Creative Collective 016: FXW Zine — Issue 03 — February 2022

The third issue of FXW Zine is out now, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now!

What’s in the February issue? The cover story is Flare For Photography, which takes a close look at lens flare. There are a total of 18 photographs this month, including the cover image (above). I hope that you find it enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine—not just this issue, but the first two issues, too!

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Best Fujifilm X Cameras Under $1,000

People ask me all of the time for my recommendation on which Fujifilm camera to buy. Recently, I’ve received a number of requests for cameras under $1,000. Which one is the best? Which should you buy?

There aren’t currently very many low-budget offerings by Fujifilm. The Bayer models, like the X-A7 and X-T200, have been discontinued, and those are the most budget-friendly Fuji cameras, if you can find them—if being the key word. There are a few X-Trans options that aren’t too expensive, so let’s take a look at what’s available to purchase right now.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Best Value: Fujifilm X-E3

The Fujifilm X-E3 is a discontinued body, but you can still find it brand-new here and there for a good price. It’s X-Trans III (the current models are X-Trans IV, and X-Trans V is just around the corner), so perhaps it’s a little dated, but no doubt about it, the X-E3 is an excellent camera. There are even some who prefer it over the newer X-E4, because it has more buttons and such. While it doesn’t have quite as many JPEG options as the latest models (no Classic Negative, for example), there are still plenty of Film Simulation Recipes that are compatible with it, so you’re sure to still experience that Fuji-Fun. If you are trying to get into the Fujifilm system, or are upgrading from an older model, the X-E3 is your best value option.

Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only) $699.95 Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 + 18-55mm $999.95 Amazon

Best For Video: Fujifilm X-S10

The Fujifilm X-S10 serves two purposes: Fujifilm’s “budget” option for video, and Fujifilm’s entry-level camera for those migrating from other brands. It is the cheapest Fuji offering with In-Body-Image-Stabilization (yet the most expensive in this list), and is slightly more video-centric in specs and design than some other Fujifilm cameras. Instead of the classic Fujifilm knobs, the X-S10 has a typical “PASM” dial that most other brands use, so the learning curve might be a little less than with other Fuji models, although you’ll miss out on the true Fujifilm experience. If you do a lot of videography, or if you’re coming from another brand and want the shortest learning curve, the X-S10 is the camera that I recommend for you.

Fujifilm X-S10 (Body Only) $999.00 Amazon B&H

Best Recommendation: Fujifilm X-T30 II

If you want the camera that offers the most for the least and gives you a true Fujifilm experience, look no further than the Fujifilm X-T30 II. This is the ultimate Fujifilm X camera that doesn’t break the bank. While it’s the very last X-Trans IV camera, it is certainly not the least, and the many JPEG options (including Classic Negative and Eterna Bleach Bypass) will allow you to use all of the Film Simulation Recipes that require those. Seriously, if you are upgrading to a new model or buying your first Fujifilm camera, the X-T30 II is one to strongly consider. The only downside is that you might have to wait to get your model, depending on availability, because it is brand-new. Also, be sure that you’re buying the X-T30 II and not the original X-T30 (which has been discontinued), unless you happen to find the original X-T30 for a good discount.

Fujifilm X-T30 II (Body Only) $899.95 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II + 15-45mm $999.95 B&H

Best Minimalist Camera: Fujifilm X-E4

The Fujifilm X-E4 is much like the X-T30 II, except in a different (and smaller) shape and with a minimalistic design approach. This camera is for those who believe that less is more. If that’s you, you’ll love the X-E4, but if that’s not you, perhaps consider a different model instead. I personally own and love an X-E4, but I can say with certainty that it’s not for everyone. This is another model that can be hard to find right now, so if you want it, be sure to snag it if you see it.

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only) $849.00 B&H

Cameras Not Included

There are, of course, a number of other offerings by Fujifilm that are currently available for purchase. The X-Pro3 (Amazon, B&H) is Fujifilm’s Leica, but well above the $1,000 top price point of this piece. The X-T4 (Amazon, B&H) is Fujifilm’s flagship camera, and it’s absolutely wonderful—my wife has one—but, again, it’s much too expensive to make this list. The Fujifilm X100V (Amazon, B&H) is my “desert island” camera, but it, too, sits above the $1,000 threshold.

Best Value Just Above $1,000: Fujifilm X-T3 WW

Then there’s the X-T3 WW, which is an X-T3 without a battery charger (USB charging only). The X-T3 used to be Fujifilm’s flagship model until the X-T4 was released. It’s a little above the budget for this article, but it’s worth considering nonetheless, especially if you need weather-sealing. It’s an excellent value, but if you don’t need weather-sealing, the X-T30 II is a wonderful alternative for a couple hundred dollars less.

Fujifilm X-T3 WW (Body Only) $1,099.95 Amazon B&H

New Fujifilm X-Trans IV Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Fujichrome Provia 100F

Berry Behind the Baseball Diamond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujichrome Provia 100F”

The Fuji X Weekly app is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new film simulation recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, all of the original Early-Access Recipes have been publicly published on this blog and the App, so everyone can now use them. Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App, so I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new recipe is called “Fujichrome Provia 100F” after the film that it is intended to mimic. Fujifilm introduced Provia 100 in 1994, and replaced it with the much improved Provia 100F in 2001. I’ve only shot a couple of rolls of Provia 100F. I remember that it had a cool color cast (especially when compared to Kodak films), it had a fair amount of contrast, moderate saturation, and tended to render blues strongly. This recipe has been in the works for awhile, with a lot of failed attempts. I think it does pretty well at reproducing the aesthetic of the film, but there are definitely a few compromises—more of the “memory color” that Fujifilm talks about, than perhaps a 100% accurate rendition. Still, I believe that it turned out pretty well overall.

Actual Fujicolor Provia 100F 35mm film. Chicago, 2005.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs captured using this “Fujichrome Provia 100F” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Blue Sky Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Branch Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Baseball Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Windsock – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Field 3 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Skateboard & Runner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Creek Under Branches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Trail Through the Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fence Along Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Josh at the Court – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X100V (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Vintage Color

Sentinel & Merced – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Color”

This particular Film Simulation Recipe is one that I’m especially proud of. I was tasked to create some settings that mimic the aesthetic of Lisa Sorgini’s Behind Glass project, and I believe I got pretty close. I have no idea if Lisa shoots digital or film, and, if film, what film and process, but my suspicion is that it’s digital post-processed to have a vintage analog look. This recipe captures that aesthetic quite well. I call it Vintage Color.

What I like most about this “Vintage Color” recipe, and it was a great surprise when I discovered it, is that it’s pretty close to the aesthetic of famed Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt, particularly his Yosemite paintings. It may not mimic any specific film, but, no doubt about it, this is an artist’s recipe! I know that many of you will absolutely love it, and it will quickly become a fan favorite. It’s a personal favorite of mine.

