What Film Simulation Should Fujifilm Create Next?

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The Wonder of Film Photography – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Fujifilm uses Film Simulations instead of traditional options for their JPEG settings. They use their vast experience with film to make their digital images look less digital (than other camera brands). Choose between Provia, Astia, Velvia, Acros and others. Essentially you are mimicking a film look with your camera-made JPEGs. If you shoot RAW, you can approximate this in post.

On the Fujifilm X100F my favorite Film Simulations are Acros for black-and-white and Classic Chrome for color. I use several of the other options occasionally, but I would be perfectly happy using only those two.

Fujirumors has said that Fujifilm is developing (or “investigating”) the next Film Simulation. Today Fujirumors asked what the next Film Simulation should be. What film should the Film Simulation emulate? By the way, if you don’t visit Fujirumors regularly, you should start doing so today–there’s a ton of useful information found there.

I thought it was an interesting question, so I’m going to explore it a little here.

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Kodacolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The Film Simulation options that Fujifilm has included in their current camera lineup are pretty darn good. They can be manipulated to simulate all sorts of different films. For example, if you wanted a look similar to Fujicolor Pro 800Z, you could start with Pro Neg Hi, increase the saturation by one and add a strong grain effect. You might have to shift the white balance slightly cooler. That would get you in the ballpark.

So I would want a Film Simulation that couldn’t be approximated by simply adjusting a few settings on a current option. And most films can. For instance, Classic Chrome is a great starting point for several Kodak films.

At the top of my list would be Fuji Velvia Cross Processed. It’s a fun experiment if you’ve never cross processed film. In the case of Velvia, which uses the E-6 process, you develop it using the C-41 process instead. The results are bold with high contrast, shifted colors and pronounced grain. It just looks cool and vintage.

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Ax & Ladder – Boron, CA – Fujifilm Velvia 50 Cross Processed

Another that I would like to see is Fuji 400H Overexposed. People would purposefully overexpose 400H film a couple of stops because the colors would turn pastel with a low-ish contrast. It just looks beautiful.

How about Acros Push Processed? It would have lots of contrast and grain. You can get close to achieving this by setting highlights and shadows to the maximum level and adding a strong grain effect, but it doesn’t quite get the look right. The contrast is a little wrong and the grain (the look of it) is a lot wrong. That’s why I suggest a whole new Film Simulation for this.

If Fujifilm does indeed develop a new Film Simulation, it’s unlikely that they’ll add it to the X100F. They could add it via a firmware update, and in the past they’ve done just that with a few cameras (when Classic Chrome came out). I really hope that they do.

Most likely it will only be included on cameras with the X-Trans IV sensor, whenever that happens, because each new Film Simulation has coincided with a sensor update. So the X100V (or whatever they call the next generation X100) most likely will have it, and those who really want it will have to spend a bunch of money to upgrade.

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