Why do we Still make B&W Photos?

Round Window – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X100VKodak Tri-X 400 Recipe

The world is full of color, so why would one want to photograph in black-and-white? It’s so old-fashioned anyway. Are there any good reasons to make monochrome pictures in 2023?

In 1826, the first photograph was captured by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in France. It was black-and-white because the first process was B&W. But then in 1861 the first color picture was made by James Clerk Maxwell and Thomas Sutton in Scotland. That should have been the end of B&W photos, right? Actually, color photography didn’t catch on for a very long time because the process to create them was much more complex than B&W, and their color reproduction not particularly accurate. Kodak launched Kodachrome slide film in 1935, which was the first reasonably accurate color process. That should have been the end of B&W, but it wasn’t. In fact, many photographers shunned color photography, and derided it as for amateurs. Black-and-white was for the serious, while color was not.

The New American Color movement of the 1960’s and ’70’s is really what made color photography an acceptable art form. It challenged the idea that “real” photography was only in monochrome. Color images could be just as good as, or perhaps even better than, B&W pictures. It revolutionized photography.

Epic Zip Line – Sundance, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Agfa Scala Recipe

That was so long ago. Color photography is the norm now, not black-and-white. Your digital camera captures a color picture, and you have to convert it to B&W if you want to see in shades of grey. B&W has become a niche of sorts.

So why should you shoot black-and-white photographs in 2023? What reasons are there, other than nostalgia for a time long gone? I love B&W photography, so let me offer a few to you.

Black-and-white pictures are abstract by nature. They’re not faithful reproductions of the world as we see it. Because it is abstract, the photographer is invited to capture the scene in a unique way, with a vision that is dissimilar to, and perhaps even the opposite of, reality. It’s not so much about what the scene is, but about how we see the scene through a divergent eye, and how we can express that to the viewer. It’s a timeless approach to fine-art photography.

The strength of color photographs is color, but it’s also its weakness. When color works within a color theory—perhaps contrasting or harmonious—it can create an especially dramatic or beautiful picture; however, when the colors within an image work against each other, it can be a distraction. B&W photos remove the distraction of color, allowing the viewer to see the important elements without color fighting for their attention—it’s the art of subtraction.

Playing with Waves – Cambria, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak Tri-X 400 Recipe

Black-and-white photography is about light and shadow. It’s about contrast. It’s about shape. Texture. Pattern. Space. Emotion. Those are very important elements to color photography, too, but they’re even more critical to B&W pictures. Mastering monochrome will make you a better photographer, even for your color work.

Fujifilm cameras are particularly great for black-and-white photography thanks to their wonderful film simulations: Monochrome and especially Acros. Many different Film Simulation Recipes can be made using these as the base, with a wide variety of characteristics. Pick one that looks interesting to you, and shoot with it for a day or two to see what you get. My personal favorite is Kodak Tri-X 400, but there are so many that are really good, it’s hard to go wrong with any of them.

Whether you’ve been shooting black-and-white for decades and decades, or if you never have before but are interested, I invite you to join myself and Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry as we discuss B&W photography in-depth on SOOC Live this Thursday, August 3rd, at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, 1:00 PM Eastern. I’ve included it below so that you can easily find in on Thursday.

If you missed last Thursday’s SOOC Live broadcast, where Nathalie and I finished our discussion of travel photography, be sure to watch it now. I’ve included it below, or visit the SOOC Live YouTube Channel. Also, if you haven’t seen the Viewers’ Images slideshow (your pictures!), I’ve added that to the bottom of this article—be sure to watch!

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!

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

Fuji Features: Fujifilm X Monochrome

I’ve been saying for awhile now that Fujifilm should make a dedicated black-and-white camera, kind of like the Leica M10 Monochrom. I would absolutely love that, and would shell out gobs of money for it, assuming that I actually have the funds available to do so. Of course, Fujifilm X cameras are already great at capturing black-and-white photographs straight-out-of-camera, but a true monochrome camera would be on a whole other level.

For this week’s Fuji Features post, I found some articles and videos on the web related to this topic is some way. I hope you enjoy!

SLR Lounge

Fujifilm X

The Phoblographer

Fujilove Magazine

Fujifilm X-M1 (X-Trans I) Film Simulation Recipe: Monochrome

Broken View – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1

Fujifilm introduced the world to the X-Trans sensor in January of 2012 with the announcement of the X-Pro1 camera. Later that same year the X-E1 became the second camera with this new sensor, and a year later the X-M1 became the third and final camera to have the original X-Trans sensor. Even before the X-M1 was released, Fujifilm had begun selling cameras with the X-Trans II sensor, so the original sensor was already old news by the time the camera was released. It seems that, more-or-less, Fujifilm had some spare X-Trans I sensors laying around, so they put them inside of the X-A1, a Bayer sensor camera, and renamed it X-M1. There never was an X-M2.

Even though only three cameras have an X-Trans I sensor, I’ve had many requests for film simulation recipes that are compatible with the X-Pro1, X-E1 and X-M1. I used to own an X-E1 (two, actually), but I mostly shot RAW with it and never developed any film simulation recipes for it. Some X-Trans II and Bayer recipes are technically compatible, but produce slightly different results. I purchased a cheap, gently used X-M1 to create some recipes with, and this is the very first one!

White Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1

The X-M1 only has one black-and-white option. There’s no B+Y, B+R and B+G. There’s just standard B, which is the abbreviation for the Monochrome film simulation. I wanted to create a B&W recipe that produces dramatic results, but the JPEG options are limited on this camera compared to the newer models, so I had to get creative with the white balance to get the look that I wanted. This recipe is intended for X-Trans I cameras, but those with Bayer and X-Trans II cameras can use it, too, but the results will be slightly different.

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2 (Hard)
Shadow: +2 (Hard)
Sharpness: +1 (Medium-Hard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Incandescent, -5 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs made using this Monochrome film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-M1:

Old Phone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Dark Chocolate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Ice Cream Bowl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Countertop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Steel Deck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Good Sam – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Tool Ghosts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Timesaver – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Saw Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Abandoned Workshop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Buy American – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Anchor Screw Drawer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Open Drawers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Indoor Hoop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Window with Broken Glass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Abandoned Garage – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-M1

See also: Film Simulation Recipes


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2.00 $

Fujifilm Noir

Photographer Omar Gonzales made a video about turning your Fujifilm X camera into the Fujifilm Noir, a dedicated black-and-white camera. This post will make much more sense if you watch the video first, so take a moment to do that right now if you haven’t already done so.

Did you watch it? Don’t read anything below until the video is finished!

Done? Okay, let’s move on.

I made my own Fujifilm Noir camera using my X-T30. I have the silver version, so gaffer tape didn’t make a whole lot of sense for the new label that I wanted to attach to the front. I asked my daughter to create something using paper and pencils that might better match the camera. For those wondering, these labels are available for $25 each (only kidding, of course). And, yes, gluing a paper label to a camera is much less heart-stopping than sandpapering a camera.

The Fujifilm Noir camera.

My Fujifilm Noir is an X-T30 with an Asahi Super-Takumar 55mm f/2 attached to the front. I screwed an 1/2 Black Pro Mist filter to the lens (not pictured, sorry) to further enhance the film-like aesthetic. I shot the camera in manual mode using a black-and-white film simulation recipe that I created just for this project. What’s the film simulation recipe? Well, you’ll find it below!

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +1
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
Sharpening: -4
Noise Reduction: -4

White Balance: 2500K, +9 Red & +9 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO 3200

This film simulation recipe was actually an experiment (from when I was creating my B&W IR recipe) that I didn’t love, but I thought it was good enough to use here. I won’t make it an official recipe, this is simply a bonus for you. Feel free to use it in your own photography, as it’s compatible with all X-Trans III and IV cameras. It reminds me of Kodak BW400CN, a black-and-white film that used the C-41 (color) development process. These settings weren’t intended to look like that film, but that’s what it reminds me of.

Kodak BW400CN was not likely ever a popular choice for Noir photography. Noir is French for Black, and Noir photographs are often dark and moody, inspired by 1940’s through 1960’s monochrome crime movies. This recipe isn’t especially Noir, but I used it anyway. There are probably ten different film simulation recipes that are more appropriate for Noir than this one.

I didn’t follow all of Omar’s rules. I shot RAW+JPEG, but only because I used a 2GB memory card, which has enough space for 27 exposures. On a 24-exposure roll of film, you could typically get 25 or 26 frames on it if you were careful. 27 exposures was possible but not commonly achieved (outside of disposable cameras). To make this more of a film-like experience, I used the 2GB SD Card to limit myself to a maximum of 27 exposures, and I refused to change the “film” (recipe) until I had exposed the card. I deleted the RAW files and just used the out-of-camera JPEGs. I got the memory card idea from Fuji X Weekly reader Josh Gagnon.

