When should you use which Film Simulation Recipes on your Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T30 camera? With so many recipes to choose from, it can be difficult to know what recipe you should select in a given situation, and this article is intended to help you with that. If you haven’t read Part 1, it’s important to do so because it explains what exactly we’re doing—the backstory—which is important to understand. There’s a video to watch in that article, too. Take a moment right now to hop on over to Part 1 (click here) before continuing on with this post, if you haven’t viewed it already.
What makes Part 2 more challenging than the first article is that the X-T3 and X-T30 cameras cannot remember a White Balance Shift within the C1-C7 Custom Presets. If two recipes share the same white balance type but not the same shift, then when you switch presets you must remember to adjust the shift, too. That can be inconvenient and frustrating, so my best solution is to program recipes that use different white balance types and/or share the same white balance type and shift. The user experience is much improved, but you might not be able to program all of your favorite recipe at the same time, which is the one downside to doing this. What I set out to do with this article is recommend seven recipes, one for each C1-C7 Custom Preset, that don’t share the same white balance type, or, if they do, share the same shift. It turned out to be a somewhat impossible task, but I think I came up with a good set for you.
Also, if you have a newer X-Trans IV camera (or X-Trans V), you can use these recipes, too, by simply setting Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and choosing a Grain size (either Small or Large). While Part III will cover X-Trans III, some of these recipes are compatible with X-Trans III cameras; the key is to look for whether they call for Color Chrome Effect or not—if not, it’s compatible with X-Trans III. Also, X-Trans III recipes are fully compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30 (just set Color Chrome Effect to Off), but I avoided those recipes for this article because I wanted to save them for Part 3.
Let’s dive in!
C1 — Fujichrome Sensia 100 — Golden Hour
Fujichrome Sensia 100 is one of my favorite recipes for sunrise and sunset colors. It does pretty well throughout the entirety of “golden hour” but when the sky is pink and purple and red it does especially well. This recipe is an excellent option for shade, and does pretty well in many situations, including natural light portraits, so it has some good versatility. It uses the Fluorescent 2 (sometimes called Neon 2) white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I would strongly consider Kodak Portra 400 v2 instead of this one, but I do think Fujichrome Sensia 100 is a solid choice for “golden hour” photography.
Alternatives for “golden hour” photography:
C2 — Kodak Vision3 250D — Midday
This was actually a really touch decision because there are so many great options for “midday”—which simply is daylight outside of “golden hour”—and I had to choose one, so I went with Kodak Vision3 250D. This is such a good (and underutilized) recipe, and does well in a number of situations, including “golden hour” and shade and portraits and (of course) midday. It uses the Fluorescent 1 (sometimes called Neon 1) white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I could go with Kodachrome 64 or Kodak Portra 160 or Kodak Gold 200 or (of course) Kodak Vision3 250D and be very happy with any of them, they’re all good.
Alternatives for “midday” photography:
C3 — Classic Slide — Overcast
The Classic Slide recipe is one of my top choices for heavy overcast, rainy, dreary days. It’s also good for shade or midday or even “golden hour” photography—it’s another recipe with some good versatility. It uses the Daylight white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I’d still choose this one, but Negative Print is a good runner up.
Alternatives for “overcast” photography:
C4 — Cinematic Negative — Indoor
Cinematic Negative is a very versatile recipe, and I like it for all of the situations we’ve talked about above, but I also like it for indoor photography, both natural light and (to an extent) artificial light (although I would consider a “Nighttime” recipe below as a first choice for artificial light). It uses the Incandescent white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, Analog Color would be my top choice for indoor natural light photography, but Cinematic Negative is a close second, so I’d be happy to have it in C4, where it could also be used for a number of other situations.
Alternatives for “indoor” photography:
C5 — Jeff Davenport Night — Nighttime
If it’s between dusk and dawn, especially if there are city lights, Jeff Davenport Night is the recipe to use. Period. It uses a Kelvin white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type I’d still use this recipe, no questions asked.
Alternatives for “nighttime” photography:
C6 — Expired Eterna — Alternative Process
The “Alternative Process” category is a fun one. These are recipes you probably wouldn’t use all of the time, only occasionally just for the joy of it. I chose “Expired Eterna” because of the white balance type—Auto—but if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I would choose Redscale, Cross Process Film, or Kodak Elite Chrome 200 Color Fade—any of them, they’re all fun. Vintage Color Fade also uses Auto white balance, but I didn’t choose it because it requires double-exposures, which can be tricky, but if you’re up for the challenge, go with that one instead.
Alternatives for “alternative process” photography:
C7 — Dramatic Monochrome — B&W
Last but not least is B&W, and for that I chose Dramatic Monochrome, which is a good recipe that I really like. It uses Auto white balance without a shift; however, the other Auto white balance recipe (Expired Eterna above) does use a shift. How I would handle this is I wouldn’t worry about the shift for this recipe, just use the shift of Expired Eterna, because, while white balance shift does affect black-and-white pictures, it’s not as big of an impact as color images, and it won’t significantly change the aesthetic of Dramatic Monochrome—only subtly—and you’re not likely to notice, so I just wouldn’t worry about it. If I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I would choose Kodak Tri-X 400 (read the article for that recipe to see how to make it compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30), because it is my favorite Film Simulation Recipe.
Alternatives for “B&W” photography:
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