Goodbye Utah, Hello Adventures!

Denny’s Days – Beaver, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Kodachrome 64

Goodbye, Utah.

I’ve called Utah home for six years, but now it’s time to move on. It’s bitter-sweet, as I will certainly miss the unbelievable natural beauty of the state, but I’m excited for the new adventures that await. Utah is a great place to live—I feel very lucky to have called it home.

What you don’t know is that (quite literally) as soon as the last episode of SOOC ended, I began packing. And loading. And everything else that goes along with moving. I’ve been extraordinarily busy, to say the least! I apologize for not being very responsive to comments and emails and such over the last couple of weeks. I’m definitely behind on that, but I hope to catch up soon. I appreciate your patience!

Leaving the Neighborhood – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – Upcoming Recipe

What now? Where am I going?

The family and I started out on an epic all-American road-trip. We’ll be traveling for five weeks (!!!), which will allow for some awesome picture opportunities (and probably a few new Film Simulation Recipes). My goal is to keep up with Fuji X Weekly and all the other projects that I have going on, including SOOC, which will be live on May 12. I think some days will be particularly productive, and some days will be especially not, but with some luck it will all work out. I just ask for a little patience during those less-productive periods.

After the road trip is complete, we will end up in Arizona. We’re saying goodbye to mountains and trees and snow and hello to deserts and cacti and sunshine. We’ll get there just in time for the heat of summer, and I hope that we survive (I mean that humorously)—my wife and I used to live there years ago (it’s where we met and got married), so in a way it is a homecoming.

Utah was very good and will be greatly missed; however, many wonderful new experiences are just around the corner, and we’re very excited for that. Be sure to follow my journey on this blog and on Instagram!

Criticisms & Curation

Low Sun over Tetons Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

I receive a lot of feedback—while most of it is positive, some of it is negative. Negative feedback isn’t inherently bad—in fact, it can be extraordinarily valuable—so I’m happy to receive it; however, not all of it is equal: there’s constructive criticism and destructive criticism.

Just guessing, about 70% of the negative feedback could be classified as destructive criticism, which is simply a put-down. It’s negativity for the sake of negativity. It’s meant to make the person saying it feel better about themselves by way of making someone else (me in this case) feel worse about themselves. People are mean sometimes, and that’s just the way it is. The world needs less destructive criticism and more kindness—the antidote is to be the kindness that the world desperately needs.

Constructive criticism is negative feedback that is meant well and is given with the intention of being helpful. Roughly 30% of negative feedback is constructive criticism. Within this, there are two sources: those who you should listen to and those who you shouldn’t. Just because someone has a complaint about something and they mean well doesn’t mean that you should listen to them. Do you trust them? Are they an authority or have some specific experience that makes them particularly qualified to offer quality advice? I would estimate that it is fifty-fifty on whether the constructive criticism is something valuable or not. That 15% of negative feedback that is constructive and from a trustworthy source is pure gold and much appreciated—well worth weeding through the 85% that isn’t.

Sometimes there are grey areas. Sometimes it’s not clear if the criticism is constructive or destructive, or whether the source is someone I should listen to or not. I tend to spend a lot of energy on these criticisms because I’m trying to figure out if there is value in it. So I have to process it. One such “grey area” criticism that I recently received is this: the pictures in one of my articles were not good enough for the words and subject—the article demanded better pictures to illustrate the point, and because the pictures weren’t good enough, I shouldn’t have published the article. Ouch!

Teton Blue – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

One thing that I’ve always struggled with is curation. Advice that I’ve received over and over and over again is that I should only show the best of the best photographs. If you only show the absolute cream-of-the-crop pictures, people will think you’re a better photographer. Perception is reality, right? People will think you’re a great photographer if all of the photographs of yours that they view are great. But if they start seeing mediocre images, they’ll think you are a mediocre photographer. The truth is that everyone—even the greatest photographers—captures “lesser” pictures sometimes, but some people don’t share those pictures, so nobody knows.

I think sometimes showing these mediocre pictures is more authentic and honest. I’m not sure where the line should drawn when trying to balance perception with vulnerability. Obviously you want people to think the best of you; however, if what you let them see is too carefully curated then you’ll come across as fake, or you’ll leave people disappointed if they do ever find out the truth. I find this to be a tough balancing act. I share more of my frames than most people do, and perhaps I do show too many “lesser” pictures, and that might not be good.

Because I share some of my mediocre pictures with you on this website, I’m able to publish more content. If I waited until I had 12 or more great photographs before publishing a Film Simulation Recipe, I’d have far, far fewer recipes. That’s always a struggle: quality vs. quantity. I have a large quantity of material, but have I not focused enough on quality? Have I sacrificed quality too often for the sake of quantity? Does the quality make the content relatable? These are questions that I ask myself, but I don’t have good answers to them. I hope that I can continuously review and refine what I do, and hopefully this website becomes better and better with time.

Am I not curating enough? I’m I publishing too much content too quickly? What is the right balance? I have to really consider these things. Perhaps these are questions you, too, are pondering. I’d love to hear what you think, especially if this is something you are working through yourself or have had to work through in the past. If you have criticisms, please try to make them constructive and not destructive, but I definitely want to hear your feedback, so leave me a note in the comments!

Shooting with the Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe

Working – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”

One of my favorite Film Simulation Recipes is Kodak Vision3 250D. It produces wonderful warm tones, and has a vague cinematic feel. Colors pop but not overly so. There’s a lot of contrast, yet it rarely feels like too much, and shadows aren’t overly deep. If you have an X-Trans IV camera and haven’t tried this recipe, you really should!

