Film Photography News — April 2022 Recap
Fujifilm Raises Prices by 60%, New Film, New Old Lenses, New Film App7 min read by
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This month, Fujifilm delivered some bad news — again. Their film prices are to increase by up to 60%, and their slide films in medium format will now be produced in limited quantities. Adding to the disappointment, Street Candy closed their doors for good, citing unsustainable price hikes from its supplier.
Thankfully, there is plenty of good news for film shooters this April. Kosmo Foto and CineStill began shipping their new films, a new solargraphy camera got funded in a matter of hours, and Omnar Lenses began offering one-off lens conversion services for rangefinders. And there’s new film from ORWO!
➕ Plus: If you’re struggling to keep track of your film — I’ve got an app for you (it’s free). And other news.
The Omnar lens platform is capable of converting optical blocks from lenses with 8mm to 52.4mm in focal length. This includes, but is not limited to lenses such as the 42mm Summar, 50mm Sonnar, 28mm Tessar, 35mm Biometar, 40mm Rollei, 21mm Biogon.
M-mount lens conversions by Omnar Lenses and Skyllaney Opto-Mechanics.
35mmc’s Hamish Gill says that it shouldn’t matter how expensive your glass is and whether its make matches the body. The only thing that matters is if you like the results.
Indeed, why shouldn’t I be allowed to put a Holga lens on my Leica? Just kidding, I don’t own a Leica. But if I did, I would approach Hamish’s new company Omnar Lenses, in collaboration with Skyllaney Opto-Mechanics, to convert the 1950s Voigtländer Ultron lens for me first.
Last year, Omnar began production of a lens platform as a key component of the CN26-6. Today, the company expands their operations to supply the platform for the conversion service offered by Skyllaney Opto-Mechanics.
With Omnar’s platform, Skyllaney OM can turn virtually anything between 8mm and 52.4mm in focal length to fit your M-mount rangefinder.
This service starts at £1,249 with a turnaround time of eight to twelve weeks. Full details on Omnar Lenses’ website.
Film Log app.
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember which film you may have in your camera. That’s why many of them have a special pocket at the back where you can stick a piece of your film’s packaging as a reminder. But that doesn’t always work. And there isn’t anything out there to solve this specific problem on the internet.
So I built a web app to solve film tracking throughout its various life cycles. It’s free, and you don’t even need an account to try it (although it would help if you want your logs to sync across devices).
For various reasons, time was a potent constraint with this project — I had three nights to complete it. So it’s a “Beta” for now.
Solarcan has just released a new pinhole camera. Loaded with photographic paper, it can capture sun trails with day-long (or longer) exposures. But unlike its predecessor, the new Solarcan PUCK produces smaller, circular negatives. The new Solarcan is also considerably smaller than the original beer can-sized camera, and it is now reloadable — whereas the original was a single-use camera.
The Kickstarter campaign is still live, where you can get yours for £22 along with nine extra paper negatives.
New film from ORWO, Kosmo Foto, and CineStill.
WOLFEN NP100 is an exceptionally fine grain 100 ASA, 36 exposure, black and white photographic film. This is one of the first professionally finished films launched by the company in decades, proudly still produced in Bitterfeld-Wolfen on the original site where film manufacture has been a tradition since 1910.
Pre-orders for the new ORWO Wolfen NP100 black and white film will take place on April 30th. The company that had recently begun producing film again was a major supplier of emulsions across eastern Europe in the late 20th century and the early 2000s.
Another black and white film, Kosmo Foto’s 400ISO Agent Shadow has finally begun shipping following the long production cycle that hasted nearly a year since getting funded on Kickstarter. Supply chain disruptions throughout the still-ongoing pandemic forced multiple delays, which had finally been cleared.
Last month, CineStill launched a campaign to fund their 400D colour film, which has since gotten overwhelming support from the film photography community. This coming month, the “early bird” orders should begin to receive their emulsions in the mail.
Fujifilm price hikes and the end of Street Candy.
Fujifilm is, perhaps, the second-best known film producer after Kodak. However, while the latter has been busying itself with extending its current portfolio of emulsions to feed the growing numbers of analogue photographers, Fujifilm has been slowly discontinuing its films throughout the decades. The fact that they still have films to cut is a testament to the incredible portfolio of emulsions the company had developed over the 80+ years in the industry.
This month, the company announced a wide range of price increases, some of which reached 60% hikes and also warned that their slide films in medium format will have a limited run this year. Fujifilm blames supply chain issues.
Whereas Fujifilm’s still-impressive film portfolio managed to survive decades of relentless cutbacks, a smaller film brand, Street Candy, could not handle the COVID-driven volatility. The brand that packaged films into recyclable cardboard canisters has officially ceased operations this month.
In other news.
A special thank-you to Stefan Bartsch for sending me a few rolls of Adox Color Mission film. This is a limited release batch by the company that had promised a new like of C-41 emulsions in the coming months. I’m very excited to try it; I will be sharing my thoughts on it shortly.
Meanwhile, I’ve been interviewed by a small local newspaper about the film photography’s rise in popularity. And a zine I made back in 2020 got featured in Holly’s “5 Analogue Zines You Should Try” on 35mmc.
Latest on Analog.Cafe.
“Olympus Mju II Stylus Epic Compact Camera Review” — my impressions of a tiny point-and-shoot that used to sell for pennies but now goes for hundreds.
“How to Load a 35mm Film Camera” — even after a year with my first film camera, I didn’t know how you could check whether the film was properly caught by the take-up spool; this guide explains everything.
“How to Load a 35mm Film Camera — Printable PDF” — this is the same guide as above, but in a printable format; you can include it along whenever you pass a film camera to someone you know may be a beginner.
“Ilford Ortho Plus 80 Film Review” — this is one of the few black and white films on the market that can’t “see” reds; in this review, I explain how that works and why I think it’s so neat.
“84% Say ‘No Unsolicited Negative Critiques, Please’” — it’s hard to tell how certain things said online may feel to others; so I decided to ask; this short post is the results of my mini-research into social media etiquette.
“665” — a short review of Sol’s fantastic art book.
“What Is an Aperture and How Does It Work — Printable PDF” — An article I wrote last month is now available as a free download you can keep and read offline.
“Kodak Ektar 100 Film Review” — my review of iconic Koda emulsion with the “world’s finest grain” and a strange tendency to turn things blue in the shadows.