All of the pictures below were from the first 27-exposure “roll” of “Kodak BW400CN” that I captured using my “Fujifilm Noir” camera. Yes, they’re all camera-made JPEGs, unedited except for some minor cropping here and there.

Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Lamp Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Girl, Drawing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Tortilla Flour – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Drink – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Top Ten – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Building Stack – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Building Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
The Nature of Structure – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Campus Skateboarder – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
One of You – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
$5 Pizza Bus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Fallen Tree at the Capital – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Fallen Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm Noir
Tree & Stormy Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm Noir

Not bad for one “roll” of “film” on my “Noir” camera, right?

Now the ball is in your court! Turn your Fujifilm X camera into a Fujifilm Noir camera and shoot some black-and-white pictures with it! I don’t have any specific rules, but try to give yourself some limitations because limitations improve art. I enjoyed the 2GB card thing. Share with me your Noir pictures using #fujixweekly on Instagram. Let me know in the comments if you like this project and what you think of this “Kodak BW400CN” film simulation recipe!

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Fujifilm X100V New Feature: B&W Toning


With the X-T3 and X-T30, Fujifilm introduced black-and-white toning. With the X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4, Fujifilm took B&W toning to a whole new level! On the X-T3 and X-T30, you have the option of 0 (for neutral), +1 through +9 for warm, and -1 through -9 for cool. On the new cameras, toning is set up more like white-balance-shift, except you can move as many as 18 spots up or down and left or right. Yes, on the X100V, there are 1,368 possible colors to tone your black-and-white pictures! You can even tone B&W video.

The up-and-down option is called “WC” for warm/cool; plus is warm, minus is cool, and 0 is neutral. The left-and-right option is called “MG” for magenta/green; plus is green, minus is magenta, and 0 is neutral. The further you get from 0, the stronger the color, and the closer you get to 0, the more subtle the color. Most people will likely use subtle toning, but some will appreciate the bold options.

I think there is the potential for some very creative uses of this new feature, especially when paired with multiple exposure photography. I haven’t explored the possibilities yet, but I will! If you are a fan of toning your black-and-white pictures, you’ll love this new option. The only thing missing is split-toning, which Fujifilm very well might add on future models—I hope so, anyway! In the meantime, I’ll explore the potential of this new toning feature on the X100V.

Examples of black-and-white toning on the Fujifilm X100V:


WC 0 MG 0


WC +5 MG 0


WC +5 MG +5


WC 0 MG +5


WC -5 MG +5


WC -5 MG 0


WC -5 MG -5


WC 0 MG -5


WC +5 MG -5


WC +18 MG 0


WC +18 MG +18


WC 0 MG +18


WC -18 MG +18


WC -18 MG 0


WC -18 MG -18


WC 0 MG -18


WC +18 MG -18

See also:
Fujifilm X100V New Feature: Clarity
Fujifilm X100V New Feature: HDR

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

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Film Simulation Review: Light & Shadow with Ilford Delta Push-Process


Chair & Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Photography is about light. Without light there are no photographs. Great photographs require great light. What “great light” is depends on the picture and circumstance, and what’s great for one image might not be for another. Great light can be found anytime of the day or night if one looks hard enough for it.

This series of pictures demonstrate the play of light and shadow in an image. It features instances of bright highlights and deep shadows together. It’s the contrast between illumination and the absence of it. I needed a dramatic film simulation recipe to capture these pictures. I knew that it would need to be black-and-white because these pictures aren’t about color, but light and shadow. Color would only be a distraction to the point. But which black-and-white film simulation recipe should I choose?

There are several options for dramatic black-and-white that I could have chosen, including Dramatic Monochrome, Monochrome Kodachrome, Agfa Scala, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford HP5 Push-Process, X100F Acros, X-T30 Acros, Acros Push-Process, and Tri-X Push-Process. Any of those recipes would have worked, but each would have produced a different result. Some have more contrast, some less. Some have a greater dynamic range and others a more narrow. Some are brighter, some darker. Some have more grain and other less. I could have picked any of them and gotten interesting results, but I went with Ilford Delta Push-Process instead, partially because I had been using it for other pictures during this time. It turns out it was a good choice, because it seems to have the right contrast, tones and grain for this series. Sometimes luck plays a role. What I know now is that the Ilford Delta Push-Process recipe is a great option for dramatic light situations like these, and I will choose it again for similar situations in the future. I captured these pictures on a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it.


Suburban Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2


Seat Back Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2


Chair Details – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2


Girl Ghost – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2


Sunlight on the Kitchen Floor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2


Don’t Step Into Darkness – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

My Fujifilm X-T30 Cyanotype Film Simulation Recipe


Ball Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Cyanotype is an early photographic process that produces blue prints. It was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, and was popular in Victorian England. The chemicals needed are simple: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanid. It’s a contact process, so positives have to be placed right over the paper. Sunlight or UV light is required for the exposure. Cyanotypes are pretty simple, and anyone can do them at home.

I thought it would be fun to make a film simulation recipe to mimic cyanotype prints. Fujifilm X-Trans IV cameras have the ability to tone black-and-white pictures, either warm or cool. By toning the pictures blue, I was able to get in the neighborhood of cyanotype photography. Unfortunately, going all the way cool, which is -9 on toning, is only marginally blue enough to pass for cyanotype. Still, this was a fun experiment. If you are bored, why not give it a try yourself?


Blue Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: -9
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Cyanotype” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:


Orbit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Caged Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Blue Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Succulent Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Light Bulb Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Welcome – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Daffodil Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Falling Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Post & Wire – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Threatening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Growth in the Rocky Place – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Studying Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe


Light on the Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

Kodachrome was a black-and-white film. No, really, it was! The color dyes were actually added during development. The process to develop Kodachrome color transparencies was complex and toxic. As demand for the film decreased and Kodak experienced financial troubles, both the film and the chemicals to develop it were discontinued. If you still have some undeveloped Kodachrome film sitting around, there’s absolutely no place in the world that can process it; that is, except as black-and-white negatives. It’s true: Kodachrome can be developed to this day as a black-and-white film!

While I think that this recipe does more-or-less mimic the look of Kodachrome developed as black-and-white, that’s not necessarily the intent of it. This recipe began as an experiment by Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab, who created the Urban Vintage Chrome recipe. He took my Vintage Kodachrome recipe and replaced the Classic Chrome film simulation with Acros, Monochrome and Sepia, and the results were quite interesting! I made a couple of minor adjustments to create this recipe. This is definitely a joint effort, and it wouldn’t exist without Thomas Schwab’s experiments and willingness to share the results. Thank you!


Window & Blinds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

What I like about this Monochrome Kodachrome film simulation recipe is that it has a great film-like quality to it. This recipe pairs especially well with vintage lenses (I used an Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm for about half of these pictures). Even though it says “Fujifilm X-T30” in the title, it can be used on any X-Trans III & IV camera. You can also use this same recipe with the Monocrome+R film simulation, for a slightly different result.

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
White Balance: AWB, 0 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, ISO 3200 to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

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


Roman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Cleaning Cart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Fake Potted Plant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Tree Shadow on a Brick Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Small Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Rural Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Monochrome Mountain Landscape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


B&W Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Tennis Swing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Engaged In Television – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Little Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Hand Washing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Faceless – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Muffins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Pronto! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Daylight Balanced – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Fujifilm Monochrome


Mountains Dressed In Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Leica recently announced the M10 Monochrom, which is their third black-and-white only camera. It can’t capture a color picture because it doesn’t have a Bayer array. It only does black-and-white photography. Fujifilm should do something similar, even though most won’t buy it.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. 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 a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

I think an X-Pro3-M, a black-and-white only version of the X-Pro3, or an X100V-M, a black-and-white only version of the upcoming X100V, would do well enough commercially. Yes, it’s clearly a niche product, as there’s only a tiny market for it, yet Leica found a way to make it profitable, and Fujifilm could, too. There are plenty of photographers who use their X-Pro or X100 series camera to only shoot black-and-white. A Monochrome version would make things simpler for them, while improving perceived resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO. And, Fujifilm has a cool marketing angle: call it the X-Pro3 Acros or X100V Acros. People would eat that up. Increase the price a couple hundred dollars and it would sell well enough to be profitable, in my non-expert opinion.

The flip side to this is that Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, particularly X-Trans III and IV cameras that have the Acros film simulation, are already fantastic for black-and-white photography. Would a monochrome-only camera really produce enough of an improved image to justify buying one? I think that’s a tough question to answer, but my guess is probably not for most people. Still, a monochrome-only camera wouldn’t be for “most people” as it would be for a very small crowd, and for those people the difference would indeed justify buying it. For most, your current X-Trans camera is a great black-and-white photography tool, and there’s no need to get a monochrome-only camera. Some, however, would absolutely love to have one, and I think there’s enough of those people that such a camera could be profitable for Fujifilm, if they ever wished to create one. I hope they do.