EPA forces Fujifilm to stop selling Velvia 100

Originally published at: EPA forces Fujifilm to stop selling Velvia 100 | Boing Boing


Wow, ancient stuff that I had no idea was still around!

I thought they shut the EPA down years ago.


The previous administration sure tried to!


Now if only the EPA would go after Velveeta.


I used to use both 100 and 50 a lot when I was younger and really getting into amateur photography.
As well as good old Kodachrome.
I have a friend that still likes to shoot both color and B&W film here and there, but I just can’t commit to that. Hell, I’m having a having a hard time justifying schlepping my Nikon DSLR around much anymore, though I did bring it with me when we went to Yosemite last Oct. There are certain things that just cannot be captured the way you want them with a phone, but man it still is pretty crazy when you think about it what you CAN capture with modern phone cameras.


I don’t think too many people are going to miss Velvia 100. You really want Velvia 50 but get confused and buy Velvia 100 by mistake. It doesn’t have the hyper-saturated color that 50 has. The problem is that 50 is so slow it’s difficult to shoot without lighting. 100 is a little easier to use but still not that fast, and you probably want lights anyways. I shot a lot of Velvia 100 and it makes nice looking slides, just not as good as 50.
Another alternative to shooting slides is Kodak Ektar 100, a negative film that has colors like slides. I switched over to this for outdoor/nature photography and those negs are stunning.

To me the loss of Velvia 100 is more about one more nail in the film coffin. I’m not sure what relevance film photography has any more, other than a novelty. I’d say a good DSLR will probably take better pictures than that film camera you’re using. And you don’t have to deal with a scanner and the film grain problem.


DLSRs are dead. The future is EVIL-- or cell phones.


Ok, literally any modern digital camera will be better than film.

To be fair there is a certain charm to film over digital. The high cost of film means you spend more time setting up and getting that shot right the first time. Rather than just take 20 exposures and then find the right one later. You’re forced to focus on your photography skills every day. Also looking at slides on a light board is a thing of wonder. Those Velvia 50 sides look like a miniature painting; it’s almost 3D, rather than flat digital previews on a monitor.

I was shocked to see that wedding photographers shoot 1,000+ pictures per event these days. The costs of the film alone would be insanely expensive, not counting the processing and touch up costs. Also, with digital you don’t have to worry about bad shots later; you see in the viewfinder what it looks like.

I had fun shooting film in public, particularly of people when they ask to see the preview on the camera. Wait, why doesn’t your camera have a preview???


I think your statement about the death of film is probably spot on for about 99.9% of the picture taking population, whether they’re using their cell phones, a point and shoot, a DSLR, or even an iPad (which I think is hilarious to watch.) I love my DSLR and use it and my phone all the time, but, an image taken with film has a different feel, for lack of a better word, to it - it captures something with its imperfections that you can’t get with the perfect imagery of digital. I liken it to the old vinyl vs. CDs debate. The first time I heard a CD I was amazed by the detail that it presented, and it was fantastic to listen to in the car. But, when I wanted to really appreciate the music it somehow wasn’t as satisfying as the old 33 1/3. Or, maybe I’m just a grumpy old Luddite, who knows. Hey! You kids get off my lawn!


I don’t care about the 100, but it would be sad if Velvia 50 were discontinued. That said, I have several medium-format rolls that have been sitting in a box for at least 5 years, so I wouldn’t actually buy any even if it was my last chance.

There’s no question film is obsolete – much more so than vinyl, even without the cost – but slide film does have a physical quality that digital photography hasn’t replaced. The only reason I would still use it is to make something like a lamp or illuminated panel where the film itself is part of the construction, e.g. for something like a TNG tricorder. And even then the fading is a problem.

(No, I’m not sitting on a proper medium-format camera; I expose the film using parts from a Holga, which is super easy to customise as it’s just a plastic box with a single plastic lens)


What does “better” mean in this case?

IMHO opinion, probably any criteria or metric will favor digital today.

  • The costs of film are outrageous compared to digital. You have to buy film, processing, and prints.
    For digital the incremental cost of each exposure is effectively zero.
  • No preview. So lots of wasted shots.
  • The biggest limitation of film is you can’t do anything with it any more. You can store your slides and prints, but that’s about it. By themselves, they can’t use them online, share, etc. without scanning into digital anyways. Why go through a redundant film step?
  • They also take up a lot of room.
  • There’s no print media anymore, so there’s no magazines/newspapers to publish film-based photos.
  • A decade or so ago, digital was probably as good resolution as a 35mm, but medium format film was still the only way to get higher quality. Today, an iPhone probably takes better pictures than your vintage Hasselblad. (heresy I know, but it has to be said) If you want medium format quality, get the 100MP medium format from Hasselblad.

I could go on (for example the envrironmental damage of film), but that’s a pretty good list. Film just suffers from being analog in a digital world.


So, you are meant to put this FIIIIILM? inside your CAMMMMERA?

(looks around bewilderingly while shrugging shoulders)

kidding… used a film camera as recent as 1994


Is it compatible with PowerPoint™?


Raaah I don’t use this particular film, but seeing it disappear brings the hour of doom an inch closer… the moment where our analog cameras will be used as paperweights or doorstops, because no film will be made no mo’.
You can maybe concoct your developing solutions by yourself (for B&W), and maybe make some real crappy photopaper, but film? Forget it, alas.
And before you knock image quality, my negatives are just fine and asamatterafact, I am printing some right now…


In the early days of photopgraphy, the photographer would have to make their own negative plates by laying down emulsion on glass.
FYI, you can buy or make your own an emulsian to produce your own plates or lay down on mylar to create negative film. Photographers’ Formulary used to sell this emulsion, but I haven’t check in a while. In any case, there are probably other art/photo websites that sell it, as well as formulas on the web if you wanted to do this.

I remember one of the signs of the death of film is when Kodak stopped running mylar feeding machine in their film manufacturing plant. That machine had been running continuously for decades.

Good luck with the prints!


Some of us are old enough to remember that slides did indeed mean slides. I was jealous of the folks who had expense accounts to get their powerpoint slides professionally made. I remember late nights with an SLR on a homebrew copy stand, capturing shots of laser prints, and slides developed in an hour at Walgreens, just before the presentation.


PIP(3:1) is super useful. I think in the case of wire insulation it is bettered for both flame resistance and flexibility by silicone (though at increased cost), but in some of the other uses it is hard to replace; it looks like the EPA is making some exceptions where it contributes more to safety than it detracts from it.


My 1950’s-era stereo cameras are going to miss slide film when it’s finally gone. Slides in a quality viewer are really the ONLY way to experience stereo photography.