Fujifilm White Balance Shift: What It Is + How To Use It

White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +3 Red & +1 Blue. Fujicolor Superia 1600.

What is White Balance Shift and how do you use it on your Fujifilm camera? White Balance Shift is one of my favorite JPEG tools that Fujifilm has included on their cameras. It can have a big impact on the aesthetic of an image, and it’s a critical component of my Film Simulation Recipes. It’s one of those things that’s easy to overlook. In this article I’ll explain what White Balance Shift is and how to use it.

White Balance is the adjustment of color temperature (measured in Kelvin) to account for various light conditions, so that white objects appear white, and not yellow or blue or some other color. White Balance Shift is a tool to precisely fine-tune the White Balance. The intention of White Balance and White Balance Shift is to achieve a natural color balance that matches what the eye sees. But you can give your photographs whatever color balance you’d like—this is art; there are no rules.

How do you adjust White Balance Shift on your Fujifilm camera? It’s not immediately obvious, but quite easy once you know where it is. In your camera’s Menu select White Balance. Once in the White Balance Menu, arrow up or down to whichever White Balance you’d like to use, and then arrow right to adjust the White Balance Shift for that particular White Balance. Select OK to set.

Easy, right?

Now that you know how to adjust the White Balance Shift, let’s take a look at what it does to a photograph. The image below demonstrates the dramatic impact White Balance Shift can have on a picture:

Center: 0 Red & 0 Blue. Top-Left: -9 Red & +9 Blue. Top-Center: 0 Red & +9 Blue. Top-Right: +9 Red & +9 Blue. Center-Right: +9 Red & 0 Blue. Bottom-Right: +9 Red & -9 Blue. Bottom-Center: 0 Red & -9 Blue. Bottom-Left: -9 Red & -9 Blue. Center-Left: -9 Red & 0 Blue.

Those are examples of big White Balance Shifts, but what about subtle Shifts? Do they make a difference? Take a look at the picture below. The left image is without a Shift (0 Red & 0 Blue), and the right image is with a subtle Shift (+1 Red & -1 Blue). It’s not a huge change, but noticeable nonetheless.

Slide left and right to compare images.

Now let’s take a look at some less subtle White Balance Shifts and how it can change the aesthetic of a picture. The examples below are all Auto White Balance using various White Balance Shifts, which are prescribed in different Film Simulation Recipes. The specific Shifts and Recipes are listed under each picture.

Shift: +2 Red & -2 Blue. Recipe: Fujicolor Pro 400 Overexposed.
Shift: +2 Red & -4 Blue. Recipe: Vintage Kodachrome.
Shift: +5 Red & -6 Blue. Recipe: Eterna.
Shift: -3 Red & -8 Blue. Recipe: Cross Process.

As you can see, you can get many different color casts using White Balance Shift. In fact, Fujifilm gives you over 350 different options! You can get creative and mix a White Balance Shift with a White Balance that’s other than Auto. Below you’ll find some examples of this. The specific White Balance, Shift, and Recipe are located under each picture.

White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +2 Red & -5 Blue. Recipe: Kodachrome 64.
White Balance: Fluorescent 1 (Daylight Fluorescent). Shift: -3 Red & -1 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Vision3 250D.
White Balance: 6050K. Shift +3 Red & 0 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Ektar 100.
White Balance: 2650K. Shift: -1 Red & +4 Blue. Recipe: Jeff Davenport Night.

White Balance and White Balance Shift affect black-and-white pictures, too! You can manipulate how grey tones are rendered in an image using these tools. The picture below was captured using Acros+R. The version on the left has Auto White Balance and no Shift (0 Red & 0 Blue), while the one on the right has a White Balance of 4200K and a Shift of 0 Red & +9 Blue. Otherwise these two dramatically different images have identical settings.

Slide left and right to compare images.

Below are a few more examples of combining White Balance and White Balance Shift in black-and-white pictures. The specific White Balance, Shift, and Recipe are located under each picture.

White Balance: Auto. Shift: 0 Red & +9 Blue. Recipe: Monochrome Kodachrome.
White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +9 Red & -9 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Tri-X 400.
White Balance: 2750K. Shift: -5 Red & +5 Blue. Recipe: B&W Ifrared.

There’s one more application of White Balance Shift that I’d like to mention: Multiple Exposure photography. One example of White Balance Shift applied to Multiple Exposures, which is the first image below, is an exposure (the “main exposure”) made without a Shift, and then a second exposure of white paper or card-stock with a Shift applied. This gives the picture a faded color-cast aesthetic. Another example, which is the second picture below, is to capture two or more (for cameras capable of more than two) exposures, changing the Shift between exposures. This creates an abstract color rendering.

