My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Low-Contrast Film Simulation Recipe

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Gap of Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

After choosing my Eterna film simulation recipe for the Film Simulation Challenge, I thought it might be interesting to attempt a low-contrast Eterna recipe. I wanted to replicating the look of low-cost color negative film, but I didn’t have any specific film in mind, and didn’t do any of my typical film research. What I did do was play with the settings until I found something that I thought might look good. Even though Eterna is supposed to look cinematic, I’ve found it to be a great starting point for color negative aesthetics, and in the case of this recipe, it sometimes roughly resembles Fujifilm C200 and it sometimes (oftentimes?) doesn’t.

I almost didn’t share this recipe. I do sometimes create film simulation recipes that I don’t share, usually because I’m not happy with the results. There’s something not right about it, so I keep it to myself, and either shelve it or attempt to improve it. I was really on the fence with this one. On one hand it can sometimes produce really lovely results, and on the other hand it can be too flat and boring. It seems to require strong light and bright colors, and it makes something beautiful and soft out of it. Even outside of those parameters it can occasionally render a picture quite nice, but often it just delivers a boring rendition. It’s for those times where it might be the just-right recipe that I decided to share it, and hopefully it will be useful to some of you.

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Stock Photography – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2
Shadow: -1
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: 5900K, -3 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Eterna Low-Contrast film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset In The City – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Vintage & Antique – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Been Better – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Trespassing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Everyone Has A Cross To Bear – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joe Shortino – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Good Stuff – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Shopping Cart Line – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cart – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fishing For A Laugh – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sitting In The Evening Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jo Cool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kitchen Towel Roll – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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R Is For Roesch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Too Many Coffee Beans – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Third Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backyard Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Cottonwood Tree Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Kodachrome Compared

I have made film simulation recipes for all three major eras of Kodachrome film. The first recipe is called Vintage Kodachrome, which simulates the look of pre-1960’s Kodachrome. The next recipe is Kodachrome II, which mimics the look of 1960’s through mid-1970’s era of the film. The latest recipe is Kodachrome 64, which resembles the final version of the film, from 1974 through 2009.

You might wonder how these settings, which all share the Kodachrome name, compare to each other. Well, I made multiple versions of the same images to see. I wanted to place them against each other to observe their differences. It’s interesting to see how they render the same scene differently. Vintage Kodachrome is the most dissimilar. Kodachrome II and Kodachrome 64 sometimes look very similar (much like the real film), and sometimes there’s an obvious difference. One reason why they might be noticeably different is because the Kodachrome II recipe uses auto-white-balance while the Kodachrome 64 recipe doesn’t. You could use warming or cooling filters in conjunction with the Kodachrome 64 recipe (much like the real film) in order to better control the white balance. I sometimes did this back when I shot actual Kodachrome, but I haven’t tried it with the recipe.

I surprised myself in that I prefer the Kodachrome 64 versions more often than the Kodachrome II. I have said many times that Kodachrome II is one of my all-time favorite recipes, but I think I might prefer the new version just slightly more. It’s a close call, though, and in certain situations Kodachrome II would probably be the better choice.  Which recipe do you prefer? Which version of Kodachrome is the winner in this comparison?

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

The Film Simulation Challenge

 

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#filmsimulationchallenge

Back in the analog days, I would load film into the camera, and I was stuck with whatever was in the camera until the very last frame was exposed. The most common options were 12, 24 or 36 exposures, and frequently the roll of film that I loaded was either 24 or 36 exposures. Once the film was fully exposed, I could then change to another film if I wanted, or load another roll of the same. What I appreciate about this is that you know what you’re going to get, the strengths and weaknesses of the film, and your photographic vision is tuned into that. You look for picture opportunities that best fit what the film is good at.

With digital photography, it’s easy to make the exposure first and think about the end result later. If you don’t like how it looks one way, it’s simple to change it to another look. You might even post-process one frame to have several different aesthetics and decide later which version you like best. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, but I personally find it better to consider in advance the finished photograph, and do what you can to get as close as you can to that finished picture in-camera.

One way that you can practice this using your Fujifilm X camera is to load it with “film” and force yourself to capture a predetermined number of frames with that film before changing. The film in this case is a film simulation recipe, programming into your camera in advance the one that you want to use. You tell yourself that you’ll capture 24 or 36 exposures with those settings, then, when you’re done with those frames, consider if you want to use another “film” or shoot a second “roll” of the first one. I call this the Film Simulation Challenge.

Back when I shot a lot of film, I would consider three to five good pictures from one roll of film to be average. If I got more than five good pictures from 36 exposures, that was a good day for me. If I had less than three, it wasn’t a good day, unless one of those frames was especially good. The idea with the Film Simulation Challenge is that from each “roll” of “film” that you capture, you share three to five (or more if you had a good day) of your best photos from that roll. Share it on your blog, share it Facebook, share it on Instagram, share it somewhere. You can use the hashtag #filmsimulationchallenge if you’d like. You can link to Fuji X Weekly if you want (you certainly don’t have to), or post a link to it in the comments. The purpose of this is to practice photographic vision in a fun way, while also sharing the joy of shooting with Fujifilm X cameras.

You can consider yourself officially challenged. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do, which films you choose and the pictures that you create. Best of luck in this challenge! I’ll be doing the Film Simulation Challenge, too, and I’ll share the results periodically on this blog.

My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe

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Kodachrome Slides – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

Kodachrome 64 is probably the most requested film that people have asked me to create a recipe for. Kodachrome has a long history, with the first successful version debuting in 1935 (film simulation recipe here). In the early 1960’s Kodak replaced that version of the film with Kodachrome II and Kodachrome X (film simulation recipe here). In 1974 Kodak made the final version of Kodachrome, available in ISO 25 and ISO 64 (and later ISO 200) versions. This Kodachrome was discontinued 10 years ago. Kodak also discontinued the chemicals to process Kodachrome, and nine years ago the last roll was developed. This film simulation recipe is meant to mimic the aesthetics of Kodachrome 64.

In the early 1970’s there was a movement to end Kodachrome. The process to develop the film was toxic and complex. Kodachrome is actually a black-and-white film with color added during development, which you can imagine isn’t a simple procedure. Instead of discontinuing their most popular color film, Kodak made a new version that required a less-toxic (but still toxic) and less complicated (but still complicated) development process. This appeased those who wanted the film gone, but the new version of Kodachrome was not initially well received by photographers, many of whom liked the old version better. William Eggleston, for example, who used Kodachrome extensively in his early career, wasn’t a fan of the new version, and began to use other films instead.

The photography community did come around to Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. Due to Kodachrome’s sharpness, grain, color, contrast and archival characteristics, this film was a great all-around option that worked well in almost any circumstance. The film became incredibly popular, and was found on the pages of many magazines, including National Geographic, which practically made its use a requirement. Steve McCurry was perhaps the best known photographer to extensively use this era of Kodachrome. He said of the film, “It has almost a poetic look with beautiful colors that were vibrant and true to what you were shooting.”

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I shot many rolls of Kodachrome 64, and a few rolls of Kodachrome 25. My favorite was Kodachrome 64 because it had a little more contrast and was slightly more saturated. It was a sad day for me when Kodak discontinued it. I was just getting into digital photography at that time, and in retrospect I wish that I had paused on digital and shot a few more rolls of Kodachrome. Kodak has hinted that they might resurrect it, but I would be surprised if they actually did because of the complex development process.

When I decided to attempt a Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe for my Fujifilm X-T30, I did some experiments, and after a few tries I thought that I had it figured out. Excitingly, I snapped many frames with these settings, but then I figured that I should consult some actual Kodachrome 64 slides to make sure that it matched. It didn’t. Kodachrome 64 looked different than how I remembered it. I was close, but not close enough, so I went back to the drawing board. A handful of experiments later I got it right, which is the recipe that you see here.

Of course, the issue with all of these film simulation recipes that mimic actual film is that one film can have many different looks, depending on how it was shot, under what conditions, how it was developed, and how it’s viewed, whether through a projector or light table, a print (and how it was printed), or a scan (and how it was scanned and perhaps digitally altered, and the monitor). There are a ton of variables! Kodachrome looks best when viewed by projector, no doubt about it, but that’s not how Kodachrome is seen today, unless you own a projector and have some slides. While I don’t think that this recipe will ever match the magic of projected Kodachrome, I do think it’s a close approximation of the film and it deserves to share the famed name.

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Mayhem – Tooele, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I have Grain set to Weak, but I feel that when using this recipe at higher ISOs Grain should be set to Off. While I chose DR400, in low-contrast situations DR200 is a good Dynamic Range option. For X-Trans III cameras, which obviously don’t have Color Chrome Effect, this recipe will still work and will appear nearly identical, but it will produce a slightly different look. To modify this recipe for Kodachrome 25, I suggest setting Shadow to +1, Color to -1, Grain to Off, and Sharpness to +3.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +2 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Shopping Cart Car – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hay Stack – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pony Express Trail – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Country – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Grazing – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lonely Horse – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild & Free – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Onaqui Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Spotted Green – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grassland – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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In The Dust – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Roar Forever – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jon In The Backyard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Evening Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Look Up To The Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Bee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Sunset – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sun Kissed Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Tree Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jar of Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Beans To Grind – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sugar Dish – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Processed by Kodak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

Top 10 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes

Film simulation recipes are the number one most popular type of article on Fuji X Weekly. These posts are what most people come to this blog to read. In fact, so far this year, the top twenty most read articles are all film simulation recipes. I thought it would be fun to share which are the most popular recipes, based on how many times they’ve been viewed so far this year. The newest ones haven’t been around long enough to make this list, so maybe I’ll periodically revisit this topic.

Top 10 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes:

#10. X100F Acros

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I was surprised to learn that this recipe, which is my original Acros recipe and the second film simulation recipe that I created, is the only black-and-white settings to make this list. I guess B&W isn’t as popular as color.

#9. X100F Astia

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Zions Bank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was one of the early film simulation recipes that I created. Honestly, it’s not my favorite, even though I liked it when I created it. I think it requires the right light to be effective, and it certainly can be effective, but it’s a little flat (lacking contrast) for many situations. Still, as I stated in the article, it’s a better option than keeping the camera on Provia with everything set to 0.

#8. X100F Ektar

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Summer Boy – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This recipe uses Astia, as well, yet produces much different results. While the regular Astia recipe is rather flat and bland, this one is vibrant and bold–sometimes too vibrant and bold. It’s not for everyday photography, but it’s an especially good recipe for the right subject.

#7. X100F Velvia

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

This is another early film simulation recipe. It was one that I always had programmed into the Q menu, until I made a new Velvia recipe that I liked more. Still, these are good settings that I used regularly for many months.

#6. X100F Eterna

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Expedition Lodge – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was my attempt to create something that resembles the Eterna film simulation for those who have a Fujifilm camera without Eterna. More recently I created an alternative Eterna recipe that I much prefer.

#5. X100F Fujicolor Superia 800

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

What I appreciate about this recipe is that it produces a nice negative film aesthetic with a slightly green-ish color cast. Many of my recipes tend to lean warm, so this one is a reprieve from that. I think it delivers lovely results, and I can definitely understand why it’s a popular recipe.

#4. X100F Portra 400

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Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

What I don’t appreciate about this recipe is that it requires a tricky white balance setting that’s difficult to get right. If you can get the custom measurement correct, the results are great. I should revisit this recipe and attempt to create this look without requiring a vague custom white balance measurement.

#3. X100F Classic Chrome

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Closed Drive Thru Window – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was the very first film simulation recipe that I created. It produces a look in the Ektachrome neighborhood. It looks nice and I’m not surprised that it’s so popular, but I have created other recipes that use Classic Chrome that I prefer more.

#2. X100F Vintage Kodachrome

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Vintage Kodachrome is intended to mimic the look of the first generation of Kodachrome, which was used by photographers like Ansel Adams, Chuck Abbott, Barry Goldwater, and others. It’s a fun recipe, producing a vintage slide aesthetic.

#1. X-Pro2 Kodachrome II

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Classic Chrome is a popular film simulation, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the top four recipes are all based on it. Kodachrome II is the only recipe in this list not developed on the X100F, although it can (like all of these recipes) be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. This recipe is intended to mimic the look of the second generation of Kodachrome, which was used by photographers like Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri, William Eggleston and others. It’s one of my absolute favorite recipes that I’ve created.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these 10 recipes do you like most? Which recipe not on this list is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

My Fujifilm X-T30 Faded Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe

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All Aboard Boy – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Monochrome”

I love the results of my Faded Color recipe, so creating a Faded Monochrome recipe was a natural next step. This film simulation recipe requires the use of the double-exposure feature of the camera. The first exposure is a normal photo, and the second exposure is of something plain white. I’ve tried different things, but for me a 4″ x 6″ plain white index card works well. No need for the second exposure to be in focus. It’s a simple idea that I wish I had thought of earlier. I think I’ve just scratched the surface of what can be created using this technique.

