Golden Negative — Fujifilm XF1 (EXR-CMOS) Film Simulation Recipe

A Film Simulation Recipe for the Fujifilm XF1, X100, X10 & X-S1 cameras.

Los Angeles – Avondale, AZ – Fujifilm XF1 – Golden Negative

Right at the very beginning of the X-series, but before X-Trans, Fujifilm briefly used a different sensor called EXR-CMOS. It was a 12-megapixel Sony CMOS sensor with an array similar to Bayer, except tilted at 45° (Fujifilm had previously used this tilted pattern on their Super-CCD sensors). The advantage to this unusual arrangement was that two of each color pixels sat near each other on the sensor, allowing for pixel-binning. Of course we’re familiar with pixel-binning now, as many cellphone sensors do this, but it was pretty revolutionary when Fujifilm did it roughly 15 years ago. It didn’t really catch on because 1) Fujifilm was only binning two pixels (not the more common four that we see today) and 2) the already somewhat low-resolution sensor was cut in half in order to do it. Basically, the advantages were fairly small while the disadvantage was somewhat significant.

The advantages of EXR was an increase in dynamic range and high-ISO performance. In order to achieve that, the camera had to be switched to EXR mode, which basically took the place of the DR options. Within the EXR mode, one of the settings was called D-Range Priority. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, to unlock D-Range Priority (and the other EXR options), one had to sacrifice half of the resolution and the ability to save a RAW file. My guess is that EXR was infrequently utilized on these cameras, but I really don’t know, as I only purchased one—a Fujifilm XF1—just recently.

Of the four X-series cameras that used an EXR-CMOS sensor, only the X100 was APS-C, and the other three were 2/3″, which was much smaller. I’ve never used the original X100, and only recently the XF1 with its tiny 2/3″ EXR-CMOS. The color rendering should be pretty identical, but the dynamic range and high-ISO noise performance is likely slightly different. I know this because I have used both an APS-C and 2/3″ X-Trans II sensor, and that’s what I observed. I don’t expect a significant difference in output between the four EXR-CMOS cameras, but the X100 will be a little superior to the other three.

Empty Restaurant Chair – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm XF1 – Golden Negative

The JPEG options on EXR-CMOS are very similar to X-Trans I, but the rendering is slightly different. You can use X-Trans I, X-Trans II, and Bayer Film Simulation Recipes that use Provia, Velvia, Astia, Monochrome, or Sepia film simulations; however, they will look a bit different on the XF1, X100, X10, or X-S1 cameras. Likewise, you can use this Golden Negative Recipe on X-Trans I, X-Trans II, or Bayer models, but it will render just a tad different. This isn’t to discourage you from trying, but to simply say that results will vary. I call this Film Simulation Recipe “Golden Negative” because I was attempting to achieve an aesthetic similar to the Golden Negative Recipe for Bayer cameras that have Classic Chrome; EXR-CMOS cameras don’t have Classic Chrome, so I used Provia instead. It’s definitely not identical, but this Film Simulation Recipe looks really good, and I think, if you have an EXR-CMOS sensor camera, you’ll truly enjoy this one.

Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Shadow: 0 (Standard)
Color: +1 (Medium-High)
Sharpness: 0 (Standard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red (R/CY) & -3 Blue (B/Ye)

ISO: Auto, up to ISO 1600
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Golden Negative Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm XF1:

Pink Bloom in Blue Sky – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Bougainvillea & Building Storm – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Block Wall & Bougainvillea – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Garden Gate – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Bougainvillea in Summer – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Yellow Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Vines on a Cinderblock Wall – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Attic Window – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Cirrocumulus behind Tree Leaves – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Ball Field & Distant Storm – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Overcast Palm – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Dry Grass in the Park – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Shade Maker – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Duel – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Young Photographer – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Right – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Car Window Boy – Goodyear, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Dead Flowers in a Pot – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Hanging Bulbs – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Tile Rooflines – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Illuminated Window – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Breakfast Served Backwards – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm XF1
Vines over Birdcage – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm XF1

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  1. ronmdr · 30 Days Ago

    thank you for this! I have the XF1 too, hoping for more recipes. cheers!

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