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

Waterfront Homes – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Vintage Analog”

This Film Simulation Recipe was suggested to me by someone… and I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember who (if it was you, let me know in the comments!). This recipe is basically my Vintage Kodacolor recipe, but with a couple modifications: Classic Negative instead of Classic Chrome, plus Color Chrome FX Blue and Clarity. Sometimes when you use a different film simulation than what a recipe calls for, the results can be interesting. I programmed this recipe into my Fujifilm X-E4, noticed that it produced good results, and then I kind of forgot about it for awhile. I recently “rediscovered” it in my C1-C7, and used it for several days, enjoying the warm vintage-like images that this recipe produces.

Most of these pictures were captured through vintage glass, as I adapted some old lenses to my X-E4. The main one was a Helios 44-2, but a couple Asahi Takumars were used, too. Using old manual lenses is something that I enjoy doing, and this recipe pairs really well with them. I also used a 10% CineBloom filter on some of the pictures; diffusion filters help to take the “digital edge” off of images, and produce a more analog-esque aesthetic—I don’t use them all of the time, and I think subtlety is key.

Arch Over Bell Tower – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Vintage Analog”

Because this “Vintage Analog” Film Simulation Recipe use Classic Negative, Color Chrome FX Blue, and Clarity, it is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras, but not the X-T3 or X-T30. Those with the X-H2s (and soon-to-be X-H2) can likely use it, too, but I haven’t tested it myself to know for sure. Why does this recipe use Color Chrome FX Blue and Clarity when the Vintage Kodacolor recipe that it is derived from doesn’t? I don’t know (and if I was told I don’t remember). But it looks good, so what can I say? I hope you enjoy it!

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: 0
Color: -4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 9100K, -4 Red & +4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

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

Red Rose of Summer – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dock Post – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Duck Conversation – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Two Palm Sky – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Roof & Tiles – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Garden Bulb – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Summer Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Approaching Storm Clouds – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Hoping to Catch – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburb Saguaro – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dead Cactus Branch – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Hazy Desert – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Saguaro Storm – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Fujifilm X70 (X-Trans II) Film Simulation Recipe: Monochrome Red

Houses, Reflected – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70 – “Monochrome Red”

Back when I shot black-and-white film, I usually used a color filter to manipulate the shades of grey, and for landscape photography the Red filter was my most-used option. You cannot use these filters on your Fujifilm camera, but Fujifilm does provide you with three faux filters: +Y, +R, & +G. These mimic the aesthetic of using a Yellow, Red, or Green filter (sort of). In my opinion, +R doesn’t actually replicate the use of a Red filter very well; it’s more like an Orange filter. This recipe is intended to produce a look more similar to a Red filter on black-and-white film, which means that it will darken blues and lighten reds.

I actually created this “Monochrome Red” Film Simulation Recipe several months back on my Fujifilm X-T1, but that camera has a dirty sensor in need of a cleaning, so I never shared the results. Then I moved, and the X-T1 got packed away for awhile. Just recently I purchased a different X-Trans II camera—an X70—so I plugged this recipe into it and began shooting. This is an excellent option if you are looking for a black-and-white recipe, and is especially good for landscape photography.

Sunlit Flowers – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70 – “Monochrome Red”

The “Monochrome Red” recipe is compatible with all X-Trans II cameras. If you have an X-Trans I or Bayer model, the results will be ever slightly different, but very similar, and you can definitely use it—if you have an X-Pro1 or X-T200 or anything like that, feel free to give this recipe a try.

Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Shadow: +2 (Hard)
Sharpness: +1 (Medium-Hard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Fluorescent 1, -4 Red & +7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: 0 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X70 using this “Monochrome Red” Film Simulation Recipe:

Josh Intently Gaming – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Jonathan with a Smile – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Backlit Jo – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Boy Fishing – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Dock Abstract – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Lock & Chain – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Pole & Chain – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Fishing Pole on Dock – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Young Boy Fishing – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Lakeside Tree – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X70

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Join Fuji X Weekly LIVE this Thursday!

