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.



Don’t Buy A Cheap Crap Camera Strap


I love how the Fujifilm X100F is small enough to fit into a pocket. It makes it much more convenient to carry around than a bulky camera that has to be hung around your neck or stuffed into a camera bag. A small wrist strap is all that the X100F needs.

You would think that a decent wrist strap could be found for a reasonable price. I was a little shocked at how much most want for one. I did find a nice-looking leather wrist strap on eBay for $10. That’s closer to what I wanted to spend, so I bought it.

The leather wrist strap arrived in the mail and attached easily onto the camera. It was a little tight on my hand, but not too bad. I liked the aesthetic. The camera still fit into my pockets with the strap attached. I was happy with it.


I’ve used the camera with the wrist strap attached for three months now. I’ve made a lot of exposures during that time. I wouldn’t say that I’ve abused it, but I’ve certainly put it through the wringer. It didn’t look any worse for the wear.

I just got back late last night from a road trip to Seattle. On the very first day of the trip I stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho, to see Shoshone Falls (“Niagara Falls of the west”). I made several exposures. My family was with me. We all admired the massive waterfall that sits inside a deep canyon.

As we were about to leave my three-year-old son tugged at the leather wrist strap that was attached to my X100F. It broke right off! Thankfully I had a firm grip on the camera body.


Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, Idaho – Fujifilm X100F

The leather camera strap was crap, cheaply made and unreliable. It busted off much too easily. My camera could have fallen down the cliff and into the canyon below! It would not have survived the fall. It occurred to me that I was precariously handling my camera, and I was completely unaware because I didn’t realize the wrist strap was poorly constructed.

The lesson here is don’t go cheap on your camera strap. It’s what’s preventing your camera from falling, possibly to a tragic end. I got lucky, and my X100F is perfectly fine. Spend the extra money and buy a quality product. That’s what I’m going to do this time. I should have done so in the first place.

I still don’t want to spend gobs of money, but I see the value in having a reliable strap. I don’t want my camera to fall onto a hard surface or into a deep canyon. It needs to be securely handled, and I have to be able to trust that the strap will hold up. With some luck I will find a quality product for a reasonable price. I will keep you updated when I do.