Fujifilm X-H1 (X-Trans III + X-T3 & X-T30) Film Simulation Recipe: Analog Monochrome

Old Tractor 15 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Analog Monochrome”

This film simulation recipe began as an attempt to fulfill a need. You see, there are many Fujifilm cameras (like the X-H1) that are not capable of saving the White Balance Shift within Custom Presets, but there’s a solution: if each Custom Preset uses a different White Balance type, the camera will remember one White Balance Shift per type, and you won’t have to remember to adjust the shift when switching presets. This makes the camera experience more enjoyable.

The problem is that most film simulation recipes use the Auto, Daylight, or Kelvin White Balance types, and you have seven Custom Preset slots. The remaining White Balance types have a limited number of choices. Prior to this recipe, Incandescent had only one option: Eterna Bleach Bypass. Now, if you are using this solution, you can choose either this Analog Monochrome recipe or the Eterna Bleach Bypass recipe—one color and one B&W—for one of your C1-C7 slots.

Doll – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Analog Monochrome”

I didn’t model this Analog Monochrome recipe after any specific film. Instead, I simply set out to create some settings that look good. This recipe has nice contrast with deep blacks, and whites that are bright yet don’t easily clip. I set Grain to Weak for a clean look, but feel free to try Strong for a grittier look. I feel that it has a very nice classic B&W film aesthetic that some of you will really appreciate.

Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -1
Grain Effect: Weak

White Balance: Incandescent, -8 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Analog Monochrome” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Minolta SRT303b – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Car Console – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jon Smiling for the Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Joy Laughing at a Funny Message – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Horse Close Up – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
You Shall Not Pass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jesus Loves You! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Friendly Neighborhood Snowman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Walking Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Farmington Creek in Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Three Ducks in the Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow and Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Stump In Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Wild Grass in Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Melting Snow In The Tall Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

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Understanding Acros Film Simulation Options On Fujifilm X Cameras


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!


Fujifilm X-T20 – Velvia









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.


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.