I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my Fujifilm X-Trans III & IV film simulation recipes compatible with my X-T1 camera, which has an X-Trans II sensor. The X-T1 has the same film simulations as my Fujifilm X-T30, minus Acros and Eterna, but many of the customization options to fine-tune the image are different. For the X-T1, everything maxes out at plus and minus two, while X-Trans III & IV cameras can go to plus and minus four on many settings. There are other tools that the newer cameras have that the older ones don’t. The simple fact is this: X-Trans III & IV recipes aren’t directly compatible with X-Trans I & II cameras; can I recreate those recipes for the older models?
When I looked at the pictures that I captured with the different film simulations on my X-T1, it seemed like the results were different than with the same film simulations on my X-T30. Do the film simulations look different on different sensors? I did some tests to determine what is the same and what is not. I think there are some subtle changes, and you won’t get precisely the same results from X-Trans II as you will from X-Trans III and IV. It’s close, but not exact.
Something that I determined is that, with everything set at 0, X-Trans II has slightly darker shadows and X-Trans IV has slightly lighter highlights. It makes it seem like the pictures from my X-T30 are brighter than those from my X-T1, although mid-tones are identical. I made the mistake in the test below (with the exception of Provia) of trying to compensate for that by dropping the exposure by 1/3 stop on my X-T30, which made it darker than the X-T1. That overcompensated for the highlight and shadow difference, while making the mid-tones all wrong. Instead of lowering the exposure on the X-T30, I could have adjusted shadow and highlight by one (-1 Shadow and +1 Highlight) on the X-T1 to get a closer match. Actually, if I had adjusted shadow and highlight (+1 Shadow and -1 Highlight) on the X-T30, it would have been an even closer match, as I also discovered that +1 on the two cameras are different. I think that +1 on the X-T1 is equal to about +1.25 on the X-T30 (if it could adjust in 1/4 increments), and +2 is equal to about +2.5. I think that, because highlights have a brighter starting point on the X-T30, +2 Highlight is about the same on both cameras, while +2 Shadow on the X-T1 is actually closer to +3 on the X-T30. Interestingly enough, I think that -1 and -2 highlight and shadow on the two cameras are similar to each other, and with the same exact minus settings applied to both cameras, the X-T30 will have lighter highlights and shadows than the X-T1. Color on the X-T1 seems to move in +/-1.25 increments when compared to the X-T30, which means +2 Color on the X-T1 is in-between +2 and +3 on the X-T30, while -2 Color on the X-T1 is in-between -2 and -3 on the X-T30.
There’s another difference that I discovered between X-Trans II and X-Trans IV: the white balance is not the same. The X-T1 is actually slightly warmer, leaning towards yellow or yellow-green. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s not exactly the same, which means a slight adjustment will be required to the white balance shift for recreating recipes. What I anticipate as I attempt to translate X-Trans III & IV recipes for X-Trans II is that some will be easy, and some will be difficult or maybe impossible. Because there are less tools to work with on my X-T1, the aesthetic won’t be as precise, as it’s not as fine-tune-able. Despite that, I hope to have some good film simulation recipes very soon for those with older Fujifilm X cameras.
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