Fujifilm’s Superia X-TRA 400 35mm film has been a stock mainstay of Walmart and many other Superstores and drug stores in the USA for decades. As you might be aware, Fujifilm has recently been having supply problems, and many stores here in the US have been out of stock of for months on end. Suspicion of the death of another color film has run rampant, with at least one major camera retailer listing Superia as discontinued or unavailable. Hope was recently restored when the same retailer listed a ‘new’ Fujifilm 400 without the “Superia X-TRA” branding, and with box art noting “Made in USA”.

This new film recently showed itself at my local Walmart, so I picked up a 3-pack of 36 exposure rolls for today’s now-reasonable price of $24.98 plus sales tax and spoke to Em about writing a quick review based on my experiences with them.

(I will not digress into the hot topic of film pricing, inflation, and supply chain issues)

Roll 1 – EI 400

I loaded up my recently acquired Minolta Maxxum 700si with a 28-105 Minolta zoom lens and headed out on a slightly overcast Ohio spring day to burn through my first roll. The exposures were made at box speed using aperture priority, and I largely let the camera’s meter do the thinking. I shot handheld, and the shutter speeds were guaranteed fast with the 400-speed film. Obligatory gear shot:

The first roll shots are from my hometown area, consisting primarily of small rural communities centered around agriculture with manufacturing mixed in. We don’t have any grand mountain vistas or rock formations to go full Ansel on, and street photography is walking down a quiet street as everyone whizzes past in their cars.

I enjoy driving the county roads, and seeing the barns built with axes and sweat in the 19th and 20th centuries. They stand as cathedrals to hard work, cattle feeding, and hay storage. As maintenance on these barns becomes more expensive and difficult, many fall, and few are preserved, except through memory and photographs.

I self-developed the film with Kodak’s Flexicolor C41 process at standard temps and times with a Jobo system, and converted the files to digital with a Sony a99ii and Minolta 50mm macro lens using a Cinestill light pad.

Images were converted with Negative Lab Pro in Adobe Lightroom, and have not been significantly manipulated except for cropping, exposure/contrast, minor saturation/color temp, and dust spotting. I’m a bit of a newcomer to DSLR ‘scanning’ and still improving my technique. So far, I’ve been impressed with the resolution and sharp conversions.

A few more frames from my first roll follow:

Roll 2 – EI 1600 + push processing

On a dare from Em, I decided to push a roll to 1600 (2 stops). This called for bringing out my favorite camera, a Minolta a-9 that can focus the SSM lenses made by Sony for the A-mount digital SLRs. The a-9 also has a 1/12,000 top shutter speed for when you want to play with large apertures and bokeh in broad daylight. Most of the push samples below were made with a Carl Zeiss 24-70 f.2.8 zoom lens.

The tree swallow and Buffy the Dog images were captured with Sony’s 70-400mm f/2.8 SSM. As expected, grain increased with the push (see the 100% crop of the barn swallow, frame 2) as did contrast, along with some minor color shifting. But, I did not find any of those objectionable. The available light pics show nice shadows while still retaining detail in the window highlights. I’d call it a fun and useful film when pushed two stops, though harsh daylight will block the shadows.

Roll 3 – EI 400 again

My third roll was shot at box speed while walking around downtown Lima, Ohio (that’s LIE-mah, like the bean, not Peru) on a Sunday afternoon. Lima is a bit more “city” for me, with a few tall buildings and parking meters. I did manage to sneak a few people into my street photography, but it’s not my strong suit. These photos were taken with the a-9 and Sony Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 — a tack-sharp lens.

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The Joey’s Subs photo shows off the bright colors and detail rendered by this film. Compare the 100% crop of the swallow at 1600 EI (roll 2) to the 100% of the Joey’s Subs shot — where the stars on the flag showed good detail at 400 EI. I wished I had a wide-angle lens at times, but now and then, you need a challenge and “work with what you brung” as we tend to say here in Ohio.

Here’s are those two 100% crops to save you scrolling back up.

What is “Made in USA” Fujifilm 400?

Doing some light forensic work, the film edge markings look rather like Kodak’s typical, rather than Fuji’s, which incorporate green and red ‘racing stripes’. See the image below, which shows Fuji 400 film negatives top, Kodak GC400 / Ultramax 400 middle, and “old” Fuji 400 Superia X-TRA bottom.

Also, the “New 400” film is taped to the spindle, whereas classic Fuji 35mm film uses a punched hole and catch on the spindle. I think we can be reasonably certain Kodak has its hands in this.

My 2¢ / conclusion

I found the results given by the new “Made in USA” Fujifilm 400 very satisfactory. However, I think my conversion setup and Negative Lab Pro settings may tend to over-saturate the colors a bit. The colors definitely pop, and I can’t quite judge if that’s the film, or my setup. I deliberately lowered NLP’s saturation setting a bit on the EI 1600 push, and Lima rolls (rolls 2 and 3 respectively).

Considering the film speed, grain is not objectionable at all, and the 42-megapixel resolution of my Sony DSLR ‘scanner’ easily showed good film detail, the failings of my hand-held exposures, and the faults of my 80’s vintage zoom lens on the first roll. I would caution making any guesses about the characteristics of the emulsion until a real data sheet with color curves is released by Fujifilm. There are too many digital variables from my camera to your computer screen.

I’m aware that one gap in this mini-review here is the distinct lack of human portraits. Maybe for another day, or another reviewer. I have, however, included the obligatory photo of my dog.

In any case, we as film photographers should be glad when we can walk into a local store and see a supply of color film on the shelf. Only two companies are making significant amounts of quality color film on the planet, and we need them both. I would hope this film fills a gap in Fujifilm’s lineup as they address issues with production and availability. I’m hoping the FujiNotFilmAnymore rumors are unfounded.

Late news: a Japanese market press release states that film orders and sales are to return to Japan from June 12th 2023, albeit with price hikes. A chief concern of mine, is to solely count on the film production of one company — in one city, in one facility. It puts our analog world in a bit of a precarious position, not even considering the pricing concerns.

Be sure to support your local store if you still have one, (see photo of Acme Photo from roll 3. It was a place I used to frequent in college, and now long closed. Lima had two downtown photo stores), or grab a pack next time you’re in the MegaMart. Big stores track when inventory moves, which keeps them stocking it. Little stores personally know when their inventory turns, and it keeps them in business to serve you. So get out there, and shoot some film, make some pictures — and have fun.

~ Mark

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About the author

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Mark Frey

Mark Frey is an Ohio based photographer who grew up shooting film on his Yashica MG-1 and various Minoltas in the 1980s. Today he uses digital for work, but enjoys shooting film with a diverse and motley collection of cameras and darkroom equipment. Experimentation...


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  1. Great review! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience with the Made in USA Fujifilm 400 film stock. Your detailed analysis of its color reproduction, dynamic range, and versatility in various lighting conditions was very informative.

  2. I worked for fujifilm in America. The plant has closed. We did at one time produce film. I worked there for 30 years. I started the plant up and was there for the last run.

  3. Translating the japanese press release quoted in the article gives me hope, as I’m reading they will resume production of 135 colour and reversal and 120 reversal film (AKA velvia & provia). I only shoot medium format and if they are really starting velvia and/or provia up again, i’ll be very happy.

  4. Could be they’re sending Fuji the same emulsion that they give Lomography.

    That would explain the slight differences to Ultramax that Dana notes below.

    Either way, I’d be surprised to see Fuji actually produce new runs of Superia after this. I’m almost certain that they mothballed production long ago and we’re seeing the end of Fuji film production outside Instax. The continual discontinuations and problems source raw materials argument is getting a little thin and suspect on their part.

  5. Mark — great review (and photos!) — I have shot some of the Made In USA Fuji 400 also and it sure does not look like my earlier Superia X-TRA 400 scans. It does not have the emphasis on greens that I see in the Fuji-sourced film. At the same time, it doesn’t quite match my Kodak UltraMax 400 — the Made In USA Fuji (to me) has a little more pop and “grit” than the UltraMax. But yeah — the only other large film manufacturer who could bolster Fuji would have to be Kodak. And choice is good — the price is not too bad. But if Fuji is ramping up to restock with more expensive Superia X-TRA 400, then it’s time for me to grab a bunch of rolls (OK, I’ll pay for them!) of the Made In USA and pop them in the fridge! Cheers!