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!

Acros+G
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!

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Fujifilm X100V New Feature: B&W Toning

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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:

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WC 0 MG 0

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WC +5 MG 0

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WC +5 MG +5

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WC 0 MG +5

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WC -5 MG +5

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WC -5 MG 0

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WC -5 MG -5

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WC 0 MG -5

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WC +5 MG -5

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WC +18 MG 0

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WC +18 MG +18

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WC 0 MG +18

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WC -18 MG +18

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WC -18 MG 0

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WC -18 MG -18

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WC 0 MG -18

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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

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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?

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

Acros
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:

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Orbit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caged Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Welcome – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daffodil Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Falling Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Threatening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Studying Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe


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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!

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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.

Acros+R
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:

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Roman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cleaning Cart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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

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Small Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rural Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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

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Tennis Swing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Little Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hand Washing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Faceless – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Muffins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pronto! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daylight Balanced – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Fujifilm Monochrome

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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.