) discontinuations. Most of the web postings about it cite Scott Sheppard of the Inside Analog Photo podcast as the source of the information; he claimed in this post on APUG (Analog Photography User Group) that he got the news straight from Fujifilm execs (interestingly, no post about it has appeared on the Inside Analog Photo blog — though that may not mean much since their latest post is from January 2…). Meanwhile, Fuji still lists all their C-41 stocks on their global site (whew!), but not on their US site (oh noes!).

So it’s not looking good for my dream of living happily ever after with Fuji Pro 160C, but “it ain’t over ’til it’s over,” you know? So I’ve emailed Fujifim and asked them to confirm (or deny… they could still deny!) the “rumor.” I’ll post their answer if/when they respond.

Then I immediately ordered a brick of 160C from B&H…. just to be safe.

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Responses

  1. Luckily I have a bunch of all these in my freezer! woohoo!

    Plus, these films will be revived by someone like Efke usually. You get it on Freestylephoto.biz maybe?

  2. I knew you would, Jeff ;-)

    And yeah, I’m hoping someone keeps the 160c love alive…


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