My Fujifilm X-T30 Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Mesa Trail – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I already have a Velvia film simulation recipe. I’ve been using it for about a year-and-a-half now and I like the recipe. It’s designed for X-Trans III cameras. With the Fujifilm X-T30, which has the new sensor and processor, including the new Color Chrome Effect, I decided to revisit Velvia. Can I make Velvia better on an X-Trans IV camera?

I don’t know if this recipe is better than the old one. It’s a little bolder with slightly more contrast and color saturation. It’s probably a little more accurate to Velvia 100 than the old recipe, and a tad closer to Velvia 50, too. I do like this recipe more than the original, but the old one has its place, too. I don’t think this replaces the old recipe, but more supplements it when the situation calls for something punchier.

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I have grain effect set to weak on this recipe, but I only like to have grain on when using ISO 1600 or below. Above that the digital noise acts as a grain effect, so I like to turn the grain effect off when working with higher ISOs. Depending on the image, +4 color can sometimes look better, so don’t be afraid to bump that up when needed, but I think +3 works best as the standard setting. This recipe has a stronger shadow setting than the old one, and if you find that there’s too much contrast, simply set Shadow to 0. The original Velvia recipe called for DR200, but I went with DR-Auto on this one. If you’d prefer to use DR200 instead of auto, feel free to do so.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +1
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured using a Fujifilm X-T30 with this film simulation recipe:

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Rock Balanced – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Water & Stone – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Cactus Noon – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Dead Tree Point – Dead Horse Point, SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Desert River – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Peak Through The Thin Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Sunset Red Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

Weekly Photo Project, Week 36

Some feedback I have received is that some of you out there would appreciate knowing some of the technical information about my pictures. I thought that this weekly series would be a good place to try it out. You’ll notice that, in addition to the usual information, I have included the lens, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Most of these pictures you’ve likely seen already in other articles (especially the Eterna film simulation post), but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, ISO 200, f/5.6

Monday, April 8, 2019

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Kodak 35mm Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/170, ISO 6400, f/4

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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Spring or Autumn? – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, ISO 2000, f/6.4

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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Evening Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @230mm – 1/200, ISO 1600, f/6.7

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/120, ISO 6400, f/5

Friday, April 12, 2019

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100 North & Main Street – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/1100, ISO 320, f/4.5

Saturday, April 13, 2019

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Sunset Red Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @80mm – 1/120, ISO 320, f/5.2

Week 35  

Lens Review: Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR

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When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T30, I took advantage of a bundle deal that was being offered, and added the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR prime lens to the camera for an additional $100. What an incredible bargain! This lens normally sells for $400. I didn’t do any research on the 35mm f/2 lens prior to the purchase–I just knew that I wanted it because of the focal length and price–so what arrived in the mail was a surprise. When I opened the box and saw the lens for the first time, I was disappointed by how ugly it was. I know that one shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, so I didn’t hesitate to attach it to the camera and put it to the test.

The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens is a “standard” prime lens on Fujifilm X cameras, giving a full-frame equivalent focal length of about 52mm. It’s neither wide-angle nor telephoto, but sees roughly the same as the human eye, which is why it’s known as the standard lens. This focal length is very common, and is often the first prime lens that one purchases. I’ve used standard prime lenses off and on for twenty years now, although this is my first Fujinon lens with this focal length.

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Something that I’ve heard said many times over the last five or so years is that the 50mm focal length (or, in the case of this lens, the 50mm equivalent focal length) is the most boring of all focal lengths. There are people who will never purchase this lens because they believe that it’s not possible to create interesting photographs with it. I completely disagree with that sentiment! It’s only boring if you create boring pictures with it. If you think this focal length is boring, that should motivate you all the more to use it and prove the statement wrong. Many of the greatest photographs ever created were captured using a standard prime lens. The only limitation to creating interesting pictures is the photographer, and not the camera or lens.

I’m not going to talk a whole lot about the technical aspects of the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens, as that information is already plentiful on the internet. I want to spend most of my time discussing my experiences using this lens to create pictures. Is it a good lens in real world use? Is this lens worthwhile to own?

