Something that Fujifilm introduced on the X-T3 and included on the X-T30 (and is also found on the GFX line) is Color Chrome Effect. This is not a new film simulation, but an effect that can be added to any film simulation. What exactly is this new feature? How does it change your photos?
The inspiration for Color Chrome Effect came from one of Fujifilm’s films: Fortia 50. Fortia was a short-lived color reversal (slide) film that was basically Velvia on steroids. It had more saturation and more contrast than Velvia 50, which is saying a lot because Velvia is known for its saturation and contrast. What the engineers at Fujifilm did to create Fortia was deepen the color shades so as to retain tonality in highly saturated areas. That’s essentially what Color Chrome Effect does.
Take a look at these pictures to see how Color Chrome Effect changes the image:
I don’t think that Color Chrome Effect is actually adding saturation or contrast (if it is, it’s only a little), but by deepening the colors and retaining color gradation, it appears to be doing just that. It’s a neat trick, especially when you have bright colors in a scene. It’s definitely useful, and I find it pairs with the Velvia film simulation particularly well. I like to also use it with Acros+R when shooting landscapes with a blue sky.
There are two Color Chrome Effect options: Weak and Strong. I like Strong more, but occasionally it is too strong, so I will go with Weak instead. I find that Weak looks nice with Classic Chrome, and so I have been using it with that film simulation. Each picture and shooting situation should be looked at individually to determine if Color Chrome Effect will benefit the photograph, and if Weak or Strong is the better choice.
While Color Chrome Effect is a slick feature, it’s not a game-changer. It’s not something that I imagine I will use with every image, but more when the situation calls for it. And perhaps the beauty of this effect is the subtle way it changes a picture. There’s not a dramatic difference between Off and Strong, let alone Off and Weak or Weak and Strong. I appreciate that. I’m still trying to decide how Color Chrome Effect might change any of my film simulation recipes. Once I figure that out I will let you know.
Below are some photographs I captured using Color Chrome Effect: