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!

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 comments

  1. Nigel Hart · February 25

    Please bring back the comparison sliders, they were an excellent addition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 1

      I appreciate the feedback! I’ve had mixed reactions to the sliders, as they don’t seem to work for some people (depending on how they view the website), but I’m glad to know that you liked them. Thank you!

      Like

  2. ali · February 27

    Just wondering why most film sims here involve over exposing. Are Fujifilm sims regularly darker than the stock being emulated? Film tends to be brighter than digital? Curious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 1

      I think Fujifilm’s meter tends to be a little dark (underexpose), probably to protect highlights (there’s a lot more room for shadow recovery than highlight–film, excluding slide, is the opposite: much more room in the highlights than shadows). But the curve created by the recipe also affects this, and some of my recipes actually require underexposing (although most require a little overexposure based on the in-camera meter reading).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. walker · March 2

    Velvia has never worked for me and still does. Even with film I struggled with it. Who knows!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Myron · March 13

    I have an X-E3. I am trying to understand your WB settings. It says (Auto) -1 Red & -2 Blue. So basically I can’t just use one of the custom WB presets 1-3, because it wouldn’t also be Auto whitebalanced. I have to tune the default Auto WB instead? This is very limiting, especially if you have multiple film simulations you want to use, that have slightly different Auto WB settings.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 16

      The Custom White Balance is a custom WB measurement. Basically the idea is if you are photographing an event in different light situations, you can take up to three different custom WB measurements and switch between those as you go between the different light situations. Unfortunately, for cameras older than the X-Pro3 (such as your X-E3), the camera cannot save the WB shift within each Custom Settings preset, so you have to remember to change it. This article might be helpful:
      https://fujixweekly.com/2021/11/26/fxw-app-filter-by-white-balance-how-to-use-this-new-feature/

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s