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

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9 comments

  1. @3rd_Eye_Visions16 · April 20

    I’m thinking the WB needs to be a bit cooler like 5900-6300k, R-3 , B-4/5. I tried to replicate it myself using Classic Chrome but was difficult like u mentioned above with using a diffusion filter. Never thought Astia would work as Cinestill resembles more of a Kodachrome shot from the 50s with Marilyn Monroe at the beach. Just a hunch lol. Great job though ! Keep up the awesome recipes man 😁

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    • Ritchie Roesch · April 20

      There are several varying looks from the film that are pretty drastically different, and I’m not certain what causes that difference. Every film varies depending on a variety of factors, but it seems that CineStill film is particularly prone to it. I found pictures captured with CineStill 50D that were purple-ish, that were more green-ish, and even more red-ish than this (although that was less common). It’s a hard one to replicate just because there is so much variety in outcome. I think some of it might be due to digital editing after scan, and that’s a tough one to account for, too, because you have no idea to what extent that was done. I appreciate your input!

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  2. Tomas · April 22

    Hope my scans and experiments was to at least some help 🙂 I think I wrote that I thought Astia or Provia would be a better base then Eterna that I first tried but gave up on, and this makes me even more certain. Eterna just doesn’t have the kind of sudden sharp shadow contrast that Vision3 film has.

    Really hard look to nail down. Astia at least seems just as sensitive to color casts as the film. And as you wrote, my understanding is that you shoot on Vision3, then after editing, you project it to ”print film”. Resolve has built in LUTs for video that gives you a decent idea of how the footage would look after a digital to analog transfer to one of those print stocks.

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    • Ritchie Roesch · April 25

      It definitely was! Thank you so much. There are so many different looks with this film, too. So hard to nail down. I might try a v2 based on a different aesthetic from the film, but we’ll see. Obviously the Vision3 version isn’t processed in C-41. That might be interesting to take a closer look at. I appreciate your help!

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  3. Hi Ritchie,
    Thanks a lot for this recipe, I’d have never thought about using Astia instead of Eterna or CC. This is the closest recipe to Cinestill 50D yet IMO. Based on Lightroom preset I modified the recipe and now I love it even more. I don’t mean to say that my settings are more accurate than your original recipe. Here’s what I changed if you’d like to check it out for yourself:
    Highlight: +2
    Shadow: +1
    White Balance: 6800K, 0 Red & -3 Blue
    Everything else is as yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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