My Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation Recipe

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Taking Out The Trash – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H is a color negative film that was first introduced in 2002 (originally named NPH400). It’s a popular print film that has survived the digital era, as Fujifilm continues to manufacture Pro 400H to this very day, while many other films have seen the chopping block. It’s a fine-grain (for ISO 400), natural-color, versatile film that’s especially good for weddings and portraits. I have used it a couple times myself, although not anytime recently. I do remember some of the idiosyncrasies of the film. Interestingly, the “H” in the name stands for “high speed,” which is the designation that Fujifilm gave to all their ISO 400 films.

I’ve tried in the past to create a Pro 400H recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, but I was never happy with the results. In fact, you might recall that I suggested Fujifilm include this as a new film simulation in future cameras. Recently a Fuji X Weekly reader, Mauricio, shared with me his settings for Pro 400H, and he asked my thoughts on it. I was able to try it out and I liked it! His settings were indeed close, although I felt it needed some tweaking to better mimic the film.

Anytime that you are attempting to recreate the look of a certain film with a digital camera, there are variables that make it difficult. How was it shot? How was it developed? Was it printed, and how so? Was it scanned, and how so? Those are common challenges, plus more. With Pro 400H, there is an additional challenge: the film can look much different depending on the light and exposure. There are several distinct looks that can be achieved using the film, and it’s not possible to recreate all of those aesthetics with a film simulation recipe. Despite all of the challenges, I do feel that I was able to create a look that is in the ballpark of the film, thanks to the help of Mauricio.

There were several compromises that I had to make. I tried many different things to get the aesthetics as close as I could. For example, the film is known for cool blueish shadows and a warm pinkish highlights. Split toning is not possible on Fujifilm X cameras. I could get the shadow color cast more accurate but at the expense of the highlight color, or I could get the highlight color cast more accurate but at the expense of the shadow color. The white balance shift that I settled on, which is the same one that was suggested to me in the first place, isn’t spot-on accurate for the shadows or highlights, but it’s a nice middle ground that’s close enough to both to be convincing. What you get is a cool color cast showing through in the shadows and a slight red color cast showing up in the highlights. The light and exposure of an image will change the look of it in a similar fashion to the actual film, although not completely the same. It’s as close as I could get it.

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Holiday Decor – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H film has a huge latitude in the highlights. You can overexpose it by three stops easily (maybe four) and get a good print. In fact, a lot of people purposefully overexpose the film because the colors turn pastel and the images become more warm and vibrant. The X-Trans III sensor has a lot of dynamic range, but it cannot hold up to a three stop overexposure. I found that DR200 is a good setting in many circumstances, but in high-contrast scenes, DR400 might be a better option. I used DR200 for all of the pictures in this article, but some might have benefited from the higher dynamic range setting. I think in high contrast scenes, in order to prevent clipped highlights, if you aren’t going to select DR400, perhaps set highlights to -1. I debated on whether +2 or +3 is the best setting for shadows. I think a +2.5 option would be most correct, but unfortunately that doesn’t exist. My recommendation would be to use +2 in higher contrast scenes and +3 in lower contrast scenes. I used +3 for all of the photos here.

Another setting that I debated on was color saturation. I settled on +4, which I think is the most correct for simulating slightly overexposed Pro 400H. An argument could be made that +3, +2 and +1 are also correct, depending on how the film was exposed and handled. If you think that +4 is too saturated for your tastes, simply find the color setting that works best for you. Pro 400H is definitely a tough film to make a recipe for. I think these settings are going to be your best bet for achieving a look straight out of camera that mimics the film’s aesthetic. Even though I captured these photographs using an X-T20, this film simulation recipe is compatible with all Fujifilm X-Trans III and IV cameras.

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Grain: Weak
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation recipe:

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Red Chairs In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Up From The Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Second Day of Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Frosted Trees & Winter Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Cold Neighborhood Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Some Lady’s Book Store – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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TV Fiasco – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Pierre’s Miniature Bakery – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Christmas Decoration – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Faith – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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FED 5c Rangefinder – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Bolsey Behind Bars – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Fake Grass In A Box – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Lavender & Twine – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Pentax & Fujifilm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Three 35mm Film Canisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Vase Arm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Red Fire Hydrant – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Neighborhood Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Dead Rose Bush Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Frozen Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Moon Rise Over The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Snow Dusted Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Mountain & Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Brick Wall Boy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Car Play – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Girl By The Window Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Green Night Shed – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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13 comments

  1. Luís Costa · December 23

    One of my biggest wishes for future X-series developments would be the implementation of in-camera split-toning, it would really open up a world of possibilities for the film simulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 23

      Yes, it sure would! I would definitely be on board with that. Seems like something that could be programmed without too much trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Khürt Williams · December 24

    Ritchie, the X-T2 can hold only hold 8 presets. Given your growing list of film simulation presets, how do use these in the field? Do you look at expected lighting conditions and “dial” in a few recipes? Do you have a standard set you always keep on camera?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 24

      I have a few that are saved in the Q menu (currently Kodachrome II, Velvia, 400H, Scala, Acros Push Process and Tri-X), then if I want to use something special I will add that recipe. Sometimes I will use a different recipe than what I planned. I have most of them memorized, but I’ve had to look a couple of them up while out shooting before.

      Like

      • Khürt Williams · December 30

        I like having only a few choices to reduce cognitive load. I think I’ll keep your Ilford HP5 preset and Dramatic Classic Chrome on hand.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Khürt Williams · December 30

        One more thing. I think that readers (including myself) would benefit from suggested guidance on when (general lighting conditions) for using each recipe. E.g. because CineStill 800T is colour balanced for tungsten so could be best used for night scenes. What do you think?

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · December 30

        The CineStill 800T recipe is a good option for night scenes, but you can also get some interesting results in daylight. It’s fun to see the different recipes used in different conditions. I’ve seen a few people use some recipes in conditions that I probably wouldn’t have used them, and the results were great. I will take your suggestion into consideration for future recipes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jo · December 27

    Amazing! I’ve just found your blog and I’m blown away by the quality of your recipes! I’m new to the X-T2 (and Fuji) and I’m wondering how you expose to get these results. I’ve been trying A for both Shutter and ISO but no way to +2/3 exposure compensation as I the image gets overexposed. Could you please explain? Many thanks in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 27

      Thanks so much! I typically shoot in aperture priority mode (shutter and ISO set to A), using matrix metering, although sometimes I use spot metering. I will take a test shot and look to see if the exposure compensation is correct or needs to be moved up or down. I hope this helps!

      Like

  4. Pingback: Fujifilm PRO Neg. Std Film Simulation Recipes | Fuji X Weekly
  5. William Turcios · 24 Days Ago

    You have an excellent blog my friend. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    I have an X-T20 and I would like to get results similar to Portra 160 or Portra 400
    Can you help me?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Film Simulation Recipes That Use Auto White Balance | Fuji X Weekly

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