As I had expected – Fujifilm has a serious problem – and I very much hope they can get past it. Their cameras – based on what I think is the best digital camera idea that has come out since film – which is basing their digital cameras on their “color science” (and even some of the other great color science – like Kodak’s Kodachrome) is something everyone wants, but just can’t get. Sure – Covid and supply issues are to blame – but I have been reading more and more that people are so disgusted that they are now swearing off Fujifilm products.
Where Fujifilm is screwing up in a major way is no communication or PR and so there are more rumors than facts. Fujifilm needs to issue Press Releases, and stat.
Although I only worked for Kodak in Rochester, NY for one sad year (1981 – 1982), I did have great pride that I worked for THE worldwide winner in the film business. I never tried Fujifilm back then – but did like Agfa a little and Ilford a lot. It totally breaks my heart at what Kodak has become – a very sad peanut shell of their past glory.
What is most amazing to me – Fujifilm got it right – and Kodak got it so wrong. When I worked at Kodak I had heard about the guy who more or less invented the digital camera – and how the fat cats at Kodak ignored him and stuck to their film background. I remember silver was already getting expensive – so they were investing heavily in silver reclamation processes. WOW – what a terrible bonehead move – ignore digital for a polluting heavy metal just because your top management had its head up their ass.
I feel totally lucky I was able to score the Fujifilm XT30ii that I did. But I now worry that Fujifilm will become a victim of its own success. If it doesn’t come up with a better marketing and manufacturing strategy – they will die on the vine – almost like Kodak chasing silver vs. digital. Fuji could crash under its own weight.
One thing for sure – now more than ever – its abundantly clear that the US better get it manufacturing shit together – or we are screwed. If the ROC were to invade Taiwan and take it over like they have Hong Kong – America will be screwed. I applaud Biden’s Chips Initiative – but I worry time is nigh . . .
The advantages of digital photography can’t be denied, but all the same, I wonder if one day we are going to look back with some mixed feelings about this era. First, there’s the problem of digital rot. I still have many files I’ve created going all the way back to the 90s, but the further back I go, the more random the list of what has survived. I am guessing a lot of digital photographs ca 1998-2020 are already lost or soon will be. Physical prints have a presence and a sense of value that makes them more likely to survive for longer, I think. But more importantly, the image quality of good film in the hands of an expert can be spectacular. The amount of detail in the best 80 year old film is probably still better than the top digital cameras of today, although that gap is narrowing. But a really top notch old black and white photograph can just take my breath away in a way that no digital photo has ever done (yet). I occasionally like to go watch old British Pathe short subject films from the 50s and 60s, and the technical quality of those is so good you feel like you’re in a time machine.
Agreed. My archival stored film and prints look at great today as in the 80’s. Im pretty sure all of the CD’s I stored digital photographs on went bad. I would never have a darkroom again though. Its a real catch 22