Two items of news for film shooters from Photokina.
First, Kodak is replacing two films with one. Portra 400NC and Portra 400VC will be replaced by a single film called simply Portra 400. The charts on this page show a well-chosen balance for a compromise single product: color saturation and sharpness right between the two old films, and contrast that matches the old NC. Granularity, already excellent, is further improved.
Portra has been an important film, having become the de facto standard for many art photographers like the old VPS 100 was in its day. One unfortunate casualty seems to be 8x10 availability—Portra 400 will be available in 35mm, 120, and 220 ProPacks, and 10-sheet boxes of 4x5, but no 8x10. This is unlikely to be of much import to the large majority of photographers, but a small disaster to a devoted few. Kodak estimates that current stocks of the old films will last until the end of 2010, and the new film will be here in October.
Meanwhile, it appears that Fuji is at least close to going ahead with a wide version of its beautiful medium-format folder. The GF670W is being shown as a "reference exhibit" at Photokina, although what that really means for production we have no idea. The wide version of the camera will have a 10-element, 8-group Fujinon EBC 55mm lens.
Good news for landscape shooters and backpackers, assuming the camera makes it to market; chances look good.
(Thanks to Oren)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.