Film Photography

Fujifilm brings back Acros — and pigs are flying, and rain isn’t wet, and cats and dogs are getting along

In case you haven’t heard yet, because others are way faster at breaking film news than me, Fujifilm is bringing back Neopan 100 Acros.

Well, sort of. Apparently they’ve changed its formulation to get around difficulties sourcing some of the original Acros’s raw materials. But their press release promises the new film, to be called Neopan 100 Acros II, to be equally good.

Given that Fujifilm has been regularly discontinuing film stocks for years, this news is more than welcome, it’s a bloody miracle.

Neopan 100 Acros II is slated to be available this fall.

Advertisements
Standard

12 thoughts on “Fujifilm brings back Acros — and pigs are flying, and rain isn’t wet, and cats and dogs are getting along

  1. P says:

    Wow… This is great news. Now let’s just hope the price is reasonable. Given their recent price hikes I have concerns. For instance, a 35mm roll of Provia is now $15 (minimum), which is just ridiculous. If ACROS II costs more than T-MAX 100 then I won’t be paying for it. There was a time not very long ago (just a few years) when ACROS was actually one of the cheapest films on the market. I guess we’ll see what happens. The way the press statement is worded, at least in the translation, it almost sounds like maybe they’re going to put forth the effort to re-scale their manufacturing process to match today’s smaller community. If so, that’s great news. Once they’ve done that then they’ll really have no excuse to continue discontinuing stocks or exit the film industry, and it should reduce their operating costs substantially. Let’s hope that if this is the plan that they pass the savings onto us, and make their film offerings affordable again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will be shocked if they bring the price down. I don’t know how films get made at smaller scale at former prices.

      Now that I’ve shot Ilford FP4+ I’m not sure I’ll shoot TMax 100 or even the new Acros anymore. Welllllll…. I’ll probably try a couple rolls of the new Acros. But I like the FP4+ so much that I can see myself just using it as my ISO 100-ish film from now on.

      Like

      • P says:

        In some ways I’ll be shocked as well if they bring the price down, especially given that they seem to not care that even their consumer grade stocks are no longer affordable for a lot of serious amateurs. I mean, after their recent price hikes, Superia X-tra 400 is now $19 per 3-pack of 36 exposures at Wal-Mart (better prices can still be found online, but they’re steadily creeping up too). That’s $6.33 per roll. At that price why not just buy Portra? For this reason I’ve basically given up shooting color film altogether. It’s just not affordable. I’m pretty much B&W only these days. For the individual who only plans to shoot one or two rolls of film every few months that’s probably no big deal (and these are not the people who film manufacturers should be catering to and trying to get business from anyways). But for a dedicated amateur (the people they should be catering to) who would like to shoot several rolls a month, it likely is, especially when you factor in processing costs. Most consumers are not made of money, and unlike with pros, the cost of film can’t be factored into their own services. And before somebody says that this isn’t that much more than what Walgreen’s (or CVS, etc.) used to charge per roll, well, the common retail drug store chains were always a huge ripoff with regards to what they charged for film (and most everything else they sell for that matter). Basically all consumer-grade color stocks were available elsewhere for $2 to $3 per roll. I never bought film from from the big retail drug stores.

        But regarding how re-scaling their manufacturing process to match today’s lesser film demands should absolutely lead to lower prices, well it’s pretty simple. Everything regarding production goes down tremendously except for the raw materials, which probably in actuality don’t account for that much of the total overall cost. The absolutely enormous overhead of running a film plant the size of a small town (not an exaggeration) disappears. So instead of needing many hundreds or even thousands of people with expertise to keep a town-sized film manufacturing operation running (which was absolutely necessary back in the day), a massively scaled down operation would cost a tiny fraction of what the former did. That, in a nutshell, is why the cost of film should indeed go down (and substantially so in all practicality) if they effectively re-scale their operations. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Again, if the price isn’t at least equivalent to TMX, I’ll be passing, regardless of how much I like ACROS.

