Suck a Dick, Fuji!

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Suck a dick, Fuji!  You’re worse than an ex-girlfriend.

My romance with Fuji started early on.  In 1999, before there was Ektar or the current iteration of Portra, and before I got into 3200 speed and b&w, Fuji made my favorite films.  I loved Fuji.

They made their mark on the photographic world by making the most beautiful slide films in the 90’s such as the legendary Velvia and they continued to set new standards with their C41 offerings like cheap but effective Superia.  In a sure sign of serious commitment, Fuji even changed their name to Fujifilm.  By the late 90’s, Fuji were killing a mismanaged Kodak.  It seemed like Fuji and me would last forever!

As a new film photographer, I was simply smitten.  Fuji could do no wrong in my eyes.  Much of my first paid jobs and art exhibits were shot on Fujifilm.

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The first photo I ever sold.  Shot on Fuji Superia 400.

When I began cutting my teeth as a working photographer in the early 2000’s, I relied heavily on the cool, neutral colors and amazingly fine grain of the Fuji Pro series of 35mm films; Pro 160S, Pro 160C, Pro 400H and Pro 800Z.  These films blew early digital out of the water with their amazing color space and contrast.

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I took this photo of journalist Sonia Shah on Fuji Pro 160S & it’s been featured in Huffington Post, TED & numerous other publications.

As I got into shooting concerts, I absolutely adored grainy but saturated Fuji Superia 1600.  To date, this and Fuji Natura 1600 are the fastest box speed color still films ever made.  Kodak, not anyone else took color past 800.  And Fuji’s 1600 certainly delivered!

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Spending my 20’s shooting at local bars on Fuji Superia 1600

Who knew I’d one day sing the blues?  I got a kick out of shooting tungsten balanced Fuji T64 in daylight!

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My wife’s eyes were never so blue!

As I began to dabble in black and white, I couldn’t get over the rich contrast and nuanced detail of Fuji Acros 100.  The first roll that I shot instantly converted me to making it my standard b&w daytime film.

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Details so fine that you can FEEL every bit of rust on this tough old truck!

As luck would have it, I found a working 1960’s Land 100 at a flea market.  How awesome of Fuji to supply all these instant films that had been abandoned by Polaroid?  And FP-3000b melted my interest in high speed 35mm b&w film with the fun of instant.  It was glorious!

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90’s Alternative Rock Queens, Veruca Salt at Club 9:30 on Fuji FP-3000b

But things started to change.  It was difficult to tell what of the Fuji Pro films were actually being made anymore as different stocks would show unavailable so often and they did away with the seemingly redundant 160C.  Now, I think they’re all discontinued.  I mean, why support pro shooters, right?  And who needs anything but daylight balanced film?!  Tungsten 64, GONE!  Fuji announced they were no long producing motion picture film; a massive hit to how we would see movies in the very near future, leaving only Kodak to manufacture all professional motion picture film.  Somewhere in there, Acros was dropped and then my beloved FP-3000b, which, was such a niche product it kinda made sense.  But shortly after, the loss of FP-100c turned my perfectly functional Polaroid into a brick.

Time and again, over and over Fuji seems to have yanked products that everyone loved and shot often.

Fuji, I don’t understand why you’re acting like this!  I think we should break up.

Earlier this week, news heard round the internet seemed like a bad April Fools joke; Fuji is hiking their prices on all film products (besides Instax) by 30% on the first.

What the fuck Fujifilm?  You seem to want film photographers to hate you.  What little you still give us, you now want us to pay more than a quarter more for?!

You have no right to your own name!

But like an ex-girlfriend, while I hate your fucking guts now, I’ll always cherish the times we used to enjoy together…

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to post/link to your favorite Fujifilm shots in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “Suck a Dick, Fuji!

  1. The writing was on the wall as soon as they dropped out of motion picture film. For both Fuji and Kodak, that’s the majority of their business. As the rumor says, it’s likely that they made one last big batch of everything and have been selling it off piecemeal for a while. As the stocks dwindle they’ll keep hiking the prices to manage the demand, instead of just coming out with it. My guess is that all their machinery for film has been dismantled for years and probably destroyed so they couldn’t make more film if they wanted to. Sad, but it’s the way things are with them and after their film is gone I will not support them in any way.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I definitely prefer Fuji’s color palette but I could see the writing on the wall and have been shooting a lot more Kodak color film in the past year or two. Kodak at least, has chosen to go all-in with continuing their motion and still film production, and is bringing out new emulsions. I’d say they’re much more worth supporting than trying to hoard as much Fuji as you can. Fuji doesn’t deserve your loyalty!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I used to prefer Fuji’s colors also. Kodak is typically a little warm and Fuji is more cool/neutral. I am just thankful that Kodak have improved and maintained the Portra line and Ektar of course, is fun. Without those films, I feel like color neg film would be pretty much a lost cause.

        And yes, Kodak’s film and paper business has made it clear that they are committed to doing their best for us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful piece, and reminds me of all the shooting I did with Fuji Press 800 in Somalia in 1993. But I think those bemoaning the fact that Fuji and Kodak are abandoning film photographers miss the reason – film no longer sells at the levels they feel they need to continue to manufacture and sell it. Those of us who still shoot film tend to make noise about it way out of proportion to our numbers. What was from its mass market introduction to the introduction of affordable digital cameras THE image capture medium, now is, at best, a boutique product. It’s sad that this is where photography is now, but this does seem to be the reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’d love to see your Somalia photos. I am not sure film shooter do not get that these once megalithic infrastructures have to endure some reverse growing pains to scale down but the issue many have with Fuji is their apparent lack of interest in scaling down and instead, just quitting. I wrote this more as a venting and remembrance than as a real criticism. I would think the childish language would get that across! 😉 Fact of the matter is that the wheels that are in motion with Fuji, Kodak and the total ecosystem of film are much larger and nuanced than any of us can fully grasp.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I used to shoot a lot of Fuji Superia 400, and currently one of my fave stocks is Fuji C200, but like some other commenters, I saw the writing on the wall a while ago, and I shoot a lot more Kodak now. Thankfully I’m very stocked up and won’t need to buy any film for a while, and obviously won’t be buying any more Fuji when I run out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since moving to nearly 100% b&w some time ago, Fuji just worked its way out of my regular stocks. So this news doesn’t affect me in a practical way but it saddens me to think back on how much I used to love Fuji films.

      Glad you have been able to move to Kodak and stockpile some favorites.

      Like

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