Fujifilm Noir

Photographer Omar Gonzales made a video about turning your Fujifilm X camera into the Fujifilm Noir, a dedicated black-and-white camera. This post will make much more sense if you watch the video first, so take a moment to do that right now if you haven’t already done so.

Did you watch it? Don’t read anything below until the video is finished!

Done? Okay, let’s move on.

I made my own Fujifilm Noir camera using my X-T30. I have the silver version, so gaffer tape didn’t make a whole lot of sense for the new label that I wanted to attach to the front. I asked my daughter to create something using paper and pencils that might better match the camera. For those wondering, these labels are available for $25 each (only kidding, of course). And, yes, gluing a paper label to a camera is much less heart-stopping than sandpapering a camera.

The Fujifilm Noir camera.

My Fujifilm Noir is an X-T30 with an Asahi Super-Takumar 55mm f/2 attached to the front. I screwed an 1/2 Black Pro Mist filter to the lens (not pictured, sorry) to further enhance the film-like aesthetic. I shot the camera in manual mode using a black-and-white film simulation recipe that I created just for this project. What’s the film simulation recipe? Well, you’ll find it below!

Acros+G
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +1
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
Sharpening: -4
Noise Reduction: -4

White Balance: 2500K, +9 Red & +9 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO 3200

This film simulation recipe was actually an experiment (from when I was creating my B&W IR recipe) that I didn’t love, but I thought it was good enough to use here. I won’t make it an official recipe, this is simply a bonus for you. Feel free to use it in your own photography, as it’s compatible with all X-Trans III and IV cameras. It reminds me of Kodak BW400CN, a black-and-white film that used the C-41 (color) development process. These settings weren’t intended to look like that film, but that’s what it reminds me of.

Kodak BW400CN was not likely ever a popular choice for Noir photography. Noir is French for Black, and Noir photographs are often dark and moody, inspired by 1940’s through 1960’s monochrome crime movies. This recipe isn’t especially Noir, but I used it anyway. There are probably ten different film simulation recipes that are more appropriate for Noir than this one.

I didn’t follow all of Omar’s rules. I shot RAW+JPEG, but only because I used a 2GB memory card, which has enough space for 27 exposures. On a 24-exposure roll of film, you could typically get 25 or 26 frames on it if you were careful. 27 exposures was possible but not commonly achieved (outside of disposable cameras). To make this more of a film-like experience, I used the 2GB SD Card to limit myself to a maximum of 27 exposures, and I refused to change the “film” (recipe) until I had exposed the card. I deleted the RAW files and just used the out-of-camera JPEGs. I got the memory card idea from Fuji X Weekly reader Josh Gagnon.

All of the pictures below were from the first 27-exposure “roll” of “Kodak BW400CN” that I captured using my “Fujifilm Noir” camera. Yes, they’re all camera-made JPEGs, unedited except for some minor cropping here and there.

Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Lamp Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Girl, Drawing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Tortilla Flour – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Drink – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Top Ten – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Building Stack – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Building Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
The Nature of Structure – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Campus Skateboarder – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
One of You – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
$5 Pizza Bus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Fallen Tree at the Capital – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Fallen Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Tree & Stormy Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir

Not bad for one “roll” of “film” on my “Noir” camera, right?

Now the ball is in your court! Turn your Fujifilm X camera into a Fujifilm Noir camera and shoot some black-and-white pictures with it! I don’t have any specific rules, but try to give yourself some limitations because limitations improve art. I enjoyed the 2GB card thing. Share with me your Noir pictures using #fujixweekly on Instagram. Let me know in the comments if you like this project and what you think of this “Kodak BW400CN” film simulation recipe!

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Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Black & White Infrared

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Stop Here on Infrared – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Black & White Infrared”

Infrared photographing is capturing light beyond the visible spectrum. It requires special film, or a digital sensor that has had the infrared filter removed. Any digital camera has the potential to be infrared sensitive, but the process isn’t easy or cheap. Full spectrum photography is similar to infrared, but also includes ultraviolet and visible light (not just infrared light). With full spectrum photography you can choose by the use of filters which light you want to capture. You can use filters with infrared, too, to control what light comes through, but not to the extent of full-spectrum. A characteristic of both infrared and full-spectrum in black-and-white is deep contrast, with dark skies and white foliage. One of my favorite photographers is Mitch Dobrowner, who converted his Canon cameras to full-spectrum for dramatic monochrome storm photography.

When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T1, I had the intentions of converting it to full-spectrum, but the cost of the conversion has prevented me from doing it. I still hope to do so, maybe later this year or perhaps next year. We’ll see. But I figured out a way to simulate something that’s in the neighborhood of infrared or full-spectrum on my Fujifilm X100V without any conversions. In the right light and with the right subject, it can be quite convincing! Even though you are only using the visible spectrum of light, it can appear as though you are actually doing infrared photography. Amazing!

Even in situations where this recipe doesn’t resemble infrared or full-spectrum, it will still produce a dramatic, high-contrast look that you might find appealing. Those who have said that Acros+R doesn’t actually resemble the use of a red filter on black-and-white film will appreciate these settings. Many landscape photographers, including Ansel Adams, employed a red filter to achieve a dark sky (for example, Moonrise Over Hernandez).

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White Tree Black Sky – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Black & White Infrared”

The trick is to use a low Kelvin white balance in conjunction with a dramatic white balance shift when using Acros+R. I got the idea from Fuji X Weekly reader James Clinich, who uses between 3800K and 4500K with a 0 Red & +8 shift to achieve a darker sky, which is something you can apply to other B&W recipes if you’d like to better mimic the use of a red filter. I just took his idea a step further to make it even more dramatic for this recipe.

My Black & White Infrared film simulation recipe can be difficult to use. I find that it doesn’t always work well. It can be very tough to gauge the best exposure, and I’ve had to go anywhere from -1 to +3 on the exposure compensation dial to get it right. It’s one of the more difficult to use recipes that I’ve created, yet it is highly rewarding. If you like dramatic black and white photographs, you’ll want to give this one a try! As of this writing, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras.

Acros+R
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +3
B&W Toning: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Clarity: +5
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 2750K, -5 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Black & White Infrared film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Crafts & Hobbies – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Cloud Above The Wall – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flags Over IKEA Infrared – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Pinnacle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburban Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suites – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Paved Paradise – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Accessible Parking – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Done Shopping – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Soda Glass – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Couch Stripes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flowers in the Sky – Big Sky, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Grey Hills – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Abandoned Dream Infrared – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Abandoned House by the Hill IR – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Henry’s Fork River – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Upper Red Rock Lake IR – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Red Rock Road Monochrome – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Aspen Leaves Infrared – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Illuminated Tree – West Valley City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Infrared Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Making Color Pictures Using Acros, B&W Toning & Multiple Exposures

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This is a combination of 8 B&W Exposures with different color toning applied to each.

The Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras have a new tool for toning black-and-white pictures in-camera. I mentioned in my article about this new toning feature that there’s the potential to get creative with it, especially when combined with multiple exposure photography. I thought that it might be possible to create color pictures using the Acros film simulation, B&W toning and multiple exposures. This is certainly an unusual use of those tools! A sturdy tripod is a requirement for this experiment.

On my X100V, there are 1,368 possible colors to tone B&W pictures, but I concentrated on the more bold options. To make this work, the best results are found in the +/- 15-18 range. My camera has four multiple exposure options: Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Additive and Average won’t work for this project because it muddies the colors. Bright and Dark will work, and they work similarly. For Bright, the camera compares the exposures and chooses only the brightest pixel at each location; for Dark, it chooses the darkest pixel. I found that one option typically works better than the other, depending on the scene. You could get creative and adjust the exposure of each image to control which colors are chosen; however, I didn’t do that for these pictures.

At first I tried using just three exposures: one with Toning set to WC -18 MG 0 (Blue), one set to WC +18 MG -18 (Red), and the other set to WC 0 MG +18 (Green). This worked alright, but there are not any in-between colors. The transitions from one color to the next are harsh. Still, I was able to create color pictures this way.

After a little experimenting, I decided that eight exposures worked better (you can combine up to nine). In addition to the Toning described in the previous paragraph, I added one with WC 0 MG -18 (Magenta), WC -18 MG -18 (Purple), WC -18 MG +18 (Teal), WC +18 MG +18 (Yellow), and WC +18 MG 0 (Orange-Red). This made the color transitions a little less harsh, but it’s still not ideal. The pictures look strange and nothing like “normal” color photographs. I also tried reducing some colors to as low as +/- 15 (instead of 18) in an attempt to control the outcome a little, but it’s hard to know what you’ll get until you’ve made all eight exposures.

The results remind me of some cross processing experiments that I did a number of years ago. You can get weird results, depending on the film and process. The toned B&W multiple exposures on my X100V loosely resemble the “worst” cross-processing results from those analog experiments years ago. This isn’t something that I’d want to do all of the time, but it was fun nonetheless. Most people will never try this, but a few of you will. I can see someone doing an abstract photography project using this technique.

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I used three exposures for this picture.

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Another three exposure picture.

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This is an eight exposure image.

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Another eight exposure picture.

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I used eight exposures for this picture. 

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Another eight exposure picture.

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Eight exposures. The wind moved the grass between exposures.

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This is another eight exposure image.

I never really thought that I’d be creating color images from black-and-white in-camera. The results aren’t especially great, so it’s not really a practical thing, more gee-whiz. I do believe, with practice and experimentation, it’s possible to get better results. I hope that you found this article interesting, and perhaps even a few of you were inspired to do your own experiments.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Tri-X 400

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Leaves in the Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200 – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

The number one black-and-white film simulation recipe that I’ve been asked to create is Kodak Tri-X 400, but I’ve never been satisfied with my own attempts. Thankfully for you, Fuji X Weekly reader Anders Lindborg (Instagram) was able to do it! This is brilliant, and I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s the only B&W recipe I’m using on my Fujifilm X100V right now.

Kodak introduced Tri-X in the early 1940’s, and in the 1950’s they began selling it in 35mm format. Ever since, it has been the “standard” high-ISO black-and-white film for photographers. It’s been made in ISO 160, 200, 320 and 400 versions; this recipe is based on Tri-X 400. Kodak re-engineered Tri-X 400 in 2007 with finer grain and lower contrast, but it’s still nearly identical to the old stock.

Anders actually made three recipes in one: low-contrast, mid-contrast, and high-contrast. Tri-X, like most films, can be made more contrasty or less contrasty based on how it’s developed (chemicals used and/or development times) or printed (contrast filters). The recipe further down this article is the mid-contrast version. For low contrast, set Highlight to -1 and Shadow to +2. For high contrast, set Highlight to +1 and Shadow to +4. This film simulation recipe was designed for the X-T3 and X-T30, but I changed a couple of things for the X100V: I set Clarity to +4 (which isn’t available on the X-T3 and X-T30) and Grain to Strong & Large (on the X-T3 and X-T30, Grain is set to Strong). Because it adds contrast, setting Clarity to +4 actually makes this look more like the high-contrast version. If you are using this on the X100V, X-Pro3 or X-T4, feel free to try all three contrast versions, with or without Clarity, to see which you like better. For X-Trans III cameras, which don’t have Color Chrome Effect, you can still use this recipe; while it won’t look exactly the same, it will still look very similar. In other words, even though the title says “Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe” you can actually use it on any camera with the Acros film simulation—I’ve tried it on an X-T30 and X-T20, and it looks great!

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Forest Edge – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600 – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

I found that this recipe looks best when set to ISO 1600 or higher. From ISO 1600 to 3200, the results more resemble newer Tri-X 400 film. From ISO 6400 to ISO 12800, the results more resemble older Tri-X 400 film. I want to give a big thank-you to Anders Lindborg for creating this recipe, sharing it, and allowing me to publish it here—you are appreciated! Thank you!

Acros (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Clarity: +4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight,+9 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: ISO 1600 – 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Tri-X 400 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Fallen Trunk – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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The Forest – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Light in a Dark Canopy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Sunlight & Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Monochrome Backlit Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Drops on a Window – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Half Leaf In The Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Footstep – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Barrier – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Corner Benches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 6400

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Drinking Fountains – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Feel Like A Kid Again – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Walking at an Amusement Park – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 1600

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Waiting at the Exit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Diagonal Light Boy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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FED 5c Film Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Coffee Grounds in a Filter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Rainbow Feet on the Floor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Girl in Zebra Shirt – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Rainy Day Siblings – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Level Up – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Wet Leaf in the Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 5000

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Wet Tree Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Leaf of a Different Color – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Emptiness – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Empty Boxes in an Abandoned Home – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Nobody’s Home – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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White Truck – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 3200

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Dead End Night – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Trolley Bus – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

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Wrong Way – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V – ISO 12800

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes
Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Cyanotype Film Simulation Recipe

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Ball Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Cyanotype is an early photographic process that produces blue prints. It was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, and was popular in Victorian England. The chemicals needed are simple: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanid. It’s a contact process, so positives have to be placed right over the paper. Sunlight or UV light is required for the exposure. Cyanotypes are pretty simple, and anyone can do them at home.

I thought it would be fun to make a film simulation recipe to mimic cyanotype prints. Fujifilm X-Trans IV cameras have the ability to tone black-and-white pictures, either warm or cool. By toning the pictures blue, I was able to get in the neighborhood of cyanotype photography. Unfortunately, going all the way cool, which is -9 on toning, is only marginally blue enough to pass for cyanotype. Still, this was a fun experiment. If you are bored, why not give it a try yourself?

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Blue Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Acros
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: -9
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Cyanotype” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Orbit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caged Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Light Bulb Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Welcome – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daffodil Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Falling Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Post & Wire – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Threatening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Growth in the Rocky Place – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Studying Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe


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Light on the Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

Kodachrome was a black-and-white film. No, really, it was! The color dyes were actually added during development. The process to develop Kodachrome color transparencies was complex and toxic. As demand for the film decreased and Kodak experienced financial troubles, both the film and the chemicals to develop it were discontinued. If you still have some undeveloped Kodachrome film sitting around, there’s absolutely no place in the world that can process it; that is, except as black-and-white negatives. It’s true: Kodachrome can be developed to this day as a black-and-white film!

While I think that this recipe does more-or-less mimic the look of Kodachrome developed as black-and-white, that’s not necessarily the intent of it. This recipe began as an experiment by Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab, who created the Urban Vintage Chrome recipe. He took my Vintage Kodachrome recipe and replaced the Classic Chrome film simulation with Acros, Monochrome and Sepia, and the results were quite interesting! I made a couple of minor adjustments to create this recipe. This is definitely a joint effort, and it wouldn’t exist without Thomas Schwab’s experiments and willingness to share the results. Thank you!

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Window & Blinds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

What I like about this Monochrome Kodachrome film simulation recipe is that it has a great film-like quality to it. This recipe pairs especially well with vintage lenses (I used an Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm for about half of these pictures). Even though it says “Fujifilm X-T30” in the title, it can be used on any X-Trans III & IV camera. You can also use this same recipe with the Monocrome+R film simulation, for a slightly different result.

Acros+R
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
White Balance: AWB, 0 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, ISO 3200 to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Monochrome Kodachrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Roman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cleaning Cart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fake Potted Plant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree Shadow on a Brick Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Small Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rural Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monochrome Mountain Landscape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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B&W Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tennis Swing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Engaged In Television – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Little Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hand Washing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Faceless – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Muffins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pronto! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daylight Balanced – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Split-Toned B&W Film Simulation Recipe


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Vintage Bolsey Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Split-Toned B&W”

While creating my “Bleach Bypass” film simulation recipe, which requires double exposures, I also discovered how to split-tone black-and-white pictures in-camera using double exposures. Split toning was originally a darkroom technique where one would give their black-and-white print a bath in two different toning chemicals, which resulted in shadows and highlights having two different colors. There are many different ways to split tone and many different potential results. This Split-Toned B&W recipe loosely mimics the aesthetic of ferrocyanide toning (blue) with diluted sepia (reddish-brown). You can get similar results very easily with software, but it’s fun to achieve a split tone effect straight out of camera.

For this recipe, you’ll capture the first exposure as normal. I find that increasing the exposure by 1/3 to 2/3 stop over what you might normally do produces better results. For the second exposure, photograph blue paper. I used an 8.5″ x 11″ medium-blue construction paper for my pictures. I like to purposefully make the second exposure out of focus, although I’m not sure that it matters much if you do. You can control the strength of the blue tone by how bright the second exposure is. The darker the exposure, the less blue there will be and the less faded the picture will appear. The brighter the exposure, the more blue there will be and the more faded the picture will appear. It’s fun to experiment with this, because you can vary the look significantly by how you expose the second image. If you want the highlights to be warmer, simply increase the tone of the first exposure to be more warm, or even use the Sepia film simulation instead of Acros. You could use a different color paper, or even use a cool tone instead of warm on the first exposure, if you wanted. You could really play around with this and come up with all sots of different looks.

Exposure 1
Acros
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Tone: +6 (warm)
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Weak
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Exposure 2
Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +2
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Weak
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1 to -3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Split-Toned B&W film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Open Blinds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ocean – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Faux Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monochrome Floral Arrangement – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lily Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Throw Pillows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dirt Play – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl In The Sunlight – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Fujifilm Monochrome

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Mountains Dressed In Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Leica recently announced the M10 Monochrom, which is their third black-and-white only camera. It can’t capture a color picture because it doesn’t have a Bayer array. It only does black-and-white photography. Fujifilm should do something similar, even though most won’t buy it.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

I think an X-Pro3-M, a black-and-white only version of the X-Pro3, or an X100V-M, a black-and-white only version of the upcoming X100V, would do well enough commercially. Yes, it’s clearly a niche product, as there’s only a tiny market for it, yet Leica found a way to make it profitable, and Fujifilm could, too. There are plenty of photographers who use their X-Pro or X100 series camera to only shoot black-and-white. A Monochrome version would make things simpler for them, while improving perceived resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO. And, Fujifilm has a cool marketing angle: call it the X-Pro3 Acros or X100V Acros. People would eat that up. Increase the price a couple hundred dollars and it would sell well enough to be profitable, in my non-expert opinion.

The flip side to this is that Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, particularly X-Trans III and IV cameras that have the Acros film simulation, are already fantastic for black-and-white photography. Would a monochrome-only camera really produce enough of an improved image to justify buying one? I think that’s a tough question to answer, but my guess is probably not for most people. Still, a monochrome-only camera wouldn’t be for “most people” as it would be for a very small crowd, and for those people the difference would indeed justify buying it. For most, your current X-Trans camera is a great black-and-white photography tool, and there’s no need to get a monochrome-only camera. Some, however, would absolutely love to have one, and I think there’s enough of those people that such a camera could be profitable for Fujifilm, if they ever wished to create one. I hope they do.

Photoessay: Suburban B&W

You might think that you live in a boring neighborhood. You might think that there’s nothing of interest to photograph where you live. You might think that you have to go somewhere to capture good photographs. This photoessay is intended to debunk that. I live in a boring suburban neighborhood, but I have still made an effort to walk the sidewalks with my camera in hand. This particular collection features some recent black-and-white images that I’ve captured in the neighborhood where I live. In the past I’ve shared many pictures captured in my neighborhood, so these are far from the only ones or even the best ones–they are simply ones that I have not posted on here before. I hope that this article inspires you to get out into your local area with your camera, even if “getting out” is just a short trip around the block.

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Home Peek – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Shadow Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Suburban Pathway – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Monochrome American Flag – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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Geo – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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House Work – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Alaskan Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Ray Above The Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Hill Behind The Homes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Curious Cow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Grey Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Comparing Film Simulation Recipes


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I shoot JPEGs, but it’s not uncommon for me to shoot RAW+JPEG, since it gives me the opportunity to reprocess the picture in-camera, which is helpful when developing different film simulation recipes. Because of this, I was able to process a single picture I captured recently on my Fujifilm X-T30 using many of my different recipes to compare the differences. I thought that this might be helpful to some of you. Perhaps there’s one recipe that stands out to you in the pictures below that you’ve never used. Obviously different settings look better in different situations, and in this article there’s just one picture to compare, so even though you might not like how one recipe looks in this article doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like it with different subject and in a different light. The scope of this article is quite limited, but I hope that seeing the various film simulation recipes applied to a single exposure is helpful to someone.

Not every recipe was used for this post. Some of them require a specific parameter that was not available. For example, the picture at the top was made using my HP5 Plus Push-Process recipe, which requires an ultra-high ISO, so it wasn’t possible to apply it to the exposure below. Other recipes, such as my faded color and faded monochrome, require double exposures. There are other film simulation recipes that you could try not represented below, and I invite you to investigate the different options to see if there’s one or more that work well for your photography. Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe is your favorite and which in your opinion fits the exposure below best.

Color

B&W

My Fujifilm X-T30 Acros Film Simulation Recipe (Agfa APX 400)


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Cloud Over The White Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

I made a new Acros recipe! I’ve been playing around lately with the Acros settings on my Fujifilm X-T30, trying to create a certain look (which I’m still working on), and I stumbled upon some interesting settings. I tried them out for a few days and wanted to share my findings with you. I think some of you might like this one!

This recipe is not intended to mimic the look of any particular film, but it’s in the neighborhood of a couple different black-and-white stocks. The closest might be Agfa APX 400 (the newer version), but it’s not an exact match for that film. I don’t think it really matters if it’s an exact match or not, it has an analog black-and-white look that’s easy to appreciate!

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Shopping Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

The idea behind this film simulation recipe is to have a lower-contrast option that doesn’t look flat. It seems to be especially well suited for high-contrast scenes, but there’s a certain beauty in low-contrast scenes where it produces almost a faded aesthetic. This Acros recipe is really great for certain situations, and it’s one of my favorite Acros recipes that I’ve created. If you don’t have an X-Trans IV camera, you can still use this recipe, except you can’t use Color Chrome Effect or Toning, so the results will be slightly different, but still very similar.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +4
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: +1 (warm)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this recipe on the Fujifilm X-T30:

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mid Morning Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Head In The Clouds – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mountain Obscured – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Reaching For Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Jo by a Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Girl Sitting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Bread Cutting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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The Course Toward – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Asleep – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Couch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Three Vases By A Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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White Flower Bouquet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Dead Rose Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Hiding Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Understanding Acros Film Simulation Options On Fujifilm X Cameras

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B&W Film With Colored Filters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm has included on X-Trans III and IV cameras four Acros Film Simulation options: Acros, Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G. I’ve been asked a few times to explain the differences between these options. On my Acros Film Simulation recipes I never mention which one to use, I only say to use any or all of them, so that has left some confusion on what’s the best choice. Which Acros Film Simulation should you choose?

With real black-and-white film, you can use colored filters to manipulate the shades of grey. Since there are no colors, the film interprets colors between black and white. You can change how the film interprets the color, and what grey you get, by using different filters. Take a look at the graphic below to see an explanation of how different color filters change the grey on black-and-white film.

You cannot use colored filters on your X-Trans camera to achieve this same effect, so Fujifilm has given you three “filter” options for Acros: +Y, which simulates the use of a yellow filter, +R, which simulates the use of a red filter, and +G, which simulates the use of a green filter. You might notice that, in black-and-white film photography, there are more options than you are given on your X-Trans camera, but at least you have some choices.

While these different “filter” Acros options simulate the look of using filters, the actual results aren’t a 100% match. The manipulation of grey is not nearly as pronounced as using colored filters on film, and it’s not exactly the same shift, either. One thing that can help achieve desired results is using the white balance shift in conjunction with the different Acros options. It takes a little extra thought to figure out how adjusting the color balance will change the way the film simulation interprets the color in grey, but it can be worth the effort.

To help you understand what the different Acros Film Simulation options are doing to different colors, I made an image in color and re-processed it in-camera using all four Acros choices. Take a look!

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Fujifilm X-T20 – Velvia

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Acros

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Acros+Y

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Acros+R

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Acros+G

The differences between the different Acros Film Simulations might not seem immediately obvious, but take a closer look. Notice that the red paint is a little lighter and the blue paint is a little darker in the Acros+R image. However, in the Acros+G image the red paint is darker and the blue paint is lighter. These small manipulations in the shades of grey are what the different Acros options provide.

How do you use this information in a practical way? When should you consider using the different Acros Film Simulations? When would you want to change the shade of grey of a particular color? It’s really difficult to give generalized answers to those questions because what works for one person and one photograph may not work for another. You really must think in grey and consider how contrast will work in an image, and how to best achieve that using the different Acros options.

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Monochrome Mountain Majesty – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – Acros+R

A common example of when Acros+R might work well is in landscape photography where the sky is a deep blue. You can turn the sky dark grey or even black, which will create dramatic contrast against clouds or a snow-capped peak. Acros+R will lighten reds, so sometimes in portraits it can lighten a face, but it can make lips blend in, which might be bad. Acros+G, which darkens reds, can sometimes work well for dramatic portraits.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the most appropriate Acros Film Simulation for a particular circumstance. You have to know what each one will do, and decide what shade of grey you want the different colors to be, in order to make the right selection. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it’s not too hard to figure out with practice. My suggestion is to try them all in different situations, and study the differences closely to better understand what each one does.

Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation Recipes

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

Acros is one of the most popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. It looks incredibly similar to the black-and-white film that it was named after. In fact, in my opinion, it produces the most film-like results of any settings on any camera! It’s easy to see the draw to the analog-esque results produced by the Acros film simulation.

I love Acros and I have used it as the base for a bunch of different film simulation recipes. It’s possible to achieve a number of different interesting looks straight out of camera by adjusting the settings. I plan to create even more film simulation recipes using Acros in the coming months. As I do, I will add them to this article.

Below you will find all of my different film simulation recipes that I have created that use Acros. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorite is Tri-X Push-Process, but they each have their own usefulness and charm. Let me know in the comments which recipe you like most!

Even though the different recipes say X100F and X-Pro2, they are completely compatible with any Fujifilm X-Trans III or IV camera. For example, you don’t have to use the X100F recipes exclusively on the X100F. You can use any of my recipes on any X-Trans III camera.

Original Acros

Acros Push-Process

Agfa Scala

Ilford HP5 Plus

Tri-X Push Process

Using White Balance Shift For Black & White

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Dramatic Sky Over The Wasatch Front – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted an article about using white balance shift to achieve different looks in color photographs. What you may not be aware of is that white balance shift can be used to adjust the look of black-and-white images, and it can sometimes be surprisingly dramatic how much it changes things. White balance shift is an unexpected tool that allows you to better achieve desired results in monochrome.

When you shift the white balance it changes how different colors are rendered, so it only makes sense that the grey interpretation of those colors would also be different. Some colors might appear as darker shades of grey and some as lighter. The tones shift, creating a slightly different rendering of the scene. It could be very subtle or it could be quite apparent, but indeed the monochrome interpretation has been altered.

Let’s take a look at the photo below. I reprocessed the same exposure using the RAW developer built into the Fujifilm X-T20, with each version having identical settings except for the white balance shift. I used the Acros+R Film Simulation for this image. As you can see, each adjustment changes the look of the image. For instance, the sky has some areas of bright white in the top version, which is the overall brightest picture, but not the bottom version, which is overall the darkest picture. The highlights on the mountain are handled a little differently in the top and bottom versions. The two middle versions fall in-between, and are only very subtly different from each other.

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White balance shift: +9 Red & 0 Blue

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White balance shift: 0 Red & -9 Blue

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White balance shift: 0 Red & +9 Blue

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White balance shift: -9 Red & 0 Blue

If I were to use Acros+G, the white balance shift would manipulate the image differently than what you see above. It still changes things, but not in the same way. That goes for Acros and Acros+Y, as well. It makes sense when you consider that Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G settings are designed to simulate the look of using colored filters on real black-and-white film. One must consider the color cast that is being applied to an image, and how the different Acros options will render that.

I’m still figuring out how to use this knowledge in actual real life situations. It’s one thing to apply it when redeveloping a RAW file, and another thing to use it in the field, applying it before the exposure. The latter option is where I’d like to be, but it will take a lot more practice. It’s certainly fun to play with! White balance shift is an interesting option for getting the grey tones more precisely where you want them to be in black and white photographs.

My Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation Recipe


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Kitchen – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

I love the Acros film simulation that Fujifilm included in their X-Trans III cameras. It’s the closest thing to actual film that I have ever found in a digital camera. I made two different Acros recipes for my X100F: original recipe and Extra Crispy Push-Process. I love both; however, I find myself using Acros Push-Process more than my “standard” settings just because it’s more dramatic. I will sometimes adjust each recipe to taste, depending on the situation.

What’s interesting about black-and-white film photography is that all the different film options look fairly similar, yet people have their one or two film stocks that they absolutely love. The differences in contrast, dynamic range and grain aren’t typically wildly different. Black-and-white films are more alike than not alike, but there are indeed differences, sometimes very subtle, sometimes quite noticeable. What is more unique to each film is what can be done in the lab, as each film will respond to different development techniques differently. There’s a lot that can be done in the darkroom to set apart the films from each other. In fact, one film stock could have many different looks, depending on what exactly you do with it.

This film simulation recipe was made by just messing around with the settings. I found something that I liked so I shot with it for awhile. The more I used it the more I liked it. As I was shooting with it, I kept having this feeling that it resembled some film that I’d used before, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly which one. After a few weeks I finally figured it out: these settings produce results similar to Agfa Scala.

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

Agfa Scala was a black-and-white slide film. It was unusual in that it was a reversal film and not a negative film. Most black-and-white films are negatives, and most reversal films are color. If you shot a lot of slides, this was an intriguing choice. I used it a number of times. The last roll of Scala that I shot couldn’t be developed as it required a special process that had been discontinued (it’s my understanding that there is a lab in Denver that can now develop Scala). There were people who really loved Scala, and there were people who really did not, mostly because it wasn’t a negative film. Since it was a slide, there wasn’t a whole lot one could do to manipulate the look it produced.

It was quite by accident that I created an Agfa Scala film simulation for my Fujifilm X100F. I’m glad that I stumbled upon it, because it produces excellent results. Interestingly enough, it only looks subtly different than my original Acros recipe, and I think that real Acros and real Scala also produce similar results, and the small differences are, to an extent, accurately replicated in the two recipes. It was a happy accident, and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: 0
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation recipe:

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Two Towers – Dallas, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Santuario de Guadalupe – Santa Fe, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Monochrome Silos – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Storm Shelter – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Ex Lover – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Semi & Dinosaur – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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BNSF Alliance Yard – Haslet, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Kitchen Camera – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Apples To Apples – Haslet, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Forgotten Sandals – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Flower In The Pond – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Apple Tree Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 2: Monochrome

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Canyon Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 – Color

I’ve heard it said that at Grand Canyon National Park your widest lens isn’t wide enough and your longest lens isn’t long enough, no matter how wide-angle or telephoto those lenses might be. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times, and each time I’ve felt that way. The place is amazing, yet it seems difficult to do it justice with a camera.

