Creative Collective 048: FXW Zine — Issue 19 — June 2023

The June issue of FXW Zine is out now! Creative Collective subscribers can download it today. Not a Creative Collective subscriber? Join to gain access to this issue plus all pervious issues of FXW Zine and the many bonus articles. 

In this month’s publication I suggest seven different Film Simulation Recipes that are excellent for a day at the beach. If you’ll be heading to the coast this summer, you’ll want to check out this issue!

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Which Film Simulation Recipes, When? — Summer Edition — Part 1: Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II

Rural Warehouse – Litchfield Park, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – Fujicolor 100 Gold Recipe

Original Series

Summer is here! Traveling, camping, visits to the beach, boating on the lake, and stuff like that are common during these months. Perhaps you are looking for some Film Simulation Recipe recommendations for your Fujifilm camera for the summer season. I thought I’d take this opportunity to revisit my Which Film Simulation Recipe, When? series of articles. This post will make a lot more sense if you’ve read the original series—especially the first article—so be sure to take a look at it if you haven’t yet (or if it’s been awhile and you don’t remember).

This Part 1 is for Fujifilm X-Trans IV cameras, except for the X-T3 and X-T30, which will be covered in a different section. If you have an X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, or X-T30 II model, I invite you to give these Recipes a try! There are seven suggestions below—one for each C1-C7 Custom Preset—and three alternative ideas for each in case you don’t like the first recommendation. Each Custom Preset slot serves a specific purpose, so you should have a good Recipe option programmed into your camera no matter the subject or lighting. This group of seven isn’t necessarily better or worse than my original recommendations, just a different set chosen specifically for the summer months.

C1 — Fujicolor Natura 1600 — Golden Hour

Golden Lake – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – Fujicolor Natura 1600 Recipe

Fujicolor Natura 1600 is a Film Simulation Recipe that does well at anytime during daylight hours—and it’s one of my all-time favorites—but I’m going to recommend it specifically for “golden hour” near sunrise and sunset. If you like the aesthetic, this really could be your primary use-all-of-the-time recipe, and that’s why I suggest placing it in C1, but when the sun is low to the horizon, this is one I definitely recommend shooting with. I personally use this recipe frequently.

Alternatives for “golden hour” photography:

Fujicolor 100 Gold
Kodak Portra 400 v2
Kodak Portra 400

C2 — Pacific Blues — Midday

Coastal Blooms – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – Pacific Blues Recipe

Pacific Blues is another one that could be your go-to everyday-use Recipe, but specifically I want to suggest it for daytime (non-“golden hour”) photography. Obviously it can also be used for when the sun is low to the horizon, too, which it excels at, but I think it is an excellent option for when the sun is not low—from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. It’s especially well suited for a day at the beach.

Alternatives for “midday” photography:

Kodachrome 64
Vintage Color
Superia Summer

C3 — Urban Dreams — Overcast

Cienega Bridge on Old Highway 80 – Vail, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Urban Dreams Recipe

If it’s thick overcast and rainy, the Urban Dreams Recipe is surprisingly an excellent option. Yes, it’s pretty good in daylight, too (even “golden hour” and at night), but give it a try on drab overcast days—I think you’ll really appreciate just how well it does in that situation.

Alternatives for “overcast” photography:

Elite Chrome 200
Reggie’s Portra
Kodachrome II

C4 — Nostalgic Negative — Natural-Light Indoor

Watch and Jewelry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Nostalgic Negative Recipe

For natural-light indoor photography, a good option is the Nostalgic Negative Recipe. This is another great all-rounder that could be used in pretty much any daytime situation and produce excellent results, but specifically I’m recommending it for natural-light indoor pictures. For artificial-light indoor images, use the Recipe for nighttime photography below.

Alternative for “natural-light indoor” photography:

Kodak Ultramax 400
Color Negative 400
Classic Negative

C5 — Pure Negative — Nighttime

Brad’s – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – Pure Negative Recipe

If it’s after dark, an excellent option for nighttime or artificial light photography is Pure Negative. This is a low-contrast Recipe with a natural rendering, which makes it especially ideal for high contrast scenes, particularly during midday light; however, it also does quite well in the darkness between sunset and sunrise and in indoor artificial light situations.

Alternatives for “nighttime” photography:

Serr’s 500T
Ektachrome 320T
CineStill 800T

C6 — Vibrant Arizona — Bonus

Summer Cliffs – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – Vibrant Arizona Recipe

The C6 slot is a bonus, and the Vibrant Arizona Recipe is a solid option to fill it with—and it’s one of the most popular Recipes right now. If you didn’t want to use Vibrant Arizona, you could instead select your favorite “alternative” Recipe from C1-C5 above, or use one below.

Alternatives bonus Recipes:

Bright Kodak
Bright Summer
Silver Summer

C7 — Kodak T-Max P3200 — B&W

Closed Umbrella – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak T-Max P3200 Recipe

The newest black-and-white Film Simulation Recipe is Kodak T-Max P3200, and it has quickly become one of my favorites! If you don’t want to use this one, definitely give Kodak Tri-X 400 a try.

Alternatives for “B&W” photography:

Kodak Tri-X 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Moody Monochrome

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

Fujifilm X-E4 in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in silver:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in silver: Amazon   B&H  Moment

The Fujifilm Experience

What’s different about Fujifilm cameras that make me want to pick them up and shoot with them? This is something that I was thinking about today. I concluded that the experience of shooting with the cameras and the images produced by the cameras are what makes me want to use them more than other brands.

What is the Fujifilm shooting experience? Is it the retro styling? The manual knobs and rings? The optical viewfinder on camera series like the X-Pro and X100? What-you-see-is-what-you-get, perhaps? I think yes to all of those, but even more it’s about the feeling in the moment. That’s a very abstract explanation, so let’s see if I can do better.

When I have a Fujifilm camera in my hands with the retro styling, tactile manual controls, perhaps even through an optical viewfinder or maybe via an EVF showing me exactly what the final picture will look like, the moment slows, and it’s just me and my gear for an instant. I feel the sense of possibilities (as Rush put it in the song Camera Eye). It’s not about quickness. It’s not about resolution—it’s not about any specs of any sort. It’s just that instant and how it feels and that’s all. It feels different with a Fujifilm camera (like the X-Pro1, pictured at the top) because the body is designed significantly dissimilar from most digital cameras. “If I like a moment,” as Sean O’Connell stated in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, “I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera.” I know I just took that quote completely out of context, but for me, Fujifilm cameras aren’t a distraction, but an extension of my creative self, something I cannot say about any other digital camera I’ve ever owned. Perhaps if Sean was shooting with a Fujifilm instead of a Nikon, he would have captured a picture of the cat (joking, of course).

The other aspect of Fujifilm cameras worth noting is image quality. Again, this has nothing to do with resolution, dynamic range, lens sharpness or any technical specs whatsoever. It’s about the feel of the pictures. Fujifilm has a long history with film photography, and they felt it important to somehow infuse some analog aspects into their digital images. You can get straight-out-of-camera pictures from Fujifilm cameras that look less digital and more film-like than other brands. In fact, I’ve seen Fujifilm pictures captured using Film Simulation Recipes trick unsuspecting film pros into thinking the picture they were viewing was shot on film and not digital (true stories!). And, yes, with software and manipulation, you can achieve this with most modern cameras, but I’m talking SOOC, as in unedited. Fujifilm cameras have gotten better at this with time—thanks to new JPEG options, film simulations, and improved processing—but even the early models were quite capable.

To the second point—that the JPEG output from Fujifilm cameras is unique, wonderful, and an important aspect of the experience—I feel that Fujifilm has been on the right track with this, and it’s been getting better and better with each generation. I think there’s a bit of that analog-esque quality going all they way back to the very beginning—every Fujifilm camera has that soul—but the newer models especially have it. I know that some of you might disagree with this assessment, but that’s my opinion.

To the first point, I feel that Fujifilm has taken a divergent path lately, and has pursued pure specs and popular designs over experience—or, at least the experience that I spoke of—with most of their recent models. That’s not to say the cameras aren’t good or that people won’t love them or that Fujifilm shouldn’t have made them, just simply that it’s not going to provide the same experience (which is true); whether or not that is better or worse depends on your perspective. I might mourn it and you might celebrate it, and that’s ok—we can still be friends.

Today I dusted off my 11-year-old Fujifilm X-Pro1, attached a TTArtisan f/0.95 lens, and shot with that combo today. I programmed the Ektachrome Film Simulation Recipe, but to give the images a little more film-like character, I lightly post processed them in the RNI App using the Fuji Astia 100F v3 filter set to 40% intensity (so as to not overly manipulate the original aesthetic… I didn’t want to lose all of the original look, only slightly change it) and Grain set to 25% strength. I don’t normally edit my pictures—in fact, I had to download the RNI App because it had been so long since I last used it—but sometimes I wish the old models had some of the JPEG options found on the new cameras. Funny enough, though, the edited pictures are actually pretty similar to my Reminiscent Print Recipe, so I probably should have just shot with that and saved myself some time. Oh, well—lesson learned.

Even though this camera is ancient compared to the latest models, I personally prefer the shooting experience with it over some of my other (newer) cameras. If the Fujifilm X-Pro1 was my one and only camera, I’d be happy with it. But since I have an X100V, X-E4, and X-T5, which are the three models I’m using the most right now (all of which offer the Fujifilm experience I mentioned earlier—the X100V in particular), the X-Pro1 spends most of the time on the shelf. I happily put it to use today! Below are the pictures:

Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95

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

TTArtisan 35mm f/0.95:  Amazon   B&H

New: Fujifilm XApp

Fujifilm just released a new App, called XApp, for some Fujifilm X and GFX cameras, which is an alternative to the much maligned Cam Remote App. This new App has been long-rumored and highly-anticipated. It’s available right now in the app store!

Firstly, it’s disappointing that the new app is only for X-Trans IV and V cameras, plus the GFX100S and GFX50S II. If you have any other model, you’re stuck using the old Cam Remote App. I have both newer and older models, and it would be nice if I could use just one app instead of two, so I might just stick with the old Cam Remote App, since recently I’ve been able to get it to work for me most of the time; I’ll have to play with the new XApp more before I decide for certain, but on Day One, that’s the direction I’m leaning.

The new XApp does require your Fujifilm camera to be up-to-date on the firmware. I don’t update the firmware on my cameras each time a new one is released. I look at what’s in the update, see if any of it would seemingly impact me, and if so I’ll update the firmware—usually, I will wait a few days after the initial release. I do all this for three reasons: 1) if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, 2) it can be a hassle sometimes to update the firmware, and 3), on a very rare occasion (but it has happened), the new firmware update will be buggy and cause all sorts of havoc, usually followed by Fujifilm re-releasing the old firmware or releasing a quick update to fix the one they just put out.

I love Fujifilm Kaizen firmware updates, and I think they should recommit to that philosophy, but I don’t make it a habit to always update the firmware; however, because of this, I discovered that none of my current cameras could use the XApp without updating the firmware first. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was a requirement (if I had watched the X Summit first, I suppose I would have known), and there were a few minutes of frustration before I figured it out; hopefully, being aware that your firmware needs to be up-to-date will help you have a smoother process than I did.

I captured this yesterday with my Fujifilm X70, which is not compatible with XApp.

My initial impressions after briefly using XApp are that the UI is definitely improved, connecting the camera to the app is much easier and quicker, and there’s a little more that the app can do compared to the old Cam Remote app. While it’s absolutely better than Cam Remote, it’s still pretty much the same functionality (for example, you still cannot transfer RAW files), so I think it’s important to keep expectations in check.

Interestingly, with XApp you can import global backups of camera settings, and restore those settings later. I haven’t played around with it much yet, but I think you could in theory have several different backups saved with different Film Simulation Recipes in each, and remotely restore whichever ones you need for various situations. Maybe a summer set, a winter set, a travel set, etc.. It would take some work to set up, but it has some interesting potential I think.

The app can also keep track of some data, specifically the number of frames captured, which film simulations (not Recipes, just the film sims) you used, the cameras, the lenses, and videos clips. If you want to dive into how you’re using your cameras slightly deeper, this might be a useful feature.

XApp is definitely an improvement. I’m disappointed that it is only for newer cameras, and you cannot use the app with older models. I’m not certain yet if I’ll keep both apps, and use XApp for my compatible models and Cam Remote for my non-compatible cameras, or if I’ll just stick with Cam Remote, since I can use it with all of my Fujifilm X bodies. I am glad, though, that Fujifilm finally addressed their less-than-stellar Cam Remote app by releasing an alternative. I’m sure many of you will find XApp to be a better experience overall than the old app.

Also announced today by Fujifilm are the X-S20 vlogger/travel camera (as Fujifilm put it) and Fujinon 8mm f/3.5, a tempting lens for architecture, real estate, and landscape photographers needing an ultra-wide option.

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

Fujifilm X-S20:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujinon 8mm f/3.5:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Fuji X Weekly App Update

The Fuji X Weekly App has been updated for both Apple and Android! Aside from some small maintenance items that you’re unlikely to notice, the big improvements are Widgets for Android and Spanish Translation for Apple. Your phone likely already updated the App for you, but if it didn’t, simply visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and download the most recent version.

If you don’t already have the Fuji X Weekly App on your phone or tablet, be sure to download it for free today! Consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience and to support Fuji X Weekly.

Widgets for Android

Widgets have been available for Apple users since October, but now they’re finally finished for Android! It was a bigger project than anticipated, and that’s why it took so long.

What are Widgets? Larger than app icons, Widgets give you quick access to information or provide a different way to interact with the app. My phone has literally been taken over by Fuji X Weekly Widgets, and it’s transformed how I interact with the App, turning my home screen into a Film Simulation Recipe launchpad!

Once you’ve opened the Fuji X Weekly App at least once since installing the update, Widgets are available to add to your home screen (click here if you are not sure how). Fuji X Weekly App Widgets greatly improves the user experience, and I bet they will take over your phone just like they did mine.

Spanish Translation for Apple

Thanks to the help of Fuji X Weekly community member Lucía Wiesse, the Fuji X Weekly App has now been translated into Spanish on Apple devices! Hopefully this will be available for Android, too, in the near future. I’m also hopeful that the Fuji X Weekly App can be translated into even more languages someday, since it is used worldwide. For now, I just think it’s really awesome that a Spanish translation is available for iOS users. If your iPhone’s Language is set to Spanish, the App will automatically translate; set your phone to English for the regular English version. Thanks, Lucía, for all your help!

Check out this video!

Photographer Tim Northey, known as TKNORTH on YouTube, posted a really cool video using the Random Recipe Selector in the Fuji X Weekly App while in Tokyo. This is exactly how I envisioned Random Recipe being used—such a fun way to use Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes with your friends! Check out the video (above) if you haven’t yet seen it.

The Curious Case of the Upcoming Fujifilm X-S20

Fujifilm X-S10

On May 24th, Fujifilm will announce some new products, and, according to Fujirumors, who is almost always right, the headliner will be the Fujifilm X-S20. What initially seemed like a mild update to an entry-level model is now becoming a little more interesting as details emerge of what exactly the X-S20 will be.

I had actually typed out quite a bit, but decided to delete it (11 paragraphs!) after my second cup of coffee. If you want to know the leaked specs so far, definitely visit Fujirumors. From my perspective, the biggest upgrade from the X-S10 will be the bigger NP-W235 battery. The improvements to autofocus and video specs will be nice, too, I’m sure, but probably not a big deal for a lot of people in practical use. It will have a Vlog mode complete with faux-bokeh and product-tracking-autofocus. Otherwise, there will be a lot more similar than dissimilar between the X-S10 and X-S20, but the price will be significantly divergent, as the X-S20 will be $300 more!

I realize that the X-S20 is not intended for me. It’s probably not intended for you, either. Who, then, is it for? The X-S20 is specifically for YouTubers or TikTokers who are making unboxing videos or how-to tutorials or things like that. I think Fujifilm intends the X-S20 to compete against the Sony ZV-E1, as a similar yet cheaper camera. The biggest difference between the X-S10 and X-S20 is that Fujifilm has defined a little more clearly who exactly the camera is for.

So if you are a YouTube or TikTok content creator looking for something a little more advanced than the cellphone or GoPro that you’ve been using so that you can step up your game, the X-S20 is for you, and quite a bit cheaper than Sony’s offering. Even though this camera is intended for that group, it will still be a capable photographic tool no matter who is using it.

Captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 in Sedona, AZ, last week using the Fujicolor Natura 1600 Recipe

Unfortunately, it won’t have the traditional tactile controls or striking retro design that Fujifilm is known for. Or, used to be known for, as six out of the last nine Fujifilm cameras will have been PASM models—X-S10, GFX100S, GFX50S II, X-H2S, X-H2, and X-S20—while one of the three non-PASM models (X-T30 II) wasn’t much more than a firmware update (so essentially 3/4 of Fujifilm’s latest releases have been PASM). The three most recent traditional Fujfilm cameras are the X-E4, which is nearly two-and-a-half years old, the X-T30 II (the firmware-update model), and the X-T5. The only retro-designed tactile control cameras currently offered by Fujifilm are the X-T5 and the three-year-old-and-impossible-to-find X100V, all the rest have been discontinued, including the X-E4 and X-T30 II. Oh, and apparently Fujifilm is experiencing a shortage of X-T5’s…. In other words, if you want to buy a traditional Fujifilm camera, good luck with that—you’ll probably have to go the used route, and even that can be tough.

Fujifilm had previously stated that they are working on some “wow” products; the X-S20 isn’t one of those—or, if it is, their idea of “wow” and mine are two entirely different things.

If you had been thinking about buying a Fujifilm X-S10, but then thought maybe to wait for the X-S20 and get that instead… unless you just need the new Vlog mode or battery life, or just have-to-have the improved autofocus and video specs (which, on paper, sound wonderful, but aren’t a huge deal in practical use for most people), I’d consider saving a few hundred bucks and buying the X-S10 instead. That’s just my opinion.

The good news, though, is that on May 24, according to Fujirumors, Fujifilm will announce a new app to replace the terrible Cam Remote app. That’s exciting! Much more exciting than the X-S20, in fact.

