Fuji 800Z - One Of My Favorite Films

A film that I have not mentioned much in the past and haven't shot in at least a year came to mind today when discussing the viability of an old cold stored batch on twitter. The reason I haven't shot it in so long is because I cannot get it. Candidly I don't even know if Fuji stopped making it. I can't really tell since the information on what Fuji is or is not making vs what is not being imported into the US vs what packaging has been discontinued is so fractured. All I know is that I cannot seem to be able to find any fresh stuff every time I try to buy some for a long while.

That stuff was awesome. Not in any sort of technical way. From my point of view it was not really 800 speed film. I actually disliked the way it looked if it was anywhere near underexposed. It was awesome because of it's color palette and how downright pretty it looked under a some lighting conditions with some subject matter. It kind of low contrast, had a unique way of rendering color, not too too sharp, it tended to suppress detail. Kind of the anti-digital aesthetic.

I don't have any reasonable scans handy but the image at the top represents conditions where I would have loved to shoot real Fuji 800Z. It was very dark that day but I wanted a soft backlit high-key feel. This image was actually shot at ISO 3200 on a D600 and processed with VSCO Film 01 Fuji 800Z simulation. If I shot it side by side with the real deal it wouldn't match up exactly but it's not a bad representation of the feel. Any "noise" you see is coming from the simulated grain which completely overwhelms the noise produced by the D600. In truth with the degree of exposure here not many DSLR's would show any objectionable noise.

If you have any of the real stuff - shoot it and shoot it soon it doesn't keep well and tends to look like crap if fogged. Expose the living daylights out of it in any case. In my opinion it produces a very unique color palette and very pretty results without going into what some might consider film-flaw goofy-ness that calls attention to the how vs the subject itself.

RB

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