Shift: +9 Red & +9 Blue. Recipe: Faded Color.
Four exposures, each with a different Shift: +9 Red & -9 Blue; +9 Red & +9 Blue; -9 Red & -9 Blue; -9 Red & +9 Blue.

Most Fujifilm cameras do not have the ability to save White Balance Shifts within Custom Presets. Most of my Film Simulation Recipes require a Shift, yet you cannot save the Shift, so each time you change Recipes you must manually adjust the Shift. This is unfortunate, but thankfully Fujifilm has fixed this issue on the X100V (review here), X-Pro3 and X-T4! If you have one of those three cameras, you can save a White Balance Shift with each Custom Preset. As much as I love the new Clarity setting, Color Chrome Effect Blue, and the new Classic Negative film simulation, my absolute favorite new feature Fujifilm has added to their cameras is the ability to save White Balance Shifts. Thank you, Fujifilm!

White Balance Shift is an amazing tool on your Fujifilm camera! Found within the White Balance Menu, it allows you to fine-tune the color cast of your pictures. You can use this tool to customize your picture aesthetics. I use it extensively in my Film Simulation Recipes, both color and black-and-white, to achieve various looks. Without White Balance Shift many of my Recipes would not be possible. You can use it subtly or dramatically, with Auto White Balance or one of the other White Balance options.

Now you know what White Balance Shift is on your Fujifilm camera and how to use it. Now it’s time to get creative with it!


  1. rla1022 · August 19, 2020

    Hey there. Great article. I’m not sure if it is just me, but the first picture with the slider (tree and waterfall) the left side appears to be blurry.

    • WarpedTrekker · December 21, 2020

      I just got an X-E3. Latest firmware installed. It appears WB Shift can’t be saved in custom presets. I hope Fuji adds this capability.

      • Ritchie Roesch · December 21, 2020

        Unfortunately, you cannot save the WB Shift with the presets, except for the latest cameras: X-Pro3 and newer. I, too, wish Fujifilm would add this capability to “older” cameras.

  2. rla1022 · August 19, 2020

    Hey There, it looks like one of the images in the Tree and Waterfall pick comparison slider at the top of the article is blurry. Is the red/blue adjustment making it sharper? Or is that an issue with the image ? Or is it just me.

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19, 2020

      I think it’s a combination of the low-resolution files used, Flickr compression, and the WordPress tool. The picture isn’t blurry, but it definitely does look soft in the comparison slider.

      • rla1022 · August 19, 2020

        Ok. I at first thought I was seeing things and you came up with some AWESOME science to make it sharper with changing the Red / Blue.

      • Ritchie Roesch · August 19, 2020

        That would be pretty awesome. It would be interesting to experiment with. Maybe there is truth to it? I’ll do some 200% crops and see.

  3. Kenneth Peters · August 20, 2020

    Richie, great explanation and demonstration through the photos. Although I have not tackled making my own film simulations yet I can definitely see how these minor adjustments can help achieve the desired look. Thanks again. Definitely worth a bookmark.

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 23, 2020

      I appreciate the feedback! I’m glad that you found it interesting.

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  6. gregoirejeanneau · October 16, 2020

    Hey there! There is actually a workaround to save the WB shifts on older Fuji cameras (at least it works on my XT-2).

    How to do it: You need to set up your white balance in the main menu, before going into the “Edit custom preset” mode. Once there, use the first option “Save current settings” which will bring in your current camera settings including the WB shift. Then you can edit the rest of the preset and you’re done ✅

    It confused me at first, I thought this button would be saving my current preset, not bringing in the camera settings. But it was key when I was discovering your blog because there was no way I would set up the white balance manually every time

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17, 2020

      I’ve heard this a couple of times before, but when I have tried it on my cameras, it never worked. Not sure if it’s a quirk of the X-T2, or if I’m simply doing something wrong. I’m glad that it worked for you (and some others). Thank you for sharing!

      • Barrie · October 28, 2020

        It does NOT work on my XT-3 even with new firmware 4.00

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 28, 2020

        I’ve never been able to get it to work for me, either.

    • digital · January 24, 2021

      This is the way it works on my X-H1. Set the WB and other options (color, sharpness, film sim, etc.) on the main menu, then go into EDIT/SAVE CUSTOM SETTING, choose a custom # slot, and then SAVE CURRENT SETTINGS. This stores the current camera settings into the custom setting.