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

Fujifilm X-S10:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Kodak T-Max P3200 — A Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe for X-Trans IV & V

A grainy high-contrast B&W Film Simulation Recipe for the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II, X-H2, X-H2s, X-T5, and X-S20.

Courthouse Butte – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Kodak T-Max P3200 Recipe

“Stop the presses!”

That was the subject of an email I recently received from Anders Lindborg. Longtime Fuji X Weekly readers will immediately recognize Anders, since he invented the Kodak Tri-X 400Ilford HP5 Plus 400Ilford Pan F Plus 50, and Ilford FP4 Plus 125 (plus co-created Kodak T-Max 400) black-and-white Film Simulation Recipes—he is, in my opinion, the guru on Fujifilm B&W Recipes. Kodak Tri-X 400 is my all-time favorite Recipe, period. Anders also created the Kodak Gold v2 Recipe, seven Fujicolor Pro 160NS Recipesseven Fujicolor Pro 400H Recipes, and made an important D-Range Priority discovery. When Anders Lindborg says to stop the presses, I knew to stop the presses!

The story that I found in that email was absolutely incredible! Whether or not you ever use the Film Simulation Recipe that Anders sent to me, the story itself makes this article a worthwhile read. I was (and still am) just blown away by it! It’s funny how life comes full circle in surprising ways sometimes.

Closed Umbrella – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak T-Max P3200 Recipe

“Some years back,” Anders Lindborg wrote me, “I found myself being totally photographically stuck. People liked my photos, but I could feel there was something missing from them and I thought they were still too amateurish. By chance, a photography magazine published an article called Learning How to See in which they mentioned a photographer named John Sevigny, an art teacher at a university in Mexico City. The magazine referenced Mr. Sevigny because he often talked with his students—and had also written some papers—about the subject of the article. Anyway, I started searching the internet and found many articles about him and his work. I also found some of his papers on the subject. Afterwards, I noticed that something gradually happened to my photos, and I realized that I could often see a deeper meaning in random ordinary things, people’s expressions and behavior. It really helped me, and I swore to never forget about this guy.”

“Life is funny,” Anders continued, “and I think I’m slowly starting to believe in this karma stuff. As it happens, awhile back I was contacted out of the blue by no other than John Sevigny himself! He had apparently found my stuff published on Fuji X Weekly very interesting and asked very kindly if I could help him out with the final touches on his upcoming book. The project that he had been working on was really heavy stuff, so he was temporarily burned out and needed some technical assistance, which I gladly provided. After the material for the book was finished, we continued chatting and I’m now proud to call him my friend.”

“After weeks of talking about photography, John mentioned that he really missed shooting with Kodak T-Max P3200 that he used to use all of the time while working as a news photographer. So, he said, how about making a recipe for it? I couldn’t resist, so we started developing it immediately. John provided me with all the information about the emulsion that I could possibly need, including a bunch of his own 25-year-old scans, but most important was his experience of shooting it daily for years. According to John, anytime there was a request for something that was going to be an article inside the newspaper, that’s the film they used since the available light would almost always be ranging from bad to worse. It didn’t matter if it was a sports event or a murder, they used Kodak T-Max P3200. After reading up about it (since I never shot it myself, sadly), I understood why: it was optimized to create sharp and (reasonably) detailed photos in generally bad light.”

Now Serving Bacon – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – Kodak T-Max P3200 Recipe

“Much care and testing has been put into this recipe by both John and myself,” Anders concluded, “and since John had all this experienced with the film, he had to be the one to officially approve it, which he did. I couldn’t be happier with the results we got from the tests! I actually put his scans in a photo album together with my test shots and the only thing revealing was the lens quality. When using the recipe with a vintage lens, I promise that you’ll have a really hard time telling your photos apart from the real film! Even some of the film’s tell-tale quirks have been replicated.”

Wow! Thank you, Anders Lindborg and John Sevigny, for creating this Kodak T-Max P3200 Film Simulation Recipe and allowing me to share it with the Fujifilm community on Fuji X Weekly—your work is much appreciated! I really love how Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes are bringing people together across the world—it’s truly amazing! As great as this Recipe is—and it is great—the story behind it is even better.

Like Anders, I have also (sadly) never shot with Kodak T-Max P3200 black-and-white negative film (I went with Ilford Delta 3200 instead). Originally released in 1988 (the ISO 100 and ISO 400 versions were released two years prior), Kodak discontinued T-Max P3200 in 2012, but reintroduced it (with an “improved” emulsion) in 2018. It’s actually an ISO 800 (some say ISO 1000) film that labs automatically develop with two stops of push-processing, unless you tell them otherwise. But you can shoot it at ISO 800 and not push or ISO 400 and pull one stop (for less contrast) or ISO 1600 and push one stop. Some (brave? crazy? desperate?) photographers even shot it at ISO 6400 and pushed it three stops! Kodak T-Max P3200 can basically be anywhere from an ISO 400 to an ISO 6400 film, and it can go from a fairly flat and fine-grained emulsion to a punchy and gritty film, just depending on how you shot and developed it.

Yucca Flowers – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak T-Max P3200 Recipe

With this Kodak T-Max P3200 Film Simulation Recipe, the higher the ISO you shoot with, the more it will resemble shooting the film at a higher ISO and push-processing, and the lower the ISO it will more resemble shooting at ISO 800 and not pushing in development. In other words, you are going to get somewhat different results at ISO 640 than ISO 6400; I especially appreciate how this Recipe looks from ISO 3200 to ISO 12800. You will need to consider if you want a cleaner or more grainy aesthetic, and choose an ISO that will produce those results.

If you have a Fujifilm X-Trans IV camera (X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-S10, X-T30 II) or X-Trans V (X-H2, X-H2s, X-T5, X-S20, and any other released after publication), I invite you to give this Kodak T-Max P3200 Film Simulation Recipe a try! It’s not compatible with the X-T3 or X-T30 or X-Trans III, unfortunately; however, if you ignore Toning, Grain size, and Clarity, it should still produce good results, so don’t be afraid to give it a try. This Recipe should also work with GFX cameras, although I haven’t tested it and have no firsthand experience if it will look similar or not.

Film Simulation: Acros (or Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Monochromatic Color (Toning): WC -1 & MG -1
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome FX Blue: Off
White Balance: 5500K, +4 Red & +7 Blue
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +3
Sharpness: +2

High ISO NR: -4
Clarity: +1
ISO: up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak T-Max P3200 Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T5, X-E4 and X100V cameras:

Tall Flower Vine – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Tiny White Blooms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Garden Bulb – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Forest Stream – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
38th Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Palm in the Contrail Sky – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Tall Cactus – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Highlight & Shadow Leaves – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Backyard Barrel – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Water Wheel – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Castle Rock – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Jet Above the Rocks – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Cloud Above the Desert – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Arizona’s High Desert – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Oak Creek & Cathedral Rock – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Rocks & Big Sky – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Busy Parking Lot – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Delilah – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Sunlit Suburban Tree Branch – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Peaceful Pool – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Josh by the Pool – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Closed Umbrella 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Towel on Chair – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Empty Bench – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Please Don’t Litter – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilom X100V
Basket – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Hoop & Pine – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Bus Rider – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Camera Fight 1 – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Camera Fight 2 – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Sisters in the Back of the Bus – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Lady with Paw-Print Earring – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Joy’s Smile – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Girl Along a Wall – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Preparing Hands – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Sink Full of Dirty Dishes – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Fake Plant – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Floor – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Table Lamp – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Outdoor Patio Lights – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Betty Elyse – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V

ISO 640 vs ISO 12800:

ISO 640 Crop
ISO 12800 Crop

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 300 more in the Fuji X Weekly App!

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

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in silver:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in silver: Amazon   B&H  Moment

Top 10 Film Simulation Recipes

Two Caballeros – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – Kodachrome 64 Recipe

I’m always fascinated by which Film Simulation Recipes you are using. I get a glimpse on social media, but my best gauge is the website statistics; specifically, which Recipe articles are viewed the most. Two months ago I shared with you the Top 10 most viewed Recipe articles of 2022 plus the most viewed through the first two months of 2023, and I was surprised by a couple of the rankings. Looking at this two months later, I’m once again surprised by a few things, and not so much by most of it.

So far in 2023, seven of the ten—including the Top 3—Film Simulation Recipes are for X-Trans IV camera. From the data I have, the majority of people who shoot with Recipes are doing so on X-Trans IV models. Kodachrome 64 remains king of Recipes, Kodak Portra 400 v2 is a close second, and Kodak Portra 400 is solidly third. Vintage Kodak and Classic Chrome (the original Fuji X Weekly Recipe), which are both for X-Trans III cameras (plus the X-T3 and X-T30), hold the fourth and fifth spots. Kodak Tri-X 400, the only B&W Recipe on this list, is sixth. Those first half-dozen are all identical rankings to 2022.