The first thing that I noticed is just how sharp this lens is. The quality of the glass is obvious. It’s corner-to-corner tack sharp, even at f/2. There’s a barely noticeable amount of vignetting wide-open, but that quickly goes away as you stop down. Bokeh (which is an overrated aspect of lens quality) is creamy and otherwise excellent. This is a nearly flawless lens from an image-quality point of view. The 35mm f/2 is a great example of why Fujinon lenses are renown.

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Note how the bottom of the picture seems to curve up when in reality it is a straight line.

I did say “nearly flawless” in the last paragraph, and if there is one complaint, it’s some obvious pincushion distortion. Don’t expect straight lines to be perfectly straight. This would be most noticeable when shooting a brick wall. It’s not uncommon for lenses to have some barrel or pincushion distortion, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over this, but it’s good to know what to expect.

How this lens handles lens flare might be seen as positive or negative, depending on if you like flare in your pictures. It’s definitely prone to flare, but it has a lovely quality to it if you like that sort of thing. If you don’t like flare, I recommend getting an aftermarket hood to help prevent it.

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You might really love or hate all that lens flare.

The minimum focus distance is about 14 inches, which isn’t great or terrible. You can’t do any macro photography, but this isn’t a macro lens, either. Auto-focus is fast, quiet and accurate. It’s also a good lens for manual focus with a smooth focus ring. The 35mm f/2 is fairly small and lightweight, and so it’s good for walk-around and travel photography. It seems to be well built and durable. It’s weather sealed, which is great if you have a weather sealed camera to attach it to. The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR is a quality lens, and not much negative can be said about it.

While this isn’t the best looking lens ever made, once you get past that, it is high quality glass, and one of the best prime lenses that I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but it is very, very good. If you are looking for a quality prime lens to add to your camera bag, this is one you shouldn’t overlook. In real world use it excels and it is indeed worthwhile to own. You can purchase the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens by clicking here, which helps to support this website.

Example photographs, captured using the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens attached to a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – f/10

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – f/8

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – f/8

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – f/5.6

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – f/4

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Hand Held Phone – South Ogden, UT – f/2.8

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Microwave – Moab, UT – f/4.5

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – f/4

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – f/2

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – f/5

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – f/3.6

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Gathering Raindrop – Layton, UT – f/9

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – f/7.1

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – f/9

My Fujifilm X-T30 Acros Film Simulation Recipe (Agfa APX 400)

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Cloud Over The White Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

I made a new Acros recipe! I’ve been playing around lately with the Acros settings on my Fujifilm X-T30, trying to create a certain look (which I’m still working on), and I stumbled upon some interesting settings. I tried them out for a few days and wanted to share my findings with you. I think some of you might like this one!

This recipe is not intended to mimic the look of any particular film, but it’s in the neighborhood of a couple different black-and-white stocks. The closest might be Agfa APX 400 (the newer version), but it’s not an exact match for that film. I don’t think it really matters if it’s an exact match or not, it has an analog black-and-white look that’s easy to appreciate!

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Shopping Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

The idea behind this film simulation recipe is to have a lower-contrast option that doesn’t look flat. It seems to be especially well suited for high-contrast scenes, but there’s a certain beauty in low-contrast scenes where it produces almost a faded aesthetic. This Acros recipe is really great for certain situations, and it’s one of my favorite Acros recipes that I’ve created. If you don’t have an X-Trans IV camera, you can still use this recipe, except you can’t use Color Chrome Effect or Toning, so the results will be slightly different, but still very similar.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +4
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: +1 (warm)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this recipe on the Fujifilm X-T30:

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mid Morning Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Head In The Clouds – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mountain Obscured – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Reaching For Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Jo by a Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Girl Sitting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Bread Cutting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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The Course Toward – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Asleep – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Couch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Three Vases By A Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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White Flower Bouquet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Dead Rose Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Hiding Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

Weekly Photo Project, Week 35

I’m getting closer and closer to the end of this photo-a-day project. Still a little ways to go, though. This is the second week in a row using my new Fujifilm X-T30. It’s been a joy to use! I’ve captured so many images since the camera arrived, and I’ve only shared a small percentage of them with you. I have so many more to put on this blog and a bunch of articles that I’d like to write. If only there were more hours in each day.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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Dead Tree Point – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Monday, April 1, 2019

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Grey & White – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

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Gathering Raindrops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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If You Can’t Stand The Heat – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Thursday, April 4, 2019

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Clouds Beyond The Morning Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Friday, April 5, 2019

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Saturday, April 6, 2019

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White Cap – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 34  Week 36

My X-T30 Eterna Recipe For X-Trans III

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

A couple of days ago I published my Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna film simulation recipe, which I have received a lot of positive feedback for. I have also received several requests to invent a film simulation recipe that produces similar results without using Eterna, for those who have X-Trans III cameras and don’t have access to that film simulation. Well, I did it! I made an “Eterna” recipe that mimics my Eterna recipe. It’s not a 100% match, but it’s pretty close, and don’t think you’ll get much closer without using Eterna.

There are a few settings that could be adjusted, so you’ll have to decide what you like best. I think Shadow should be set to +1.5, but since that setting doesn’t exist, you’ll have to choose between +1 and +2. I went with the latter. It’s a similar situation with Color, and I went with +3 but you could choose +2 instead. I think that an argument could be made that a white balance shift of +6 Red and -6 Blue is more accurate, so there’s another decision. You can make whatever changes you’d like to customize this recipe to your own tastes.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +2
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening:+2
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

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100 North & Main Street – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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“Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std.

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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“Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std.

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Taste On Sale – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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“Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std.

Current Fujifilm Deals at Amazon

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There are some great deals on a few Fujifilm cameras currently at Amazon. As you may know, I’m an Amazon affiliate partner, which means that I get a small kickback from Amazon whenever you order something through my links. Nobody pays me to write the content you find on this blog, such as my film simulation recipes or my review of the Fujifilm X-T30. If you find these articles helpful and you want to support this website, ordering something that you were already intending to purchase using my links is a great way to be a part of this. I would never want to pressure anyone into buying anything, so please only order something if you were already planning to do it. I hope that making you aware of these sales is a service to some of you.

The X-T30 lens bundle deal is pretty nice. I ordered mine with the 35mm f/2 (review coming soon). The X-T2 body for only $900 and the X-T20 body for only $500 are just incredible bargains! If you were considering a new body, I’d go with one of those because you’re not going to find a better value. I have no idea how long these deals will last.

Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm + 50mm f/2 $1,450
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 23mm f/2 $1,050

Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) $900!!
Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm lens $1,300

Fujifilm X-H1 (body only) with power grip $1,300

Fujifilm X-T20 (body only) $500!!
Fujifilm X-T20 with 18-55mm lens $800

Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is $300 off

My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Eterna is beautiful. Fujifilm’s most recent film simulation, Eterna, has a lot of potential for creating lovely color negative film aesthetics. Even though it has the lowest contrast and lowest color saturation of all the different film simulation options, I suspect that it has significant potential for mimicking many analog looks. It has a film-like feel to it.

Real Eterna was a motion picture film. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows captured on Eterna and didn’t even know it. While Fujifilm invented and intended the Eterna film simulation for video use, which it is quite good for, they made it available for still photographs on X-Trans IV cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T30, as well as GFX cameras and the X-H1. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one of those cameras you can’t use this recipe. [Update: if your camera doesn’t have Eterna, you can use this alternative (click here)]

I wasn’t trying to mimic the look of any particular film when I invented this recipe. I was just playing around with the settings and really liked what I found. It has an analog feel to it. Initially the look reminded me of something from Nik Anolog Efex. As I used these settings, I found myself getting interesting results. Depending on the lighting and exposure, I was achieving different looks, despite using the exact same settings. Sometimes the results remind me of overexposed Fujifilm 400H, sometimes pushed-process Fujifilm Superia 400, sometimes underexposed expired Superia 800, and sometimes Superia 1600. Occasionally it doesn’t resemble any of those films. It’s not supposed to look like any specific film, yet it often does, but results vary.

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Gathering Raindrops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

I have always included a typical exposure compensation in my different film simulation recipes, but I didn’t do that this time because you get different results with different exposures. You can select -1 exposure compensation and you can select +1 exposure compensation, or anything in-between, and achieve various looks. You have to play around with it and decide what you like. Also, while I have Auto-ISO set to ISO 6400, I really feel that the best results are found at ISO 3200 or lower. You’ll have to decide how high you want to go with the ISO. For those using this on the X-H1, which doesn’t have Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get very similar results but it will be slightly different.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Below are all camera-made JPEGs captured using this Eterna Film Simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30 camera:

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Fake Plants For Sale – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Light Lens – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Franklin – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wildcat Radial – Layton, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Evening Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Cleanup Tools – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Red Tile – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Tops – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kodak 35mm Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Longing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Ball In The Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Blooming Red Tulip – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wee Wet White Flowers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Daffodil Drops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Spring or Autumn? – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Love – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Siblings Playing On A Tablet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Don, Walt & Mickey – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Brick & Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Taste On Sale – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Jarred Pig – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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25th Street & Lincoln Avenue – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Weekly Photo Project, Week 34

This was my first full week using the new Fujifilm X-T30 camera. Any time that you have a new camera it’s pretty hard to put it down, so I had no trouble capturing images each day this week. I made a lot of exposures! Many of these photographs you’ve likely seen before in other articles, so there’s not a lot here that’s new, and for that I apologize. Hopefully you enjoy this set, anyway.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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Snowfall in Downtown Park City – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Monday, March 25, 2019

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Lunch With An Old Friend – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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Eastman Kodak 8mm Brownie Projector – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Film In Black & White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Friday, March 29, 2019

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Fresh Neighborhood Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Saturday, March 30, 2019

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Castle Spire – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 33  Week 35

Review: Fujifilm X-T30 – Better JPEGs?

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Is this camera for me? That’s the number one question those searching the web for camera reviews are hoping to find the answer to. Usually you wait until the bottom of the article to find the reviewer’s opinion. To save you time, I’m placing my answer to the question right at the top: the Fujifilm X-T30 is indeed the camera for you! Or, really, any of the X-T00 series, which also include the X-T10 and X-T20. These cameras combine the right design, features, usability, image quality, build quality, size, weight and price to be appealing to anyone, no matter your skill level. This could be a great option for a beginner’s first interchangeable-lens camera, and this could be a great option for a pro’s take-anywhere camera or backup body. This series is the Goldilocks of cameras, and it is no wonder that it’s Fujifilm’s best-selling line. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s move onto the rest of the review.

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with design inspiration from classic film-era SLRs. It has an APS-C sized 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor. The advantage of X-Trans, aside from not being susceptible to moire pattern distortion, is that it contains more green-light sensitive sensor elements (which is where luminosity information comes from) than an equivalent Bayer-pattern sensor with the same pixel count. Because of this, X-Trans has a slightly higher apparent resolution, a larger dynamic range, and better high-ISO performance than a Bayer-pattern sensor. Of course, “slightly” is the key word in that last sentence, but every bit counts, so it’s worth mentioning for those who might not know. X-Trans takes more processing power, and the big challenge that Fujifilm has faced is heat dispersion. This new X-Trans IV sensor, which is back-side illuminated, runs cooler, and that allows Fujifilm to crank up the speed of the camera. Quickness is the advantage the new sensor.

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I want to make my point-of-view for this review clear, which is probably a little different than most. I’m an experienced Fujifilm user and a JPEG shooter. That’s the lens from which my opinions are coming through. There are things about the X-T30 that other reviewers might focus on that I won’t, and there are things that I will talk about that might not get much attention from others. You can expect this review to be a little different than many others that you’ll find on the internet. Hopefully this will be useful to some of you, as I suspect there are others with a similar point-of-view as myself.

This last weekend I went to Moab, Utah, and made almost one thousand exposures with the Fujifilm X-T30. I kept about 25% of the pictures. The time it took me to post-process the trip, from reviewing to editing to transferring to storing the images, was less than three hours total. That’s actually quite amazing, and it’s all thanks to Fujifilm’s wonderful in-camera JPEG engine. Before using Fujifilm cameras, I used Sony and Nikon for a little while and shot RAW. With those cameras it would have taken me a minimum of eight hours to finish post-processing that amount of exposures. Five years ago I had a Sigma Merrill camera that would have taken me eight hours to finish only half of the exposures! I’m thrilled with all of the time that I save by using Fujifilm and shooting JPEGs.

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Rock Castles – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

One thing that I have noticed with the X-T30, and I have not seen much discussion on this, is the improved sharpening that the camera is applying to JPEGs. Fujifilm has programmed a better sharpening algorithm into the X-T30 than the X-T20. On X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F, X-Pro2 and X-T20, all of which I have used, I felt that +2 was the highest Sharpness setting that one should use, and even at +2 there were occasionally artifacts and weird side-effects of over sharpening. Eventually I settled on 0 as my standard Sharpness setting for those cameras. On the X-T30, which has the new X-Trans IV sensor and processor, I can go all the way to +4 Sharpness, and I’m not experiencing artifacts or weird side-effects. Besides that, the amount of sharpening that’s being applied at each setting is slightly more heavy-handed on X-Trans IV than on X-Trans III. For example, at +1, it’s noticeable to my eyes that the X-T30 is applying a slightly stronger amount of sharpening to the file than the X-T20, yet without negative consequence. The outcome is a crisper, more detailed picture. I wonder if this stems from the collaboration between Fujifilm and Phase One.

Between the improved sharpening and the extra 2-megapixels of resolution, JPEGs from the X-T30 appear more crisp, rich and detailed than those from the X-T20. There’s a noticeable difference. I saw it but didn’t say anything about it to my wife (who is the actual owner of the X-T20), and when I showed her some of the pictures that I had captured with the X-T30, she spotted it pretty quickly and commented, “This is more clear than what I get with my camera, like I’m actually there!” The out-of-camera JPEGs from the X-T30 remind me of post-processed RAW files from a Sigma Merrill captured at low ISO, which is saying a lot if you know anything about the Sigma Merrill cameras. I would bet that the JPEGs from the X-T30 can hold their own against post-processed RAW files from older full-frame cameras like the Nikon D610, or even newer full-frame cameras like the Canon 5D IV. I’m not going to do any side-by-side comparisons, but simply state that I believe the X-T30 delivers fantastic JPEGs that go beyond anything from any other APS-C camera (except for the X-T3, which it is equal to since they share the same sensor and processor).

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Horse & Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Massive crop from the above photo. I printed this crop and it looks surprisingly good.

So far I have only made a few prints from X-T30 exposures, but I do believe that 24″ x 36″ prints will look great even when viewed up close, and 40″ x 60″ prints will look good at a normal viewing distance but will show a some softness and pixelation when viewed up close. It seems like, if you use ISO 800 or less, set Sharpness to +4, set Noise Reduction to -4, use a sharp prime lens and don’t crop, the sky is the limit for printing sizes. The photographs from the X-T30 look great even when you pixel-peep.

While Fujifilm has clearly improved sharpening on the X-T30, I don’t feel the same about noise reduction, specifically at the higher ISOs. At ISO 3200 and below there’s no difference in noise between the X-T20 and X-T30, but above that there is, and I prefer the X-T20 when it comes to high-ISO color photographs (for black-and-white it doesn’t matter). In fact, I don’t really like ISO 12800 for color images on the X-T30 (which I found usable on the X-T20) as there are blotchy colors that just don’t look good. However, for grainy black-and-white photographs I find that ISO 25600 is good on the X-T30, which I didn’t find usable on the X-T20. My opinion is that high-ISO has worsened by one stop on the X-T30 for color photographs and improved by one stop for black-and-white.

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Bolsey Brownie – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – ISO 25600

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Church Seats Empty – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – ISO 12800

The X-T30 has several new JPEG features, including D-Range Priority, B&W toning, Eterna Film Simulation and Color Chrome Effect. They are all good tools for better achieving your desired look in-camera. I don’t know if any of them are particularly useful to the RAW shooter, but for the JPEG shooter you might appreciate these new features. I will give a short synopsis of each, but you can click on the links above for a more detailed explanation.

D-Range Priority is essentially a step beyond DR400. It produces a flat image to help combat high contrast scenes. The options are Weak, which might remind you of DR400 with both Shadow and Highlight set to -2, and Strong, which is appropriately titled. In very harsh lighting situations, this allows you to maximize the dynamic range of the sensor for your JPEGs beyond anything Fujifilm has offered before. It works, but it requires the right situation to work well. I’ve actually used it more than I thought I would, but it is definitely an every-once-in-a-while type thing.

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Green Tree On Red Cliff – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – D-Range Priority Weak – captured in harsh midday light.

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Clouds Over Canyonlands – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – toned +1 warm

The ability to tone your black-and-white images, either warm or cool, is a highly welcomed feature. I love it! It’s something I suggested awhile back, and now Fujifilm has included it on the X-T30. This is one of my favorite new features of the camera!

