The Winter Solstice is fast approaching, and for those like me in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and the nights are longer. I find this to be a good opportunity for after-sunset or pre-sunrise photography, but there aren’t very many film simulation recipes for X-Trans III cameras that are specifically intended for this situation—in fact, there’s only one: CineStill 800T (although several others will still do well enough). So I set out to create another night film simulation recipe, because it’s good to have choices.
Unlike the CineStill 800T recipe, I didn’t model this one after any specific film, although it has some fairly close similarities to Fujicolor NPL 160 Pro Tungsten color negative film, which Fujifilm produced from 2000 through 2004. NPL 160 was specifically made for long exposures under artificial light. While I didn’t intend to mimic that film, you wouldn’t know it based on just how close of a match it is. I never used NPL 160 myself, as it wasn’t available in 35mm format, but I did some research on it for this article. It was available in 120 film (also, 4×5 sheets), which could be captured in three ratios (depending on the camera), including square, but 3:2 wasn’t one of those options. You could use 3:2 like I did, or more accurately shoot in the 1:1 ratio, or crop after-the-fact to whatever shape you prefer.
This Fujicolor NPL 160 Tungsten recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, so if you have a Fujifilm X-Pro2, X100F, X-E3, X-T20, X-T20, or X-H1, this recipe is for you! It’s also compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30—simply set Color Chrome Effect to Off, and limit the maximum ISO to 6400. For those with newer X-Trans IV cameras, consider using Grain size Small and Clarity set to 0 or even -2. Those with a GFX 50S and GFX 50R can use this recipe, too, although it will look very slightly different. For night photography, I most commonly set exposure compensation to -1/3 or 0, and for daylight photography I most commonly set exposure compensation to +1/3 to +2/3.
PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -4
White Balance: Fluorescent 3, -6 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Fujicolor NPL 160 Tungsten” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:
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