Even in Japan, the wonderland of photography, we can feel the impact of digital imaging on the film market. Many films, which we accepted as a given for many years, are becoming unavailable, especially niche products. The latest victim is the Konica range of 750nm infra-red emulsions. Announced as discontinued in April this year in the rest of the world, stocks are still widely available in 35mm format in Japan. The previously manufactured 120 format has already disappeared, however. Whether current 35mm stocks are remnants or are still manufactured I cannot say, but photographers who like IR photography should keep a close eye on developments and maybe stock up on films while they can.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The mighty Fujifilm has even released a new colour negative film recently, the Natura 1600. This ultra-high-speed film is based on what Fuji calls Nano-structured grain technology, which is supposed to provide smooth, natural colour reproduction and gradation, especially suited for photographing people. This could be particularly interesting for photographers who either cannot or do not like using flash indoors and like non-intrusive available-light photography, for example at weddings or under the Christmas tree. Currently available in a 135-36 3-pack, it is the ideal quantity to try out this newcomer.