Fujifilm Fujicolor “Industrial” 400/(業) 記録用 力ラーフィルム is a discontinued colour negative film that’s been sold exclusively in Japan as a tool for product photography. It features medium-sized grain with lots of acutance (sharpness) and a unique colour palette.
This film was only available for 35mm film cameras. It came in white packaging with green lettering in English and Japanese. The prominent “(業) 記録用 力ラーフィルム,” pronounced (gō) kiroku-yō-ryoku rāfirumu translates literally to “(business) recording film” — but most anglophone literature refers to this emulsion as “Industrial.”
The entire Fujicolor “Industrial” series, which used to sell in ISO 100 and ISO 400 with frame counts of 24exp. and 36exp., has been discontinued fairly recently. But you can still find this film priced reasonably at $15-25 per roll — depending on the seller, quantity, and frame count.
My favourite thing about this emulsion is the shadow colour balance — but it’s better known for its exceptionally vivid red and green colour renderings.
In this review, I’ll share plenty of samples from various lighting conditions and scanning methods and dive deep into what’s known about this film’s resolution, unique look, and other performance aspects.
Grain structure, resolution, and sharpness.
As it usually goes, higher-ISO films produce larger grains. Fujicolor “Industrial” 400 is no exception — it can get chunky in certain light, chemicals, and scanner setups. But for the most part, it is relatively fine.
In ideal conditions with a good lens, you can get plenty of resolving power with this film. The extreme enlargement in this article, exposed with Olympus Mju II, shows a surprising amount of detail (for a 35mm full-frame scan) on a 4x zoom spot.
It’s worth noting, however, that these sorts of results aren’t to be expected in every frame. In my experience, high-contrast scenes, particularly the ones with deep, dark blues and greens, get noticeably grainier. You can see that in the scan below.
Variable resolution is generally expected. Fujifilm’s discontinued (and incredibly expensive) Natura 1600 emulsion is known to produce remarkably-fine grain in highlights with fist-sized chunks appearing in the shadows. The RMS granularity seems to be a measure of the finest granules, which is misleading; according to Fujifilm’s datasheet, Natura resolves better than Kodak’s Ektachrome 100E. In practice, this is not the case.
A few years back, Kodak switched their films to using PGI (Print Grain Index), which relies on human perception reports. This rating system predicts real-world film performance significantly better. But alas, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the datasheet for Fujifilm’s “Industrial” films, and thus for this review, we’ll have to rely on the samples I’ve collected over the years shooting it.
The “Industrial” 400 colours.
If you aren’t aiming your camera at contrasty scenes, the “Industrial” stock will likely render the colours in a neutral palette. But given a bit of strong sun, it’ll create fantastic arrangements.
According to internet lore, this film’s unique colour rendering was designed to exaggerate the colours of red lipstick, flowers, and other features that product designers like to showcase in their ads. In other words, Fujifilm’s “Industrial” films are built to make stuff look a little juicier than it appears IRL.
Another blogger noted that these emulsions are designed for CN-16 processing chemicals, which are to add about 5% to the overall contrast. Thus what you see here isn’t even the final form of this film’s tendency to exaggerate reality.
Fujicolor “Industrial” is a great choice if you want the colours to pop a little more than they otherwise would in your scans. Surely you can make adjustments in post to get a similar effect with any emulsion, but the quality of digital edits is likely to degrade the overall fidelity of your image, and the labour required to tune your channels may extend into hours that you could’ve spent doing something else.
The opposite is also true: should you like a more flat or natural-looking colour profile, Fujicolor “Industrial” may not be the right stock for you. Kodak Portra 400 performs much better for that task. Note that both films will alter slightly depending on your exposures. If you’re stuck with the “Industrial,” consider over-exposing it slightly to cool down those saturated tones or choosing a scene with softer light.
Another thing to know about this film is that it was made to perform well under artificial lighting — as is usually the case with product photography setups. I doubt it’ll give results as good as CineStill 800T or any tungsten-balanced stock, but it should not disappoint in a pinch.
And, finally, my favourite property of Fujicolor “Industrial” is its colour accuracy in the shadows. At least when the negatives are inverted using the histogram equalization method.
In my experience, especially when it comes to high-saturation colour negative emulsions such as Ektar, deep shadows tend to turn a shade of blue that can be difficult to correct. Not the case with Fujicolor “Industrial” 400: the greys stay grey all the way until they turn black.
But, of course, your mileage may vary. If you scan using the same methods as I did (you may also need to use similar hardware), you’ll get great results with this film. It should also look fine when scanned by a lab or using other methods, though the colour balance I got from a local lab wasn’t as good:
Some scans that I got from this film came with crushed shadows. Yet others appear to show plenty of detail across the frame — even in difficult lighting conditions.
Unfortunately, there are no film characteristic curves — I tried English, Japanese, and Chinese search queries — thus, I can’t give you a definitive prognosis. However, from the personal and publically-available samples, it appears that, as expected with most colour films, Fujicolor “Industrial” performs much better when over-exposed or exposed for shadows.
Adding a bit of extra light may improve saturation and dynamic range.
How much does Fujifilm Fujicolor “Industrial” 400 cost, and where to buy it.
This film used to be a budget option, only available in 35mm canisters with 24 or 36 exposures. After the discontinuation, the film’s availability became iffier, and the prices increased. But not at the same rate as the cost of film in general. Thus, Fujifilm Fujicolor “Industrial” films are still relatively affordable. Depending on the seller, quantity, and frame count, you can get this film at $15-25 per roll.
If you’re interested in film prices and would like to stay on top of them, the best way is to subscribe to the free semi-annual reports on film costs. I do all the hard work surveying a curated variety of film stores across the world on this and many other film stocks.
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