Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Vintage Vibes

Autumn Aspen – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”

Accidents happen. Sometimes they’re happy accidents that lead to great discoveries, and sometimes they’re not. An example of one that wasn’t happy is when Omar Gonzalez accidentally used Classic Chrome instead of Classic Negative with the Agfa Vista 100 film simulation recipe. When I saw it, I thought, “You know, I’m going to make this mistake work, and call it ‘Agfa Vista Baby’—I just need to figure out what situations it works well in.” But, try as I might, Agfa Vista using Classic Chrome instead of Classic Negative just doesn’t look good. Sorry, Omar. An example of a happy accident is this recipe—it was discovered by mistake, but I’m very glad to have made that mistake.

You see, back in the fall I was shooting in Montana with what was at the time a brand-new yet-to-be-published recipe that’s now known as Kodak Portra 400 v2. Somehow I managed to accidentally change the film simulation from Classic Chrome to Classic Negative, and I shot a number of frames with this before I realized my mistake. As I reviewed the pictures I realized that the results were pretty good, and that this mistake was actually good fortune. As Lefty Gomez coined, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

What does this film simulation recipe resemble? Of course, since it’s based on the Classic Negative film simulation, it has a Superia-like aesthetic, as that is what Classic Negative is modeled after. But to me it feels more vintage than Superia. I kept thinking that I’ve seen this look before. Not every picture makes me feel this way, but some—Autumn Aspen, Mill Creek, Blossoming Branch, etc.—seem to have this vintage vibe that I recognize from somewhere. But where?

Yellow Spots – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”
Red on Pine – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”
Wet Red Leaves – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”

I was digging through some old issues of Arizona Highways Magazine, which, if you are unaware, is full of fantastic photography—Ansel Adams was a fairly regular contributor back in the day—and I found a very similar aesthetic on the pages of that magazine. From the mid-1960’s through the early-1980’s, there are images with this look, by numerous photographers. I did research in an attempt to discover what films were used for those pictures, but unfortunately that was largely a dead-end. I’m not sure if it’s a specific film that creates this look (and, if so, which one?), or if it’s a byproduct of the printing process that was used, or the fading ink, or a combination of all that, but this film simulation recipe, which I call “Vintage Vibes” for lack of a better name, can be, in the right situations, very similar. It’s also similar, in the right situations, to Fujicolor Superia. Whatever it looks like, it looks good, and I know that many of you will appreciate this recipe.

I’ve been wanting to get this recipe out for awhile. Sometimes it takes time. Now it’s finally ready! This “Vintage Vibes” film simulation recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4 cameras.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -2
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 5200K, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Vintage Vibes” film simulation recipe on my X100V and X-E4:

Trees & Dirt Cliff – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Forest Road – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Mill Creek – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blossoming Branch – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunlit Blossoms – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Windshield Water – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Johanna & Lens Flare – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Playing in a Dirty Kitchen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Heat Lamps – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tableware – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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  1. sirmarlondenon · April 21, 2021

    This is really nice!

  2. 18july · April 22, 2021

    They really look good — eapecially the yellows and skin tones. What would you say would be the closest similar simulation with similar warm tones for x-trans 3 cameras? Thanks!

  3. Don · April 25, 2021

    Just took it for a walk and yes, this is a keeper. Well, they are all keepers but there’s only so much room. The greens and reds are terrific! I can whip up Velvia in My menu settings, so this one goes in its spot. For now!

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 26, 2021

      Awesome! I’m glad that you like it. I appreciate the comment!

  4. Sönke · April 30, 2021

    Hi Ritchie!
    Thank you so much for your work you put into your project. Your new recipe is really lovely, spent a day at the coast and took some great shots with it.

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  10. Connor Howell · November 27, 2021

    Love these tones. I feel like using Classic Chrome to emulate Gold or Portra works very well but with Classic Negative it might be possible to get a little bit closer. The only issue is changing from the Fuji magenta highlight tones to the kodak gold highlight tones, but I wonder if this could be done with a WB shift such as in this recipe. I just preordered the xt30 mark ii and cant wait to get it to start experimenting with classic neg and eterna

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 28, 2021

      Classic Negative definitely has more of a Fujicolor feel, but it is interesting what you can get when warmed up a little. I appreciate the comment!

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  14. louisleung · August 9

    Any suggestions for X-Trans II (X70) ?

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 9

      You cannot replicate this Recipe on X-Trans II, unfortunately. Sorry.

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