My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

I was asked by a couple different Fuji X Weekly readers if I could create some film simulation recipes that mimic the look of renown photographers Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri and William Eggleston, each of which are known for their unique style. As I was contemplating how to go about this, I learned that all three of them used Kodachrome film. Although none of them used Kodachrome exclusively, they all used it extensively at one time. If I could make a Kodachrome recipe, I would have something that covers Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. To copy their look using this recipe, simply find color and light in the same manor as those famous photographers did (easy, right?).

You might be thinking, doesn’t Classic Chrome already look like Kodachrome? No, it actually resembles Ektachrome more than Kodachrome, but it is a good starting point since it has a general Kodak aesthetic. What about the Kodachrome recipe I already made? Actually, that mimics an earlier version of the film, which has a little different look than what I was going for here. You could use that, as I’m certain that some of Haas’ early color work was shot on that era of Kodachrome. Primarily, the Kodachrome that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston used was Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X.

In 1961 Kodak replaced the original Kodachrome with a new and improved version called Kodachrome II and a higher-ISO sibling called Kodachrome-X. These films had more accurate color, finer grain and faster ISOs (ISO 25 and 64, respectively, compared to ISO 10 of the original) than the previous version. It was a big leap forward for color photography, and so it is no surprise that the innovators of color photography in the 1960’s and 1970’s relied heavily on it. It’s also the version that Paul Simon sang, “They give us the greens of summer, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”

Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X produced a very similar look to each other. The main differences were in grain, contrast and saturation, but overall the variations were quite minor. Kodachrome-X was slightly more bold while Kodachrome II was slightly more clean. Even so, comparing slides, it’s tough to distinguish one from the other (conveniently, I have my grandparents old slides at my home). Even though I have named this film simulation recipe “Kodachrome II” I think it more closely resembles Kodachrome-X, but I find it to be a reasonable match for both.

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Chair Shadow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

Because of the toxic chemicals used in the development of this era of Kodachrome, plus the complexity of the process, Kodak changed from K-12 development to K-14 development, which ushered in new Kodachrome in 1974, called Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. This version of the film is the one that I have personally used. Interestingly enough, even though this version wasn’t all that much aesthetically different than the previous, there was a big outcry among photographers, and a large group who used Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X did not appreciate the change.

I believe that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston continued to use Kodachrome even beyond 1974 when the new version came out, but it seems they used it less extensively, especially Eggleston, who became known for his work with color negatives. Still, each of these three photographers captured some of their most recognizable images on the second era of Kodachrome. And that’s the look that the film simulation recipe below is based on.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 1
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe:

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Roof & Sky – Wichita, KS – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Small Green Hill – McAlester, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Ranch View – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Blackberry Lemonade – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McDiner – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McTaos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Pawhuska Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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White Water Lily – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Park Boys – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Rural Sunset – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Weed At Sunset – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

See also: My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe

44 comments

  1. drewboy79 · August 19

    This simulation looks fantastic! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      Thank you! It has become my favorite for color. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

      Like

      • drewboy79 · August 19

        It looks ace. I have been using your standard Classic Chrome simulation recently as I really like it. Will have to give this new one a go now too. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

        If you do give this one a try, I’d love to see your results.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Luís Costa · August 19

    Man, you’re killing me with all these wonderful presets! We’re going to have to ask Fuji for more preset slots in the cameras! 😀 Looking forward to try these one out too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. photo a day · August 19

    Hi Ritchie! It was me who asked you to look at Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. Their colous works are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      Yes, I agree! It’s amazing that they could create such vastly different work with the same film. I had a couple requests for Eggleston, but the biggest issue for him is that he used so many different films, and he was heavily involved in the printing process, often altering the final look of the photo. His most consistent look, as far as aesthetics go, was when he shot Kodachrome, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. photo a day · August 19

    Hi Ritchie! It was me who asked you to look at Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. Their colour works are wonderful. I think you enjoyed your research&developments 🙂 Great, great results and a very interesting article! I think it is your best so far 🙂 Congratulations! And thank you so much man for your time and ideas and results. Your are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stig Gammelgaard · August 20

    Hi Ritchie. Amazing! Are there any of your kodak recipes until now that you think also looks like kodak gold 200? Stig

    Like

  6. Ilya · August 23

    Ritchie, thank you for everything you do on your blog! This recipe is amazing! Right now I tried it and decided it was time to finally thank you for your works! I posted this photo on Instagram with #kodachrome2_recipe_by_fujixweekly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Steven · August 26

    Hi! Thanks for all these amazing recipes! I have one small question: a lot of times I see tweaked auto white balance settings (like in this case). But you can’t store these in Q settings, can you? How do you manage these? Do you change them everytime you switch to another Q setting?

