Summer of 1960 — Fujifilm X-T5 (X-Trans V) Film Simulation Recipe
I love Arizona Highways magazine! When I was a kid, my grandparents, who lived in Arizona, would give me their old copies of the publication. The pictures were always amazing. I didn’t know it at the time, but that simple act had a profound impact on my life. Eventually I would become a photographer, and I would be significantly influenced by the pictures from that magazine.
For those who don’t know, Arizona Highways is a magazine with an important history. It began in 1925, and in 1946 published the world’s first all-color publication. From the beginning, Arizona Highways has been dedicated to the art of photography. Ansel Adams was a regular contributor. Barry Goldwater, Ray Manley, Chuck Abbott, David and Josef Muench, Ed Ellinger, Esther Henderson, and many other talented photographers were often featured. The publication is full of wonderful images even to this day. While it is not purely a photography magazine, Arizona Highways is a publication that photographers love due to their passion for the medium.
I recently found the December 1960 issue of Arizona Highways in a used bookstore. It has page after page of amazing photography! I really love the look of the pictures in this particular issue—while not every image looks alike, there is definitely a commonality to the photo aesthetic. I suppose that some of it is due to the printing process, which the magazine proudly claims is “Micro-Color Lithography” printed on “Glossette Offset Enamel 70-pound base” paper. I believe that the age of the magazine—now over 62-yeas-old!—has something to do with it, as color photographs and pages have a tendency to fade and discolor over time. What about the film? Well, there’s that, too.
In the back of the magazine is a page that provides detailed notes on all of the photographs. For example, the picture shown in the magazine above—entitled The Blossoming Agaves—was photographed by Chuck Abbott in July 1960 during midday using a 5×7 Deardorff View camera set to f/18 and 1/10 shutter on Kodachrome, which had an ISO of 10. You might note that this is the “Sunny 16 Rule” except underexposed by 1/3 stop (presumably to protect the highlights). The detailed notes that were provided are a real treasure trove!
The vast majority of the pictures in the December 1960 issue were captured on Ektachrome. Now Ektachrome prior to 1955 used the E1 development process and was ISO 10, from 1955 to 1958 used the E2 development process and was ISO 32, and from 1959 to 1965 used E3 and was ISO 50—this particular issue had a mix of all three of those Ektachromes. A few Ascochrome images were also published, and those have a look that’s noticeably different than the Ektachrome and Kodachrome pictures. One image was captured on Ektacolor negative film, and that’s the only picture in the issue that wasn’t shot on slide film. Many of the photographs printed in the December 1960 issue of Arizona Highways were captured during the spring, summer, or fall of 1960.
Inspired by the aesthetic of the pictures found in the magazine, I set out to mimic the look with my Fujifilm X-T5. After a little fiddling and trial-and-error, I was able to get surprisingly close—almost an exact match to some of the pictures! There are certainly some similarities to both the Ektachrome and Kodachrome photographs published in the December 1960 issue of Arizona Highways, some of which were captured in the summer of 1960, hence the name of this Film Simulation Recipe.
Because this Summer of 1960 Film Simulation Recipe uses the new Nostalgic Neg. film simulation, it is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T5, X-H2, and X-H2S (as well as any other X-Trans V camera released after this article is published). Those with newer GFX cameras can likely use it, too, although it will probably render slightly different (but try it anyway!). This Recipe seems especially well suited for sunny daylight photography, and does alright in overcast, shade, and natural-light indoors, too.
Film Simulation: Nostalgic Neg.
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome FX Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5250K, -3 Red & -5 Blue
Dynamic Range: DR400
High ISO NR: -4
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Summer of 1960 Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T5:
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Fujifilm X-T5 in black: Amazon B&H Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver: Amazon B&H Moment
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