My Fujifilm X-T30 Jeff Davenport Night Recipe

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Reflected Red – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Jeff Davenport Night”

I was asked to create a film simulation recipe that mimics the aesthetics of photographer Jeff Davenport. Interestingly enough, Jeff uses Fujifilm cameras (X100F and X-H1). He shoots RAW and has his own post-processing workflow that allows him to create the specific looks that he wants. He has a few different styles, depending on what (and what time) he’s shooting. Jeff has several different photographic series, and each has its own look. My attempt here was to create something in-camera that produces results similar to his night pictures.

This recipe, which I call Jeff Davenport Night, isn’t an exact match to Jeff’s look, but it’s pretty close. His blue tends to lean slightly more towards green, but if I replicate that it throws everything else off. Orange in his pictures tend to turn red, which is something I can’t replicate. I think a lot of how a picture looks (both in Jeff’s case and with these settings) depends on the light in the scene. Results can vary greatly. Jeff might possibly use flash with colored gels, as well (something you could try if you wanted). Anyway, despite not being exact, this recipe is pretty close to recreating his look in-camera on my Fujifilm X-T30.

If you want a recipe that is good for night photography, this is one you should consider, along with my CineStill 800T recipe, because of the Kelvin temperature of the white balance, which goes well with artificial light. You don’t have to use it exclusively after dark, as results can be interesting sometimes when used in daylight. It’s fun to experiment with! For night photography, this will be one of your best options.

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Pleiku – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Jeff Davenport Night”

When I attached my camera to a tripod, I used ISO 1600 or lower. When I did hand-held photography, I used up to ISO 6400. I think if you can take your time and use a tripod, it’s good to use a lower ISO, but you can still get good results with higher ISOs. Because of the use of the Color Chrome Effect, this recipe is intended for X-Trans IV cameras, but feel free to try it on your X-Trans III camera; it will look very similar, but not exactly the same.

PRO Neg. Hi
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +0
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: 2650K, -1 Red & +4 Blue

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Jeff Davenport Night” recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Button – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Unlucky 13 Take Out – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Street – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Buildings – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Lights – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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So Much Bicycling – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Closed Red Umbrellas – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Parked Car at Night – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Night Hotel – Farmington, UT -Fujifilm X-T30

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Caution Poles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dumpster 204 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lights Beyond The Rooftop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Nighttime Neighborhood – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Francis Peak at Night – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Reach for the Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Illuminated Houses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wind Sock – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Thanks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Earn Points – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Refining – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Night Walking – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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McKay – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Flag & Window – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Illuminated Blue – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Multi-Color Triangle – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Center Street Lamp – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Don’t – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wet Glass Bokeh – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Fujifilm X-T1 Agfa Optima (Provia) Film Simulation Recipe


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Reeds & Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 “Agfa Optima”

The film simulation recipe in this article is my Agfa Optima recipe, which is compatible with X-Trans III & IV cameras, converted for use on my Fujifilm X-T1. While the X-T1 is an X-Trans II camera, you can also use this recipe on X-Trans I and Bayer sensor cameras. Agfa Optima is a color negative film that was around from the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: -1 (Medium-Low)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight, -3 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Agfa Optima recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Eggs in a Bowl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Take a Picture Pronto – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Fruity Cereal – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Stealth Mode – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

 

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Suburban Alleyway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Windows & Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pine Tree & Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Green & Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rural Metal Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Marshland Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Classic Slide Film Simulation Recipe


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Winter Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Slide”

A lot of my film simulation recipes lean towards a warm cast. In the film days, many different films, especially those by Kodak, tended to lean warm. I often used a warming filter for my landscape photography, which made an even more pronounced color cast. This was all very common and normal. But not all films were balanced that way, not even all of Kodak’s. Since films have a specific Kelvin temperature (often “daylight balanced”), the light conditions could create a cool cast even on a warm-toned film. I decided that I needed another film simulation option with a cool color cast, because film isn’t always warm, and sometimes the scene demands something that’s cool.

I call this film simulation recipe “Classic Slide” because it has a slide-film aesthetic, in my opinion. I didn’t go about trying to mimic the look of any specific film. I think it’s in the neighborhood of Ektachrome 100G, or Elite Chrome 100, or Provia 100F and 400X, although it’s not an exact match to any of those films. It’s probably a bit closer to Provia than Ektachrome. It has a general color reversal film look, without matching any one in particular.

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Indoor Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Slide”

To create this film simulation recipe I began with my Kodachrome 64 recipe. You might notice many similarities. In fact, the white balance shift is the biggest change. I adjusted Sharpness down one notch just because Kodachrome was known as a “sharp” film, and this isn’t Kodachrome, but, in reality, the difference between +1 and +2 is tiny. I also set Color Chrome Effect to Off, which makes it completely compatible with all X-Trans III & IV cameras.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: 0
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Daylight, -2 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Classic Slide film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Yellow Couch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Chair & Blue Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Green Leaves Indoors – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dresser Decor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Laying in the Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blinded by the Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Duck out of Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Crossing Flags – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Remaining Relic in Disrepair II – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Francis Peak in Evening Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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12 New Film Simulation Recipes in 2020, And Counting…

So far this year I have published 12 new film simulation recipes: six for “newer” Fujifilm cameras, such as my X-T30, and six for “older” models, such as my X-T1. Actually, one article contained three different recipes, so technically we’re up to 14. Yet there will be more! I have several ideas and aesthetics that I am working on. 2020 might be the biggest year yet for film simulation recipes!

One of these days I hope to have the new Classic Negative and Bleach Bypass film simulations available to use. I think both, but especially Classic Negative, have the potential to be great starting points for new recipes. I’m not “upgrading” my camera right now, though, as there’s not really a need to, so unfortunately that will have to wait until Fujifilm makes those available to the X-T30 via firmware updates (which may or may not happen), or I buy a new model sometime down the road (it won’t be soon).

Which of the recipes below are your favorites? Are you using any of them right now? Is there one that you haven’t yet used but are planning to soon? Even though I have five listed under “X-Trans IV” you can still use them with X-Trans III cameras. You just don’t have Color Chrome Effect, which doesn’t make a big difference, so the results will be quite similar.

X-Trans IV

Analog Color

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Cut Strawberries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Vintage Color Fade

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Young Boy with an Old Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Bleach Bypass

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Instamatic Mourning – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Dramatic Monochrome

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Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Split-Toned B&W

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Vintage Bolsey Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

X-Trans III & IV

Fujicolor Pro 400H Overexposed

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I Will Always Love You – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

X-Trans II

Kodachrome 64

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Suburban Silver Lining – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Kodachrome II

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The Wetlands of Farmington Bay – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Kodacolor

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Man In Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Classic Chrome

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Praying the Order is Right – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

X-Trans I & II

Ektachrome 100SW

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Windows & Reflections – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Velvia

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Pink Penguin – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Monochrome

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Rebuilt 24 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Faded Monochrome

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Thought – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color Film Simulation Recipe


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Pentax – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

Sometimes accidents are happy, such as with this film simulation recipe, which I call Analog Color. I was attempting to make a recipe that mimics the looks of Kodak Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, but I was unsuccessful (at least for now); however, in the process I accidentally created this one. It was a mistake, but I liked how it looked, so I shot a bunch of pictures with it. This recipe reminds me of Fujicolor C200 or Agfa Vista 200, or perhaps even Kodak Gold 200. It’s in the neighborhood of ColorPlus 200, as well. But, it doesn’t exactly resemble any of those films perfectly. What I appreciate about this Analog Color film simulation is that it has a film-like quality to it, with a real color negative aesthetic, even if it’s not an exact match to any film that I’m aware of.

How this film simulation recipe looks depends on the light. This is true of all the recipes that don’t use auto white balance, but it seems especially so with this particular recipe. It can have a warm cast sometimes and cool cast other times, or even occasionally both a cool and warm cast within the same image. Perhaps this is one of the things that make it appear film-like. I do think that there’s something special about this recipe.

