FXW Updates

Wow! I cannot believe that it’s the last day of February already. I’ve been completely swamped this month—really, this whole year so far—and I don’t think I’ve ever been so overwhelmed in my life. It’s all good, though, but I feel like I haven’t been able to give this website the attention that I usually do. Things are always dynamic, and hopefully everything is evolving for the better in time.

On Thursday, March 10, at 9 AM Pacific Time (noon Eastern Time), SOOC Season 2 kicks off! Please join Nathalie Boucry and I as we discuss the Kodak Gold 200 film simulation recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month. It’ll be a great time, but we definitely need you to tune-in and join-in, as it’s an interactive program, and your participation makes it better. Can’t wait to see you then!

Sometime between now and then (fingers crossed), I have a pretty significant announcement to make. I’ve been working on something, and it’ll be ready soon. I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, but know that something will be announced very soon. I hope you’ll be as excited for it as I am.

Fujifilm X-H1 (X-Trans III + X-T3 & X-30) Film Simulation Recipe: Improved Velvia

Fading Light On Wasatch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Improved Velvia”

This Film Simulation Recipe is the second in a series, in which I attempt to customize each film simulation to optimize the aesthetic that Fujifilm intended. In other words, make a nice-looking recipe that is similar to yet better than the stock look of a film simulation. The first recipe in this series was Standard Provia, and this new one is called Improved Velvia.

I used to be frustrated by the Velvia film simulation because it’s not like Velvia 50. When people talk about Velvia film, that’s the emulsion that they most commonly mean, with it’s exaggerated super-vivid colors, but Velvia 50 is not the only Velvia film. You see, Velvia 50 was a “mistake” emulsion that landscape photographers fell in love with. I shot plenty of Velvia 50 back in the day, and it was one of my absolute favorite films. But Fujifilm was frustrated by it because it wasn’t what they wanted it to be. In 2003 Fujifilm “improved” Velvia and finally “fixed” their mistake—they made Velvia look like how they thought it should have from the beginning. This emulsion was called Velvia 100F and was duller than Velvia 50 (or Velvia 100, which came out in 2005)—it lacked the classic Velvia pop, but was better for pictures of people. One of the guys who worked on Velvia 100F also worked on the Velvia film simulation. It’s no surprise, then, that the Velvia film simulation is closer to Velvia 100F film than Velvia 50. Understanding this made me better realize the intention of—and better appreciate—the film simulation. I no longer find Velvia to be frustrating, and I think even default Velvia looks pretty good.

Misty Mountain – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Improved Velvia”

For this recipe, I didn’t want mimic Velvia 50, so I didn’t want to mess with the settings very much. I have other Velvia recipes that I quite like (here, here, & here), and those could very easily “stand-in” for this. I felt like a subtly-different option is what was needed. This recipe is compatible with X-Trans III models, plus the X-T3 and X-T30. For newer X-Trans IV, consider setting Color Chrome Effect and Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Grain to Weak Small, and Clarity to 0.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: 0
Color: +1
Sharpness: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Weak
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Improved Velvia” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Reflection in Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Wall & Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Net Fish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Not Wanting A Picture – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Pelican – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Yellow Sky Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Soft Sunset Light on Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Sunset Sky & Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Reed Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Marsh Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Comparison:

“Improved Velvia”
“Default Velvia”

The top image (above) is this recipe, while the bottom image (above) is Velvia with everything set to 0 or Off, except for Dynamic Range, which was DR200, and Noise Reduction, which was -4. The White Balance was Auto 0R & 0B. You can see that both images are quite similar. My recipe is slightly more vibrant, has a little more yellow and slightly less red, and protects highlights a tad more. I also added a little Grain to my recipe to give it a more film-like appearance. Overall, though, the differences are fairly subtle.

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

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The X-Mount Lenses That Sigma Should Have Made (Or Should Make Next)

Yesterday I published an article about the three Fujifilm X-Mount lenses that Sigma announced. These were already existing lenses within Sigma’s lineup, and they simply converted them for use on Fujifilm cameras. I stated that Sigma should have modified the lenses by adding aperture rings, because that is an important part of the Fujifilm experience. I also hinted (without downright stating) that Sigma should have filled holes in the Fujinon lineup, instead of going head-to-head with already existing lenses (hoping the cheaper price point is enough to entice potential customers). Yes, selling discount knockoffs (I don’t mean that to sound so harsh, because Sigma makes quality products) is one strategy, but I think offering something unique would be better.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun exercise to explore which Sigma lenses (that already exist) would fill holes in the Fujinon lineup. These are the lenses that Sigma should have released for Fujifilm X-mount, or maybe the lenses they should release next.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art

A high-quality mid-range zoom covering some very useful focal-lengths? A lens that is great for street, portrait, and travel? Heck, yeah! While Fujifilm offers a number of zooms covering all sorts of focal-lengths, they don’t have one quite like this.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Fujifilm has a 90mm f/2, and an 80mm f/2.8, but they don’t have an 85mm lens or a telephoto lens longer than 56mm that has a maximum aperture larger than f/2. Seems like a winner to me.

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Art

Fujifilm jumps from 90mm all the way to 200mm, and skips everything in-between. This would fill that gaping hole quite nicely.

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art

Or go crazy with the “bokeh master.” This is a full-frame lens, but it might pair well with the upcoming X-H2….

Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Contemporary

Fujifilm doesn’t offer a 45mm lens. 35mm? Yes. 50mm? Yes. But nothing in-between. Could be a nice “compromise” if you want both a 35mm and 50mm but can’t afford both.

Sigma 65mm f/2.8 Contemporary

Fujifilm has a 60mm lens, but if you want something just a bit longer, you have to jump to 80mm, which might be too long. Both the 60mm and 80mm lenses are macro, which can be nice, but they also have their challenges (lots of focus to scroll through), so a non-macro lens might be a good option.

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro Art

This might be a good in-between lens if you can’t decide on the 60mm and 80mm macros.

In my opinion, this list is what Sigma should have used when deciding on which lenses to bring to Fujifilm. These make a lot more sense to me. What do you think? Do you prefer the three lenses Sigma announced, or would you prefer some of these instead? Which lenses should Sigma release on Fujifilm next?

Whatever Sigma does, I hope that they don’t just change the mount, but modify the lenses to fit the full Fujifilm experience. As it stands now, I have zero interest in any of these lenses, mainly because of the lack of aperture rings. What do you think? Should Sigma include an aperture ring, even if they have to raise the price a little to do so?

Sigma Announces Three X-Mount Lenses

Sigma just announced three autofocus lenses for Fujifilm X-mount: 16mm f/1.4, 30mm f/1.4, and 56mm f/1.4. This is a big deal because 1) Sigma lenses are pretty darn good yet typically “affordable” and 2) it’s good to have options, which has been a little missing for Fujifilm photographers. These lenses can be pre-ordered and will ship in April.

I’m sitting here sipping my first cup of coffee, and already there has been plenty of press and early reviews published on these three lenses. What can I add that hasn’t already been said?

I’m glad that Sigma announced these lenses. I think it’s good. But I’m going to give you three quick reasons why you should not buy them. I’ll briefly explain why the similar Fujinon offerings are superior, and you should go with those instead.

First, there are no aperture rings on these Sigma lenses. Sigma literally took three already existing lenses for other mounts and made them compatible with X-mount. These lenses aren’t designed for the Fujifilm experience—they’re designed for Sony, in which you use a command wheel to adjust the aperture (yuck!). It is true that some Fujinon lenses work this same way, but most don’t. Most have an aperture ring, and that’s an important aspect of shooting Fujifilm. Sigma should have redesigned their lenses to include an aperture ring, but they didn’t, and I predict their X-mount lenses won’t sell as well because of this.

Second, behind the scenes, your Fujifilm camera is secretly fixing little flaws in the Fujinon glass. Fujifilm programmed their cameras to do this automatically, so you don’t know that there’s actually a little vignetting or chromatic aberrations or whatever else that doesn’t show in the pictures but is actually there if the camera wasn’t making this adjustment. Your camera won’t do this for third-party lenses. For the greatest optimization, stick with native glass.

Third, these three Sigma lenses are rather plain-looking. They don’t really match the retro-vibes of most Fujifilm X cameras because they look like modern lenses. Not all Fujinon lenses were modeled after vintage designs, but many of them were, and they match the stylings of the body much better than these Sigma offerings.

With all that said, there’s definitely a market for third-party autofocus lenses; however, they must offer something that Fujifilm doesn’t. It could be a focal-length and/or aperture. It could be quality. It could be speed. It could be size and/or weight. It could be price. What do these Sigma lenses offer that Fujifilm doesn’t? Let’s take a look.

Fujifilm offers a 16mm f/1.4 lens already—a high-quality, quick lens that’s smaller than the Sigma offering. The Sigma is less than half the price.

Fujifilm offers a 33mm f/1.4—a high-quality, quick lens that’s a similar size (and focal-length) to the Sigma offering. The Sigma is less than half the price.

Fujifilm offers a 56mm f/1.2—a high-quality, quick lens that’s a similar size to the Sigma offering (but larger maximum aperture). The Sigma is less than half the price.

Now you see why one would choose a Sigma lens over the Fujinon: to save some cash. They’re priced significantly cheaper while offering something similar. If you can afford it, the Fujinon lenses are better, but if not, this is a solid alternative that’s friendlier on the wallet. There are also lesser-expensive Fujinon options worth considering, which maybe don’t have the tech-sheet wow factor, but are otherwise fantastic lenses that you’re sure to be happy with.

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

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 $449 — B&H
Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 $999 — Amazon B&H
Fujifilm 16mm f/2.8 $399 — Amazon B&H

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 $339 — B&H
Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 $799 — Amazon B&H
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 $399 — Amazon B&H

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 $479 — B&H
Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 $999 — Amazon B&H
Fujinon 50mm f/2 $449 — Amazon B&H

Standard Provia vs Provia/Standard

Clearing Clouds Over Winter Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Standard Provia”

A couple days ago I published a new Film Simulation Recipe: Standard Provia. This recipe is the first in a new series, in which I attempt to customize each film simulation to optimize the aesthetic that Fujifilm intended—in other words, make a nice-looking recipe that is similar to yet better than the stock look of a film simulation. Provia is Fujifilm’s standard film simulation (that’s why they call it “Provia/Standard” and even abbreviate it “STD”), but it’s one of my least favorite. Sometimes, because I don’t get excited over it, I force myself to use Provia, hoping that it will improve my feelings about it.

The Provia film simulation doesn’t look like Provia film. In fact, it’s probably closer to Astia film, although it’s definitely not an exact match for that, either. There’s something that is “not right” about it to me, but I think it’s just my personal tastes. There are a lot of people who love the Provia film simulation and use it all of the time.

After I published my Standard Provia Film Simulation Recipe, I received feedback from several of you that I should have included a comparison with default Provia/Standard. So here it is! The Provia/Standard images have all of the parameters set to 0 or Off except for Noise Reduction, which is -4. Dynamic Range is DR200 and White Balance is Auto 0R & 0B. It’s basically factory Provia. These were all captured on a Fujifilm X-Pro3. Let’s take a look:

Move the bar left to reveal the default Provia/Standard image, and move it right to reveal the “Standard Provia” recipe image.
Move the bar left to reveal the default Provia/Standard image, and move it right to reveal the “Standard Provia” recipe image.
Move the bar left to reveal the default Provia/Standard image, and move it right to reveal the “Standard Provia” recipe image.

The most notable difference you might notice is that my recipe has less red, with a cooler/greener color cast that is more like typical of Fujicolor film. My recipe also has more contrast and saturation, and, in my opinion, looks better, as I find the default settings to be too flat. If you are looking for a “standard” recipe that utilizes Provia, I believe that my Standard Provia recipe is a good option.

What do you think? Do you like the default Provia/Standard settings better, or do you prefer my “Standard Provia” recipe? Let me know in the comments!

SOOC Episode 06 Viewers’ Images

I want to give a big “Thank You” to everyone who tuned into Episode 06 of SOOC, a collaboration between myself and Fuji X-Photographer Nathalie BoucryThis video series is live and interactive, so I’m especially grateful to all who participated! You are the ones who make these episodes great! Sorry that it took so long to get this video published, and I appreciate your patience.

In the video above are the viewers’ photographs, captured using the Cross Process film simulation recipe, that were shown during the show. It’s a short clip, so be sure to watch! I love seeing your pictures, and I’m honored that you submitted them for us to view.

The SOOC “recipe of the month” is Kodak Gold 200. Shoot with that recipe, and upload your pictures here to be featured in the next video! Season 02 Episode 01 will be on March 10 at 9 AM Pacific, 12 PM Eastern, so mark your calendars, and I look forward to seeing you then!

If you missed Episode 06, you can find it below.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Standard Provia

Clearing Clouds Over Winter Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Standard Provia”

This Film Simulation Recipe is the first in what will be a series, which will encompass several Fujifilm generations (not just X-Trans IV). I’m not exactly sure how many recipes will be in this series, but the intention is at least one for each film simulation offered by Fujifilm. This first recipe is compatible with X-Trans IV because Fujifilm sent me an X-Pro3 to try, and I have to return it soon, so I’m using it as much as practical so that I can write a review. The intention of this series is to customize each film simulation to optimization the aesthetic that Fujifilm intended. In other words, make a nice-looking recipe that is similar to yet better than the stock look of a film simulation. This first recipe, which I’ve titled simply Standard Provia, is my optimization of the Provia film simulation.

The Provia film simulation is not a facsimile of Provia slide film. I think Fujifilm just wanted to use the brandname for their “standard” colors, but there’s quite a divergence between the film simulation and the film. This recipe isn’t intended to mimic the film, but simply produce good results with the Provia film simulation (without modifying the overall aesthetic too much). The Provia film simulation is one of my least utilized, but I do believe this recipe makes good use of it.

Backlit Ivy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 “Standard Provia”

Because this recipe uses Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, it is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X-T3 or X-T30, you could replace Clarity with a diffusion filter and ignore Color Chrome FX Blue and Grain size, and get similar results that will be just a little different.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, -3 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Standard Provia” film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-Pro3:

Orange Traffic Barrier – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Vape On Main – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Small Table Decor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Abandoned Ice Chest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
End Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Hanging Around – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Blackberry Leaf in February – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Crossing With Falling Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Cautious Dirt – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Winter Storm over Wasatch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3

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-Pro3 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X100V Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-S10 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II Amazon B&H

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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Creative Collective 017: Slow Blur for Creative Effect

Nature in Motion – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

The rule-of-thumb that I was taught in photography school is that the minimum shutter speed should be the closest number to the focal-length of lens for sharp handheld photographs. This, of course, is assuming good techniques (such as how you stand, how you hold the camera, and how you breathe while capturing a picture). Fujifilm X cameras are crop sensor, so we have to take that into account. For example, the 23mm lens on my Fujifilm X100V is 34.5mm full-frame equivalent, so the minimum shutter speed for hand-held (not on tripod) pictures should be 1/40, perhaps 1/30 if you’re good. If you go less than that you are in real danger of “camera-shake” blur—fuzzy pictures from your movement. Even above that, if you aren’t careful, you could get it, so I personally try not to go slower than 1/60 handheld on my X100V if I can help it. If you aren’t using good techniques at all, you might even have to use 1/125 or faster to ensure sharp pictures.

