Fujifilm X-T3, X-T30 & X-H1 Film Simulation Recipe: Negative Print

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print”

This film simulation recipe was inspired by various pictures I found while browsing old issues of Arizona Highways magazine. I have a small collection of old issues of this publication, which I enjoy flipping through from time-to-time for inspiration. Arizona Highways has a long history of publishing great photographs—even Ansel Adams was a regular contributor back in the day. As I was browsing old issues published over several decades, there was a certain aesthetic that seemed to reappear over and over. It caught my attention because of how lovely it looks. I don’t know the specifics of the film used—most likely Kodak of some sort, and probably multiple emulsion. My suspicion is that the printing process played a significant part in the aesthetic, and that’s why I call this recipe Negative Print.

After some experimenting, I decided that the Eterna film simulation was the best base. Because of that, this recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-H1, X-T3, and X-T30 cameras (as well as older GFX models, although the results will be slightly different). For newer X-Trans IV cameras (plus newer GFX), you’ll have to decide on Grain size (either Small or Large—I recommend Large), Color Chrome FX Blue (I recommend Off), and Clarity (I suggest either 0 or -2). I really like how this recipe renders pictures, and at times it really is reminiscent of those pictures printed in the magazine!

White & Red Rose – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Negative Print”

If you are looking for a classic analog aesthetic, this recipe is a great one to try. The way it renders shadows and colors definitely gives it a film-like look, and I know that this recipe will quickly become a favorite for some of you. I think it might just have a permanent place in my X-H1.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off/NA
White Balance: Fluorescent 3, -2 Red & -7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Below are example pictures, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Negative Print” Film Simulation Recipe:

Fire & Pine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Trail in the Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tree by a Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Old Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow on the Creek Bank – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Small Waterfall – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Rural Pipe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Suburban Snowman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Love Yourself – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Stairs to Foot Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Adult Arlo – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

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

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Fujifilm GFX is 5 Years Old

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Five years ago today Fujifilm announced the GFX 50S camera, which launched the GFX medium-format line. The camera’s initial MSRP was $6,500, which was an insanely low price for medium-format, so it is no surprise that Fujifilm quickly became top-dog of the medium-format market.

I remember when Pentax released the 645D in 2010 with a price tag of “only” $10,000. People were shocked that you could get into medium-format so cheaply. Four years later the much improved 645Z was released with an even cheaper cost of $8,500, and people went nuts. Three years later Fujifilm undercut Pentax by $2,000 while delivering a superior camera. Finally, medium-format was affordable!

Of course, Fujifilm didn’t stop there. A year later they released the even cheaper (and much more cool) GFX 50R, with an MSRP of only $4,500! The GFX100 came next, which was the world’s first 100-megapixel mirrorless camera, at a whopping $10,000 price tag (remember when that was shockingly cheap?). Then came the GFX100S, a 100-megapixel model for only $6,000. A few months back Fujifilm released the GFX 50S II, an upgrade to the original GFX camera, with a retail price of only $4,000. Fujifilm has brought medium-format down to the price point of top-tier full-frame. It’s really quite amazing!

Despite the relatively low cost of GFX, it’s still out of my budget. The only time that I was able to shoot with one was last year when Fujifilm kindly loaned me a GFX 50S for a few weeks (read about it here). Maybe someday I’ll own one—that would be a dream come true. In the short time that I had my hands on it, I made three film simulation recipes for GFX: Classic Negative Industrial, Ektachrome, and Provia 400. GFX owners can use X-Trans IV recipes, as the X-T3 and X-T30 recipes are compatible with the “older” GFX models while the recipes for newer X-Trans IV cameras are compatible with newer GFX models. For example, in the video below, I used the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe on the GFX 50S with much success.

A lot of people have questioned Fujifilm’s decision to skip full-frame. When they launched their APS-C X-Trans line, crop sensors were generally regarded as for amateurs and not professionals. That mindset, of course, has changed significantly over the last 10 years as the quality of APS-C cameras has closed the gap on lower-end full-frame cameras, and in some aspects surpassed it. More and more professional and advanced enthusiasts are ditching their bulky full-frame gear for light and nimble APS-C models, like the Fujifilm X-T4. And some cameras, like the X100 and X-Pro series, are just more fun. So sticking with the smaller sensor wasn’t such a mistake after all.

As for GFX, not only has Fujifilm dominated the medium-format market since introducing the GFX 50S five years ago, but they’ve also been able to compete against the high-end full-frame market. People are asking, “Should I spend $6,500 on a Sony Alpha 1 or $6,000 on a GFX100S?” And, “Should I buy the Canon EOS R5 for $3,900 or the GFX 50S II for only $100 more?” So Fujifilm is able to attack the full-frame market from both the bottom and top, while not investing any R&D into launching a new system. Where Fujifilm cannot compete is with mid-range full-frame cameras. I think Fujifilm could do a 40-ish megapixel X100-like full-frame fixed-lens camera, which would be absolutely wonderful, and wouldn’t require investments into a new system—that’s the most practical way for Fujifilm to get into the mid-range full-frame market, and otherwise it’s just not in their cards, which I’m completely alright with.

It’s quite an accomplishment to enter and completely dominate a market segment within such a short period of time, yet that’s exactly what Fujifilm has done with GFX. It all began with the launch of the GFX 50S five years ago today.

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

GFX 50S B&H Amazon
GFX 50R B&H Amazon (currently only $3,000!)
GFX100 B&H Amazon
GFX100S B&H Amazon
GFX 50S II B&H

Fuji’s Instant Film: The Immensely Interesting Story of Instax

Fujifilm’s top selling photographic line is not the X-series or GFX. By a large margin, Instax cameras and film are Fujifilm’s most popular photo products. Instax, of course, is instant film—their version of Polaroid. 2021 was an especially good year for Instax, thanks to the Instax Mini LiPlay and Instax Wide Printer, which have been hot sellers. This year, the new Instax Mini EVO is already a huge hit. I received a lot of positive feedback from my article explaining the history of the Fujifilm X-Pro1, so I thought it would be fun to explore the history of Instax. It turns out to be an immensely more interesting story than I imagined.

Let’s get started!

Edwin Land was a freshman physics student at Harvard University in 1926, and he had an idea: control scattered vibrations of light using a magnetic field and microscopic crystals. Less than two years later he dropped out of school and moved to New York City to pursue this idea. He spent extensive time in the public library, reading anything and everything that might help him succeed. Since he didn’t have access to a lab, he would sneak into Columbia University late at night to use theirs. In 1932, after four years of extensive experimenting and testing, Land had done it—he had invented an inexpensive and efficient polarizer. That same year he teamed up with George Wheelwright III, a Harvard physics professor, and started Land-Wheelwright Laboratories. In 1936, after years of work to commercialize the product, and 10 years after Land had his original idea, they began selling the Polaroid J Sheet Polarizer for use in sunglasses and photography. It was a quick hit, and a year later they renamed the company Polaroid after their product.

