Save Packfilm Travelog No. 18: Up. And Down.



Dear all,

what a day! Starting incredibly promising, with beautiful sunshine and an early morning coffee at the beautiful house of my friend Heinz Lichtenegger. He is the founder, mastermind and CEO of Pro-Ject and godfather of the world's most beautiful turntables.

Followed by an entertaining, 2-hours drive through maybe the most beautiful parts of Austria and discussing all kinds of analog topics, whilst heading towards the Pro-Ject factory in the Czech Republic.

And there it was: another factory that has been only a few days away from being closed forever, saved by Heinz at the very last minute and now filled with almost 400 workers, producing more than 12.000 splendid turntables every month. Currently they are even building a new facility as the backorders are piling up like crazy!



These are the best places to recharge hope for our slow and exhausting fight for packfilm!! With a smile I sat in the sun in the early afternoon, enjoying a small local beer and fully motivated for the next steps with FUJI. 

But than this message popped up at my mobile:

FUJI officially responded to the latest letter and our 3 detailed proposals of how to keep packfilm alive, even without the availability of the ingredients needed to continue the production of the legendary FP-100C.

I really had to read the short reply over and over again, as I simply could not believe what I was reading at first sight!!!!

"... we cannot now change our decision. Thus, we respectfully decline your proposals. "

This simply can not be true?! All my positive energy was gone within a second. Can it get any worse????????? Pffffffff. Unbelievable.

Ok. My dear gentlemen FUJI management, I really think this is enough of the phase no. 1 and the polite exchange of letters. I honestly think it is now the time for entering phase 2 and inform the world about this unbelievable attitude of Fuji, which in my understanding is against basically all the brand values they are so eager to celebrate.

They simply seem to not to be interested at all in the fact that millions of cameras are becoming obsolete and that they're killing a legendary invention forever. Not even interested to talk about any of our proposals!!!! Not at all interested to even look more closely at our realistic solutions, as technically speaking there are several options available right now and we are even ready and able to cover all the costs!!!

This is simply breathtaking and against all logic thought, and I will for sure not rest until every single photographer in the world has learned about this cruel decision of the FUJI management.

Already on my way back to Vienna, I drafted the first version of a global press release to reveal the brutal truth to the world. At the beginning of the next week, I will send this to my global press network. If you my dear friends, have dried your tears of anger, please also start thinking about the best and most efficient ways to spread this press release that of course I also will publish here at my travelog as for me the journey has to go on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





  • Ianalog

    Super project; Dream can become reality. But there is a concern, No one talks about it, nor does it communicate that.
    There is currently a KICKSTARTER campaign set up by the partner and collaborator of florian kaps DOC: NEW 55, which deals with the development of technologies and machines
    To start an industrial production of the support which will serve to perpetuate the 100 packfilm type, abandoned by FUJIFILM.
    If you want the legacy to be perpetuated, it is very important to communicate around you the presence of this project and the link, if you want this to happen.
    Thank you all for sharing and participating in this campaign.
    Here is the link:

  • iGlad

    No wonder the Japanese economy has been in such a slump for the past 15 years or more with decisions like these being made in their boardrooms!!

  • Jamie

    Doc, thank you for your perseverance and never giving up the fight!!

  • Michael

    May take a while but looks like CatLabs is committed to carrying the torch! A little hope a least:

  • Michael

    Hi Dr. Florian Kaps, first of all I would like to thank you for all you have done for us. I absolutely understand how angry and frustrating you are right now. Traveling thousands of miles and waited for a week to meet up, coming up with logical and workable proposals, networking with people and many other things which took plenty of time to do.

    Now you have received an “answer” from Fuji which in a way translate (sorry for the language) “they don’t give a fuck about you and everyone” absolutely will anger everyone including me. However I hope you will keep on reading what I think of the whole situation.

    Based on your proposals, 1 and 2 are not going to happened. But for 3: buying over the machines and formula from Fuji to me till now may still be plausible. Why? because Fuji officially HAVE NOT released a statement like “we have destroyed everything including blueprints. Stop wasting your time”.

    Why I believe the machines may still be around:
    1. [Japanese people are thrifty and don’t like to waste things.] It makes absolutely no sense that they would rather destroy the machines than disposed (money spent). If the factory is located in Japan, it most likely will be in a rural or sub urban area. Keeping the factory and idle machines collecting dust do incur money but I think for FUJI is not a huge loss.
    2. [It takes time] although it is now the 21st century. Japan is still an conservative country which have rules and hierarchy traditional practices. Maybe they have not yet decided, and they are putting this on hold. It is less than 6 months since they officially announced they will forever discontinue their FP film line. I suspect it will take at least a year before they start thinking what to do with the machines.
    3. [Fuji are observing and waiting], FP-100C is very hot now, I heard the sale in Japan is so good that they have not shipped the “oversea” stock to US market. They may want to see how the market responds to it. The crazier it went, the more bargaining power they have when they do want to sell the machines.
    4. [Made in Japan, Stay in Japan], I may be wrong, but I think Fuji sort of makes many improvements to the old Polaroid peel film that It is good enough to say that it was reinvented by Fuji Japan. There is a Chinese saying “肥水不流外人田”directly translates into “never let futile rich water flow into other people’s farm”. It is possible that they just don’t want or not ready to sell their peel film technology to a foreign company.
    5. [Lost in Translation + now is really not a good time] As you know currently Japan is hit by earthquakes and many factories have been affected. I believe Fuji is one of them. Give them some time to reset and recover from the disasters. Also, when I translate a Japanese phase using different translation software, the results are often into different versions. When I translate it to Chinese, it has a totally different meaning to the English version. Maybe we just misinterpret the Japanese heavily business slang message.

    What now? Maybe we give Fuji some time? We can show them Peel film is not a failed film product. New55 is going to fund raise a Colored New55. If the fund raise worked out, it will be a strong message to Fuji that the market still has demands.

    What else? We really need to confirm if Fuji REALLY HAS DESTROYED everything before picking up our pitchfork and torches. Taking any drastic reaction now may not be a good time. You have built a bridge with Fuji and you are the only English speaking foreign representative that can best represent all of us. You are known as “Doc” and your words/actions will definitely pack a heavy punch in overseas photography community. If a punch is delivered, Fuji may react negatively and burn the ‘trust’ bridge you have just built.

    No matter what, I will always support you.

    Thank you so much again for all the hard work.
    Best Regards

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