Kodak Ultramax 400 didn’t make last year’s Top 10 list, but it did rank number seven through the first two months of this year, and it continues to hold that through April. The X-Trans III version of Kodachrome II dropped one spot, while the X-Trans IV version moved out of the Top 10 completely. Pacific Blues didn’t make the Top 10 last year, but is number nine so far in 2023, up one spot from two months ago. Reggie’s Portra also didn’t make the Top 10 last year, but now holds the last spot, down one from two months ago, switching places with Pacific Blues. Kodak Ektar 100 and Nostalgic Negative both fell out of the Top 10.

10 Most Viewed Film Simulation Recipes of 2023 (…so far)











Now let’s look at April-only. How did the Film Simulation Recipes rank during those 30 days?

The big surprise is that Vibrant Arizona is number two. It’s a little complicated, because that article actually includes four Recipes—two for X-Trans IV and two for X-Trans V. Even though I published it only nine days ago, the Vibrant Arizona Recipe, which is intended to produce a Wes Anderson aesthetic, is being used a heck-of-a-lot right now! The only other surprises are that Pacific Blues moved up to number eight, while Kodak Tri-X 400 fell two spots to number nine and Kodachrome II fell two spots all the way to the bottom. The first seven Recipes, plus the last one, all use the Classic Chrome film sim, which is Fujifilm’s most popular.

10 Most Viewed Film Simulation Recipes of April











Find these Film Simulation Recipes and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

My New Video + Shoutouts + Value of Daily Exercise

Hidden Van – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4Fujicolor Pro 400H Recipe

I published my first YouTube video in nearly two years!! I had been using my channel for the SOOC Live broadcasts, but since it has its own location now, I decided to revive the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel by returning to my previous content style. I plan to upload new videos fairly regularly; be sure to follow me so that you don’t miss anything.

In my first video in over 23 months, I talk about using ChatGPT to make an AI Film Simulation Recipe, and I compare it to my own Recipe. The video is below, so check it out if you haven’t watched it yet!

There’s a companion article for the video, which also happens to include two new Film Simulation Recipes, that you’ll want to check out as well (click here to read it). I really hope that you find both the article and video entertaining, enlightening, and helpful.

In other news, I completely missed that Fuji X Weekly was mentioned in a Wired article! Back in March, when discussing the Fujifilm X-T5, stated, “I happen to like the old film stock recipes that Ritchie Roesch of Fuji X Weekly makes available.” Yesterday, Wired republished a translation of the article on their Japan website, and said, “I personally like the old film recipes published on the blog Fuji X Weekly.” Wow! Those are major shoutouts!

Backlit Green – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – Fujicolor Pro 400H Recipe

What about the pictures in this article? What do they have to do with anything?

Yesterday afternoon I grabbed my Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujinon 35mm f/2 attached, programmed the Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation Recipe into C1, and walked around the block. Even if you don’t think your neighborhood is particularly photogenic, I would encourage you to grab your camera today, and just walk once around your block, keeping an eye out for picture opportunities. This is a great photographic exercise! Oh, and there might even be physical and mental health benefits, too, so there’s that. Anyway, athletes and musicians constantly practice, and I think photographers should do the same. You’ll only get better the more you use your camera, so, if you can, make sure that you get out and use your camera sometime today.

Creative Collective 046: FXW Zine — Issue 18 — May 2023

The May issue of FXW Zine is out now! Creative Collective subscribers can download it today. Not a Creative Collective subscriber? Join to gain access to this issue plus all pervious issues of FXW Zine and the many bonus articles.

What’s in this month’s publication? We take a look at revisiting subjects or locations in hopes of getting a better—or at least different—photograph.

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Today’s Show has Been Rescheduled

Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mmAgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe

I’m sorry to announce that today’s SOOC Live broadcast has been postponed one month, and next week’s show has been canceled. A number of unforeseen and unfortunate life events happened, and something had to give. Sadly, it became obvious late last night that today’s show just wasn’t going to work out.

The silver lining is that you have more time to shoot with the four Film Simulation Recipes that we are challenging you to shoot with: Reggie’s PortraAgfaChrome RS 100Classic Slide, and Ilford Delta Push Process. Be sure to try those Recipes for your storytelling photography. Additional challenges, for those who want more, are to use layered compositions and/or elicit emotion. If you missed the last episode, be sure to watch it (click here), because all of this will make a lot more sense to those who have viewed the broadcast.

Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 90mmClassic Slide Recipe

For those who don’t know, SOOC Live is a bimonthly broadcast where Nathalie Boucry and I discuss Film Simulation Recipes, give tips and tricks for achieving the results you want straight-out-of-camera, and answer your questions. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

Nathalie has a good writeup about the latest episode theme on her website that you should definitely check out! She also published an article explaining the broadcast delay. Once again, I apologize that we couldn’t go live today, but I hope that it only makes it better when we can finally come together for the show. I hope that you can join us in four weeks!

Slowing Down with Sandmarc ND Filters

Neutral Density filters, more commonly called ND filters, are very useful. It’s worthwhile to have at least one ND filter available for your photography. Maybe you don’t know which one (or ones) to own and why you’d use it. I recently got some ND filters, and perhaps my story will be helpful to you.

In my How to get Filmic Photographs from your iPhone article I explained that my wife has a Sandmarc case for her iPhone 13 Pro. I thought she’d also appreciate some ND filters for her phone, since she uses it regularly for videography, so I got her three Sandmarc ND filters that can attach to her iPhone case. You see, ND filters are common in cinematography because you want a shutter speed close to the frames-per-second you’re recording in order to avoid jutter (a.k.a. stutter or choppy) when panning or whenever there is movement. Getting a slow enough shutter speed in bright conditions can be difficult without an ND filter. Unfortunately, the ND filters didn’t really work out with her iPhone workflow, so they initially went unused. Not wanting to let the filters go to waste, I reimagined how they could be utilized, and I figured out how to make them work for me. Now I see them as an essential tool for my photography!

Before I get to the filters, I want to briefly talk about one other Sandmarc item I have: iPhone Tripod, Compact Edition. This was also for my wife, but she doesn’t use it often—only occasionally—so I borrow it regularly, except that I use it with my Fujifilm cameras and not my phone. I need a small tripod for my desk when I do the SOOC Live broadcasts, but the one I’ve owned for years kind of sucks and just barely works; however, with Season 3, I began using the Sandmarc tripod, and it is so much better—perfect for the job! I also discovered that it’s great for travel because it folds up very small and doesn’t take up much space (about 8.5 inches). The tripod only expands to a little taller than two feet, but it is sturdy enough to hold my X-T5 with a lens as large as the Fujinon 90mm, so for occasional casual use—which is all I ever use tripods for in my photography—it is just fine. Since getting it, the Sandmarc tripod has become my most-used. I don’t think that it’s intended for “real” cameras like the Fujifilm X-T5, but that’s what I use it for, and it works great. I bring this up because tripods are closely associate with ND filters.

Neutral Density filters block the amount of light entering the lens, which allows for slower shutter speeds. Why would you want to do this? I already mentioned that in cinematography, slowing the shutter can reduce juttering. In still photography, slowing down the shutter allows you to show motion by way of blurring moving things, and it allows for high-ISO photography in bright conditions.

Sandmarc’s iPhone ND filters come in a pack of three: ND16, ND32, and ND64. The ND16 reduces light by four stops, the ND32 reduces by five stops, and the ND64 reduces by six stops. I most commonly use the ND16, but for longer exposures, the other two certainly come in handy. Did I mention that Sandmarc’s ND filters are also polarized? They are! Polarizers reduce glare and haze, which can be particularly useful when photographing water. Pretty cool, eh?

So if these ND filters are made for iPhones, how am I using them on my Fujifilm cameras? Technically, I’m not using them on my camera, I’m attaching them to my Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens. The ND filters have 40.5mm threads, and the 27mm lens accepts 39mm threads, so I purchased a cheap Rise 39mm-40.5mm step-up ring, which allows me to use the Sandmarc ND filters on my Fujinon lens. It works like a charm!

There are three ways in which I’ve integrated ND filters into my photography: slow shutter with a tripod, slow shutter without a tripod, and high-ISO in daylight. I’ll briefly explain each below.

ND Filter + Tripod

1.4 Second Exposure — Upcoming Recipe
1/9 Second Exposure — AgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe

The classic way ND filters are used for still photography is with a tripod. By utilizing a slow shutter speed, things within the frame that are moving will become a blur. Waterfalls are probably the most common subject for this technique, where water appears to be a streak of blur or even a mist if the exposure is long enough. Typically, a maximum shutter speed of 1/15 is required for blurring the subject, but there are a few factors—lens focal length, speed and distance of the subject, desired blur—that could affect the necessary shutter speed, either faster or slower. The longer the shutter is open, the more blur you will get. Because you want everything that’s not moving to be sharp, a tripod is required for this technique.

ND Filter without Tripod

1/20 Second Exposure — Reggie’s Portra Recipe
1/2 Second Exposure — Emulsion ’86 Recipe

Who says that pictures have to be sharp? Maybe you want everything in the frame to be blurry! For this, you simply remove the tripod and use a slow shutter while the camera is handheld. Panning is one example of this. Using a slow shutter speed without a tripod is probably the most difficult ND filter technique, but there is a lot of opportunity for creativity, which means there is potential for dramatic or interesting photographs. The longer the exposure the more difficult this technique is—unless you’re really going for abstract art—so be careful not to set the shutter too slow.

High ISO in Bright Daylight

ISO 12800, f/8, 1/550 — GAF 500 Recipe
ISO 12800, f/8, 1/450 — GAF 500 Recipe
ISO 12800, f/4, 1/3200 — Ilford Delta Push Process Recipe
ISO 12800, f/8, 1/400 — Ilford Delta Push Process Recipe
ISO 25600, f/4, 1/1900 — Ilford HP5 Plus 400 Push Process Recipe
ISO 25600, f/2.8, 1/350 — Ilford HP5 Plus 400 Push Process Recipe

You might think that purposefully setting a high-ISO in bright daylight is a weird thing to do. The general advice given since the beginning of photography is to use the lowest ISO that you can get away with. If you can use ISO 200, use ISO 200. If you need to bump it up to ISO 400 because the light is dimmer, use ISO 400. Only use ISO 800 if you have to. And ISO 1600 should be used with extreme caution. ISOs higher than that are for emergency purposes only. But is that still good advice? In my opinion, Fujifilm cameras are excellent at high-ISO because—thanks to the X-Trans sensor and processor—they better control the aesthetic of digital noise, rendering it more like film grain. In other words, purposefully using high-ISOs can produce a more analog-like result. Some of my Film Simulation Recipes actually require ultra-high ISOs, and using them in bright daylight can be difficult; however, ND filters make it much more practical. My X100V has a built-in ND filter, but my other Fujifilm cameras do not; ND filters have opened up the opportunity to use these high-ISO Recipes in situations that would be much more difficult otherwise—this is how I’m most often using my Sandmarc ND filters.

Find these Film Simulation Recipes and nearly 300 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8:  Amazon   B&H   Moment

Note: the top four pictures were captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm f/2; images 1, 2 & 4 are Pacific Blues and image 3 is Kodak Portra 400 v2. The other pictures were captured using my Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with a Sandmarc ND filter attached.

Fujifilm Recipes for Spring Flower Photography

Vibrant Flowerbed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia Recipe

April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes. Yes, it’s wildflower season already, and if you are not sure which Film Simulation Recipe to program into your Fujifilm camera to capture the colorful spectacle, this article should help with that. No matter which Fujifilm X-Trans camera you have, there’s a Recipe for you to try today!

This is far from a comprehensive list of Film Simulation Recipes that will work well for photographing spring blossoms. There are nearly 300 Recipes, and most of them could be a good choice, depending on the exact subject, lighting, and your style. This list is simply a selection of the ones that I personally like and can recommend to you. Feel free to try other Recipes not included in the list below. If I didn’t include your favorite Recipes for photographing spring flowers, let me know in the comments because I’d love to hear which ones you use. If you are not sure which Film Simulation Recipe to try, these recommendations should get you started.

X-Trans V

X-T5, X-H2, X-H2s

X-Trans IV — Part 1

X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II

X-Trans IV — Part 2

X-T3, X-T30

X-Trans III

X-Pro2, X100F, X-E3, X-T2, X-T20, X-H1

X-Trans II — Part 1

X100T, X-E2, X-E2s, X-T1, X-T10, X30, XQ2, X70

X-Trans II — Part 2

X100S, X20, XQ1

X-Trans I

X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1

Find these Film Simulation Recipes and nearly 300 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Creative Collective 045: Shooting a Roll of Fujichrome Fortia 50

“Fujichrome Fortia 50” frame 18 of 36 — Fujifilm X100V

I shot a 36-exposure roll of Fujichrome Fortia 50 on my Fujifilm X100V.

Right now you are thinking one of a few things. What is Fujichrome Fortia 50? Fortia was discontinued a long time ago, and is well expired now and difficult to find. Anyway, you can’t shoot film in a Fujifilm X100V! There’s not a Fujichrome Fortia 50 Film Simulation Recipe, is there? All of that and more will be explained in this article!

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Pentax Has A Monochrome Camera — Fujifilm Should, too!

Pentax just announced the K3 III Monochrome DSLR. Yes, a black-and-white only camera!

I find a few things intriguing by this. First, a lot of people say that there’s no market for such a camera, that only the Leica enthusiasts with Leica-like budgets will buy a monochrome-only camera. Yet Pentax apparently disagrees. I hope they’re right. It’s certainly a risk that they’re taking, but I think it will do well enough simply based on all the initial hype, which there’s quite a bit of.

The Pentax K3 III Monochrome (such an uninspired name, right?) has a 26-megapixel APS-C sensor inside. Sound familiar? My guess is that it’s the same Sony sensor that’s found in Fujifilm X-Trans IV models, just with the color filter array removed. I could be wrong about that. Perhaps more importantly, this monochrome sensor is clearly available for camera makers to buy, because Pentax is doing so, which means Fujifilm could, too.

The price difference that Pentax is charging for the monochrome vs the regular model is $500. That seems pretty steep, but it’s a niche product, so a premium should be expected. I suspect that Fujifilm would likely charge a similar amount—$300 to $500—for a monochrome version of one of their models, if they were to make one.

I’ve been suggesting for years that Fujifilm should make a dedicated black-and-white camera, and call it the Acros Edition. Why? With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which improves dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters just like with black-and-white film. It’s definitely not a camera that everyone will want, but some—myself included—will line up for it the day it is announced.

Basically, it will have only the Acros film simulation, and the same JPEG options as other X-Trans cameras (except no Color or White Balance). I can imagine Fujifilm offering a stronger Grain option than what’s currently available on the other models, and perhaps an Acros Hi and Acros Low, for higher or lower contrast rendering. I’d also like to see a lifted shadow option for a faded look. The X-Pan aspect ratio should absolutely be included. Otherwise, I don’t think too many modifications will be required to the menu.

Hopefully Fujifilm is already working on this. They should be, anyway, but they’re probably not. Ideally, it would be an X-Pro or X100 model, but at this point I’d take any, except for the X-S or X-H lines. Seriously, a Fujifilm X-Pro3 Acros Edition or X100V Acros Edition would be simply incredible! It would definitely catch people’s attention. If Fujifilm wants a WOW product, this is it right here.

My Digital Camera Journey

My journey to Fujifilm wasn’t a straight path. Like many worthwhile adventures, there were a lot of twists and turns, and even moments where I nearly gave up. I’ve yet to chronicle this camera odyssey, so I thought I’d share it with you today. Perhaps you can relate, or maybe it will somehow assist you on your own journey.

In autumn of 1998 I enrolled in Photography 101 in college, where I learned to develop and print film in a darkroom. My first camera was a Canon AE-1, which I absolutely loved. Digital photography was in its infancy back then; I could tell a digital picture from film very easily, so I steered clear of it. I was one of those “holdouts” who stubbornly refused to go digital, and continued to shoot film even though it was no longer popular.

In 2009 I was asked to photograph my uncle-in-law’s wedding, which would happen the following spring. Realizing that the cost of film and development wouldn’t be that much less than the price of a new DSLR, I figured the time was finally right to give digital photography a try. My first DSLR was a Pentax K-x. I had a couple of Pentax SLRs, and I could use those K-Mount lenses on any Pentax DSLR—being able to use lenses that I already owned was a big upside. While the K-x was a budget model (not the cheapest, though), it was their newest, so I took a chance and went for it.

Pentax K-x — 2011 — Grand Canyon, AZ

I didn’t realize how much of a learning curve there would be. Photography is photography, I thought, but I was very wrong. I had never used PASM—on my film cameras, if I wanted to adjust the aperture, I turned a ring on the lens; if I wanted to adjust the shutter speed, I turned a knob on top of the camera; and ISO was set by the film. Choosing the shooting mode and using command wheels to adjust aspects of the exposure triangle was foreign to me. Crop-sensor was another new concept, which affects focal lengths and depth-of-field, something I didn’t even consider. With film, it’s often better to overexpose a little than underexpose, but with digital it is the opposite, because you can lift shadows but you cannot unclip clipped highlights. Post-processing with software… I had a lot of experience in the darkroom, but Lightroom… curves and sliders and layers and masking, that was all new to me, and it was not easy. I did not enjoy any of this.

Still, I had that wedding to photograph, so I begrudgingly trudged ahead, trying to become competent with my K-x.

Samsung NX200 — 2012 — Victorville, CA

For the next couple of years I was shooting more film than digital, but the film canisters were piling up in my refrigerator. My wife was getting tired of sharing fridge space with my film, but money was tight and I could only afford to get a couple of rolls developed here and there. I almost sold my K-x to fund the development of the film, but instead decided to just shoot more digital until my current stash of exposed film could be processed.

In 2012 I purchased my second model: a Samsung NX200. Yes, Samsung briefly had a line of mirrorless interchangeable-lens APS-C cameras that were actually quite innovative. By this time I had accumulated enough experience with digital photography—both operating digital cameras and post-processing with software—that it was becoming more comfortable and enjoyable, which made me want to shoot more.

Pentax K30 — 2012 — Amarillo, TX

I used that Samsung a lot… until one day when someone stole my camera bag from my car. Both the K-x and NX200 and all of my lenses were inside. Thankfully, I had good insurance, which replaced the K-x with a Pentax K30, and the NX200 with an NX210, plus they replaced the lenses. For about a month I didn’t have a digital camera, but once the insurance delivered, I had upgraded gear, and my zest for photography picked up right where it left off.

Funny enough, the stolen camera gear was recovered when the thief tried to pawn it. Because I had kept a record of the serial numbers, when I filed the police report the cameras were added to a list that was distributed to local second-hand shops; the pawn shop clerk saw that the gear was stolen, so they alerted the police. It took awhile, but I was able to acquire my stuff back, and suddenly I had four digital cameras!

Samsung NX210 — 2013 — Tehachapi, CA

I didn’t need four cameras, so I sold both of the Pentax bodies and the Samsung NX210, and used the funds to buy a Sigma DP2 Merrill (plus more NX lenses). I kept the NX200 for when I wanted an interchangeable-lens option. I liked this setup because the Sigma was small and pocketable, and the Samsung was smaller than a DSLR yet just as versatile.

The photographs from the Sigma DP2 Merrill were absolutely fantastic—finally as good as or perhaps even better than many of the film emulsions that I used. It was the first time that I felt this way about the quality of digital images. I finally truly embraced digital photography. I was in love with the pictures; however, the camera was far from perfect. Battery life was similar to a roll of film. You couldn’t stray far from base ISO. The camera itself was uninspiring. The RAW files were a complete pain to process. The photographs were amazing, but it was frustrating, difficult, and often time-consuming to achieve it. It was the epitome of love-hate.

Sigma DP2 Merrill — 2013 — Tehachapi, CA

For the next year, I used the Sigma for about 75% of my photography and the Samsung for about 25%. Man, that DP2 Merrill was a pain, but boy-oh-boy were the pictures good! Even though it had a fixed 30mm (45mm-equivalent) lens, I didn’t feel hindered by that limitation very often, and when I did the Samsung was eager to go.

A friend loaned my their Nikon D3200 to try for a few weeks, then I gave it back. The image quality was impressive for such a cheap body, but I was happy enough with the gear I had that I wasn’t tempted to switch brands.

Nikon D3200 — 2014 — Stallion Springs, CA

While cellphones had had a camera built into them for many years, I never felt that they were useful photographic tools until I got a Nokia Lumia 1020. This cellphone was a legitimate camera! Not a decent cellphone that happens to have a so-so camera, but a decent camera that happens to have a so-so cellphone. While the Sigma was quite compact and easily carried, the Nokia was even more so, which means that I literally always had it with me.

For about another year, I used the DP2 Merrill for about 50% of my photography, the Lumia 1020 for around 35%, and the Samsung was down to roughly only 15%. During this time two things happened: I was getting burnt out on post-processing the Sigma files, which was extraordinarily time consuming, and the Samsung began acting weird sometimes. Perhaps that’s why I used my cellphone so much.

Nokia Lumia 1020 — 2014 — Tehachapi, CA

In 2015 I sold the NX200 (and the lenses for it), and went all-in on the Nikon D3300, returning to the DSLR. This was Nikon’s low-budget model, but (because I had previously tried the D3200) I knew it would work fine for me; I spent more money on lenses instead. I really liked the quality of the pictures from this camera, but it didn’t take me long to remember that I didn’t care much for DSLRs. While the D3300 was very small and lightweight for a DSLR, it was still bulky, and less convenient to carry around.

I preferred the D3300 process—the shooting experience and especially the editing—over the Sigma, so I used the DP2 Merrill less and less. I have several thousand unprocessed RAW Sigma files still sitting on an old computer that’s in a box in the closet, and I’m sure they’ll be lost to time soon enough. Within a few months of purchasing the Nikon, I was only using the D3300 and cellphone, and not the DP2 Merrill.

Nikon D3300 — 2015 — Cambria, CA

It was a tough decision that I occasionally regret, but I reluctantly sold the Sigma DP2 Merrill. I set out to replace it with something somewhat equivalent—good image quality in a small, pocketable body—but with easier images to deal with. I wanted something that would be better than a DSLR for travel or just carrying around. I landed on the Sony RX100 II, which had a smaller sensor and a zoom lens.

It was definitely good to have a smaller option; however, while the camera certainly was good, I was never really happy with it. Perhaps I was too closely comparing the images to the Sigma, which was unfair to do. Sadly, despite trying, the RX100 II never found its place in my workflow, and was often underutilized.

Sony RX100 II — 2015 — Tejon Ranch, CA

I didn’t even own the Sony RX100 II a whole year before I sold it. During this time I was photographing less, while simultaneously shooting more film than I had the previous few years. Soon the D3300 and my cellphone were the only digital cameras that I owned, and I was using the Lumia 1020 more than the Nikon.

My wife had a Canon PowerShot N digicam. This little weird square camera actually took interesting pictures. I borrowed it on several occasions, including a trip to the eastern Sierras and Yosemite National Park, where I often chose it over the Nikon.

Canon PowerSot N — 2015 — Yosemite National Park, CA

I realized that I don’t enjoy big cameras. I appreciate smaller models because they’re easier to carry around and don’t get in the way of whatever else is happening around you. I feel sometimes that one has to choose whether they’ll be a photographer or just a regular person in the moment; however, small cameras allow you to be both, but often the compromise is image quality.

Even though some of my favorite pictures (up to that point) were captured on the Nikon D3300, in early 2016 I sold it, and seriously contemplated getting out of digital photography completely, and just shoot film. Instead, I purchased a Panasonic Lumix ZS40, which was similar to the RX100 but cheaper and not as good. For about four months my only digital models were this and my cellphone.

Panasonic Lumix ZS40 — 2016 — Gray Mountain, AZ

I also replaced my aging Nokia Lumia 1020 with an LG G4. The Nokia was barely being supported, so the phone side of it was becoming less practical. While the LG phone was not terrible for photography, I did not like it as a camera nearly as much as the Nokia; however, it was a much better phone overall.

This period of my photography is a bit of an empty hole. I nearly stopped. I was burnt out by a lot of things—some photography related and some not—and there just wasn’t the same joy in it that there once was.

LG G4 — 2016 — Promontory Summit, UT

But, then everything changed. I always had an interest in Fujifilm cameras since the original X100 was released, but never purchased one. In the summer of 2016, after months of not owning a “real” camera (aside from several analog models), I found a good deal on a used X-E1, so I bought it. When I first tried the X-E1, I instantly fell back in love with photography! The design—the retro tactile dials like my film cameras—just made so much sense to me. Why weren’t all digital cameras like this?!

Because I loved the camera so much, I was suddenly photographing a lot. I mean, a lot. The old problem of spending hours and hours editing pictures was returning, but at least the joy of photography was back. I sold the Panasonic, and used the X-E1 pretty much exclusively. Even the film cameras were going unused.

Fujifilm X-E1 — 2016 — Mirror Lake, UT

After one year, I traded out my beloved X-E1 for a Fujifilm X100F. Because the Sigma DP2 Merrill held such a special spot in my soul, I had high hopes that the X100F could basically do the same for me. It could be my “DP2” without the ridiculous editing hassle and without the shortcomings of that camera. At base-ISO the DP2 Merrill is really difficult to beat, but overall I found that I like the X100-series better. Much better, in fact.

Something very important happened at this time that must be pointed out: I figured out that the Fujifilm JPEGs were actually really good. I realized that the unedited straight-out-of-camera JPEGs didn’t look all that much different than my post-processed RAW files, and by tweaking the settings I could get even closer. Why was I spending all of this time editing RAW files when the camera could do the work for me? This realization literally changed my life. This was when I began making Film Simulation Recipes, which saves me so much time, and has allowed me to become a much more prolific photographer, while avoiding getting bogged down in the stuff that sucks the fun out of it.

Fujifilm X100F — 2017 — Seattle, WA

This article is already much too long, so I want to skip over my journey within Fujifilm. Maybe I’ll save that for another time. Currently I own a number of X-series models—nine bodies, to be exact—and I have owned or used a number of others. In a moment I’ll tell you what I’m shooting with in 2023.

I have had the opportunity to try several non-Fujifilm cameras over the last few years. I’m a proud Fujifilm fanboy, but that does not mean I’m not curious about or are not interested in other brands. I’ve tried Canon, Sony, Nikon, Ricoh, and Apple. They’re all good. They all have positive attributes. For me it’s no contest: Fujifilm is hands-down the best—I love Fujifilm cameras, and I cannot envision being a photographer without at least one; however, everyone has their own tastes and appreciations, and you might disagree with my assessments.

Canon 5DS R — 2021 — Huntsville, UT

So what am I shooting with now? Which cameras am I currently using?

Below are my top-ten most-used models so far in 2023, half of which are Fujifilm, which means five are not Fujifilm. I’ve placed them in order of most-used to least-used. As the year goes on I’m sure this list will change, at least a little. Without further ado, here are the camera’s I’ve been shooting with in 2023:

Fujifilm X-T5

Fujifilm X-T5 — 2023 — Vulture City, AZ

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X100V — 2023 — Bisbee, AZ

Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm X-E4 — 2023 — Litchfield Park, AZ

Ricoh GR III

Ricoh GR III — 2023 — Buckeye, AZ

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 — 2023 — Gilbert, AZ

Fujifilm X70

Fujifilm X70 — 2023 — Tucson, AZ

Fujifilm X-H1

Fujifilm X-H1 — 2023 — Buckeye, AZ

Samsung ST76

Samsung ST76 — 2023 — Buckeye, AZ

Nikon CoolPix S7c

Nikon CoolPix S7c — 2023 — Buckeye, AZ

Fujifilm FinePix AX350

Fujifilm FinePix AX350 — 2023 — Glendale, AZ

See also:

Fuji X Weekly App
Ritchie’s Ricoh Recipes
RitchieCam iPhone Camera App

Classic DigiCams

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

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in silver: Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in silver:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Ricoh GR III:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Four Film Simulation Recipes for Storytelling Photography

Underwood Typewriter – Vulture City, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – AgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe

All photographs tell stories—a picture is worth a thousand words, after all—but storytelling photography is perhaps a step further than just ordinary picture-taking. How exactly do you effectively tell stories through photos? What gear do you need? Which techniques should you consider? Which Film Simulation Recipes are best?

All of those questions and more are discussed at length by myself and Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry in the video below, which was last week’s SOOC Live broadcast. If you haven’t yet watched it, I invite you to do so now. If you want to try this type of photography or simply challenge yourself to become better at telling stories through your pictures, this episode is a must-watch. Also, so you don’t miss any future broadcasts, be sure to follow the SOOC Live YouTube channelEpisode 1 and Episode 2 of Season 3, plus all of the first two seasons, can be found there, too.

Most simply, storytelling photography is a type of documentary photography. It is chronicling the important or everyday events that you’ll want to remember for many years to come, such as holidays or precious family moments. It is capturing the human experience—how people adapt to or effect the environment around them. It is eliciting a response from the viewer, weather prompting questions or evoking emotions. Perhaps most importantly, you should “f8 and be there” because storytelling pictures become more meaningful over time, so it is critical to be in the moment and capture the picture.

The four Film Simulation Recipes that Nathalie and I challenge you to use for storytelling photography are:

Reggie’s Portra

Spray Artists – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – Reggie’s Portra Recipe

This is a versatile Film Simulation Recipe that produces classic Kodak negative film colors. This could easily be your go-to Recipe for almost any situation, as Reggie Ballesteros, the creator of this Recipe, will gladly attest. It is intended for “newer” X-Trans IV cameras—X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II; for X-Trans V, I recommend setting Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, and for the X-T3 and X-T30, simply ignore Color Chrome FX Blue and Grain strength, since your camera doesn’t have those options.

Cute Alien – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Reggie’s Portra Recipe
Gunslinger – Tombstone, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Reggie’s Portra Recipe

AgfaChrome RS 100

We Are Open – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – AgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe

I love the retro rendering of this Recipe! It’s not quite as versatile as Reggie’s Portra, but, because it has a cooler cast, it does still do well in a variety of light situations. If you want to emphasize blues and reds, this is the one to use. It is intended for “newer” X-Trans IV cameras—X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II; for X-Trans V, I recommend setting Color Chrome FX Blue to Weak.

Bikes & Brunch – Cave Creek, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – AgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe
Here Ducky, Ducky, Ducky – Tucson, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – AgfaChrome RS 100 Recipe

Classic Slide

Pan for Gold – Tucson, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – Classic Slide Recipe

This Film Simulation Recipe reminds me of a reversal film aesthetic similar to Elite Chrome or Provia 100F, although it’s not modeled after those emulsions specifically. It has a lot of contrast, and (like slide film) you have to be careful to get the exposure right. Because of the cool cast, it can be used in some artificial light situations and produce good results. This Recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, plus the X-T3 and X-T30; to use it on newer models, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and Grain size to Small.

Saguaro Wearing a Hat – Cave Creek, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Classic Slide Recipe
Bear in a Shop – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Classic Slide Recipe

Ilford Delta Push Process

Dirty Feet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Ilford Delta Push Process Recipe

This is a great black-and-white Recipe; I think B&W lends itself well to this genre in general, so definitely give it a try! It does require an ultra-high ISO, which is challenging for bright daylight photography—enable the electronic shutter for faster shutter speeds and stop down, or use an ND filter. It is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, plus the X-T3 and X-T30; to use it on newer models, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and Grain size to Large.

March Horses – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Ilford Delta Push Process Recipe
Fetching Bowls – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 – Ilford Delta Push Process Recipe

Find these Film Simulation Recipes and nearly 300 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

A Better Way To Get a Retro Film Look

Rodeo Cold – Cave Creek, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100

Is there a better way to get a retro film look? In my opinion, the answer is yes!

Notice that I didn’t say the best way, only a better way. The best way to get a retro film look is to shoot actual analog film on a retro film camera; however, film is expensive and the process inconvenient. Digital is much more convenient, but digital images inherently don’t resemble film—one must manipulate them. There are numerous programs, plugins, and presets that will provide you with a film look without a lot of fuss, but it does require some level of post-processing; editing pictures is a good way to get a retro film look, but a couple downsides are 1) you must have access to (and pay for) the software and know how to use it and 2) it takes time to edit all of your pictures. There is another way, which I believe is a better way.

It’s very simple: shoot JPEGs on Fujifilm cameras programmed with analog-like Film Simulation Recipes and use vintage lenses. I say that this is a better way because you can achieve a retro film look without the hassle of picture manipulation. Better, of course, is subjective, but this is an increasingly popular method, largely because more and more photographers are deciding that it is indeed a better way for them.

Arizona Honeysuckles – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 70mm – AgfaChrome RS 100

Fujifilm cameras are an important ingredient to this because, when programming their digital output, Fujifilm utilized their film department to assist with the image rendering. In other words, using their vast film experience, they set out to infuse an analog aesthetic into their digital photographs. Film Simulation Recipes take it a step further by fine-tuning the camera settings to better replicate specific film stocks and/or processes or mimicking certain looks. There are nearly 300 Recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App (available for Android and Apple), so be sure to download it if it’s not already on your phone. You can do pretty much the same thing as Recipes with software, but it will not 100% match the straight-out-of-camera images and you will have to work for it (at least a little), while camera-made JPEGs are good-to-go without editing (the work is already done for you). This is a paradigm shift that can dramatically transform your workflow by drastically simplifying it, which saves you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially money, while simultaneously making photography more fun. Like I said: better.

The final ingredient is the glass. Modern lenses are often precision engineered, making them nearly flawless. That’s great if you want a digital look, but if you want a retro film look you should employ the same lenses that were used to shoot film, which often have flaws that give them character—an important aspect of the analog aesthetic. Find some old glass and shoot through it! You’ll need an adapter—the exact one depends on the mount of the lens—and set the camera to “Shoot Without Lens” in the Menu settings. These lenses are manual focus, which can be tricky at first, but thankfully Fujifilm provides you with some excellent tools to assist with it, making manual focus much easier and more enjoyable. Alternatively, you could use inexpensive third-party lenses, which often have similar characteristics to vintage lenses, and you won’t need a special adapter.

For the pictures in this article, I used a Fujifilm X-T5 programed with my AgfaChrome RS 100 Film Simulation Recipe shot through various tiny Pentax-110 lenses. The straight-out-of-camera results are very analog-like, and could probably pass as actual film photographs if I didn’t provide any background information. You’re not likely to think that these are out-of-camera pictures from a modern camera. If you weren’t convinced that they’re film, you’d likely assume some post-processing was done to make them appear film-like, yet they’re unedited. In any event, if you want a better way to get a retro film look, use Fujifilm cameras programmed with Film Simulation Recipes and shoot through vintage lenses. Simple. Easy. Convincing. Fun.

Colorful Wheel – Vulture City, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Turn Signal – Cave Creek, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Rockshop – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Out the Upstairs Window – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Pie – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Kokopelli – Rock Springs, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Fuzzy – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 70mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Yellow – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 70mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Desert Spring – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 70mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Two Cholla – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 70mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Spring Lupine – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 50mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Purple Lupine – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 50mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Yellow Spring – New River, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 50mm – AgfaChrome RS 100
Blossoms Among Ocotillos – Vulture City, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Pentax-110 24mm – AgfaChrome RS 100

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

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Wait, What?!? Fujifilm to Use X-Trans IV Sensor in new Cameras?

Sentinel & Merced – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Vintage Color Recipe
Captured on a 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor

According to Fujirumors, who is almost always right, the upcoming X-S20 camera, which will likely be announced in May, will have a 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor, the same sensor as the X-S10 and all other X-Trans IV cameras, and not the new 40-megapixel or 26-megapixel-stacked X-Trans V sensor.

Wait, what?!? Why would Fujifilm do this?

This doesn’t make any sense because Fujifilm has historically used the same sensor in all models of a certain generation, with few exceptions. What are the exceptions? The X-M1 had an X-Trans I sensor paired with an X-Trans II processor (yet with options more like a Bayer model). The X20, X30, XQ1, and XQ2 were X-Trans II cameras with small sensors and not APS-C. Otherwise, all of the X-Trans cameras in a generation shared the same sensor. All of the X-Trans III cameras had the 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor. All of the X-Trans IV cameras had the 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor. But X-Trans V is definitely different.