        With regards to the “former prices” you mentioned, it’s worth noting that ACROS was available for about $3 per 36-exposure roll (and in 120) for a long time, even in the very recent past. Like I said, it used to be one of the best deals out there, for quality film in factory-loaded cassettes at least. So even if they reintroduce it at $5.59 per roll, to match the current price of TMX, well, that’s still nearly double the “former price.” It was only in the past couple of years that ACROS became expensive, ultimately outrageously so ($10 per roll) after they announced its discontinuation. Before that, it was “cheap.” I don’t expect them to sell it for $3 per roll again, but if they’re smart and want to make it a viable product, I do expect it to be affordable. And in my opinion, TMX at $5.59 per roll has already exceeded the affordability threshold for most amateurs. Thus, I very rarely shoot it, and Kodak loses a lot of my business in turn (the same goes for TRI-X and TMY, for that matter). So if ACROS exceeds that, well, Fuji will have lost my business also.

        Regarding FP4 PLUS, yes, it’s beautiful, and for what I do, nine times out of ten (or more) I’d choose it over TMX or ACROS as well. But occasionally the incredibly fine grain and high degree of sharpness of tabular-grain (and similar) emulsions really does work better than traditional cubic-grain ones. For example, I find this to be the case with landscape photography of wide open spaces, where there are literally thousands/millions of little branches, twigs, blades of grass, leaves, insects, and all sorts of minute, tiny details in everything around. I’m sure it’s less of an issue in larger formats, but in 35mm I’m just always a tad disappointed more fine detail isn’t retained by cubic-grain emulsions. That said, I generally prefer cubic-grain emulsions, especially for close-up shots and architecture. If all T-Grain emulsions disappeared one day, leaving only traditional cubic-grain stuff available for purchase, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. However, if cubic-grain emulsions disappeared I’d be very upset. Back to FP4 PLUS, it very well may be my favorite film stock (Double-X is close). As a quick aside, if shot and developed properly, I find that it’s possible for Fomapan 200 to achieve a very similar look to FP4 PLUS. I know you like it as well, and it’s thankfully much more affordable.

        Still, this is an exciting bit of news, and a welcome mentality shift coming from Fujifilm.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hard telling what cost structure Fujifilm is dragging around behind them in film production. I have to think that contributes greatly to the price hikes.

          Like

        • P says:

          Yeah, no doubt. And while I don’t know for certain, I imagine it’s because they’re still trying to produce film on equipment and in facilities designed for the days when the market was infinitely larger. Can you imagine the overhead on all that? That’s just simply not viable or sustainable. Unlike Kodak, Ilford, and pretty much all the others who have re-scaled their operations to match today’s demand, I’ve never even heard a rumor that Fuji ever did. But like I said, the way this press release is translated, it almost sounds to me like they’re about to do so. Honestly, they should have done it a long time ago.

          On a similar note, I have tremendous respect for the Ferrania guys, because they have effectively re-scaled the old factory from scratch, with just a handful of people, and without the weight of a huge corporation behind them. Basically all they’ve had is crowd-funding. I really hope they hang in there and a steady supply of P30, and eventually other emulsions, starts shipping.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an exciting development (pun intended). I will have the opportunity to compare the ACROS film simulation recipe of my Fujifilm X-T2 + Asahi Pentax SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.6 lens with my Asahi Spotmatic and the same lens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just found out about this and it’s fantastic news! First of all Fuji has been pretty much incommunicado with its customer base and the rumors have gone wild, whether they’re true or not (guilty of spreading some myself I’m sure). The whole idea of Fuji making a large batch of film and then stopping production might have been actually true, if they were working on restructuring their manufacturing to smaller-scale. So my idea (hope) is that their price hikes have been a way to manage the demand while they were in the process of scaling down, and might indicate that the other film emulsions (Velvia, etc) need to be reworked for easily-sourced ingredients as well. When Kodak can introduce slide film that’s brand new and represents a lot of R&D expenses that’s several dollars cheaper than what Fuji’s selling for, you know there’s something up there. So here’s hoping for reworked emulsions of all Fuji’s offerings (and more reintroduced films!) and a price of $7-10 eventually.

    Like

    • I can understand why a film photographer would think they are being ignored by Fujifilm. You are.

      But Fujifilm is very much in communication with its​ customers. It just that​ the customer base is chiefly digital.​

      Like

Share your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.