Classic Negative is one of my favorite film simulations, if not my favorite. There’s something special and unique about it that separates it from the other film simulations. It produces a very Superia film-like look, but can be made to have all sorts of different aesthetics. I thought it would be fun to compare the different film simulation recipes that use Classic Negative. I did this experiment a couple of months ago (I meant to post it back then), so some of the most recent Classic Negative recipes didn’t make this list, including Fujicolor C200, Fujicolor Pro 400H, Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled, and Positive Film. And more Classic Negative recipes are in the works right now!
My hope is that one of the pictures below will inspire you to try a recipe that you haven’t yet tried. Maybe one of them stands out to you as more interesting than the rest. If so, let me know! Also, be sure to let me know in the comments which Classic Negative recipe is your favorite!
Here’s a unique idea that was suggested to me: apply different film simulations to different recipes, just to see what you get. Actually, that’s how My Ektachrome 100SW recipe came to be: a Fuji X Weekly reader took my Kodachrome II recipe and replaced Classic Chrome with Velvia. I’m going to make a series out of this, which I’m calling With Other Film Simulations, and maybe something interesting will come out of it.
I’ll start with the Fujifilm X100VKodachrome 64 film simulation recipe. The original picture (at the top of this post), which you might recognize from my Rover Mini YouTube video, was made using Classic Chrome, the film simulation that the Kodachrome 64 recipe requires. The idea here is to keep every setting the same except for the film simulation. In case you don’t remember, the settings are:
Dynamic Range: DR200 Highlight: 0 Shadow: 0 Color: +2 Noise Reduction: -4 Sharpening: +1 Clarity: +3 Grain Effect: Weak, Small Color Chrome Effect: Strong Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak White Balance: Daylight, +2 Red & -5 Blue
Let’s look at the pictures:
The color images are surprisingly similar. Velvia stands out for being the most vibrant. PRO Neg. Std stands out for having the lowest contrast. Classic Negative stands out for its color shift. The original version, which uses Classic Chrome, is still my favorite, but it is interesting to see how the other film simulations affect the picture. The Monochrome film simulation with these settings might prove to be a good low-contrast black-and-white recipe, something I’ll have to take a closer look at.
I hope that you enjoyed this quick article! We’ll do some more of these in the coming weeks and months. Which film simulation did you find most interesting with the Kodachrome 64 settings? Let me know in the comments!
Someone asked me what the differences are between my “Classic Negative” film simulation recipe and my “Color Negative” film simulation recipe. They’re pretty similar, but they’re not exactly identical. I thought it would be helpful to see them side-by-side, so I applied my “Color Negative” recipe using the in-camera RAW converter on my Fujifilm X-T30 to a few recent exposures that I had captured using my “Classic Negative” recipe. Check them out:
As you can see, while they’re quite similar, the “Color Negative” recipe is more saturated, has a tad more contrast, and is a little warmer with a bit more red. The “Classic Negative” recipe is slightly more bland, but with a nice vintage negative-film aesthetic. So which film simulation recipe do you like better, “Classic Negative” or “Color Negative”? Let me know in the comments!
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.