The Kodak Vision3 250D recipe is intended for the X-T3 and X-T30 cameras, but with some slight modifications it can be used on “newer” X-Trans IV cameras, like my Fujifilm X-E4: I set Clarity to 0, Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, and Grain size to Small. If you have an X-H1, which has the Eterna film simulation, you can also use this recipe, but it will look slightly different because you don’t have Color Chrome Effect. Also, I used this recipe with much success on a GFX 50S camera, as seen in the video below.

In the last SOOC broadcast, Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry and I introduced the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe as the recipe-of-the-month. Shoot with this recipe and upload your pictures here to be included in the next SOOC episode, which will be live on May 12. Also, all those who upload their images captured with this recipe will have a chance to win a one-year subscription to the Fuji X Weekly App.

If you missed the last episode of SOOC, you can watch it below. Also, Season 02 Episode 03 is already scheduled, so be sure to mark your calendars and set a reminder. We will finish our discussion of the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe, showcase your images, and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month: Fujicolor Superia 800. It will be a great time—both fun and educational—and I hope that you can join us! SOOC is interactive, so the more that can tune-in and participate, the better the show is.

I captured the photographs in this article recently using my Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached to it. I love this combo! It’s great for travel, street, or just everyday walk-around photography. And the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe works great on it! It doesn’t matter if it’s street, landscape, or candid portrait photography—or almost anything else—this recipe does quite well.

The Kodak Vision3 250D recipe, along with over 200 others, is on the Fuji X Weekly App. If you don’t have it on your phone, be sure to download it now!

Dancing Joy – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
No Fun – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Urban Daisies – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Ivy Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Willow – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”

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-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 XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: CineStill 50D

Wind from the West – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 – “CineStill 50D”

CineStill 50D is Kodak Vision3 50D (a low-ISO daylight color negative motion picture film) with the remjet layer removed so that it can be developed via the C-41 process. I’ve been asked many times to recreate the look of this film for Fujifilm X cameras. I’ve attempted multiple times, but never succeeded—even this recipe I’m a little hesitant to share because it is “as close as I can get” but perhaps not as close as I’d like it to be. I think some of you will really appreciate it, and I hope everyone else can excuse that it isn’t perhaps the most accurate recipe I’ve ever made.

There were a few tricky parts creating this CineStill 50D recipe. First, I’ve never shot the film, and had to rely on examples from the internet. Second, there are at least three distinct aesthetics produced by this film, which I assume is from how it was shot, developed, and scanned. All films can vary in looks depending on a lengthy host of factors, and this one seems especially so. I picked one specific aesthetic that I came across as the basis of this recipe, and I think this recipe mimics that pretty well. Third, I came across an article stating that CineStill 50D scans must be treated as RAW images, as “they’re not finished straight out of the scanner.” That made me wonder how much editing had been done to the picture samples I found—how much of the look was from the film and how much was from the software. These were just some of the challenges.

Spring & Winter on Wasatch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “CineStill 50D”

Because the film is missing the remjet layer, it is particularly prone to halation, so I used a 10% CineBloom filter for a couple of these pictures (such as the one above) to mimic that. I don’t think it helped as much as I thought it might, so I discontinued that pretty quickly, but it certainly something you can try. I think this recipe looks best in direct sunlight. Under overcast, shade, indoor, or nighttime light it can produce interesting results, but is “most accurate” to the film when photographing in blue-sky daylight. Because it uses Clarity, this recipe is not compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30; however, if you use a diffusion filter—such as 10% CineBloom or 1/4 Black Pro Mist—in lieu of Clarity, that will give you similar (but not identical) results.

Astia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: 0
Color: -4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 6800K, -5 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “CineStill 50D” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Seagulls Circling Haystack Rock – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Small Church – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cracker Barrel – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Bread Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Flag Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tulip Sale – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tree & Block Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
House in the Trees – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Country Barn – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Shrub at Night – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Playing Games – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

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

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Lens Review: Fujinon XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR

Fujinon 33mm f/1.4

Earlier this year Fujifilm sent me an X-Pro3 camera and Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens to try for a few weeks. The camera and lens are long gone—of the two, the one I miss the most is the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens. Yes, the X-Pro3 is great and was a lot of fun to shoot with, but that lens is something special!

What I remember about the development of the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens is that the original intention was for it to have an f/1 maximum aperture, but early in the design stages Fujifilm realized that in order to do so the lens would have to be both very large and very expensive, so they scaled it back to f1.4 instead. The 33mm focal length might seem odd until you take into account the APS-C crop factor—it’s full-frame equivalent to 49.5mm, which means it’s a “nifty fifty” lens.

Fujifilm already has a number of lenses that are close-ish to the 50mm (equivalent) focal-length: the 35mm f/2 (actually, there are two) and 35mm f/1.4 are just a little more telephoto, while the 27mm f/2.8 is a little more wide-angle (and is the closest “as the eyes see” lens in the Fujinon lineup). The 33mm f/1.4 seems a bit unnecessary when judged simply on this, but I do think it was a solid addition when Fujifilm released it last September.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens is any good or not. Of course it is—”Fujinon” is printed on it, and that’s an assurance of quality. The lens is super sharp edge-to-edge, even wide open, but especially when stopped down just a little. This lens out-resolves the 26mp sensors found on the current lineup, and I believe is capable of resolving future higher-resolution offerings that are in the pipeline. Fujifilm built this lens with the future in mind, yet in the meantime it allows you to maximize current cameras’ quality potential. Bokeh is beautiful. Aberrations and flare are fairly well controlled. There is almost no distortion. There is a very small amount of vignetting in the corners when wide open, but it is extremely minimal—you’re not likely to notice unless you are looking closely for it. Sunstars are excellent. While I believe that the flaws in lenses are what gives them character, this lens has proven that position wrong, because this is a near-flawless lens that is oozing with wonderful character. Bravo, Fujifilm!

While some might have wished for that f/1 aperture originally intended for this lens, I found f/1.4 to be more than enough. In daylight conditions, it’s actually difficult to use that large of an aperture, but indoors or at night it can come in handy. It’s possible to get a very narrow depth-of-field, especially if you are focused near the minimum distance (about 12″). I find it interesting that the GFX 63mm f/2.8 is basically the same thing for GFX as the 33mm f/1.4 lens is for X-series, with the same equivalent focal-length and same depth-of-field at maximum aperture. Aside from the resolution difference, you’re basically getting “medium format quality” from this lens—I’m not exactly sure what that means, but know that the lens is superb.

Another thing that you probably want to know is that this lens is weather-sealed, so if you attach it to a weather-sealed camera body, you’re good to go out into the elements. While I didn’t find myself in very many situations where this came in handy, it could be important to you, depending on the type of photography that you do, and where you live. Autofocus is super snappy and nearly silent. Build quality is excellent.

The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 is a little less than 3″ long and weighs about 0.8 pounds. It’s noticeably bigger and heftier than some Fujinon primes, including the 35mm offerings and especially the 27mm f/2.8. I found it balanced really well on the X-Pro3, X-T4 and X-H1, and it balanced moderately well on the X-T30 and X-T1, but it didn’t seem to balance well with the X-E4. If I did own this lens, I would still use it on my X-E4, but I’d likely use the 27mm f/2.8 much more often on that camera. Basically, this lens pairs particularly well with larger X-series cameras.

The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens retails for $799, which is definitely on the higher end. Is it worth quadruple the price of the cheap XC 35mm f/2? Is it worth double the price of the XF 35mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8? Is it worth 33% more than the 35mm f/1.4? I can’t answer that for you, but if it is a lens you will use often—an essential tool in your kit—then probably yes. If not, perhaps consider one of the other options. If you do buy it, I have no doubts that it will instantly become one of your favorite lenses, and you’ll keep it for many years to come.

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

Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 Amazon B&H

Example photographs captured using the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens:

Indoor Blooms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/8 – “Fujicolor Superia 800
Sunlit Succulent – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/9 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”
Agave Blue – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/8 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”
Mutual Conversation – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Agfa Ultra 100
Red – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Agfa Ultra 100”
Boy With Nerf Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.4 – “Vintage Color v2
Forgotten Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.8 – “Nostalgic Negative
February Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Vintage Color v2”
Wild Gold – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/10 – “Vintage Color v2”
Desert Snow – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/6.4 – “Old Ektachrome
End Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.4 – “Standard Provia

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The Forgotten Fujifilm X-H1

Everyone’s talking about the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2 cameras (yes, cameras, as there will be two of them: X-H2 and X-H2s—visit Fujirumors for all of the latest and most accurate details… it is the absolute best source for upcoming Fujifilm cameras and such, and should be one of the websites you visit often), so it’s easy to forget the wonderful Fujifilm X-H1, which is an absolute workhorse that’s easy to love.

Fujifilm introduced the X-H1 four years ago. At the time of its release, the X-H1 was the most premium model in the entire Fujifilm lineup, and the first to have IBIS. They didn’t hold anything back—the X-H1 is a dream to use—but it didn’t sell nearly as well as Fujifilm had hoped. The initial price point was too high for an APS-C camera, and Fujifilm had to steeply discount it for people to buy it. It was the very last X-Trans III camera, and shortly after its release the X-T3 was announced with a new sensor and processor and pretty much identical specs (aside from IBIS), yet cheaper. Once the X-T4 was released two years ago, which seemed to be an X-H camera in an X-T body, it was clear that the X-H1 was done, and some thought that the X-H line was also defunct, and there would be no X-H2 ever.

I got my X-H1 because someone gifted it to me. They didn’t need it anymore, and they knew that I didn’t have any X-Trans III cameras to create Film Simulation Recipes on, so they gave it to me for the benefit of the Fujifilm community. Wow! I had no idea how incredible this camera is! It’s quick and eager, but with unbelievable endurance. Like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going and going and going. It wants to be used, and used a lot. If you ask anyone who owns a Fujifilm X-H1, even if they have newer models, they’ll tell you that the X-H1 is their workhorse camera.

It’s too bad that the X-H1 didn’t sell as well as it should have. The camera is legendary among those who have used it, and pretty much forgotten by those who haven’t. While I’m just as excited for the new X-H cameras as everyone else, I want to give attention to the original X-H model—the X-H1—which just so happens to be one of my favorite cameras. If you are searching for a used camera, don’t overlook the wonderful X-H1. It’s the one that just gets the job done.

Below are some straight-out-of-camera photographs that I’ve captured on my Fujifilm X-H1 over the last several months.

Highrise, Reflection & Lamp – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak Gold 200
Vespa Mirror Reflection – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak Gold 200”
Suburban Adventures – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak Portra 160
Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print
Fading Light On Wasatch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Improved Velvia
Winter Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print”
Blossom Remnants 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak GT 800-5
Doll – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Analog Monochrome
Lamp & Side Mirrors – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400
A Y – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”

The Instant Joy of the Instax Mini Link Printer

I recently purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini Link instant film printer, which is a way to make Instax pictures from non-Instax cameras. It has already proven to be a lot of fun! I’ve been using the Mini Link to make instant film pictures from some of my recent road trip photographs, and it’s been a true joy to use!

As you might know, Instax is Fujifilm’s most popular photographic line, outselling X and GFX by leaps and bounds. It’s extremely popular worldwide, especially among younger people. Instax is currently the top-selling instant film brand, even more popular than Polaroid.

We have a couple of Instax cameras in our house, but sometimes it’s not practical to carry them around. These cameras are larger than my Fujifilm X100V and Fujifilm X-E4, so occasionally an Instax camera comes along with us, but oftentimes not; however, now that I have an Instax Mini Link printer, this is no longer a problem. In fact, in some ways, the Mini Link is actually better than an Instax camera.