Fuji X Weekly App Patrons have been able to use this recipe since May, because this was a Patron Early-Access Recipe on the App. The best App experience is reserved for Patrons, and one of the benefits is early access to some new recipes. This recipe was replaced by a different Early-Access Recipe, so now it’s available to everyone. If you are an App Patron, be sure to look for the new Early-Access Recipe!

Lower Yosemite Falls Mist – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Color”

This “Vintage Color” recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4 and X-T30 II cameras. As a reminder, Clarity causes the camera to pause for a moment after each shot; alternatively, try using a mild diffusion filter, like 1/8 Black Pro Mist or 5% CineBloom, for a similar effect.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +3
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 7350K, -1 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs captured using this “Vintage Color” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Urban Reflection – Reno, NV – Fujifilm X100V
Storm over Structure – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Windshield Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Joy Behind Glass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Caution – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Tracks & Trees – Capitola, CA – Fujifilm X100V
Warm Blossoms – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Golden Forest – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
Forest Sun – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
Half Dome Through The Trees – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
The Captain – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
Merced River – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
El Cap & Merced – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V
Yosemite Creek – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Fuji X Weekly App Sighting in MKBHD Video!

Can you spot the Fuji X Weekly App?

While watching an MKBHD video on YouTube, I spotted the Fuji X Weekly App on someone’s phone. It’s like I saw Sasquatch in the forest!

Marques Brownlee, the popular YouTuber who runs the MKBHD channel, published a video two weeks ago: My Everyday Tech: 2022. Brownlee’s team has a behind-the-scenes channel called “The Studio” that’s also quite popular, and they published a companion video: Our Everyday Tech: 2022. In that video, Vinh Dang (who is Brownlee’s Art Director), shares the gear he uses, which includes a Fujifilm X-T3. While discussing his phone, you can see the Fuji X Weekly App prominently displayed, right below the iPhone Camera app, and above the YouTube app. Whoa.

It would be an amazing shock if MKBHD ever mentioned the Fuji X Weekly App and Film Simulation Recipes on their channels. That likely will never happen. But I’m stoked that the App was hiding in plain sight in their video for about four seconds—if you skip to the 6:09 mark you can see it, too. Maybe, like those Bigfoot photos, it’s a little fuzzy, but I swear I saw it between the trees, covered in hair and taking long strides, before disappearing into the dense forest.

Also, almost two months ago I did an interview with FRONT Photography that they recently published, which you can check out here!

Top 25 Film Simulation Recipes of 2021

Cooking Up A Film Simulation Recipe – Fujifilm X-E4 – Fujicolor Super HG v2

By popular demand, I’ve compiled a list of the Top 25 Film Simulation Recipes of 2021! The methodology of determining which ones were most popular is simple: page views. The articles that were viewed the most throughout the entirety of 2021 were declared “most popular” for this list. It’s possible that, while the article was viewed a lot, the recipe wasn’t used all that much—I’m uncertain of a way to know which ones were the most used, so most viewed is the best method I’ve come up with. Also, it’s important to note that the recipes published in 2021 were at a disadvantage because they didn’t have a full year to be viewed, and this is especially true for those published towards the end of the year.

Last year I published Top 20 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes of 2020, and, while there are some similarities, there are some interesting changes between the two years. The top most popular recipe of 2020 fell to Number 10 for 2021, while #2 in 2020 climbed to #1. Number 7 in 2020 didn’t make the 2021 Top 25 list at all. There’s plenty of other changes, too, yet also some recipes that stayed the same: Number 3 remained in the same place, as did Number 8.

Below you’ll find the Top 25 Film Simulation Recipes of 2021! I’d love to know which of these recipes are your favorites. If there’s a recipe in this list that surprises you, or if there’s a recipe that you’re surprised didn’t make the list, let me know in the comments!

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Find these film simulation recipe and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Creative Collective 015: Shifting For Inspiration

It’s amazing to me how one setting adjustment can have a major effect on the look of a picture. I take advantage of this when making film simulation recipes, creating all sorts of different picture aesthetics through various setting changes. Sometimes, though, I find myself stuck in a rut, and I need to find some inspiration somewhere—occasionally I need to shift to find that inspiration.

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Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Film Simulation Recipe: Scanned Negative

Mountain Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Scanned Negative”

I was playing around with white balance shift, and came across some settings that I thought looked interesting. I wasn’t attempting to mimic any specific film or process, but was simply experimenting with tints. I’m pretty well acquainted with white balance shift, but I was searching for inspiration—and I found it!

While this film simulation recipe wasn’t modeled after any specific film, what it reminded me of is an improperly color-corrected negative film scan. You see, color negative film is orange (because of the yellow and magenta masks), and when scanned and inverted into a positive image, it will have a green-cast that needs to be color corrected. Some scanners will do this automatically, and some will require manual adjustments. If not color corrected completely right, the picture can have a color cast that might seem a little off—in this case, slightly too green (depending on the light), but not by a lot (and not always). In any event, I think this recipe has a certain mood that’s definitely interesting in the right situations.

Sidewalk Bell – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Scanned Negative”

This “Scanned Negative” film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans II cameras that have the PRO Neg. Std film simulation. The XQ1, XQ2, and X10 I believe don’t have this film simulation, so it’s not compatible with those cameras. If you have an X-Pro1 or X-E1, feel free to try this recipe, too, although the results will be slightly different.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Shadow: 0 (Standard)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Standard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: 5300K, -5 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X-T1 using this “Scanned Negative” film simulation recipe:

Classic Adventures Parked – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Open Sign – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Yellow Poncho – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Icy Hose – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Reflected, Not Reflected – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Stairway to Nativity – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Post & Trashcan – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Ivy & Winter Home – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Snow On Green Bush – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Neighborhood in Winter Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: Fujifilm X-Trans II Film Simulation Recipes
Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Fujifilm X-T3, X-T30 & X-H1 Film Simulation Recipe: Negative Print

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print”

This film simulation recipe was inspired by various pictures I found while browsing old issues of Arizona Highways magazine. I have a small collection of old issues of this publication, which I enjoy flipping through from time-to-time for inspiration. Arizona Highways has a long history of publishing great photographs—even Ansel Adams was a regular contributor back in the day. As I was browsing old issues published over several decades, there was a certain aesthetic that seemed to reappear over and over. It caught my attention because of how lovely it looks. I don’t know the specifics of the film used—most likely Kodak of some sort, and probably multiple emulsion. My suspicion is that the printing process played a significant part in the aesthetic, and that’s why I call this recipe Negative Print.

After some experimenting, I decided that the Eterna film simulation was the best base. Because of that, this recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-H1, X-T3, and X-T30 cameras (as well as older GFX models, although the results will be slightly different). For newer X-Trans IV cameras (plus newer GFX), you’ll have to decide on Grain size (either Small or Large—I recommend Large), Color Chrome FX Blue (I recommend Off), and Clarity (I suggest either 0 or -2). I really like how this recipe renders pictures, and at times it really is reminiscent of those pictures printed in the magazine!

White & Red Rose – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Negative Print”

If you are looking for a classic analog aesthetic, this recipe is a great one to try. The way it renders shadows and colors definitely gives it a film-like look, and I know that this recipe will quickly become a favorite for some of you. I think it might just have a permanent place in my X-H1.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off/NA
White Balance: Fluorescent 3, -2 Red & -7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Below are example pictures, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Negative Print” Film Simulation Recipe:

Fire & Pine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Trail in the Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tree by a Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Old Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow on the Creek Bank – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Small Waterfall – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Rural Pipe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Suburban Snowman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Love Yourself – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Stairs to Foot Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Adult Arlo – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Fujifilm GFX is 5 Years Old

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Five years ago today Fujifilm announced the GFX 50S camera, which launched the GFX medium-format line. The camera’s initial MSRP was $6,500, which was an insanely low price for medium-format, so it is no surprise that Fujifilm quickly became top-dog of the medium-format market.

I remember when Pentax released the 645D in 2010 with a price tag of “only” $10,000. People were shocked that you could get into medium-format so cheaply. Four years later the much improved 645Z was released with an even cheaper cost of $8,500, and people went nuts. Three years later Fujifilm undercut Pentax by $2,000 while delivering a superior camera. Finally, medium-format was affordable!

Of course, Fujifilm didn’t stop there. A year later they released the even cheaper (and much more cool) GFX 50R, with an MSRP of only $4,500! The GFX100 came next, which was the world’s first 100-megapixel mirrorless camera, at a whopping $10,000 price tag (remember when that was shockingly cheap?). Then came the GFX100S, a 100-megapixel model for only $6,000. A few months back Fujifilm released the GFX 50S II, an upgrade to the original GFX camera, with a retail price of only $4,000. Fujifilm has brought medium-format down to the price point of top-tier full-frame. It’s really quite amazing!

Despite the relatively low cost of GFX, it’s still out of my budget. The only time that I was able to shoot with one was last year when Fujifilm kindly loaned me a GFX 50S for a few weeks (read about it here). Maybe someday I’ll own one—that would be a dream come true. In the short time that I had my hands on it, I made three film simulation recipes for GFX: Classic Negative Industrial, Ektachrome, and Provia 400. GFX owners can use X-Trans IV recipes, as the X-T3 and X-T30 recipes are compatible with the “older” GFX models while the recipes for newer X-Trans IV cameras are compatible with newer GFX models. For example, in the video below, I used the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe on the GFX 50S with much success.

A lot of people have questioned Fujifilm’s decision to skip full-frame. When they launched their APS-C X-Trans line, crop sensors were generally regarded as for amateurs and not professionals. That mindset, of course, has changed significantly over the last 10 years as the quality of APS-C cameras has closed the gap on lower-end full-frame cameras, and in some aspects surpassed it. More and more professional and advanced enthusiasts are ditching their bulky full-frame gear for light and nimble APS-C models, like the Fujifilm X-T4. And some cameras, like the X100 and X-Pro series, are just more fun. So sticking with the smaller sensor wasn’t such a mistake after all.

As for GFX, not only has Fujifilm dominated the medium-format market since introducing the GFX 50S five years ago, but they’ve also been able to compete against the high-end full-frame market. People are asking, “Should I spend $6,500 on a Sony Alpha 1 or $6,000 on a GFX100S?” And, “Should I buy the Canon EOS R5 for $3,900 or the GFX 50S II for only $100 more?” So Fujifilm is able to attack the full-frame market from both the bottom and top, while not investing any R&D into launching a new system. Where Fujifilm cannot compete is with mid-range full-frame cameras. I think Fujifilm could do a 40-ish megapixel X100-like full-frame fixed-lens camera, which would be absolutely wonderful, and wouldn’t require investments into a new system—that’s the most practical way for Fujifilm to get into the mid-range full-frame market, and otherwise it’s just not in their cards, which I’m completely alright with.

It’s quite an accomplishment to enter and completely dominate a market segment within such a short period of time, yet that’s exactly what Fujifilm has done with GFX. It all began with the launch of the GFX 50S five years ago today.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

GFX 50S B&H Amazon
GFX 50R B&H Amazon (currently only $3,000!)
GFX100 B&H Amazon
GFX100S B&H Amazon
GFX 50S II B&H

Film Simulation Recipes — Why Pictures Are Too Yellow & How To Fix It

Kodacolor film simulation recipe in artificial light.

I frequently get asked something to the effect of, “When I use this film simulation recipe indoors, my pictures are too yellow—how do I fix it?” I have the answer—or really answers, since there’s more than one way to tackle this common issue—but first I’ll explain why this happens. Let’s dive in!

With photographic film, with a few rare exceptions, you have two choices: Daylight Balanced and Tungsten Balanced. Daylight film is around 5500K and Tungsten film is around 3200K. If you use Daylight film indoors under artificial light you can get a strong yellow color cast, and if you use Tungsten film in sunny conditions you can get a strong blue color cast. Each film is intended for use under specific light conditions.

With digital cameras, you have so many Kelvin options to choose from, which can be fine-tuned very precisely to match the light no matter what it is. You can even let the camera do it for you with Auto White Balance. Many of my Film Simulation Recipes, especially the ones that are modeled after specific films, require specific White Balance settings, including a White Balance Shift. In the right light situations these recipes can look really good, but when the light is a mismatch for the recipe, you can get unpleasant results, such as a strong yellow color cast. It’s like using Daylight film indoors or Tungsten film outdoors.

With film, the solution is to use the right film type for the situation (such as Daylight outdoors and Tungsten indoors), and, when necessary, use Color Correction Filters (a.k.a Color Conversion Filters or Light Balancing Filters). These filters allow you to change the “white balance” to match the lighting conditions. Type 80 filters (a.k.a. Blue Filters or Cooling Filters) are for using Daylight film with artificial light. There are three of them—80A, 80B, 80C—depending on the artificial light that you are shooting in. Type 82 filters are similar—82A is meant for Daylight film in overly warm daylight while 82B is meant for Tungsten film in overly warm artificial light. Type 81 filters (a.k.a. Warming Filters) are for Daylight film in cool light. There are six of them—81, 81A, 81B, 81C, 81D, 81EF—depending on the coolness of the daylight that you are shooting in, and if a flash is used. Type 85 filters are warming filters meant for Tungsten film in daylight conditions. There are three of these—85, 85B, 85C—depending on the warmth of the daylight. There are other filters, too, like FL-B and FL-D for fluorescent light, and many more. Since you cannot change the “white balance” of the film, you use Color Correction Filters instead.

You can actually use these filters with your Fujifilm cameras. If, for example, you’re using the Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe, which requires a 5200K white balance, yet you are shooting in artificial light, you might select a Type 80 cooling filter to screw onto the end of your lens. This will work for film simulation recipes that don’t use Auto White Balance. It’s worth noting that the recipes which use AWB are the most versatile because it matters much less what the light situation is. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s easy to find these recipes—there are over 70—using Filter By White Balance. If you don’t already have it on your phone, go ahead and download the App for free (Android here, iOS here) and consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience! While using Color Correction Filters was a common solution in the film era, it’s very uncommon in the digital era, and most likely you don’t have these filters sitting around somewhere. Beside, it’s inconvenient to carry 15+ filters with you whenever you go out photographing. While these filters aren’t the most practical solution, it is the most film-like solution, so some of you might appreciate trying Color Correction Filters with your Fujifilm cameras.

The most practical solution is to select a recipe that has a white balance that matches the light you are shooting in. Some recipes are made for use in artificial light, such as Jeff Davenport Night, Ektachrome 320T, Fujicolor NPL 160 Tungsten, or one of the CineStill 800T recipes (here, here, here, here and here). Most recipes are more like Daylight film, and are intended for use in sunny conditions, so if it is daytime, select any of the non-nighttime recipes, which is the vast majority of them. If the light is mixed (or something other than daylight or artificial), using an Auto White Balance recipe is a simple solution.

Even though the light isn’t a good match for a particular recipe, you might want to use that recipe anyway, but you’re disappointed with the results because of the color cast. My best advice is to simply switch to Auto White Balance or take a Custom White Balance measurement. Set the camera to a white balance that will work with the light conditions. This is the digital equivalent of using a Color Correction Filter. It’s better to make a quick adjustment and get the results that you want than to stubbornly stick with something that’s not working for you. Don’t be afraid to “season to taste” the recipe to make it work for you.

When you find yourself in a situation where the film simulation recipe is producing a strong color cast that you don’t like, you have a few options. First, consider switching recipes to one that might work better for light situation, such as a Tungsten recipe or one that utilizes Auto White Balance. Second, if you don’t want to switch recipes, you can use a Color Correction Filter to “fix” the white balance. Third, if Color Correction Filters aren’t an option, you can simply switch the white balance to Auto or something that’s a better match for the light. There’s actually a fourth potential solution, which is to artificially light the scene, and have the Kelvin temperature of the light match (or compensate for) the white balance of the recipe, but for most people this isn’t going to be a particularly practical solution to the problem. Whichever option you decide on needs to be something that works well for you. Yellow pictures are a common outcome when using a film that is mismatched with the light, and also a common outcome when using a film simulation recipe that is mismatched with the light. There are several solutions, so try whichever one makes the most sense to you.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Gold v2

Grass and Frozen Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Gold v2”

This new film simulation recipe comes from Anders Lindborg (Instagram). Anders is the one who created the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, Ilford Pan F Plus 50 recipeseven Fujicolor Pro 160NS recipes, seven Fujicolor Pro 400H recipes, and made an important D-Range Priority discovery. So I know that you’ll love this one, too! He was kind enough to share it with me and allow me to share it with all of you—thank you, Anders!

Anders began by looking at some old prints he has, which were captured on Kodak Gold 200 film. He noticed that these prints looked a little different than my Kodak Gold 200 recipe, but one film can have many different looks depending on how it was shot, developed, printed and/or scanned, or even which generation of the emulsion you’re viewing. This recipe mimics the aesthetic of his prints, but he noticed that it also matches many examples of Gold 200 that he found online.

Kids in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Gold v2”

This recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. To make this recipe work on the X-T3 and X-T30, Anders suggests using Grain Strong, White Balance 5900K (with the same shift), and ignoring Clarity—I suggest that you consider using a weak diffusion filter, such as 1/8 Black Pro Mist or 5% CineBloom, in leu of Clarity. In addition, for X-Trans III, ignore Color Chrome Effect. The results will be slightly different, but nearly the same. Anders suggests trying this recipe with a 3200K white balance for night photography.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -1
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 5800K, +2 Red & +4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new Kodak Gold v2 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Moon Behind Pine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Moon Behind Cattails – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Safe Zone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Makeshift Gate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wood Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Trail to Visitors Center – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Green Leaves in January – Farmington UT – Fujifilm X100V
Hanging Red Berries in Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Berries and Barren Branches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Brown Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Jo in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Jo Under The Tennis Net – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Back Alley – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Fuji’s Instant Film: The Immensely Interesting Story of Instax

Fujifilm’s top selling photographic line is not the X-series or GFX. By a large margin, Instax cameras and film are Fujifilm’s most popular photo products. Instax, of course, is instant film—their version of Polaroid. 2021 was an especially good year for Instax, thanks to the Instax Mini LiPlay and Instax Wide Printer, which have been hot sellers. This year, the new Instax Mini EVO is already a huge hit. I received a lot of positive feedback from my article explaining the history of the Fujifilm X-Pro1, so I thought it would be fun to explore the history of Instax. It turns out to be an immensely more interesting story than I imagined.

Let’s get started!

Edwin Land was a freshman physics student at Harvard University in 1926, and he had an idea: control scattered vibrations of light using a magnetic field and microscopic crystals. Less than two years later he dropped out of school and moved to New York City to pursue this idea. He spent extensive time in the public library, reading anything and everything that might help him succeed. Since he didn’t have access to a lab, he would sneak into Columbia University late at night to use theirs. In 1932, after four years of extensive experimenting and testing, Land had done it—he had invented an inexpensive and efficient polarizer. That same year he teamed up with George Wheelwright III, a Harvard physics professor, and started Land-Wheelwright Laboratories. In 1936, after years of work to commercialize the product, and 10 years after Land had his original idea, they began selling the Polaroid J Sheet Polarizer for use in sunglasses and photography. It was a quick hit, and a year later they renamed the company Polaroid after their product.

Many years later, in 1944, while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land snapped a photograph of his three-year-old daughter, Jennifer. As the saying goes, kids say the darndest things. The little girl asked her dad why she couldn’t see the picture that had just been taken. Land thought, “Well, why can’t you?” Within an hour he had figured out the basic idea of how to accomplish this. In 1947 Land had invented a working instant film camera, and two years later Polaroid began selling the Model 95 instant film camera and Type 40 instant film to go with it.

