I shoot about 50% film and 50% digital these days. For digital, I shoot with the Fujifilm X series cameras and lenses. Fujifilm cameras appealed to me several years ago because of the retro styling and film camera like controls for shutter speed, ISO and aperture. I also loved the ability to use Fujifilm film emulsion filters on the in-camera jpgs such as Velvia, Acros, Provia, Astia, Classic Chrome and PRO Neg to name a few.
Understandably, I was very excited to hear the news of Fujifilm bringing back NEOPAN 100 ACROS in the form of ACROS II earlier this year. So, when a second announcement came with details of a November 22nd Japanese release date, I started making calls to see if I could buy some. I got lucky and $190 dollars and a week later, I received my shipment; a brick each of 35mm and 120 ACROS II.
Fujifilm’s recently released Acros II starts shipping in Japan this month, but it looks like it’s possibly being manufactured by Ilford, and not Fujifilm themselves. The big clue comes via the Twitter feed of eto_silversalt who posted photos of Fuji’s new Acros II box in 120 format roll film, which clearly bears the mark “Made in UK”.
Well, the only commercial film manufacturer in the UK is Ilford. We’re not suggesting it’s any kind of rebranded Ilford film, something which Ilford categorically denies they do, but it is certainly possible that they might be manufacturing Acros II for Fuji. And it’s not like the two companies haven’t worked together before.
Fujifilm Acros 100 was pronounced pretty much dead in March of last year, during what appears to have been a mass cull of their film over the last few years. But then, just a few short months after its demise, the announcement came that Fujifilm was going to reintroduce some of their black and white films, due to an overwhelming demand from film photographers.
In June of this year, Fujifilm announced that the first black and white film to come back was going to be Fujifilm Across 100II. Technically, it’s not a rerelease, but a new version, to get around the availability (or a lack thereof) of raw materials in the original. Now, it’s set for release later this month.
Well, this is kinda cool. It appears that Fujifilm isn’t doing everything they can to forget film exists, after all. It was mentioned last July that Fuji might be planning to bring back some black & white film, and now they’ve just gone and made it official.
They’re starting with Neopan ACROS 100II. Technically, this isn’t a reintroduction. It’s a new formula, which Fuji says gets around the issue of raw material availability in the old ACROS 100 formula.