Creative Collective 022: FXW Zine — Issue 08 — July 2022

The eighth issue of FXW Zine is out, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now!

What’s in the July issue? The cover story is A Whale of a Tale, which is a photoessay of a recent whale-watching boat excursion, as captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe. There are a total of 28 photographs this month, including the cover image (above). I hope that you find it enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine—not just this issue, but the first seven issues, too!

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Crossing the California Desert with Fujifilm X100V + Kodak Tri-X 400

Welcome to California… Maybe – Blythe, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

For those keeping up with my move (from Utah to Arizona) and adventure: I’m on the road again. The long story is that we found a home in Arizona, but the moving company can’t deliver our stuff for a couple of weeks. The short story is that we’re off on a new adventure! Among some other stops, we’re enroute to the central California Coast—one of the most beautiful places in the world, in my opinion—while we wait for our furniture and such.

A lot of times I’m the driver on road trips, but as we crossed the Mojave Desert along Interstate 10 in California, I was in the passenger seat. Of course, as a photographer I took full advantage of it, and documented the trek in black-and-white; specifically, I photographed with my Fujifilm X100V using the Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe. I’ve been using this camera as a monochrome-only model lately.

Shooting out a dirty window at 75 miles-per-hour isn’t ideal; however, in whatever situations that I find myself, I try to do the best I can with what I have. That’s all anyone can do. I’m not always successful, but I thought this series was decent enough to share. I hope that you enjoy!

Storm in the Mirror – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Driving Backwards – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Objects Are Closer – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Freight Flight – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Dash Cam – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Desert Center 16 – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Cars – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Parked Truck – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Fasten Seatbelt & Dead Palms – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Life is a Highway – Somewhere Along I-10, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Exit 146 – Coachella, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Expensive Gas – Coachella, CA – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

Photographing Panguitch — Fujifilm X100V + Kodak Tri-X 400

Empty Lumber Yard – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

The first stop on the epic road trip that I’m currently on was Panguitch, a small town in southern Utah. Panguitch is close to Bryce Canyon National Park, not too far from Zion National Park, and within reach of Capital Reef National Park. Tourism is the main reason Panguitch is even on the map. People eat, sleep, and get gas here, while visiting the various natural wonders of the region. That’s why we were there.

I only stayed one night in Panguitch, but I was able to get out with my camera and photograph the quaint town. It’s obvious that Panguitch has seen better days—it seems to be just hanging on. The town has a lot of character, though. It was a great location for photography—if I had a few weeks, it would make for an incredible photo project—but alas I only had one night, as we left early the next morning.

For the pictures in this article I used my Fujifilm X100V loaded with the Kodak TRi-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe. I also had a 5% CineBloom filter attached to the camera. The X100V is such the perfect travel tool (and my “desert island” camera), and I always make sure that I have it with me. I love black-and-white photography, and the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe is my favorite. The camera and recipe combo were ideal for Panguitch, and I’m quite happy with this set of pictures; however, I realize that I need to go back. This town (and so many others) are yearning for the camera’s attention. There is so much photographic potential, and I barely scratched the surface.

Thanks For Shopping Local – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Auto Entrance – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Chairs Along A Fence – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fake News – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Folding Chairs – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Window Canopy – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Souvenir & Gift – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Delicious Dinner – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Raya – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Condiments – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
The Duke – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Henrie’s – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Old Sign – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
House Roof – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
One Way Garage – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Motel – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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
CineBloom 5% Filter 49mm Amazon B&H

An Open Letter To Fujifilm… In B&W

Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

Dear Fujifilm,

Please make a black-and-white-only camera. I’m writing this because I want one, but—more importantly—it has become quite obvious to me that many Fujifilm photographers want one, too.

How do I know this? A few days ago I published a Creative Collective article entitled Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition, and the response that I’ve received has been overwhelming (in a good way). If Fujifilm made a monochrome model (which I propose is called “Acros Edition”), people would buy it. I have zero doubts about this. I’d buy one. A number of Fuji X Weekly readers would buy one. I’m not suggesting that it would do as well as the X-T3, but it would get a lot of attention. People would talk about it. There is a real interest and demand for a black-and-white-only Fujifilm camera.

I know that it’s not as simple as just removing the X-Trans color array from the filter and—presto!—a B&W-only camera. It’s far, far more complicated than that. Because of this, it’s understood that the camera will cost more than the X-Trans version. I personally think that the X100V or X-Pro3 would be the best base for an “Acros Edition” model, but the X-E4 could also work if you want to reduce the cost of the camera. Even if it was in an X-T3 or X-T30 body, I’d definitely still buy one—just don’t put it into a body with a PASM dial and I’ll be happy.

Unneeded Boat Cleat – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Moody Monochrome

There needs to be some schtick, too, because people will say, “I’ll just use the Acros film simulation, and it’s basically the same thing, yet I can still get color pictures if I want.” There are advantages to monochrome-only, and while it might seem that making such a camera would be enough on its own, it isn’t—there has to be at least one more trick that makes the camera unique, in my opinion. Something that not only further separates it from other Fujifilm models, but other monochrome-only models. What exactly? I have a few ideas. Perhaps a new film simulation: Neopan (based on Neopan 400 Pro, Neopan 1600 Pro, or Neopan 400CN)—the “Acros Edition” camera would have Acros, Neopan, Monochrome, and Sepia (I suppose) as the four film simulation options. I think it would also be cool if there were push and pull process options for these simulations, where the pictures become more or less contrasty and grainy (much like push and pull processing film), depending on the settings selected. Another idea is to have a removable IR filter like Sigma did with their SD Quattro cameras, allowing photographers to easily use their cameras for full-spectrum B&W photography whenever they want. How about built-in colored filters? Since there would be no +Y, +R, & +G faux filters, it would be interesting to have real color filters built into the camera, sort of like the ND filter on the X100V. Adding some sort of extra uniqueness would give the camera even more buzz and would make it even more desirable.

My only point here is that I know for certain that there is an interest in a black-and-white-only camera made by Fujifilm. So, if there’s anyone at Fujifilm who happens to read this, please pass it up the chain that such a demand exists. People would pay a premium for a monochrome model. I personally would.

Sincerely,
Ritchie Roesch
Fuji X Weekly

Now it’s your turn! Would you be interested in an “Acros Edition” Fujifilm camera? Which body would you want it in? What special feature should it have? Leave a comment! I don’t know if Fujifilm will ever read it, but they might, so it’s worth a try!

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Ilford Pan F Plus 50

Santa’s Bed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford Pan F Plus 50”

Anders Lindborg (Instagram) sent me a black-and-white film simulation recipe to try, which he modeled after Ilford Pan F Plus 50 film. Anders, you might recall, created the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, teamed with Thomas Schwab to create the Kodak T-Max 400 recipe, made seven Fujicolor Pro 160NS recipes, created seven Fujicolor Pro 400H recipes, and made an important D-Range Priority discovery. His contributions to the Fujifilm community are significant! The Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe is a favorite of mine that I use frequently, so I’m personally very grateful to Anders for his hard work on this recipe and all the others.

And hard work it was! Anders sent me a lengthy note on his process to create this recipe, and I want to share with you a short snippet just so you get an idea of the effort put into this. “I checked the spectrum sensitivity chart and looked for any significant bumps in the wavelengths,” he wrote. “For the largest bump, I checked what color it represents to try to match it as close as possible with the white balance shift. This recreated the bump in the recipe to make the simulation a bit extra sensitive to that specific color.” This was point four of seven in his process, and shows the kind of effort that can go into creating film simulation recipes.

Ilford Pan F 50 Plus is a low-ISO, contrasty, sharp, detailed, fine-grain, black-and-white negative film. It has the punchiness of a mid-ISO film, but is very clean, and can be printed large and still appear crisp and fine-detailed. Of course, how a film is exposed, developed, scanned and/or printed will affect the exact aesthetic. Ilford Pan F 50 Plus is one of the best black-and-white films you can buy today, and this recipe is a pretty darn good facsimile of it.

Sugar House Traffic District – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford Pan F Plus 50”

“This one needs some care,” Anders wrote of this recipe, “and really soft light is recommended for portraits, but the reward is wonderful! If you’re looking for drama, this is it. Great in studio where lighting can be controlled, but can sometimes also work nicely for certain kinds of street photography. High contrast with a really classic black and white look, emphasis on the black.”

I modified Anders recipe a little. His version calls for Shadows to be +2 and Clarity set to 0, but he says that +2 Shadow can sometimes be too strong, and that +1 is not always strong enough, but +1.5 (for those cameras that are capable) is probably just right. I wanted to use this recipe on my Fujifilm X100V, which isn’t capable of .5 Shadow adjustments, so I set Shadow to +1 and Clarity to +2 (to increase the contrast, similar to what +1.5 Shadow might be)… alternatively, Shadow +2 and Clarity -2 is an option, too, but I didn’t like it quite as much. Because of Clarity, I decreased Sharpening to 0 from +1 (what the original recipe calls for). Instead of -3, I set Noise Reduction to -4, which is my preference. If you want to use Anders full recipe, set Shadow to +2 (or +1.5 if your camera is capable), Clarity to 0, Sharpness to +1, and Noise Reduction to -3. Otherwise, you’ll find my slightly modified version below. This recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4 and X-T30 II cameras.

Monochrome
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: +2
Grain Effect: Weak, Large 
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400 (for best results, try to limit the ISO to 1600 and lower when able)
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Ilford Pan F Plus 50” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Item Number – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Snow on Seat – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wheelchair Shopping – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Face Masks For Everyone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Can, Baskets & Baby Seats – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Watching Her Brothers Catch Carp – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Boots – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Salty Pavement – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Street Puddle – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
To Cross – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Open – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Central Book Exchange – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Parley’s Creek in Winter – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Monochrome

Signs, Poles & Wires – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Classic Monochrome”

For some reason, black-and-white film simulation recipes aren’t as popular as color, but Fujifilm cameras are capable of some great monochrome images straight-out-of-camera. This new “Classic Monochrome” recipe was made by Thomas Schwab (B&W Instagram), who has created several of the film simulation recipes on this website and collaborated on several others. He’s a friend of this blog, and I’m honored that he allows me to share his recipes here!

Thomas said that he started with one of the Ilford recipes, and this evolved from that. It’s called “Classic Monochrome” because it has a great old-school B&W print feel. The only change that I added was Toning, which is optional, but it seems to look nice with these settings. This recipe has quickly become one of my favorite black-and-white options! It’s most similar to Dramatic Monochrome, so if you like that recipe you’ll like this one, too. Thank you, Thomas!

Suburban Garages – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Classic Monochrome”

This recipe is contrasty and clean. It reminds me of Agfapan 25 printed using a high-contrast filter (maybe a #4, or even split-filtered). It’s not intended to look like it, but that’s what it reminds me of. It does have a limited dynamic range, and it’s easy to clip highlights, so the exposure should be carefully considered, or perhaps try DR-Auto if you are concerned. It’s compatible (as of this writing) with the Fujifilm X100V, X-T4, X-Pro3 and X-S10 cameras.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Clarity: +4
Toning: WC +1, MG 0

Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

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

Marks the Spot – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Main Line Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Empty Box – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Empty Bench – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Joshua Biking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girl & Bike – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Horses & Ducks – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Country Road Bus – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
No Motor Vehicles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Weed 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Weed 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Ice Abstract 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Ice Abstract 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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

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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!

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

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

Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Film Simulation Review: Light & Shadow with Ilford Delta Push-Process

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Chair & Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Photography is about light. Without light there are no photographs. Great photographs require great light. What “great light” is depends on the picture and circumstance, and what’s great for one image might not be for another. Great light can be found anytime of the day or night if one looks hard enough for it.

This series of pictures demonstrate the play of light and shadow in an image. It features instances of bright highlights and deep shadows together. It’s the contrast between illumination and the absence of it. I needed a dramatic film simulation recipe to capture these pictures. I knew that it would need to be black-and-white because these pictures aren’t about color, but light and shadow. Color would only be a distraction to the point. But which black-and-white film simulation recipe should I choose?

There are several options for dramatic black-and-white that I could have chosen, including Dramatic Monochrome, Monochrome Kodachrome, Agfa Scala, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford HP5 Push-Process, X100F Acros, X-T30 Acros, Acros Push-Process, and Tri-X Push-Process. Any of those recipes would have worked, but each would have produced a different result. Some have more contrast, some less. Some have a greater dynamic range and others a more narrow. Some are brighter, some darker. Some have more grain and other less. I could have picked any of them and gotten interesting results, but I went with Ilford Delta Push-Process instead, partially because I had been using it for other pictures during this time. It turns out it was a good choice, because it seems to have the right contrast, tones and grain for this series. Sometimes luck plays a role. What I know now is that the Ilford Delta Push-Process recipe is a great option for dramatic light situations like these, and I will choose it again for similar situations in the future. I captured these pictures on a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it.

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Suburban Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Seat Back Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Chair Details – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Girl Ghost – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Sunlight on the Kitchen Floor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Don’t Step Into Darkness – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

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.