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Route Running – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

I like Color set to -1, but feel free to play around with that. If you want something more saturated, increase Color to 0 or +1. If you don’t like grain, set it to Weak or off. If you like lots of grain, keep the ISO high, perhaps no lower than ISO 1600. I think that this recipe will pair well with vintage lenses, and that’s something else you can experiment with.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +0
Color: -1
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Strong
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 1
White Balance: Daylight, -3 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color film simulation recipe:

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Red Window – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cut Strawberries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joshua Smiling – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl in a Blue Sweater – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Living Room Bass Pro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backlit Jon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent on a Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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46 Minutes to Ogden – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Seats – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Bags We Carry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Storage – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rain God Mesa – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree In The Dirt – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley Afternoon – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley After Sunset – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Comparing Film Simulation Recipes


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I shoot JPEGs, but it’s not uncommon for me to shoot RAW+JPEG, since it gives me the opportunity to reprocess the picture in-camera, which is helpful when developing different film simulation recipes. Because of this, I was able to process a single picture I captured recently on my Fujifilm X-T30 using many of my different recipes to compare the differences. I thought that this might be helpful to some of you. Perhaps there’s one recipe that stands out to you in the pictures below that you’ve never used. Obviously different settings look better in different situations, and in this article there’s just one picture to compare, so even though you might not like how one recipe looks in this article doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like it with different subject and in a different light. The scope of this article is quite limited, but I hope that seeing the various film simulation recipes applied to a single exposure is helpful to someone.

Not every recipe was used for this post. Some of them require a specific parameter that was not available. For example, the picture at the top was made using my HP5 Plus Push-Process recipe, which requires an ultra-high ISO, so it wasn’t possible to apply it to the exposure below. Other recipes, such as my faded color and faded monochrome, require double exposures. There are other film simulation recipes that you could try not represented below, and I invite you to investigate the different options to see if there’s one or more that work well for your photography. Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe is your favorite and which in your opinion fits the exposure below best.

Color

B&W

My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe


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Summit Merc – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but if you like my Kodachrome II or Portra 400 recipes, which are both very popular, you’ll likely also appreciate this one. It’s in the same neighborhood as those, producing a classic Kodak analog aesthetic. I think many of you will like this film simulation recipe.

Last week I was contacted by a Fuji X Weekly reader who wanted help creating an in-camera look that was similar to the pictures from this other photographer. It didn’t take me long to realize that the photographer in question was using a digital camera (Nikon D750) and applying a plugin preset (most likely VSCO) to achieve the desired look. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the preset is supposed to resemble Kodak Portra 400, although probably one of the alternative versions and not the straight Portra 400 preset. Anytime that I get one of these requests I always make an attempt to create it, although oftentimes my efforts are not successful and no recipe is made. This time, my first stab at it was pretty close, and a little refining made it even closer. I was able to quickly create a film simulation recipe that produces similar results in-camera to what that other photographer is getting with software.

The reason that I named this recipe Kodacolor and not Portra is that, to me, it looks more like Kodacolor VR than Portra, although the aesthetics of these two films are quite similar. Portra is the better film with improved grain, more tolerance to under and over exposure, and slightly more accurate skin tones, but overall the films produce very similar looks. Kodak originally developed Kodacolor VR film in the early 1980’s for their Disc cameras, which used a film cartridge resembling a computer floppy disc (or the “save icon”), allowing the camera to be small and easy to use. It made tiny exposures on the disc of film, and the film prior to Kodacolor VR, which was called Kodacolor II, was too grainy and not sharp enough for the small exposure to produce good results. Kodak’s solution was to create a sharper film with finer grain, which they originally named Kodacolor HR, and quickly renamed Kodacolor VR after making a small improvement. Kodacolor VR was available in ISO 100, 200, 400 and 1000 film speeds. This film simulation recipe most closely resembles Kodacolor VR 200, in my opinion. Kodacolor VR was replaced by Kodacolor VR-G in the mid 1980’s, which was later renamed Kodak Gold. Kodacolor VR was technically discontinued in 1986, but the ISO 200 version was renamed Kodacolor 200 and later ColorPlus 200, which is surprisingly still available today.

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Kodak Flying Disc – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

One characteristic of Kodacolor VR is that it’s not particularly tolerant to underexposure (for color negative film), so a common technique was to overexpose the film (to prevent accidental underexposure). The side-effect of this, which is a common side-effect of most Kodak color negative films, but it’s especially pronounced on this particular film, is cyan sky. Blues tend to become an unnatural lighter color. That’s what this film simulation recipe looks like: Kodacolor VR 200 that’s been overexposed. It’s also a close proximity to Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, although it’s not quite as strong of a match for that as Kodacolor VR.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 6300K, -1 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to + 1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Kodacolor film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Echo Canyon Morning – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Morning Light In Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Tree On The Rocky Ledge – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Western Cliff – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Rock Bowl – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Mesa – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Witches – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Trees Dotting The Rock – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Sky Rocks – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Weber River Thistle Blooms – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Yucca Blossoms – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sky Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sycamore Seeds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Green Cottonwood Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Cottonwood Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Vintage Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Hole – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Clouds Behind The Green Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Blue & Green – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Big Cloud Behind The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Grey Sky Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Car Wash – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Burger Umbrellas – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Renew or Replace – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Curve – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Corner – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Moore Motor – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Better Days Behind – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Building For Sale – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Brick Angles – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Suburban Garage – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas Cafe – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Neighborhood Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Joy of Driving Rain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Man of Steel – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30  – Kodacolor

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Bicycle Back Tire – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Chaos Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Hat On A Bed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Couch Pillows – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wall Curtain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Intelligence Game – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Trouble With Age – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Ketchup – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Orange – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Playing With Fire – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Mastrena – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Be The Light – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Adidas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Balloon Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Standing In The Water Balloon Pool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Water Balloon Fight – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Recording Summer Fun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Johanna – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Canyon Morning Freight – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Freight Train At Echo – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Eastbound Freight Through Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

See also:
Kodacolor, Part 2
Kodacolor for X-Trans II

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome – A Film Simulation Showdown

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I have two very similar film simulation recipes that both produce results quite close to their namesake slide films: Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW. Even though the settings are nearly the same, the looks that they produce are quite different. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the old “Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome” debate from the days of film. There were people who preferred one over the other for various reasons. Kodachrome was more iconic. Ektachrome had more variations. Despite the fact that they were both color transparencies made by the same company, I could probably write a long article about the differences between the two films, but this blog is about Fujifilm X cameras and not Kodak film stocks.

What I wanted to do here is compare the two film simulation recipes side by side. I will show them both, and you can decide which is best for you. It’s kind of a revival of the old debate, but with a modern twist. Kodachrome or Ektachrome? You get to decide which is the better film simulation recipe!

Take a look at the pictures below:

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Welcome to Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Winter Mountain – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Desert Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Kodachrome II”

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Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Kodachrome II”

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View From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

What I like about the Kodachrome II recipe is that it produces a vintage color look that reminds me of the images found on the pages of old magazines, such as National Geographic and Arizona Highways. As I look through my grandparent’s old slide collection (which I have at home), I can see this look in their old photographs from 50 or so years ago. It’s such a fantastic recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, and I just love it!

What I like about the Ektachrome 100SW recipe is that it produces a color look that reminds me of some images that I have captured with the actual film. The film was good for western landscapes or any situation where you needed some color saturation with a warm color cast. It wasn’t around for very long because it was only marginally commercially successful, but it was one of the better variations of Ektachrome film in my opinion.

What do you think, Kodachrome or Ektachrome? Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe you like best!

When Does ISO Matter?

Modern cameras have amazing high-ISO capabilities. Back in the days of film, ISO 400 was considered high-ISO by many (including Fujifilm, who designated all their ISO 400 films with the letter “H” for high-speed), and ISO 1600 was ultra-high-ISO, used only out of absolute necessity or by the brave who wanted a certain gritty look. Nowadays some photographers don’t even think of ISO 1600 as a high-ISO setting, and don’t think twice about using it. For many, high-ISO doesn’t really begin until ISO 3200, and ultra-high-ISO doesn’t begin until you go above ISO 6400. It’s really unbelievable!

The real question is this: when does ISO matter? Since modern cameras make such good-looking images at incredibly high sensitivities, when should you start considering image quality degradation? When is a certain ISO setting too high? That’s what I want to answer.

Of course, since this is the Fuji X Weekly blog, I’m discussing Fujifilm X cameras, specifically X-Trans III. This won’t apply 100% to other cameras, but it’s still relevant to some degree no matter the camera make and model. If you are reading this with another camera in mind, take everything said here with a small grain of salt.

I did a little experiment just to better understand all of this ISO stuff. I already knew the answer from experience even before beginning the experiment, but I wanted to see if my instincts matched reality. I captured a few sets of identical pictures, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs from a Fujifilm X-T20, using ISO 400 and ISO 6400. I made sure that all of the settings were the same between the identical pictures except for ISO and shutter speed. This isn’t 100% scientific, but it’s a controlled-enough test to draw some conclusions about ISO capabilities.

Here are the original pictures:

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400 – my Velvia recipe

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ISO 6400

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ISO 6400

There’s not a lot that can be learned by looking at the above images, other than when viewing images on the web the ISO doesn’t matter whatsoever because it’s incredibly difficult to spot the differences even when comparing side-by-side. In real life nobody does side-by-side comparisons, that’s pretty much an internet-only thing, so it would be impossible to tell if a picture was captured using a low-ISO or high-ISO just by looking at it on your screen. We need to look much closer to really gain anything from this test. Below are some crops from the above images.

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

If you study the color crops carefully, you’ll notice that the ISO 400 images are cleaner, sharper and have just a hair more dynamic range, but the differences are quite small and subtle. You really have to look carefully to find them. With the black-and-white image, the differences are even less obvious, and I actually prefer the ISO 6400 version, as it seems to have a more film-like quality. Looking at the crops clarifies things a little, but what kind of conclusions can we really draw?

My opinion with regards to color photography and ISO is this: if I’m printing smaller than 16″ x 24″ or displaying the pictures on the web, I don’t find any practical difference between base ISO and ISO 6400. Even ISO 12800 can be acceptable, especially if I’m not going to print the picture. If I’m going to print 16″ x 24″ or larger, a lower ISO is better, preferably less than ISO 3200, but it’s not a big deal to use up to ISO 6400. The ISO that I select does not make a huge difference to the outcome of the image, so I don’t worry a whole lot about it. Put more simply, if I print large, it’s preferable but not critical that I use a lower ISO, and if I don’t print large it doesn’t matter at all.

My opinion with regards to black-and-white photography and ISO is this: the ISO doesn’t matter much at all no matter how large I’m printing, and I often prefer (just by a little) high-ISO over low-ISO because it looks more analog. I freely use without hesitation any ISO up to 12800. Thanks to the Acros film simulation, Fujifilm X cameras are some of the best monochrome cameras on the market, and with that film simulation, often times the higher the ISO the better.

These are, of course, my opinions, and not everyone is going to agree with them, and that’s perfectly alright. Find what works for you. Use a higher ISO or lower ISO if that’s what you need for your pictures, because, after all, they’re your pictures. I’m not here to judge your camera setting choices, only to offer mine, which I’m hoping is helpful to some of you. I hope that this article makes sense and clarifies some things regarding high-ISO on Fujifilm X cameras.

Below is a video that I made on this topic:

Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation Recipes

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

Acros is one of the most popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. It looks incredibly similar to the black-and-white film that it was named after. In fact, in my opinion, it produces the most film-like results of any settings on any camera! It’s easy to see the draw to the analog-esque results produced by the Acros film simulation.

I love Acros and I have used it as the base for a bunch of different film simulation recipes. It’s possible to achieve a number of different interesting looks straight out of camera by adjusting the settings. I plan to create even more film simulation recipes using Acros in the coming months. As I do, I will add them to this article.

Below you will find all of my different film simulation recipes that I have created that use Acros. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorite is Tri-X Push-Process, but they each have their own usefulness and charm. Let me know in the comments which recipe you like most!

Even though the different recipes say X100F and X-Pro2, they are completely compatible with any Fujifilm X-Trans III or IV camera. For example, you don’t have to use the X100F recipes exclusively on the X100F. You can use any of my recipes on any X-Trans III camera.

Original Acros

Acros Push-Process

Agfa Scala

Ilford HP5 Plus

Tri-X Push Process