PetaPixel

Fujifilm Will Soon Discontinue 3×4 Instant B&W Film, Photogs Fight Back

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Fujifilm has confirmed that it will soon stop production of its FP-3000B film, which means that the only black-and-white instant film currently available in the 3×4 format will soon disappear forever.

Chris Gampat over on The Phoblographer first broke the news on Wednesday after receiving a tip that the film would soon go away. Photographer Michael Ash Smith has since confirmed the decision on his Facebook page, quoting a Fuji representative who told him via email that the company would stop making the film by the end of this year, with the last product likely to ship to retailers next spring.

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But Smith doesn’t intend to take this one lying down: since receiving that email, he has launched an online petition to get Fuji to reconsider the decision. So far, more than 3,500 supporters have already signed on to voice their dismay.

“Please continue to make FB-3000B,” wrote Katherine White of Sydney, Australia. “You will be ensuring the continued use of these amazing Polaroid cameras that are going through a new revival of popularity.”

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The film was mostly used by owners of big ol’ Polaroid pack cameras (see Flickr examples above shot on FP-3000B), who appreciated its remarkable light sensitivity, generation of negatives and pose-and-peel tactile appeal.

A quick Google search showed FP-3000B still in stock at a number of retailers, including Adorama, Focus Camera and (marginalization alert!) Etsy. But don’t wait too long, B&H has already run out of stock (temporarily), and they had some in stock yesterday.

(via The Phoblographer via Fstoppers)


Image credits: Sam with Polaroid 110A… and Fujifilm FP-3000B negative scanned and inversed by Invisible Hour.


 
  • BrokenHelix79

    I think you were trying to make a point, but you offered nothing in the way of a supportive argument. Sales are down, generally speaking, but they’re hardly “tanking”, and to attribute that slump to the rebirth of film is ridiculous. Digital photography is no longer new. It’s no longer in its infancy. The technology is firmly entrenched and now it’s being expanded upon in both expected (DSLRs with marginal upgrades) and unexpected (Lytro, hybrids, etc.) ways. I stand by the point I made in my previous comment: digital will continue to outpace film, even if there is a mini-revival.

    But I need to clarify: I’m not anti-film. I’ve used it in the past for various projects, and I recognize the creative–if not the practical–benefit. What I can’t tolerate is the segment of the photographic community who insists film is the zenith of the art form, and who look down upon the rest of the community as if we’re children or traitors. Film was simply among the first steps along an infinite road. I’ve adopted a digital workflow not because I’m lazy or inartistic, but because I enjoy working with the tools. I enjoy using technology to produce something beautiful out of nothing but digital data. Manipulating that digital data to create something worthwhile is just as meaningful as manipulating silver-halide crystals. If you think otherwise, then you and I will clearly never be able to have a civil discussion about photography.

  • 6cmzumquadrat

    “I think you were trying to make a point, but you offered nothing in the way of a supportive argument.”

    And you did? Please.

    DSLR sales are down 43% year-to-year in N. America. Mirrorless cameras are on the same trajectory. That is tanking. Digital is getting what it deserves for changing photography from a craft to an afterthought. Since you rarely need high resolution to view a picture on the internet, it makes sense that smartphones would hack away at DSLRs and Mirrorless markets.

    What we need is a return, not to a certain medium (though I believe film to absolutely be a superior medium), but to an idea of what makes a quality photo and also how photos are consumed. Right now, so much of what counts as photography is little more than preening and grooming a social media presence, and it’s just boring as all hell.

  • BrokenHelix79

    I totally agree with you about the need for a reconsideration of what makes photography special. I also agree that the current state of mass-market, consumer photography is dull, lifeless, and derivative.

    I can’t argue that sales are down, but I believe it’s a lateral shift and not to be confused with a revival of film. Film is dead, or at the very least, comatose. All of the old arguments about the quality of film over digital have been systematically dissolved with each new leap in sensor and chip technology, not to mention software on the back end. The only thing film users have left as an argument is that they deem their creative process superior to that of digital users, which is essentially what causes me to join in these discussions in the first place. It’s not just annoying. It’s insulting. I can be as considerate and careful in my execution and creation of my digital images as you can be with your analog images. And if you are paying attention to the world of photography, you’ll see the quality has remained high since the shift to digital. In fact, I would say creativity and vision in the upper echelons of photography has exploded with the advent of digital tools. I could spend hours referring you to commercial, portrait, and conceptual photographers who produce stunning art, and they use digital tools to do it. I can’t fathom the reasons you think film is superior in the professional realm, but digital has proven it’s worth, and it will continue to evolve.

