I’ve shared many film simulation recipes for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F and X-Pro2, and some of them have become quite popular. I’ve been asked a few times to share which ones are my favorites. Which film simulation recipes do I use?
I have used all of them at one time or another, but there are a handful of recipes that I really appreciate and use regularly. I have my favorites! Let me share with you which ones I currently use.
My favorite film simulation recipe that I created is my Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe, which I initially made for the X-Pro2 but I also use on the X100F. I really love the way these settings render color images. It gives my exposures a beautiful vintage analog look right out of camera. It takes Classic Chrome to a whole new level of goodness! I use this recipe as much as the scenes allow because I love it so much.
Typically I use my Velvia Film Simulation recipe only occasionally, but with the autumn season I’m currently using it often. However, I’ve modified the original recipe to be Highlight +1, Shadow +2 and color +3 to give it more punch, while also setting Noise Reduction to -3 and Sharpening to +1. This is a better version of the recipe, except when there is a lot of contrast, which is where the original settings will likely produce better results. The great thing about these different recipes is that they can be seasoned to taste.
I’ve been working on a new film simulation recipe that I’m currently only moderately happy with. It’s a work-in-progress, and right now it only produces good results occasionally. It seems to be very situation specific, and that means it’s difficult to get enough quality example photographs to publish an article. Even if I get everything ironed out and I find the best settings, it may still be awhile before I can share it. I’ve been shooting with this now and then over the last couple of weeks, and I’ll probably continue to do so over the next several weeks or months.
There are other recipes that I use for color photography, including PRO Neg. Hi, Ektar 100 and Portra 400, but as I was going over my recent photographs I realized that I haven’t used these much at all lately. It seems that my Kodachrome II recipe has essentially replaced them. That’s not to say that I won’t use them, as I like these recipes and they have their place, but I just haven’t picked them very often lately.
Tri-X Push Process
This Tri-X Push Process recipe is my favorite black-and-white film simulation option, but it’s not my invention. I stole it from Luis Costa who published it on his blog. It’s absolute genius, but its limitation is that it doesn’t always work in bright-light situations because it requires a high ISO. Whenever I can use it I do use it. It produces the most film-like results that I’ve ever seen from a digital camera.
Acros Push Process
Whenever I want results that are similar to the Tri-X Push Process settings but I need to use a lower ISO, I choose my Acros Push Process recipe. It’s not quite as good as Tri-X Push Process, but it’s a close second best. It was my favorite monochrome recipe until I discovered Luis Costa’s settings.
When I want a black-and-white image with a little less contrast, I use my Agfa Scale Film Simulation recipe. It produces great results in higher-contrast scenes or whenever you need something that’s a little less bold than the two “push process” options. I don’t use it all of the time, but it definitely comes in handy from time-to-time.
Which film simulation recipes are your favorites? It can be one of mine or your own creation. Please share in the comments what JPEG settings you use on your Fujifilm cameras because I want to know!