The Instax Mini Link instant film printer is just a little smaller than the Instax Neo Classic Mini 90, yet pretty similar in size. It can fit fairly easily into a camera bag, but, unless you are going to an event and want to be able to instantly share pictures on-location, you might as well leave it at home. Not needing to carry around an Instax camera or even the printer is an advantage to using the Mini Link.

No surprise, the Mini Link uses Instax Mini instant film, which measures 2.1″ x 3.4″ with a 1.8″ x 2.4″ image inside the frame. It’s not a large picture whatsoever, but a good size for a travel journal or sharing with someone. Instax film quickly gets expensive. When you use an Instax camera, you don’t know what you’ve got until the picture develops. If it’s an important image (such as family or friends at an iconic location at a National Park), you have to wait a couple minutes for the image to develop, and if it didn’t come out you have to snap a second or maybe even a third frame. But with the Mini Link, you only print the images you want, which saves you both time and film (and ultimately money).

Another advantage of using the Mini Link printer over an Instax camera is that the picture quality is better. Instant film isn’t necessarily known for its high resolution renderings (although this can and certainly has varied), and I think the Instax cameras themselves often don’t allow you to get the highest potential image quality out of the film. While you still have the limitation of the film, using a Fujifilm X camera (or even a cellphone) to capture the images can improve the Instax picture quality. Instax cameras don’t seem to allow you to maximize the film capability, but the Mini Link definitely does allow you to maximize the image quality of the Instax Mini film.

The photographs that I printed on my Instax Mini Link printer were captured with my Fujifilm X100V and X-E4 cameras using various Film Simulation Recipes, as well as pictures captured on my iPhone using my RitchieCam camera app using various filters. While the printed photos retain much of their original aesthetics, the film itself has its own aesthetics that affect the outcome, so it is a combination of the recipe or filter plus the film that make the final Instax image. I especially like how the Nostalgic Color and Fujicolor Super HG recipes—and the MetroColor and Color Negative Low filters on the RitchieCam app—render on Instax film, but I certainly haven’t tried all of the recipes or filters. It’s amazing, though, how Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes and RitchieCam filters pair so seemingly well with Instax film printed on the Mini Link.

What about the images in this article? The top two pictures were captured with my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens using my Fujicolor Superia 100 recipe, while the third was captured on my iPhone using the Faded Film filter on the RitchieCam app. The printer requires you to use the Instax Mini Link app to wirelessly (via bluetooth) transfer pictures from your electronic device to the printer. There are several “creative” options within the app that allow you to “enhance” your pictures, but I haven’t found a reason to use these—simply, the fun is found in the magic of instant film. Printing my digital photographs—captured on my Fujifilm X cameras and the RitchieCam app—on Instax Mini film is a true joy, and the Mini Link printer allows me to do 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 Instax Mini Link Printer Amazon B&H
Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Amazon B&H

Video: SOOC SE02EP02 – Kodak Vision3 250D – Plus Viewer’s Images!

SOOC was live today! In case you missed it, you can watch it (plus the Pre-Show!) above.

In Season 02 Episode 02, Nathalie and I finished up our discussion of the Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe, and introduced the next recipe-of-the-month: Kodak Vision3 250D! Be sure to watch it if you weren’t able to catch it when it was live. Also, be sure to share your pictures captured with the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe (click here) to be shown in next month’s broadcast!

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

Don’t have the time to watch the whole thing now? The Viewer’s Images slideshow, which is much shorter, is below. Take a look! I appreciate everyone who submitted pictures, who tuned in, and who participated. Today’s show wouldn’t have been nearly as good without you, so thank you!

Fujifilm X-Pro1 (+ X-E1) FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Color Analog

109 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Color Analog”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly App 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 already 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!

For this Film Simulation Recipe I didn’t attempt to model any specific film; instead, I wanted a low-saturation, low-to-mid contrast recipe that would remind me of color negative film. I wanted it to be warm, but not overly warm. After several tries, I landed on some settings that I liked. While I didn’t have any film in mind when I created this recipe, it is vaguely reminiscent of Kodak Portra 160 NC, which was a “neutral color” (low-saturation) version of Portra film that was around from 1998 to 2010, when it was discontinued. It’s not an exact match to that film, but is simply by chance in the neighborhood of it. As Lefty Gomez famously said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Sunset Branch – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Color Analog”

I think this recipe is a good “everyday” daylight option. If I were to suggest C1-C7 Custom Presets for the X-Pro1, this is one that I would include. I would also consider Color Negative Film, either Kodachrome I or Kodachrome II, Vivid Color, Superia Xtra 400, and Monochrome. I know that’s only six (not seven), but you wouldn’t have to remember to change the White Balance Shift when switching presets because each of these calls for a different White Balance type. I suppose I’ll have to create a recipe to fill that seventh spot (actually, I’m already working on it…), but in the meantime you could pick one other recipe—you’ll just have to remember to switch the shift when changing presets—or leave the seventh spot empty.

This new Patron Early-Access recipe is compatible the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras. Those with X-Trans II and Bayer cameras can also use it, although the results will be just a little different. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Color Analog” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-Pro1:

Daffodil Garden – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Daylight Pines – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Pear Blossom Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Creek Rocks – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Newly Bloomed – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
White Fruit Tree Blossoms – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Round & Red – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Aperture Artifact Apparition – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Sunlight Through Tree Branches – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Suspended Sun – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Reflection Structure – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Train 16 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1

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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Fujifilm X-Trans I (X-E1 + X-Pro1) Film Simulation Recipe: Ektachrome

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

Ektachrome is a line of color transparency film introduced by Kodak in the 1940’s. I did some research, and counted 40 different emulsions over the years that carried the Ektachrome name! Generally speaking, Ektachrome was less warm than Kodachrome (although it depends on which Ektachrome you’re referring to), and also less archival. While Kodachrome was discontinued in 2009, Ektachrome can still be purchased today. I’m not certain which (of the 40) Ektachrome films this recipe most closely resembles. It has more of a general Ektachrome feel rather than being an exact copy of a specific emulsion.

