Image courtesy of Fujifilm USA.
With the announcement of the discontinuation of Fuji´s Pro 400H color negative film in 135 and 120 formats today, an angry group of photographers online can be observed, rambling through forums and social media with virtual pitchforks and torches, crying out to “never again patronize Fuji”, or simply, to “F*ck Fuji”. While certainly, the discontinuation of yet another emulsion by the Japanese behemoth is not good news, not all is lost. And certainly, the level of frustration felt by many photographers concerning this morning’s grim news is understandable as well. But rambling through social media will not help either.
In their discontinuation notice, Fuji have stated they haven’t discontinued the film because of declining sales, but because procuring a necessary raw material for the emulsion has either become increasingly difficult, or economically unfeasible. In the past, Fuji have used this specific reason to discontinue an emulsion only once, for Acros I. But a year later, Fuji reintroduced a modified emulsion, Acros II. Not all is lost, and in the future, we might very well see a new or updated emulsion to replace Pro 400H.
In the meantime, a boycott of Acros II, Velvia and Provia, for which some angry photographers online have been calling, will only hurt the cause of traditional photography, and send the wrong signals. For those who look closely enough, there are silver linings already. When Fuji discontinued Pro 160NS, silently and without much notice, the film was soon gone from shelves all across the world, but in late 2020 has reappeared in new packaging and for the Japanese market only and currently is being imported to Europe (in a geographical sense, sadly) by Nick and Trick in the UK.
While nobody can say for certain what Fuji will, or for that matter, will not do in the future, not all is lost, and hope is not in vain. One thing is for sure though: While frustration is a legitimate response, crying for a boycott and being childishly stubborn and opinionated about a seemingly “evil” company won´t help, but hurt.
Since you´re here...
If you enjoy our online articles, this might interest you: We provide these articles free of any charge. We don´t track you to sell your data, and we don´t bombard you with arbitrary and annoying ads. We do this, because we want to contribute something to the Analog Community, free for everyone to enjoy.
However, doing this is not exactly free for us: We pay our editorial staff, have operating costs and need to keep our business running. We cover these costs with our quarterly print magazine SilvergrainClassics, and we are mighty proud of it. So, if you enjoy these online articles, we can guarantee you that you will love our print magazine! If you want to support us, you might consider a subscription to our magazine. This way, you´ll get even more insight into the entire world of analog photography, and we can keep on with providing this free, but well researched editorial online content for everyone to enjoy!