Four Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipes: KodaNeg VC & NC

Rainfall on the Desert Mountains – Fort McDowell, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “KodaNeg NC”

I’m asked pretty regularly if I can create a Film Simulation Recipe that mimics a certain look—usually a particular film stock, but occasionally the aesthetic of a certain photographer. These recipes began as an attempt to recreate the look of a certain photographer. Unfortunately, despite much effort, I wasn’t successful. When I say “much effort” I mean that I went as far as having conversations with this photographer (which is pretty cool, because he’s well known and respected) to try and find out what he does to get his signature aesthetic. I tried some pretty unconventional tactics to get his look straight out of camera, but in the end I determined that it’s not possible with Fujifilm’s current JPEG options. Still, I really liked one of the recipes that I created while trying (and failing) to mimic the look, so I began using it.

Right around this same time someone asked if I could create a recipe that better mimics the Kodak Ektar 100 aesthetic from a particular photographer (as one film can produce many different looks depending on a host of factors). When I saw the images, my first thought is that it looked a lot like this new recipe, except with the color turned way up. So I turned Color up from -4 to +4, and the results were surprisingly similar to Ektar. An exact match? No, but definitely in the ballpark, and certainly close enough that if one is looking for an alternative Kodak Ektar 100 recipe, this is one to consider.

Red Bench – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – “KodaNeg VC”

I stated that I did something unconventional to create this recipe: I used a 1/4 Black Pro Mist diffusion filter, and I did so because it has a slight reddish-brown color cast. Normally I prefer CineBloom filters because they don’t have a color cast, but for this recipe it was necessary. If you have a 10% CineBloom you can use that instead; however, it will be slightly less warm. If Fujifilm allowed .5 adjustments to White Balance Shift, you could move a half-point towards red and achieve basically the same thing, but they don’t. I find that +7 Red is too strong when not using a Black Pro Mist, so I would definitely stick with +6, even though it is less warm. After creating the Black Pro Mist version, I set out to make an alternate version that does not use a diffusion filter, yet produces a similar look (albeit slightly less warm due to the lack of Black Pro Mist filter). So there are four Film Simulation Recipes in total here: two low-saturation options (with a without a Black Pro Mist filter), and two high-saturation options (also with and without a Black Pro Mist filter).

When Kodak introduced Portra, it initially came in two varieties: VC (“vivid color”) and NC (“neutral color”). The VC emulsion was more optimized for landscape photography and the NC emulsion was more optimized for portrait photography. These recipes aren’t intended to mimic Kodak Portra, but I decided to barrow the VC and NC abbreviations anyway—the two VC recipes are optimized for landscapes, while the two NC recipes are optimized for portraits. You can clearly see this in the two sets of images below.

Fujifilm X-E4 — “KodaNeg VC”
Fujifilm X-E4 — “KodaNeg NC”
Fujifilm X-E4 — “KodaNeg VC”
Fujifilm X-E4 — “KodaNeg NC”

I named these recipes “KodaNeg” because they have warm Kodak-like colors… maybe like Kodak color negative film paired with an 81A or 81B warming filter—color correction filters were fairly commonly used back in the film days, and 81A was probably the most popular among landscape photographers. Which Kodak color negative film? I didn’t model these after any specific film, so they don’t closely resemble any; however, the NC recipes are slightly Portra-like, and the VC recipes are slightly Ektar-like, but are not exact match to either.

If you have a 1/4 Black Pro Mist diffusion filter, I invite you to try the two KodaNeg recipes below that are intended for use with a diffusion filter. If you don’t have a Black Pro Mist—no worries—use the two recipes that are intended to be used without a diffusion filter. Unfortunately, because these require Clarity and Color Chrome Effect, they’re not compatible with the X-T30 and X-T3. Those with X-Trans V cameras should be able to use these recipes, but I do not have any personal experience to know for certain.

KodaNeg VC (with Diffusion Filter)

X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II

Pickup Trucks – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – “KodaNeg VC”

Use this recipe in conjunction with a 1/4 Black Pro Mist Filter. Alternatively, you can use this with a 10% CineBloom, but the results will be slightly different.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +1
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: +3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Auto, +6 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “KodaNeg VC” recipe with my Fujifilm X100V:

Dead Tree & Four Peaks – Fort McDowell, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Red Rock – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Gowan Trail – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Bridge Trail – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Cactus Above the Trail – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Small Waterfall – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Forest Pond – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Turning Autumn – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Sunlight Sky & Golden Trees – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Barely Autumn – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Handcrafted – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Back of Sign – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
I is for Ice – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Window Wash Bucket – Payson, AZ – Fujifilm X100V

KodaNeg NC (with Diffusion Filter)

X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II

Fujifilm X70 on a Bed – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – “KodaNeg NC”