This was a Patron Early-Access recipe, but has been replaced by another, so it is now available to everyone! If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, be sure to look for the recipe that replaced this one. This “Ektachrome” recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-E1 and X-Pro1 cameras. Unfortunately, even though the X-M1 is X-Trans I, this recipe is not compatible with that camera. I really like how this one looks, and I think some of you will really appreciate it, too!

Two Cans – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1

Pro Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1 (Medium-Hard)
Shadow: +2 (Hard)
Color: -1 (Medium-Low)
Sharpness: +2 (Hard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight/Fine, -1 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Ektachrome” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-Pro1:

House Flag – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Dead Wood – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Cattails – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Succulent Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome”
Boy On Couch Watching TV – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Drinking Fountain – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Two Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Berries in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Blackberry Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Francis Peak Summer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1

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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SOOC Is Live This Thursday!

SOOC Season 02 kicked off last month, and it’s hard to believe but Episode 02 is right around the corner: this Thursday, April 14, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM Eastern! In this broadcast we’ll conclude discussing the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month, which is Kodak Vision3 250D. Also, as a reminder, if you have some spare time, join us for the Pre-Show, which begins 30 minutes before the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

What kinds of things do we talk about? Well, in this “SoundBite” (as we’re calling it) from the last show (below), we give some ideas of recipes that might work well in artificial light situations. These aren’t the only recipes, obviously, that work well in artificial light, but just some that you can try. If you missed Season 02 Episode 01, be sure to watch it now!

An Open Letter To Fujifilm… In B&W

Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

Dear Fujifilm,

Please make a black-and-white-only camera. I’m writing this because I want one, but—more importantly—it has become quite obvious to me that many Fujifilm photographers want one, too.

How do I know this? A few days ago I published a Creative Collective article entitled Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition, and the response that I’ve received has been overwhelming (in a good way). If Fujifilm made a monochrome model (which I propose is called “Acros Edition”), people would buy it. I have zero doubts about this. I’d buy one. A number of Fuji X Weekly readers would buy one. I’m not suggesting that it would do as well as the X-T3, but it would get a lot of attention. People would talk about it. There is a real interest and demand for a black-and-white-only Fujifilm camera.

I know that it’s not as simple as just removing the X-Trans color array from the filter and—presto!—a B&W-only camera. It’s far, far more complicated than that. Because of this, it’s understood that the camera will cost more than the X-Trans version. I personally think that the X100V or X-Pro3 would be the best base for an “Acros Edition” model, but the X-E4 could also work if you want to reduce the cost of the camera. Even if it was in an X-T3 or X-T30 body, I’d definitely still buy one—just don’t put it into a body with a PASM dial and I’ll be happy.

Unneeded Boat Cleat – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Moody Monochrome

There needs to be some schtick, too, because people will say, “I’ll just use the Acros film simulation, and it’s basically the same thing, yet I can still get color pictures if I want.” There are advantages to monochrome-only, and while it might seem that making such a camera would be enough on its own, it isn’t—there has to be at least one more trick that makes the camera unique, in my opinion. Something that not only further separates it from other Fujifilm models, but other monochrome-only models. What exactly? I have a few ideas. Perhaps a new film simulation: Neopan (based on Neopan 400 Pro, Neopan 1600 Pro, or Neopan 400CN)—the “Acros Edition” camera would have Acros, Neopan, Monochrome, and Sepia (I suppose) as the four film simulation options. I think it would also be cool if there were push and pull process options for these simulations, where the pictures become more or less contrasty and grainy (much like push and pull processing film), depending on the settings selected. Another idea is to have a removable IR filter like Sigma did with their SD Quattro cameras, allowing photographers to easily use their cameras for full-spectrum B&W photography whenever they want. How about built-in colored filters? Since there would be no +Y, +R, & +G faux filters, it would be interesting to have real color filters built into the camera, sort of like the ND filter on the X100V. Adding some sort of extra uniqueness would give the camera even more buzz and would make it even more desirable.

My only point here is that I know for certain that there is an interest in a black-and-white-only camera made by Fujifilm. So, if there’s anyone at Fujifilm who happens to read this, please pass it up the chain that such a demand exists. People would pay a premium for a monochrome model. I personally would.

Sincerely,
Ritchie Roesch
Fuji X Weekly

Now it’s your turn! Would you be interested in an “Acros Edition” Fujifilm camera? Which body would you want it in? What special feature should it have? Leave a comment! I don’t know if Fujifilm will ever read it, but they might, so it’s worth a try!

Deal Alert: Fujifilm X-T3 WW Discounted

Fujifilm just discounted 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 two years ago, but they still offer it brand-new because it is a best-selling model, even outselling the superior X-T4. The X-T3 WW is one of the absolute best bargains available today, but now (through June 5th, apparently) the X-T3 WW is an even better bargain! If you’ve thought about buying one, it’s a really good time to do so.

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

The Fujifilm X-T3 WW body-only is $100 off, now only $999.95! Amazon B&H
The Fujifilm X-T3 WW + 18-55mm kit is $200 off, now only $1,299.95! Amazon B&H

A few months back I published an article, Best Fujifilm Cameras Under $1,000, and the X-T3 WW was listed as “Best Value Just Above $1,000,” but now that it’s on sale it would be my best value recommendation for $1,000 or less. The X-T3 also made it to number three on my 10 Most Important Fujifilm X-Trans Cameras list.

Fujifilm X-Trans III (+ X-T3 & X-T30) FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Pro

Last Light on Brush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Fujicolor Pro”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly App 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 already 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 “Fujicolor Pro” recipe is intended to produce a nice analog-like color-negative-film aesthetic with a classic Fujicolor palette. Those with cameras older than the X-Pro3 don’t have access to the Classic Negative film simulation, and there’s no substitute to mimic Classic Negative, so I wanted to create a next-best-thing recipe. While I didn’t attempt to mimic any specific film, I had Fujicolor Pro 160NS in my mind as I made this. There are already recipes for that film (here and here), and this recipe isn’t “better” than those two, but more of an alternative version that you might really like. I also had pulled-process Fujicolor Pro 400H on my mind (there’s also already a recipe for that); again I didn’t necessarily try to mimic that film and process specifically, but had the intention of producing a general Fujicolor Pro “memory color” (similar to what I did with my Nostalgic Color recipe). This “Fujicolor Pro” recipe is a good all-around option that works well in a variety of daylight situations.

Parking Garage – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Fujicolor Pro”

This “Fujicolor Pro” Patron Early-Access Recipe is compatible with Fujifilm X-Trans III and X-T3 & X-T30 cameras. For those with newer X-Trans IV cameras, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and I’d suggest Grain size Small.

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Fujicolor Pro” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Stairs Up – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Main St. Market – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Yellow Among Green – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Frary Peak Sage – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Great Salt Lake Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Lake Between the Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Salt Lake From Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Island Brush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jetty – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Sunset Over Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this Film Simulation Recipes 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

Fujifilm X-Trans III + X-T3 & X-T30 Film Simulation Recipe: Kodacolor VR

Inside City Creek – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodacolor VR”

This Film Simulation Recipe was an experiment. I started out with my Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe, but instead of using a cool White Balance with a warm White Balance Shift, I did the opposite: I used a warm White Balance with a cool shift. After many adjustments to various settings, this ended up not resembling the Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe much at all, but it does have a great vintage print-film aesthetic that I really like.

I wasn’t sure at first which film this recipe most closely resembled (since it wasn’t intended to mimic any specific film), although it seemed to have some similarities to Kodacolor VR. I already have a Kodacolor recipe (plus a variant of it), which does a great job at mimicking Kodacolor VR; this recipe and that one look somewhat similar, but definitely different. Then I ran across some pictures that looked very similar to the ones you see in this article, and it turned out that they were shot on Kodacolor VR film that had expired. So I think this recipe, while it does resemble Kodacolor VR, as well as ColorPlus 200 (which is a direct descendant of that film), it most closely looks like Kodacolor VR that’s been stored a little past its expiration date. Of course, one film can have many different looks, depending on how it was shot, developed, scanned and/or printed, and (in this case) stored, so this recipe serves as a nice alternative to my original Kodacolor recipe.

Leaning Tower – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodacolor VR”

This “Kodacolor VR” recipe was originally a Patron Early-Access Recipe, but is now available to everyone! If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, there is a new Early-Access Recipe that replaced this one, so be sure to look for that. This recipe is compatible with Fujifilm X-Trans III and X-T3 and X-T30 cameras. For those with newer X-Trans IV cameras, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0 (or perhaps -2), and I’d suggest Grain size Large, but use Small if you prefer.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +1
Color: +2
Sharpness: -1
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 10000K, -7 Red & +8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Kodacolor VR” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

Summer Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Corner Through Leaves – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Stones & Glass Ceiling – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Glass – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Building a Building – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Small Spaces Between – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Twilight Telephone Poles – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Stoneground – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Goes for Gold – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Night Parking – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Doki Doki – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Escalators – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Downtown Buildings – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Coming Train – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Trax – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Waiting on the Platform – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Glass & Sky – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Tall Downtown Buildings – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

SOOC Season 02 Episode 02 This Thursday!

SOOC Season 02 kicked off last month, and it’s hard to believe but Episode 02 is right around the corner: this Thursday, April 14, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM Eastern! In this broadcast we’ll conclude discussing the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month, which is Kodak Vision3 250D. If you haven’t uploaded your photographs captured with the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, be sure to do it soon (click here). Also, as a reminder, if you have some spare time, join us for the Pre-Show, which begins 30 minutes before the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

If you missed Season 02 Episode 01, you can watch it below.

If you missed last month’s Pre-Show, you can watch it below.

And if you missed the Viewer’s Images, you can watch it below.

See you Thursday!

Creative Collective 021: Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

The Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

I’ve said for awhile now that Fujifilm should make a black-and-white only camera. There’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

Fujifilm has said that they have no plans currently to make a monochrome camera. You can actually convert any Fujifilm camera to be black-and-white only, but it is expensive and extreme. I’ve wanted a monochrome-only Fujifilm camera for awhile, but I’m not willing to convert one, and I’m impatient waiting for an official model to come out. So what did I do? I made my own.

Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition!

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective today! Click here to learn more.

Thoughts on Apps & App Development

Since I have three apps now—Fuji X Weekly, Ricoh Recipes, and RitchieCam—I’ve been asked by several people for advice on app development. I’ve also been meaning to discuss some of the things I’ve learned, because it’s interesting, and maybe it’s useful information to a few of you. I’ve hesitated to write this as it might seem like a boring topic—perhaps even controversial or offensive at times—and unrelated to Fujifilm, but I truly hope that by the end there’ll be something for you. I write from real-world experience, but I’ve also researched this fairly extensively over the last year-and-a-half (including reading several books on the topics), so I’m not making this stuff up.

I have received a lot of criticism over the pricing structure of my apps. There are three options: free, freemium (the app is free, but there’s a fee for some features), and premium (not free). Within freemium and premium are three options: one-time fee (to unlock everything), à la carte fees (pay individually for this or that), and subscriptions (reoccurring monthly or annually).