In film photography, you could achieve a similar look by printing with a low-contrast filter. You could also develop the film for low contrast by adjusting any number of things in the lab. You might also get this look by accident if you reused the fixer one too many times. Sometimes underexposed pushed-processed film has a very similar aesthetic. It’s possible for negatives to fade over time, especially if not stored correctly, and that, too, might create a similar look. While “faded” is in the title of this recipe, the look isn’t so much faded as it is low-contrast with “milky” blacks. It works especially well for high-contrast scenes.

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Monochrome”

To use this recipe, you will create two exposures using the double-exposure feature of your camera. The first exposure is the main image, and the second exposure is of something plain white, such as a 4″ x 6″ plain white index card. There is no need for the second exposure to be in focus. The exposure compensation for the second exposure can vary greatly depending on how bright the white is and how you want the picture to look. You will have to play around with it to figure out what works for you. The good news is that your camera will give you a preview of the finished image and will allow do-overs.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0 (Neutral)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (main exposure), 0 to -2 (second exposure)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Faded Monochrome recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Grey Rose – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grey Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lake Boat – Willard Bay SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree Limbs – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Well – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Don’t Give – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Escape – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Brick Buildings – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Center Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urbanscape Monochrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Less Is More – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Leaves – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Small Flower In The Big City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Park Bench – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joshua Monochrome – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Happy Girl – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Children On A Park Slide – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Instax Photographer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joy In The City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bank Time – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Water On The Glass – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Club – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stepping By – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Vibes – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Quiet – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Cloud – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Angles & Lines – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Utah Artist – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Treading Lightly – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Marlboro Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Come Inside – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Mono Chrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stop In Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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UTA Station – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Ride Abstract – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Train Seats – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Passenger – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Passenger Window – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train 19 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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UTA 19 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Host – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hungry Traveler – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Steps Monochrome – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Display – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Industrial Sunlight – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ladder Climb – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

My Fujifilm X-T30 Faded Color Film Simulation Recipe

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Fading Memories – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Color”

This recipe is a failure. More accurately, it’s a failed attempt at a certain aesthetic. It doesn’t look like what I was hoping it would look like. It’s close, but no cigar. What it does look like are faded color photographs from perhaps the 1950’s through 1970’s. I have some old issues of Arizona Highways magazine from the 1950’s, and these pictures have a similar look to what’s found in those magazines. You might have some old family photos that have faded over time and perhaps look like the pictures that this recipe creates. You can also achieve this washed-out “milky” look through darkroom techniques. Even though this recipe doesn’t look like what I was trying to create, it looks really amazing, and I am astonished that this look can be achieved in-camera.

What I was trying to create was a certain cinematic characteristic. I was asked by a Fuji X Weekly reader to create a film simulation recipe that produces a look similar to the aesthetic of the Wong Kar Wai movie Chungking Express. I had never seen this movie, so I had to do much research, and thankfully a lot of great information was easily found online. I discovered that the motion picture film used in the movie was Agfa XT320, and that it was often (but not always) push-processed, sometimes one stop and sometimes two. A technique called flashing was used a number of times in the movie, which involves flashing the film with light to give it a smoky, atmospheric, or faded feel, lowering contrast. It’s a type of double exposure, except that the second exposure is nothing more than a little light. Another technique that was used in the movie was to give different scenes a certain color cast using gels. Wong Kar Wai likes to create scenes with one predominant color, and so you will find elements in the scene that are the same color as the color cast. He used a slow shutter speed in the movie to blur motion. There were a ton of different techniques used, and so you can probably understand the difficulty of the task. You cannot incorporate everything into one recipe, so I had to make some choices and create a plan to try to achieve something that looks similar to the movie.

My idea was to attempt a recipe that resembled push-processed Agfa XT320 that has been flashed and has a color cast. I decided to use the double-exposure feature on my Fujifilm X-T30 and white balance shift to achieve this. For the second exposure, which needed to be white, I tried a number of things, including a miniature portable studio, but after some trial-and-error, I settled on a plain white 4″ x 6″ index card. I would hold it a few inches in front of the lens and make the second exposure. Auto-focus would never lock onto it, and I figured that a blurry exposure might actually be preferable. For the color cast, I found that one exposure should not have a shifted white balance and the other should. Initially I was adding the color cast to the main exposure and not the white exposure, but then I switched that and liked the results better for some reason. I used the 16:9 aspect ratio to make it a more cinematic shape. Unfortunately, I could never get the results to look quite right for Chungking Express. I think I was in the general ballpark, but not as close as I was hoping. Fortunately, what I did create was pretty interesting, so I kept shooting with it, except I used the 3:2 aspect ratio.

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Main Motion – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Color”

To use this recipe, you must set the camera to double-exposure, which on the X-T30 is found on a knob on the top. You capture the main exposure, then you must make some adjustments for the second exposure. The white balance must be shifted and the exposure compensation must be adjusted. For the white balance shift, I found going almost to the extremes works well. For a yellow cast, choose 0 Red & -8 Blue. For an orange cast, choose +8 Red & -8 Blue. For a red cast, choose +8 Red and 0 Blue. For a purple cast, choose +8 Red & +8 Blue. For a blue cast, choose 0 Red and +8 Blue. For a cyan cast, choose -8 Red and +8 Blue. For a green cast, choose -8 Red & 0 Blue. For green-yellow cast, choose -8 Red & -8 Blue. The exposure compensation for the white exposure is a little tricky. A lot depends on how bright the white is (whether it has direct light on it or if it is in shade) and how faded you want the image to look. It takes a little practice, but the good news is that the camera shows you exactly what the results are going to be, and even allows you do-overs if you don’t like it. I found that sometimes 0 was good, I found that sometimes -2 was good, and often -2/3 or -1 was a good choice. Each picture should get individual consideration. The second exposure is a picture of something white, such as the blank index card that I already described, although you could certainly try other things if you find something that might work better for you. This creates a faded look that almost seems unbelievable that it came out of the camera unedited.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto (use a shift on the second exposure)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (main exposure), 0 to -2 (second exposure)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Faded Color recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Good Life – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Or Another – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Santa – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Makeup – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Walking Without Wondering – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bike Repair – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Transit Train Transportation – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kid Bowling – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Instax Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Guitar Cat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cracked Eggs – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Good Vibes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Steps & Vines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lake Grass – Willard Bay SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Faded Daisies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Soft Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Roses – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Rose Faded – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dark Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Red Ball Catching – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tona – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hanging Bulbs – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wet Bloom – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Steps – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Breakboy – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lake Boy – East Canyon SP, UP – Fujifilm X-T30

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Springtime Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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East Canyon Reservoir – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

My Fujifilm X-T30 Fujicolor 100 Industrial Film Simulation Recipe

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Urban Binding – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Fujicolor 100 Industrial”

I get asked frequently to create different film simulation recipes, and I always put some consideration into those requests. I don’t get around to attempting all of them, although I do attempt many, but I at least think about how I might create a certain look. Even if I do attempt it, I’m not usually successful, as it just doesn’t look right quite often, so I go back to the drawing board when time and inspiration allows. On rare occasions I’m able to create a certain aesthetic quickly and easily. This recipe falls into the latter category.

I have to be honest, when I was asked to create a recipe to mimic the look of Fujicolor 100 Industrial film, I had never heard of it and knew absolutely nothing about it. I had to do some research on this film, and I found lots of good and helpful information. As it turns out, Fujicolor 100 Industrial is a negative film only sold in bulk in Japan, although you can purchase it from some camera stores who sell it individually. It’s actually re-branded Fujicolor 100, well, the Japanese version of Fujicolor 100, which is not the same film as Fujicolor 100 in America, although they’re similar to each other. Something interesting about Fujicolor 100 Industrial (and Fujicolor 100 Japan, which is the same film) is that it has a Tungsten emulsion (with a Kelvin temperature of 3200), but it is daylight balanced because the dye colors have been shifted to account for the cooler temperature. Weird, huh? Well, it turns out that you can do the same thing in your Fujifilm camera using white balance shift, and it creates a similar aesthetic.

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Backyard Daisy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Fujicolor 100 Industrial”

I find that this recipe is especially good in higher-contrast scenes, although it can still deliver interesting results in lower-contrast scenes. It’s a milder recipe that doesn’t have a lot of saturation, although sometimes just the right amount, and it handles shadows and highlights well. It creates lovely pictures that are soft and not bold. It needs the right subject and light to stand out, but it can look really great in the right situations. It definitely has a low-ISO print-film quality to it, and resembles Fujicolor 100 Industrial film surprisingly well.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: +1
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: 3200K, +8 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Sample photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured with a Fujifilm X-T30 using this Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe:

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US Bike Lane – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Twilight Temple – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Broadway Me – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Three Stories – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boston Building Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Corporate Ladder – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Their Bank – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Sunset – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Partial Loaf – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Purple Zebra – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaves In The Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Partly Cloudy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rosebud Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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In Case of Fire – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Watching Television – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Little Feet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Donut Eater – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Plastic Hand – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30