I wonder how long “film” will remain part of Fujifilm’s product line up? This is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night, though only usually after my 2 year-old has declared 3am “have a play” time. But I digress. 2018 has seen Fuji-‘film’ discontinue their black and white films and photographic papers, and remove many of their multipacks of negative and slide films.
Some say this is a prelude to complete discontinuation. This is a real possibility. Fujifilm might not even be making these emulsions any more and instead are just selling off the remaining stock, or thawing out a frozen master roll to slice up and sell off.
After going through some of my slides the other week, I remembered the glee of seeing my first roll of Velvia on the light box, rolls shot with my beloved Ricoh GR1s. Then I confronted the mortality of these unique slide films. It’s been a while since I’ve shot proper E6 (piss off Rollei Vario Chrome — you’re not wanted here!) but I realised it’s something I’ve going to really miss when it’s gone. So it’s time to stock up on E6 and start shooting.
I’m grabbing Velvia 50 (RVP50) and Provia 100F (RDPIII) in 35mm and 120 while they’re still available. Some I’ll shoot now, others I’ll put into the freezer. These colour reversal films represent the peak of their product type, developed just as digital began its growth in the late 1990s.
Sadly, at current rates of discontinuation, Fuji’s films won’t exist into 2019.
Of course I’ll be delighted when the re-engineered Ektachrome appears…but it’ll never replace the unique hues of Provia and Velvia. This whole thing is a reminder to always be shooting. Doesn’t matter what, just get out there and shoot!