New Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation + X-Trans IV Nostalgic Negative Recipe!

Winter Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Nostalgic Negative”

The upcoming Fujifilm GFX100S has a brand new film simulation called Nostalgic Negative. Even though this camera hasn’t even been released yet, I’ve had many requests to create a film simulation recipe for it. That’s a tough challenge because there’s so little about Nostalgic Negative that’s known and very few sample pictures floating around the internet.

Back when Eterna was new—before I had a chance to try it myself—I made a faux “Eterna” recipe, and it turned out to be not particularly close. Even though it didn’t faithfully mimic Eterna, it’s one of the more popular recipes on this website. When Classic Negative first came out, I made a faux “Classic Negative” recipe, and even though it also turned out to be not particularly close, I’ve had several people tell me that it’s their favorite recipe. There’s two important points to this: 1) this “Nostalgic Negative” recipe will likely turn out to be an inaccurate facsimile to the real Nostalgic Negative film simulation and 2) there are people who love it anyway. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into what Nostalgic Negative is and how you can achieve a similar aesthetic on your Fujifilm X camera.

Watch and Jewelry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Nostalgic Negative”

Fujifilm stated that the Nostalgic Negative film simulation is based on “American New Color” photography of the 1970’s. They studied photographs by William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and Richard Misrach in order to create it. Eggleston and Sternfeld largely shot on Kodachrome—II and X in the early 1970’s, 25 and 64 in the late ’70’s—while Shore shot mostly Kodacolor, and Misrach shot a lot of Vericolor. All of those are Kodak films, but with different aesthetics. These four photographers had different styles and different darkroom processes, and they each had a unique look; the commonality that Fujifilm found was an “overall atmosphere based on amber.” That’s a basic explanation of what Nostalgic Negative is.

I didn’t count, but I’d estimate that I found about 20 examples of the Nostalgic Negative film simulation on the internet. I noticed that there were some large discrepancies between the pictures, as some looked much different than others. I wondered if the default settings were used on some images and not others, and if some of them weren’t straight-out-of-camera but had received some level of post-processing. I also wondered if Nostalgic Negative behaves similarly to Classic Negative in that the aesthetic changes a little depending on the exposure. There’s a lot of uncertainty to what exactly the new film simulation looks like. Overall, I think you can expect something along the lines of Eterna gradation, the Classic Chrome color palette (however, with a warm shift), and vibrancy a little beyond Astia. Low-contrast, high-saturation and warm is a quick synopsis of Nostalgic Negative.

Reflected Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Nostalgic Negative”

Interestingly, there are some already existing film simulation recipes that come close to Nostalgic Negative. My Eterna recipe (and there are versions for X-Trans II, X-Trans III and X-Trans IV cameras) is almost identical to one of the aesthetics that I found in the sample pictures. The contrast is likely slightly too high in those recipes, but it’s very close. For some other sample pictures, I thought that the Kodachrome 64 recipes (the X-T1 recipe, the X-T30 recipe and the X100V recipe, but especially the X100V version) are pretty darn close. For some other pictures, the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe looks quite similar, while this Kodacolor recipe looks close to some others. I think that my Kodak Gold, Kodachrome II, Kodak Ultramax (both for X-Trans III and X-Trans IV), Kodak Ektar, Kodak Portra 800, Kodak Portra 400 (both X-T30 and X100V), Kodak Portra 400 v2 (both the X-T30 recipe that’s only available right now to Patrons on Fuji X Weekly App and X100V), and Polaroid (although perhaps increase Color) have some similarities to Nostalgic Negative. If you have an X-Trans II, III or IV camera, you already have some options that are in the neighborhood of this new film simulation, so don’t fret that your camera doesn’t have it. You’ll just have to decide which option you like best.

Speaking of your camera not having Nostalgic Negative: it’s not coming to X-Trans IV, in my opinion. Fujifilm said, “For Nostalgic Negative, Fujifilm needs a large sensor. It can’t be implemented simply to APS-C. Fujifilm needs time to develop Nostalgic Negative for the APS-C system.” To me, that’s code-speak for, “Expect it on X-Trans V cameras.” Of course, Fujifilm hasn’t announced that sensor yet, so they can’t talk about it, but that’s where I would expect to see it.

Stop 11 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Nostalgic Negative”

I don’t know if this new recipe that I created will turn out to be accurate to Nostalgic Negative. Most likely not, but I hope that you like it anyway. I chose Clarity -5 because that’s the best I could do for imitating the gradation of Eterna, but feel free to use -4 or -3 if you feel that -5 is too much for your tastes. On cameras that can adjust by .5, I would consider setting Shadow to -0.5 instead of 0. This recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and (the upcoming) X-E4.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: 0
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -5
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new “Nostalgic Negative” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Red Soccer Ball – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Suburban Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Sky & Garages – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
JP Elect – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Bear in the Snow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Boy & Bear – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Red Brick Building – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Waiting Girl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
City Fountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Last Light Through Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Mirror Image – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Window Light on Chair – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Joshua’s Space – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
X-T1 on a Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Film Drawer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Colorful Pens – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Garage Globe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Jon’s Hands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Evening Park Joy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Rainbow Rays – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Autumn Sun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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37 comments

  1. coolmikado · February 7

    Looks great! I’m waiting for my X100V to give it a try…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fan · February 7

    Thank you for your effort you have done for us. I really appreciate your help. I am certain that this site is the most effective for beginners to satrt fuji. Whatever you have done for many people can not be replaced. Very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vernon Szalacha · February 7

    Nice attempt Ritchie but have you considered using a ColorChecker for these simulations? Even a print of a large color chart like a HALD CLUT file could be of use when you make something closer to a real film like Portra. I was just thinking of the possibility of shooting a picture of the color chart with the film and digital (with Fuji cameras) side by side to have a reference point to match. And then in the Fuji X RAW studio you can make the adjustments while the film photo on the side of the screen can be the reference. Using a color dropper you can make sure that you’re getting a lot closer than your eye can. I just think if accuracy is the aim, that might be the closest way to get there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 7

      Well, maybe. Test charts are far from real world. Film can look different depending on how it’s shot, developed, scanned, etc. Besides that, Fujifilm cameras (including X RAW Studio) have limited options, so 100% accuracy is impossible. But… there’s been a couple of times I’ve been able to do side-by-side comparisons of film and Fujifilm X, and that’s been helpful. So maybe the chart could be helpful sometimes. I appreciate the suggestion!

      Like

  4. Marc Beebe · February 7

    Just an opinion but … the first two images seem to make the best use of this formula. I have noticed with several of the simulations that the colours and tone of the image itself has an influence on the effectiveness of the result. This happens with film too, of course, but it’s something to keep in mind when shooting digitally as well: certain scenes will make better use of the adjustments than others (to look at it inversely from how we go about shooting).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 7

      I agree! Some subjects and/or light situations will fit better with certain recipes. It’s important to pick the right recipe for the scene, which can be tricky. I try to include a variety of situations with each recipe, so that you can see where it works well and where it maybe looks alright but not great. Hopefully that’s helpful to deciding when a recipe might be the best choice. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  5. X Ram · February 11

    There is or was a fuji recipes app on Google app store, that isn’t yours Ritchie, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      No, that wasn’t mine, I had no association with it. It was mostly my recipes used without citation or permission. My Android app is almost done, it’s on the final stretch before being released.

      Like

  6. Elton · February 11

    Thank you for your sharing. Can you tell me which exposure metering system are you using when you use those recipes? Because the results can be very different between each exposure metering mode. Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      That’s a great question. Most of the time I use Multi, but sometimes Spot. The “typical” exposure compensation suggestions are intended to be a starting point to get you in the right direction, but each exposure should be judged individually.

      Like

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  9. Benji · February 16

    I have to say I’m loving this new recipe on my X100V. I used it combined with some bounce flash to shoot pictures of my new board child over the week and I absolutely loved the results. I think this might be my favorite simulation for the X100V yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Connor Lengkeek · February 19

    Beautiful recipe! I am eager to see the photos come out with the news sim once enough people own the new camera. I have actually been using a similar recipe in my xt20. I have been watching the old godfather movies this month and love the colour of the old Kodak film stock. I was able get fairly close with chrome, wb 2,-3. H-1 S0, colour +4, grain high, sharpness -2, NR-4, and then exposure compensating so the shadows are dark but not black usually -1/3. Might be a good option for people with older sensors

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 21

      Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing! I’m also eager to see more photos captured with Nostalgic Negative. I’m not sure we’ll see a whole lot from the GFX camera, but once it’s on an X camera, we should see a lot of examples.

      Like

  11. Liu Huaqing · February 21

    Thank you for your generous job. I am your Chinese new fan. One question confuses me is that can I use the X-trans IV’s Nostalgic Negative for my XE3(X-trans III).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 22

      No, unfortunately you cannot. Sorry. I appreciate your encouragement!

      Like

  12. gunther geeraerts · March 17

    Thanks for this nice film simulation!I tried it during the last week on my XPR 3 and I like it a lot!
    I hired begin this mont the new GFX 100S where the nostalgic negative can be chosen as a jpeg setting.
    when using this on the GFX , the aspect is somewhat different from the fujixweekly film sim., which appears to be much warmer than the GFX which is more subtle.I like the GFX selection more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 19

      I hope to someday see more examples of Nostalgic Negative. It’s probably possible to get closer to it, but I haven’t seen enough examples. I’m glad that you like this recipe!

      Like

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  14. Justin · May 18

    Hi Ritchie

    How would you adapt this to the XT30 as we don’t have the Clarity or Color Chrome Effect Blue settings.

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 19

      For Clarity, you could use a 1/4 Black Pro Mist or 10% Cinebloom filter to simulate the effect. Otherwise, try -2 Highlight, -1 Shadow and -2 Sharpness. For Color Chrome FX Blue, you can’t really do anything about that, but consider adjusting WB Shift to +3R and -4B.

      Like

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  16. George M · July 17

    Thanks for this. I’ve used it on my X-T2 (omitting the things I can’t adjust on my older camera) and am very pleased with the result. I’ve used it two days in a row and think it might become my go-to recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jordan · July 30

    Hey Ritchie! Did you update the recipe since Nostalgic Neg was released? I think in your article above you say you are guessing since it hadn’t been released yet. I also feel like people have had luck checking out the GFX simulations (like Nostalgic) in Lightroom by changing an x100v or X-Pro 3’s EXIF data to a GFX camera with that simulation so it shows the simulation. You’re such a pro at this – would love to see your recipe thoughts after looking at the actual Nostalgic Neg simulation. Let me know if you have a sec. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 30

      I haven’t had a chance to. The issue with Lightroom (or any software) is that their version of the film simulation is likely a little different. I had a conversation recently with a top photo editing software engineer about this topic, and, because Fujifilm doesn’t give away their “secret sauce”, it’s not as an exact science as one would think. Obviously they (Lightroom, etc.) are good at what they do and get pretty close, but it’s not going to be 100% the same. It’s not going to be 100% the same recreating the film simulation with another, so maybe it doesn’t matter. But I would love to be able to use the film simulation to understand exactly what it is doing. I appreciate the suggestion!

      Like

      • jordanrubin · July 30

        Awesome. Thanks for the quick response. Which film simulation is your favorite for skin tones (your recipe or Fuji’s)? I’m a Fuji nerd but partial to Canon at times for skin tones. My fav skin tones are modern Canon or Kodachrome film in the 70s. The X100v Chrome simulation is one of my favs… for everything but skin tone. I was hoping nostalgic neg would nail it.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · July 31

        I prefer PRO Neg. Std for skin tones. I think any can be fine situationally, but PNS is pretty consistent. That’s my top choice.

        Like

  18. Khürt Williams · 12 Days Ago

    It sucks that despite having the X-Trans IV sensor, the X-T3 lacks Color Chrome Effect Blue and Clarity settings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

      I 100% agree! The X-T3 is a premium model, it should be given these things by Fujifilm via a firmware update.

      Like

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