This is by way of being a plea to @fujifilmeu to bring this magical film stock back into production! I now only have one or two rolls left, I can’t think of another film I’d more like to see resurrected. I was in London’s lavish Fuji showroom (Longacre) just a few days ago, the charming man I spoke to there had made exactly the same request to head office just a day or two before! So maybe if enough of us raise our voices…
For me, it’s not about the speed – Kodak Portra 800 and Lomography 800 are of course available (at least sometimes, in the case of the latter), I love them both and use them regularly. And Fuji
Superia 1600 only gives you one more stop, you can usually get round that by wise choice of lenses etc.
It’s the way it renders – the grain is very much a feature but I don’t find it intrudes, it certainly doesn’t affect sharpness, and it seems to enhance the bokeh of any lens used. The grain seems to make the colours melt into each other, like the canvases of French Impressionist painters. The colours are beautifully subdued, but not dull, and yet when the subject is vivid somehow the colours wake up and get punchier without changing the overall character. I can’t think of a better film for conveying the beauty of a wet English summer.
I took the roll to a rain-drenched Wisley Gardens (Royal Horticultural Society) at the end of August 2020. That morning I was attempting to look after my own garden, accompanied by the tamest robin I’ve encountered – the first shot was with my ’70s Nikkor 135mm f/2.8. The Wisley shots were taken with my equally ancient, beat-up Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5.
I think the quality of both lenses speaks for itself – although I find the bokeh of the 55mm quite exquisite, more than one might expect – and while the F90X certainly couldn’t be called glamorous it makes life so easy with spot-on focus assist and reliable metering. And pretty much weatherproof, given that it survived one of the wettest afternoons of the summer with only intermittent protection. The total cost of the camera + those two lenses: around £200…
You can sometimes find rolls of this film on eBay for astronomical prices. I can’t/won’t go there. But I’d happily pay, say, £12/roll if Fuji brought it back. Please please please…
Hope you enjoy the pictures!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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