Eterna is the lowest saturated and lowest contrast color film simulation option on the X-T30. It’s the antithesis of Velvia. It has a lovely quality to it, but requires the right subject and light to be effective. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with it.

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Eating Crackers – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Color Chrome Effect Strong

Color Chrome Effect, which can be enabled for any film simulation, deepens the shade of bright colors so as to retain tonality. It’s intended for highly saturated scenes and pairs well with Velvia. There are two options, Weak and Strong, and they’re both pretty subtle, especially Weak. It’s a neat trick, but it’s not a big difference maker for many photographs.

For those who use camera-made JPEGs, the X-T30 is a better camera than the X-T20. Between the improved sharpening and the new features, I appreciate the results more on this camera than the old model. It’s not a night-and-day difference, but there is indeed a difference! Since the image is whats important, I’m thrilled with the upgrade. Fujifilm already had the best JPEG engine in the business with X-Trans III, and X-Trans IV is even better.

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rock Castles – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

There are, of course, other changes, some of which are improvements and some are not. The focus joystick on the X-T30 is nice sometimes, but so is the D-Pad on the X-T20. I’m still undecided which I prefer, but I’m leaning towards the D-Pad. The best setup is both a joystick and D-Pad, but you’ll have to go with a higher-end model, such as the X-T3, to get that. The location of the Q button, which is now on the thumb grip, is also nice sometimes, and not so nice other times. I have accidentally pushed it more than I can count, but on the flip side it’s easy to find without looking.

What everyone has been talking about regarding the X-T30 is focus speed. It’s fast! It’s much quicker in dim-light situations than the X-T20. Fujifilm has improved focus tracking and facial recognition, as well. The X-T30 is undoubtedly better at auto-focus, but I never found the X-T20 to be lacking in this department. If your subject or style requires super quick auto-focusing, the X-T30 is the camera for you. If not, then the improved auto-focusing is more gee-whiz than anything that’s especially practical.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the X-T30 and X-T20 is video capability and quality. The X-T30 is a highly capable video camera that can be used by serious videographers. I’m not a video guy myself, so this upgrade doesn’t matter much to me, but for those who might use this camera for video, it’s a pretty big deal. If that’s you, you will definitely want to choose the X-T30 over the X-T20. I made a short test video just to demonstrate the quality.

There’s a lot more that I could talk about. I could discuss all of the different menu changes. I could give a rundown of everything on the stat sheet. I could add some graphs that show this or that. However, that’s not my style, so I won’t bore you. I want to give you my impressions of actually using the camera. In real world use, the Fujifilm X-T30 is an impressive little camera. Is it as good as the X-T3? No, but it’s not very far from it, and yet in a smaller, lighter and less expensive package. Is it better than the X-T20? Yes, in most regards, it is better, but is it worth the upgrade? If you already own an X-T20, unless you just need the improved video or auto-focus capabilities, I would not recommend upgrading. Use the money for a new lens or a photographic adventure instead. Are you trying to decide between the X-T20 and X-T30? If you rely on camera-made JPEGs, need super fast auto-focus, or shoot a lot of video, the X-T30 is the camera to get, otherwise save yourself a little money and buy the nearly as good X-T20.

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Desert River – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Water & Stone – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

To conclude, the Fujifilm X-T30 is a rare Goldilocks camera that anyone could be happy using. It’s not perfect, as no camera is, but it is very good. It has a lot of attractive features and delivers beautiful images. It’s a great example of just how far camera technology has come! The X-T30 has a very reasonable MSRP of $900 for the camera body. I have no doubt that it will be successful for Fujifilm, just as the X-T10 and X-T20 were before it. If you decide to buy the X-T30, I’m sure you’ll be quite happy with it. You can purchase the Fujifilm X-T30 from Amazon by clicking here, which helps to support this website. I hope that you found something in this review that has been useful to your camera purchase decision.

Below are example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using the Fujifilm X-T30.

Color

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Balance Rock Evening – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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River Colors – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fresh Neighborhood Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Snowfall In Downtown Park City – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Castle Spire – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rock Balanced – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

B&W

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Collecting Rain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Piano Wire – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Microwave – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Storm Beyond The Frozen Lake – Echo Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Tree – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30