    Film will continue in it’s comatose state for probably another decade, and there will be blips on the monitor and people will get excited that it might regain consciousness, but its extinction is inevitable. I don’t say that with any sort of gleefulness, because as I’ve iterated before, I’m not anti-film. I just wish film users would shut the hell up with their elitist attitudes toward it. It makes you all sound like whiny dinosaurs that can’t figure out how to live beyond the asteroid impact.

  • 6cmzumquadrat

    I started by pointing out how fallacious your 1000 new digital shooters for 1 new film shooter concept was. I never once said that there is a correlation between poor DSLR/Mirrorless sales and a revival of film. Film sales ARE up, somewhat significantly, but film is still a niche market. I wouldn’t contend otherwise.

    I also never said that film shooters are more creative than digital shooters. I only pointed out what digital image technology has wrought on the craft of photography. I view those developments as negative. You seemed to agree, making the addition of that straw man pretty unnecessary.

    In your entire set of rants, you’ve accused film shooter of elitism, but in truth your framing of film shooters as dinosaurs in the face of ALL THIS TECHNOLOGY, or writing off film shooters as ‘hipsters’ is itself elitist, and pretty damned stupid.

  • BrokenHelix79

    Actually, I was only accusing a certain segment of film shooters of being elitist and out of touch. I wouldn’t have even joined this conversation if film shooters could just say “Hey, I like film, but if you shoot digital, that’s cool too. We all love the act of taking pictures and creating art.” But the original comments that I addressed above were inflammatory nonsense to begin with.

    To clarify, one last time: I don’t hate film. I don’t hate film users. Many of my favorite photographers were and are film shooters. I admire the craftsmanship of proper film photography. What I’m beginning to despise, however, is the notion that film is superior. It’s not, and the reason it’s not is because this entire argument is based purely on subjective opinion and individual taste. The “correct” nature of photography is impossible to quantify, and yet that’s what a CERTAIN SEGMENT of film users attempt to do. To use your own words: it’s pretty damn stupid.

    One more thing: I didn’t say all film shooters were hipsters, but I won’t hesitate to label the ones who display the qualities.

    Finally, I stand by that 1000:1 ratio. I don’t have any hard statistics in front of me, but it’s not rocket science. For every artist that buys a box of film for their next project, there are probably even MORE than 1000 people walking into Best Buy or Costco or Walmart to purchase a new digital camera. It’s an unscientific observation, to be sure, but it’s definitely closer to reality than you are willing to admit.

    What are you expecting to achieve in this argument we’re having? What is either side, on the grand scale, expecting to achieve? Because ultimately, photography will change in ways that make this whole digital/film argument obsolete.

  • Lance Waterman

    The biggest problem with Impossible film is that the photo must develop in darkness AND they don’t last like original Polaroid film did. They fade. Impossible says the best way to keep them is in the drawer. They’re still very much in the dark about the chemical recipe. They got the factory but no one gave them the recipe.

  • Rob

    You are clearly anti film, Ilford in the UK? go and research their film sales in the past 3 years! up! releasing new products. Foma in europe sales are up. Ferrania in italy is coming back. Orwo film in germany do you want more companies coming back! why invest if film is dead. Film is dead my ass. yes there is not the market for film what it once was but there is still profit in it OMG you need to contact all the largeformat camera manufacturers and tell them film is dead! your talking nonsense my friend. stick with your chimping and pixel peeping. and do your research in the market

  • BrokenHelix79

    Thanks for dragging me back into a discussion from a month ago. If you had read my comments carefully, you would see I’m not “anti film” at all. Do I care about film photography? Not really. Do I appreciate the history of photography and film’s place in it? Of course. I don’t think film is literally dead. It will always exist on the margins of this industry, for probably a couple more decades at least. But the vast majority of photographers have drifted away from film, for better or worse. Your sentence “stick with your chimping and pixel peeping.” clearly betrays your own bias. You do realize that most of the successful photographers in the world have been using digital technology to make money and create art, right? Your condescension toward me for preferring digital technology is the exact reason I spoke up about this subject in the first place.

    I’ll say it one more time: film is not the apex of this art form. It’s a stepping stone. It’s a stepping stone with a surface that is growing smaller and smaller as the digital waters rise around it. And in 20 or 50 or 100 years, the digital stepping stone will sink as well, replaced with something entirely new. I welcome that evolution. I won’t cling to my digital camera and insist it’s the best way to capture images.

  • Jourdan Lynch

    Rock vs hammer?… I would compare it more to fast food vs a home cooked meal…

  • BrokenHelix79

    In your analogy, the only two things that truly matter are the quality of the food and the skill/talent of the person preparing that food. I don’t object to the fact that a lot of digital photographers are basically pimply-faced fry cooks flipping “meat” products at Burger King. The same is true for the home cooks who can’t manage to boil water.

  • Jon

    As of March 4, 2014, ZERO people have signed the petition. Goodbye 3×4 B&W.