Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 5
When should you use which Film Simulation Recipes on your Fujifilm X-Trans II 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 imperative 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.
One thing to note about X-Trans II cameras is that not all of them have the Classic Chrome film simulation, including the X100S, X20, and XQ1. Unfortunately, if you have one of those models, this list is slightly less useful to you, although I hope you still find it helpful. For those with an X100T, X-E2, X-E2S, X-T1, X-T10, X30, X70, or XQ2, this list is fully compatible with your camera.
Like Parts 2 & 3, I set out to recommend seven recipes, one for each C1-C7 Custom Preset, that don’t share the same white balance type or, if they do, they also share the same shift, because X-Trans II 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 recipes at the same time, which is the one downside to doing this. It was a difficult task, but I think I came up with a good set for you.
Let’s take a look!
C1 — Classic Kodak Chrome — Golden Hour
The Classic Kodak Chrome Film Simulation Recipe is a great option for sunrise or sunset photography, or pretty much anytime of the day or night. This is my current favorite recipe for X-Trans II cameras—I shoot with it often, more than all of the other X-Trans II recipes combined. This is my top allrounder choice! Almost no matter the subject, situation, or light, this is the recipe that I go with. Classic Kodak Chrome uses the Auto white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I’d go with this recipe or Ektachrome 100SW whenever the sun is low to the horizon.
Alternatives for “golden hour” photography:
C2 — Kodak Portra 160 — Midday
Whenever the sun is not low to the horizon, my top-choice for daylight photography is the Kodak Portra 160 recipe, although it is good for “golden hour” too, and can be used anytime the sun is out. This is one of my favorite X-Trans II recipes, and is especially good for portrait photography, or whenever you want warm Kodak-like negative film colors. Kodak Portra 160 uses the Daylight white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, this or any in the “alternatives” list would be good options.
Alternatives for “midday” photography:
Color Negative Film
C3 — Fujichrome Slide — Overcast
I really like the Fujichrome Slide recipe, but it’s not my first option for overcast conditions. It does well enough, but I’d go with Classic Kodak Chrome instead (which is already in the C1 custom preset slot). Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of good options for dreary days that don’t use a white balance type that’s already taken for another category. Fujichrome Slide uses the Fluorescent 1 white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I would consider Winter Slide or Porto 200 as better alternatives.
Alternatives for “overcast” photography:
Jon’s Classic Chrome
C4 — Kodak Color Negative — Indoor
The Kodak Color Negative Film Simulation Recipe is pretty versatile and does well in a number of situations—indoor is just one of them. It uses the Incandescent white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I’d still choose it, but Agfa Optima would be a good alternative.
Alternatives for “indoor” photography:
C5 — CineStill 800T — Nighttime
The CineStill 800T recipe for X-Trans II cameras is my absolute favorite nighttime option, period. If it’s after dark and I’m photographing artificial lights, this is the recipe I’m using. CineStill 800T uses the Kelvin white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type I’d still use this one.
Alternatives for “nighttime” photography:
C6 — Lomography Color 100 — Wildcard
In Parts 1-3, this category is called Alternative Process; however, for X-Trans II there’s only one recipe for that category—Cross Process—and it uses a white balance type that’s already taken. So I changed the rules a little, and called this category Wildcard instead, which is simply a recipe that’s included just because. Lomography Color 100 can produce good results in a number of situations, including golden hour, midday, shade, and indoors. It’s good for landscapes, street, and portrait photography. However, it has a little different aesthetic than the other recipes in this list. Lomography Color 100 uses the Shade white balance type; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, I’d choose Cross Process instead.
Alternatives for “wildcard” photography:
Kodak Platinum 200
C7 — Monochrome Red — B&W
The Monochrome Red Film Simulation Recipe is an excellent option for black-and-white photography. It’s especially well suited for blue-sky landscapes, but it does pretty well in other situations, too. It uses the Fluorescent 1 white balance type and shares the same shift as Fujichrome Slide, so both can occupy a slot in the C1-C7 custom presets simultaneously; if I wasn’t concerned about white balance type, the Monochrome recipe is a pretty good alternative—you really can’t go wrong with either.
Alternatives for “B&W” photography:
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Amazing post! For noobs, this it’s a master class!
You are welcome! My intentions for this is for it to be ongoing.
I shoot an X-T3, which is pretty out of date now, but I love it. I can’t use many of your simulations because they are for newer processors. But I’m hoping you can recommend a simulation that will work in my camera.
If you read the NY Times coverage of the war in Ukraine, you have seen many stunning pictures by photographers including Lynsey Addario, Tyler Hicks, and Finnbar O’Reilly, especially. They are striking for their darkness, literal as well as figurative — the shadows are so deep that details largely disappear. Can you suggest a simulation that approaches those qualities, one that will work on an X-T3?
While I will be disappointed if there’s nothing for me, I’ll certainly understand. Hey, that might be one more reason to invest in an X-T5!
Thanks and best wishes, Dennis Glew Bethlehem, PA
The pictures are very dark (underexposed) and undersaturated (not vibrant). Between the three photographers the aesthetic is surprisingly similar. I’m sure it’s on purpose for effect. There are 88 recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App compatible with the X-T3, but none are identical. I lean towards Eterna, Aged Color, Kodachrome II, Kodak GT 800-5, and maybe Vintage Kodachrome. I would underexpose, and maybe consider turning Color down a little. I hope this helps!
On an X70, I’ve tried Fujichrome Slide, Kodak Platinum 200, Ektachrome 100SW, and Kodacolor; but my favourite so far has been Kodachrome 64 for its colour, saturation, and impact. This present post comes in very handy, providing impetus to “reset and fill” the custom settings with these recommendations which include new-to-me recipes. I particularly like how your recommendations broadly cover various light settings: bright, cloudy, indoors, night. Thanks for this!
Kodachrome 64 is definitely a nice one. I appreciate your kind feedback! I’m hoping to make this a reoccurring series, with maybe a twist thrown in with each iteration.
hi! will you have updated recipes and a part 5 article for fuji xt5?
Yeah, absolutely! I want this to be an ongoing series.
Is there a way to change the names from C1 to let’s say “Portra 160” on my XT-10? I see some of the newer cameras are able to do this. Thanks in advance!
Not on the X-T10. The X-T30 I believe is the first in that series to have that ability.
Appreciate the quick reply back! Do you think Fuji will ever update the firmware to be able to name the recipes and fix the WB issue? One would think it would be a simple fix and allow us with older cameras to achieve what the newer ones possess without having to spend a $1,000 bucks for a new body for such a simple yet critical upgrade.
I would be very surprised if they did. It would be nice if they did, but I definitely wouldn’t count on it.
Hey Ritchie, I really can’t stop using your site as a guide and an inspiration, using my X30. I really love experimenting with different film simulations and I have a quite tricky question for you: which color film recipe do you think is the best to fit in the widest range of light situations (x-trans II)?
Thanks so much! This is my go-to X-Trans II Recipe: