11 Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes!

On the day when the Nikon Zfc was announced, I placed my preorder for it. I’m a sucker for retro-styled cameras, and I used to shoot with Nikon DSLRs many years ago, so I was very curious about the Zfc. When it arrived I eagerly removed the packaging, and was very soon disappointed. The camera looked beautiful, but was bigger, heavier, and cheaper (as in quality, not price) than I had anticipated, and with questionable design decisions (such as PASM). Still, I put it through its paces, and published an article comparing the Nikon Zfc to Fujifilm cameras, which was more-or-less my review of it. Then I put the Zfc back in the box, which is where it remains today. I might dust it off and give it another chance, or maybe I’ll just sell it—I haven’t yet decided. For certain, I was unimpressed by Nikon’s efforts, and my advice to them would be to try again, but this time don’t be afraid to take the extra steps to give their customers a unique experience. I feel like they had the right idea, but didn’t have the guts to really see it through, and instead produced a mediocre camera dressed in lovely styling—kind of the lipstick-on-a-pig thing, but that’s a little harsher than I mean.

There was one bright spot with the Nikon camera: Picture Control (and the Creative Picture Control subset). While Fujifilm’s Film Simulations are inspired by film, Nikon’s Picture Controls are inspired by feelings and mood. It’s a much different take, and not necessarily better or worse—simply a divergent approach that’s worth noting. Fujifilm infuses an analog soul into their digital images, while Nikon infuses emotions that may or may not be analog-esque into their images. I found this to be intriguing, and I excitedly created some Film Simulation Recipes, which are JPEG camera settings, for it (like I do for Fujifilm cameras)—I crafted 11 Film Simulation Recipes for the Zfc before I boxed it back up.

I never did anything with those recipes, other than store them on my computer. Nobody knew that I had even made them, yet, because of my Zfc article, a number of people have requested that I publish Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes. I briefly considered making a website and app, like I did for Fujifilm and Ricoh, but decided that I really don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do that, at least for now. Instead, I decided to simply publish those 11 Film Simulation Recipes for Nikon Z in this article—you’ll find them below! These recipes are fully compatible with the Nikon Zfc, Z50, and Z30 (the APS-C models). They are likely also compatible with the full-frame Z cameras—Z5, Z6, Z6 II, Z7, Z7 II, and Z9—but I’m really not 100% sure, and most likely they’ll render just a little differently—if you have one of those cameras, give it a try and see what happens.

For those who don’t own a Nikon Z camera, you might find the similarities and differences between these and Fujifilm recipes to be fascinating. I hope that those who come to this website for Fujifilm-related articles aren’t too disappointed by this post, but instead find something about it worthwhile. Likely a few of you have both a Fujifilm and Nikon Z camera, so this article should be beneficial to at least a handful of people. If it is, let me know in the comments! Also, if there’s a certain recipe in this list that you are drawn to, let me know!

Nostalgic Print

Nikon Zfc – “Nostalgic Print”

Resembles the aesthetic of classic Kodak prints that have been stored in a box for many years.

Picture Control: Dream
Effect Level: 90
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -0.50
Mid-Range Sharpening: -2.00
Clarity: -4.00
Contrast: +3.00
Saturation: -2.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Natural Light Auto
WB Adjust: B2.0 G0.5
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Nostalgic Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Nostalgic Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Nostalgic Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Nostalgic Print”

Silver Slide

Nikon Zfc – “Silver Slide”

Some similarities to color transparency film with the bleach step reduced (but not skipped).

Picture Control: Dramatic
Effect Level: 70
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: +1.00
Contrast: -1.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Direct Sunlight
WB Adjust: A3.0 M1.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Silver Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Silver Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Silver Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Silver Slide”

Weekend Negative

Nikon Zfc – “Weekend Negative”

Inspired by inexpensive consumer-grade color negative film, printed at the one-hour lab.

Picture Control: Sunday
Effect Level: 60
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: +3.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: -3.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: 6500K
WB Adjust: A/B0.0 G2.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Weekend Negative”
Nikon Zfc – “Weekend Negative”
Nikon Zfc – “Weekend Negative”
Nikon Zfc – “Weekend Negative”

Tungsten Dawn

Nikon Zfc – “Tungsten Dawn”

Great for mixed light situations, with some similarities to Tungsten film—also, great for toning down the intensity of warm “golden hour” light.

Picture Control: Morning
Effect Level: 70
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: +2.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Day White Fluorescent
WB Adjust: A2.0 M1.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Tungsten Dawn”
Nikon Zfc – “Tungsten Dawn”
Nikon Zfc – “Tungsten Dawn”
Nikon Zfc – “Tungsten Dawn”

Fujichrome

Nikon Zfc – “Fujichrome”

Color palette reminiscent of Fujichrome Astia but with vibrancy more similar to Fujichrome Provia.

Picture Control: Somber
Effect Level: 90
Quick Sharp: -2.00
Sharpening: 0.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: -3.00
Contrast: -3.00
Saturation: +1.00
Active D-Lighting: Extra High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Direct Sunlight
WB Adjust: A2.0 M1.25
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Fujichrome”
Nikon Zfc – “Fujichrome”
Nikon Zfc – “Fujichrome”
Nikon Zfc – “Fujichrome”

Classic Slide

Nikon Zfc – “Classic Slide”

Some similarities to Kodak Elite Chrome emulsions.

Picture Control: Pop
Effect Level: 30
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: 0.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: +2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: -2.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: 5200K
WB Adjust: A/B0.0 M0.75
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Classic Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Classic Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Classic Slide”
Nikon Zfc – “Classic Slide”

CineFilm

Nikon Zfc – “CineFilm”

Resembles the aesthetic of low-saturation cinema film.

Picture Control: Silence
Effect Level: 70
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: Auto
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Auto (0) Keep White
WB Adjust: A5.0 M0.50
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “CineFilm”
Nikon Zfc – “CineFilm”
Nikon Zfc – “CineFilm”
Nikon Zfc – “CineFilm”

Cinema Color

Nikon Zfc – “Cinema Color”

Produces a cinematic filmic look.

Picture Control: Bleached
Effect Level: 60
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -3.00
Contrast: -1.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Direct Sunlight
WB Adjust: A5.0 M1.00
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Cinema Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Cinema Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Cinema Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Cinema Color”

Vintage Color

Nikon Zfc – “Vintage Color”

Reminiscent of color pictures from the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Picture Control: Melancholic
Effect Level: 90
Quick Sharp: -1.00
Sharpening: +1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: -1.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Daylight Fluorescent
WB Adjust: A3.0 G2.25
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Vintage Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Vintage Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Vintage Color”
Nikon Zfc – “Vintage Color”

Analog Film

Nikon Zfc – “Analog Film”

Resembles classic negative print aesthetic, particularly underexposed frames.

Picture Control: Pure
Effect Level: 80
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: +2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: Low
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Auto (1) Keep Overall Atmosphere
WB Adjust: A3.0 G0.50
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Analog Film”
Nikon Zfc – “Analog Film”
Nikon Zfc – “Analog Film”
Nikon Zfc – “Analog Film”

Aged Analog

Nikon Zfc – “Aged Analog”

Similarities to color negative film prints that have aged and slightly discolored.

Picture Control: Denim
Effect Level: 80
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Saturation: -2.00
Active D-Lighting: Low
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Direct Sunlight
WB Adjust: A4.0 G0.50
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc – “Aged Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Aged Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Aged Print”
Nikon Zfc – “Aged Print”

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

Nikon Zfc  Amazon  B&H
Nikon Zfc + 28mm f/2.8  Amazon  B&H
Nikon Zfc + 16-50mm  Amazon  B&H

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35 comments

  1. stuartshafran · July 3

    It is a nice looking camera, but nothing about it inspires me to purchase it over a Fuji. You took some fantastic looking photos with it though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vladimir · July 3

    These recipes feel your handwriting)))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Francis.R. · July 3

    “If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Ritchie, tamer of cameras.”
    It is amazing (but absolutely believable considering your work), it is another camera, another brand, and you get to extract from it very specific renderings, Fujichrome feels to me quite accurate, my favorite is Classic Slide. When I think in Nikons I feel the photographer that makes me think more in it is Steve McCurry, in fact I purchased a Sony R1 because he was in the advertisement x) Said that I think the only weak part is the lens, it looks technically sharp, very professional; but it looks too neutral, without character. I am not a Nikon user but I think a lens like their Nikkor 58mm f1.4 G would add that small I-don’t-know-what which would turn the photos even more unique. Or maybe I am biased and my eyes see Nikon always quite neutral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 6

      Lol!! Love it! The lens is definitely the weakness. If I try again, it will be with different glass, and not the 28mm.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. outkasted · July 3

    I love Fuji and have the Xpro3 as my everyday carry. Prior to that I used my Nikon Z 50 (which I still have). I always wished for similar recipes for Nikon. OMG ! You made it happen! I love my z50 with my Voigtlander 40mm | f2 and 58mm | f1.4. This is going to Be amazing 🤩. I will say the Nikon z50 truly is an underrated camera … not sexy but put some good glass on it like the Z 24-70| 2.8S and the images will sing! Can’t wait to try your offering👊🏾💪🏿

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 6

      I think that 28mm lens is the weak point. If I try the camera again, it will be different glass. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  5. Khürt Williams · July 3

    When Nikon release the Df in 2014 I was so excited for a full-frame retro styled DSLR experience. A few months after release I rented one for a weekend. I was disappointed.

    The Df was released with the same full-frame sensor as the one used in the ageing Nikon D4. It’s limited to 16 megapixel and was released at a time when many higher end camera had 20 megapixel sensors. It is bulky and heavy. I think the Zfc is similarly disappointing.

    But even if it was more like the Fuji X-Tx series I still wouldn’t buy one. In the 12 years I was Nikon shooter Nikon released may one firmware update for the cameras I owned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khürt Williams · July 3

      I should spellcheck what I type on my iPad. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 6

      I don’t even remember ever hearing the words “firmware update” when I shot Nikon DSLRs….

      Like

      • Charles M · 28 Days Ago

        Odd that. They’ve released (multiple) firmware for every DSLR imaginable… Maybe you use a modern yet retro 90s browser who’s java simulation intentionally underexposed google search results? 😉 ;P

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · 27 Days Ago

        I looked back because of this comment and found a couple interesting things. My first DSLR apparently had one firmware update released while I owned it (which improved the accuracy of the battery life indicator). My second DSLR did not have a single firmware update released while I owned it. I think, back then, firmware updates were pretty exclusively released to fix flaws or add compatibility with new lenses, so if your camera didn’t have any flaws (or you were unaware of the flaw, like with my battery life indicator) or you didn’t buy that newly released lens, there was no reason to update the firmware. So I can see how one could “slip through the cracks” on firmware. As I looked back, I discovered that I had been in digital photography for several years before the first “significant” firmware was released on a camera that I owned (by this time, my 4th digital camera)… but I never knew about it—I suppose because I wasn’t on photo forums or searching for such a thing. I do remember when I was about to buy my first Fujifilm camera, an X-E1, that I read in an article to make sure that the firmware was updated. I didn’t even know what the word meant (I knew software and hardware, but not firmware), so I had to Google it to even know. Will Rogers said, “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” Before I purchased a Fujifilm camera, firmware was a subject that I was ignorant on.

        Like

  6. Robert · July 3

    Hey there, been lurking this blog for half a year since I got my Fuji X-S10 and first of all, thank you for providing so many recipes and a great place to learn more about them, you’ve really helped me in my transition to the Fuji system. 🙂

    I don’t quite have the hang of creating my own simulations yet, but while these are for Nikon-Z cameras, do you think the simulations of CineColor, CinemaFilm, Aged Print and Vintage could also work on a Fuji camera? They all offer a kind of aesthetic I would enjoy in my photos and I often feel the Fuji simulations tend to focus on warmth a bit too much.

    Thanks for any input and keep it up, you’ve created an awesome info resource here. Best wishes from Germany 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 6

      CineFilm could be replicated with Eterna, Cinema Color with Eterna Bleach Bypass, Aged Analog… I don’t think you could replicate that blue shadow, and Vintage Color… it might be possible, but my initial feeling is that there isn’t a current film simulation with that color palette. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Luis · 27 Days Ago

      Can do you do the same recipes of fuji for Nikon Z?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · 26 Days Ago

        It’s a different philosophy (and color science…), but there might be a little crossover here and there. Mostly it’s different aesthetics from each brand.

        Like

  7. wolverineinnc · July 3

    Richie, I had one of those Nikon ZFc’s on order, but I got tired of waiting for it and cancelled it. After reading your article I’m glad I did. Sounds like the Z-50 is a better camera. I had one of those as well, and liked it, but sold it and my Z-6II when I went all in on Fuji. Not sorry I did. I love my X-Pro2 and my X-E3 cameras! Recently picked up the XF 16-80mm and XF 70-300mm lenses and wow, they’re terrific. I still like the light weight of my little primes, but for zoom lenses these two are surprisingly sharp!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. marcelfraij · July 4

    Hello Ritchie, you know that I appreciate all your efforts and good work. So this is not a personal remark. I think all these pictures are really flat and without depth. Is this the trademark of Nikon or am I spoiled by Fuji-colours…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 6

      I think it might be largely due to the 28mm lens, which is surprisingly mediocre. I think the sensor and (especially) processor might also be to blame, but mostly I believe it’s the lens.

      Like

  9. Vyacheslav · July 6

    Thank you very much for the work you have done.
    I have both Nikon and Fujifilm cameras. It will be very interesting to look at all the settings. It will be great if there are people who are also interested in settings for Nikon Z

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marek · July 6

    Thank you very, very much for the Nikon recipes. I am using both Fuji and Nikon (Z-fc) and I will be very glad to try it out !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jnriba · July 7

    Hello Ritchie, I cannot find the download link below the article as mentioned. I already donated and still not appearing any option to download the 11 film recipes. Am I missing something? Looking forward for your reply. Regards !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · July 7

      There’s nothing to download. They’re all within the article itself. For example, the Nostalgic Print recipe is this:
      Picture Control: Dream
      Effect Level: 90
      Quick Sharp: 0.00
      Sharpening: -0.50
      Mid-Range Sharpening: -2.00
      Clarity: -4.00
      Contrast: +3.00
      Saturation: -2.00
      Active D-Lighting: Normal
      High ISO NR: Low
      White Balance: Natural Light Auto
      WB Adjust: B2.0 G0.5
      ISO: up to 3200
      You can find all 11 within the article for free.
      If you want to download the article as a PDF, it’s pretty easy, just follow the direction in this article:
      https://smallpdf.com/blog/save-webpage-as-pdf

      Liked by 1 person

      • jnriba · July 7

        Hello Again Ritchie,

        Really sorry for my lapse I have totally misread the text before.

        Also, thank you for the prompt reply and most important really appreciate for the film recipes.

        Great job,
        Kind Regards !

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · July 10

        Thanks for your kindness!

        Like

  12. Marek · 30 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie,
    Can you add recipes directly in camera or only through nikon picture control?
    Thanks
    Marek

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 29 Days Ago

      I do it in-camera. On the Zfc it is only one recipe at a time, though (kind of like Fujifilm Bayer cameras).

      Like

  13. Guillermo Zeppa · 28 Days Ago

    HI ; do you think any of these film sims could come close to Classic Chrome ? I love it , it would be great to have a “nikon ,s classic chrome ” . I am a Nikon shooter who happens to own a Fujifilm X 70 . Your work is incredible . Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 27 Days Ago

      It might be possible. I definitely have to dig deeper into Nikon’s settings. I appreciate the input!

      Like

  14. Supernmes · 23 Days Ago

    Great work! Going to be fun to try out.

    Have had a blast trying out both your fuji and ricoh recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

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