I get asked somewhat regularly which Film Simulation Recipes one should try first. Perhaps you just purchased your first Fujifilm camera, or maybe you’ve had one for awhile but have never tried Recipes before—with so many to choose from (there are now 300 Film Simulation Recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App!), it can be hard to know where to start. Which Recipes are essential to program into your camera right away?
Everyone has their own tastes and style, so what one person might love another might not. That’s why it’s great to have such a wide variety to choose from—there’s bound to be at least a few that you’ll appreciate. Options are good up until the point where there are too many, and it becomes difficult to decide. I don’t want you to be paralyzed by choices, so let me suggest seven to program into your C1-C7 Custom Presets first. You might love all of them, or you might find that only one or two suit you well. Either way, these are ones that you should definitely try.
This will be a series of articles. The first one, which you are reading now, is for X-Trans V models, and I’ll work my way through the other sensors in the parts to come. If you have a Fujifilm X-H2, X-H2s, X-T5, or X-S20, I invite you to program the Film Simulation Recipes below into your camera.
There are a couple of special notes about the X-S20. First, it has an X-Trans IV sensor but an X-Trans V processor, so it’s a bit iffy if it should be included in this list or with the X-Trans IV cameras; however, reports I have received indicate that, due to its rendering and options, it best fits in the X-Trans V category. Second, the X-S20 has only four custom presets and not seven, so pick the four below that are the most intriguing to you, and once you’ve had a chance to try those, then replace your least favorite with another from this list.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at seven Film Simulation Recipes to program into your Fujifilm X-Trans V camera first!
Kodachrome 64 was a classic slide film, and it’s become a classic Film Simulation Recipe. It’s very popular, and it would be a shame to not include it—in fact, I put it first for a reason. This is one of those Recipes that everyone should try! It produces a retro 1970’s through 1990’s slide film aesthetic reminiscent of the pictures found on the pages of magazines like National Geographic. For best results use in sunny daylight; however, it can be decent in other situations, too, like overcast, shade, and blue hour.
This Recipe mimics the aesthetic of one of Kodak’s most-loved color negative film stocks: Portra 400. As the name implies, it’s especially well suited for portraits, but it is also good for many genres of photography. Kodak Portra 400 v2 is another Film Simulation Recipe intended for use in sunny daylight situations, and it’s my favorite option for golden hour images.
Fujicolor Super HG v2 produces a 1980’s Fujifilm color negative film vibe, which is notably divergent from the aesthetic of the first two suggested options. Perhaps more importantly, this Recipe is highly versatile, and can be used for almost any subject or light—including overcast, indoor artificial light, and nighttime cityscapes—where some other Recipes might be less than ideal. If you are after one option that can do it all, take a look at this one.
The Pacific Blues Film Simulation Recipe is specifically intended for a sunny summer day at the beach, which it is absolutely incredible for, but it’s surprisingly good for other situations, too. I’ve had great success with it on dreary overcast and foggy days. I’ve used it for portraits. I’ve used it for natural light indoors. It’s definitely not always the best Recipe for a given situation, but it often does quite well, and sometimes the pictures it produces are just stunning.
If you want a vintage vibe from your photographs, 1970’s Summer is for you! It produces a New American Color aesthetic that will transport you back in time 50 or so years. For best results, use in sunny daylight—this is a great option for when the sun is high in-between the two golden hour periods. This Recipe isn’t particularly versatile, but when it works it’s absolutely incredible.
Vibrant Arizona mimics the Wes Anderson look that’s in-style right now. It’s bright, warm, and colorful. This Recipe is intended for use in sunny daylight, especially harsh midday light. It’s not always the best option, but in the right situations it’s wonderful.
It would be a shame not to include a black-and-white Recipe in this list, so we’ll conclude with Kodak T-Max P3200, which is not only a great monochrome option, but is also excellent for high-ISO photography. If the light is getting dim and you need to bump the ISO up a bit, this is a great one to use. Or if you want classic B&W pictures with grain and good contrast, the Kodak T-Max P3200 Film Simulation Recipe will produce that for you.
Coming soon: the next installment in this series!
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