8x10 Velvia and Astia discontinued

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I had found it harder to get Astia (my current film of choice for LF landscape) in 8x10 recently. Today I heard from Jeff of Badger Graphics that Fuji is discontinuing Velvia and Astia in 8x10. Only Provia remains available. 5x7 emulsions are still produced in Japan (for now), and Badger stocks Velvia and Provia in that size.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (qtl@ai.sri.com), December 19, 2001



This is disturbing news. I have been contemplating jumping into 4x10 again and considered cutting 8x10 Velvia into 4x10 sheets a possibility (either pre or post exposure). Guess not.

One thing I do recommend is giving Kodak E100VS a try. I've used it a lot over the past 10 or 11 months, and I have actually grown to like it more than Velvia (this from someone who shot nothing but Velvia for over a decade). In addition to very vivid colors (with better separation in the oranges and reds than Velvia), it is also over a full stop faster, has cleaner whites and much better reciprocity characteristics than Velvia (with no green shift for long exposures). I've only shot it in 4x5 (mostly Readyloads), but it is also available in 8x10.


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), December 19, 2001.

I guess Michael Fatali's upcoming stint in the pokey significantly drops the demand for 8x10 RVP.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), December 19, 2001.

That IS crummy news, though I too am getting into Kodak 100VS outdoors--the first Kodak chrome film I've actually liked in years. The problem is, I gathered that future 100VS 8x10 is only going to be sold in 50-sheet boxes, and it seems to be less available and markedly more expensive than Velvia/Provia. Facts on these subjects are, however, elusive! Does anyone know the Kodak story?

-- Scott Atkinson (Scottatkinson@Earthlink.net), December 19, 2001.

Well, I don't know the Kodak story...only that almost all the sheet films in both b&w and color, are only available in 50 sheet boxes now...they redid their packaging recently, so alot of the smaller and larger box sizes are discontinued...I don't know what this means in the longrun (I don't want to even think about it really), but in the short term it meant that since we buy film on contracts, all the contracts had to be rewritten...it meant that we had to buy twice as film in 50 sheet boxes, than in 100 sheet boxes, for MORE money than before and throw away that much more packaging materials.....maybe they were trying to simplify their product line, I don't really know...but if it were up to me, i would have made all those boxes 100 sheets.....my opinions only, of course...

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), December 20, 2001.

If it is a choice of going through wierd importation channels from Japan against buying from Kodak, I will jump through the hoops to get it from Japan. If it is completely discontinued then I better take a long look at what Agfa may have to offer. Fuji, don't leave us with no choice other than The Yellow Peril!

-- Dan Smith1 (shooter@brigham.net), December 20, 2001.


Your dislike of Kodak and their products must be VERY deep seated. I'm sure you must have your reasons. However, you seem to be applying a double standard and in the process cutting off your nose to spite your face. We all make our own choices based on our own needs and preferences. That said, when Kodak discontinues products we large format photographers know and love, you refer to them as the "Yellow Peril". Now Fuji comes along and discontinues 8x10 Velvia and Astia. Not only do I see no references to the "Green Peril", but you state that you will "jump through hoops" to get their products from alternate sources.

Do yourself a favor. If you are really looking for an 8x10 color transparency film to replace Velvia, give E100VS a try. Now that I have, I actually prefer it to Velvia for a number of reasons. You might, too. Or, perhaps not. But if you refuse to give it a try, you'll never know.

Personally, I have no strong loyalty to either company. I use what works best for my needs. For over a decade that was Velvia - mostly in Quickloads. I tried the old double sheet Readyloads back in the early 1990s, but had horrible problems with lightleaks. I also occasionally tried new Kodak transparency films when they were introduced (EPP, Lumiere, E100X), but didn't like any of them. Until about a year ago, I had pretty much written off Kodak when it came to color transparency films. Then, I tried E100VS at about the same time Kodak announced their single sheet Readyload system. I'm glad I did. With E100VS in single sheet Readyload packets, Kodak has successfully addressed both of the reasons I was not using their products - a film I liked and a reliable packet/holder system.

Of course, the latter issue is unrelated to 8x10 (since nobody makes 8x10 color transparency film in packets), but the point is... I'm glad I gave Kodak another chance - not for their sake, but for mine. I like E100VS a lot - even better than my long time favorite Velvia. Now that Velvia (and Astia) has been discontinued in 8x10, Kodak is in the unique position of having the only saturated color transparency film in this size. With former 8x10 Velvia shooters having no other choice, perhaps the volume of 8x10 E100VS sales will be sufficient to keep it a viable product (we hope).


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), December 20, 2001.


If you're bound and determined to avoid yellow boxes at all costs, you may be in luck.

