Nostalgic Neg. Is Basically Eterna (Sort of…)

One of the two images above is Nostalgic Neg. and the other is Eterna. Can you guess which is which?

The Nostalgic Neg. image is made using the Timeless Negative Film Simulation Recipe. The Eterna image is modified to resemble the Timeless Negative recipe.

Let’s look at another set.

I bet you’ve figured out which is which, but if you haven’t, in the train picture at top the left is Nostalgic Neg. and the right is Eterna. For the set above, the Eterna picture is left and the Nostalgic Neg. is right.

What’s different between the two? There’s quite a bit different between out-of-the-box default Nostalgic Neg. and Eterna, but Eterna can be made to look quite similar to Nostalgic Neg.—this was just a quick experiment, and with some more time and work, I could probably get it even closer. Nostalgic Neg. has a little more contrast, a lot more vibrant colors, and is slightly warmer than Eterna. With some modifications to make the two appear similar, though, it seems that the biggest difference is that Nostalgic Neg. is slightly warmer and more vibrant in the shadows, and yellow is rendered a little more deeply; otherwise, you can almost match them identically.

So what does it take to create faux Nostalgic Neg. with Eterna? I’m still fine-tuning it, but I believe that, using Eterna, reducing Highlight by -1, increasing Shadow by +1.5, reducing Dynamic Range by one or maybe two spots, adjusting White Balance Shift by +2 Red and -1 (or maybe -2) Blue, increasing Color by +6… this obviously means that Color has to be a negative value (at least -2) on Nostalgic Neg. in order to match it. This is all still a work-in-progress, but it does mean that a fairly close faux Nostalgic Neg. recipe for X-Trans IV is possible, and in the process of being created. If you feel as though you’re missing out on Nostalgic Neg.—don’t fret!—if your camera has Eterna, it can, to an extent, mimic it—stay tuned for a Film Simulation Recipe!


  1. Francis.R. · December 3

    This is a very interesting insight in your eye to visualize your recipes, it is very impressive.

  2. Wes Kriesel · December 3

    Looking forward to it! Nostalgic Negative is a favorite and I’d love to use it on the X100v!

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 5

      Coming soon, hopefully this week… the first recipe, anyway….

  3. Miguel Tejada-Flores · December 5

    This is very cool, Ritchie.
    Count me among those waiting (anxiously!) for you to fine-tune and (hopefully!) publish the modified Eterna-aka-faux-Nostalgic-Negative Recipe! (And, even more hopefully, one which will work with my X-T3…!)

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 5

      Awesome! I’m almost done with one, and I have another that I started on. Also, interestingly, “Vintage Eterna” (a Patron Early-Access Recipe in the App) has some pretty strong Nostalgic Neg. vibes.

  4. Lars · December 6

    Wow, that’s pretty cool. A version for the X-T3 would be very appreciated 😇

  5. TheCameraEatsFirst · December 15

    New firmware for T5 concerning film sims, including Nostalgic Neg. See if you see any change at all after firmware fix.

    Fujifilm X-T5 ver. 1.01
    Revised specification from Ver.1.00 to Ver.1.01

    1. The firmware bug has been fixed, which caused that the color reproduction looks bad in the under-exposure area of the image when taking the photo under the following conditions.
    ・LENS APERTURE:F10 to F18
    2. Other minor bugs have been fixed.

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 15

      It’s such a oddly specific scenario. I chuckled to myself when I read it. All of these have to collide:
      – Nostalgic Neg. or EBB
      – Lens Modulation Optimizer enabled
      – Smooth Skin Effect enabled
      – Lens aperture: f/10 or smaller

      I’m sure the aperture and Lens Modulation Optimizer are connected in that it is accounting for and trying to fix diffraction. Smooth Skin Effect (which I don’t use—the X-T200 had that feature, and I didn’t like it… maybe it’s better now?) is somehow a factor in this. I’m not sure why two specific film sims are affected and the rest are not. When all of this comes together, the dark areas in an image can have a weird color. I might have to try it just to see what happens.

      Since I don’t use Smooth Skin Effect and I don’t commonly use that small of apertures, particularly on the 40mp sensor that’s more prone to diffraction (which, I believe, technically begins around f/8, if I’m not mistaken), I’ll probably pass on this firmware update and wait for the next. But I definitely appreciate you sharing! It’s a good tip, for sure!

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 15

      I just tried it, one picture with and one without Smooth Skin Effect, both using NN, f/16, and Lens Mod Opt set to On—I don’t see any difference at all between the two, nothing different in the shadows. But… there wasn’t a person in the picture, so maybe it specifically only affects skin rendition in the shadows? I suppose that might make sense. I’ll have to try again later.

Leave a Reply