The canyon is huge! The national park is almost 2,000 square miles. The Colorado River traverses 277 miles through it. At its deepest point (or, really, the highest part of the rim to the river) is 6,000′. The longest stretch across rim-to-rim is 18 miles. It’s hard to effectively portray this scale in a photograph.

The Grand Canyon is the most photographed landmark in Arizona and one of the most photographed places in America, with tens of thousands of images created within the park daily. The task of creating something that’s photographically unique is nearly impossible. I’m sure that there are hundreds of pictures that look almost identical to mine. One has to spend significant time within the park, as well as exercise the creative mind, in order to capture something different than what’s already been done before.

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

I was attempting art with some of the photographs that I captured at the Grand Canyon. Other images were family snapshots meant simply for memories. There’s a difference between interpreting and documenting. Both are valid and serve different purposes, and they each take a different approach to accomplish. In this article you’ll find both.

I used my Fujifilm X100F for most of these pictures, which are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The Acros Film Simulation makes for exceptional monochrome images, and I used my Acros and Acros Push-Process film simulations for these X100F images. I used my Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens for three of these pictures, which are also camera-made JPEGs. I used the Monochrome film simulation, which isn’t as good as Acros, but the X-A3 doesn’t have Acros so I couldn’t use it.

I love black-and-white photography, and Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to create monochrome images. I look forward to returning. Grand Canyon is a special place, and it’s been much too long between visits. Maybe next time I can stay a little longer.

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Kids Approaching The Rim – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Maricopa Point – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M 

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Canyon Juniper – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Boy Riding Backwards – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Strapped In Her Stroller – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy of Window Shopping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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From Behind Glass – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Two Young Explorers – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree Over Arch – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Of Light & Shadow – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Grand – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Scraggly Tree At Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking West From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Watchtower Sun – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Desert Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Telescoping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon River – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Sky Above The Canyon Below – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Grand View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Heavenly Sky – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Passed By – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

For The Love of Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation

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Mount Nebo – Mona, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I really love the different film simulations available on my Fujifilm X100F. There is one that I like more than the others, and it’s Acros. The contrast, tonality and grain are simply beautiful, and Acros has a true film-like aesthetic.

I know, that’s been said so much that it’s almost cliche, and, besides, not everyone wants a film look. I appreciate the look of film and I like it much more than the digital aesthetic. I grew up on analog photography, I shot tons of 35mm and 120 film, and to me it’s how photography should look. Digital is far more convenient than film, so it can be hard to justify the hassle of film. The best of both worlds would be the convenience of digital with a film aesthetic.

I’ve been trying to get a film look from my digital files for awhile. I’ve used different software options, such as Alien Skin Exposure and Nik Silver Efex, which are both excellent, to achieve the look that I want. The Acros Film Simulation on my Fujifilm X100F is every bit as good (maybe better) as what I would get using either of those editing programs, and I get it straight out of the camera, no editing required.

One aspect of Acros that Fujifilm got especially right is the grain. Digital noise, which is the modern equivalent of film grain, doesn’t match the look of actual silver grain, and the aesthetic of it is far inferior (although X-Trans noise is better looking than most). Adding a layer of faux grain over top of an image can get you closer (and Alien Skin does a better job with this than anyone in my opinion), but it’s still not the same. The “grain” found in my Acros JPEGs more resembles actual film grain than anything else I’ve found in digital photography.

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Apache Sky – Mountain Green, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If you were to scan actual film and compare it side-by-side to images captured with the Acros Film Simulation, you’d have a tough time identifying which is film and which is digital. Same thing if you printed from the film and from the digital file, and asked people to identify which is which. The Acros Film Simulation doesn’t look all that digital as it more closely resembles analog.

Images captured with Acros look beautiful. They look nice viewed from a distance and up close, on a computer screen or printed and hung on a wall. Even though the film simulation produces a JPEG file and not RAW, the results are what one would expect to achieve if they post-processed a RAW file. This isn’t typical camera-made JPEG stuff.

Great black-and-white results without hassle is what the Acros Film Simulation delivers. That’s the convenience of digital photography merged with the quality of film photography. I have two different settings, a “standard” Acros and a “push-process” Acros, that I frequently use, and they’re very good. The photographs in this article are examples of both that I’ve captured over the last several weeks.

I remember the “old days” of film photography. It was a slow process. Loading the film, using the entire roll before you could change it, rewinding it by hand, then all of the darkroom work–winding it onto a reel in complete darkness, baths in chemicals and water, drying, printing a contact sheet, then making prints. One print could take hours of work to get right. It wasn’t easy, but that’s the way it was, and the results made it worthwhile. Now, thanks to the X100F and Acros, I can achieve similar results with ease.

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One Way Or Another – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Sanitary Sewer Surprise – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Palm Shadow – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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Serious Coffee – Taylorsville, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Agave Drops – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Shelf Owls – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hot Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bird Bath – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Aunt & Niece – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: B&W Cacti

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Barbs – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

One thing that I did on my Christmas visit to Arizona was photograph cacti. You can find cactus all over the place there. The spiky shrubs are common in Arizona landscaping, and a short walk into the desert will reveal even more. There are over 60 varieties of cactus that grow there. I only photographed a few different types, including Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Barbary Fig, Cholla, and a couple others that I couldn’t identify.