Use this recipe in conjunction with a 1/4 Black Pro Mist Filter. Alternatively, you can use this with a 10% CineBloom, but the results will be slightly different.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +1
Color: -4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: +3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Auto, +6 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “KodaNeg NC” recipe with my Fujifilm X100V:

Power Pole – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Lamp Sky – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Pines & Oaks – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Water Dripping Over Cliff – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Forested Mountain – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Mountain Path – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Forest Floor – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Logs in a Shallow Pond – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Bare Tree – Tonto Natural Bridge, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Girl Sitting on a Porch – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Drops on the Eave – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Open Obscured – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Dude – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Amanda – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X100V

KodaNeg VC (without filter)

X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II)

Yellow Cactus – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – KodaNeg VC”

This recipe is intended to be used without a diffusion filter. Because it requires +0.5 Shadow, this recipe isn’t directly compatible with the Fujifilm X100V or X-Pro3, but if you want to use it anyway, you’ll have to decide if you prefer Shadow set to 0 or +1—the results will be slightly different, either with a little more or less contrast.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +0.5
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Auto, +6 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “KodaNeg VC” recipe with my Fujifilm X-E4:

Saguaro & Four Peaks – Fort McDowell, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Prickly Cactus – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Logs in a Pond – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Rock Pond – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Small Creek – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Viewpoint 3 – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Pine Creek Trail – Tonto Natural BridgeSP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Cactus Rock – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Hills – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Little Blooms in the Forest – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Oak Autumn – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Yellow Tree in the Forest – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Touch of Autumn – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Forestscape – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

KodaNeg NC (without filter)

X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II)

Desert Storm – Fort McDowell, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “KodaNeg NC”

This recipe is intended to be used without a diffusion filter. Because it requires +0.5 Shadow, this recipe isn’t directly compatible with the Fujifilm X100V or X-Pro3, but if you want to use it anyway, you’ll have to decide if you prefer Shadow set to 0 or +1—the results will be slightly different, either with a little more or less contrast.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +0.5
Color: -4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Auto, +6 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “KodaNeg NC” recipe with my Fujifilm X-E4:

Clouds Over Trees – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Rural Elk – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Hidden Elk – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Electric Forest Rain – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Eave Drops – Pine, AZ – Fujiifilm X-E4
White Cloud – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Storm Behind Trees – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Little Red Berries & Cloud – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Smoke Stack – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Mountain Trees – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Mobile Videography – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Cactus in the Forest – Pine, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Forest Cactus – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Cliff Cactus – Tonto Natural Bridge SP, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

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6 comments

  1. Vladimir · October 13

    interesting recipes and unexpected revelations of Provia.
    but it seems to me that such a wow effect turned out due to the surrounding reality – sunlight and the color of the terrain (mountains, soil, stones, etc.)

    white balance – auto, how will it behave in the shade, in inclement weather? testing under different conditions…
    and in the urban landscape?
    I’ll probably take the tests.

    and another nuance, I did not find in the recipe settings that are not with the old versions of XTRANS-4. even though you only mentioned the new XTRANS-4s.

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 13

      It is indeed unexpected revelations of Provia! I wouldn’t have even tried Provia, except that is what this photographer uses (he edits his JPEGs… but didn’t want to “give away” his trade secrets other than he uses Provia…).

      As far as your WB questions, about 20% of the pictures were captured in rainy/overcast conditions. I think it can trend a little too warm occasionally, especially the VC recipes, but does well overall in a lot of different situations, including indoor and artificial light. I haven’t tried it yet for urban photography.

      Because of Clarity, I don’t think the “with diffusion filter” recipes will work on the X-T3 or X-T30, but the “without diffusion filter” recipes could be used, replacing Clarity with a diffusion filter, such as 5% or 10% CineBloom or 1/8 or 1/4 Black Pro Mist, and either selecting Shadow 0 or +1 (maybe 0 with a weaker filter, or +1 with a stronger filter). It’s not directly compatible, but it could be made to work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon Dorsett · October 19

    Hi Ritchie, I’m about to spend some time photographing an old slate quarry and wanted some advice on the best recipe. I want to shoot in colour, the key colours will be green and grey, and the weather is likely to be overcast, raining, maybe some sunny intervals. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 19

      I would look at Kodachrome 64, Fujicolor Super HG v2, Positive Film, Fujicolor Pro 400H, Color Negative 400, maybe Agfa Vista 100, Fujicolor Reala 100… possibly Vibrant Velvia or Velvia v2. Maybe take a look at those and see which stands out the most to you.

      Like

      • Jon Dorsett · October 20

        Thanks Ritchie. I reckon the Kodachrome 6e might work best as I’ll be using an X100V and an XH1. Appreciate the advice (and the recipes!)

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 20

        You are welcome!

        Like

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