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

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

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26 comments

  1. franklin773e68316a · August 4

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

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 5

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

      Like

  2. Francis.R. · August 5

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11

      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!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Fuji Five-O, for Life on the Water – Film Recipes for Fujifilm Cameras
  4. lu · August 5

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

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11

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

      Like

  5. Miroslav · August 9

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

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 11

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

      Like

  6. TheCameraEatsFirst · August 14

    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

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 15

      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!

      Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      Awesome!

      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!

      Like

      • 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

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

        Awesome! Thank you for sharing! 😀

        Like

  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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

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

      Like

  10. Pingback: Pacific Blues Film Recipe – Beautiful Fuji
  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?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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!

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

      • 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.

        Like

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