First we have the 26-megapixel-stacked X-Trans V sensor in the X-H2S, which presumably will be found only in that one model and no others. Then there is the 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor found in the X-H2 and X-T5, which presumably will also be found in the next X-Pro and X-100 models. Now we’ll have the 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor (presumably paired with the X-Trans V processor) in the X-S20. Weird.

The advantage of having just one sensor for each Fujifilm era is that no matter your camera within a certain generation, you know you will get identical images out of each body. So you could have an X-T2 as your main camera, an X-T20 as a second body, and an X-E3 as a travel option, and the images will look the same, because they all share the same sensor and processor. Consistency. Or you might have an X-Pro3 and X100V, and—no matter which you used—the picture quality will be identical. Now with X-Trans V there’s a lot less consistency across the range, which in my opinion is a disadvantage.

Using the X-Trans IV sensor in the X-S20 does make sense because the sensor, while a few years old, is still excellent, and pairing it with the new processor will (potentially) get the most out of it. I have both X-Trans IV and X-Trans V cameras; while they’re all great, I actually prefer X-Trans IV. I don’t need 40-megapixels. Some people do—yes—but the vast majority don’t, and it’s overkill that for most people only exacerbates storage issues. So I would rather Fujifilm work to squeeze more—increased dynamic range, improved high-ISO, speed, etc.—out of the 26-megapixel sensor than to push more resolution. I feel like 26MP is a really good spot for APS-C, and Fujifilm shouldn’t be in a hurry to move past it. I’ve made many very nice 2′ x 3′ prints from X-Trans IV JPEGs, and the majority of people don’t print that large, let alone bigger.

One question that this raises is what will be different about the X-S20 compared to its predecessor, since they’ll share the same sensor? Apparently the X-S20 will have the new NP-W235 battery, which is certainly nice. I would be surprised if a slight design change isn’t necessary to accommodate the bigger battery, but I don’t expect any drastic changes to the design overall. I expect some improvements to autofocus, maybe image stabilization, and perhaps some small video spec upgrades (such as better time limits) will be included, but certainly nothing major. Most likely more will be alike than dissimilar; however, the upgraded battery and processor will make the X-S20 better than the X-S10, at least by a little, but probably not much more than a little.

I do think this gives some credibility to my theory that another PASM model is in the works—I don’t have any inside information, this is just my personal thoughts. I think a number of X-S10 users would like to upgrade to a higher-end body, but the X-H2/X-H2S is too big and expensive for them. I also believe that a number of X-H2/X-H2S owners would like a more compact and cheaper second body, but the X-S10 is a little too much of a downgrade for them. These folks aren’t interested in the X-T4 or X-T5 because of the traditional dials. Fujifilm has created a need for an in-between mid-tier PASM model. Don’t be surprised if an X-S2 (or whatever they will call it) is being designed right now, which will be a little larger than the X-S20 (but not as large as the X-H2/X-H2S), have weather-sealing, two SD-Card slots, seven Custom Presets, but no external fan accessory and slightly more limited video specs compared to the X-H2 (more similar to the X-T5), with an MSRP around $1,500-ish. Look for it in 2024. Like I said, this is all just a guess.

Evening Charge – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4Kodak Portra 400 v2 Recipe

Another question that is raised is whether the X-T40 (or maybe they’ll call in X-T50) will have the X-Trans IV sensor like the X-S20, and I think the answer is yes. Fujifilm will use the “old” sensor to differentiate low-end models from mid and high-end bodies. If there is an X-E5, which is far from guaranteed, it would also have the 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor. I don’t personally believe that both the X-T00 and X-E lines will continue, and most likely the one to get axed is the X-E series, which is unfortunate because I really like the X-E line. If there eventually is an X-E5, look for it in 2025 near the very end of X-Trans V. Fujifilm should 100% be making an X80—the long awaited successor to the X70—and if they do it will certainly also have the 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor, but I don’t think that such a camera is in the works. I really hope I’m wrong.

I don’t know if the X-S20 (and future X-T40) will have an output more similar to X-Trans IV or X-Trans V or something unique. My guess is that the processor will be programmed to produce results more like the X-T5, which renders blue a little deeper on some film simulations and does some odd things with AWB (otherwise the differences between X-Trans IV and V are pretty small overall). We’ll have to wait until the camera comes out to find out.

Personally, I feel as though camera makers release new models much too quickly. There’s still quite some demand for X-Trans IV models. The X-E4 and especially the X100V have long backorder lists. A camera store told me that if they received zero new orders for the X100V and they continued to received new bodies at the same rate that Fujifilm has been delivering them, that it would take them six months to fulfill all of the current X100V orders; yet, they continue to receive new orders at a higher rate than bodies are being shipped to them by Fujifilm, so the backorder list is constantly growing. Fujifilm should concentrate their efforts on fulfilling current demand for X-Trans IV before pressing forward with X-Trans V. Unfortunately, camera makers will constantly push slightly improved new models because there is so much GAS and FOMO out there that people will buy them up.

There’s a cycle, which I’ve certainly been caught up in, and it’s not healthy: buy a new camera every year. People often have two camera bodies (sometimes someone has only one, and sometimes someone—like me—has a bunch)—and one of the two is replaced every odd year and the other is replaced every even year. Perhaps in 2021 you replaced your X-T2 with an X-T3 and in 2022 you replaced your X100F with an X100V; maybe in 2023 you will replace your X-T3 with an X-T5, and in 2024 you’ll look to replace your X100V with an X100Z (or whatever they’ll call the next X100). The cycle goes on and on.

My most recent camera purchase was an X-T5, but I did so in order to try the new film sim and make Film Simulation Recipes for X-Trans V; otherwise I didn’t need it—yes, the X-T5 is very nice to have and I’m not complaining whatsoever, but I’d be just as happy without it. I purchased my X-E4 two years ago, and I have no desire to replace it anytime soon—it was my most-used camera in 2022. My X100V was a birthday gift from my wife nearly three years ago, and I’m sure I’ll skip the next X100 series model, unless there’s something really radical about it. A year before that I bought an X-T30, which is a good camera that would still seem fresh if Fujifilm had shown it more Kaizen love, instead of releasing the firmware as a new model. Of those four, the X100V and X-E4 are my two favorites, and I hope to be still using them in 2025 and perhaps well beyond that. If Fujifilm made an X80, monochrome-only X100 or X-Pro, or an IR model, I’d be in line to buy those, but otherwise I’m not personally interested in anything new. I have what I need, but more than that I need to break the cycle of buying a new camera every year.

The fact is that even the older Fujifilm models are good. Yes, the newer models are better in many ways, but that doesn’t mean that their predecessors weren’t good. I used my Fujifilm X-T1 exclusively for a couple of weeks last November, and, not surprising to me but perhaps a surprise to some of you, the X-T1 did exceptionally well in most situations, including sports—the biggest shortcoming was autofocus in dim-light. If your camera still works for you, there’s not likely a good reason to upgrade.

Of course, the X-S20 isn’t intended as an “upgrade” model. Its purpose is to convince those unhappy with their Canikony cameras to consider Fujifilm instead. The X-S line’s main goal is to attract those from other brands who aren’t interested in (or are intimidated by) Fujifilm’s traditional tactile controls, but want Fujifilm’s colors and such. The X-S20 is an entry-level model, so Fujifilm is hoping that those with a Nikon D3500 or Sony A6300 or Canon T7 (or another model along those lines) will take a long look at the X-S20. I’m sure it will sell well, bringing people into the Fujifilm fold who otherwise wouldn’t be.

10 Must Try Film Simulation Recipes for Night Photography

Night Statue – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Serr’s 500T Recipe

Which Film Simulation Recipes are good for nighttime photography? With nearly 300 to choose from, it can be difficult to know when to use which Recipe. Almost all film emulsions are either Daylight-balanced or Tungsten-balanced; similarly, most Recipes are intended for daytime photography, and some are intended for nighttime photography. There are also some that, even though made for sunny conditions, still do well after the sun goes down. So let me suggest to you 10 Film Simulation Recipes that do well at night!

Depending on the exact light situation, some Film Simulation Recipes that are intended for daytime use will still look good at night, and other times they will produce a strong warm cast that you might not like. While adjusting the White Balance to better suite the situation is always an acceptable option (“season to taste” the Recipe), picking a Recipe that is intended for the light situation you are in is my preferred method. Like film, it’s better to pick the “right” one that matches the conditions you’ll be shooting in, but there’s no right or wrong way to do photography, so you’ll have to decode what works for you.

Of course, everyone has different tastes. There are some Recipes that you might love, and some that you might not. Your favorite after-dark Recipe might not be in this list, as it’s not comprehensive. There are certainly other Recipes that I have personally used and liked for nighttime photography; however, these are ones that I think are especially well-suited. A couple were tough cuts, and would certainly have been included if it was 15 Recipes and not 10.

If you are not sure which Film Simulation Recipe to use at night, try one of these!

Find these Film Simulation Recipes and nearly 300 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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