Five Fantastic Film Simulation Recipes that are Versatile

Tattoo & Turkish Pizza – Tempe, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Reala Ace Recipe

Color film almost always is either Daylight balanced or Tungsten balanced. The majority of emulsions are Daylight balanced. Use film intended for sunny light in the daytime, and use film intended for artificial light at night. If the light condition is something else, color correction filters can be used to achieve a correct color cast.

Film Simulation Recipes are often quite similar, and many are meant for use during daylight hours or (less commonly) at night. I get asked sometimes if there are good Recipes that can be used anytime, no matter the light. I think it’s a great strategy to have at least one versatile option programmed into your Custom Presets ready to go. It may or may not be your favorite Recipe, but you know it’s going to deliver good results no matter the situation.

There are actually quite a few of these types of Recipes. The easiest way to find them is, if you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, is to Filter by White Balance in the App, and look for Auto White Balance (or Auto White Priority) Recipes. Some are more all-purpose than others, but all of those will be at least somewhat versatile. Even some Recipes that are don’t use Auto White Balance can be surprisingly capable in a variety of light situations—just because it doesn’t use AWB doesn’t mean that it can only be used in one scenario—but those that do use Auto are going to be more so.

Night Snakes – Tempe, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Fujicolor Super HG v2

Below I have five personal picks for versatile Film Simulation Recipes. These are options that I know from my own use are going to be good for when the light condition is uncertain or changing. These are fantastic all-purpose Recipes that you should considered having at-the-ready in your C1-C7 (or C1-C4 if you have an X-S camera) Custom Presets. I like to have at least one programmed, just in case I need it.

Everyday Astia is an X-Trans III plus X-T3 and X-T30 Recipe; to use it on newer X-Trans IV cameras, set Grain size to Small, Color Chrome Effect and Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, and Clarity to 0. Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled is my go-to Recipe for indoor artificial light (including a wedding reception); to use it on X-Trans V, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Weak. Fujicolor Super HG v2 has both an X-Trans IV version and an X-Trans V. Reggie’s Portra is a very popular for X-Trans IV, to use it on X-Trans V set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off. Reala Ace, which is for X-Trans V, is pretty new but currently getting a lot of buzz—join Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry and myself this coming Thursday (November 2nd) as we discuss the Reala Ace Film Simulation Recipe!


  1. Miroslav Stoev · October 31

    I tried lot of you recipes last months, but I know I can always use Astia (not the mentioned above, but another recipe) and get super result! My wife especially love Astia results and always have problems with her when shoot the family with another recipe 😀

    Thank you for all work you do!

  2. Ryan Long · October 31

    Perhaps a topic for a future writing – but do film labs re-white balance film when it is scanned? If so, in terms of film recipes, would that be equal to using auto white balance in camera instead of the prescribed WB from the recipe, or adjusting white balance of the finished jpeg (shot with the prescribed WB) in post? And to adjust a recipe to make it look as though it were shot with a warming filter – would you just adjust the WB in camera, or would it be a more complex/unique adjustment also involving WB shift? Of course any one film can have many different looks depending on etc. etc. 🙂

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 31

      It depends on the lab and scanner used. There’s usually an Auto setting, although good pro labs will have custom profiles for their scanners. Even with Auto, I don’t believe it’s going to make huge white balance changes (for example, turn a Tungsten film into a daylight WB), but it’ll be more subtle corrections. But each scanner is different, and even ten labs using the same make/model of scanner could have ten slightly different results.

      As far as simulating a warming filter… of course you could use a real warming filter, like an 81A… I think the 81A is a 200K increase in Kelvin. If the Recipe calls for 5500K (for example), you could set it to 5700K. 81A is the most subtle of the warming filters, so you’d have to increase the Kelvin more to simulate other warming filters. I hope that makes sense.

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