Kodak & Fujifilm Unite! Sort of….


When I first started out in photography, two big names in the industry were Kodak and Fujifilm. While they both made cameras, it was not their gear that they were famous for. Kodak and Fujifilm were known for their photographic films. Kodak was the long-standing big dog on campus, while Fujifilm was the distant runner up. Back then, almost everyone used film, as digital capture was new and not particularly good, and so there was a lot of business to be had. These two companies were rivals, and they both battled very hard for your business.

When the film industry collapsed, it was very abrupt. Within a couple of years, both companies went from record profits to full-fledged panic. Film sales dropped about 25% each year for many years in a row. Kodak, the giant in the industry, fell especially hard, eventually going bankrupt. What remained was divided and sold, and Kodak today, in its various forms, is mostly insignificant in the current photographic industry. Fujifilm, on the other hand, made some smart decisions, such as diversifying by applying their unique knowledge to other fields (such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals), which allowed them to not only survive, but grow. Now photography is a small part of their overall business model, but nevertheless it is a successful and profitable arm of the company. While Kodak had the upper hand for a long, long time, Fujifilm won in the long run.


A Kodak Moment – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T30, I wanted to upgrade to a better camera neck strap than the one that came with the camera. I browsed the web for different ones, and I ended up going with a vintage Kodak strap. A cool feature is a built-in film canister holder (it can hold up to three), which is completely useless in today’s photographic world, but would have been handy 20 years ago. I’m not completely sure how old the neck strap is, but it was in great condition, like it was barely used, if used at all. It adds a retro touch that nicely compliments the retro-inspired design of the X-T30.

It might seem strange to put a Kodak strap on a Fujifilm camera. At one time these two companies were serious rivals. Back then I used film made by both of them, as well as other companies like Ilford and Agfa. I supported these companies with my hard-earned dollars. It’s sad that film has become a small niche market. It’s sad that the mighty Eastman Kodak Company experienced such a big fall. I’m happy to display their logo on my gear in honor of the pictures that I made with their products. I’m also happy to use a Fujifilm camera today, as it’s such a great photographic tool. While it may seem unusual to unite these two brands together in this way, I feel privileged to do so, since both have played an important role in my photography.




  1. fragglerocking · April 26, 2019

    Cool strap. I still shoot with Portra and Fuji film when I’m in my film phases 😊

  2. Khürt Williams · April 26, 2019

    I don’t think I ever shot a roll of Fujifilm. Kodak films were my goto up until my switch to digital photography in 1999. My memory is spotty, but I think I shot Ektar, Ektachrome, Tri-X, T-MAX. I never had the privilege to shoot Kodachrome, but my dad did. I’ve lost most of my negatives each time I moved.

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 26, 2019

      It’s funny how somehow negatives and slides seem to go missing in a move. Just two days ago, while looking for a charger I never found, I stumbled on some negatives I hadn’t seen in years, in a box in the garage.

      • Khürt Williams · April 26, 2019

        It’s time I did some spelunking in the “under–basement-stairs” and perhaps some Spring cleaning. I am happy you found some film treasure in your garage.

      • Ritchie Roesch · April 26, 2019

        It wasn’t anything special, but more like, “Oh, wow! I remember making these!” Brought back some memories, even if reversed, which is one function of a picture.

  3. Marc Beebe · December 21, 2019

    Your Kodak strap dates from the late 1970s to mid 1980s era. I had a couple new. Along with a massive amount of other photographica, mostly with the Kodak brand on it.
    Back in the day Fuji film (the company was Fuji and the cameras were Fujicas, btw) was not well-loved by most photographers because the colours were muted and leaned towards green whereas everyone had been brought up on Kodak’s warm and saturated Kodachrome/Kodacolor films. Agfa film was also looked down on as being “muddy” in tones because it catered to European preferences.
    I’ve been shooting for over 50 years and have had literally hundreds of cameras. One day I may get a Fujifilm camera because I like their design and specifications. For now I shall continue to muddle along with my “cheap” Canon, Nikon, and yes Kodak.

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 21, 2019

      You have a lot wisdom and experience. I appreciate the historical account. I used to have a little Fujica gear. My first SLR was an AE1, and I’ve used many different brands over the years. I’ve never owned a Kodak camera, though. Shot lots of Kodak film. And Fujifilm and Agfa and Ilford. I appreciate shooting Fujifilm cameras simply because it’s the closest to a film experience that I have found in the digital age, although almost any camera from any brand is good these days. I still shoot film every now and again. Thank you for the input!

      • Marc Beebe · December 21, 2019

        That is why I like the Fujifilm cameras too; so much like film. My first 35mm camera was a Fujica Classic IV, which was manual everything – no light meter or even rangefinder. You either learned how to use it, or you wasted a lot of film! *LOL*

      • Ritchie Roesch · December 21, 2019

        I have a FED Russian camera that still works, but the rangefinder doesn’t work properly and the meter is grossly inaccurate. Still functions otherwise. So I know exactly what you mean. Captured some good pictures with it, as I am sure is the same for you.

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