Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fuji Reala 120 film

Just a short post to outline my admittedly brief experience with Fuji Reala 120 film.

Back in the deep dark past, when I shot film (and there was -gasp- no such thing as digital), I shot almost exclusively with Fuji. I occasionally tried a roll of Kodak Gold or slide film, but would always go back to Fuji Superia 200/400 and the outstanding Fuji Velvia 50/100. So I guess you could say I was a 'Fuji' guy.

Dorothy Falls, Kaniere. Bronica S2 & Fuji Reala 100
So now that I have returned to film, most of the 35mm stock I have is Fuji Superia 400, with some Kodak and Ilford B&W thrown in for good measure. Same with 120 - right? Wrong...

Looking on Trademe (our local internet auction site) most of the 120 film for sale is Kodak. The cheapest of which (new) is Kodak Ektacolor 160. So that's what I've mostly been using in the Bronica S2, and I must say I've been really happy with the results. So happy, in fact, that I've bought a lot more Kodak 120 film.

Then, about a month ago, we went to Nelson for a family holiday. Perfect opportunity to branch out and pick up some different film and, sure enough, one of the local camera stores had some Fuji Reala in 120. So I asked how much...

$25NZ for ONE roll of Fuji Reala 120! And no, that doesn't include processing! That's about $22US for one roll of film - unprocessed! To put that into perspective, I can buy a pack (5 rolls) of Kodak Ektacolor on Trademe for $40NZ - that's $8NZ a roll. So you can understand my surprise.

But I was determined to try some Fuji film in 120, so I bought two rolls (there goes $50NZ bucks) and left the store before I had a seizure.

Dorothy Falls Walk. Bronica S2 and Fuji Reala 100

A couple of months ago I bought my first TLR - a Yashica Mat 124 in excellent condition. The perfect opportunity, I thought, to use one of these expensive rolls of Fuji film. Long story short - the winding crank wasn't working properly and none of the film was exposed! $25 bucks down the drain.

So for my last film, I decided to play it safe and put it through the Bronica S2. Which I did last weekend. And it all came out perfectly - no problems. Yahooo - result! So I'm stoked - right?

Lake Mahinapua Sunrise. Bronica S2 & Fuji Reala 100
No, not really. In fact, it's a pretty average film, and I certainly won't be buying it again at that price! Maybe I expected too much because of how much I paid for it? Maybe I expected too much because of my predilection for Fuji film in the past? Or maybe it's just an 'average' film?

I paid almost as much for a couple of rolls of Kodak 400CN 120 film early on and I love that film. I'd happily pay that again for another couple of rolls of 400CN - although I'd like to find it cheaper if I could :-)  So I don't think price pays a factor.

If I found some really cheap would I buy it again? Probably. But if it was a choice between really cheap Reala or really cheap Kodak Ektacolor, then I'd go for the Ektacolor every time. And for a paid up member of the 'I love Fuji Film' Club, that surprises the heck outa me.

Now if I could only get me hands on some cheap Fuji Velvia 120 film...

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Have you tried amazon? I can get a five pack of the Fuji Reala for $22 American dollars. I happen to love it.
    I am going to check out the Kodak 400CN next time we buy film. Thanks again for a great post on film!

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Wayne