With the start of the new year I decided that I wanted to rethink my Fujifilm film simulation settings and make new recipes with each option. I wanted to start with Provia, not only because it’s the “standard” option on Fujifilm X cameras, but also because I’ve been asked many times to create a film simulation recipe that uses Provia as the base. I do have a film simulation recipe that uses Provia, but it’s definitely not for everyone. This one could actually be someone’s standard recipe on their camera.
I’ve never been a fan of the Provia film simulation on Fujifilm X cameras, partly because the film simulation looks very little like the film that it derives its name from. Curiously, Provia film actually more closely resembles the Astia film simulation and Astia film more closely resembles the Provia film simulation (although neither are close to being an exact match). I don’t think Fujifilm ever considered making the Provia film simulation resemble the film that it was named after or really any film, they just wanted to use the trademark name for their standard setting. The Provia film simulation is designed to give generally pleasing results to the masses. Some people love it, but I personally find it to be the least interesting of the color options available.
While I never intended to mimic the look of any specific film with this recipe, I think that it fairly closely resembles Agfa Optima 200. If you are looking for an Agfa Optima recipe, look no further! Agfa made many different films over the years. They were never as big as Kodak or Fujifilm, but they weren’t that far behind, either. Agfa Optima 200 was a color negative film that was introduced in 1996, replacing AgfaColor XRS 200, and was discontinued in 2005. I never used this film myself, but I have seen it in person and on the internet plenty of times, so I have a good idea of what it looks like. Even though I didn’t intend to recreate the look of a film with this recipe, the fact that it happens to resembles one is a very happy accident. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
I’ve found that this particular film simulation recipe looks best when using an ISO between 1600 and 3200. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use a lower or higher ISO, because I certainly do, but for some reason that ISO range seems to produce the most pleasing result. I have flirted with the idea setting the ISO range to be between 1600 and 3200, but I have yet to do that. This recipe says to set ISO to Auto up to ISO 6400, but please don’t feel like you have to set it to that just because that’s what settings I typed out. As always, choose what works best for you and your photography.
Dynamic Range: DR100
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs made using this Provia film simulation recipe:
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I love your recipes and have been trying them all out recently.
I really appreciate the time taken to release these for us all to use.
I’m using the xt3 and saving the presets the only thing I can’t figure out how to do is to dial in the custom white balane for each preset as I can only use auto and not the specific blue and red alterations. Is there a way to do this when I build the recipes or do I just have to try and remember the rough white balance and dial it in when choosing a simulation.
Thank you so much! I really wish that custom white balance shifts could be saved with each preset, but unfortunately you cannot. I hope that someday Fujifilm will allow this. It doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult to program the cameras to allow it, I assume that they don’t realize that this is an issue.
You can just manually set the WB and shift as usual and then select that WB in Edit Custom Setting and it will be saved with shift.
Just so I understand, you are not talking about AWB, but custom white balance, correct?
Do you find the reds render very differently on an x trans IV? I’m using this recipe and finding reds very orangey.
No, the differences in X-Trans III and IV is very small. I haven’t noticed a significant difference in how reds are rendered. Every camera sensor is a little different, but X-Trans III and IV are probably the closest.
Hi. I appreciate your work but I don’t understand how can you change the color of one film simulation. To create near perfect film simulations other than ones already made is impossible, because you cant change the colors, you can only change the intensity. It would be far better if you used all that passion and say made lightroom presets. Because you could achieve much closer and better results. And.. you can earn money by selling them. These presets are like toys far from what can be achieved making a preset in lr which can actually really and I mean really look like a film.
Thank you for the comment! My preference is to achieve desired results in-camera without the need for Lightroom, and that’s the point of these recipes. You are right in that the tools provided by Fujifilm are limited, and you can do so much more in-software. I’ve had many people tell me that I should create some Lightroom (or Capture 1) presets, so maybe that’s something I should look into. I appreciate the suggestion!
I also prefer to use the results from the camera (or X-RAW Studio), without having to spend time in a tool like Lightroom. But then, in the past I also sent my color films to a lab to have them developed and printed there 😉 So I really appreciate the work you’re doing!
I appreciate your encouragement and support!
Hi Ritchie, will you be working on this recipe but for the X100V or T4 to add Ccfx, ccfxB Clarity changes??
I’ve used it on the X100V, adding Clarity +2, CCE Strong, CCEB Off, and Grain size Large.
Thank you, I will try those changes.
I went out to a park and put this film simulation in my x-70 and I absolutely adored the colors. Especially the greens. I can’t put my fingers on it but green colors such as grass looks absolutely lovely. I have also used this when taking photos during blue hour and I love how it renders those dark blues and purples, Really great job on this it’s one of my favorites!
So glad to hear it! Thanks for the kind words and feedback!
Here are a few photos I took using this recipe on the Fujifilm X-T4 … https://youtu.be/Q2p3oNG40D8 📷..
Thank you for sharing!