It’s been awhile since I created a black-and-white film simulation recipe. Part of it is that my favorite recipe is Kodak Tri-X 400, and I often choose to shoot with that. Another factor is that the differences between monochrome recipes are often much more subtle than color. For this, I didn’t start out with the intention of making a black-and-white recipe—in fact, it began with Classic Negative—and I wasn’t satisfied with the look, so I switched to Acros, and immediately liked what I saw. A few small changes later, and this recipe was born. It’s not modeled after any specific film, so I named it Monochrome Negative, as it does have a nice film-like quality to it.
The trick to this film simulation recipe is underexposure. I found myself most often lowering the exposure by 1/3 or 2/3 stops (many of my recipes often call for the opposite). Highlight set to +3 will keep the image bright, while the underexposure will deepen the shadows and provide good contrast. Obviously each exposure should be judged individually, so don’t be afraid to deviate from this advice.
This recipe was designed on and intended for the Fujifilm X100V, which has a newer X-Trans IV sensor, but because I didn’t use any of the new tools, such as Clarity and the Color Chrome Effects, this recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III & IV cameras. On X-Pro3 and newer, choose Grain size Small; on all other cameras, which don’t have Grain size as an option, simply select Grain Strong. If your camera has the Acros film simulation, you can use this recipe!
Acros (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Small (Strong for those cameras without Grain Size)
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: 0 to -2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Monochrome Negative” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:
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