3 Ways To Use Film Simulation Recipes

Suburban Home – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Free College – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Hole in the Wall – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
33 RPM – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Joshua Wall – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

There’s no right or wrong way to do photography. One technique or method might work for one person but not another. Whatever works for you is what you should do. With that in mind, I can think of three ways that you can approach using film simulation recipes on your Fujifilm camera.

The SOOC live video series that Nathalie Boucry and I are doing focuses on one of those approaches: straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. Shoot JPEG (or RAW+JPEG) with your recipe of choice, and use the unedited or lightly edited pictures (crops and very minor adjustments) that come out of the camera (which is one-step photography). This is probably the most common way to use film simulation recipes, and this is the method that works for me, as it saves me a lot of time (which allows me to be more productive), and I find it to be more fun. Shooting RAW and using X RAW Studio is a similar approach, although it does add a step to the process.

The photographs at the top of this article, which I captured over the last two days, are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs (aside from some minor cropping on a couple). The recipes that I used for those pictures (the top three are one, the bottom two are another) are future recipes that will be published on this website (and the app) soon. The entirety of my post-processing workflow was simply this: 1) transfer the pictures from the camera to my phone, 2) crop the pictures that needed to be cropped, 3) upload them to my online storage. Done.

Another option is to shoot RAW with a recipe and post-process the pictures using a software like Lightroom, Capture One, RAW Power, Exposure, etc., etc.—the software will apply its interpretation of many (but not all) of the JPEG settings to the RAW file (obviously each program is a little different). This gives you a head start with your editing, as you’re already 70% “there” when you start, and you just need to finish it. This is a great way to speed up your workflow without losing the flexibility of RAW.

Another approach is a mix of the first two: shoot JPEG (or RAW+JPEG) and edit the JPEGs using a software like Lightroom, Capture One, VSCO, Exposure, etc. This might sound like an odd approach at first (why not just shoot RAW if you’re going to edit?); however, if you like the way the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs look, and feel only minor refinements are required to achieve the exact aesthetic you desire, this is a good option. The JPEG is 90% “there” and just needs small adjustments to finish. This is my wife, Amanda’s, preferred approach. This is also what Vuhlandes describes in the video below.

Whether you rely strictly on straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, or you edit your JPEGs, or you post-process your RAW files, film simulation recipes can be used on your Fujifilm camera to help you get the look that you want. There’s not one path that is right for everyone. What’s important is that you find the method that works for you. Hopefully, no matter your preferred process, there’s something on this website that you have found helpful in some way to your photography. If so, let me know in the comments! Also, tell me how you use film simulation recipes—which of the three method works best for you. Or, if you have a different approach that I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear it.

37 comments

  1. fotoeins · July 18, 2021

    1st: thanks for your posts and recipes!

    2nd: with the Fuji X70 + Kodachrome64, I make both JPG+RAW, with the latter as primary backup for full illumination information. I edit the JPGs by correcting for geometric distortion and alignment, adjusting the low-to-high stretch, and cropping “edges” or to square-dimensions.

    * https://fotoeins.com/2021/07/05/fujix70-kodachrome64-filmsim/

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 18, 2021

      Awesome! Your photographs are great! Thank you for sharing.

      • fotoeins · July 19, 2021

        Thank you very much, Ritchie!

  2. OngTK · July 18, 2021

    I shoot RAW+JPEG on my Fujifilm X-T4 using one of Fujixweekly film simulation. I would have seven of these simulations installed on my camera and uses them depending on lighting conditions and/or suitable application of the environment.

    Lately, I am very much focused on Kodachrome and have several versions loaded in my camera.

    Checkout my work on Instagram @tkphotosz and I looked forward to your sharing and comments.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 18, 2021

      That’s great! I’m so glad that you like them. Your pictures are very nice!

  3. Francis.R. · July 18, 2021

    I shoot only in raw. I take my time with the first two or three photos at the beginning of a series of 15 or more taken when visiting some place. I choose among the recipes that are my favorites and just in case trying others which I am not that familiar, from them one is the winner and just apply the recipe to the rest in the series. I don’t use the raw converters I have just. Sounds complicated but it is not, as most of the settings as shadows, highlights or color are already in my preference, I just try combinations of white balance and film simulations.
    I have three raw converters purchased along the years, I could use them but my X100s is not supported for the film simulations, so the photos would have the color signature of those programs rather than the Fujifilm colors which I like.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 18, 2021

      Thanks for sharing your workflow! It’s always interesting to learn other people’s methods. It’s great that you have something that works for you!

  4. Khürt Williams · July 18, 2021

    I’ve noticed that while I enjoy using JPEG’s for social media, i very rarely download the JPEG from the memory card. I prefer the RAW workflow I’ve created over the decades. I enjoy doing the work to get my image where I want it to be.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 19, 2021

      Awesome! There’s no right or wrong way, only what works for you and your photography. I’m so glad that you’ve found it.

  5. Chantel · July 19, 2021

    i shoot RAW on my X-T3 for professional shoots, and i shoot JPEG on my X-T10 for personal snaps. still playing around with recipes on the X-T10… haven’t found one that’s juuuuussst right yet.

    Xx http://theactivespirit.com/

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 20, 2021

      Awesome! Nice pictures, btw. Thanks for sharing!

  6. TheTao · July 19, 2021

    Great article! And your film recipes have really helped me fall in love with the Fuji system, thank you so much. As for workflow currently, it’s probably close-ish to number 1. The caveat being I turn off the clarity option in my x100v because it slows down the camera by so much. I then reapply clarity in the in camera processing on that shots i like. I actually keep a notebook with all my favorite recipes and their clarity setting haha.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 20, 2021

      It’s great that you have a process that works for you! I’ve been hoping that Fujifilm would figure out a way to speed up Clarity via a firmware update.

    • zodiacg · July 22, 2021

      i’m taking similar approach, sooc jpegs without clarity. could you please tell me how to reapply it in camera? i’m using XE4 which should be similar. i haven’t figured it out and also not sure how to apply clarity or similar effects in mobile app/ pc software

      • saladrax350 · July 22, 2021

        I think clarity in Fuji land is a bit different. But yeah you can either reapply clarity in Fujifilm X raw studio OR you can do it in camera. In the playback menu, scroll over to the image you want and press Q button or menu to get to the raw conversion option and scroll down to clarity to reapply.

      • saladrax350 · July 22, 2021

        I think clarity in Fuji land is a bit different, so your mobile/pc app may apply a different than intended affect. But yeah you can either reapply clarity in Fujifilm X raw studio OR you can do it in camera. In the playback menu, scroll over to the image you want and press the Q button or menu to get to the raw conversion option and scroll down to clarity to reapply.

      • Ritchie Roesch · July 22, 2021

        If you shoot RAW+JPEG, while reviewing images on-camera, simply hit the Q button, and it will allow you to reprocess the picture in-camera, at which point you could adjust Clarity. I hope this helps!

      • zodiacg · July 24, 2021

        Thanks! I’m currently using JPEG only since I rarely use RAW. I’ll try keeping JPEG+RAW for some recipes.

      • Ritchie Roesch · July 25, 2021

        I appreciate the input! I did shoot JPEG exclusively for about a year, but found that creating recipes is so much easier with RAW+JPEG. I pretty much only use the JPEGs, though, aside from in-camera RAW processing when creating recipes.

  7. franzhillreiner · July 20, 2021

    I find so much inspiration in your articles and recipes, thank you so much!

    You briefly mention your workflow on your mobile phone. I do the same and I’m still experimenting with different apps. I use Lightroom, but at times I feel it’s overkill for cropping my JPEGs 🙂
    What tools are you using and what’s your standard flow?

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 20, 2021

      So on my iPhone I use the Photos app (that comes default on the phone) to crop. That’s 95% of the post processing that I do. Occasionally, in that same app, I’ll adjust Exposure, and less commonly Highlight, Shadow, etc., but not for most pictures. I have Snapseed, RNI Films, and RNI Aero, although I use these pretty infrequently (and most commonly with camera-phone snaps). My post-processing workflow is as simple and quick as it gets, I think, and my app of choice is the Photos app. I hope this helps!

      • franzhillreiner · July 23, 2021

        Thanks for taking the time to reply Ritchie!

  8. Carl Anderson · July 22, 2021

    I don’t shoot RAW too often, just because of the “tyranny of choice” which follows when processing. The only time I do is when I know for sure I’ll need a bit of help with exposure latitude, recovering highlights and shadows from a tricky lighting scenario. The rest of the time, I use jpgs from the camera: color film sim which is a mashup of your Portra 400 and Kodachrome 64, a variation of your pushed TriX for BnW, and your Velvia film sim for, well, those obvious Velvia shots.

    My only gripe is, I’m still never satisfied with the SOOC jpegs. They always seem a bit flat need a bit more with work to my eye. Like they have a haze which needs to be scraped off. I usually add more contrast, slightly adjust highlights and shadows, and add tonal contrast for more pop. Wish I could bring myself to skip those steps, but my SOOC photos just don’t seem complete until I do.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 22, 2021

      So it’s more like the third method most of the time. I think that’s great–it’s how Vuhlandes (and my wife, Amanda) typically does it. Nothing wrong with that, since it works for you. Thanks for the input!

  9. Agustín Vera · July 25, 2021

    “the software will apply its interpretation of many (but not all) of the JPEG settings to the RAW file”
    Where is this setting in Lightroom?

    • franzhillreiner · July 25, 2021

      I’m using LR Mobile and there’s an import setting where you can specify that LR should apply camera settings to all imported RAWs. I think this only applies the film simulation, but not the settings for highlights, shadows, color, etc.

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 26, 2021

      In Capture One it’s automatic. In Lightroom, I believe there is a place to toggle it, but I’m not proficient enough to know exactly where to find it.

  10. Ulrich · January 16, 2022

    Hi there! I recently bought the X100V and I really do like your recipes. I’m thinking of another way to use them but not sure if that is possible. I would like you use the settings you get on a JPG, for post processing. But I would like to work at least on a TIFF file, since the files are much more flexibel in use and editing.
    I use Capture One before going to PS. But the Raw (especially with BW simulations) is still kinda far from the JPG version. With the Fuji Raw Converter I can also only export JPG’s since the camera’s engine is restricted to JPG.
    I think only the X Pro Series cameras can export TIFF files form the Fuji converter I guess.
    Thanks,
    Ulrich

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 18, 2022

      I really wish that the TIFF option was available on all Fujifilm cameras. I would probably choose it over JPEG if it was available, but I do feel the JPEGs are pretty good and the TIFF isn’t necessary, but the extra bits of data are always good. I hope Fujifilm changes this in the future. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Ying · February 23

    Since I don’t have other friends using fuji camera, this post solves my doubt of several years!

    The ideal and most commom workflow for me is the 1st one.
    If I am not satisfied with the original sooc photo, I will edit the raw file in capture one (and maybe use the film simulation function inthe software).

    However, last month, I tried the third method which I thought was odd before (by transporting my sooc photos to my iphone and then edited them directly in the default photo app.) I t turs out that this method is efficient and it makes the photos look nicer as well! Now I can post my photos on instagram faster and well edited.

    Thank you for your sharing

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 23

      You are very welcome! Happy to be helpful 😀

  12. Matthew Bucknall · 26 Days Ago

    Is there a way to change the recipe applied to the JPEG after you have taken the image. For example you shoot with a C1 custom setting and want to see when it looks like with C2 or C3 etc. applied to the image in camera? If so how would you do that? Thanks! 🙂

    • Ritchie Roesch · 25 Days Ago

      Yes and no. If you shoot RAW+JPEG, you can reprocess the file in-camera (or with X RAW Studio); however, 1) the DR setting you shot with may limit which Recipes can be applied (if you shot with DR100, only DR100 will be available, if you shot with DR200, only DR100 and DR200 will be available, etc.) and 2) you have to manually enter all of the parameters of the Recipe, and cannot just select (for example) C2. So you can represses the file in-camera with a different Recipe to an extent, but you cannot quickly see what it would look like with the different C1-C7 presets applied. I hope that makes sense.

  13. Lucien · 17 Days Ago

    Hello,
    I’m new to fujifilm (and to the photography world !). I have some questions… If I use the recipes, is the RAW file as “good / editable” as it would be without the recipe ?
    I love to use the recipes from your app but I also want to be able to edit them as if I was shooting a “classical way”.
    I only want to sometimes have cool photos with recpies that I can post direcly from the camera, but also be able to edit from the begining. Should I then use only RAW with recpies (and if I want to post one directly export it in JPEG from the RAW Conversion setting on camera) or in JPEG + RAW ? Or is that the same at the end ?
    Thanks ! 🙂

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      The only JPEG setting that I’m aware that affects the RAW file is DR, and I have no idea why it does, but it does.

      https://youtu.be/RjjCa73XxsY

      For the other settings, the RAW editor of choice will try to apply its version of its interpretation of some (but not all) of the JPEG settings to the RAW, but being RAW 1) you can always turn that off in the software if it allows and 2) you can manipulate the file however you wish until it looks as you want it to.

      Of course, in-camera RAW re-processing and X RAW Studio are a different story.

      I really hope this is no offense to you because I don’t mean it to be, but I chuckled out loud when you said that RAW editing was shooting the “classical way.” 🤣 I must be older than I thought I was…. 🤣 🤣

      My recommendation for you is to shoot RAW+JPEG and if you don’t like the JPEG for some reason, and if you feel as though you want to edit the RAW, then for that picture throw it into the RAW editor of choice and make it as you wish. But there’s no right or wrong way to do photography, so it’s a matter of finding what works for you and your photography, and not worrying about what other people think or say about it (including myself).

      I hope this is helpful! 😀

      • Lucien · 15 Days Ago

        Hey, thank you very much for the answer !

        I will follow your advice and shoot in jpeg + raw, because I love to shoot with different recipes but I also want to learn how to edit and colorgrade 🙂

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