The next SOOC episode will be live on Thursday, September 9th! Join Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry and myself as we finish our discussion of the Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month: Kodak Portra 400. Which Kodak Portra 400 recipe? These three: Here, Here, & Here. Yes, all three! The PreShow starts at 9:30 AM Pacific, 12:30 PM Eastern Time; if you can’t make the PreShow, be sure to tune in by 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern to catch the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

Nathalie has an excellent write-up for the Vintage Agfacolor recipe on her website, so be sure to check that out!

See you Thursday!

Fujifilm Interview is Disappointing (But, There is a Silver Lining)


As you might recall, I wrote a piece back in June entitled Is Fujifilm Losing Its Soul?, and I opened the second paragraph with my answer: Fujifilm has already lost its soul. Some of you disagreed, but the vast majority agreed with my sentiments—it seemed to resonate with a lot of you.

I came across an article (via Fujirumors) published two days ago in which Dave Etchells of Imaging Resource interviewed five Fujifilm managers. You can read the whole thing if you’d like. Some parts of it stood out to me, and so I thought I’d highlight those. I’m going to get a little cynical, so be sure to hold onto your hats. I promise to wrap it up on a positive note.

“Seeing a PASM dial on the X-H2S,” Dave states, “some people have been saying, ‘Oh no, Fuji’s abandoning us! Where are the individual exposure controls?’  <laughter around the table>….”

I guess that’s funny? I mean, seriously, when a large group of your most loyal customers state a concern, your response is to laugh at and mock them? Not cool, not one bit. And this is the problem. Want proof that Fujifilm has already lost its soul? Here it is, right in that laughter.

Captured with a Fujifilm X-E1

“Yeah, that’s kind of interesting,” answered Fujifilm Divisional Manger Yuji Igarishi, “because we did not hear that when we introduced it for the GFX.”

“Huh, that is interesting,” answered Dave, “that the issue never came up with the GFX.”

That is interesting, because I heard it. I said it myself. Not sure why Fujifilm didn’t get the memo, other than GFX is financially out of reach for many X shooters, so they’re not as passionate about what Fujifilm does with GFX as they are with X. Trust me, Fujifilm: some people noticed and cared that the latest GFX cameras are PASM, and there are people who won’t buy them for that reason. Maybe it’s not enough photographers for the company to concern themselves with, I don’t know, but people did vocalize the concern. If you don’t care, then you don’t care; if you do care, perhaps broaden where you’re finding feedback (for example, nobody asked me, despite having such a large and passionate Fujifilm audience…). Maybe it wasn’t stated loudly, but the issue certainly did come up.

“…I tend to think of PASM as being more for amateurs,” Dave continued, “but actually it’s the professionals who need it, to be able to change modes quickly.”

Ah, I get it now: PASM is for pros, and the traditional tactile controls of Fujifilm’s other products are for amateurs, and if you prefer them, you’re an amateur. Only the lowly amateur peasants don’t want PASM. If you’re a pro, surely you prefer PASM. Apparently Fujifilm prefers to focus on potential “pro” customers and not their current “amateur” customers. Yes, I’m taking the quote noticeably out of context, but, reading the interview, that’s the sentiment I got, whether or not it was flatly stated.

Captured with a Fujifilm X-Pro1

Look, PASM isn’t any more or less for pros than the traditional controls; it’s simply a preference, largely based on how one learned photography—if you learned on PASM you tend to prefer PASM, and if you learned on traditional controls you tend to prefer traditional controls. Fujifilm was one of the very few camera makers who made products for those who don’t prefer PASM, and that’s a big reason why the majority of their users purchased their first Fujifilm camera, and an important reason why they continue to do so. Everyone makes PASM cameras, but, aside from Fujifilm, who makes non-PASM models? It’s a pretty short (and largely expensive) list. It’s fine that Fujifilm wants to expand their customer base and offer a diversity of products to meet the needs of various customers. Awesome. But don’t do it at the expense of (and while mocking and belittling) those who have purchased your products for years. That’s a good way to make your loyal customers a lot less loyal, which will only bite you in the butt.

“…We’re not moving everything away from the dials,” Yuji reassures, “no need to worry about that.”

Not everything. Some things—yes. But don’t you worry ’bout a thing. Yeah, I mean, a couple models had their traditional controls replaced with PASM (X-H and GFX-50S lines), but it’s not going to happen to the other camera series, you can trust that. Never mind that (once the X-H2 is official announced in a few days) five of the last seven X + GFX cameras have been PASM. And one of those two non-PASM models was basically just a firmware update. To me, it seems like a commitment to “moving… away from the dials” and not the other way around. Actions speak louder than words.

Speaking of GFX…

“I think when we introduced the 50R,” stated Yuji, “that was kind of the first small medium-format camera, so I think there was a value there. Now that we have a smaller body with the GFX100S, I think there’s maybe less need for something even more compact. Of course, we always look at the market to see if there’s a need to introduce something, but I think at the moment, probably because of the GFX100S body size, there’s not as much demand for a smaller model as before.”

Captured with a Fujifilm X-T1

In other words, rangefinder styling and traditional controls—forget about it. If that’s what you want, GFX isn’t for you. I guess there’s very little hope of “wow” product #7….

“Fujifilm has a very broad range of APS-C bodies these days,” Dave mentioned, “with no fewer than 6 different product lines. Will all of these lines continue into the future, or do you see some of them going away or merging with each other?”

“Currently,” Yuji answered, “we believe that each product line has its own unique characteristics, so as long as that makes sense for us, we’ll continue with that line. For us, it’s whether we can provide value for the customers. Some of the products take longer to update, because it doesn’t make sense to update them every year. For example with the X-H, it took four years to come up with the next version. You know, we always think about whether a new model makes sense. If we have the technology, when we feel ready, then we’ll introduce a successor.”

I actually strongly agree that “it doesn’t make sense to update [camera models] every year.” Or even every two years. I think three to five years is a sufficient amount of time to update a line. Camera makers often too quickly update their models, in hopes of maximizing sales by always having a “new” version with the “latest” this or that. Yes, people aren’t generally eager to spend a grand or more on five-year-old digital camera technology, but if that technology is good, then it’s still good for years to come, not just for a year or two. By constantly updating models, camera makers are basically admitting that their gear is obsolete quickly, and not something that’s relevant for a significant period of time. Fujifilm is celebrating 10 years of X-mount, and the X-Pro1 is certainly still a capable camera—a testament that their cameras are relevant for many years, not just a couple.

Captured with a Fujifilm X-E1

I do think there’s hope in Yuji’s statement for an eventual X80 (the perhaps someday successor to the X70). With any luck, Fujifilm will “feel ready” soon. Probably not, but one can wish. On the flip side, Fujifilm basically stated the fine print: if it doesn’t make sense to them, they’ll change or discontinue something without batting an eye. Will the X-T5 have PASM? Not likely—I’d be pretty shocked—but perhaps the X-T6 will, especially if Fujifilm determines that more “pros” are using that line than “amateur” photographers… or, really, if Fujifilm thinks by doing so it will attract more people from other brands. Will the X-T00 line be discontinued in favor of the X-S00 line? It could happen—I’d be surprised if it did—but as long as Fujifilm believes it makes sense in order to sell more models to the customers that they hope to attract, they’ll do it. Yuji’s statement could essentially be summarized: we don’t have any specific plans that we’re ready to publicly discuss, but nothing is off the table. That could be good or that could be bad, I guess depending on your perspective.

A lot is said in that interview, but I’ll end with one of Yuji’s conclusions: “In general, we’re very appreciative of people’s interest in our products.”

People are very interested in Fujifilm’s products. I think a lot of the long-time customers are a little concerned about the choices Fujfilm has been making, and what those choices mean for the long haul. I think many loyal customers are unsure of the direction that Fujifilm is heading. The Fujifilm at 20 years of X-mount might not much resemble the one at 10 years—something you might celebrate or mourn, probably largely depending on how long you’ve been a customer.

Here’s the silver lining that I promised: the cameras Fujifilm has made over the last number of years are really good—and should last a long time, too—so it doesn’t matter what Fujifilm does, because what they did do was very good. If the X-T5, X-Pro4, or X100VI (or whatever it will be called) isn’t what you hoped it would be, you still have the X-T4, X-Pro3, and X100V—heck, you still have the X-T1, X-Pro1, and X100, and all the models in-between! You might notice that I captured all of the pictures in this article with older models. A good camera is a good camera, and as long as it serves you well, you don’t need to “upgrade” to the latest and greatest just because the reviewers and YouTubers (most of which were given or loaned their gear for free) say that you should. Is that old camera still relevant to you and your photography? If so, then you’re already set, and none of this other stuff even matters.

Fujifilm X70 (X-Trans II) Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Color Negative

Bee on a Blossom – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70 – “Kodak Color Negative”

I’ve wanted a Fujifilm X70 ever since I learned of its existence. For those who don’t know, the X70 was essentially a smaller, more wide-angle, and less expensive X100T. Introduced in January 2016 and discontinued in December of that same year, you might think that the camera was a flop, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, to Fujifilm’s surprise, shortly after the camera launched, Sony suddenly discontinued the 16-megapixel APS-C sensor that the X70 used, and Fujifilm had no choice but to fully move on to X-Trans III as quickly as possible. The X70 was a casualty of that situation. No successor was ever made, supposedly because heat dispersion was an issue with higher resolution sensors that couldn’t be remedied. Even though the camera is six years old now, people love their X70’s—you don’t see very many for sale, and when you do it’s usually for a similar price to, or even higher than, the original MSRP. I was fortunate to find one in excellent condition for “only” $600.

I’ve had this camera for just a few days. After unboxing the X70, I quickly programmed into it the latest recipe that I had been working on with my X-T1 (which is in need of a sensor cleaning), and busily shot with it. Already I love this little camera—not only is it very practical to carry around everywhere, it is so much fun to use! Fujifilm really needs to work hard an its successor, the X80—this should be a top priority, in my opinion.

Fujifilm X70 — captured with a Fujifilm X100V + GAF 500 recipe

For this “Kodak Color Negative” Film Simulation Recipe, I wanted to use the Incandescent White Balance. Why? Because you cannot program a White Balance Shift into the C1-C7 Custom Presets (only on X-Pro3 and newer models); however, the camera will remember one shift per white balance type. If each of your presets uses a different white balance type, then you don’t have to remember to adjust the shift when switching presets. Incandescent is a white balance option that I’d not yet used on X-Trans II, so it seemed like a logical place to start.

The aesthetic that I was hoping to achieve with this recipe was Kodak Portra 400. I don’t believe that I succeeded in faithfully mimicking that (sometimes there’s a similarity); however, it does seem to produce a Kodak-like color negative film look, perhaps more like Ultramax, but not exactly that, either. Whatever it does or doesn’t resemble, I personally really like the aesthetic produced by this recipe, and I hope that you do, too.

Johanna in Evening Light – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70 – “Kodak Color Negative”

This “Kodak Color Negative” recipe is compatible with all X-Trans II cameras that have Classic Chrome, including the X100T, X-E2, X-E2S, X-T10, X-T1, X30, X70, and XQ2. Unfortunately, the X100S, X20, and XQ1 don’t have Classic Chrome, despite being X-Trans II. Those with Bayer models that have Classic Chrome can also use this recipe, although it will render a little different on your camera.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2 (Soft)
Shadow: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Color: +2 (High)
Sharpness: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Incandescent, +6 Red & -7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X70 using this “Kodak Color Negative” Film Simulation Recipe:

Sunlight Through The Grapevine – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Grape Leaves – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Backlit Leaf & Lens Flare – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Is It Already Fall Y’all? – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Hummingbird – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Burgers & Rainbows – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Corner Table – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Morning Coffee – Glendale, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Mary, Jesus & Stinky Pete – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Yellow Hanging Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Backyard Blossoms – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Orange Trumpets & Lens Flare – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Singular Bougainvillea Branch – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Yellow Wall Flowers – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Garden Rose – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Leaf on the Ground – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Wet Suburbia Evening – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Wet Concrete Reflecting Sunset – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70
Sunset Veiled by House & Tree – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X70

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Creative Collective 025: FXW Zine — Issue 10 — September 2022

The 10th issue of FXW Zine is out, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now!

What’s in the September issue? It’s actually a very special edition, celebrating my first six years shooting Fujifilm cameras. There are 74 pictures, including the cover, across 48 pages—this is by far the biggest issue of FXW Zine yet!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine—not just this issue, but the first nine issues, too!

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective today! Click here to learn more.

Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: GAF 500

Urban Rhino – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “GAF 500”

Hold onto your hats, because, for this Film Simulation Recipe, we’re going to dive deep into the obscure and practically forgotten history of a unique film called GAF 500. We’re going to explore the intriguing history of GAF, discover what made this film unique, and discuss how this new GAF 500 Film Simulation Recipe came to be. You are in for a treat today!

GAF actually began in 1886 as the Standard Paint Company of New Jersey. After acquiring a holding company in 1928 that had (among other things) majority ownership of AGFA, the company changed its name to General Aniline & Film—GAF for short. Also in 1928, AGFA merged with Ansco, so in addition to acquiring AGFA, GAF also got ownership of Ansco, which was founded in 1842. Originally named E. Anthony & Co., after merging with Scovill Manufacturing in 1901 it was renamed Ansco (“An” from Anthony and “sco” from Scovill). Ansco was headquartered in New York, and was Kodak’s biggest competitor for many decades. The merger with AGFA was intended to bring Ansco’s photography products to a global market, which would allow them to better compete against Kodak.

Then World War II happened, and in 1941 the U.S. government seized and took ownership of GAF and Ansco (separating it from AGFA, which was a German-owned business), and officially merged Ansco into GAF. The U.S. government retained ownership of GAF until 1965, when it sold all of its shares.

Morning Sunlight on a Curtain – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “GAF 500”

In 1967 GAF introduced a revolutionary new film: GAF 500. It was a high-ISO 35mm color transparency (slide) film—the highest ISO color film during its time; the second-highest color ISO film (another GAF emulsion) was rated at ISO 200, so it was more than twice as “fast” (as they called it back then) as the second fastest. 30 years prior to the introduction of GAF 500, the highest ISO color film was rated at ISO 8, so having an ISO 500 option was unthinkable back then, and a lot of people wondered why anyone would need such a high-ISO film. While it was mostly sold under the brand name GAF, it was sometimes sold as Anscochrome 500. Was GAF/Anscochrome 500 any good?

From all accounts, you either loved GAF 500 or hated it. The grain was extremely pronounced. Colors were “good” yet muted (a.k.a. “neutral” or “natural”) and generally considered to be not as “nice” as Kodak’s. It didn’t push-process nearly as well as, it wasn’t quite as sharp as, and it didn’t pair with color correction filters as well as Kodachrome or Ektachrome. It was inferior to all other color emulsions except for one fact: it was fast! You could use it when other films wouldn’t work due to low light. If it was dark and you wanted to shoot color, GAF 500 was your best bet.

GAF 500 had a warm color cast—some described it as orange, some said red-orange, and others stated that it was red—not as warm as some Kodak emulsions, but warm nonetheless. The shadows tended to lean blue. If you pushed the film, it had a purple cast across the frame. Some people liked how it looked when shooting under fluorescent lights or stage lights, and was a popular choice for concert photography.

Illuminated Cat & Sleeping Child – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “GAF 500”

What people seemed to like most about GAF 500 is that it was gritty yet soft. It was grainy, like a high-ISO black-and-white film, and it was contrasty with a very narrow exposure latitude—it was easy to blow out the whites or block up the blacks; however, it also had low color saturation (or was “more neutral” as some put it) , and the gradations were gentle. It was like a biker ballerina, if you will. Some people loved the aesthetic of GAF 500, and would use it even in bright-light situations just for the look that it produced. Many photographers steered clear of it just because there were “better” options, such as push-processing lower ISO films.

There was a time in the 1970’s that GAF was everywhere. It was the official film of Disneyland, and, for a time, was the only brand of film that you could purchase inside the park. Sears sold GAF cameras and film. Henry Fonda was the spokesman. Despite that, GAF struggled to be profitable competing against Kodak, Fujifilm, and other brands.

GAF made a few minor “improvements” to their ISO 500 film over the years, and (from what I read) it seemed to get “better” towards the mid-1970’s. In 1977, due to sluggish sales, GAF decided to get out of the photography business altogether. GAF/Anscochrome 500 was discontinued, along with all of the other GAF films. The Ansco brand name was licensed out to other companies for years to come, although it was largely used for rebranded films and not original emulsions. GAF 500 was gone forever.

Garden Spiderweb – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “GAF 500”

Perhaps thanks to Alien Skin Exposure software, there’s been a renewed interest in GAF 500. Alien Skin has a GAF 500 preset that is supposed to allow you to mimic the aesthetic of the film with your digital images. I’ve used it before, and that’s the closest I’ve come to shooting GAF 500. It’s been awhile since I’ve used Exposure software, so I don’t recall too much about the preset (other than it was grainy). So, for this Film Simulation Recipe, I spent significant time studying whatever I could find on the film. There’s a lot of written information out there, but photographs were hard to come by. Still, I found some, and did my best to emulate the look with my Fujifilm X-E4.

Recreating GAF 500 on my Fujifilm camera was tricky for several reasons. First, I wouldn’t have considered Eterna as the best base (just because it lacks the necessary contrast to emulate a contrasty slide film), but after trying Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Low, and Eterna Bleach Bypass, I decided to give Eterna a go. Bingo! This one had the right tonality (those “gentle gradations”); however, I do wish that Shadow could be set to +5 to get deeper blacks, but that’s not an option. Another tricky aspect was achieving the warm, reddish/orangish color cast that could still produce a hint of blue in the shadows. Fujifilm cameras aren’t capable of split-toning, so I did my best to approximate this with the white balance; I do wish the shadows were just a little more blue, but it’s not possible without sacrificing the overall warmth. Another challenge was replicating the grain. Fujifilm’s option of Grain Strong Large wasn’t nearly as pronounced as it needed to be, so I set out to supplement it with digital noise using high-ISO. But how high? ISO 1600 wasn’t nearly enough. ISO 3200 wasn’t enough, either. ISO 6400… much closer, but not quite there, either. Should I dare try ISO 12800? Yes, that’s it! More importantly, it looks good, which I had my doubts about.

With slide film, depending on the emulsion, you had to nail the exposure exactly, as the dynamic range was extraordinarily narrow. You didn’t know what you had until you got the film back from the lab (or developed it yourself at home); some frames would be underexposed, some frames would be overexposed, and some frames (hopefully) would be correctly exposed—I found examples of all three when searching for GAF 500 photographs. You can achieve similar aesthetics with this recipe if you want, by either dropping the exposure a little or increasing it a little—the exact look of this recipe will vary some depending on the exposure. While I couldn’t replicate every potential GAF 500 aesthetic with this one recipe, and no recipe will ever be 100% spot-on accurate (because of the limited tools available on the camera, and because the results of one film can vary significantly depending an a whole host of factors), I do believe that this recipe is pretty close to replicating the look and feel of GAF 500 film—at least from the perspective of someone who was born after the film was discontinued, so I never had a chance to use it myself.

Offroad Tricycle – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “GAF 500”

Because this “GAF 500” recipe uses Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, it is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras, and is not compatible with the X-T3 or X-T30. Those with X-Trans V cameras can also use it, and it should render identically, although I have no first-hand experience to verify that. Those with newer GFX cameras can use it, too, although it will render differently. Because of the ultra high-ISO that’s required, I recommend using your electronic shutter and a small aperture (like f/8, f/11, or even f/16) when shooting in bright light outdoors.

Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +4
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -3
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 2900K, +9 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: 12800
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “GAF 500” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Eat – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Bird Scooters – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Orange Lighter & Abandoned Home – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
FAO JUG – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Why Love? – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Twin Dumpsters – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Garfield – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Overhead Crane – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Oversized Load – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
And So It Begins – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Air Garage & Graffiti – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Can in the Sage – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburban Barrel Cacti – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Double Peace – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Table Roses – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunlit Curtain – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Yellow Trumpets & Sunstar – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Bougainvillea Branch in the Blue – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Orange Trumpet Flower Blossoms – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Two Yellow Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Joy – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

Grain examples:

Big crop to show the “grain” in the image.
Big crop to show the “grain” in the image.
Big crop to show the “grain” in the image.

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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