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 26

      Thanks, Steven, for commenting! You are correct in that you cannot save the white balance shifts. One option, on some Fujifilm cameras, is to custom name the settings, and include the shift in the name, making it easy to remember. I pretty much have them memorized myself, but it’s a bit easier for me as I was the one who created them. Hopefully, in the future, Fujifilm will allow a custom white balance shift to be saved with each custom Q setting.

      Like

      • Steven · August 26

        Thanks Ritchie! I may do that on my X-Pro2 and hope that someday we’ll be able to name them on my X100F too! Looking forward to your blog-posts!

        Liked by 1 person

      • mulpi · January 11

        I think you can. just shift the white balance first, then hit „save current settings“ in the q menu. afterwards you have to set the other parameters and save with the normal procedure. works with my xt20.

        great recipes by the way!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · January 11

        Thank you! I will definitely try that out!

        Like

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  12. Khürt Williams · September 15

    Yet another excellent film simulation recipe with which I can experiment. Thank you Ritchie!

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. walker · October 18

    lovely, thank you sir!

    Liked by 1 person

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  19. Peter Dinnan · February 19

    Thanks Ritchie!
    The simulation is quite accurate comparing it to my Kodachrome results back in the day.
    Down here in Australasia our light is generally contrastly … I have no idea regarding the northern hemisphere however down here as a rule of thumb with film chromes ‘expose for the highlights and let the shadows take care of themselves’—this simulation allows me to do exactly that!
    Magic! 🙂
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 19

      I appreciate your comments and encouragement! Glad that this recipe works for you. Take care!

      Like

  20. John · February 19

    So am I right in assuming that in order to use these with my X-T2 I have to go into the menu and put my camera in JPEG mode and then I can use these that I stored in the “Q” button menu? Thanks, these look great and I really like your work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 19

      I appreciate the comment and kind words. You’ll have to use either JPEG or RAW+JPEG. You can use them with just RAW, but the outcome will be determined by how the software you use interprets the settings, and the results are likely going to be a little different.

      Like

      • John · February 19

        Thanks for the fast response!

        I do shoot RAW mostly because I like to edit some. Going to try these out this afternoon and see how they look.

        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 19

        You are very welcome!

        Like

  21. Livestoriz · 21 Days Ago

    Beautiful colours Richie, I love your simulations and started to use them a lot. I have no defaults anymore, and all custom settings are taken up by the simulations you have created here.

    I have a tip on “storing” settings that do cannot be saved in Custom: rename the custom title to incorporate the missing settings as “instructions”.

    For example, for Provia, “PROVIA R-1 B-1 <6400 +2/3". For positive WB shift, just use R1, B1, etc. And when you select a film simulation, first press the Q button to display the saved title. Then, you use the instructions from title to setup the WB shift, ISO and exposure compensation.

    Now, I wish Fuji would make changes to save all these settings in Custom, also allow us to store multiple WB Auto + shifts and let us store as many Custom settings as we wish, save them to SD card and recall them as needed. Another thing that Fuji could do is to allow split toning. This could improve film simulations further and allow more unique experimentations. How hard could that be? Would make us happy…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 21 Days Ago

      Thank you for your kind words! That’s a great suggestion! I know that will be helpful to many people. I appreciate your comment. Take care!

      Like

  22. Thesmallthing · 15 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie, I’m new to camera and I’m so confused about how to adjust white balance R 0 B 0 into your setting. I’ve searched on the Internet but not found much useful information. Btw, I’m using Fujifilm XE2S with X-trans II

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · 15 Days Ago

      In the menu, select White Balance and then arrow over to the right on Auto White Balance to open White Balance Shift. Unfortunately, this recipe isn’t directly compatible with X-Trans II.

      Like

  23. JM · 1 Day Ago

    Hi Ritchie, I was out earlier to try out the recipes you made.They were all great! totally made me excited to shoot. However, just when I imported the pics to LR CC. The recipes were removed when I hover my mouse to each picture. I wonder if this happened to you and if you have a fix for it!
    Continue cooking recipes man! They are great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 1 Day Ago

      I’m glad that you like the recipes and found them useful. I appreciate your kind words! I don’t use Lightroom so I have not experienced that problem, and I apologize that I don’t have a solution. I hope that the fix is easy.

      Like

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