March 15th, 2016

Can Fujifilm’s FP-100c Film Be Saved? [Update]

Photographers greeted the news that Fujifilm would be discontinuing sales of its FP-100C instant peel-back film with dismay. But it may not go quietly into the night.

Peel back proponents are making a last ditch effort to keep the format alive.

The centerpiece of the effort is a petition on Change.org beseeching Fujifilm to keep the film alive. As of this writing, it had garnered 16,141 signatures.


Florian Kaps, a co-founder of the Impossible Project, which resurrected many Polaroid instant films, has also taken up the mantle. According to his blog, Kaps is in Tokyo meeting with Fuji executives to see about preserving the format. There’s also a website, Save Pack Film, which is soliciting testimonials from prominent artists and photographers about the importance of the film.

We reached out to Fujifilm representatives in the U.S. to see if there was any chance the company would change its mind. According to a company spokesperson, the decision was final. The spokesperson declined to discuss just how much film would need to be sold to make it worth Fuji’s while to resume production.

We’ve reached out to Kaps for an update on his progress, but for now at least, it looks like an uphill battle.

UPDATE: Kaps is not set to meet with Fuji executives until March 17. We’ll know more then.

UPDATE II: Kaps has published a blog post detailing his meeting with Fuji. Long story short, they appear to have shot down his proposals, but he remains optimistic about pushing onto the next level of company management. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

None of my 3 detailed proposals immediately created a promising reaction.

BUT YES! I have at least been promised that my proposals and my detailed presentation as well as this WONDERFUL and impressive list of signatures (which I printed out) will be passed on to the next level in Tokyo and that MAYBE I will receive feedback.

At least, that’s better than nothing and I would not have expected a straight and simple YES even in my most positive dreams. BUT, to be completely honest, I’m frustrated right now as Jun and I have been waiting the whole day for the confirmation that my meeting at the Tokyo Office will be called on again (after being put on hold beginning of the week). By now the hope to have a chance to explain my proposals in front of the next level of FUJI management has gone.

Still, according to some super supportive FUJI insiders that I had the pleasure to meet here and also due to some Japanese press contacts, this must not be a final dead end street.

UPDATE III: We’ve spoke to Impossible Project CEO Oskar Smolokowski who informs us that while the company wishes Kaps well and hopes the format can be saved, they won’t be purchasing Fujifilm’s equipment and won’t be taking on the project themselves. “We don’t have the resources to buy new machinery and take on a new format, we’re constantly invest in our own factory,” he says.

March 3rd, 2016

R.I.P, Fuji FP-100C

Fujifilm_15435626_FP_100C_Professional_Instant_Color_1245102947000_18595Film enthusiasts, another one has bitten the dust.

Fujifilm is discontinuing production of its FP-100C Color Instant Film, a peel-apart film frequently used in Polaroid cameras. It was the last peel-apart film on the market.

“While this was a difficult decision, it was necessary in order to remain sustainable in today’s market,” the company said in a statement. “Going forward, the supply of FP-100C will be available until the inventory is exhausted.”

Fuji has been steadily paring back its film offerings (and raising prices), even as it experiences strong demand for its instant film products.

January 22nd, 2016

Fujifilm Will Raise Film Prices, Again

Fuji-film-price-increase-USA

Despite the popularity of its instant film products, Fujifilm will be raising prices on its films around the world, the company announced today in a statement.

Fuji didn’t disclose precisely what films would take the hit and by how much other than to note that the increases would effect color negative film, color reversal film, black and white film and quick snap. The price increases would be effectively immediately but would be phased in differently depending on geographic market.

The culprit, as usual, is falling demand.

“The demand for film products is continuously decreasing and the cost of production, such as raw materials stays at a high level and cost increase associated with lower volumes becomes much serious,” Fujifilm said. “Under such circumstances, despite our effort to maintain the production cost, Fujifilm is unable to absorb these costs during the production process and is forced to pass on price increases. Fujifilm remains committed to photographic products despite its price change.”

We’ve reached out to Fuji U.S.A. for more details and will update this post when we get them.

Read More:

Meet the FilmToaster, Like No Film Scanner You’ve Seen

Surprise: People Really Want Instant Film Cameras

Inside the Mind of a Film Shooter Today

January 14th, 2016

X Marks the Spot: Fujifilm Preps Several New X-Series Cams for Feb Launch

09_X-Pro2_BK_FrontLeft_35mmF1.4

February will be a good month for Fujifilm fans as the company plans to ship several new cameras, including a new flagship in its X-series and a new telephoto zoom lens.

X-Pro2

The rangefinder-style X-Pro2 (pictured above) sports a hybrid viewfinder that can switch between an optical and electronic view, a 24.3-megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS III image sensor and new processor that’s four times faster than conventional imaging processing engines. The hybrid viewfinder is similar to the one that debuted in the X100, only it’s more functional. It has a Multi-Magnification function that automatically switches viewfinder magnification according to the lens in use and an Electronic Rangefinder that simultaneously displays the electronic viewfinder on top of the optical viewfinder. It has a resolution of 2.36-million dots with a refresh rate of 85 frames per second.

Thanks to its speedy new processor, the X-Pro2 starts up in 0.4 seconds, has a shooting interval of 0.25 seconds, a shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds, and autofocus speeds as fast as 0.06 seconds.

The  X-Pro2 uses a new autofocus (AF) system with 273 AF points, 77 of which are phase detection covering roughly 40 percent of the imaging area. The end result is an AF speed that’s two times faster than the prior model, Fujifilm says. Continuous shooting clocks in at 8 fps.

Additional features include:

  • ISO 12,800 extendable to 100 and 51,200
  • Full HD video recording at up to 60p
  • A Bright Frame Simulation function in the optical viewfinder mode so the angle of view of each focal length can be confirmed without having to replace the lens
  • Dual SD card slots with the first slot compatible with the UHS-II speed specification
  • Weather resistant build with 61 points of weather sealing
  • Six programmable function buttons
  • New focus lever to select focus points
  • New graphical user interface which Fujifilm says will have up to 32 user-selectable shortcuts
  • Mechanical shutter speeds of up to 1/8,000 sec.
  • New Grain Effect mode
  • New monochrome ACROS film simulation that delivers, in Fuji’s words, smooth tones, deep blacks and rich textures
  • Wi-Fi

You’ll pay $1,700 for the X-Pro2 (body) and it’s expected to ship in February.

X-E2S_silver_front

The XPro2 wasn’t the only item on Fuji’s agenda. The company also announced the X-E2S, another mirrorless rangefinder-style camera that won’t command as much of a premium.

The X-E2S uses a 16-megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans II CMOS sensor and features real-time viewfinder with a magnification of 0.62X and an electronic viewfinder with, Fuji says, the world’s short display lag time of 0.005 seconds.

The camera boasts a scratch-resistant 3-inch display, Full HD video recording up to 60p and an electronic shutter for shooting at up to 1/32,000. It features a new  AF system with a 49-point Single Point mode and  Zone and Wide/Tracking modes with a 77-point area to better freeze moving subjects. (Owners of the original X-E2S won’t be left out in the cold, a firmware update available here will deliver a similar AF system plus a new menu and several other improvements.)

Additional features include:

  • Wi-Fi
  • A maximum ISO of 51,200
  • Seven customizable function buttons
  • Fast AF of up to 0.06 seconds
  • Start-up time of 0.5 seconds
  • Shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds
  • Shooting interval of 0.5 seconds

The X-E2S ships in February with a body-only price of $700.

x70_front side_silver

Finally, Fuji announced a fixed-lens member of the X family in the X70. It sports a fixed 18.5mm f/2.8 lens (28mm equivalent) Fujinon lens and is the first in the X-series to sport a 3-inch touchscreen. The display rotates up to 180 degrees and supports touch focusing. The camera features a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and will have the same autofocusing features as the X-E2S.

The X70 features:

  • ISO performance up to a maximum 51200
  • Eight function buttons, one of which is customizable
  • Electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32,000 second
  • Digital teleconverter mode for focal ranges of 35mm and 50mm
  • Full HD video at 60p
  • Wi-Fi

The X70 will sell for $700.

The X-series will also have a new telephoto lens in the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, delivering a 35mm equivalent focal length of 152-609mm.

Like other models in the family, it’s weather-sealed and uses ED and Super ED lens elements to help reduce chromatic aberration. Its stabilization system is CIPA rated for up to 5 stops of correction and there’s a flourine coating on the front lens element to make the lens easier to clean. The included lens hood has a sliding window for filters.

It will retail for $1,900.

December 29th, 2015

The Bestselling Item in Amazon’s Camera Department During the Holidays Was Film

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That’s right.

Amazon has released its holiday sales recap, filled with fun facts like: “customers purchased enough women’s boots this holiday season that, if stacked on top of each other, they would be high enough to reach the orbit of the International Space Station” and “during Cyber Monday, Amazon.com customers purchased one Adele CD every three seconds.”

Just as dramatic, a pack of film took top honors in the camera department. Fujifilm’s INSTAX Mini Instant Film Twin Pack – White was the top seller, followed by the GoPro Hero4 Silver and a head strap for the GoPro.

It’s a fairly striking dichotomy and further proof, if it was needed, that film is not dead.

Read More:

Meet the FilmToaster, Like No Film Scanner You’ve Seen

Surprise: People Really Want Instant Film Cameras

Inside the Mind of a Film Shooter Today

 

October 21st, 2015

Fujifilm Launches XF35mm Lens and Teleconverter

XF35mmF2_black_flatFujifilm fans will have a new lens to acquire and/or covet come November. The company introduced the FUJINON XF35mmF2 R WR on the eve of PhotoPlus Expo.

The XF35mm has a maximum aperture of f/2 and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 53mm. It’s weather sealed in eight places to resist dust and moisture and can be used in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees F.

The new lens uses an internal focusing system and a stepping motor for quiet, speedy AF. Fujifilm says the lens clocks in with an AF speed as fast as 0.08 seconds. A pair of ED glass elements help reduce lateral and axial chromatic aberration while Nano-GI coatings keep ghosting and flare to a minimum.

Fuji is also introducing a new teleconverter, the XF1.4 TC WR, for use with the FUJINON XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR lens. Fuji says the teleconverter will also work with a select number of future lenses in the company’s roadmap, including the yet-to-ship FUJINON XF100-400mm.

As the name suggests, the XF1.4X extends the focal length of the XF50-140mm by a factor of 1.4x, making it a 70-200mm equivalent lens. You’ll lose an f-stop in the process, but the converter is weather and dust resistant so it’s a good match for the similarly durable X-T1 camera.

The teleconverter will ship in December for $450.

Tele Converter 1.4X_flat

August 26th, 2015

(Instant) Film Is Not Dead: Fujifilm Sees Strong Sales of Instax Cameras

Just last month, we noted how Fujifilm was putting a number of films on the chopping block. But according to an investor presentation, the company is still doing a brisk business in instant cameras.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 7.41.02 AM

What accounts for the rise in sales? According to Fuji, it’s thanks to young girls ages 10-20, who grew up in the digital age and see making instant prints as a “fresh experience.”

Whether they will continue to do so in the future remains to be seen, but those still using film appear to be having fun, so it’s bound to endure a bit longer.

(Via Imaging Resource)

January 6th, 2015

Fujifilm Intros XF 16-55mm F2.8 Lens at CES

XF16-55mm&X-T1GS[1]Fujifilm used CES 2015 to debut a new all-weather 16-55mm zoom lens for its X-series cameras.

