Fujifilm X100V (X-Trans III + X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Monochrome Negative

Windows Within Windows – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Monochrome Negative”

It’s been awhile since I created a black-and-white film simulation recipe. Part of it is that my favorite recipe is Kodak Tri-X 400, and I often choose to shoot with that. Another factor is that the differences between monochrome recipes are often much more subtle than color. For this, I didn’t start out with the intention of making a black-and-white recipe—in fact, it began with Classic Negative—and I wasn’t satisfied with the look, so I switched to Acros, and immediately liked what I saw. A few small changes later, and this recipe was born. It’s not modeled after any specific film, so I named it Monochrome Negative, as it does have a nice film-like quality to it.

The trick to this film simulation recipe is underexposure. I found myself most often lowering the exposure by 1/3 or 2/3 stops (many of my recipes often call for the opposite). Highlight set to +3 will keep the image bright, while the underexposure will deepen the shadows and provide good contrast. Obviously each exposure should be judged individually, so don’t be afraid to deviate from this advice.

Happy Birthday Glasses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Monochrome Negative”

This recipe was designed on and intended for the Fujifilm X100V, which has a newer X-Trans IV sensor, but because I didn’t use any of the new tools, such as Clarity and the Color Chrome Effects, this recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III & IV cameras. On X-Pro3 and newer, choose Grain size Small; on all other cameras, which don’t have Grain size as an option, simply select Grain Strong. If your camera has the Acros film simulation, you can use this recipe!

Acros (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: 0
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
(Strong for those cameras without Grain Size)
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: 0 to -2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Monochrome Negative” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

1104B – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Withering Flowers Along a Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
City Roses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Backlit Turning Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pikachu is a Little Hungry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Space Fish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Release – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Geese by a Tackle Box – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Do or Don’t Follow the Crowd – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Approaching Storm – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find these film simulation recipes and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Film Simulation Review: Changing Light, Part 2: Ilford HP5 Plus

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Clouds On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

I get asked sometimes how do I decide between color and black-and-white. I don’t remember where I heard this, but a long time ago somebody told me that if color is important to the scene then it should be a color picture, and if it’s not it should be black-and-white. Back then you had to make this decision before loading your camera with 24 or 36 exposures. Nowadays you can wait until after capturing the picture before deciding, although I find it best to choose before making the exposure.

Color pictures are (primarily) about three things: light, shadow and color. Black-and-white pictures are (primarily) about two things: light and shadow. It’s easy to see that if color isn’t an essential element to the picture, then it only serves as a distraction to light and shadow; however, that’s an oversimplified way of looking at it. There are many different color theories, and whether color is important or unimportant is highly subjective. One thing is for certain: black-and-white pictures are about light and shadow and those in-between grays.

Whenever I photograph in monochrome my mentality changes. They way that I look at the scene is different. When I photograph in color, I look for color. When I photograph in black-and-white, I look for tones. That’s why it’s important for me to decide before capturing the picture whether it will be color or not. For the pictures in this article, I decided that they needed to be monochrome. I chose my Ilford HP5 Plus film simulation recipe because I thought it would offer me the right amount of contrast. It’s not my most contrasty black-and-white recipe, but it has a good amount of contrast—not too much or too little. I think it was a great choice for these scenes.

I captured these pictures over the last several days from my house. I didn’t go anywhere. There were a lot of clouds and the light on the mountain was constantly changing. Oftentimes it was rather dull, but sometimes it was amazing! The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T30. Most often I used a Fujinon 100-400mm lens, but occasionally I used a Fujinon 90mm. These longer focal lengths allowed me to “bring close” the mountain, making it appear as though I was in them, and not at a distance. Sometimes you don’t have to go anywhere to capture interesting pictures. That’s especially true if you have a great view where you are.

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Wasatch with Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dramatic Sky Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Silver Sky Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Over the Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Around the Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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White Cloud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Cloud Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds & Dark Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Lightly Snowing On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Gray Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Obscurity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Rain Shower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Downpour – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Mist – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Francis Peak Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dark Hills – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Storm Over Dark Mountains – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds on the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Covered by Clouds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

See also: Film Simulation Reviews