Fujifilm has killed off a lot of film stocks over the last decade or so. In fact, they’ve killed off so many that most photographers I know still shooting film don’t even bother trying to get hold of it.
Superia X-TRA 800 is one such film. It was discontinued in 2016, but it’s still available if you know where to look. This short from the folks at Fotoworks Pro shows how you can reclaim Superia X-TRA 800 from disposable cameras.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800
Despite having an ASA 800 rating, Superia X-TRA 800 was a daylight-balanced film designed for shooting in lower light conditions – or bright ones with extremely fast shutter speeds or tiny apertures. It was discontinued in 2016, with the last rolls set to expire in August 2018.
After Superia X-TRA 800’s end in most of the world, it was still available in Japan as Venus 800. This was imported (in relatively small quantities) to other countries until its discontinuation in 2019. By early 2020, most retailers around the world were out of stock, and they couldn’t get anymore.
So, how do we get it now?
While Fuji may have discontinued direct sales of Superia X-TRA 800 and Venus 800, they didn’t discontinue production completely. And thanks to the resurgence of disposable film cameras, it’s pretty easy to get hold of if you’re up for a bit of DIY.
You see, Fuji’s QuickSnap 800 (buy here) comes pre-loaded with a 27-exposure roll of 35mm Fuji Superia X-TRA 800. If you just want to buy the QuickSnap 800 and use it, it’s a decent camera, as disposables go, offering waterproofing up to a depth of 35ft.
Cracking open the camera, as seen in the video, reveals a standard 35mm film roll that you can then place into your rangefinder, SLR or whatever other 35mm camera you want to shoot with.
What else do you need to know?
In order to safely remove the film from the camera, you’ll want to fire it off inside a changing bag (buy here). This lets you extract the roll without exposing it to light and ruining the thing you’re trying to retrieve.
Of course, doing this means that all of the film ends up back in the canister. So, you’ll want to get a film lead extractor (buy here) – I use an Ilford branded one that looks a lot like this one – to be able to pull the end back out and load it into your camera.
You might think spending ~$15 on a disposable camera just to get to the 27 exposure roll inside is a bit of a waste. But if this is the film stock you want, with no other way to get it, this is your only real option.
On the bright side, you’ll be able to start collecting disposable camera lenses to use with your mirrorless cameras. You can even use them to make a 3D camera or shoot some wigglegrams!