Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: SantaColor

VW Bus – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “SantaColor”

There’s a brand-new color negative film stock called SantaColor 100, which is actually repurposed Kodak AeroColor 125, an emulsion intended for areal photography. I don’t believe that AeroColor is still produced (although it can still be found if you look hard enough); SantaColor 100 could be an old batch that’s been stored for awhile and is now surplus. This film has a reddish-orange color cast, which (depending on how it was shot, developed, and scanned) can be somewhat subtle or quite pronounced. This Film Simulation Recipe is an attempt to mimic that film; however, I’m not 100% satisfied with how closely it does (or doesn’t) replicate it—I think it can be really close sometimes, and other times not so much. Still, I like how this recipe looks, so I thought I’d share it with you in case some of you like it, too.

Why are special films used for aerial mapping? I tried to find an answer to this, but couldn’t. My suspicion is that atmosphere/haze can obscure “regular” film, and aerial films are made to be less susceptible to that. Another thought is that the temperature at high altitude is cold, so maybe the film has to work well in cold temperatures. Still, another idea is that the angle of the sun is different, so the film needs to be adjusted for that. It could be one, all, or none of those things—if you know the answer, please enlighten me by commenting below!

Sport Fishing – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “SantaColor”

This “SantaColor” Film Simulation Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. For those with an X-T3 and X-T30, you will need to ignore Grain size (since your camera doesn’t have that), and use a diffusion filter (such as 10% CineBloom) in lieu of Clarity. For those with an X-H1, you will need to additionally ignore Color Chrome Effect (the results will be just a little different).

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 5100K, +5 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

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

Last Limelight – Redlands, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
We Hot – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Fish out of Water – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Agave Garden – Pasadena, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Plymouth – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Palm & Rooftop – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Rooftop Stairs – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Houses on the Hillside – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Irregular – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Life Ring – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Wishing Posts – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Ball & Blue Boat – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Rowboats – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Beach-Walking Seagull – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Grassy Sand Dune – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4

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

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  1. MC · June 29

    Looks like you were in my neck I’d the woods. I was raised on the Central Coast, just about 45 Miles north of Avila. Used to spend a lot of time a Avila back before it was rebuilt after the oil spill. No I’m Just a little south in A.G.
    There’s no place like the central coast of California!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 1

      It’s such a beautiful place, one of my favorite spots for sure. I don’t get out there nearly often enough. Thanks for the comment!


  2. Pingback: Aerocolor Lomo in an Expired Film Style – Film Recipes for Fujifilm Cameras
  3. William · June 30

    Hi Ritchie,

    This is a really interesting recipe and background–I’ll have to try it out (if I can tear myself away from one of the other recipes I already have in my camera).

    As for an explanation of the film, you might take a look at a book by Kimberly With called ‘Essentials of Landscape Ecology.’ Chapter 4, on Landscape Pattern Analysis, includes a section on aerial photography (pp. 132-143, although the pages just before that might be worth a look, too). You should be able to read those pages on Google Books at https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PCeeDwAAQBAJ&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&printsec=frontcover&hl=en&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I have a feeling you’ll understand the explanation much more than I, but if I’m understanding it correctly, what you say about the effects of atmosphere and the angle of sunlight sounds right.

    Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 1

      Thanks so much! I’ll try to read this book during the coming days. I appreciate the tip!


  4. Khürt Williams · June 30

    Hi Ritchie, is this an attempt to replicate the new Santa Color 100 35mm film?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 1

      Yes! Although the examples were quite limited, so I mostly looked at AeroColor 125 pictures. The trouble with that (among other things) is apparently there are four different emulsions called AeroColor 125 by Kodak, and I’m not sure what the differences are because the information I could find was quite limited.


      • Khürt Williams · July 3

        Cool. I want to back the project but the film is expensive (US$63 for five rolls) and
        I already have too much film. In my experience project that are overfunded (116% so far) always have issues delivering as expected. I’ll wait for retail.

        In the meantime, I can play with the film sim.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · July 6



    • Vladimir · July 1

      Bravo. as always – knockout

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Vladimir · July 2

    I tried this recipe on photos from Venezuela – it looks amazing realy.
    Very impressed.

    Great job. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 3

      Thanks! So glad that you liked it and found it useful to your photography!


  6. chimchim123 · September 13

    I’m new to the Fuji world and have been trying out a few recipes over the past few weeks. This one is my absolute favorite! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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