Fujifilm Japan has just announced the global discontinuation of Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film in 4×5″ and 8×10″ large formats, and 120 format Fujicolor 160NS Professional colour negative film.
Coming hot on the heels of the July 2021 ban of the sale and processing of Fujichrome Velvia 100 in the United States, the notice is effective immediately and final shipping dates range over the next 18 months.
The table below, taken from the official press release (Japanese), outlines the exact dates for each product:
|Size||Product||Expected final shipping time|
|120||Fujicolor 160NS Professional 120 / 5 pack||March 2022|
|Sheet||Fujichrome VELVIA 50 4×5 20 sheets||March 2023|
|Sheet||Fujichrome VELVIA 50 8×10 20 sheets||December 2021|
Today’s announcement is an official global discontinuation notice, which leaves Fujichrome Velvia 100, Fujichrome Provia 100F and Kodak EKTACHROME E100 as the only options for currently produced large format slide film outside of the United States, and only Fujichrome Provia 100F and Kodak EKTACHROME E100 as options for currently produced large format slide film inside of the United States.
The July 6th 2021 ban on Fujichrome Velvia 100 was enacted due to updates to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and only affects customers in the United States. It is still possible to purchase Velvia 100 in other countries at the time of writing.
As frustrating as it is to see more beloved film stocks some to an end — Fujicolor 160NS Professional sheet film was discontinued in 2016 and the 120 format version was made “Japan-only” in 2018 — it’s an inevitability given Fujifilm’s ongoing shift away from traditional photographic film for consumers and the creative industry.
With this discontinuation coming just 10 months after news of the death of Fujicolor Pro 400H, Fuji has only two currently globally available colour films in 120 or sheet film formats: Fujichrome Velvia 100, Fujichrome Provia 100F.
The company still produces both x-ray and microfilms, as well as half a dozen Instax film types (Mini, Square and Wide in both colour and monochrome variations).
The full discontinuation notice follows below in Japanese and machine-translated English follows.
Japanese Fujichrome Velvia 50 sheet and Fujicolor Pro 160NS 120 format discontinuation notice [source]:
富士フイルムイメージングシステムズ株式会社（社長:松本 考司）は、年ご愛用いただきました撮影用カラーネガフィルム160NS 120サイズ、リバーサルフィルムVELVIA50 CUTサイズにつきまして、生産効率の向上や経費節減など懸命なコスト吸収につとめて生産してまいりましたが、生産に使用する原材料の一部の調達が困難になった為、やむなく生産販売を終了させていただきます。
今後とも、富士フイルム製品に変わらぬご愛顧を賜りますよう、お願い申し上げます。~ Fujifilm Japan
English Fujichrome Velvia 50 sheet and Fujicolor Pro 160NS 120 format discontinuation notice [source]:
Thank you for your continued patronage of FUJIFILM products.
FUJIFILM Imaging Systems Co., Ltd. (President: Koji Matsumoto) has been working hard to absorb costs such as improving production efficiency and reducing costs for the 160NS 120 format color negative film for photography and the VELVIA 50 sheet size reversal film that have been used for many years. However, because it became difficult to procure some of the raw materials used for production, we have no choice but to discontinue production and sales.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but thank you for your patience.
We look forward to your continued patronage of FUJIFILM products.~ Fujifilm Japan
According to Fujifilm, users of Fujicolor 160NS Professional 120 format film have no recommended product to use as a replacement. They do however recommend that Fujichrome Velvia 50 4×5 and 8×10 customers purchase Velvia 100 in 4×5 and 8×10 instead — little comfort for US-based film photographers but at least 4×5 and 8×10 alternatives in the form of Fujichrome Provia 100F are still available — albeit producing a rather different look to everyone’s favourite Velvia 50.
It’s sad news indeed and without a shadow of a doubt, as important an announcement as the discontinuation of NEOPAN 400 in 2014. Velvia 50 has long been the staple of many large format film photographers for its out-of-this-world colour rendition, saturation and extremely fine grain.
I’ll be sad to see it go and will without a shadow of a doubt, purchase a few boxes of 4×5 for posterity but with large format gone, I expect we’ll see the other remaining formats discontinued within the next 3-5 years, if not sooner.
It’s safe to say that within the next decade, we’ll likely see the death of Fujifilm as a first-party manufacturer of the film products that made their name and as sad as that might be, I’m ok with that.
Thanks for reading,
Edit: Updated for clarity on current large format slide film options.
Share your knowledge, story or project
The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.