Polaroid Colorpack II camera

Over the next decade Polaroid camera and film sales skyrocketed. Even Ansel Adams joined the instant film revolution, and, in 1963, published a book entitled Polaroid Land Photography. As demand increased, Polaroid struggled to keep up, so in the early 1960’s they contracted Kodak to manufactured their peel-apart packfilm. During that time Polaroid hired Fujifilm to assist with film improvements.

As instant film sales continued to rapidly grow throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, someone at Kodak got the bright idea that they should make their own cameras and film to compete against Polaroid. Using their experience producing film for Polaroid to design their own products, Kodak launched the EK4 and EK6 instant film cameras, as well as their PR10 instant film, in 1976. Polaroid immediately sued Kodak for patent violations, but it took a decade for the courts to make a ruling.

Fujifilm also wanted to get in on the instant film frenzy. They figured that Kodak would overtake Polaroid and become king of instant film, so Fujifilm closely modeled their instant film line after Kodak’s, and paid Kodak for the rights to do so. Fujifilm also approached Polaroid for permission, and Polaroid agreed just as long as Fujifilm shared some technology secrets with them and agreed not to sell their instant film cameras in North America. In 1981 Fujifilm launched the Fotorama instant film camera line, which was marketed only in Asia, and sold mostly in Japan. Instant film photography wasn’t nearly as popular in Asia as it was in America, but the Fotorama line sold well enough for Fujifilm to continue to sell it into the late-1990’s. Fujifilm also began selling instant film for Polaroid cameras during this time, although, again, largely for Asian markets.

Now back to that Kodak/Polaroid lawsuit. Polaroid won in 1986, and Kodak was ordered to stop selling their instant film cameras—they also had to financially compensate those who purchased them. The legal battle continued, and in 1990 Kodak was ordered to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars in damages for copying seven patents. It was such a wild case that books have been written about it. One might think that Polaroid was the big winner and Kodak was the big loser, but Kodak made as much as 12 billion in profits off of their instant film line, so they still came out ahead, while the lengthly lawsuit apparently stifled Polaroid’s creativity and ability to innovate, right during a time when they desperately needed to innovate.

The 1990’s were not particularly good for Polaroid, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. Polaroid was sold and then turned into a hollow shell, with the brand’s name and products licensed to other companies. Polaroid film was discontinued in 2008.

Fujifilm introduced the Instax line in 1998 with the Instax Mini 10 camera. Instax Wide came out a year later. While the size and shape was different, the film and technology was recycled from the Fotorama line. By this time Fujifilm was no longer obligated to remain outside of the U.S. market, but they continued to stay out, with the exception of the Mio camera in 2001, a Polaroid-brand model that shot Instax Mini film, which wasn’t especially successful. Fujifilm didn’t start selling Instax in America until after Polaroid announced it was discontinuing its instant film.

When Polaroid pulled out of instant film photography, Fujifilm seriously considered doing the same. Sales were sluggish, and largely declining. Instant film was nearly dead, and its demise was all but certain. The writing was on the wall.

In 2007 a South Korean television series called Coffee Prince was a huge success. It was especially popular with younger audiences, particularly teenagers. Prominently featured in the show was an Instax camera, and the demand for Instax in South Korea immediately skyrocketed. Then, in 2009, the South Korean series You’re Beautiful aired, which also prominently featured an Instax camera. While this show was only moderately successful on initial airing, it gained a large cult-like following in the years following, and it, too, boosted Instax sales. The popularity of Instax spread out from South Korea across Asia, then to the rest of the world, including America. Suddenly, more than a decade after it was released, Instax was an instant hit, with sales trending sharply up.

2004 was the slowest year for Instax, with about 100,000 cameras sold worldwide. In 2015, Fujifilm sold 5 million Instax cameras, and in 2019 they sold 10 million. Unsurprisingly, 2020 was a slow year, but in 2021 things picked up again, although I couldn’t find specific data on how many cameras were sold. Instax is Fujifilm’s top selling camera line, and it’s very profitable. Fujifilm has stated that some of those profits help fund developments within the X-series and GFX—even if you don’t own any Instax products, you can still be grateful that it’s so popular because it does indirectly affect you.

If Edwin Land hadn’t dropped out of college to pursue his polarizer idea, if his young daughter hadn’t asked why she couldn’t see the picture right away, if Kodak hadn’t ripped off Polaroid, if Fujifilm (like Kodak) hadn’t asked Polaroid for permission, if Polaroid hadn’t gone bankrupt, and if two South Korean television shows hadn’t used Instax as props—if any of these things hadn’t happened, Instax wouldn’t likely be around today. Through a series of twists and turns, Fujifilm created a product line that tens of millions of people worldwide use today. While Polaroid invented instant film photography, Fujifilm is currently king.

That’s the immensely interesting story of Instax!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Instax Mini 40
Instax Mini 70
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Instax Mini 11
Instax SQ6

Instax Wide 300
Instax Mini Link Printer

Instax Link Wide Printer
Instax Mini Film
Instax Square Film
Instax Wide Film

Fujifilm X-Pro1: A 10-Year X-Trans Legacy

A Worn But Working 10-Year-Old Fujifilm X-Pro1 in 2022.

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is 10 years old!

Let’s drop a beer can into Mr. Fusion, jump into our DeLorean, activate the time circuits, make sure the flux capacitor is fluxing, blast a Huey Lewis tune on the tape deck, and see what happens when this baby hits 88 miles per hour! Yes, we’re headed back in time to understand why the Fujifilm X-Pro1 was a crucial camera that changed photography.

The first stop on our time-travel trip is 1988. The Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California. George Michael’s Faith was the top hit song in America. Oh, and Fujifilm introduced the world’s first completely digital camera, the FUJIX DS-1P.

This first all-digital camera captured 0.4 megapixel images and stored them on a removable memory card—as many as 10 pictures! While this doesn’t sound like a significant achievement, it was a pivotal moment in the advancement of digital camera technology. One year later, the same year that Back To The Future Part II played in theaters, Fujifilm released the world’s first commercially-produced digital camera, the FUJIX DS-X. Fujifilm would continue to develop (pun intended) it’s digital camera technology throughout the 1990’s, making several important innovations, and even collaborating with other brands, such as Nikon.

Despite Fujifilm’s pioneering advancements, digital camera sales were slow, primarily due to the poor image quality of the early sensors plus the very high costs to buy. Meanwhile, film sales went through the roof! A billion rolls of film were sold in 1999, and even more were sold in 2000, which was the absolute pinnacle of analog photography. If you were a Fujifilm manager during those two years, and you’re seeing tons of money going into the digital camera department yet not much financially to show for it, and film sales seemed to be on a trajectory towards the moon, what would you do? It’s understandable, then, that Fujifilm did what it did: double-down on analog and pull back from digital. But the timing was awful, because film sales hit a wall, and in 2003 began to fall off a cliff, while digital sales rose sharply.

Although Fujifilm scaled back from digital, they didn’t abandon it. In fact, in 2000, Fujifilm introduced the S1 Pro, a Nikon SLR retrofitted with a 3-megapixel Super-CCD sensor. Fujifilm invented this new sensor type, which claimed to produce double the apparent resolution of a traditional Bayer sensor while simultaneously increasing dynamic range. There would be four models of these Nikon-turned-Fujifilm DSLRs—the last one, the S5 Pro, was discontinued in 2009, after disappointing sales. Mostly, though, following the fall of film, Fujifilm turned their attention to digital point-and-shoots, a fairly profitable segment at that time. They also turned their attention to non-photographic opportunities, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among others things.

Around the time that Fujifilm was discontinuing their DSLR, they began to work on something new. Pocket point-and-shoot cameras were popular, but not with professional photographers, due to poor image quality and basic controls. What if Fujifilm made a high-end pocketable camera aimed specifically at the professional crowd? It took over two years for this idea to be realized—the Fujifilm X100 was released in March 2011, giving birth to the X-series. This camera had a rangefinder design with retro controls, harkening back to the glory days of film, and a 12-megapixel APS-C sensor. A Bayer sensor. Not Super-CCD, which was abandoned with the S5 Pro. And not X-Trans, which hadn’t been invented yet. This was also the first camera ever with a hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder.

If the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there. Thankfully, the camera was generally well received, and it sold a lot of copies. I know that I wanted one. I remember seeing it in a photography magazine and being captivated by it. I couldn’t afford the $1,200 price tag, so I didn’t buy it, but I would have if I could have. It was a camera you wanted to own!

What I said in the last paragraph—”if the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there”—isn’t actually true. The X-Trans sensor had been in the works for five years and was almost ready when the X100 was released. Work began on the X-Pro1 back in 2010, and it was decided that it would be the first camera to carry the new sensor. Whether the X100 was a flop or success had no bearing on the release of the X-Pro1, but its success most certainly helped the X-Pro1 to sell well, too.

What made this new X-Trans sensor unique? How was it different than Bayer? What was the point of it?

Fujifilm had been experimenting with different sensor concepts since the 1990’s. They tried many different things to get the most resolution, sharpness, and dynamic range from the low-megapixel sensors of the time, and that’s where the Super-CCD technology came from. Fujifilm continued to experiment, and, inspired by the randomness of silver halide, decided to test a “random” color filter array. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of computing power to interpret the data, and that was the biggest hurdle that had to be overcome, since processing power wasn’t plentiful back then.

X-Trans was a complex solution to what Fujifilm recognized as a problem, but most didn’t. The randomness of the color filter array made it less susceptible to moire pattern distortion, so an optical low-pass filter wasn’t needed. This did two things: produce sharper pictures with the appearance of more resolution, and the ability to better distinguish noise vs. signal. The latter was the most important of the two side effects. Since noise and signal could be more easily differentiated, Fujifilm could control it better, and get improved high-ISO results, as well as better shadow details. This is why Fujifilm’s noise is rendered differently than other brands, and has more of a film-grain-like appearance. Also, the extra green pixels in an X-Trans sensor produces more luminosity information, which improves dynamic range, high-ISO performance, and fine detail rendering.

Blooms Despite Adversity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Punchy Velvia

Is there a difference between Bayer and X-Trans? Of course there is! It’s not immediately obvious at low-ISO, as many of the benefits are extremely subtle, but as the ISO increases the differences become more obvious. It’s not a night-and-day distinction, but there is definitely a divergence if you look close enough.

Fujifilm announced the X-Pro1 in January 2012 and began shipping it in March, which means that the camera is 10-years-old in 2022! The X-Pro1 was similar to the X100, but larger and with some design changes, and with the ability to swap lenses. Plus, it had the new 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor. Between the rangefinder styling, retro controls, hybrid viewfinder, and new sensor, Fujifilm made people take notice! The camera just grabs your attention.

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, though. The X100 and X-Pro1, plus the X-E1 that followed, all had problems, and were called sluggish and quirky in camera reviews. Many of the issues were fixed with firmware updates over time, but it took time to iron out the wrinkles. Some issues weren’t Fujifilm’s fault, like RAW editing software having trouble handling the X-Trans files. Fujifilm actually intended the in-camera JPEG processor, which utilized Film Simulations (profiles created from Fujifilm’s extensive experience in film), to be a serious tool that photographers would utilize. When Fujifilm expressed this, they were scoffed at by the photography “experts” of the time, because, you know, real photographers shoot RAW, and only amateurs shoot JPEG. The response was so loud that for awhile Fujifilm stopped suggesting photographers should shoot JPEG, and put less effort towards promoting their in-camera processing.

Pink Roses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Color Negative Film

Despite what the so-called experts thought, many of those with Fujifilm cameras began to realize that the JPEGs were actually pretty good. In September of 2014 Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X100T, which had a new Film Simulation called Classic Chrome. It was intended to mimic the aesthetic of documentary-style pictures found in magazines. Classic Chrome was an instant hit, and it brought a new awareness to Fujifilm’s JPEG engine.

My journey into the world of Fujifilm began with a used X-E1 in the summer of 2016. Actually, let’s get back into our DeLorean and head even further into the past. In the summer of 1998 I took an epic trip with some friends to the New England states, and I borrowed my dad’s Sears 35mm SLR to photograph the journey. When I returned home and got the pictures back from the 1-hour photo lab, they were awful! I couldn’t have screwed up the pictures any more than I did. That fall I enrolled in Photography 101 in college so that I could learn to take a decent picture, and I ended up falling in love with photography. This was at the pinnacle of film. I was not a fan of the digital photography revolution because I didn’t like how digital pictures looked. In my opinion, film was much superior, and so I stubbornly stuck with it. Around 2010 I purchased my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, because it was inexpensive and because I could use the lenses from my Pentax SLR with it. I soon discovered why digital photography had surpassed film—it was much more quick and convenient—but I still preferred the look of film. While I continued to shoot both film and digital, I jumped from brand-to-brand trying to find a digital camera that I liked. After Pentax I tried Samsung. Then Sigma. Then Nikon. Then Sony. In 2016 I purchased the X-E1, and was instantly thrilled by the experience of the camera. Finally, a digital camera that I could love! One year later I bought an X100F, the fourth iteration of the original X100.

