I’m not a portrait photographer, although I have done some portrait photography. I’m not a wedding photographer, although I have done some wedding photography. Whether capturing pictures of people is the bread-and-butter of your photography or just something you do occasionally, you’ll likely want some go-to camera settings for these types of images.
I really like the way camera-made JPEGs look on my Fujifilm X100F. I use the different Film Simulations extensively. I have different recipes for different looks and situations. For people pictures in color, I frequently use Classic Chrome or Astia. Lately, though, I’ve been using PRO Neg. Hi much of the time for portraits.
Astia and PRO Neg. Hi are the two film simulations that are most similar to each other. Put them side-by-side and it can be difficult to tell which is which because the differences are so subtle. PRO Neg. Hi is slightly softer in the highlights and slightly harsher in the shadows. Also, Astia has just a bit more color saturation, and has a barely noticeable shift towards red. As far as I can tell they’re otherwise identical and basically interchangeable. I tend to use Astia more for non-people pictures and PRO Neg. Hi more for people pictures, although this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
I’m not 100% sure which film PRO Neg. Hi is supposed to simulate. It’s not an exact match for any. Sometimes I think it’s closer to Fujicolor Pro 160C and sometimes I think it’s closer to Fujichrome Provia 400X (note that the Provia Film Simulation does not match actual Provia film). Based on the name, my guess is that PRO Neg. Hi is supposed to simulate Fujicolor Pro 160C, but, according to my fading memory of shooting the film, it’s off by a little.
It’s not all that important if PRO Neg. Hi is a perfect match to an actual film stock or not. It produces good results that are especially excellent for pictures of people. It has punchy colors and contrast (but not too punchy like Velvia) while still rendering appealing skin tones. It’s a good film simulation that you should try if you haven’t done so already.
One thing to note is that the shadow setting is very situation specific. I have found that -2 is sometimes better, 0 is sometimes better, but most often -1 is good. DR100 sometimes works better in low-contrast scenes, but DR200 is preferable in normal lighting conditions. For photographs without people, +2 or even +3 on color produces good results.
PRO Neg. Hi
Dynamic Range: DR200
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Flash: On (typically)
Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs, of my PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation recipe: