During World War II there was a shortage of rubber, and an effort was put forth to create synthetic rubber. There were many ideas and experiments to create rubber in the lab, most of which failed. One of those failures was a silicone-based elastic substance that could bounce, float in water, and lift print off of newspaper. This substance was created by mistake while trying to invent something else. It was a twist of fate. It was a happy accident. It was Silly Putty.
Recently I was experimenting with the JPEG settings on a Fujifilm X-T20, trying to replicate the look of some different films. I’ve been working on four different film simulation settings for several months, only hitting dead ends. I haven’t been able to achieve the desired results, but I did stumble across an interesting look. Like the discovery of Silly Putty, I made a happy accident! Even though I used an X-T20 for this recipe, you could apply these settings to any X-Trans III camera and get the same exact results.
This look doesn’t quite resemble any specific film that I’m aware of. I think it produces an analog film aesthetic, even though I couldn’t tell you which one. There are a couple of films that I can see maybe some resemblance, but overall it’s not an exact match. Actually, what it reminded me of is a group of four Alien Skin Exposure presets under the “Color Films – Aged” tab called Color Photo. These presets are similar to each other but each one has a slightly varied look. My new film simulation, which I’ve named Aged Color, produces a look that resembles those Exposure presets, although I will admit that it’s more of general aesthetic than a carbon copy. It’s just what I think it most closely resembles, by coincidence.
Below are three pictures of mine that were edited with those Alien Skin Exposure Color Photo presets:
While Alien Skin Exposure gives you four preset options for this look, and each of those can be heavily customized, I only have one Aged Color recipe, but you are more than welcome to tweak it to your liking. I find that it produces muted yet lovely colors and slightly faded shadows. If the scene doesn’t have a lot of contrast the images can come out a little flat. The skin tones in the pictures below show a lot of red, but some of that can be attributed to cold temperatures, and I think that under normal conditions skin will look a little more natural. This film simulation recipe is an interesting option to achieve a look that is perhaps unexpected from a digital camera and looks a bit more film-like. I doubt that it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but I think some of you will really appreciate it.
PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 (typically)
Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured on a Fujifilm X-T20 using my Aged Color Film Simulation recipe:
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Dude, you’re a genius… this looks amazing, very film like indeed!
Interesting recipe. Not to my liking but I can see why you’re drawn to it.
But the photo of the Asahi Pentax got my attention. Which Asahi Pentax is it? What’s the story behind the camera?
I have my fathers original Asahi Pentax Spotmatic II with Asahi TAKUMAR 50mm f/1.4 lens. That camera means more to me than any camera I’ve ever owned. My father took many photos of his young family — three boys — at the beach and on day trips to the countryside (British Caribbean islands). I have a few of those images. Great memories. The camera is even more precious now. My Dad is suffering from dimension.
Forgot to add. The camper is never going to take another photo. Mould has grown on the inside of the lens and the pentaprism.
Unfortunately there’s not a real good story to it. It’s an Asahi Pentax S1 and the lens is an Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2. The camera needs some work as the shutter sticks when the weather isn’t warm. The lens is great and I used it to capture a few of the pictures in this article. I purchased it on Facebook Marketplace several months back for $30. They had used it as decor on a shelf for years, but decided that it was out of style I guess.
I saw an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP II w/Asahi Opt. Co SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens on eBay for $140. Considering getting it. Seller says it’s fully functional.
If it is indeed functional that might be worth getting. You could use the lens on your Fujifilm camera, as well.