Over the past few weeks, a few readers have inquired about what’s happening with Fujifilm Superia 400. The memes online are all about how Fujifilm no longer cares about film and how it’s coming to a slow death for them. But apparently, that’s not true; though judging by their actions, there’s some credibility to the statement that they care less about film. Additionally, it seems like a new Fujifilm 400 film was released. What’s going on? We spoke to a few folks close to what’s happening and answer the question: Is Fujifilm Superia 400 Discontinued?
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Official Statement from Fujifilm
Here’s the official statement from Fujifilm. Typically, we try to get a representative to go on record for accountability. But this time, we couldn’t. It’s a problem we’ve seen within Japanese companies that people must be “humble” in some way or another. With time, I hope the Japanese companies see that this will backfire on them when there isn’t accountability.
With the welcome shift in market demand for color film driven by younger generations (GenZ/Millennials) discovering, and revitalizing film photography, Fujifilm is pleased to announce the updated release of “FUJIFILM 400” (ISO400 color negative film) in single roll and three packs. This replaces the existing ISO 400 color negative film.
To address the new target audience for consumer film, Fujifilm has updated the packaging of the film to appeal to the Gen Z/Millennial audience. The new product packaging includes pets, friends celebrating and having fun – situations to use film to capture the everyday moments. The packaging also offers multilingual directions in English, French and Spanish.
Fujifilm is pleased to continue the legacy of analog photography and film so all generations can experience the joy of photography.Fujifilm America
This statement needs a lot of dissection.
Is Superia 400 Discontinued?
Fujifilm, in its statement, didn’t outright say that Superia 400 has been discontinued. And if you’re judging by the past, Fujifilm has no problems being forthright with their customers and saying that a product is discontinued. Previously, they’ve given us statements on PRO 400H, Velvia 100 in the US, Reala 100, and FP-100C explicitly stating the discontinuation of the product. But this time around, Fujifilm isn’t doing that.
Why? We spoke to a source on the retail film side that wanted to remain anonymous lest they face backlash from Fujifilm. Considering the sources we’ve discussed before, we think readers could do some sleuthing to figure it out. According to them, it’s probably on production pause because of supply issues. Fujifilm Superia 400 might return to the US, but they’re not sure yet. With that said, B&H Photo’s discontinuation notice about Fujifilm Superia 400 is most likely wrong. Transparently, I’m not surprised. I used to work at B&H Photo over a decade ago, and there’s long evidence of shady tactics that both they and Adorama do. On top of that, we shouldn’t forget our coverage of lawsuits, tax evasion claims, and more.
Fujifilm hasn’t posted a discontinuation notice on its website to further back this claim.
With all this said, the new film is supposed to have color output similar to Superia, according to our sources at Fujifilm. And as always, there will be no MSRP because they’re a big company and it’s film.
I asked if anyone knew whether this was a Kodak film in disguise. No one could thoroughly verify, but Fujifilm has previously worked with other suppliers and manufacturers.
The Slow Death of C41?
Personally speaking, the C41 film will probably die a prolonged death. Photographers and film sellers are moving to EC2N: which is movie film. It’s cheaper to get, and support from places like Dwayne’s and other labs is growing. As C41 becomes too expensive and the big film companies start to play games with pricing, photographers will move away from it.
At this point, it’s been very exhausting working for over a decade in this industry and trying to find some sort of authenticity and stability in the film photography space. Through affiliate efforts, we’ve got tracking sales that show that we sold nearly six figures in film last year. And yes, it’s expensive. The brands sometimes tell us they don’t need to market it because the product sells itself. But they need to market the idea that film should be treated for special moments the way it used to be. If that’s ever the case, I think photographers would buy it more steadily.