Fujifilm X-H1 (X-Trans III) Film Simulation Recipe: Ilford XP2 Super 400

Freightliner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”

I was asked to create a film simulation recipe for Ilford XP2 Super 400 monochrome film. This is a currently-available black-and-white negative film that’s designed to be in developed in color negative (C41) chemistry. While this is unusual it’s definitely not unique. I’ve shot with some of these films before (namely Kodak BW400CN), and they’re surprisingly good, but a disadvantage is their archival characteristics. While I’ve used many Ilford films in the past (Delta 100 and Delta 400 were my two favorites back in the day), I’ve never shot with XP2 Super, and so I have no firsthand experience with it. Thankfully, I was able to find some good sample images (and other information) to help with the process. The film is somewhat contrasty and bright with fairly fine grain. It can be shot anywhere from ISO 50 to ISO 800, although ISO 400 is what Ilford suggests to shoot it at; whatever ISO you choose will affect the exact outcome.

I wasn’t having good luck with this recipe at first, but as I experimented, I stumbled into what I believe is a fairly accurate facsimile to the film. The White Balance settings (combined with Acros+R) turned out to be the key. Getting the exposure correct can sometimes be tricky, depending on the light and scene, so that’s why the “typical” exposure compensation is such a wide range.

Farmington Train Station – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”

This “Ilford XP2 Super 400” film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, plus the X-T3 and X-T30. If you have a newer X-Trans IV camera, you can use this recipe, but you’ll have to decide on the Grain size (I suggest Small).

Acros+R
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong

White Balance: 10000K, +7 Red & +7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Ilford XP2 Super 400” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Francis Peak on a Sunny Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Reed by the Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Swan Season Closed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Do Not Block Access – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Boat Launch Area – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Littering Prohibited – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Long Road to Nowhere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Rural Tractor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Cat & Honey Bucket – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Caterpillar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tractor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Lamp & Side Mirrors – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
A Y – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Empty Benches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tracks with no Train – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

See also: Fujifilm X-Trans III Film Simulation Recipes

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

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!

$2.00

My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe


49650712947_d12c3dafbc_c

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!

49657082752_0b87e234b6_c

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:

49650698947_1a6bacb2ac_c

Roman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49656802726_775f23af3c_c

Cleaning Cart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49649934993_f273110ff2_c

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

49653483786_302aa4906a_c

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

49656254028_0fb853b802_c

Small Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49656791826_8fe785b142_c

Rural Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49656254163_dee22bc5a9_c

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

49650451196_378acfca2b_c

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

49656255203_6907a1dc20_c

Tennis Swing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49649921743_b02a5efb9b_c

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

49650474646_468c41ce44_c

Little Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49650425846_b51c8fb4f4_c

Hand Washing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49650439601_14969e5d6e_c

Faceless – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49653782217_d17a0808c9_c

Muffins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49650746112_b38c768b16_c

Pronto! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49649898123_1b70706493_c

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!

$2.00

Understanding Acros Film Simulation Options On Fujifilm X Cameras

46567436664_aed7dc8581_c

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!

46378913195_de00e5b280_c

Fujifilm X-T20 – Velvia

40329085493_2c7ca3844a_c

Acros

40329113573_686fe87673_c

Acros+Y

32351963917_5fab81c23f_c

Acros+R

46570553974_ba9235fb1d_c

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.

47281084441_145f04a9c2_c

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.