      • Ritchie Roesch · January 25, 2021

        But does it save the WB Shift (R & B)? In other words, if you have that same White Balance but with a different shift saved in another Custom slot, when you switch back-and-forth, does it remember the correct Shift?

      • vof1966 · June 9, 2021

        That’s the problem. My X-T3 doesn’t remember the correct shift when switching back-and-forth among different custom settings with THE SAME white balance type.

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 10, 2021

        That’s unusual. I’ve not encountered that issue before.

      • gregoirejeanneau · June 10, 2021

        My XT2 does the same thing, I can’t have presets using the same white balance (it only remember the last shift used).
        To work around that I use of the custom white balances. It’s sometimes inaccurate but I can always use the Fuji x raw studio to get the exact white balance after shooting

    • John S (@legendarypurple) · November 7, 2021

      I hope Fuji fixes this issue soon. Just seems inconvenient to have to manually change these for each recipe that may the same WB types. It limits the amount of recipes you can have at disposal on the Q menu.

      • Ritchie Roesch · November 9, 2021

        They fixed the issue starting with the X-Pro3, but they haven’t fixed it on any cameras older than that. I do have a solution, and the Fuji X Weekly App will help with it (just as soon as I finish the update and get it out, hopefully in a couple weeks).

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  9. Emil · December 20, 2020

    Hi! Thanks for the article.
    Does the white balance shift affect the RAF files or is it just the JPEG´s? I know that white balance do

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 20, 2020

      The WB Shift should not affect the RAW file, it doesn’t seem that Capture One attempts to apply it, anyway. But in RAW you can change the WB to whatever you want.

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  12. Erwin van Asperen · January 28, 2021

    Oh WoW! I only just today found out that on my X-Pro3 the Auto White balance is saved for a custom preset! I didnt know! To me that is (almost) worth the premium cost of this fantastic camera alone… It makes so much difference for my photo’s.

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 28, 2021

      Yes! This is amazing, isn’t it?! I talked to Fujifilm a couple times last year, and they asked me what was my favorite improvements in their latest cameras, and they seemed pretty shocked when I said it was the ability to save WB shifts in the custom presets. I don’t think they realized just how people would be using their cameras. I appreciate your comment!

      • Erwin van Asperen · January 28, 2021

        Ha thats amazing! I really appreciate all the great work you do with all the film profiles here! You gave me inspiration for using my cameras differently. Nowadays I fill all the slots of my custom presets with different styles for different days, subjects and light. It works a charm and is probably the nr 1 reason I like working with Fujifilm so much 🙂 you can check out my a bit of my work here: http://www.instagram.com/eva_photographynl or here: http://www.erwinvanasperen.com if youre interested. 🙂 thanks again!

      • Ritchie Roesch · January 29, 2021

        Awesome! Thank you for sharing! Nice photographs!

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  17. Harri · May 30, 2021

    I’ve been using your film simulations and getting some really pleasing results, thanks. Regarding white shift balance and my xe3. I know that the shift cannot be saved for each simulation I use. But I also thought I could use the one shift that would then apply to all. But when I get to the WBshift I can only either move and save the R, e.g +3 or move and save the B. How then am I to save +3 red AND +3 blue?

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 31, 2021

      Red is left (minus) and right (plus) on the grid, and Blue is up (plus) and down (minus). Use the up-down buttons on the D-Pad to adjust Blue. When you get both Red and Blue where you want them, select OK and it will keep it for that White Balance. I hope this helps!

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  19. Harri · May 31, 2021

    Ok Ritchie I got it now. Here’s where I was going wrong! e.g. +3 R and +3 B. I would go to the +3 R spot and then press okay to confirm that position. Result? Back to the menu having saved just the R! I didn’t realize that from the +3 R position I could then move the joystick to +3 B in the same movement! I thought I needed to click the red and blue spots separately. It has been really frustrating but now it’s such a relief to get it sorted. Many thanks Ritchie.

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  23. IA Dias · August 27, 2021

    Hey Ritchie, I’ve been struggling with one thing tho, you mention the Kelvin values for some specific recipes, but those aren’t changeable. So do you apply the shifts and then edit the Kelvin values in post? Cheers

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 27, 2021

      In the White Balance menu, select K, and then the specific Kelvin value.

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  27. Rico · January 13

    Do you know if it’s possible to save the wb shift to each preset on the X-T5? I have the X-T3 and thinking of upgrading

  28. braaacooo · January 29

    Hi Ritchie, thanks a lot for all the helpful content !
    Do you know how I can apply these WB shifts to RAW images in Capture One Express ?