I configured my X100F to shoot RAW+JPEG, and after fiddling with the RAW files, I noticed that the post-processed RAW pictures didn’t look a whole lot different than the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I realized that with a few small tweaks in the camera settings I could make them match even more closely. That was the birth of my “Film Simulation Recipes” (camera settings that produce a certain look, often modeled after classic film stocks and analog processes). The popularity of Film Simulation Recipes has grown and grown—exploding over the last two years—and with it has seen a significant increase in those shooting JPEGs with their Fujifilm cameras. Film Simulation Recipes save you time by eliminating the need to edit (or, for some, reducing the amount of editing needed), while making the process more enjoyable. It is Fujifilm’s vision come true, although I doubt they envisioned exactly where this whole thing has gone.

Not Filed – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome I

Over the last decade Fujifilm has continued to innovate, leaping various hurdles, to improve and grow the X-series. Fujifilm has doubled-down on in-camera processing, and the stigma of shooting JPEGs has softened significantly. Even though much progress has been made, and the brand-new cameras are absolutely incredible, there’s still a lot of love for the original models. There’s a special quality to them, even if they’re slower, more quirky, lower resolution, and with fewer options.

While I started with an X-E1 (I’ve actually owned two), I’ve mostly used the newer models. Knowing that the X-Pro1 was approaching the 10-year mark, and loving the X-Pro series design, last year I purchased a well-used but still perfectly functioning X-Pro1. I wanted to use the X-Pro1 in 2022 as a way to celebrate the importance of this model in photography.

Let me pause here for a moment. Digital technology advances quickly. Most people aren’t still using a 10-year-old cellphone or television. Most people aren’t using a 10-year-old camera, although certainly some are. In the film era, it wasn’t uncommon to use the same camera for decades or even a whole career. In the digital era, a lot of people “upgrade” their camera gear every two or three years. While most aren’t still shooting with a camera from 2012, some are, and they’re probably thinking pretty seriously that it’s time to upgrade to the latest model. The X-Pro1 is a 10-year-old camera that not only are some people still shooting, there are actually people searching it out so that they can use it, even though they have newer models. In 2022, the X-Pro1 is a desired camera! This speaks to the genius of those who designed it—the camera itself is art, and it is a very capable tool for creating art, even after a decade.

Diesel – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome

Now, let me explain more directly exactly how the Fujifilm X-Pro1 changed photography.

While Fujifilm has been making cameras since 1948, and digital cameras since the late-1980’s, their DSLRs, while innovative, were Nikon bodies with Fujifilm innards. Buying one of these DSLRs was buying into the Nikon system. There were some advantages to buying the Fujifilm version, and there were also some disadvantages, so it was an odd market that Fujifilm found itself in. Basically, Fujifilm was hoping to convince Nikon owners to buy the Fujifilm version of Nikon’s camera, or else convince those from other brands to switch to Nikon, except the Fuji-Nikon and not actual Nikon. And there were no aftermarket products to sell, which is where the money is made. Fujifilm’s attempt to be in the professional camera market was halfhearted and failed, so with the writing on the wall, Fujifilm regrouped.

After the failure of the S5 Pro, the X100 was Fujifilm’s first attempt to capture the attention of professional and advanced enthusiast photographers, but right on its heels was the X-Pro1 with the brand-new X-Trans sensor. This was an interchangeable-lens model, which was important because selling lenses is where the real profit is. It was highly advanced: mirrorless (a fairly new concept at the time), hybrid viewfinder, new sensor type. But it was also retro: rangefinder style with no PASM dial anywhere. It was something new yet absolutely a classic. It was simultaneously modern and nostalgic.

Storm Building Over Mountain Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome II

The X-Pro1’s success allowed the Fuji-X line to continue, and all of the cameras that followed are thanks to the original model. If the X-Pro1 had flopped, Fujifilm would have exited stage left, and there would be no X-Pro3 or X-T4 or X-E4 or any other X-series camera today. I likely wouldn’t have purchased an X-E1 in 2016 and I definitely wouldn’t have bought an X100F in 2017, because the X100F wouldn’t exist. If not for the X100F, I wouldn’t have made Film Simulation Recipes, I wouldn’t have created the Fuji X Weekly App, and you wouldn’t know the joys of using these recipes. There are literally tens of thousands of photographers worldwide—from first-camera newbies to experienced professionals with recognizable names—who are capturing the world through the colors and tones of Film Simulation Recipes. If not for the X-Pro1, this would never have happened. If you shoot with Film Simulation Recipes, you can, in part, thank the X-Pro1 (or, more specifically, the team that made that camera a reality). Because of it, far more photographers are relying on camera-made JPEGs today than they otherwise would, which saves them time and makes their photographic process more enjoyable.

The X-Pro1 is an important camera in the photography continuum, but it is more than just a display piece. The X-Pro1, a decade after it was announced, is still a quality tool for capturing the world. It’s a camera I used in 2021, and it’s a camera I’ll continue to use in 2022, and likely the years to follow. My copy is a little worn, but, as long as it continues to work, I will still use it. I have many Fujifilm cameras, but I have a special place for the X-Pro1 both in my heart and in my camera bag. That’s a legacy worth noting!

What about you? Do you own a Fujifilm X-Pro1? What was your first Fujifilm camera? Which Fujifilm cameras do you currently own? Which Film Simulation Recipe is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Creative Collective 014: Using a Fujifilm X100V as a Disposable Film Camera

Well, this is going to sound crazy, but I turned my Fujifilm X100V into a disposable film camera. No, I didn’t disassemble my digital camera, rip out the sensor, and adapt a film spool. Instead, I configured my X100V to capture pictures that appear as though they were captured with a cheap throwaway film camera. Why? I’ve done crazier things before, including distressing a camera, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that I’d do this—perhaps it was just a matter of time.

The inspiration for this project has been building for awhile. I have a picture displayed on my dresser that’s over 20 years old—it’s my wife and I, captured sometime shortly after we got married. A friend took the picture with a disposable camera. I can tell that it was a Fujifilm QuickSnap camera by the color palette, which is clearly Fujicolor. The picture is special to me because it’s a very personal (and happy) moment that’s been frozen in time through photography. It’s nothing more than a snapshot captured on a cheap camera, and would be completely meaningless to almost anyone else. I have a box full of these type of pictures, mostly 4″ x 6″ prints. You might have a box like this, too—snapshots that are meaningful to you.

Bread Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm developed the QuickSnap camera, a “one-time-use” 35mm film camera, in the mid-1980’s (Kodak released its version, called FunSaver, a couple years later), and it was an instant hit. These “disposable” cameras were extremely popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They came preloaded with 27 frames (a 24-exposure roll of film, but you got three extra shots), and were point-and-shoot. You’d push the shutter-release and advance the film, but otherwise there typically weren’t any other controls, so anyone could use these cameras—no skill required. Once you exposed all of the frames, you’d take the camera to the 1-hour lab, where they removed the film for development and recycled the camera. 60 minutes later you’d have a packet of 4″ x 6″ prints.