The XF 16-55mm F/2.8 LM WR (24-84mm, 35mm equivalent) is sealed in 14 places to keep dust and moisture out of its innards. The lens features an internal focusing system and a twin linear motor for high-speed autofocus. According to Fujifilm, the lens can autofocus in as little as .06 seconds.

The optical elements are coated using a new Nano GI (Gradient Index) coating that reduces ghosting and flaring by altering the refractive index between the glass and air. The XF 16-55mm employs 17 elements in 12 groups including three aspherical elements and three ED elements.

The lens will ship in February for $1,200. XF16-55mm_Flat

January 28th, 2014

Fuji Intros Weather-Resistant X-T1 DSLR-Style Pro Camera

Fuji-XT1_Front-Left_VerticalGrip_55-200mm_WhiteBKIt’s been rumored about for weeks but Fujifilm finally took the wraps off its latest pro camera: the 16.3-megapixel X-T1, a mirrorless shooter in a rugged, weather-resistant body that resembles a digital SLR.

Writer Bob Rose got some hands-on time with the new Fuji X-T1 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month and filed a preview of the camera on Rangefinder Magazine’s blog “Photoforward.”

While it has the same APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor as the Fujifilm X-E2, the new X-T1 is a completely new camera otherwise, featuring 75 points of weather sealing that makes the camera body dust-resistant and water-resistant. The X-T1 is also freezeproof to -14°F.

The Fuji X-T1 will go on sale at the end of February 2014 for 1,299.95, camera body only. With an 18-55mm FUJINON lens, the X-T1 camera kit will sell for $1,699.95.

Read more about the XT-1 in Bob Rose’s preview here.

October 18th, 2013

Fujifilm Introduces X-E2 Mirrorless Camera and High-End XQ1 Compact

Fuji-X-E2_Black_Front_High_angle_18-55mmFujifilm has just introduced the 16.3-megapixel X-E2, a sequel to its popular X-E1 mirrorless, compact system camera from last year. Fuji also announced the new 12MP XQ1, a premium pocket camera with an F/1.8, 4x zoom lens.

While it has the same resolution as its predecessor, the Fuji X-E2 uses a new APS-C, X-Trans CMOS II image sensor. The retro-style, interchangeable lens camera is powered by the new EXR Processor II, which produces a reported, lightning quick autofocus speed of 0.08 seconds.

Fuji clocks the X-E2’s start-up time at 0.5 seconds, shutter lag at 0.05, and high-speed continuous burst mode at 7 frames per second.

To optimize resolution and produce photos with more detail, the Fuji X-E2 forgoes using an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) over its imaging sensor (a common trend in cameras these days). The X-E2 can shoot full 1080 HD videos at 60fps with autofocus tracking. The camera features a dedicated Wi-Fi button to help zap photos and movies to smartphones, tablets, and computers for easier sharing on social media sites.

The X-E2 has a 3-inch LCD screen on back with 1.04 dots of resolution and a 2.36-million dot OLED viewfinder. The Fujifilm X-E2 goes on sale in November for $999 (body only) in black or two-tone silver and black.  The X-E2 also sells as a kit in November with the XF18mm-55mm (27-84mm) f/2.8-4 lens for $1,399.

The sleek and stylish XQ1 uses a 12MP, X-Trans CMOS II sensor with phase detection autofocus combined with the new EX Processor II to deliver a reported AF speed of up to 0.06, making it one of the fastest models in the pocket camera category.

Fuji-X-Q1_LineupLike the X-E2, the XQ1 also does away with the OLPF over its sensor to maximize resolution. The XQ1 uses a new Fujinon F1.8 4x zoom (25-100mm) lens built with 4 aspherical and 3 extra low dispersion lenses.  Each lens surface is reportedly coated with HT-EBC to reduce flare and ghosting. The XQ1 also has a wide sensitivity range from ISO100 to ISO12800 for low light photography.

The Fuji XQ1 goes on sale this month in silver or black for $499.