Many years later, in 1944, while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land snapped a photograph of his three-year-old daughter, Jennifer. As the saying goes, kids say the darndest things. The little girl asked her dad why she couldn’t see the picture that had just been taken. Land thought, “Well, why can’t you?” Within an hour he had figured out the basic idea of how to accomplish this. In 1947 Land had invented a working instant film camera, and two years later Polaroid began selling the Model 95 instant film camera and Type 40 instant film to go with it.

Polaroid Colorpack II camera

Over the next decade Polaroid camera and film sales skyrocketed. Even Ansel Adams joined the instant film revolution, and, in 1963, published a book entitled Polaroid Land Photography. As demand increased, Polaroid struggled to keep up, so in the early 1960’s they contracted Kodak to manufactured their peel-apart packfilm. During that time Polaroid hired Fujifilm to assist with film improvements.

As instant film sales continued to rapidly grow throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, someone at Kodak got the bright idea that they should make their own cameras and film to compete against Polaroid. Using their experience producing film for Polaroid to design their own products, Kodak launched the EK4 and EK6 instant film cameras, as well as their PR10 instant film, in 1976. Polaroid immediately sued Kodak for patent violations, but it took a decade for the courts to make a ruling.

Fujifilm also wanted to get in on the instant film frenzy. They figured that Kodak would overtake Polaroid and become king of instant film, so Fujifilm closely modeled their instant film line after Kodak’s, and paid Kodak for the rights to do so. Fujifilm also approached Polaroid for permission, and Polaroid agreed just as long as Fujifilm shared some technology secrets with them and agreed not to sell their instant film cameras in North America. In 1981 Fujifilm launched the Fotorama instant film camera line, which was marketed only in Asia, and sold mostly in Japan. Instant film photography wasn’t nearly as popular in Asia as it was in America, but the Fotorama line sold well enough for Fujifilm to continue to sell it into the late-1990’s. Fujifilm also began selling instant film for Polaroid cameras during this time, although, again, largely for Asian markets.

Now back to that Kodak/Polaroid lawsuit. Polaroid won in 1986, and Kodak was ordered to stop selling their instant film cameras—they also had to financially compensate those who purchased them. The legal battle continued, and in 1990 Kodak was ordered to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars in damages for copying seven patents. It was such a wild case that books have been written about it. One might think that Polaroid was the big winner and Kodak was the big loser, but Kodak made as much as 12 billion in profits off of their instant film line, so they still came out ahead, while the lengthly lawsuit apparently stifled Polaroid’s creativity and ability to innovate, right during a time when they desperately needed to innovate.

The 1990’s were not particularly good for Polaroid, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. Polaroid was sold and then turned into a hollow shell, with the brand’s name and products licensed to other companies. Polaroid film was discontinued in 2008.

Fujifilm introduced the Instax line in 1998 with the Instax Mini 10 camera. Instax Wide came out a year later. While the size and shape was different, the film and technology was recycled from the Fotorama line. By this time Fujifilm was no longer obligated to remain outside of the U.S. market, but they continued to stay out, with the exception of the Mio camera in 2001, a Polaroid-brand model that shot Instax Mini film, which wasn’t especially successful. Fujifilm didn’t start selling Instax in America until after Polaroid announced it was discontinuing its instant film.

When Polaroid pulled out of instant film photography, Fujifilm seriously considered doing the same. Sales were sluggish, and largely declining. Instant film was nearly dead, and its demise was all but certain. The writing was on the wall.

In 2007 a South Korean television series called Coffee Prince was a huge success. It was especially popular with younger audiences, particularly teenagers. Prominently featured in the show was an Instax camera, and the demand for Instax in South Korea immediately skyrocketed. Then, in 2009, the South Korean series You’re Beautiful aired, which also prominently featured an Instax camera. While this show was only moderately successful on initial airing, it gained a large cult-like following in the years following, and it, too, boosted Instax sales. The popularity of Instax spread out from South Korea across Asia, then to the rest of the world, including America. Suddenly, more than a decade after it was released, Instax was an instant hit, with sales trending sharply up.

2004 was the slowest year for Instax, with about 100,000 cameras sold worldwide. In 2015, Fujifilm sold 5 million Instax cameras, and in 2019 they sold 10 million. Unsurprisingly, 2020 was a slow year, but in 2021 things picked up again, although I couldn’t find specific data on how many cameras were sold. Instax is Fujifilm’s top selling camera line, and it’s very profitable. Fujifilm has stated that some of those profits help fund developments within the X-series and GFX—even if you don’t own any Instax products, you can still be grateful that it’s so popular because it does indirectly affect you.

If Edwin Land hadn’t dropped out of college to pursue his polarizer idea, if his young daughter hadn’t asked why she couldn’t see the picture right away, if Kodak hadn’t ripped off Polaroid, if Fujifilm (like Kodak) hadn’t asked Polaroid for permission, if Polaroid hadn’t gone bankrupt, and if two South Korean television shows hadn’t used Instax as props—if any of these things hadn’t happened, Instax wouldn’t likely be around today. Through a series of twists and turns, Fujifilm created a product line that tens of millions of people worldwide use today. While Polaroid invented instant film photography, Fujifilm is currently king.

That’s the immensely interesting story of Instax!

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

Instax Mini 40
Instax Mini 70
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Instax Mini 11
Instax SQ6

Instax Wide 300
Instax Mini Link Printer

Instax Link Wide Printer
Instax Mini Film
Instax Square Film
Instax Wide Film

Fujifilm X-Pro1: A 10-Year X-Trans Legacy

A Worn But Working 10-Year-Old Fujifilm X-Pro1 in 2022.

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is 10 years old!

Let’s drop a beer can into Mr. Fusion, jump into our DeLorean, activate the time circuits, make sure the flux capacitor is fluxing, blast a Huey Lewis tune on the tape deck, and see what happens when this baby hits 88 miles per hour! Yes, we’re headed back in time to understand why the Fujifilm X-Pro1 was a crucial camera that changed photography.

The first stop on our time-travel trip is 1988. The Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California. George Michael’s Faith was the top hit song in America. Oh, and Fujifilm introduced the world’s first completely digital camera, the FUJIX DS-1P.

This first all-digital camera captured 0.4 megapixel images and stored them on a removable memory card—as many as 10 pictures! While this doesn’t sound like a significant achievement, it was a pivotal moment in the advancement of digital camera technology. One year later, the same year that Back To The Future Part II played in theaters, Fujifilm released the world’s first commercially-produced digital camera, the FUJIX DS-X. Fujifilm would continue to develop (pun intended) it’s digital camera technology throughout the 1990’s, making several important innovations, and even collaborating with other brands, such as Nikon.

Despite Fujifilm’s pioneering advancements, digital camera sales were slow, primarily due to the poor image quality of the early sensors plus the very high costs to buy. Meanwhile, film sales went through the roof! A billion rolls of film were sold in 1999, and even more were sold in 2000, which was the absolute pinnacle of analog photography. If you were a Fujifilm manager during those two years, and you’re seeing tons of money going into the digital camera department yet not much financially to show for it, and film sales seemed to be on a trajectory towards the moon, what would you do? It’s understandable, then, that Fujifilm did what it did: double-down on analog and pull back from digital. But the timing was awful, because film sales hit a wall, and in 2003 began to fall off a cliff, while digital sales rose sharply.

Although Fujifilm scaled back from digital, they didn’t abandon it. In fact, in 2000, Fujifilm introduced the S1 Pro, a Nikon SLR retrofitted with a 3-megapixel Super-CCD sensor. Fujifilm invented this new sensor type, which claimed to produce double the apparent resolution of a traditional Bayer sensor while simultaneously increasing dynamic range. There would be four models of these Nikon-turned-Fujifilm DSLRs—the last one, the S5 Pro, was discontinued in 2009, after disappointing sales. Mostly, though, following the fall of film, Fujifilm turned their attention to digital point-and-shoots, a fairly profitable segment at that time. They also turned their attention to non-photographic opportunities, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among others things.

Around the time that Fujifilm was discontinuing their DSLR, they began to work on something new. Pocket point-and-shoot cameras were popular, but not with professional photographers, due to poor image quality and basic controls. What if Fujifilm made a high-end pocketable camera aimed specifically at the professional crowd? It took over two years for this idea to be realized—the Fujifilm X100 was released in March 2011, giving birth to the X-series. This camera had a rangefinder design with retro controls, harkening back to the glory days of film, and a 12-megapixel APS-C sensor. A Bayer sensor. Not Super-CCD, which was abandoned with the S5 Pro. And not X-Trans, which hadn’t been invented yet. This was also the first camera ever with a hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder.

If the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there. Thankfully, the camera was generally well received, and it sold a lot of copies. I know that I wanted one. I remember seeing it in a photography magazine and being captivated by it. I couldn’t afford the $1,200 price tag, so I didn’t buy it, but I would have if I could have. It was a camera you wanted to own!

What I said in the last paragraph—”if the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there”—isn’t actually true. The X-Trans sensor had been in the works for five years and was almost ready when the X100 was released. Work began on the X-Pro1 back in 2010, and it was decided that it would be the first camera to carry the new sensor. Whether the X100 was a flop or success had no bearing on the release of the X-Pro1, but its success most certainly helped the X-Pro1 to sell well, too.

What made this new X-Trans sensor unique? How was it different than Bayer? What was the point of it?

Fujifilm had been experimenting with different sensor concepts since the 1990’s. They tried many different things to get the most resolution, sharpness, and dynamic range from the low-megapixel sensors of the time, and that’s where the Super-CCD technology came from. Fujifilm continued to experiment, and, inspired by the randomness of silver halide, decided to test a “random” color filter array. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of computing power to interpret the data, and that was the biggest hurdle that had to be overcome, since processing power wasn’t plentiful back then.

X-Trans was a complex solution to what Fujifilm recognized as a problem, but most didn’t. The randomness of the color filter array made it less susceptible to moire pattern distortion, so an optical low-pass filter wasn’t needed. This did two things: produce sharper pictures with the appearance of more resolution, and the ability to better distinguish noise vs. signal. The latter was the most important of the two side effects. Since noise and signal could be more easily differentiated, Fujifilm could control it better, and get improved high-ISO results, as well as better shadow details. This is why Fujifilm’s noise is rendered differently than other brands, and has more of a film-grain-like appearance. Also, the extra green pixels in an X-Trans sensor produces more luminosity information, which improves dynamic range, high-ISO performance, and fine detail rendering.

Blooms Despite Adversity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Punchy Velvia

Is there a difference between Bayer and X-Trans? Of course there is! It’s not immediately obvious at low-ISO, as many of the benefits are extremely subtle, but as the ISO increases the differences become more obvious. It’s not a night-and-day distinction, but there is definitely a divergence if you look close enough.

Fujifilm announced the X-Pro1 in January 2012 and began shipping it in March, which means that the camera is 10-years-old in 2022! The X-Pro1 was similar to the X100, but larger and with some design changes, and with the ability to swap lenses. Plus, it had the new 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor. Between the rangefinder styling, retro controls, hybrid viewfinder, and new sensor, Fujifilm made people take notice! The camera just grabs your attention.

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, though. The X100 and X-Pro1, plus the X-E1 that followed, all had problems, and were called sluggish and quirky in camera reviews. Many of the issues were fixed with firmware updates over time, but it took time to iron out the wrinkles. Some issues weren’t Fujifilm’s fault, like RAW editing software having trouble handling the X-Trans files. Fujifilm actually intended the in-camera JPEG processor, which utilized Film Simulations (profiles created from Fujifilm’s extensive experience in film), to be a serious tool that photographers would utilize. When Fujifilm expressed this, they were scoffed at by the photography “experts” of the time, because, you know, real photographers shoot RAW, and only amateurs shoot JPEG. The response was so loud that for awhile Fujifilm stopped suggesting photographers should shoot JPEG, and put less effort towards promoting their in-camera processing.

Pink Roses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Color Negative Film

Despite what the so-called experts thought, many of those with Fujifilm cameras began to realize that the JPEGs were actually pretty good. In September of 2014 Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X100T, which had a new Film Simulation called Classic Chrome. It was intended to mimic the aesthetic of documentary-style pictures found in magazines. Classic Chrome was an instant hit, and it brought a new awareness to Fujifilm’s JPEG engine.

My journey into the world of Fujifilm began with a used X-E1 in the summer of 2016. Actually, let’s get back into our DeLorean and head even further into the past. In the summer of 1998 I took an epic trip with some friends to the New England states, and I borrowed my dad’s Sears 35mm SLR to photograph the journey. When I returned home and got the pictures back from the 1-hour photo lab, they were awful! I couldn’t have screwed up the pictures any more than I did. That fall I enrolled in Photography 101 in college so that I could learn to take a decent picture, and I ended up falling in love with photography. This was at the pinnacle of film. I was not a fan of the digital photography revolution because I didn’t like how digital pictures looked. In my opinion, film was much superior, and so I stubbornly stuck with it. Around 2010 I purchased my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, because it was inexpensive and because I could use the lenses from my Pentax SLR with it. I soon discovered why digital photography had surpassed film—it was much more quick and convenient—but I still preferred the look of film. While I continued to shoot both film and digital, I jumped from brand-to-brand trying to find a digital camera that I liked. After Pentax I tried Samsung. Then Sigma. Then Nikon. Then Sony. In 2016 I purchased the X-E1, and was instantly thrilled by the experience of the camera. Finally, a digital camera that I could love! One year later I bought an X100F, the fourth iteration of the original X100.

I configured my X100F to shoot RAW+JPEG, and after fiddling with the RAW files, I noticed that the post-processed RAW pictures didn’t look a whole lot different than the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I realized that with a few small tweaks in the camera settings I could make them match even more closely. That was the birth of my “Film Simulation Recipes” (camera settings that produce a certain look, often modeled after classic film stocks and analog processes). The popularity of Film Simulation Recipes has grown and grown—exploding over the last two years—and with it has seen a significant increase in those shooting JPEGs with their Fujifilm cameras. Film Simulation Recipes save you time by eliminating the need to edit (or, for some, reducing the amount of editing needed), while making the process more enjoyable. It is Fujifilm’s vision come true, although I doubt they envisioned exactly where this whole thing has gone.

Not Filed – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome I

Over the last decade Fujifilm has continued to innovate, leaping various hurdles, to improve and grow the X-series. Fujifilm has doubled-down on in-camera processing, and the stigma of shooting JPEGs has softened significantly. Even though much progress has been made, and the brand-new cameras are absolutely incredible, there’s still a lot of love for the original models. There’s a special quality to them, even if they’re slower, more quirky, lower resolution, and with fewer options.

While I started with an X-E1 (I’ve actually owned two), I’ve mostly used the newer models. Knowing that the X-Pro1 was approaching the 10-year mark, and loving the X-Pro series design, last year I purchased a well-used but still perfectly functioning X-Pro1. I wanted to use the X-Pro1 in 2022 as a way to celebrate the importance of this model in photography.

Let me pause here for a moment. Digital technology advances quickly. Most people aren’t still using a 10-year-old cellphone or television. Most people aren’t using a 10-year-old camera, although certainly some are. In the film era, it wasn’t uncommon to use the same camera for decades or even a whole career. In the digital era, a lot of people “upgrade” their camera gear every two or three years. While most aren’t still shooting with a camera from 2012, some are, and they’re probably thinking pretty seriously that it’s time to upgrade to the latest model. The X-Pro1 is a 10-year-old camera that not only are some people still shooting, there are actually people searching it out so that they can use it, even though they have newer models. In 2022, the X-Pro1 is a desired camera! This speaks to the genius of those who designed it—the camera itself is art, and it is a very capable tool for creating art, even after a decade.

Diesel – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome

Now, let me explain more directly exactly how the Fujifilm X-Pro1 changed photography.

While Fujifilm has been making cameras since 1948, and digital cameras since the late-1980’s, their DSLRs, while innovative, were Nikon bodies with Fujifilm innards. Buying one of these DSLRs was buying into the Nikon system. There were some advantages to buying the Fujifilm version, and there were also some disadvantages, so it was an odd market that Fujifilm found itself in. Basically, Fujifilm was hoping to convince Nikon owners to buy the Fujifilm version of Nikon’s camera, or else convince those from other brands to switch to Nikon, except the Fuji-Nikon and not actual Nikon. And there were no aftermarket products to sell, which is where the money is made. Fujifilm’s attempt to be in the professional camera market was halfhearted and failed, so with the writing on the wall, Fujifilm regrouped.

After the failure of the S5 Pro, the X100 was Fujifilm’s first attempt to capture the attention of professional and advanced enthusiast photographers, but right on its heels was the X-Pro1 with the brand-new X-Trans sensor. This was an interchangeable-lens model, which was important because selling lenses is where the real profit is. It was highly advanced: mirrorless (a fairly new concept at the time), hybrid viewfinder, new sensor type. But it was also retro: rangefinder style with no PASM dial anywhere. It was something new yet absolutely a classic. It was simultaneously modern and nostalgic.

Storm Building Over Mountain Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome II

The X-Pro1’s success allowed the Fuji-X line to continue, and all of the cameras that followed are thanks to the original model. If the X-Pro1 had flopped, Fujifilm would have exited stage left, and there would be no X-Pro3 or X-T4 or X-E4 or any other X-series camera today. I likely wouldn’t have purchased an X-E1 in 2016 and I definitely wouldn’t have bought an X100F in 2017, because the X100F wouldn’t exist. If not for the X100F, I wouldn’t have made Film Simulation Recipes, I wouldn’t have created the Fuji X Weekly App, and you wouldn’t know the joys of using these recipes. There are literally tens of thousands of photographers worldwide—from first-camera newbies to experienced professionals with recognizable names—who are capturing the world through the colors and tones of Film Simulation Recipes. If not for the X-Pro1, this would never have happened. If you shoot with Film Simulation Recipes, you can, in part, thank the X-Pro1 (or, more specifically, the team that made that camera a reality). Because of it, far more photographers are relying on camera-made JPEGs today than they otherwise would, which saves them time and makes their photographic process more enjoyable.

The X-Pro1 is an important camera in the photography continuum, but it is more than just a display piece. The X-Pro1, a decade after it was announced, is still a quality tool for capturing the world. It’s a camera I used in 2021, and it’s a camera I’ll continue to use in 2022, and likely the years to follow. My copy is a little worn, but, as long as it continues to work, I will still use it. I have many Fujifilm cameras, but I have a special place for the X-Pro1 both in my heart and in my camera bag. That’s a legacy worth noting!

What about you? Do you own a Fujifilm X-Pro1? What was your first Fujifilm camera? Which Fujifilm cameras do you currently own? Which Film Simulation Recipe is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Creative Collective 014: Using a Fujifilm X100V as a Disposable Film Camera

Well, this is going to sound crazy, but I turned my Fujifilm X100V into a disposable film camera. No, I didn’t disassemble my digital camera, rip out the sensor, and adapt a film spool. Instead, I configured my X100V to capture pictures that appear as though they were captured with a cheap throwaway film camera. Why? I’ve done crazier things before, including distressing a camera, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that I’d do this—perhaps it was just a matter of time.

The inspiration for this project has been building for awhile. I have a picture displayed on my dresser that’s over 20 years old—it’s my wife and I, captured sometime shortly after we got married. A friend took the picture with a disposable camera. I can tell that it was a Fujifilm QuickSnap camera by the color palette, which is clearly Fujicolor. The picture is special to me because it’s a very personal (and happy) moment that’s been frozen in time through photography. It’s nothing more than a snapshot captured on a cheap camera, and would be completely meaningless to almost anyone else. I have a box full of these type of pictures, mostly 4″ x 6″ prints. You might have a box like this, too—snapshots that are meaningful to you.

Bread Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm developed the QuickSnap camera, a “one-time-use” 35mm film camera, in the mid-1980’s (Kodak released its version, called FunSaver, a couple years later), and it was an instant hit. These “disposable” cameras were extremely popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They came preloaded with 27 frames (a 24-exposure roll of film, but you got three extra shots), and were point-and-shoot. You’d push the shutter-release and advance the film, but otherwise there typically weren’t any other controls, so anyone could use these cameras—no skill required. Once you exposed all of the frames, you’d take the camera to the 1-hour lab, where they removed the film for development and recycled the camera. 60 minutes later you’d have a packet of 4″ x 6″ prints.

Cheap digital point-and-shoots made a dent in disposable camera sales, but it was really the cellphone camera that rendered them obsolete; however, you might be surprised to learn that you can still buy disposable cameras today. Thanks to the Lomography movement and an increased interest in film photography, there’s enough of a market for these cameras to continue to exist in 2022. I briefly considered purchasing one, but instead of that, I decided to capture QuickSnap-like images on my Fujifilm X100V.

Now you know the why, so let’s get into the how.

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Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Old Kodak

No Trespassing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

I was inspired to create this film simulation recipe after viewing some old pictures captured on various Kodak films. These pictures reminded me of the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 film simulation recipes, but they weren’t exactly the same. I thought if I tweaked those recipes I could get closer to mimicking the aesthetic of the old Kodak pictures that I was looking at (which is why I call this recipe Old Kodak). If you like the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 recipes, you’ll really appreciate this one, too!

Old Kodak was a Patron Early-Access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly App, and App Patrons have had access to it for nine months; however, it’s been replaced by a different Early-Access recipe, so now it’s available to everyone! The best App experience is reserved for Patrons, and early-access to some new film simulation recipes is one of the Patron benefits. If you are a Patron, be sure to look for the new Early-Access recipe that replaced this one.

Wet Radio Flyer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

Because this recipe uses 0.5 adjustments to Highlight and Shadow, plus the Auto White Priority white balance, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X-Pro3 or X100V, if you set Highlight to +3, Shadow to -1, and white balance to Auto, it will be similar but not exactly the same (don’t be afraid to try it anyway). While the “typical exposure compensation” is between -1/3 and +1/3, in situations with strong highlights you might have to go -2/3 or even -1 on occasion to prevent the highlights from clipping.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3.5
Shadow: -0.5
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto White Priority, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Old Kodak” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Salt Lake Marsh Evening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Big Sky Over Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rural Red Barn – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Holland Deere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Open Gate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Wheel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rusty Bolts In A Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburban Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
The Joy of Writing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Gumby on a Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Pallets – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Kaysville Pond – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunset Light on Winter Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

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

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Creative Collective 013: How To Use 2 Cameras To Create Dreamy, Surreal Photos

Frozen Marsh & Bird Sanctuary – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujifilm X-Pro1

I figured out a simple technique for creating dreamy, surreal photographs using two cameras. It’s pretty simple, really, but it will require some specific tools. What you’ll achieve with this technique is something Lomo-looking—perhaps toy camera or even instant-film-like. If you are drawn to a soft, analog-esque aesthetic, this is something you’ll want to try!

Let’s dive in!

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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.

Acros+G
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

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

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How To Switch Between Custom Presets More Quickly On Your Fujifilm Camera

Did you know that there’s a faster way to switch between the C1-C7 Custom Presets on your Fujifilm camera?

The C1-C7 Custom Presets are a great place to store up to seven Film Simulation Recipes. Not all Fujifilm cameras have the ability to store Custom Presets, but most do, and they’re pretty easy to program, especially after you’ve done it a time or two. Once you have the Custom Presets programmed into the camera, for most models, you access them by selecting the Q-Button, which brings up the Q-Menu. In the Q-Menu you can scroll through the C1-C7 options using (usually) the Rear Command Dial. There’s some variance between models, so your camera might be different, and there’s more than one way to access Custom Presets, but this is likely how most of you do it.

If you have an X-Trans III or X-Trans IV camera, with a couple exceptions, there’s a faster way to switch between Custom Presets. This will work only if your model has the ability to assign “Select Custom Setting” to the Rear Command Dial. For those with a capable model, on you camera, select Menu and go to the Set-Up (Wrench) subset, select Button/Dial Setting, then Function (Fn) Setting, scroll down to R-Dial, and choose Select Custom Setting. That’s it! Now let’s try it out.

To switch between C1-C7 Custom Presets, simply push the Rear Command Dial to open a C1-C7 menu on your screen. Use the Rear Command Dial wheel, Joystick, or D-Pad to scroll through the options, and push the Rear Command Dial, Joystick, or the OK button to select the one you want. Because you can use the Rear Command Dial to open the menu, scroll through the options, and select the Custom Preset, you can do this very quickly with one finger while looking through the viewfinder. For some of you, this will noticeably improve your Fujifilm user experience!

Obviously if you use the Rear Command Dial for something else already, this might not be a good solution for you. And this won’t work on every Fujifilm camera. I have my X100V, X-T30, and X-H1 programmed this way, and I much prefer this method for switching between C1-C7 Custom Presets. I think some of you will, too.

If you do program your Fujifilm camera this way and find that it works better for you, let me know in the comments!

Fuji X Weekly: Top 21 Articles of 2021

It’s been a wild year—at least for me, and I imagine for many of you, too. As 2021 winds down and 2022 quickly approaches, I thought it would be fun to look back at the most-viewed articles of the year. Since it’s 2021, I decided to share the Top 21 articles. Below that, just for fun, you’ll find the most overlook (least viewed) articles of 2021.

Top 21 Articles of 2021

21. My Fujifilm X100V Cine Teal Film Simulation Recipe
20. My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe (PRO Neg. Std)
19. My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100 Film Simulation Recipe
18. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Color Negative 400
17. My Fujifilm “Classic Negative” Film Simulation Recipe (For X-Trans III)
16. Two Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipes: Kodachrome II
15. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Ektar 100
14. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Tri-X 400
13. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodachrome 1
12. My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe
11. My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe
10. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Portra 800
9. My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
8. My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
7. New Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation + X-Trans IV Nostalgic Negative Recipe!
6. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Portra 400 v2
5. My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
4. My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe
3. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation: Kodak Portra 400
2. My Fujifilm X100V Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe
1. How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera

You might notice that all but one of these Top 21 articles are Film Simulation Recipes, which is not a surprise to me. These recipes are why most people come to Fuji X Weekly, and what I’m best known for. You might also notice that recipes modeled after Kodak film stocks tend to be the most popular, which shouldn’t surprise anyone since Kodak was the top-dog in the film world for a century or so.

Top 21 Most Overlooked Articles of 2021:

21. How To Add “Light Leaks” To Your Photos Using Page Markers
20. Fuji X Weekly App: Filtering by Camera or Sensor?
19. The Journey Is The Destination, Part 2: Time to Eat
18. FXW App: Filter by White Balance — How To Use This New Feature
17. Fujifilm X100F Face-Eye Detection
16. Capturing Family Photos – Being Both Behind & In Front of The Camera
15. Defending Tatsuo Suzuki
14. Fujifilm X100F – Digital Teleconverter + High ISO
13. 200 Film Simulation Recipes on the FXW App!
12. Fujifilm X100F vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill
11. The Journey is the Destination, Part 3: Lodging Locations
10. Digital Is Disposable
9. Creative Uses of Multiple Exposure Photography
8. Fujifilm X-A3 & Soviet Lenses, Part 3: Industar 61
7. Fujifilm X100F & Bokeh
6. Comparing “Classic Negative” and “Color Negative” Film Simulation Recipes
5. Fujifilm X-A3 & Soviet Lenses, Part 2: Jupiter 21M
4. Camera Basics: Shutter Speed
3. How To Use The Fuji X Weekly App (Videos)
2. Fujifilm X RAW Studio
1. The Artist Photographer

Many of these are old articles from several years ago, and a few are from this year. If you don’t recognize a title, consider clicking the link to perhaps see something you missed.

I want to take a quick moment in closing to thank everyone who has visited this website, shared articles, commented, downloaded the App, watched SOOC, and were otherwise a part of the Fuji X Weekly community in some way or another. You all are who make this whole project great! I truly hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2022 will be a great year for you!

Why I Love The Rokinon 12mm F/2 Lens

This is the first “Why I Love…” article that features a third-party lens. The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS was the very first prime lens that I purchased for my Fujifilm X-E1 when I was just getting into the Fuji system (you can read my review of it here). It’s the oldest lens in my lineup (not including the many vintage lenses I’ve acquired…). Despite being the first, it’s one of my least-used lenses today. Five years ago I used this lens regularly. I had the Fujinon 18-55mm f2.8-f/4 and this Rokinon 12mm f/2, and I used them about equally. Once I got a few vintage primes, the zoom lens was utilized less frequently (I’m not a big fan of zooms, even though Fujifilm does have some excellent options), and I soon sold it off. Not too long later I sold my X-E1 to buy an X100F. Even though I didn’t have a camera to attach it to, I kept the Rokinon 12mm.

When I once again got a Fujifilm interchangeable-lens camera, I regularly attached the Rokinon lens to it. However, as time went on, I used the lens less-and-less. It has nothing to do with the quality of the glass, which is quite good, especially considering how inexpensive this lens is. The reason why I employ the Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens less frequently now is because of the focal-length. The 18mm-full-frame-equivalent focal-length of this lens is just a little too wide for my current tastes. Still, it’s sometimes nice to go ultra-wide, and I’m glad that I have this lens for those occasions.

The Rokinon 12mm f/2 can turn an ordinary scene into something extraordinarily! The lens is both challenging and rewarding. If you want more dramatic pictures, this lens is an excellent place to start—just shove the glass right into the scene! It’s also an excellent option for astrophotography. Why I love this Rokinon lens is because it increases the drama of the picture, and can be extremely rewarding to use. And even though I use it less now, I’ve certainly got my money’s worth out of it!

Interestingly, Rokinon recently released this lens but with autofocus.

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

Rokinon 12mm f/2 (manual) B&H Amazon
Rokinon 12mm f/2 (auto) B&H Amazon

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-E1*:

Barn by the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Urban Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Stars & Salt – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Inside The Savage Bus – Delle, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-T30 & X-T1:

Evening at Monument Valley – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Velvia
Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Portra 160
Flowing Farmington Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Gold 200
Lighthouse Lounge – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Eterna
Sidewalk Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Elite Chrome 200 Color Fade

*Note: the Fujifilm X-E1 pictures were captured before I began making Film Simulation Recipes.

So You Got A Fujifilm Camera For Christmas — Now What?

So you got a Fujifilm camera for Christmas—what a wonderful gift! You might be wondering, “Now what?” What things should you do or get? This article will hopefully provide a little clarity to these questions and more.

First, I always recommend reading the manual. They’re a little boring and overwhelming, so nobody wants to do that, but it’s important to know your gear inside and out, and the best place to begin is the user manual. Thankfully, Fujifilm has made their digital manuals easy to explore, so you can quickly and easily find the exact topic you’re searching for. I recommend spending a couple of hours reading the manual right after you’ve removed the camera from the box, and thereafter picking one topic to read each day for a month or more, just so you become very familiar with your new camera. If user manuals aren’t your thing, the alternative would be to go onto YouTube and search your camera with the words “setup guide” (or something similar) and you can watch someone explain it.

If you are new to photography, you should gain some basic knowledge. There are lots of articles and YouTube videos that explain the general principals of photography. A few years ago I published an article that you might find helpful (click here) on photography basics.

After that, you should download the Fuji X Weekly App onto your phone and/or tablet (click here for Android, and click here for iOS). The App is a library of over 200 Film Simulation Recipes (camera settings to achieve various looks straight-out-of-camera) for Fujifilm cameras. It’s free, and advanced features can be unlocked by becoming a Patron. This article (click here) briefly explains how to program these “recipes” into your camera. Also, the SOOC video series is an excellent resource that you should explore.

At this point you are ready to have lots and lots of fun with your new camera! But you still might have some questions, such as what accessories to buy next. I’ll answer that below, although it will depend on the exact model you have. Also, if you’re interested, read about my “ultimate” travel kit (click here).

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

If your new Fujifilm camera is an X100V—or perhaps an older X100 model—there are a few accessories you should consider. You might not want or need them all, but you should look into these and determine what (if any) will be beneficial to you. Below is a list of recommended X100V accessories:

Fujifilm NP-126S Battery (you’ll want at least one spare)
SD Memory Card (I prefer to not skimp on quality)
Case, Neck Strap, or Wrist Strap (the strap Fujifilm provides is ok, but you’ll probably want something different)
Adapter Ring and Hood (so you can use filters and weather-seal the camera)
UV, Polarizer, Black Pro Mist, and/or CineBloom filters (you’ll want at least one)
Tele-Conversion Lens and/or Wide-Conversion Lens (to add versatility)
Tripod
Camera Bag

Fujifilm X-Pro3, X-T3, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30, or X-T30 II

If your new Fujifilm camera is an interchangeable-lens model—X-Pro3, X-T3, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30, X-T30 II or an older model—there are a few accessories you should consider. You might not want or need them all, but you should look into these and determine what (if any) will be beneficial to you. Below is a list of recommended Fujifilm interchangeable-lens-camera accessories:

Fujifilm NP-126S Battery or Fujifilm NP-235 Battery for X-T4 (you’ll want at least one spare)
SD Memory Card (I prefer to not skimp on quality)
Neck Strap or Wrist Strap (the strap Fujifilm provides is ok, but you’ll probably want something different)
Zoom Lens: 18-55mm, 16-55mm, 16-80mm, 10-24mm, 18-135mm, 50-140mm, or 55-200mm (consider upgrading the kit zoom)
Prime Lens: 18mm, 23mm, 35mm, 50mm, or 90mm (you’ll want at least one prime lens)
Flash
Tripod
Camera Bag

Obviously, you don’t need everything in these lists (and there are alternatives). Often less is more, so don’t worry about having everything, because photographic vision is much more important than photographic gear. You have a camera and a lens, and that’s really all that you need to capture great photographs, but it is nice to add a few tools to the toolbox. In this case, those “tools” might be gear, but they might be skills, so a book like The Art of Photography might be a worthwhile investment, as well as experiences (going places with your camera). As you gain more skills and experiences, you’ll have more clarity on what gear you actually need to better achieve your vision.

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor NPH

Winter Evergreens – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor NPH”

This film simulation recipe is called “Fujicolor NPH” because it is inspired by that film. Actually, I was attempting a Fujicolor Pro 400H recipe. I had a couple already: Fujicolor Pro 400H for X-Trans III and Fujicolor Pro 400H Overexposed for X-Trans IV. This was originally an Early-Access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly App, and App Patrons have had access to it for nearly a year; however, it’s been replaced by a different Early-Access recipe, so now it’s available to everyone! Since the time that I originally published this, I’ve made a new Fujicolor Pro 400H recipe that I’m quite happy with. This recipe is similar to Pro 400H film, but it’s actually closer to Fujicolor NPH 400, which was the predecessor to Pro 400H. Those two emulsions were similar, with only small differences, but in my opinion this recipe is closer to NPH 400, so that’s why I named it after that film.

Because this film simulation recipe requires Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, it’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. I believe those who own a newer GFX camera, such as the GFX 100S and GFX 50S II, can use it, too, although results will be slightly different. If you don’t want to use Clarity because it slows down the camera, you could alternatively use a diffusion filter (such as 1/8 Black Pro Mist or 5% CineBloom) instead.

Cold Wetlands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor NPH”

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: -1
Shadow: 0
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5250K, -3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Fujicolor NPH film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujifilm X100V cameras:

Weber River in Winter – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Honey Salmon – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Cold Tires – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sprinkler – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Frozen Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
760 Sign – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Blue Sky Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Pepsi Machine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Stepping Into the Night Circle – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find this film simulation recipe and 200 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!

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How to Know Which Film Simulation Recipe to Use?

Tunnel Silhouette – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S – “Classic Negative Industrial

I posted last week that the Fuji X Weekly App contains 200 film simulation recipes for Fujifilm cameras! A question that I frequently get asked is, “How do I know which film simulation recipe to use in a specific situation?”

If you crossed out the words “simulation recipe” from that question, you’d have a very common inquiry from the film era. Back then, at any given time, there were just as many (if not more) film choices as there are film simulation recipe choices today—especially at the height of film in the late-1990’s and early-2000’s. Over the years there have been hundreds and hundreds of emulsions, maybe over a thousand. How does one know which film to use?

It’s a little easier today because there are far fewer film choices (but there’s still a lot!). Do you want color or black-and-white? That’s where I always started. What’s the lighting going to be? That helps decide the ISO that will be needed. Also, if color, will I need daylight or tungsten balanced? What filters might I need? Those are important factors to consider. Do I want low contrast or high (although how I shoot and develop factors significantly into this)? If color, low saturation or high? These questions and more, which are asked before the camera is even loaded, helps determine the film choice.

Grandmother & Grandson – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100

The two biggest factors, however, for my film choice decision were usually these: availability and experience. While there were hundreds to choose from, I might only have five or six different emulsions in the refrigerator at any given time. If I was going to buy some film before heading out or in preparation for it, I would be limited by the availability of the store, and that might be 10 emulsions or 100, depending on the place. A lot of times it would come down to what I’d used in the past and had success with. After awhile you figure out which options work for you. I liked to try different films just to see what I might get, but I often found myself returning to the ones that I really liked, which explains those five or six in the fridge.

With film simulation recipes, some of the same factors that determined which film to use can also help to determine which recipe to use. Color or black-and-white? Daylight or tungsten? High contrast or low contrast? High saturation or low saturation? A big difference is that you are not limited to “the stock in your fridge” or what a store might carry. And maybe you don’t have a lot of experience with them to know which recipes might work well in a specific scenario. The more experience you get, the more you’ll know, but that takes time, perhaps years, of using different recipes in various situations.

My hope in the coming year is to do a lot more to help with this. I want to make it easier for people to determine which recipes might be good options in whichever photographic situations that they find themselves in. This, of course, is a pretty monumental challenge, not only because there are so many recipes (and always more in the works!), but because there are more potential photographic situations than there are recipes. This is something that books could be written about. Even so, I will do my best with this project, because I want it to be easier for you to determine which recipes to use when.

Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Acros

That’s great for the future, but what about now? What resources are available today to determine which recipe to program into your Fujifilm camera for whatever it is that you’re about to shoot?

The Fuji X Weekly App is a good starting point. If you are not already, become an App Patron so that you can unlock the ability to filter. Select your camera or sensor, then choose color or black-and-white, or a specific film simulation if you know that you want an aesthetic a certain film simulation produces. You can also filter by White Balance, which can potentially be helpful if you have an idea of the lighting conditions you’ll encounter, or Dynamic Range, which can potentially be helpful if you know how harsh the light will be. These tools help to determine which recipe to use by filtering out the ones that might not be good options.

Otherwise, my Film Simulation Reviews page and the SOOC video series are two other resources that might be helpful. Film Simulation Reviews are articles that show specific recipes in specific situations, so if you find yourself in a similar situation you can know how that recipe will do (whether good or bad). It’s not nearly as robust of a library as I’d like it to be, but it might be helpful nonetheless. In the SOOC videos, not only is a specific recipe discussed and used, but, in the “Special Occasions” segment, recipes for specific scenarios are suggested. Be sure to visit YouTube.com/c/FujiXWeekly to find those videos.

Flying Seagull – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Velvia v2

Of course, the sample pictures within the recipes are intended to give you a clue if it might be a good choice or not. I can’t provide sample pictures captured in every photographic genre and every lighting condition, but I try to provide a good mix to help you know whether it might work well for you or not. If you haven’t spent much time viewing the sample images, it might be worth your time to look longer at them. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, when you encounter a recipe that you think might work for you based on the sample pictures, use one of the Star colors to mark it, so that you can revisit it whenever you’re ready to program a recipe into your camera.

Much like with film, perhaps the best way to know whether a recipe will work well for your specific photographic situation is with experience. If you try it and it does well, now you know. And if it doesn’t, now you know. Program seven recipes into your C1-C7 Custom Presets, and see how they do. You can use the colored Stars in the App to help you keep track of which ones you especially like (maybe use green stars) and which ones you especially don’t (perhaps use red stars). After that, try another seven recipes.

I wish that I had a more helpful response to, “How do I know which film simulation recipe to use in a specific situation?” There are as many potential photographic situations as there are film simulation recipes to choose from, and it’s not always easy to determine which ones are best for what. The Fuji X Weekly App has some great tools that can help, and there are other resources, too, but the best answer is that it takes experience, which you’ll get as you try them out in various scenarios. The more you shoot with them, the more you’ll know which ones are good options for whatever situation you’re in. In the coming year I want to do more to help with this, so that there’s a little less trial-and-error involved on your part, and those with little or no experience don’t have quite as steep of a learning curve to climb. I have a long ways to go, but I am determined to make this website a better resource for those trying to figure out which recipes to program into their Fujifilm camera.

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

Coming Soon: The Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective

Soon you’re going to see more content published on the Fuji X Weekly blog. I usually post between 15 and 25 articles each month, but soon there’ll be even more than that. Shortly I’ll be typing with increased fervor!

As you might know, I’m not sponsored by anyone. Fujifilm doesn’t sponsor this website, nor does B&H, KEH, or anybody else. I don’t get paid for the content that I publish, other than a little ad revenue, which isn’t much and barely covers the expenses of web hosting and such. Going forward I’m taking a different approach, which I hope makes sense to you.

Very soon I will be launching the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective. The Creative Collective is a bonus-content subscription, where you’ll have access to extra articles. What kind of content will be a part of the Creative Collective? These articles will largely be exercises in creativity. They’ll be experiments, focused on trying new things, and they’ll be invitations for you to do it, too. We will dive deeper into settings and techniques. We’ll go down some rabbit holes just to see where they go. This will be a journey, and it will be interesting to see what we discover together. Whether you are an experienced Fujifilm shooter or brand-new to photography, there will be something for everyone. If you want to adventure with me on this, the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective will be only $2 (USD) per month.

I’m going to continue to publish 15 to 25 posts each month, which will be available free to everyone—this includes film simulation recipes, and much of the other content that you expect to find here. The additional articles will be for Creative Collective subscribers only as bonus content. If you don’t subscribe, not much changes for you. If you do subscribe, there’s going to be even more Fuji X Weekly articles for you to enjoy. Additional details coming soon, so stay tuned!

Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Muted Color

Evening Hoop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Muted Color”

A Fuji X Weekly reader asked me to mimic the look of some photographs that he shared with me. These were digital pictures that had been edited with software, but he was hoping to achieve this look straight-out-of-camera, if at all possible. It turns out that it is possible (although I only had three images to study, so I’m not completely certain this is an exact match, but I believe it is pretty close); however, it requires the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation, which, unfortunately, his camera does not have. If your camera does have Eterna Bleach Bypass, than you are fortunate because you can use this very interesting recipe!

What film does this recipe most closely mimic? The most similar film might be the (now discontinued) Konica Impresa 50, although it is certainly not an exact match. There are also some similarities to Portra that’s had the bleach skipped, although I wouldn’t say that this is an exact match for that, either. I don’t think this film simulation recipe is a faithful facsimile of any film, yet it produces a nice analog aesthetic anyway. It has strong contrast and very muted colors—almost monochrome. In a way, it’s the closest thing to black-and-white in color photography.

First Light on the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Muted Color”

This recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-E4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have one of those cameras, I invite you to give this recipe a try! I know that it will be an instant favorite for some of you.

Eterna Bleach Bypass
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -0.5
Shadow: +1
Color: -4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Muted Color” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Girl in Beanie – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Just Hangin’ Around – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
At the Schoolyard – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Monkey Bars – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Neighborhood Fire Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass & Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Berry Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pink Rose – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Single Rose – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Leaf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cross – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Mountain Trees in Autumn – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Autumn Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Fernwood Trail – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunlit Fall Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
October Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Leaf Canopy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sky Riders – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

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!

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Film Simulation Recipe Cards

There are almost 100 different film simulation recipes on Fuji X Weekly! One problem with having so many different recipes to choose from is that your Fujifilm camera can only save seven custom presets at a time. If there’s more than seven recipes that you regularly use, it can be inconvenient to keep track of your favorites, especially if you’re out-and-about photographing. One person’s solution is a recipe journal that’s kept in the camera bag for easy reference. A few people have created PDFs that can be accessed from a phone. But my favorite answer is this: Film Simulation Recipe Cards!

Fuji X Weekly reader Oleksii Prytuhin created credit-card-sized cards with his favorite film simulation recipes printed on them. They can be kept in a wallet for quick and easy reference. I love this! He printed them 86x54mm on thick paper with matte lamination. Really, I wish I had a box of Film Simulation Recipe Cards for every recipe, and I could pass them out to people who ask about my camera settings. Kind of like business cards. It’s such a neat idea!

The film simulation recipes that Oleksii created cards for are: Vintage Kodachrome (listed as Kodachrome 64, which is what the recipe is an early version of), Kodachrome II, Portra 400, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford Delta Push Process, Fujicolor Superia 800, Acros, CineStill 800T, Agfa Scala, Agfa Optima, Eterna, and Cine Teal. These are recipes that can be used on X-Trans III & X-Trans IV cameras. If you use any of these, there’s a Film Simulation Recipe Card for you!

Oleksii gave me permission to share the PDF with you. If you’re interested in printing these cards for yourself, click the download button below (which will open up the file and you can download it), and print them! I want to give Oleksii a big “thank you” for creating these and sharing them. I appreciate it! If you download and print the cards, let me know in the comments. Or, if you simply think this is a great idea, leave a little feedback. Thanks!

Update:
Oleksii sent me the film simulation recipe cards as JPEGs, to make it easier for those who want to add them to their phone. You can download a Word document that contains the JPEGs below. If you want to print them, the file above is what you want. If you just want to view them without printing, the file below might be better. Thanks, Oleksii!

Part 2