Fuji Velvia 50 Problems


Those of y’all who’ve read some of my previous posts (last year, that is) know just how much I like shooting Fuji’s Velvia color-reversal film. If you haven’t, go ahead and check ’em out…don’t worry; I’ll wait.

All done? Good…

Given my affinity for this particular film, it came as quite an unpleasant surprise when I picked up a few rolls of it earlier this year and well. Just check out the following photos to see what happened.

KodakPN1 CHI Velvia50 WrigleyBldg 01B

KodakPN1 CHI Velvia50 CrazyTree 02B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Camera: No. 1 Pocket kodak
Film: Fuji Fujichrome Velvia 50

Now, I know what you’re thinking…it’s an old camera, and that’s probably what caused it. Not so, I’m afraid; I shot another roll using my Hasselblad, which works just fine with other films – I’ll be posting those later. The other films turned out just fine, but the Velvia 50 roll turned out to have the same blemishes on it as this roll. I’m not even sure what to make of these marks; there’s nothing on the lenses that could cause patterns or shapes like these; the film isn’t deformed, so it’s not a wrinkle in the plastic or the emulsion; given that the patterns are different from one frame to the next, it doesn’t look like it could be something akin to fogging or some sort of blemish on the lens, either – which I disproved anyways, what I shot a black & white roll through my Hasselblad and processed it at home by hand. That roll turned out fine.

As it turns out, it isn’t just a problem with my cameras – the folks at the shop where I buy my film locally (Central Camera, in case you’re wondering) have mentioned that other photographers using this film have reported similar problems. It appears that the lab that Central Camera uses has known about these sorts of problems for the past few months and has been in the midst of an extended “blame game” with Fuji over what’s causing these problems; Fuji insists that it’s a problem with the lab’s processing methods, while the lab insists that it’s a problem with the film itself.

Thankfully, the problems appear to be confined to Fuji’s Velvia 50 formulation, and no other; I shot a foll of Fuji Astia 100 and Fuji Provia 100, and both turned out fine. Apparently, the Fuji Velvia 100F formulation is also fine. So, until these problems are resolved, don’t use Fuji’s Velvia 50 film; if you want to use Velvia, just go with the ISO 100 version for now (Astia skews toward the red end of the spectrum; Provia skews towards the blue end of the spectrum; Velvia tends to be more balanced). Too bad, since I really enjoyed using the ISO 50 version.


One Response to “Fuji Velvia 50 Problems”

  1. […] mentioned in my previous post regarding the problems I encountered with Fuji’s Velvia 50, I shot two other rolls of Fuji […]

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