If you were to go to Amazon, navigate yourself to the film photography section and sort by best selling, you’d see that Fujifilm are doing pretty well right now.
Seriously. Take a look.
What you’ll probably notice is it’s their Instax range they seem to be focused on, though. It’s a different story with their 35mm and 120 films, with lines regularly being discontinued.
It seems too late for a use it or lose it attitude towards regular Fuji films as they’ve already made their decisions, so all we can really do is to enjoy the stocks while they’re still here.
To that end, I enjoyed a couple of rolls of Fujicolor Industrial 100. And now I’m reviewing it. Read on to see if you might want to pick some up and enjoy it for yourself too.
What is Fujicolor Industrial 100?
Fujicolor Industrial 100 is a budget colour negative film produced for the Japanese market.
The word industrial doesn’t actually appear anywhere on the packaging. It’s more a commonly accepted translation of the Japanese you do see on the box – (業) 記録用力ラーフィルム – which roughly means ‘colour film for business or work’.
According to this guy here, Fujicolor Industrial 100 is the same film as the plain old – and of course discontinued – Fujicolor 100. His assertion is based on the DX encoding being the same on both.
This industrial version appears to be a rebadging aimed at selling the film in a more B2B manner than B2C; hence the name, I guess. With very simple packaging, no marketing, and officially being available only in bulk, it’s not hard to unpick Fujifilm’s thinking behind it all.
Fujicolor Industrial 100 is the only ISO 100 colour negative film produced by Fujifilm today and is available in 24 or 36 exposure rolls (and possibly 12 too, seeing as its sibling Fujicolor 100 was).
Fujicolor Industrial 100 image qualities
Like with any film, the exact results you’ll get from Fujicolor Industrial 100 depend on many things.
Such differences led people to question whether this was indeed Fujicolor 100 or not, but I prefer to believe the DX code than imagining everyone shot, developed and scanned theirs in the same way.
However, one thing that seems to be universal amongst reviewers is the popping greens and reds – especially the reds – of the emulsion. I was aware of this beforehand so made sure to give the film that chance to shine.
As you can see below, it didn’t disappoint.
Although I shot the first roll in a humble Olympus Supertrip, the Industrial 100 still gave good clarity and the fine grain I’d also been hoping for.
This was despite shooting on both bright and overcast days. Of course the results from the former look better, but those from the latter aren’t terrible either, thanks (I think) to the film’s decent exposure latitude.
Street photography with Fujicolor Industrial 100
When I shoot street photography with vintage lenses on a digital camera, I never set my ISO as low as 100. I usually don’t go lower than 400.
So it should follow that an ISO 100 film like this Fujicolor Industrial isn’t the best option out there for your street photography. I’d have to agree with that, but I’d like to look at the positives of using it too.
When I was getting through my rolls, I was a little concerned about the light being too dull for ISO 100. Because of this, I tried to go out and shoot when the light was as good as possible, whenever possible.
I did end up with some photographs from days when the light wasn’t as good, but by that time I was really just trying to finish the film up so I could get it developed.
However, my point is this: your street photography will always look better when shot in good light. Using a film that needs good light could push you to only go out when you have that.
So the thing that makes Fujicolor Industrial 100 a less than optimal choice for your street photography could actually help you with it, due to making you want to shoot in the best light only.
There is an ISO 400 version of this film which would be better for those overcast days, although it’s unsurprisingly been discontinued too.
Having said all of that though, my fears of shooting in not-the-best light were kind of unfounded. The shots from those days still came out okay, were still sharp, and still had those reds. All they were missing was the contrast of the brighter days, but that’s not the film’s fault.
Fujicolor Industrial 100 specs and development
Because I don’t process my own film, this section is admittedly a collection of information I found elsewhere and put together for you. I hope some of it is useful.
You can see Process CN-16 bright and bold on the Fujicolor Industrial 100 canister. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, don’t fret. It’s merely Fujifilm’s way of saying C-41, which is the normal process for developing colour negative film.
I’m presuming the data will be the same for each film even if the names aren’t.
Final thoughts on Fujicolor Industrial 100
There’s a lot to like about this film, and that statement obviously includes the image quality.
The sharpness, clarity and fine grain are all well and good, but it’s the colours – again, the reds in particular – that are the most remarkable. Quite literally, as everyone always seems to remark on them.
Although I tend to stick to street photography, I’d venture this: the heightened reds and greens of this film would make it a decent choice for landscape photography, and also for shooting on duller days. However, the reds might also mean it’s not the best for portrait work.
I think there’s more to a film than just its image quality, though. There’s also its persona, its backstory, and its place in both the market and in public consciousness.
The fact that Fujicolor Industrial 100 isn’t commonly available, depending on where you live, makes it more desirable for me.
I like how its sold in bulk only in its native Japan, although some shops will break up the bricks and let you buy smaller quantities of rolls. Sellers on eBay and the folks at Analogue Wonderland certainly will.
I also like the minimal green and white packaging and lack of advertising, which both add to the B2B feeling of the stock.
There’s no telling how long this film will continue to be available given who its manufacturer is, so picking some up soon might be a good idea if you want to try it.
If you can’t find it where you are and aren’t heading out to Asia any time soon, fear not.
… p.s. if you’ve shot Fujicolor Industrial 100 yourself and have anything to add, especially with regards developing it, let us know in the comments below
… p.p.s. if you found this review useful and think others will too, why not share or pin it?