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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Comments

If only I could afford to stump up for the Fuji. One of my great photographic regrets was selling, at an impecunious moment during the mid-80s, my Plaubel Makina 6x7 folder with its 55m Nikkor lens. Rubbish coupled viewfinder (more barrel than a brewery) but exquisite results with church interiors. Of any film camera that I wish I still owned ...

I wonder what he retail price will be for the new Portra? If by reducing the cost associated with making just one film they could sell it for $4.00 a pop or less, that would be great!

Also not likely...

"One of my great photographic regrets was selling, at an impecunious moment during the mid-80s, my Plaubel Makina 6x7 folder with its 55m Nikkor lens."

James,
Don't feel too bad. Wherever your old Plaubel is, doubtless its giving its current owner fits with film-advance problems. (Those cameras are absolutely notorious for that...I have friends who had to have theirs serviced up to five times, all for the same issue.)

They *were* nice, though.

Mike

All I can say is Fuji, don't let your 1600 Superia film die. It's the staff of life to me, for concert shooting.

"...they could sell it for $4.00 a pop or less"

charlie,
It looks like it's only going to be available in ProPacks.

Mike

The Fuji folder sounds fantastic, but based on past releases, it's also likely to be fantastically expensive.

"it's also likely to be fantastically expensive"

Yes, no more economies of scale on this type of product....

Mike

It's great that Fuji are making new medium format rangefinders. I just wish I could afford one!

That Fuji folder does sound fantastic! Out of curiosity, I decided to look up what Kodak makes. It's really...sad.

If they want people to keep using film, maybe they should make some cameras? It worked for them for about a hundred years, didn't it? At least they could make Holga and Lomo knockoffs, couldn't they? And large-format box cameras? One-shot panoramic cameras loaded with 120 film? Anniversary box cameras? "Collectible" Speed Graphic copies?

I remember when Portra 400 came out in 8x10. It opened up a wide range of possibilities. I still have nice shot of an ocean liner passing in front of the World Trade Center, taken from Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Who would have thought, 8x10 stopping a liner in her tracks while having enough depth of field to keep everything sharp. And not that it matters to all but select few, but no Portra 400 in 8x10 now means no Portra 400 in 5x7 either since we have nothing to cut down to size.

Some trepidation about the new Portra, as I consider Portra 400NC to be about as perfect as color negative film can be. I don't see how any increase in saturation can be good for the skin.

Take care,
Tom

More good news...sounds like neither Fuji or Kodak plan on folding on film production any time soon.

Also, it doesn't appear that this (proposed) GF670W will be a "folder" either:

http://www.fujifilm.com/photokina2010/images/gf670w.jpg

Cheers! Jay

charlie,
It looks like it's only going to be available in ProPacks.

Mike

That's okay, I can buy ProPacks. I would just like a great color film for less than $6.00 a roll ProPack or not.

The rumors have it that the new film is based on motion film emulsion that is supposed to be of great improvement: http://www.twinlenslife.com/2010/09/morning-has-broken-220-400h-vs-35mm.html

If you read all the way down to the end of the press release on the new GF670W camera it says:

"As a leading company in the imaging field, FUJIFILM corporation will continue to enhance and excite the medium-format camera market, and further contribute to the development of the culture of film photography throught the development of its medium-format camera series."

Kind of makes you want to go out and shoot a roll of Provia 120 doesn't it?

From what I understand the GF670 folder rather outsold the expectations; most of the planned production run of 5000 units was preordered before release.

As a result, a new GF670 is less pricey than it was last year - no more than a midrange DSLR - and the presumably simpler design of this wide-angle version should make it at least competitive in price with its older sibling.

I know that if my Yashica Mat dies (when, really, considering how the film advance has been behaving lately) I will take a very serious look at the GF670 for a replacement travel camera.

Is it me or does the lens to body junction of that new Fuji look not-quite-finished? And what does the upper left knob-widget do?

Am I missing something here. That picture of the 670W is NOT a folding camera.

It's a shame the new Fuji isn't a folder. One of the most important things for me about the Bessa III is its slippery form factor when folded, which means it fits nicely into a (largish) jacket pocket

>Wherever your old Plaubel is, doubtless its giving its current owner fits with film-advance problems.
Mike<

All wrong unless you mistreat it. PMs request to advance the film or change exposure/focus only with the camera open. Turn focus to infinity when closing it. That's all you need to obay.

So for the people who regularly and professionally shoot in 8x10 color neg film (eg Alec Soth), do you think Kodak gives them any kind of heads up?

Seems like a lot of cutting your nose off to spite your face if you 86 the high-profile customers.

If it is a 6x9 ...

For 8x10 C41, it now means ektar a film I do not like and it is much slower.

Clint,
It's possible it will be available by special order, like Ilford's large and ultra-large format films.

Mike

>> And what does the upper left knob-widget do? <<

Viewed from the front, the knob on the upper right is the shutter speed dial, the one on the upper left is the film wind.

>> So for the people who regularly and professionally shoot in 8x10 color neg film (eg Alec Soth), do you think Kodak gives them any kind of heads up? <<

Alec Soth is using mostly Hasselblad digital these days. The loss of demand from high-volume professional users is precisely the problem for Kodak.

Kodak has been sending the following response to people inquiring about availability of Portra 400 in 5x7 and 8x10:

"With respect to availability of this film in 8x10 and/or 5x7, unfortunately, the demand for 5x7 in color negative, as well as 8x10 in 400 specifically, has not been enough for us to offer these sizes on an ongoing basis. However, you might check with your dealer(s) of Kodak Professional products, like B&H Photo (800-947-9980) and Badger Graphics (ph. 920-766-9332), for them to work with their Kodak Professional Account Representative to see if they can put a special order together. The minimum order is generally about $15,000 worth of a particular product."

"Am I missing something here. That picture of the 670W is NOT a folding camera."

10 lens elements in 8 groups indicates its a Biogon/Super-Angulon type SWA. Those are physically quite long with the last lens a few mm from the film in shooting position. There is not much space left that could be used to move the lens backwards for folding.

Hmm...this is an interesting announcement.

I've been shooting rather a lot of Portra
400 lately, both the NC and VC varieties and
I'm not very happy that they're reformulating
it.

OTOH...the spec sheet looks darn reasonable
and part of me thinks it might be a nice
improvement over the current situation. I
guess I'll have to run a few rolls through
the camera and see if it looks as good in
the rain as Portra 400 VC. If not, I just
hope I can get my hands on enough to last me
through this race season...

As for the Fuji GF670W, that looks like a
nice one. Lately my Bessa III folder has
been my main camera (hence the need for the
Portra :) and I've found it just a wonderful
camera to use. Lots of attention to making
it fun and convenient to use. If you're
looking for a medium format rangefinder,
they're definitely worth looking at.

Interesting that Rochester is "combining" NC/VC 400 into one film. Given recent reformulations in the Portra family, I'm willing to give Kodak the benefit of the doubt on this, although seeing is believing. (As far as 8x10 users being cut off, just recall that Ektar 100 was first released in 35mm ONLY, then made available in MF later on. If you want it in your favored format, let 'em know!

In terms of mixed-light use, Fuji Pro 400/800 has been my go-to film up to now. If Kodak is tweaking their faster stuff in this direction, then, to very reluctantly quote Ross Perot, I'm all ears.


- Barrett

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