Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Low Key

Cactus Spiderweb – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Low Key”

Fujifilm cameras have a feature in Advanced Filter Settings called “Low Key” that I recently discovered is based on the Provia film simulation, and can be mimicked. While this “Low Key” setting can produce nice-looking images, I felt that it could be better, so I set out to create a Film Simulation Recipe to serve as an alternative to it, with an aesthetic that I appreciate a little more. Specifically, I wanted a recipe based on the Classic Negative film simulation instead of Provia because I like Classic Negative better. My “Bright Kodak” recipe is an alternative to the “High Key” feature found in the Advanced Filter Settings.

Low Key photography is purposefully underexposing for a darker image. It works well when the subject is brightly lit, and the rest of the frame isn’t, so the image is predominately dark, and the brightly lit subject stands out in the otherwise dim frame. I hope this explanation makes sense. This “Low Key” Film Simulation Recipe and the Low Key feature in the Advanced Filter Settings work similarly, and produce nice results when used in the correct situations. While not for everyday use, some of you will certainly appreciate this recipe for when the light is right. I did not model this recipe after any specific emulsion.

Petersen’s Ice Cream – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Low Key”

This “Low Key” Film Simulation Recipe is fully compatible with newer X-Trans IV cameras: Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II. Because it uses Classic Negative, Color Chrome FX Blue, and Clarity, it is not compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30. Those with newer GFX cameras can likely use it, too, although results will be slightly different.

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

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

Cactus & Palm Shadow – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Very Tiny Flowers – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Green Cactus Pads – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Spiky – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Sky Cacti – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Bougainvillea Sky – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Light Bulb Evening – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Lit Leaves – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Cinderblock Wall Girl – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
oyride – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
The Queen’s – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

Low Key Film Simulation Recipe vs. Low Key Advanced Filter Setting

Low Key Film Simulation Recipe
Low Key Advanced Filter Setting

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

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  1. frankgphotography · June 15

    I love these shots, very well done!!

  2. Robert · June 17

    Even though I don’t use Fuji I do love the low key style a lot…even though some comment that it’s underexposed…for me though it’s much more realistic to what the eye perceives and I’ve actually chosen lenses that give this effect naturally…I particularly like it in dark forest situations where bright objects really contrast to the darker background.

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 17

      A dark forest with brightly lit leaves or something like that would be a great opportunity for this type of photography. Thanks for the input!

  3. Veeran · June 17

    Any X-Trans III recipes soon? 🙂

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 17

      My X-Trans III camera is packed away while I move. In just under a month I’ll be able to unpack it, at which time I’ll be able to work on some new X-Trans III recipes. I appreciate the inquiry!

      • Veeran · June 19

        Ooh, nice! Really excited

  4. Pingback: Wildwood Deep for a Dark & Moody Feel – Film Recipes for Fujifilm Cameras

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