Tulips in Union Square, photographed May 7, 2011, on Fujifilm's 4x5 instant film.

Official word from Fujifilm’s rep: The large-format instant film (4×5 size) is out of production. The color (FP-100C45) is sold out at the wholesale level, and b/w (FP-3000B45) is nearly so. The much more widely used 3×4 size is selling well, and production continues.

This is a major bummer, since Fuji was the last producer of large-format instant film, and I plan to stockpile as much of this superb product as I can. BUT…

post on the Facebook page of the 20×24 Studio suggests that the format may not be dead after all. John Reuter (who runs 20×24) and some partners are making  serious moves toward producing 8×10 and even possibly 4×5 peel-apart film. In his responses to the comments, Reuter seems to be saying that the first round will be made with his dead-stock Polaroid material, as a test to see whether the market is big enough to support a freshly coated production run. I, myself, am guessing that this market exists, and will support even the high unit price required at this small scale. (A few months back, Bob Crowley of New55 was proposing $6 retail per sheet for 4×5 positive-negative material. Expensive but not outlandish, given what it costs to send a 4×5 negative to the lab these days.)

Short version: If you have an 8×10 Polaroid processing rig, or a Model 545 or 545i camera back, don’t throw it out. You may be able to feed it again soon.

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