Now that the X Summit is over and the GFX100 II has been officially announced, we have a little bit better idea of what exactly Fujifilm’s new film simulation is. First, the name is not Reala like was previously rumored, but Reala Ace. Not a huge difference, but different nonetheless.
Fujifilm has sometimes named certain film stocks differently in Japan than the rest of the world, and several film stocks were only made available in Japan. Fujicolor Reala Ace 100 was a color negative film sold only in Japan. Some speculated that it was the exact same thing as Fujicolor Superia Reala 100 (initially, Superia wasn’t in the emulsion name, but was added later) just sold under a slightly different name, while others said that Fujicolor Reala Ace 100 was a unique film similar to the Reala sold worldwide except fine-tuned for Japanese skin tones. For whatever reason, Fujifilm went with the name Reala Ace for their new film sim.
Prior to today’s announcement, I had speculated that “…the new film simulation will [not] be an accurate replication of Reala film, since Classic Negative is so close already; instead, I think Fujifilm is simply going to use the brand name for a film sim that has a neutral and natural rendering (true-to-life or real-like, yet leaning towards soft tonality and muted colors).” I also said, “I’m crossing my fingers that the Reala film simulation will be a tweak of Classic Negative that will more closely mimic Reala emulsions.”
I was half right and half wrong, but I’m quite happy to be half wrong. I was right that the film sim would lean towards soft tonality and have a true-to-life rendering. I was wrong that it wouldn’t look like Reala film or Classic Negative, because it does. You could call the new film sim Classic Negative v2, but Fujifilm named it Reala Ace.
How accurate is the Reala Ace film simulation to Reala film? It definitely has the right vibe, from the small number of samples I’ve found online. It isn’t all that dissimilar to my Fujicolor Reala 100 Film Simulation Recipe, either—in fact, I think just a few small adjustments to my Recipe brings the results closer to the new film simulation. Of course, I have no idea if those Reala Ace examples are unedited, and what parameter adjustments the photographer might have done, or if they’re all factory defaults.
Fujifilm has a graph demonstrating how the different film simulations fit on a tonality and saturation scale. It should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, there’s no way that Nostalgic Neg. is the second most vibrant film sim, because it’s not. PRO Neg. Hi has a little more saturation than PRO Neg. Std, yet they’re the same on the chart. Still, we can extrapolate that Reala Ace has softer tonality yet a tad higher vibrancy than Classic Negative.
Even though Reala Ace is essentially Classic Negative, I’m quite thrilled that this new film sim has an obvious analog aesthetic. Classic Negative is one of my favorite film simulations, and I’m sure Reala Ace will be, too, once I get a chance to use it someday in the future. My guess is that the upcoming Fujifilm X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm calls it… maybe they’ll name it X100Ace?) will be the first X-series camera to get Reala Ace. I won’t buy the GFX100 II (it’s way outside of my budget), so it might be awhile before I get to try it. From what I can tell, the new film sim will be found right below Classic Chrome and right above PRO Neg. Hi in the camera’s film simulation list.
Interestingly enough, there seems to be a lot of interest in this new film sim, but not necessarily by folks who will buy the GFX camera. The ones most excited seem to be those who anticipate that it will trickle to the X-series. Most of those who have reviewed the camera (who received a pre-production model from Fujifilm) barely mentioned it, and mainly as a passing thought. One did talk a little more about it (and right at the beginning), but otherwise the enthusiasm for Reala Ace seems to be much stronger from the X crowd than the GFX, despite it only found (for now) on GFX. This makes a lot of sense to me because most of those who shoot GFX cameras don’t use Film Simulation Recipes (yet there are some); however, many who have X-Trans cameras do use Recipes. Fujifilm should introduce new film sims on X-series models where they can better capitalize on that excitement, and not on GFX where it’s unimportant (generally speaking) to those buyers, essentially wasting the opportunity (hey, maybe Fujifilm should consult with me??!!).
I modified the Fujicolor Reala 100 Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T5, reprocessing in-camera some recent pictures on the SD Card, to more closely resemble the Reala Ace film simulation. You can find the Reala Recipe on this website (here) and on the Fuji X Weekly App. The modifications I made to the Fujicolor Reala 100 Recipe are: White Balance Shift set to 0 Red & +1 Blue (using Daylight WB… I also tried Auto White Balance with that same shift), Color Chrome FX Blue Strong, Color +1, Highlight -1.5, Sharpness 0, and Clarity -2. There are only a small number of examples of the new film sim, and it’s impossible to know if they’re 100% default Reala Ace or if they have been modified or edited in some way, but I think I’m in the ballpark with these settings. It’s pretty close. Below are some examples.
This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.