Well I learned last week that the folks at Fuji will discontinue a whole bunch of their color negative films and their 400 B&W film due to decreasing sales. According to the news on this issue, all formats of Fuji 160C, 160S, and 800Z films will be discontinued while Neopan 400 (B&W film) will be discontinued in 120 format (keeping only the 35mm). This is a huge disappointment to me as I’ve only recently began shooting 120 format film and have so far been loving the stuff from Fuji. In particular, I’m really upset that they’re taking away the 800Z and Neopan 400, which are essentially the two films that I really like and want to shoot more with. I already love Fuji 400H (glad that’s the one professional-grade color negative film Fuji is not touching), but the 800Z provides an extra stop that can be used in lower light situations and has a higher saturation and contrast kick to create that punchy look for certain photos where it’s desired. Man, it’s like finding a new lover in your life where everything is just perfect, only you learn later that he/she has terminal cancer (in my situation it would be a “she” if anyone is wondering). What the heck is up with that!?!?
How good is Fuji 800Z in 120 medium format? Below are a few more photos I took of my friend Raul from our shoot last month. With 800Z, the colors pop but the skin tones still look great.
Even when a photo is out of focus, the film still gives delivers a great feel to it.
You may wonder why he’s trying to look mean in all these photos, but it was really because I asked him to. He wanted to smile like he would for any other photo, but I told him that I wanted this to be more like a fashion shoot and wanted him to look “stoic but with some attitude.” So he did the best he could for the entire shoot.
As for Neopan 400 in 120 medium format, I really like it for it’s fine grain and light contrast, which doesn’t give your photos that “murky” or “heavy” look (there are other films I can use to achieve that look). While Fuji now only plans to offer Neopan as a 35mm film, the fact is that because 35mm film is about 3x smaller in size than 120 film, the tonality, details, and resolution just won’t be as good (something that’s not readily apparent on the computer screen, but will definitely show up in actual large size prints).
I’ll definitely miss these two films, even though I’ve only started shooting with them the past half year. I was looking forward to using these films for more portrait shoots, but I guess I’ll just have to use Kodak or Ilford film, which aren’t bad at all (I love my B&W’s from Ilford so far) but it’s just that I rather have more film options out there for me to choose from. Oh well, I’ll get over it. Sometime soon I hope.