Fujifilm suspends sales of color film in Japan!
Well, looks like Fujifilm are continuing with their death by a thousand cuts way of dealing with their film division. Just like the Hives song “Hate To Say I told You So”, we called it a while back. But I now feel a real sense of foreboding with their latest announcement. On the 26th of March Fujifilm made an announcement on their Japanese website, and it wasn’t good news.
Here is a screen shot from their Japanese site detailing what they describe as a ‘pause’ to domestic orders for color film. Ah yes, A pause. They have done this before and then the films never came back (Natura).
That is all color film in 135 and all color and reversal film in 135 and 120! Which comes as, well, quite the shock.
So that is basically all of Fujifilm’s color range.
Fujifilm has claimed a shortage or raw materials is the reason for this ‘pause’, claiming they will try to ‘take measures to ensure the stable supply of products’, but we all know what this means. Though it doesn’t currently affect the international market, this is not a good sign. Fujifilm has not actually made any film for a long time and have been slowly clearing their massive stocks (and I stand by this). What this smells like to me is that they can sell more of their stock overseas than they can domestically and at a better rate. So from a purely business perspective it makes sense.
So what does it mean for us? Well, Kodak are still making film, including film for Fuji. And Ilford aren’t going anywhere either, as they are making loads of film, including for Fuji (I sense a pattern). And there are lots of other small companies either making or re-spooling films. There is a lot of film available, but not some of the ones we would like. It does mean that this could be the end for those wonderful reversal films that Fuji is so famous for. Which is going to be a real heartbreaker.
Let’s just hope that Kodak steps up with all of this investment and starts putting out some reversal films. That would be smashing.
I would hope that at least someone at the corporation would see what is happening and realize that the film market is a lot bigger than they expected. But I fear the shareholders will never allow that to happen. A sad day indeed. Maybe it really is time they changed their name.