The one question that I’ve been asked the most, by far, since starting this blog last year is whether or not custom white balance shifts can be saved on the X100F. Some of my film simulation recipes, such as Vintage Kodachrome and Fujicolor Superia 800, require different white balance shifts. Auto-white-balance allows you the option to save one white balance shift that’s always on (as long as auto-white-balance is selected), but you can’t customize it for each set of custom settings.
What I’ve done, and it’s not convenient but it works for me, is simply remember what the shift is and adjust it whenever I want to use one of those film simulation recipes that require a shift. For example, I know that Vintage Kodachrome requires +2 Red and -4 Blue and that Fujicolor Superia 800 requires -2 Red and -3 Blue, so I manually make the white balance adjustment before making the exposure.
Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa has a different workaround, so I thought I’d share it. The X100F has the option to program three custom white balance settings. You can set the white balance shift to something different with each one. So C1 could be for Vintage Kodachrome, C2 could be for Fujicolor Superia, C3 could be for Classic Chrome and the auto-white-balance could have a white balance shift set for something else. You could have four different white balance shifts saved for different recipes that are all programmed for easy use.
The problem with this solution is that the custom white balance settings are not auto-white-balance. It’s a custom kelvin number based on a measurement by the camera. If the light changes you have to make a new measurement. If you use a grey card and don’t rely on auto-white-balance, Luis Costa’s workaround is a godsend and you should absolutely use it. If you rely on auto-white-balance, then it’s something that you may want to try, but you might find it to be just as much work as adjusting the white balance shift each time you change recipes.
Depending on how you use white balance on your X100F, this might be the thing you’ve been looking for, or it might be something to try and see if it works for you or not. I did give it a try myself and found it to be a good option if the lighting doesn’t change (for instance, shooting outdoors on a sunny day), but a little cumbersome for constantly changing light.
Another thought on how this might be helpful is that you could set a white balance shift in each of the custom white balance options so that you have a reminder of what exactly the shift should be for the different film simulations. You wouldn’t use custom white balance, but simply look at what you set the white balance shift to so that you can remember what to set the shift on your auto-white-balance each time you change recipes.
Hopefully this all makes sense. It’s a little confusing to me as I read it, and I wrote it! My suggestion is to play around with the custom white balance settings and find out for yourself if it’s something that might be helpful to you. Thank you, Luis, for pointing out this white balance shift workaround!