UPDATE: Pricing released (see below)

According to a press release just published on Fujifilm’s Japanese corporate website, new Fujifilm NEOPAN 100 ACROS II – first announced here on EMULSIVE on June 10th 2019 — will begin shipping in Japan on November 22nd 2019 in 135-36 and 120 rollfilm formats.

According to the press release (Japanese version below), the company plans to hold events/exhibitions to promote the new emulsion, although it isn’t clear if this will be a Japan-only effort or if it will be supported in other important markets.

Pricing for the new film stock has yet to be formally announced but Japan’s Rakuten, Yodobashi and Bic Camera all have the film listed on preorder with shipping on November 22nd at a price of 1,040円 in both formats — appx US$9.50, €8.60 and £7.40.

While there is no confirmed release date for other territories, a Spring 2020 timeframe is highly likely according to my sources.

Fujifilm continues to state that ACROS II will have the “world’s finest granularity in an ISO 100 black and white film”, something already claimed by Kodak with it’s T-MAX 100 film stock.

A partially machine-translated (English) version of the official press release and the original Japanese release follow below.


FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) realized the ultra-high image quality with the world’s highest level of granularity and three-dimensional gradation reproduction, and the black-and-white film “Neopan 100 ACROSII” “Across II”) will be released in Japan on November 22, 2019. “Across II” is available in 35mm size and 120 format.

[Photo] Product image of “Across II” (35mm size, Brownie size)

The “Neopan 100 ACROSII” to be released this time has the world’s highest level of granularity and contrast of the subject as a black-and-white film with a sensitivity of ISO100, thanks to our original technology such as “Super Fine-Σ Particle Technology” (*1). Realized three-dimensional gradation reproduction and excellent sharpness. High sensitivity by precisely controlling the structure of the silver halide that captures light and forms an image, and high sensitivity by arranging photosensitive particles of different sizes in the light-receiving layer (*2) of the film By emphasizing the details of the texture, it is possible to make detailed descriptions in detail, while emphasizing the contours of the subject. We respond to a wide range of shooting needs, from landscape / mountain photography, portrait photography, product photography, architectural photography to long-exposure astronomical / night view photography.

In the future, we plan to hold events and photo exhibitions where you can experience the charm of “Across II” where you can enjoy deep and quaint expressions. We will also consider overseas sales.

As a leading company in the imaging field, FUJIFILM will continue to provide better products and services to meet the diverse needs of customers in a wide range of fields, from analog to digital. Will convey power and splendor.

*1 A technology that contributes to improving print quality by balancing the sensitivity and excellent granularity by precisely controlling the size and composition of silver halide grains contained in photographic film.

*2 A layer that forms a black-and-white silver image during the development process by being exposed to light from the lens during shooting.


富士フイルム株式会社(社長:助野 健児)は、世界最高水準の粒状性と立体的な階調再現で超高画質を 実現し、幅広い分野の撮影に適した、黒白フィルム「ネオパン100 ACROSII(以下、「アクロスII」)」を2019年11月22日に国内で発売いたします。「アクロスII」は、35mmサイズ、ブローニーサイズの2種類を展開いたします。

[写真]「アクロスII」製品画像(35mmサイズ、ブローニーサイズ)

今回発売する「ネオパン100 ACROSII」は、「Super Fine-Σ粒子技術」(*1)をはじめとする当社独自のテクノロジーにより、感度ISO100の黒白フィルムとして世界最高水準の粒状性と被写体の濃淡がはっきりと表現できる立体的な階調再現、優れたシャープネスを実現しました。光をとらえて像を形成するハロゲン化銀の構造を精密に制御して高感度化することや、サイズの異なる感光粒子を効率的にフィルムの受光層(*2)内に配置して高いシャープネスを実現することで、被写体の輪郭を強調しながら、質感の細部に至るまできめ細やかな描写が可能です。風景・山岳写真、ポートレート、製品写真、建築写真から、長露光撮影の天体・夜景写真など幅広い分野の撮影ニーズにお応えします。

今後、深い趣のある表現が楽しめる「アクロスII」の魅力をご体験いただけるイベントや写真展の開催を計画していきます。また、海外での販売も検討していきます。

富士フイルムは、イメージング分野におけるリーディングカンパニーとして今後も“アナログからデジタルまで”幅広い分野において多様化するお客さまのニーズにお応えし、より良い製品・サービスを提供し続けることで、「一枚の写真の持つ力、素晴らしさ」を伝えていきます。

*1 写真フィルムに含まれるハロゲン化銀粒子のサイズと、その組成を精密にコントロールすることで、感度と優れた粒状性を両立させ、プリントの高画質化に寄与する技術。

*2 撮影時にレンズから入った光に感光し、現像工程で黒白の銀画像を形成する層。


You may view the original (Japanese) press release here.

Fuji ended sales of the original NEOPAN 100 ACROS film in all formats in late 2018 citing “a decline in demand for black-and-white film and difficulty in obtaining raw materials essential for production”.

The company credits the film shooting community — and it’s many requests for the film’s resurrection — as part of the motivation for bringing it back.

Along with ILFORD’s recent release of ORTHO PLUS 80 in 35mm and 120 formats, and Kodak’s continued work on 120 format T-MAX P3200 and 120/4×5 format EKTACHROME E100, it’s safe to say that film photography is both very well alive and growing.

Your thoughts in the comments below.

~ EM

{contribute]

36 COMMENTS

  1. It is good to see people getting excited by the release of Acros II, and I will enjoy the flood of experiences and examples that will follow on social media. It is worth reflecting for a moment about what Fuji have said about the new film. The references to to grain and sharpness and “Super Fine-Sigma Particle Technology” and the “arranging photosensitive particles of different sizes in the light receiving layer” imply that something new and unique is involved, but the is not necessarily so.

    Using different sized grains in the film is nothing new, Kodak with “Verichrome Pan” and Ilford with “Ilfochrome” were doing it in the 1950’s. The film will be very different from original Acros in that it will contain less silver than before, and will be a “T-Grain” (Kodak) or “Delta” (Ilford) type of modern emulsion, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    The words “Made in UK” on the box tend to point in the direction of Harman Technology Ltd, the company behind Ilford Ltd, and the new film may be a variant of Delta 100.

    All films change over time as ingredients become expensive or unavailable (again hinted at in the Fujifilm Press Release) – even Tri-X, the original “High-Speed” film is nothing like the film it was in the 1960’s.

    The price of the new film is average to offerings from other manufacturers, with the notable exception of Foma, who make for a number of brands, like Orwo. If you hanker for an old-school, thick silvery emulsion like Plus-XX or Tri-XXX (they used to be spelled like that) buy Fomapan 100 or 400, at nearly half the price of more modern films. They are good,to boot.

  2. I called Yodobashi yesterday. They expect to have it in the store on 11/22, but strongly recommended I make a reservation to buy, as they expect it to sell out. I don’t know if this was hype, if the store is being cautious, or if initial supplies are limited as Fuji ramps up production. 1045 yen is about the average price for 120 B&W film at Yodobashi. Ilford FP4 is 935 yen. Rollei Superman 200 sells for 1210 yen. The old Acros was the cheapest monochrome 120 film you could buy at Yodobashi, at 750 yen, I think. I’m not surprised they reset the price to be in line with the price of other monochrome film in Japan.

  3. Em, do you have any knowledge as to why they start with one region, and then later ship worldwide? When I first saw the article, I thought it meant it would be available to all by early December, but seemingly for those of us outside Asia, it’s more likely Spring 2020 as you state. I’m intrigued to understand the reasoning behind a decision to “drip feed” a product. I assume its something to do with worldwide distribution costs or laws or something like that?

    • If you really want it you could order it through a friend or proxy in Japan. Otherwise I think that’s just how distribution works. I’m sure it’s made in batches or a production run and they don’t want the first batch to sell out immediately.

      • 1) Why are you comparing premium film stock with consumer stock?

        2) 1990s/2000s film prices do not support the reality of today’s manufacturing base. Sounds like you need a hard dose of reality. SMH.

        • EM,

          You’re right that one shouldn’t compare the price tags of professional film stocks to consumer grade stocks. That being said, the cost of consumer grade stocks has also become ridiculous of late, but that’s a conversation for another day. However, one doesn’t need to compare ACROS II to a consumer stock in order to make a valid point that $9.50 USD is way, way too expensive. After all, a very fair and arguably the most one-to-one comparison would be ACROS II and T-MAX 100, the latter of which currently retails for $5.59 USD per 36 exposure roll. So yes, if Fuji ends up trying to sell ACROS II in the States for anywhere close to $9.50 it would be beyond ridiculous. I wouldn’t pay it, even if I could. In fact, I wouldn’t pay anything more than the current price tag of T-MAX 100, which I think is already bordering on unaffordable. Fuji needs to directly compete with Kodak, and if they don’t, I won’t be supporting them. It’s that simple. Likewise, if Kodak hikes their prices up any more they’ll lose my support as well, for the simple fact that it would become entirely unaffordable.

          I’m not going to argue with you about the changes the film industry has undergone in recent years from a manufacturing standpoint. But one also must realize that there are certain realities about what the general public is able to afford, not just what an exceedingly small percentage is able and willing to pay. Many of us — actually, I would argue most of us — amateur film enthusiasts are already finding that film as a hobby has become entirely unaffordable. And as such, huge numbers have been forced to quit shooting film altogether, despite how much they love it. This is a shame. Professional photographers, who can just compensate for film price hikes by increasing the cost of their services, as well as people who work within the industry and have direct ties to it tend to forget this reality. It’s us amateurs that do it purely as a hobby that make up the overwhelming percentage of the film community. We are who Fuji, Kodak, Ilford, et al should be catering to, and who they should be ensuring their products are affordable for. Sadly, they oftentimes seem to be blinded by greed, which will only serve them well for a short time, and they completely fail to see the big picture and how to ensure the long-term viability and survivability of the industry. In the end, if things keep going the way they are, when the current spike of renewed interest in film by millennials and hipsters wanes and is written off as having just been another short-term “fad,” Fuji and all the other film manufacturers are going to need us true, die-hard film amateurs to still be around to support them. That is, if they want to continue on as film companies. Perhaps Fuji honestly doesn’t care due to their size and how many industries they’re involved with. Maybe Kodak thinks similarly, which would be plain sad. But Ilford and many of the smaller film manufacturers definitely should care. But if they give in to greed and short-term profits now, and in turn alienate and drive all of us out because we quite simply can’t afford it anymore, then they are almost guaranteed to find themselves in a heap of trouble down the road. For whatever reason, this simple fact keeps being overlooked. Who do people think made up the vast majority of Kodak and Fuji’s sales historically? The professional photographer or the average consumer? I guarantee you the vast majority of their sales and thus their profitability came from consumers, not pros. I’m well aware that the consumer market has shrunk dramatically due to the digital age, but then again so has the pro market so that’s really a moot point isn’t it? But the consumer market, comprised largely of amateur enthusiasts, is still infinitely larger than the pro market, so all the film manufacturers desperately need to recognize that fact, and start working to make and keep their film stocks very affordable and accessible to everyone. If they think the very small percentage of pros out there shooting film combined with the even smaller percentage of the amateurs that have money to burn (very, very few do) are going to keep them going, I hate to say it, but they’re delusional.

          Furthermore, Fujifilm is a ridiculously huge company. You yourself wrote an article admitting their film division accounted for a mere 1% of their total revenue. Given that, even if they sold all their film at what it costs them to manufacture it (that is, zero percent profit), their company’s “losses” would still be effectively irrelevant. Again, we’re talking about a miniscule 1%. I’m not saying Fuji should make no profit from their film division, but at the same time, considering their overall size and level of wealth, one would think that if they had any respect at all for their history, legacy, and origins they wouldn’t hesitate to do so. It’s an almost meaningless price to pay if it means paying homage to your founders, keeping film affordable for the masses, building a flourishing film community, and ultimately keeping it alive altogether. Again, in case it still isn’t sinking in, we’re talking about 1%. They would still have 99% of the rest of their wealth, which is quite frankly monumental.

          One more thing before I wrap it up, if anyone believes that it actually costs anywhere close to $9.50, or even $5.59, or even $3 to manufacture a single roll of film and package it, they’ve been seriously duped. It doesn’t, even today. The only real reason the cost of film has gone through the roof is greed. And it serves no one in the end. People can get upset about that if they want to, but it’s the truth. Keep in mind I’m talking about the big film manufacturing companies here, not the super small, niche film manufacturers that don’t have the backing of a huge corporation. It’s understandable that the tiny start-up film manufacturers’ products would be a bit more expensive, at least as long as they’re actually manufacturing film and not just repackaging existing emulsions (another conversation for a different time). I get that. But that doesn’t apply to the huge corporations. They’re just price-gouging for absurd profits, and bleeding their customers dry in the process. Then they turn around, complain, and hike their prices even more when the industry begins to decline and their sales drop off. Well, what do they expect? At the end of the day, it’s this sort of behavior and these poor practices that have damaged the economy of their industry. Simply put, it’s bad business, and moreover it’s just wrong.

          Anyway, those are my two cents and just some food for thought. Perhaps someone will get something out of it.

          Take care.

Leave a comment