Cheap digital point-and-shoots made a dent in disposable camera sales, but it was really the cellphone camera that rendered them obsolete; however, you might be surprised to learn that you can still buy disposable cameras today. Thanks to the Lomography movement and an increased interest in film photography, there’s enough of a market for these cameras to continue to exist in 2022. I briefly considered purchasing one, but instead of that, I decided to capture QuickSnap-like images on my Fujifilm X100V.

Now you know the why, so let’s get into the how.

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Fujifilm X-H1 Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak GT 800-5

Rural Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm H-H1 – “Kodak GT 800-5”

My Kodak Max 800 film simulation recipe was modeled after some film I found that had “Kodak GT 800-3” imprinted on the negatives. After some research I found out that it was Kodak Max Zoom 800 (specifically, the third iteration of this film). Kodak Max Zoom 800 was replaced by Kodak Max Versatility Plus 800 in 2006, and those negatives had “Kodak GT 800-4” imprinted on them. Well, I found some more prints plus the negatives, and this film has “Kodak GT 800-5” imprinted on them. I searched and searched, but I didn’t find any information on this film. My suspicion is that Kodak updated the Kodak Max Versatility Plus 800 film in some way, yet kept the name the same, but that’s just a guess—it could be an entirely different emulsion sold under a different name. In other words, I’m pretty sure “Kodak GT 800-5” is a descendant of Kodak Max 800, but I wasn’t able to find any specific information on it.

The 4″ x 6″ prints I found were captured in 2008 while on a day-trip to Sedona, Arizona, and were developed at Walgreens. I’m pretty sure the film was shot using a disposable camera, although I don’t remember why (I remember the trip, but I don’t remember anything specific about the pictures). The prints have a strong warm (red/orange) color cast, are somewhat desaturated, and have dark shadows. I’m not sure if this is due to the film itself, or the development and printing by Walgreens, or because they’re degrading with time, or a combination of all three—perhaps something else entirely, like sitting too long in a hot car (always a possibility in Arizona). Whatever the reason, I thought the aesthetic was interesting, so I recreated it on my Fujifilm X-H1.

A Poor quality scan of a print from actual Kodak GT 800-5 film.

A goal of mine for 2022 is to buy a better scanner. I had a “better” one (by better, I simply mean better than what I currently have, because it was mediocre, or really “good enough”), but it stopped working about 10 months ago. This current scanner, which is part of a printer/scanner combination, is particularly bad for some reason. I say all of this because the scan above doesn’t do the print justice, but I wanted to include it anyway to give you an idea where the inspiration for this recipe came from.

This Kodak GT 800-5 film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, which include the Fujifilm X-Pro2, X100F, X-E3, X-T2, X-T20, and X-H1. You can also use it on the X-T3 and X-T30 by setting Color Chrome Effect to Off. Because of the particularly warm color cast, this isn’t a recipe that’s for everyone or every situation, but in certain situations this will produce interesting results, and some of you will definitely like it.

Passenger Train Platform – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak GT 800-5”

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Color: -3
Sharpness: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
White Balance: 7100K, +7 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Kodak GT 800-5” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Storm Over Mountains at Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow Covered Blackberry Vines by a Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Blossom Remnants 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Blossom Remnants 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Milkweed in January – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Small Spillway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Rural Road Near Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Path in the Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Cattails & Frozen Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Frozen Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Citations Will Be Issued – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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New FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Analog Gold

Wood Shack – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Analog Gold”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new film simulation recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many Early-Access Recipes have been publicly published on this blog and the App, so now everyone can use them! Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new Patron Early-Access recipe is called Analog Gold because it has a vintage film-like aesthetic with a golden color cast. It produces a warm, somewhat-muted look, and does well in both sunny and overcast conditions. While it’s not modeled after any specific film or process, it does convey an analog quality that’s easy to appreciate. I know that some of you will love this one!

This “Analog Gold” Patron Early-Access Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you are a Fuji X Weekly Patron, it’s available to you right now on the Fuji X Weekly App! If you don’t have the App, download it for free today.

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Analog Gold” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Kaysville Pond in January – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Weather Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dry Leaves & Red Berries – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rusty Fence Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Flowing Creek in Grass – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Frozen Pond – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass & Frozen Pond Water – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass in the Ice – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dry Shrub – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Helicopters Waiting to Fly – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Statue & Sky – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Old Kodak

No Trespassing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

I was inspired to create this film simulation recipe after viewing some old pictures captured on various Kodak films. These pictures reminded me of the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 film simulation recipes, but they weren’t exactly the same. I thought if I tweaked those recipes I could get closer to mimicking the aesthetic of the old Kodak pictures that I was looking at (which is why I call this recipe Old Kodak). If you like the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 recipes, you’ll really appreciate this one, too!

Old Kodak was a Patron Early-Access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly App, and App Patrons have had access to it for nine months; however, it’s been replaced by a different Early-Access recipe, so now it’s available to everyone! The best App experience is reserved for Patrons, and early-access to some new film simulation recipes is one of the Patron benefits. If you are a Patron, be sure to look for the new Early-Access recipe that replaced this one.

Wet Radio Flyer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

Because this recipe uses 0.5 adjustments to Highlight and Shadow, plus the Auto White Priority white balance, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X-Pro3 or X100V, if you set Highlight to +3, Shadow to -1, and white balance to Auto, it will be similar but not exactly the same (don’t be afraid to try it anyway). While the “typical exposure compensation” is between -1/3 and +1/3, in situations with strong highlights you might have to go -2/3 or even -1 on occasion to prevent the highlights from clipping.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3.5
Shadow: -0.5
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto White Priority, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Old Kodak” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Salt Lake Marsh Evening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Big Sky Over Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rural Red Barn – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Holland Deere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Open Gate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Wheel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rusty Bolts In A Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburban Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
The Joy of Writing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Gumby on a Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Pallets – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Kaysville Pond – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunset Light on Winter Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Creative Collective 013: How To Use 2 Cameras To Create Dreamy, Surreal Photos

Frozen Marsh & Bird Sanctuary – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujifilm X-Pro1

I figured out a simple technique for creating dreamy, surreal photographs using two cameras. It’s pretty simple, really, but it will require some specific tools. What you’ll achieve with this technique is something Lomo-looking—perhaps toy camera or even instant-film-like. If you are drawn to a soft, analog-esque aesthetic, this is something you’ll want to try!

Let’s dive in!

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