Film News: Fuji cuts Velvia 100F 120
In continuation of Fuji’s self fulfilling prophecy, Fuji have now announced that the wonderful Velvia 100F 120 film is to be discontinued. Oh wow, such surprise.
I refuse to call Fuji Fujifilm any longer, as they have been trying to get out of the film game for so long that they are not really a film company any longer. Perhaps they should be called Fujicosmetics or something.
Anyway, in the latest round of cuts, Fuji have announced that they will be discontinuing the production and sales of Velvia 100F 120 film. You can see the announcement in Japanese here http://ffis.fujifilm.co.jp/information/articlein_0036.html.
In fact, they are so eager to get rid of this film that it has already been taken off the global site http://www.fujifilm.com/products/films/color_reversal_films/index.html
But this comes as little surprise to me. Fuji have made no secret that they want out of film, and they have been cutting films like nobody’s business over the last couple of years. But what really gave it away was the recent packaging overhaul that was made on a number of films including Provia 100, 400H Pro and Acros 100. A few films were not given a makeover (400X, Velvia 100F, Venus 800) and that was a pretty glaring statement, these films will be (and some have been) cut.
This is very sad news, but in all honesty, I am over it. Fuji have a terrible track record when it comes to film in the last 10 years. They cite lack of demand for film, put the prices up, then complain that nobody is buying the film and then they cut it. Over and again. This is not a lack of demand, this is a calculated market withdrawal.
Fuji have not advertised or promoted films or film products for a long time (apart from the Chieki stuff), and I know through talking to staff at Fuji that the film sales and marketing department (for Japan) has only 2 staff now, with a very limited budget.
We could sound off that Fuji could do more. More advertising, changing the production system to work on smaller batches, producing ‘niche’ films and limited runs, but none of this is going to happen. The machines have been either re-purposed (Fuji now produces a very lucrative cosmetics line) or destroyed (Fuji would rather destroy a machine than sell it on, trust me, I have tried to buy some of them), and the X system is far more lucrative than some fringe film lovers. They have even stopped servicing some of the film cameras that are still in production, citing lack of parts. Can you see a pattern here?
But it doesn’t matter. I say forget about Fuji, they have forgotten about you. There are plenty of other film companies making excellent films. Need reversal? They try Rollei Digibase 200, this stuff is really lovely. Or Ferrania, who will be releasing their slide film in 2015.
This is sad news, as Velvia is a lovely film, but it is not the end on the world, and I think we would be better off without a company that doesn’t have film shooters interests at heart.
Thoughts and comments below please.