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?
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.
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -4
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)
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