I just got off the phone with Jeff at Badger Graphic and he told me 8x10 Velvia (and Astia, and several other 8x10 and large Fuji products) has not been DISCONTINUED, it is just no longer a standard catalog item. Through Fuji USA is it now a special order item (with some ridiculously huge minimum order quatity). Sound familiar?

Jeff also said he thought it would still continue to be made for the Japanese market and he could probably still get it (in more reasonable quantities) from his source in Japan. No idea on pricing at this time. Give him a call if you're interested.


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), December 20, 2001.

My .02 worth, I have been shooting Kodak E100vs in 8X10 for a few years. I also perfer this to fuji. I do a lot of architectural and the color shifts in fuji are unacceptable. What I have found is that the E100s is actually truer to the scene. Either way the Kodak is a god product and we should all be happy to have a quality tranny film available to us. Happy holidays to all. joe

-- joekras (joekras@yahoo.com), December 21, 2001.

Freestyle has had Astia and other 8x10" films outdated, but cold stored on sale for some time. Has anyone tested these?

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 21, 2001.

David, thanks for the tip. Back in 1995, I got all their remaining stock of 5x7 Velvia and used it without ill effects.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (qtl@ai.sri.com), December 21, 2001.

I just ordered a hundred sheets of Astia from them. I'll report back once I get a chance to test it. If it's a little off, at least it will all be from the same batch, so I can correct for it.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 21, 2001.

Has anyone on this forum tried (compared) E100S to E100VS to Veliva? I've never tried VS, and in 8x10, all 'experiments' or comparisons are expensive (which is why I'm asking). I imagine Veliva is sharper and much finer grained, but with 8x10 being so large I'm not sure it's important. That would leave color rendition and contrast perhaps.

-- Dan Benjamin (photoart88@att.net), December 25, 2001.

I have compared VS to Velvia, when it came out. I agree, the film can be succesfully used in some situations, but I didn't like the VS kind of "Royal blue ink" blue, nor the exaggerated border effect. Velvia is smoother and remains the best film ever made for low contrast, subtly colored subjects, and Astia is a great film for vivid colors and more contrasty scenes. Of course, a personal taste. I'm only shooting 4x5, but if I was shooting 8x10 and could not get the films any longer, it would be a big concern!

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), December 25, 2001.


I spent much of last year doing just such a comparison (On 4x5 and I included also Astia, Provia100F and E100S). Things like color palette are highly personal (and also dependent on subject and lighting conditions). At the beginning of my tests, I was shooting about 8 - 9 sheets of Velvia for every sheet of E100VS. By the end of my testing, the ratios had reversed. I personally like the E100VS palette better for most of my subjects and lighting conditions. I now only use Velvia for subjects that are predominantly green (rain forests, etc.), where the green shift on long exposures can actually be benefecial. For everything else, I prefer E100VS. As far as grain and sharpness go, I did not find it to be any issue on 4x5. So, I doubt if it would be a concern for you on 8x10.

Like I said, color response is personal. I like E100VS. You may hate it. If you have a 4x5 camera, or a reducing back for your 8x10, you might want to try a few tests on the less expensive 4x5 film before diving with 8x10. If you don't have a 4x5 reducing back for your camera, Toho makes a nifty device designed to work with any 8x10 camera. It's sort of a reducing holder. It's a carrier that is the same dimensions externally as an 8x10 holder, but holds a regular 4x5 holder (they also have a version for using Quickload/Readyload holders). Not sure what it sells for these days, but it should be less than a dedicated reducing back (and can be used with any 8x10 camera). Would probably pay for itself in short order by letting you do all your film tests on 4x5 rather than 8x10 film.


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), December 26, 2001.

Kerry, I didn't know about the Toho device - thank you for the info, I may give it a shot (pun intended). Dan

-- Dan Benjamin (photoart88@att.net), December 28, 2001.

I just picked up my test chromes with the 1/99 Astia from Freestyle. The wind here in New York hasn't been very amenable to outdoor shooting with the 8x10" box kite these past few days, so I tried it with some studio portraits--one umbrella, one diffused background light on a neutral grey seamless background, both Norman LH 2000 heads, 12"/6.8 Gold Dot Dagor, two shots at f:14 processed normally, two at f:18 pushed one stop. Processing by Modernage.

The film has a nice neutral palette, which is what I like, very little grain, and great resolution. I noticed a very slight blue cast on the normally processed chromes, which picked up in the pushed chromes, but that should be curable with a UV filter. I haven't noticed UV problems with these strobes in the past, but I haven't shot a lot of color with them either, and mostly Kodachrome 25 at that, which may mask some UV. The pushed chromes were a bit too contrasty for studio portraits, but the extra contrast might be just right for a landscape or architectural in flat light.

At $60 a box against $350 for fresh film, I'll probably buy more.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), January 16, 2002.

I've posted a scan of the test image discussed in the above post at:


The color is corrected somewhat, but the scan is contrastier than the original.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), January 16, 2002.

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