But what happens when you purposefully go slower? What happens when you deliberately shake your camera during exposure for creative effect? Let’s find out!

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Fujifilm X-Pro3 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Agfa Ultra 100

Mutual Conversation – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Agfa Ultra 100”

Agfa Ultra 100 was a short lived film—introduced in 2003 and discontinued in 2005, although it was still available for a few years after—and was Agfa’s most vibrant color negative film. I’ve been attempting to mimic this film for a little while now (ever since I published the AgfaChrome RS 100 recipe last summer), but I couldn’t get it right. This Agfa Ultra 100 recipe actually has some similarities to the AgfaChrome RS 100 recipe, and (for this particular attempt) I used that recipe as the starting point. I never used this film, so I relied on online references and a couple pictures I found in an old magazine article as samples.

I’m actually not fully satisfied with this recipe. I think sometimes it’s pretty spot-on, and I think other times it is significantly off. Of course, one film can have several different aesthetics depending on how it was shot, developed, scanned and/or printed, and viewed, so perhaps that accounts for some of it. I think an argument can be made that Color should be +3 or even +4, but I also feel that sometimes that’s too much and +2 is just right. I think green is the least correct color, and if you do have a lot of green in the shot, you might consider increasing Color to +3 or +4 for a more accurate facsimile, although you might find reds and blues are rendered too strong if you do that.

Urban Sunstar – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Agfa Ultra 100”

Because this recipe uses Classic Negative, Clarity, and Color Chrome FX Blue, this Agfa Ultra 100 film simulation recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2
Shadow: -2
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Daylight, -2 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs captured using this “Agfa Ultra 100” film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-Pro3:

Red – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Blu – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Orange – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Walker Reflected – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Common Signs – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Pitched In Street Sign – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Elevator – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Street Crossing – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Sidewalk Seat Shadow – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Blue Boxes – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Urban Congo – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Sidewalk Closed In 150 Feet or Less – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3

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-Pro3 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X100V Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-S10 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II Amazon B&H

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!

$2.00

10 Most Important Fujifilm X-Trans Cameras

Fujifilm X-Trans is 10-years-old, and I thought it would be fun to list the 10 most important X-Trans models of all-time. The first X-series camera was the X100, but it had an EXR sensor, and not X-Trans. The first with the X-Trans sensor was the X-Pro1, which came out in 2012. I already wrote an article explaining the history of that camera, which you can read here. For this post, I’ll simply give my opinion on which X-Trans models were the most important.

Here we go!

10. Fujifilm X-E1

The Sexy One—I mean, X-E1—was the second X-Trans camera introduced by Fujifilm, and offered retro rangefinder styling in an affordable package. It had its problems (many that were fixed or improved by firmware updates), which hindered its commercial success, yet it is still a beloved camera 10 years later. Without the X-E1, there would be no X-E2, X-E2s, X-E3, or X-E4. While the X-E lineup isn’t usually a top-seller for Fujifilm, it is much loved by those who do own them. The Fujifilm X-E1 was my introduction into the X-series, so without it there would be no Fuji X Weekly.

9. Fujifilm X-Pro2

The X-Pro2 was not only the first X-Trans III camera, it was the first with a dual memory-card slot. For some, this was the first X-Trans camera that could be taken seriously—clearly aimed at professional photographers. It not only looked good, but had the specs and features to convince serious photographers to take a close look, and maybe even sell their full-frame gear in favor of Fujifilm.

8. Fujifilm X-T4

The X-T4 is the full-frame killer. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the it is an amazing tool for both professional photographers and videographers. To date, the X-T4 is the most “premium” X-series model made by Fujifilm, and is the camera that’s convinced countless people to choose Fujifilm over other brands.

7. Fujifilm X100V

The X100V is a solid update to the X100F, and is my “desert island” camera—if I could only have one, it would be this. For a lot of people who are unsure if they want to jump into the deep end of the Fujifilm pool, the X100-series allows them to get their feet wet without having to invest in the whole system. Once people do dip their toes, they discover that the water is fine. Although all of the five X100-series cameras are great, including the original X100, the X100V is definitely the best.

6. Fujifilm X-Pro3

The X-Pro3 is a controversial camera due to its unusual backwards-mounted rear screen. People seem to love or hate it. While it might be Fujifilm’s most polarizing camera, it has been a solid success, and a sought-after body since its introduction. Also, this was the first camera with Classic Negative, Clarity, and Color Chrome FX Blue, among other things.

5. Fujifilm X-H1

While it was initially considered a flop, the X-H1 now has a cult-like following. The X-H1 was even more top-of-the-line than the X-T2. It was the first X-Trans camera with the Eterna film simulation and IBIS, and had the best video specs when it was released. In a lot of ways, it was the X-T4 of the X-Trans III generation models (although in a body more reminiscent of the GFX50S), and was supposed to convince full-frame shooters to consider Fujifilm instead. Due to its high MSRP, sales were super sluggish, and Fujifilm had to steeply slash the price tag to get people to buy it. Those who did buy it were rewarded with an amazing camera! It’s a workhorse for many professional photographers, even if they own newer models, they often choose the X-H1 to do the heavy lifting.

4. Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F is the camera that I first started making Film Simulation Recipes with. Fuji X Weekly was originally a long-term review (or journal, really) of this camera. The impact the X100F has had on the Fujifilm community and even the photography continuum cannot be quantified, but know that’s it’s massive. For me, the X100F changed my life, and that’s not hyperbole—it took a lot of self-control to not put it at the number one spot on this list.

3. Fujifilm X-T3

Have you ever wondered why Fujifilm hasn’t discontinued the X-T3 even though the X-T4 has been out for almost two years? It’s because the X-T3 is the top-selling X-series camera of all time, and continues to sell really well even today. Yes, it’s about three-and-a-half years old, but as long as people continue to buy it in droves, it will continue to be manufactured by Fujifilm. I wouldn’t be surprised if the X-T4 is discontinued before the X-T3. This is the only camera on this list that I haven’t personally used, but I know for certain that it’s a great model.

2. Fujifilm X-T1

A lot of people might be surprised that the X-T1 made it so high on this list, not because the camera isn’t great (because it is great), but because the reason might not seem obvious. What was so special about this model to make it all the way to number two? The X-T1 was Fujifilm’s first real commercially successful camera. Yes, the X-Trans models that came before this—X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2, X-M1, X20, XQ1, and X100S—did well enough (more or less, depending on the camera), but the X-T1 sold significantly better than them all. It really brought Fujifilm into the forefront, and made a lot of people take notice. For a large number of photographers, the X-T1 was the first model that made them seriously consider buying X-Trans.

1. Fujifilm X-Pro1

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 was where X-Trans began. All of the current Fujifilm cameras are here today because the X-Pro1 made a big splash with its retro rangefinder design and hybrid viewfinder 10 years ago. If it had not sold well, the X-series might have ended there, or not long after. But it did sell well, and is even in-demand to this day. That’s why the X-Pro1 is the number one most important Fujifilm X-Trans camera of all time.

Conclusion

What about the other cameras that deserve to be on this list? The original X100 is not here because it is not X-Trans (a requirement for this list), but I could have included the X100S, which the first X100-series model with an X-Trans sensor. The X100T was the first camera with Classic Chrome—except that a lot of people forget that one month earlier the X30 was released with Classic Chrome, and the X100T was actually a close second. The X-T10 was Fujifilm’s first real successful mid-range model—the X-T20 and X-T30 were pretty darn successful, too, and the X-T30 II is off to a solid start. The X-S10 has also done well, and is the cheapest model with IBIS. I think there are a number of cameras that could have made this list. What do you think? Do you agree with my Top 10? Would you replace any? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

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-T4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X100V Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T3 Amazon B&H

Postponed: SOOC Season 02 Episode 01

I’m sorry to report that SOOC Season 02 Episode 01 has been delayed. Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no SOOC broadcasts in February, and the new season will kick off now on March 10th. I apologize for any inchonvieneces that this might cause.

If you missed the last episode, I’ve included it at the top of this post. It was a fun broadcast, so I hope that you enjoy it.

See you next month!

Fujifilm X-Pro3 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Vintage Color v2

February Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Vintage Color v2”

This “Vintage Color v2” recipe is a modification of the original Vintage Color Film Simulation Recipe. In the comments, Thomas Schumacher suggested using Classic Negative instead of Eterna. Sometimes when you try a different film simulation than what the recipe calls for, you discover interesting results. Well, I gave it a try and loved the results; however, I made a couple more modifications. Because Classic Negative has a lot more contrast built into it than Eterna, I chose DR400 (instead of DR200) to help prevent clipped highlights. Classic Negative also has more saturation than Eterna, so I set Color to -1 (instead of +1). I also changed Clarity to -3 (instead of -2) just to soften it a tad. The results produced by this “Vintage Color v2” recipe can be absolutely fantastic!

This recipe has almost two different looks, depending on the exposure. You can reduce exposure a little—go almost low-key—and get a wonderfully moody feel. You can also increase exposure a little—go almost high-key—and achieve something somewhat similar to overexposed Fujicolor Pro 400H. You can get beautiful pictures either way. Or split the difference and still get excellent results.

Pillars – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 – “Vintage Color v2”

This “Vintage Color v2” 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. I use the pause to slow myself down, but if you need to be quick, and if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you can always set Clarity to 0, and add it later by reprocessing the RAW file in-camera.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +3
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
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: 0 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs captured using this “Vintage Color v2” film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-Pro3:

High Rise & Moon – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
KeyBank – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Bronze Building – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Bank Above Macy’s – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Boy With Nerf Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Fake Succulent on Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
House At Last Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Winter Bloom Remnants – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Frozen Pond near Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Grass & Frozen Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Wild Gold – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3
Backlit Marsh Reed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3

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

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Fujifilm Sent Me An X-Pro3 & 33mm f/1.4!

Fujifilm sent me an X-Pro3 camera and 33mm f/1.4 lens to borrow for a few weeks. I get to use them, but I don’t get to keep them. In fact, if you’ve ever read a review of this camera or lens, there’s a good chance that this exact copy is what was reviewed. I don’t have any obligation to write a review, but of course I will, after I’ve had a chance to put the camera and lens to the test.

My initial impressions of the X-Pro3?

I currently own an X-Pro1, and I’ve extensively used an X-Pro2; the X-Pro3 is a very similar camera. The headline difference is the backwards-mounted rear screen, which I think people will love, hate, or both love-and-hate simultaneously. It’s way too early to know for sure, but I think I’m going to be in that love-hate category. Maybe once I use it more I will feel differently about it. I wonder, though, why the rear screen doesn’t swing to the side instead of down? I find it less than ideal when I need to use it, but I do like that the camera is designed to encourage you to not use the screen, because, when you don’t need it, the experience is better when it is hidden. I love the little “box top” screen that’s in its place. Inside, the X-Pro3 is a lot like other X-Trans IV cameras, such as the X100V. The ability to save in 16-bit TIFFs could be reason enough to buy this camera, although I haven’t examined this closely yet. So far, the X-Pro3 seems to be a workhorse body that one could happily use for many years. Be on the lookout for a full-review in a few weeks.

My initial impressions of the Fujinon 33mm f1.4?

Amazing lens! Do I need to say more? It’s definitely bigger and heavier than my Fujinon 35mm f/2, but also perhaps optically superior and with great character, which says a lot, because the 35mm f/2 is a great lens. The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 is for the X system what the Fujinon 63mm f/2.8 is for the GFX system, but maybe better. There will be a full-review of this lens in the future, but I can tell you right away that you won’t be disappointed if you should buy it—it really is a fast 50mm-equivalent prime lens that’s top-notch.

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-Pro3 Amazon B&H
Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 Amazon B&H

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured on a Fujifilm X-Pro3 and Fujinon 33mm f/1.4:

Boy With Nerf Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.4 – Upcoming Recipe
Fake Succulent on Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.4 – Upcoming Recipe
House At Last Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/9 – Upcoming Recipe
Winter Bloom Remnants – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/8 – Upcoming Recipe
February Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Frozen Pond near Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Grass & Frozen Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Wild Gold – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/10 – Upcoming Recipe
Backlit Marsh Reed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/6.4 – Upcoming Recipe
Forgotten Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.8 – “Nostalgic Negative
Yellow Tape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/4 – “Nostalgic Negative
11 Stop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/4 – “Nostalgic Negative
Rays Through Evergreen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/14 – “Nostalgic Negative

My Fujifilm X100V Adapter & Filters

I’ve been asked a few times recently what adapter and filters I use on my Fujifilm X100V. I will state right off the bat that my choices aren’t necessarily the “best” ones, it’s just what I’ve done. There are likely better options, and perhaps different choices that would be better for you, so keep that in mind. With that said, let me get right into the adapter and filters that I use on my Fujifilm X100V.

The X100V doesn’t initially appear to be able to accept filters. There are no screw-in threads visible. But there’s a “secret” ring around the lens that unscrews to reveal threads, but these threads cannot accept filters. You need to buy an adapter to screw into those threads that has its own threads that filters can screw into. Make sense?

The top reason why you want to do this is because the X100V is almost weather-sealed. The one unsealed point is the lens, but Fujifilm says that if you put a filter in front of it, that should give you protection from the elements. To complete the weather-sealing process, you need to buy an adapter and filter.

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

Fujifilm offers their own adapter, but it’s not cheap. I’m a cheapskate, so I went with the $10 Haoge adapter instead, and saved about $40. I think the only disadvantage is that the lens cap fits a little loosely over the adapter, but probably fits snugly on the Fujifilm option (just guessing). There are lots of other choices, including some that have a lens hood included. I don’t think which adapter you choose is all that important, but obviously it’s got to work for you.

I have tons of filters, some going back to the film days. Many of them are not 49mm (the correct filter size for the X100V), but some are, and I don’t use all of them. The number one most used filter is the Fotasy 49mm Ultra Slim UV, which is less than $10. For under $20, it’s possible to add that layer of weather protection to give you some peace of mind. I also own a Hoya UV filter (that predates my X100V), but it’s black and I prefer silver, so I don’t usually use it (yet I have used it), and a Nicna UV filter, which I have no idea where it came from. The UV filter doesn’t do much for you photographically, but it does give a layer of protection, and 90% of the time this is how my X100V is configured.

About 10% of the time I use a diffusion filter instead of (or in conjunction with) the UV filter. The one that I use the most is the 5% CineBloom, which gives a very subtle effect. A 10% CineBloom and 1/4 Black Pro Mist are occasionally used, while a 20% CineBloom is almost never used because it is so strong. If I could only have one, it would be the 5% CineBloom, but I do use the 10% CineBloom and 1/4 Black Pro Mist sometimes, and even use them together, so it’s nice having them around. I have considered buying a 1/8 Black Pro Mist because I think I’d use it frequently, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on that one yet.

What’s left? I own a Tiffen 49mm Circular Polarizer that I rarely use. I probably should use it more, because CPLs are great for reducing unwanted reflections. To some extent, it’s theoretically possible to mimic Color Chrome FX Blue with a CPL filter, I think, although I’ve never tried. I also have a Hoya Intensifier (a.k.a. Didymium filter or Starscape filter) that I’ve used a few times. I have some 49mm color filters for B&W film photography, but obviously those don’t work well on the X100V (I tried). I also have a Hoya 80A filter, which actually does work on the X100V, but I pretty much never use it.

I’m not sure which filters are right for you, but at the very least consider attaching an adapter and UV filter to give your Fujifilm X100V a little more weather protection. I like using diffusion filters sometimes, but not all of the time, and usually less is more when it comes to these. That’s what works for me, but you’ll have to figure out what works for you. Hopefully, this article is helpful to some of you. Let me know in the comments which filters you use on your X100-series camera, because I’d love to know.

Nikon Zfc vs Fujifilm X-Trans

Fujifilm X-T30 & Nikon Zfc

I’m a Fujifilm fanboy, but this new Nikon looks quite nice.

Maybe you can relate: I’m a sucker for retro-inspired cameras, and the Nikon Zfc had me drooling the day that it was announced. I love Fujifilm, yet I have nothing against Nikon—I used to shoot with Nikon DSLRs, and a few of my favorite photographs were captured on Nikon cameras. I figured that if I’m interested in the Zfc, maybe some of you are, too, so I purchased one to try. At the very least I could compare it to Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, and explain the similarities and differences.

At first glance the Zfc looks like it’s in the same class as the Fujifilm X-T30. There are certainly some similarities between the two models. The Zfc has a rear screen and knob arrangement that’s more like the X-T4, so I thought it could, perhaps, even fall in-between those two models somewhere, and serve as an upper-mid-tier APS-C mirrorless camera. It’s hard to tell from looking at pictures, but that’s what I was expecting.

When I pulled the Zfc out of the box, a few things surprised me. First, the camera is bigger than I expected. It’s much larger and noticeably heavier than the Fujifilm X-E4 that I frequently shoot with. It’s a little larger and slightly heavier than my X-T30. It’s almost as big as an X-T4, although much lighter. The Fujifilm camera in my collection that’s most similar in size and weight to the Zfc is the Fujifilm X-T1.

The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens (that came with the camera) is massive, too. I thought, perhaps, there’d be some similarities between the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens and the Nikkor glass, but other than maximum aperture and similar focal-length, these two lenses are much different. The Fujifilm lens is smaller, lighter, sharper, and superior in pretty much every way. That’s not to say that the Nikkor lens is bad, but it’s definitely not as good as the Fujinon, which happens to be my favorite lens. Nikon didn’t include an aperture ring on the 28mm f/2.8 (or any other Z glass), which I think is a big oversight.

Another surprise is how plasticky the Zfc feels. It doesn’t look plasticky, and its weight suggests that it’s not all that plasticky, but it definitely feels plasticky when you use it. I wouldn’t trust this camera to survive a hard fall. It doesn’t appear to be a cheap camera (and its price tag would confirm this), but when you use it, the feeling is that it’s a budget body, and not mid-range.

After considering where it best compares to Fujifilm models, the one I think the Zfc is most comparable to is the X-T200. If Fujifilm had put markings on the customizable unmarked knobs, the two cameras would be very similar (aside from size and weight). For those who don’t know, the X-T200 was Fujifilm’s budget option, with a price of $700 for the body or $800 bundled with a kit zoom. The X-T200 didn’t last long (both introduced and discontinued in 2020) because it didn’t sell well. Perhaps the Zfc sits a little above the X-T200, but in my opinion that’s the most similar Fujifilm model.

One last surprise is that the shutter and ISO knobs are more for looks than practical use. You see, there’s a PASM switch, and only when you are in the correct PASM position do the knobs actually do anything. If this camera had been designed correctly, PASM would be completely unnecessary, and the knobs would always do something if you turned them. It’s a much different user experience than what most Fujifilm cameras deliver, and maybe more confusing.

I understand that those who don’t have a background in classic film cameras and have only used PASM might be intimidated when trying Fujifilm X cameras for the first time. I think that’s one reason why the X-T200 and X-S10 cameras were designed the way they were: intended to be less intimidating to the uninitiated. So perhaps Nikon had that in mind with the Zfc, but this was certainly an opportunity to break the mold and offer a different experience to their users, and they just couldn’t do it—it really is a missed opportunity.

Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Pure” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Fujicolor Reala 100” recipe

Fujifilm is known for their Film Simulations and JPEG output. I’ve published over 200 Film Simulation Recipes to achieve various looks straight-out-of-camera. I even made an App (available for both Android and Apple) for these JPEG recipes. Fujifilm used their vast experience with film to create profiles that are modeled after film. For many Fujifilm photographers, Film Simulations (and recipes) are an intrinsic element of the user experience and picture aesthetic. For Nikon, their lesser-known equivalent is called Picture Control, with a subset called Creative Picture Control. While Fujifilm’s Film Simulations are inspired by film, Nikon’s Picture Controls are inspired by feelings and mood. It’s a much different take, and not necessarily better or worse—simply a divergent approach that’s worth noting. Fujifilm infuses an analog soul into their digital images, while Nikon infuses emotions that may or may not be analog-esque into their images.

Those who are regular readers of the Fuji X Weekly blog already know this, but for those who don’t, I’m a JPEG shooter. Many years ago I was a RAW guy, but Fujifilm cameras changed that for me. Shooting JPEG saves me time while making the process more enjoyable, as I get the look I want straight-out-of-camera without the need to edit. That’s my perspective.

It’s clear to me that, over the last decade, Fujifilm has invested more R&D dollars and time into their JPEG output than Nikon has. The Zfc is a new camera, but the JPEG quality is closer to X-Trans I—which is 10-years-old now—than X-Trans IV, which is very soon to be replaced by X-Trans V. When viewing on social media or the internet, you can’t tell, but when pixel-peeping, the Fujifilm X-E4 (for example) produces sharper, more detailed images, with more pleasing noise and fewer banding and artifact issues than the Zfc. It’s not a night-and-day difference (and I’m not suggesting that the JPEGs from the Zfc are bad), but it’s definitely noticeable when viewed closely, and I personally prefer the pictures produced by the X-E4; however, it only really matters if you are pixel-peeping, cropping deeply, or printing posters, and otherwise doesn’t matter.

Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Dream” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Kodak Portra 400 Warm” recipe
Crop from Nikon Zfc.
Crop from Fujifilm X-E4.

If you want the full Fujifilm photography experience, there’s no substitute for Fujifilm. The Nikon Zfc looks like it could deliver a similar experience, but it falls short in multiple ways. I would suggest the Fujifilm X-T30 II or X-E4 instead, which are similarly priced (cheaper actually), and are better cameras, in my opinion. The Fujifilm X-T3 WW is another solid option with a similar price point (slightly more expensive). With that said, the Zfc is still a very beautiful camera that’s fun to use and produces quality pictures.

If you already own a Nikon Z camera and lenses but like retro-styling, the Zfc is for you. An advantage of Nikon Z is that Z lenses are compatible with their full-frame mirrorless line. So perhaps you start with the Zfc and 28mm lens, but then you later add a couple lenses to your collection, and even later buy a Z7 II. Or maybe it’s the other way around: your Z7 II is big and heavy, so you add a Zfc for travel and walk-around photography, and the lenses you already own are compatible. This is why you buy a Nikon Zfc, I think.

Obviously, they’re hoping that the Zfc will convince those from other brands to try Nikon. My first thought is that those “moving up” from Micro-4/3 will be tempted by this model, although I’m not sure that this camera is convincing enough. Those dissatisfied by Sony, Canon, and Pentax might consider this model, if based on nothing more than looks, which is most likely what it would be based on because the Zfc lacks innovation that would attract photographers from other brands.

Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Sunday” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Analog Gold” recipe

I don’t think the Zfc will snag very many from Fujifilm. Maybe if you’ve never liked the lack of PASM—maybe. But other than good-looks, which your Fujifilm camera already offers, the Zfc doesn’t give you a good reason to switch brands. I can tell you with certainty that I won’t be switching brands anytime soon.

If you like your cameras to have retro-styling, the Nikon Zfc is one of your options. It’s a good camera that’s fun to use, but it’s not as good or as fun as a Fujifilm X-Trans model, like the X-T30 II or X-E4, which are slightly less expensive. My recommendation is to buy the Nikon Zfc only if you are already invested into the Z system, or if you are planning to get into that system for the long-term. Otherwise, there are better options, and if you are looking for those better options, let me point you towards Fujifilm.

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

Nikon Zfc Amazon B&H
Nikon Zfc + 28mm f/2.8 Amazon B&H
Nikon Zfc + 16-50mm Amazon B&H
Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8  Amazon   B&H
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II + 15-45mm  B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II + 18-55mm B&H
Fujifilm X-T3 WW  Amazon  B&H

Example photographs, captured with Nikon Zfc and Fujifilm X-E4:

Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Melancholic” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — AgfaChrome RS 100” recipe
Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Dramatic” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Muted Color” recipe
Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Morning” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Pushed CineStill 800T” recipe
Nikon Zfc & 28mm — “Silence” Picture Control
Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm — “Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled” recipe

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