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 30

      You cannot exactly. Capture One doesn’t have a four-corner fine-tuning shift, but a left-right hue slider. Film Simulation Recipes are meant for camera-made JPEGS, and don’t fully translate to RAW processing. Capture One (and Lightroom, etc.) applies its version of its interpretation of some (but not all) of the JPEG parameters, so it will never be exactly the same.

  29. Bruce Barrett · February 11

    Great info, thanks. Am I correct in thinking each time I change to a different custom setting that I then need to change the corresponding WB?

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      If two or more Custom Presets use the same WB type (Auto or Daylight or Kelvin, etc., etc.), then you will have to adjust the WB Shift when you change C1-C7 Custom Presets (unless they happen to share the same WB Shift). This is as long as you are using a camera older than the X-Pro3. If you are using an X-Pro3 or newer camera, this is no issue.

  30. Hans Lukasse · March 9

    Thank you Ritchie for your clear explanation. I am happy to own both the X100V and the X-T4. What I noticed using the custom recipes is that they affect the standard built-in film emulations too. For example when I switch from the custom recipe Creamy Color to the built-in emulation Classic Chrome, my photo has the same WB and WB shift as the Creamy Color. And thereby giving the same brownish effect on my photos. Until I switch the WB shift to normal. Annoying that the built-in film emulations don’t keep their own WB settings and shifts regardless the use of and switching from the custom film recipe settings. So every time I switch back from the custom recipes to the built-in emulations I have to adjust the WB settings. That is if they are different.
    Greetings from out of Holland.

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 9

      Oh, that’s strange. I don’t use any of the default C1-C7 presets that come with the camera, so I’ve never noticed this issue. Thanks for the comment!

      • Hans Lukasse · March 10

        Now I am confused. What do I miss? You don’t use the C1-C7 banks to store your custom recipes? I read several articles you wrote about storing custom recipes at one of the 7 banks. Or did I mistake this? I can’t believe I am the only one using this method to store custom recipes. And not the only one with the problems when switching to the standard built-in film simulations. I will read some of your articles again. As a non English speaking user, I perhaps must have missed something on the way…
        Thanks for your time.

      • Ritchie Roesch · March 10

        I use C1-C7 to store Custom Presets. I don’t use the default film simulations (with all the parameters set to 0, Off, or Auto) that come pre-loaded from the factory in C1-C7; instead, I replace all of those with Film Simulation Recipes. I hope that resolves the confusion.

  31. Jillian · August 9

    I’m having a hard time figuring out how to shift the R and B on my x70. Is this not possible on this model?

  32. Charles Meurice · August 30

    Hello Ritchie,
    Many thanks for all the info provided on your website !

    I recently bought a second hand X-E3 and based on your article, I looked around about the “White Balance Shift Issue” on X-Trans III cameras. And indeed I only have one slot for my recipes where I can use the “Auto White Balance” with specific settings. For the other recipes, what I usually do is to set a Custom White Balance and apply your White Balance Recipe to my film simulation.

    I was wondering then what is the main difference between “Auto White Balance with your recipe” or a “Custom White Balance with your recipe” ? I’m new in photography so maybe it’s a silly question…

    What the previous owner did was to put as C1, a Standard recipe (Everything at 0 or Off and the Auto White Balance at 0;0). He told me that like, by switching back to that recipe before using another Custom one, it resets my white balance and apply the correct… is it true or useful ? Because of that, I can only use 6 of my 7 customed slots.
    Many thanks !

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 30

      Custom White Balance is a custom measurement of the white balance. For example, if you are shooting a wedding, you can take custom WB readings using a grey card in the church, and another in the reception hall, and another in the dressing room. Then you have those custom WB measurements available when you move from one scene to the next. If the light changes, the custom WB will be inaccurate, and you’ll need to take a new measurement. It’s not a substitute for auto WB, unless you plan to take a new measurement in-between each shot.

      I don’t think the previous owner understood how the WB functions when switching between presets. The camera will remember one shift per WB type.

      This article might help:

      • Charles Meurice · 30 Days Ago

        Hello Richie,

        Thanks for the reply and the info !

        I indeed find the info regarding those custom WB measurements somewhere else on your website (Here : https://fujixweekly.com/2019/11/06/my-white-balance-shift-solution/ )

        Your link will also help me set-up correctly my film simulation !

        Thank again for what you’re doing here

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