Japan Camera Hunter (JCH) has announced the development of FuguFilm 400, a 400 ISO positive film emulsion set to arrive later in 2022. JCH claims it is the first completely new reversal film emulsion in nearly two decades.
According to a post from Bellamy Hunt, one of the film’s co-developers on Japan Camera Hunter, the FuguFilm 400 film has been in development since 2009, but has taken the last three years to fully test the emulsion to ensure it had “the right balance, the right saturation, and the right ISO.”
JCH says that many of the chemicals used in early slide films have been banned in many regions, so changes had to be made to adapt to a different supply chain and environment.
Hunt says that the team has announced the film now as the timing felt “auspicious” with the recent releases of Kodak Gold 200 and CineStill 400 Dynamic films, adding that, “good news should come in threes.”
According to Hunt, the name “FuguFilm” started as a joke that started about foreiners in Japan and eventually led to the topic of cartoon icon Homer Simpson eating fugu, the name of sashimi made from pufferfish.
“At the moment, we just thought it apt to call it FuguFilm, because we wanted it to be fun. But, like the fugu fish, we are deadly serious about this,” Hunt says.
JCH says this film is the first completely new reversal film emulsion in nearly two decades, conceived of and made completely from scratch which is why it took so long to produce.
“Let us be clear, this is not an old storage roll pulled from the fabled Fuji freezer, or expired film, this is a completely new emulsion from the ground up and it has taken a huge amount of work and money to get it to this stage already,” he says/
Below are a few sample images taken on the new FuguFilm 400, and additional examples can be seen on JCH.
Why Slide Film?
According to the announcement, the team decided on slide film because they believe that better results are easier to acquire when digitizing color positive film compared to color negative film, since users will only need a digital camera to digitize the film. With negatives, users will need a scanner and a method of inverting the color to make the negatives a positive. Basically, they say, this film makes processing a step faster and easier by taking away the need for a dedicated scanner and software to perform the inversion.
Hunt went on to further explain that since Fujifilm cut the Provia 400x line of slide films in 2013, there was a void in the slide film world that needed to be filled.
FuguFilm 400 is nearing the end of its “beta” testing and JCH says it will be ready later this year and will be sold at a competitive price at all major retailers. To reiterate, JCH does not plan to crowdsource the funding of the film, but intends ot make it widely available as a traditional product from the get-go.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to FuguFilm 400 as a new “emulation”. It is actually a new emulsion. We apologize for the error.
Image credits: Photos provided courtesy of Japan Camera Hunter.