One-time fees used to be the most common, but are much less so now. Why? Apps used to be popular for a season, then the next trend would make them irrelevant, so the life cycle of apps was typically pretty short, usually two years or less. Nowadays apps have a much longer lifespan—often a decade or even indefinitely—so the one-time fee model makes no sense. You wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner and expect it to be up-kept and improved upon by the manufacturer for years to come—not without additional fees, anyway—but people expect that from apps and software. Apps that use this model are abandoned as soon as new customers become less frequent. There are numerous apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store right now that succumbed to this fate. In my research I came across countless apps that hadn’t been updated in years, where the most recent review was two years old, and it was begging the developer to update the out-of-date app. This model is good for short-term projects, but is not good if you want an app to be around for years and years to come, because as soon as the financial motivation dries up, the app is neglected and abandoned.

The apps that use à la carte fees are often gaming and dating apps. You pay to unlock something, such as a level redo, puzzle hint, or something like that. This can be affective, but you have to be careful because if not done tastefully it can come across as scammy. People don’t like paying “hidden” fees around every corner.

So that leaves us with the subscription model, which is a win-win, and allows the app to continuously improve into something greater over time. This is best-case for the developer because it ensures continuous resources, and best-case for the customer because it ensures the app will improve regularly over time and not be left abandoned. More and more apps are going this route, and it is now the most common model. It’s all rainbows and roses except for one thing: many people don’t like subscriptions in general, and some people passionately oppose it with all their heart, as if it were some great evil.

Premium apps are good if you can get the word out. It can be tough to gain traction, because most people don’t want to pay for things, so they won’t buy it. That’s why freemium is often preferred. Here’s the thing, though: 95% of people will use the app for free, and only 5% will subscribe—it’s actually more like 8% on Apple and 2% on Android (yes, this is true!). Apple users are much more likely to spend money on apps than Android, but either way we’re still talking about small percentages. That also means that 95% of people will pass on premium apps. With freemium, for 95 people who are using it for free, they’ll tell others, which will lead to 20 new users, and one of those will subscribe. That’s why a lot of developers choose freemium over premium—it’s a little easier to gain the traction you need to be successful.

Now let’s talk about free apps, or even the “free” aspect of most freemium apps. There are two sayings: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and if you aren’t the customer than you are the product. Both are true. In addition to all of the time I put into creating, maintaining, and improving apps, there’s a real cost that I pay out of pocket. In fact, each time one of my apps is opened on your phone, I am charged an extraordinarily small fee, which does add up. Just because you are not paying, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t paying on your behalf. That lunch might be free to you, but it isn’t free.

If you aren’t willing to be the customer, app developers turn you into the product. They sell you ads or—much worse—sell your data. Ads are annoying, but a lot of people are willing to put up with them in exchange for something being free. For app developers, unless you have millions of users, ad revenue doesn’t add up into anything more than pocket change. The real money is in data harvesting. Companies want to serve personalized ads that are highly affective, and they need to know everything about you in order to do this. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry because it works, and, because of this, you unknowingly spend much more than the cost of an app subscription. That’s the cost of being the product.

Here’s the creepy part. If I were to harvest data with, say, the RitchieCam app, I could know so much about you. If I have access to your GPS, I could know where you live, and, comparing that with Zillow, I could know more-or-less how affluent you are. I could track where you work, and, referencing Google maps, could know what industry you are in. I could know where you shop. I could know where you eat out at. I could know where your kids go to school. Since I have access to your camera and library, I could deduce the size of your family, your family’s genders, who your friends are, if you have pets, I could read the text on your screenshots. I could do all of this and so much more. Rest assured that I do not collect or sell any data whatsoever, which isn’t particularly common, because I’m leaving money on the table. Most free and freemium apps are indeed collecting and selling your data, because there’s no free lunch, so they’ve turned you into the product for profit.

What I have said might sound farfetched, but it isn’t. In fact, what I pointed out was really just the tip of the iceberg. You have apps on your phone right now—apps that you regularly use and trust—that go well beyond what I described in the previous paragraph. Have you ever talked about something out-loud and five minutes later see an ad for it? Ads are highly personalized and targeted because your apps know so much about you, and companies pay big bucks for that knowledge, because it means even bigger bucks—your bucks—become their profits.

Again, I want to make it clear that none of my apps collect or sell data. It’s to my own detriment that I do this, but I do it for you because you deserve it, and it’s the right thing to do, even if it is rare. On my apps, you are never, ever the product. I “pay for your lunch” for you if you are using the apps for free, and I happily do that.

You might be surprised to hear this, but I am told frequently that I do not give enough away for free. I am told that I am selfish and greedy because I have the audacity to charge “so much” for things. I am told that my approach is wrong. I am sorry if you feel that way, but I deserve something for my work, right? Trust me, I’m not rolling in the dough or becoming wealthy from this. I have enough to put food on the table, a roof over my head, and take trips sometimes (adventures are often more worthwhile investments than gear), but I couldn’t go out and purchase a GFX system right now. This is to say that the perception of my compensation is often exaggerated and misunderstood—I’m doing alright, but if I were indeed greedy and selfish I could be doing better. The accusations are hurtful because they’re untrue.

There’s a lot that can be debated on what exact paths are the best paths. I chose the freemium model after much research and advice from others with experience within the industry. Some might disagree with that decision. I chose not to turn those using the apps for free into products. Some would say that’s leaving money on the table, and everyone else is doing it anyway. I chose the subscription prices for a reason—I’ve received a lot of criticism from that, and many “Monday morning quarterbacks” tell me that I got it all wrong, although the books I’ve read and those I’ve spoken with within the industry tell me that I am where I should be (I “got it right” thanks to all the research that wen’t into the decisions to begin with, but there’s always different paths and varying philosophies). As Abraham Lincoln stated, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” In other words, nothing that I do will make everyone happy, but I hope that many people find my apps to be helpful and worthwhile tools. I hope that most of those who subscribe find it to be worth their money, and that they don’t feel ripped off or swindled—that they’re good values for what they deliver. Not all will feel that way, though, and that’s just the way it is.