The ten photographs in this article are all camera-made JPEGs; however, I used X RAW Studio to process the RAW files (if you aren’t sure what X RAW Studio is, be sure to click the link), fine-tuning my Across Push-Process Film Simulation recipe. For most of these I increased the shadows to +4, and for some of them I reduced highlights to +3. I adjusted the exposure by 1/3 stop (either plus or minus) for a few of the pictures, as well.

I love the film-look that the Fujifilm X100F produces. A few years back I captured some cactus pictures in Arizona using a Minolta XG-1 and Kodak T-Max 400 film. What I get from the X100F using Acros and what I got back from the lab using the film gear are surprisingly similar. You can achieve film-like results with any digital camera using software, such as Nik Silver Efex or Alien Skin Exposure (both of which I’ve used extensively in the past), but with Fujifilm you can get it straight from the camera if you want.

People have told me, “I don’t get your fascination with film. I don’t like the film-look.” Different strokes for different folks. I personally don’t like pictures that look digital. I compare it to listening to an MP3 file versus an analog record. The MP3 will be more cold and clean, while the analog sound will have more warmth and character. Digital music is way more convenient, and that’s why it is so common.

Digital photography is way more convenient than analog photography, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. I appreciate the characteristics of film, and the ability to achieve that look while enjoying the conveniences of digital is something I’m thrilled about. One thing I especially like about Fujifilm is that they maintain their analog soul in the digital age.

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Cactus Needles – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Cactus Shrub – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Arms Up – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Old & Weathered – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Layers – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Minimal Protection – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Drama – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Finger Spikes – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Still Surviving – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Snow Drifts In Acros

The first snowfall of the season arrived a couple days ago. About two inches of the cold and fluffy white stuff accumulated on the grass. The kids loved waking up to a winter wonderland of sorts, with snow blanketing the neighborhood

For Utah this wasn’t anything significant, but the temperature remained cold and the snow didn’t melt. The wind kicked up yesterday and created some tiny snow drifts. I noticed that the low winter sun was creating some interesting shadows. It reminded me of sand dunes–miniature sand dunes, only made of snow.

I grabbed my Fujifilm X100F, attached my wide-angle conversion lens, and set the camera to my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation. I chose the wide-angle converter because I wanted to make the pictures more dramatic–I wanted to exaggerate the scene because it was such a small scale. I chose Acros because color was unimportant to the scene, and so black-and-white was the obvious decision. Besides, it would help with the abstract nature of the images.

Here are seven photographs of the tiny snow drifts that I captured yesterday:

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White Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Barren Landscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Plateau & Cliff – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Little Mound – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Hills & Valleys – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sparse Vegetation – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Small Cliffs – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

 

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe


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Back in the days before digital photography I’d sometimes push-process my black-and-white film. The technique involved underexposing the film (typically by one or two stops) and then developing for longer times. Essentially you underexpose in camera and overexpose in development, creating a correct exposure. This results in images with more contrast and stronger grain.

There are a couple reasons why one would push-process their film. First, you could shoot with less light. A lot of people used to consider ISO 400 to be a high-ISO film, but pushing that film two stops would make it ISO 1600 (really high-ISO). Second, the push-process aesthetic is bold and gritty, and you could achieve more dramatic results. So you might choose to push-process out of necessity or artistic vision or sometimes both.

The Fujifilm X100F has a great black-and-white Film Simulation called Acros, named after their Neopan Acros film. It looks wonderful, with a true film-like quality. I use this Film Simulation often. But sometimes I want a bolder, gritter, more dramatic black-and-white picture than my Acros Film Simulation recipe provides. So I created a new recipe that resembles film that has been push-processed. In other words, it has noticeably more contrast and grain.

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Turbulence – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Acros Push-Process

There are a few important things to understand about the Acros Film Simulation. First, Fujifilm programmed the amount of grain to increase as you increase the ISO. Next, the higher you go above ISO 800 the smaller the dynamic range gets. Finally, the Digital Teleconverter can effect noise and grain, most noticeably at high ISOs.

My Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe resembles black-and-white film that has been push-processed anywhere from one to one-and-a-half stops. I think sometimes it looks more like ISO 100 film that has been pushed and sometimes it looks more like ISO 400 film that has been pushed. A lot depends on the ISO that the camera is set to. It’s rarely as dramatic or gritty as one could achieve with actual film, but it produces great results in the right situations. I’d actually like to see Fujifilm add a push-process Film Simulation option to their X cameras.

The differences between this Film Simulation recipe and my original Acros recipe are increased highlights and shadows (for stronger contrast), a slight refinement to noise reduction and sharpening, and the added grain effect. The changes aren’t major, but the results are noticeably different.

Acros/Acros+R/Acros+G
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlights: +4
Shadows: +3
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
ISO: Auto up to 6400 (typically)
Exposure Compensation: +1 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe:

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Evening Reflection Monochrome – Magna, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Dramatic Window – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Thoughts Grow With A Cup of Joe – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee Stop – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Proud Pilot – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Phone Photographer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cellphone Capture – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Jesus Statue – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Is The Hard Part – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Thou Shalt Not – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pull – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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No Overnight Parking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Michael’s – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Samick Guitar – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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LDS Temple – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Salt Lake Towers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Temple Gate – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Church Fountain – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Little Church In The City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Evening In Temple Square – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

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Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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