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

Coastal Blooms – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pacific Blues”

Sometimes—like “Arizona Analog“—Film Simulation Recipes come together quickly, and sometimes—like this recipe—they don’t. This particular recipe has been in the works for over a year! I’ve made several attempts, and I finally feel satisfied that it is right—or at least as “right” as I’m going to get it. But what is it?

I’ve had a few requests to mimic the aesthetic of Lucy Laucht‘s Spirit of Summer series, particularly the Positano Blues photographs. Lucy is most known for shooting with Leica cameras—both film and digital—but she also uses others, and I wasn’t sure what she employed for this project. Recently I discovered that Positano Blues was shot on film, but (as far as I’ve found) she doesn’t discuss which film. I did find a reference (not related to this specific project) that mentioned she has used Kodak Gold and Kodak Portra, and that she digitally edits the film scans to some degree. She mentions using VSCO with her digital images, and I wonder if she also utilizes it with her film, too. When I first saw the pictures in this series, I thought it had a Classic Negative vibe—a film simulation that emulates Fujicolor Superia film. Lucy’s pictures are warmer than Superia typically is, but so much depends on how a film is shot, developed, scanned, etc., on how exactly it looks, and she certainly could have used warming filter. No matter the film and process used by Lucy, there’s a certain “look” to the Positano Blues photographs that is recognizable and beautiful—no wonder why people want to emulate it!

Coast Blue – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pacific Blues”

While Lucy Laucht’s pictures have a recognizable aesthetic, there are subtle differences between the images. Once you study them closely, you realize that some are warmer and some are cooler. Colors are rendered slightly different in some pictures. In past attempts, I felt like I’d get it “right” for one picture but “wrong” for others; however, with this final attempt, I feel like it’s possible to get close to the “look” of most of the Positano Blues photos. I’m very satisfied with how this one turned out, and I know that many of you will appreciate it, too. Obviously it is intended for a summer day at the beach, but it will do well in many different daylight situations. This “Pacific Blues” Film Simulation Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. I assume that it will also work on the X-H2s and newer GFX cameras, but I haven’t tried it to know for sure.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5800K, +1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

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

Pier Feet – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Water Taxi – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Harford Pier – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Bird & Boats – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Bird ‘Bout To Get Wet – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Ocean Post – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Pacific Plants – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Rocks in the Water – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Central California Coast – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass in the Sand – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Beach Frisbee – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Sax at the Beach – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Surf Rider – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Lone Rider – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Two on the Wave – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Evening Wave – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4

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  1. franklin773e68316a · August 4, 2022

    Strange, today I went to configure this recipe on my XH2S, and the Clarity is grayed out! Any idea why?

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 5, 2022

      I would guess it is because you are in a continuous shooting mode (CL or CH) and not single (S). Continuous modes disable Clarity.

  2. Francis.R. · August 5, 2022

    These photographs have certainly a film look, although I think more akin to Olympus point and shoot cameras or Pentax spotmatic cameras; the turquoise being rendered like memories gives it a nice vintage mood. Just to clarify I am not that familiar with the way Leica cameras render colors.

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11, 2022

      I think Lucy used a Pentax (although I’m not certain which one) in addition to a Leica for her images, so perhaps there is a small influence in this recipe. Great observation!

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  4. lu · August 5, 2022

    If only I could emulate with Classic Chrome! This look is beauuutiful.

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11, 2022

      I wish! That would be amazing. What I’d love to have is Classic Negative on my X-T30 (common, Fujifilm!)….

  5. Miroslav · August 9, 2022

    Any directions how to modify this recipe for XT-3?

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11, 2022

      It’s not possible, unfortunately. Fujifilm should have given (and still should give) Classic Negative to the X-T3.

  6. TheCameraEatsFirst · August 14, 2022

    Thanks, Ritchie! My photos look warmer (X-T30ii) but I still like this recipe. Unfortunately, it was heavily overcast when I was out making photo on the day. https://i.imgur.com/wff3mgc.jpg , https://i.imgur.com/NqzJfrz.jpg , https://i.imgur.com/rRKP7kK.jpg

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 15, 2022

      It’s the cloudy conditions that alter the white balance. This recipe is definitely optimized for sunny conditions, but (as you demonstrated in your pictures) can look good in other situations, too. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Anna · October 2

    I am new to fuji recipes. Two questions here:
    1. Even if I am on single shooting mode, I don’t find the setting to set the clarity. Any hints?
    2. Is the “Classic Negative” also a setting? If so, where can I set it? Is it under “Film Simulation”? There I only find Pro Neg. Hi or Pro Neg. Std.
    Thank for your help.

  8. J Anderson · October 14

    It’s overcast here today, but I have to say I’m initially loving this look on the X-H2. I omitted the clarity setting, because waiting for *STORING* after every shot drives me nuts.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17


      Regarding Clarity… first, I’m pretty surprised that Fujifilm didn’t figure out how to speed this up on the X-H2. That’s too bad. Second, I think best case is if you can let it “slow you down”… it’s a similar time to advancing to the next frame of film… but if that just doesn’t work for you, if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you can always add Clarity later by reprocessing in-camera or with X RAW Studio… or just ignore it altogether if you like the look without it.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • J Anderson · October 17

        Yeah, it’s not that incredibly long a time, but it makes it impossible to shoot in burst mode at all…I don’t blast the thing full-speed, but I often run it in 5 fps slow-burst when I’m popping shots of a lot of moving stuff. And I use Capture One, so if I need to do work on something, adding or subtracting clarity isn’t an issue.

        But regarding this look, I’ve been shooting it exclusively outdoors, and a 4300K version of it indoors, and it is absolutely delicious, maybe the best jpegs I’ve gotten out of any camera. The X-H2 is absolutely fantastic, everything I hoped it would be and several nice surprises.

        This was part of a burst of four shots I took yesterday, that *STORING* definitely would have hampered: https://flic.kr/p/2nTkuPE

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

        Awesome! Thank you for sharing! 😀

  9. J Anderson · October 17

    I might add, I haven’t started fiddling with customizing Nostalgic Negative very much, but I think Classic Negative might be a superior base anyway…NN seems almost *too* subtle.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

      I’m looking forward to playing with Nostalgic Negative someday, but it would be very tough to beat Classic Negative. 😀

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  11. Humza · December 13

    Hello Ritchie, I hope you are doing well. I love the color of these images! Sorry to ask but is there any way to emulate this same film simulation but on the x100F?

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 13

      Unfortunately you cannot emulate Classic Negative very well without Classic Negative. It’s a very unique film simulation. I appreciate your kindness!

      • Humza · December 13

        Ok that is so unfortunate 🙁 it seems kind of odd because I feel like the x100f is just as capable in emulating these same colors. Oh well, I guess I have to work with what I got. Thank you so much and as always have a great rest of your day.

      • Ritchie Roesch · December 14

        Well, it’s just as capable if Fujifilm had given it Classic Negative, but they didn’t, unfortunately. I think it would be great if Fujifilm were to do that.. it doesn’t have to be a free firmware, but even if they charged (say) $50 to include Classic Negative, Eterna, Eterna Bleach Bypass, and Nostalgic Neg., that would be a worthwhile investment.

  12. fstasi · February 23

    Hi Ritchie – I would love to use this film recipe for my videos as well on my XS10. I can see I can edit some settings of the standard Classic Negativ film sim, but some others like grain, clarity, color chrome can’t be edited.

    Any idea how to apply these settings for videos?

    I am thinking the alternative could be to shoot in Log and then add a LUT with the Pacific Blues settings.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 23

      Unfortunately (as you noted) Grain, Clarity, and the Color Chrome Effects aren’t available for video. It won’t look 100% the same as it does for stills, but you might appreciate it anyway. Take a few test clips to see how it does.

  13. Tin · March 31

    Hi! Is it required to follow what’s indicated in the exposure compensation? Thanks!

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 1

      No, absolutely not. The “typical” exposure compensation is intended only to be a suggested starting point. Each exposure should be judged individually. I hope this helps.

      • Tin · April 2

        Duly noted. Thank you so much!

  14. Marco · April 4

    Hi ! Is there any similar recipe for x-trans III ?

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 4

      Not for this. It’s not possible without the Classic Negative film sim. Sorry.

  15. Ronald · June 18

    One of my favourites for sure. Went to take some photos at the beach during a local surf contest to check vibe last weekend. Loaded Pacific Blues and shot jpeg only. It came out absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much! https://ronald.ink/surf-contest-day/

  16. Kieran Durrant · June 21

    Hi I have an X-T3 so cannot use this recipe but can you recommend any similar recipes that can be used on X-T3?

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 21

      Unfortunately, Fujifilm never gave Classic Negative to the X-T3 (such a bummer!), and there’s no good substitute for it. It’s not going to be the same, but some other Recipes to try are:
      Verano Tostado
      Classic Kodak
      Kodachrome 64

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