Back in the days before digital photography I’d sometimes push-process my black-and-white film. The technique involved underexposing the film (typically by one or two stops) and then developing for longer times. Essentially you underexpose in camera and overexpose in development, creating a correct exposure. This results in images with more contrast and stronger grain.
There are a couple reasons why one would push-process their film. First, you could shoot with less light. A lot of people used to consider ISO 400 to be a high-ISO film, but pushing that film two stops would make it ISO 1600 (really high-ISO). Second, the push-process aesthetic is bold and gritty, and you could achieve more dramatic results. So you might choose to push-process out of necessity or artistic vision or sometimes both.
The Fujifilm X100F has a great black-and-white Film Simulation called Acros, named after their Neopan Acros film. It looks wonderful, with a true film-like quality. I use this Film Simulation often. But sometimes I want a bolder, gritter, more dramatic black-and-white picture than my Acros Film Simulation recipe provides. So I created a new recipe that resembles film that has been push-processed. In other words, it has noticeably more contrast and grain.
There are a few important things to understand about the Acros Film Simulation. First, Fujifilm programmed the amount of grain to increase as you increase the ISO. Next, the higher you go above ISO 800 the smaller the dynamic range gets. Finally, the Digital Teleconverter can effect noise and grain, most noticeably at high ISOs.
My Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe resembles black-and-white film that has been push-processed anywhere from one to one-and-a-half stops. I think sometimes it looks more like ISO 100 film that has been pushed and sometimes it looks more like ISO 400 film that has been pushed. A lot depends on the ISO that the camera is set to. It’s rarely as dramatic or gritty as one could achieve with actual film, but it produces great results in the right situations. I’d actually like to see Fujifilm add a push-process Film Simulation option to their X cameras.
The differences between this Film Simulation recipe and my original Acros recipe are increased highlights and shadows (for stronger contrast), a slight refinement to noise reduction and sharpening, and the added grain effect. The changes aren’t major, but the results are noticeably different.
Dynamic Range: DR200
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Strong
ISO: Auto up to 6400 (typically)
Exposure Compensation: +1 (typically)
Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe:
My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe