Film News: Fujifilm raises prices/cuts film, again.
As we all know, there is no love lost between myself and Fuji(film). But they are a huge multinational
cosmetics company who have shareholders to suffice and a different product line to focus on (no pun intended). So it really comes as very little surprise to tell you that Fujifilm are raising prices and cutting yet more film.
I think I feel a sense of deja vu, didn’t this happen before? Oh, yes, so it did. More than once in fact!
It really seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy though, they raise the price, complain that nobody buys film (whilst doing zero advertising), cut the film, rinse and repeat. But at the same time I cannot hate fuji for doing it. It is the simple economics of scale in business. They are set up to manufacture quantities that there is no longer a market for. They are also a very large company, with a Japanese style of rigid structure, so scaling down or changing the model is just not really compatible with the way they do business.
But enough about the why and more about the what.
Anyway, on July the 10th Fujifilm made the following announcement on their Japanese website, which you can see the link to here http://ffis.fujifilm.co.jp/information/articlein_0040.html
It starts with the usual spiel about being very sorry, but we have to do this etc. And then we get to the meat and bones of it.
OK, this first one is the price increases. There are going to be roughly 20% price increases across the board for the products listed here. The price hike is expected around October. There is no plan to cut production of any of these at this time, but the prices are going up. This is for the domestic market, so you can expect to see the same overseas too. 20% is a big hike, but not as big as the nearly 50% hike we got on Kodak products in Japan earlier this year. That was a shock.
But this one, this is the important one for all of you that want to know what we will be losing.
Yes, 220 Pro160NS is going, but that is not really a surprise at all. Practically nobody buys it.
The real bummer is the Provia 400X, which I had already been told would happen, but now you see it on the screen it kind of makes you want to shoot as much as you can of this really versatile film (pricey though). I am personally going to get as much of this stuff as I can get my hands on, because I love it.
Also no surprise for the 220 versions of the other reversal films. But this shows a growing trend really. It really feels like death by a thousand cuts.
But I think saddest of all is really the Velvia 100F sheet film. Because this stuff is lovely. But again, it is expensive and hardly anyone is shooting it anymore.
The Provia 400X will apparently cease sales in December 2015, though I anticipate there is going to be a run on some of these films, just like the last time there was a cut and we will see all of them gone by November. The others between December and April of 2016.
Whilst it saddens me to bring you this news, I remain optimistic about other avenues for film. We have rumblings coming from Italy about Ferrania being ready soon. And Rollei are really doing a lot to get more and more film out there.
CFP are making cool film bundles too and there are other makers in Europe still churning it out.
What can you do about this? Not a lot really, apart from getting out there and shooting, of course.
In fact, I might make some Provia 400X bundles as a send off…