My Fujifilm X-T30 Dramatic Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe


The Obscurity of Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

A couple of weeks ago when I was discussing the possibility of Fujifilm creating a black-and-white only camera, something that I came to learn by accident is that the Monochrome film simulation is pretty darn good. On X-Trans III & IV cameras, I have always used the Acros film simulation because it is beautiful and has a film-like quality to it. But there’s something about the “old-fashioned” Monochrome film simulation that’s nice, as well. I had never made a Monochrome film simulation for X-Trans III & IV cameras, so I set out to do so.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so I decided that the best starting point was to revisit the iconic photographs of the great photographers from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s—people like Ansel Adams, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau, Weegee, Pual Strand, Elliott Erwitt and others. I realized that I was drawn to the high-contrast pictures that these photographers had created. I wanted to create a recipe that mimics that look in-camera. These settings, which I call Dramatic Monochrome, are what resulted from that.


Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

For those with X-Trans III sensors, which don’t have the Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get similar results, but it won’t be quite as dramatic. The difference isn’t very big, so don’t worry about it. I would consider using +2 for Sharpness on X-Trans III instead of +3. On X-Trans IV cameras, you could give a +1 toning for a subtle warm look, such as what would happen if you gave a print a quick Sepia bath.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0
Sharpening: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Dramatic Monochrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:


Chair Near a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


White Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Santa Fe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Young Piano Hands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Clouds Above The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Wasatch Ridge Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Lines In The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Clouds Over The Frosted Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


White Beyond Dark – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Frosted – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Darkness & Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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  1. Manten|Photography (@mantenphoto) · February 12, 2020

    Love it, now need to figure this out on the X100F 🙂

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 12, 2020

      You can! You just don’t have Color Chrome Effect, but that’s not a big deal.

  2. Steve · February 12, 2020

    Working hard to keep my custom film settings the same on the xt2 and the. X200f , looking forward to seeing how this one matches up.
    Great work, thank you

  3. Thomas Schwab · February 12, 2020

    Great blackandwhite recipe! Xpro3: added FX Blue Strong and Clarity +3.
    LG Thomas

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 12, 2020

      Thank you! I hope to someday try those X-Pro3 adjustments!

  4. Tae Kim · February 12, 2020

    Saw monochrome images with the X-Pro1 with the color filter removed and the images were gorgeous compared to a typical B&W/Mono picture. Theres something to be said for monochrome cameras with raw monochrome sensors.

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 12, 2020

      Yes, and even though it’s not for “most people” I do believe that there’s enough interest that Fujifilm should do it.

  5. Mark Crable · February 15, 2020

    Thanks for another B&W recipe to try out! Can’t wait to “load this film” into my X-T3 and give it a go.

  6. hugoac7 · February 27, 2020

    Thanks for your work! Do the xt30 recipes work on the xt3?

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 28, 2020

      They absolutely do!

      • hugoac7 · February 28, 2020

        Nice. Does your portra 400 recipe for the x100f work on the xt3 as well?

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 28, 2020

        Yeah, it’s completely compatible.

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  12. Roger Solbakke · June 9, 2020

    Thanks for a very interesting and useful blog Ritchie. And regarding this Dramatic Monochrome simulation, I used it for a day on my X100V and find it very interesting for strong and dramatic contrast. I’ve tried many of your recipes by the way, and several have become my favorites. They have also inspired me to try out my own ideas and I especially like a B&W with “old looks”. If you wish, I will be happy to send it to you!

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 9, 2020

      I appreciate the feedback and kind words! I’d love to see your recipe, feel free to share.

      • Roger Solbakke · June 10, 2020

        Here you are Ritchie:

        My Fujifilm X100V Vintage Acros Film Simulation Recipe, Inspired by Ritchie Roesch:
        Acros (STD)
        Monochromatic Color: WC +2, MG +2
        Grain: Weak, Large
        Color Chrome Effect: Weak
        Color Chrome Effect Blue: OFF
        White Balance: Auto, Red +2, Blue-2
        Dynamic Range: DR200
        Tone Curve: Highlight: +1, Shadow: +1
        Sharpness: -2
        Noise Reduction: -2
        ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
        Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3

        Three pictures with this Recipe:

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 10, 2020

        Looks great! I look forward to trying it out. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Wendy Laenen · June 16, 2020

    Top top top
    J’ai mis 7 “recettes” dont la noir et blanc “dramatique”. Elle est géniale pour les portraits 👍

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  15. Charles Z. Smith · November 2, 2020

    Thanks for these! When you say “(+Y, +R, +G)” is that just monochrome standard, or are you saying to pick whatever we like best, or is there a way to select all three? I can only select one at a time on the X-T4.

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 2, 2020

      Pick which one you like best. They’re meant to mimic the use of color filters on b&w film (yellow, red or green), or use the standard film simulation if you don’t want to mimic using a filter.

      • Charles Smith · November 8, 2020

        Got it, thanks!

  16. Drako · November 10, 2020

    Loving this look, really reminds me of Ferrania P30

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  19. TheTakingLens · April 9, 2021

    Setting up a few custom sims on my XT-3. Looking for a ‘standard’ bw and a ‘moody’ bw. I’m wondering how this recipe would translate to using AcrosR as the base, instead of standard mono, since Acros seems to be an attempt at moody/gritty already? I’m going to give it a try but turn the grain effect to weak or off since Acros has some grain baked in. Wondering if you have any thoughts on that or other suggestion for modifying? Thanks!

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 12, 2021

      Believe it or not, I think Acros is actually going to be slightly less moody. Acros has more subtle toning gradations. It’s a more of a “beautiful” b&w if that makes any sense. Definitely give it a try, though. I’d still add some Grain if you are going for moody. I’d also shoot at higher ISOs if you can, that will help add to the grittiness.

      • TheTakingLens · April 12, 2021

        Thanks. I’ll have to plug it in both ways and compare results. I set up a ‘standard’ BW sim and a “dramatic’ BW sim based on the recipes here yesterday and took a few test shots and I really like both. The dramatic recipe is pretty stark compared to standard, so not sure Id be able to tell the diff between the base sim modes.

      • Ritchie Roesch · April 12, 2021

        Awesome! If you post the pictures somewhere, be sure to share.

      • TheTakingLens · April 12, 2021

        Will do, was planning a short blog post about how I use sims alongside shooting raw for processing, with a link back here for the recipes! I shoot mostly BW for my own work, but set up some color recipes for other stuff/family images which I tend to use the jpgs for. Really excited to play with the recipes I added from your site. Thanks for all the hard work!

      • Ritchie Roesch · April 13, 2021

        I appreciate your kindness!

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  24. Joas · July 27, 2022

    In regards the Dramatic Monochrome, I see the recipe but how about the other settings?
    Dynamic Range: DR200
    Highlight: +4
    Shadow: +4
    Grain: Strong LARGE OR SMALL?
    Color Chrome Effect: Strong
    Toning: 0
    Sharpening: +3
    Noise Reduction: -4
    Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
    ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 27, 2022

      Lots of questions here.

      You can select Monochrome, Monochrome+Y, Monochrome+R, or Monochrome+G, whichever is most appropriate. This article might help:
      The article says “Acros” but just replace that word with “Monochrome” and it’s the same thing.

      No Monochromatic Color, unless you want it. The recipe doesn’t call for it.

      Color Chrome FX Blue Off. This recipe was created before CCEB was even a thing, and the X-T3 & X-T30 camera, which this recipe was made for, doesn’t have it. Also, CCEB doesn’t affect B&W.

      You’ll have to decide yourself if you want the Grain size to be Large or Small. The X-T3 & X-T30, which this recipe is intended for, doesn’t have Grain size as an option.

      The White Balance I use is Auto 0R & 0B, but feel free to try something else if you’d like. You might find this article interesting:

      D-Range Priority Off. You cannot use DR200 and D-Range Priority simultaneously—it’s one or the other—so if a recipe calls for a specific DR setting, it automatically means that D-Range Priority is Off, and if a recipe calls for D-Range Priority, the DR setting will automatically be disabled. It’s not possible to select both.

      Set Clarity to 0 (unless you want to try something like +2 or -2). The X-T3 and X-T30, which this recipe was intended for, doesn’t have Clarity as an option.

      You can use X-Trans III and X-T3/X-T30 recipes on your “newer” X-Trans IV cameras, but things like Monochromatic Color, Color Chrome FX Blue (plus Color Chrome Effect for X-Trans III recipes), Clarity, and Grain size, are all settings that will have to be resolved.

      I hope this helps!

  25. Amel Hadzic · September 8, 2022

    How come i cant se any grain in your images. You use grain effect Strong and iso up to 12800 and still i cant se grain in those images in this article.

  26. Alex · November 24

    Hello. What is the fundamental difference between monochrome and across? And does monochrome work as well with high iso (grain) as across?

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 25

      Monochrome is Provia with the color removed, while Acros was designed specifically as a B&W film sim. Acros has a little more gentle gradations, and is slightly less punchy than Monochrome. Acros has built-in Grain that’s a little different than the faux Grain options. I think Acros does do better at ultra-high ISOs (12800 and above) than Monochrome. I hope this helps!

      • Alexander · November 26

        I was able to establish that Acros has a slightly stronger micro contrast, which may make it seem sharper. Perhaps this is a consequence of the built-in grain.

      • Ritchie Roesch · November 26

        More micro-contrast but less overall contrast, if that makes sense. Not sure if that is a byproduct of the built-in grain or not.

  27. Giselle · January 26

    Hi great rreading your post

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