For those wanting to create an app, you have to know that, no matter how much research you do, and no matter how much of your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears you pour into it, there are some who won’t like it and some who will criticize your decisions. Mean and hurtful things will be said about you. You can’t make everyone happy, and you have to know that and accept that, but if you do what you believe is right—especially if you’ve done extensive research—you’re going to make some people happy just for the fact that you did it. The tricky part is figuring out how to maximize happiness and minimize the dissatisfaction, while also being fair to yourself, because you deserve satisfaction and compensation for your time, money, and hard work that you poured into it. It’s definitely a difficult and precarious balancing act that has to be regularly analyzed and addressed, and perhaps adjusted if needed.

I know this lengthy article has nothing to do with the regular content of this website, but I hope it is helpful for a few of you, and that most of you got something out of it (even if it is simply awareness of what your apps are doing behind the scenes). I didn’t write this as any sort of complaint or “woe is me” statement, because I don’t mean it that way whatsoever. I am quite happy with what I’m doing, and I know that it is helpful to many of you—it is even having an impact on the photography continuum, something I never imagined would happen! I’m really honored and blessed to be a part of this. I’m extraordinarily flattered and humbled if I’ve impacted your photography in some small way. It really is my pleasure to do all that I do for the Fujifilm community. With all of that said, I think it is important to be authentic, which means being vulnerable, and sharing this information is one way to do that. Perhaps somehow this was a meaningful article for some of you, and maybe it was worth your time today to read, even if it wasn’t about Fujifilm cameras.

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Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Moody Monochrome

Apocalyptic Pavillion – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Moody Monochrome”

Of the different faux filter options for Acros, +Y is the one I use the least. I think it goes back to my film days when I used color filters with B&W film. I would select Orange or Red before Yellow, because Yellow is fairly subtle, but the advantage of the Yellow filter is that it doesn’t block as much light. Of course, the faux filters on Fujifilm cameras don’t affect the exposure like real filters with film. Anyway, recognizing that I infrequently use Acros+Y, I set out to make a Film Simulation Recipe that uses +Y and produces an aesthetic that I like. I think it is important to challenge myself sometimes, so if there’s some setting or gear or option that I don’t use often, forcing myself to use it helps me to grow as a photographer. That’s why I made this recipe.

I wanted something with an overall darker curve, so that it would produce a moody look. Maybe deep blacks reminiscent of Tri-X, and maybe a push-process feel. I didn’t have any specific film in mind, but I’m reminded of this time that I push-processed a roll of Ilford Delta 400, but inadvertently got it wrong—I underexposed two stops, and only had the lab push it by one stop, so the pictures were largely underexposed, and they were darker and moodier (yet less contrasty and grainy) than I had intended. This isn’t exactly the same as that, but not too dissimilar, either, so that’s why I call this recipe Moody Monochrome.

Early Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Moody Monochrome”

Because this film simulation recipe uses Clarity, it is 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 or X-Trans III camera, ignore Clarity and Grain size, and use a diffusion filter, like a 10% CineBloom or 1/4 Black Pro Mist, to get similar results.

Acros+Y
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Large 
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Fluorescent 3, -4 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Moody Monochrome” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Stop West – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Watch For Falling Bikes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Sun Beams – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Tower in the Middle of Nowhere – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Path Through The Grass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wetland Boardwalk – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wetland Grass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Creek in the Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Creek, Stick & Vines – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Log Above The Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Grey Brush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Cat on a Log – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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

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Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Nostalgia Color

Seagull Sky – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Nostalgia Color”

While on a road trip to Oregon, I was inspired to create a new Film Simulation Recipe. I wanted it to have nostalgic colors, reminiscent of photographs from my childhood. I didn’t have access to these pictures to examine, so I relied on my memory to create an aesthetic that looked “right” to me. This is what Fujifilm refers to as “memory color”—it seems correct when you see it, but perhaps wouldn’t hold up to a side-by-side comparison because our memories don’t always remember things accurately or precisely. This recipe reminds me of the look of those old photographs as I remember them, but is likely technically inaccurate in reality.

I used Classic Negative as the base. The pictures in my mind were likely captured on both Kodak and Fujifilm emulsions, and some were likely printed on Kodak paper and some on Fujifilm paper. All of that (and much more) affects the look, so no one recipe could possibly mimic all of that, and perhaps this even skews my “memory color” of the pictures. I tried not to overthink it, and go more on feeling and instinct than intellect. I really like how this recipe turned out. I know some of you will appreciate it, and “Nostalgia Color” will become an instant favorite.

Train Crossing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Nostalgia Color”

Because this “Nostalgia Color” Film Simulation Recipe uses the Classic Negative film simulation, Color Chrome FX Blue, and Clarity, this is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have a newer GFX camera you can likely use this recipe, too, although I have not personally tried, and it will likely render the pictures slightly differently.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +3
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 6700K, -4 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Nostalgia Color” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujifilm X100V:

Top of Falls – Multnomah Falls, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Greenhouse – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Columbia Rainbow – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Haystack – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X100V
Beach Boys – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X100V
Crashing Waves at Pinnacles – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
Columbia River – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4
River Boat – Astoria, OR – Fujifilm X100V
Water Falling – Multnomah Falls, OR – Fujifilm X100V
Rocky Shrub – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X100V
Daffodils – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Approaching Pear Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipes 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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