Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe

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Windows & Reflections – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 “Ektachrome 100SW”

What I love about my Ektachrome 100SW film simulation recipe is that it reminds me of a film that I used to use. Just like the original Ektachrome 100SW recipe, which is compatible with X-Trans III & IV cameras, this recipe is identical to my Kodachrome II recipe, except that it uses Velvia instead of Classic Chrome. This version of Ektachrome 100SW is compatible with X-Trans I & II cameras, as well as Fujifilm Bayer cameras.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2 (High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: -1 (Medium-Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X-T1 using this Ektachrome 100SW film simulation recipe:

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Instamatic – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Throw Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Striped Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Indoor Decor Near a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Grass & Concrete – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Little Steps – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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February Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Lizard – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Penguins On A Rock – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Swimming Penguins – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Coral Fish – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe

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Rural Grass – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

One of my favorite film simulation recipes, and one of the most popular, if not the most popular, on Fuji X Weekly, is my Kodachrome II recipe. This version of that recipe is adapted for Fujifilm X-Trans II cameras, such as my X-T1. It will work on all cameras with an X-Trans II sensor, plus Bayer sensor cameras, such as the XF10, X-T100 and X-A7. Because it requires the Classic Chrome film simulation, it is not compatible with X-Trans I cameras, or the original X100.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2 (High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: -1 (Medium-Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X-T1 using this Kodachrome II film simulation recipe:

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The Wetlands of Farmington Bay – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pallet Dump – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Old Wood – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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February Thistles – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Francis Peak in February – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Succulents – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Bright Apple – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Kodak Film Canisters – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Bolsey on the Camera Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Longing For Another World – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also:
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe
First Fujifilm X-T1 Film Simulation Recipes

My Fujifilm X-T30 Dramatic Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe

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The Obscurity of Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

A couple of weeks ago when I was discussing the possibility of Fujifilm creating a black-and-white only camera, something that I came to learn by accident is that the Monochrome film simulation is pretty darn good. On X-Trans III & IV cameras, I have always used the Acros film simulation because it is beautiful and has a film-like quality to it. But there’s something about the “old-fashioned” Monochrome film simulation that’s nice, as well. I had never made a Monochrome film simulation for X-Trans III & IV cameras, so I set out to do so.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so I decided that the best starting point was to revisit the iconic photographs of the great photographers from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s—people like Ansel Adams, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau, Weegee, Pual Strand, Elliott Erwitt and others. I realized that I was drawn to the high-contrast pictures that these photographers had created. I wanted to create a recipe that mimics that look in-camera. These settings, which I call Dramatic Monochrome, are what resulted from that.

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Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

For those with X-Trans III sensors, which don’t have the Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get similar results, but it won’t be quite as dramatic. The difference isn’t very big, so don’t worry about it. I would consider using +2 for Sharpness on X-Trans III instead of +3. On X-Trans IV cameras, you could give a +1 toning for a subtle warm look, such as what would happen if you gave a print a quick Sepia bath.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0
Sharpening: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800

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

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Chair Near a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Santa Fe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Young Piano Hands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Clouds Above The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Ridge Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lines In The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Clouds Over The Frosted Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Beyond Dark – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Frosted – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Darkness & Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Defending Tatsuo Suzuki

This will be a controversial post. I’m a bit hesitant to publish it, because it will cause a stir, and I’m not looking for trouble. The Fuji X Weekly audience has been extraordinarily civil, which is something I’m extremely grateful for, as the internet can oftentimes be the exact opposite of civil. The internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people, perhaps because they can hide behind anonymity, or maybe there is a disconnect that makes interactions seem a bit less human; whatever the reason, people sometimes are rude or downright mean on the web. I’m asking right up front for civility and human kindness in regards to this article.

The video at the top, entitled My Milestone, was produced by Fujifilm to promote the X100V. It was promptly removed by Fujifilm because of public outcry. The featured photographer, Tatsuo Suzuki, is controversial, not for his images, but for how he captures those images. This video created quite a stir on the internet, and the worst in people showed up strongly in the comments of various articles regarding the video.

Here’s another video that shows Suzuki’s photographs and technique:

It seems as though the majority of people are against Suzuki’s style and agree that the video is controversial, and they believe that Fujifilm should never have associated themselves with him. Fujirumors and PetaPixel even conducted polls that confirm it. Now Suzuki is no longer a Fuji X Ambassador, either because Fujifilm dropped him or he dropped them. I’m going to go against popular opinion and defend Tatsuo Suzuki. The reaction to the Fujifilm video has been a huge overreaction.

As best as I can gather, what Suzuki did in the video that sparked all the outrage is demonstrate his “aggressive” style of shooting. He’s very much “in your face” as he walks the streets of Tokyo with his camera. It comes across as rude, as he invades people’s personal bubbles. My opinion is that he does this because, in Japan, people are extremely guarded, and the photographs that he captures, which are very good, would be impossible with any other technique. It’s the technique that he chooses to use in order to fulfill his photographic vision. It’s abrasive, yes, but also effective.

Suzuki is not the first to use this aggressive technique nor is he the most extreme with it. Bruce Gilden, Garry Winogrand and Eric Kim come to mind, and I’m sure there are many others. These are all successful and celebrated, albeit controversial, photographers, including Suzuki. They are far from the only controversial photographers out there. Even the legendary Steve McCurry has been called controversial at times. My point is this: just because you disagree with something doesn’t make it wrong.

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Man In Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Was Suzuki doing anything illegal? No. In Japan, and many parts of the world, this type of photography is legal. Was he acting different than you or most people might act in public? Yes. Just because you don’t go around taking unsolicited closeup pictures of strangers doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to do so. Is it strange? Yes. Wrong? Not necessarily.

There’s a trend right now to shut down debate when faced with a differing opinion. If there’s something that you disagree with, it’s become common to attack the person whom one disagrees with. It used to be that people could “agree to disagree” and still be kind and caring and remain friends. Nowadays, if someone says or does something that you disagree with, you might attack their character and call them all sorts of names, demanding that they be stripped of their dignity until they change their ways. That’s exactly what I’ve seen in this debate. It’s really nasty and harmful. Those who go to war with their words against someone who did or said something that they disagree with, those people are the ones that stop dialogue, who encourage hate, and stifle civility. It’s good to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he conducts himself.” It’s not alright to call him all sorts of mean names and tear apart his character bit by bit.

I don’t know Tatsuo Suzuki personally. For all I know he’s the nicest guy in the world. Perhaps he helps little old ladies cross the street and rescues cats from trees and does all sorts of good deeds. Maybe he’s the “jerk” that people have been calling him, but maybe that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t know. I don’t know. Why assume the worst in him when you don’t know him? We’d all be better off if we assumed the best in others.

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

When I do street photography, I like to be the guy that nobody notices who stealthily gets the shot without being seen. One of the big reasons why I do this is fear, but I tell myself that it’s also out of respect for those I might be photographing. Is that really the best approach? I noticed that a lot of people called Suzuki a “creep” because of how he conducts himself when he photographs. But what is creepier: the guy in the shadows hiding and lurking or the guy who makes it completely obvious to everyone around him exactly what he’s doing? While it’s much more shocking to see Suzuki at work, I wonder how shocked people would be to find out someone has been secretly photographing them without them noticing? While ignorance is bliss, I do think being open and honest is better than being secretive and sneaky. Most people don’t have the guts to be open and honest in candid street photography, so they hide.

You might be saying to all of this, “So what?” There’s something that happened to me a number of years ago. Somebody that I don’t know wrote a college paper on the evils of Photoshop. They argued that manipulating photographs of woman was causing a self-esteem crisis among young girls. I had written an article (for a different photography blog) defending Steve McCurry’s use of Photoshop. Remember when that was a big deal? Anyway, whoever this person was that wrote the paper quoted (really, misquoted) me in it, taking my words out of context, and made it seem as though I wanted young girls to have self-esteem problems. It was completely absurd! The university published this paper on their website. Someone that didn’t know me assumed the worst in me based on a quote that they didn’t understand, and unfairly attacked my character. That was completely wrong of them to do it! The lesson here is that we have to be very cautious not to do the same to others that this person did to me. Thankfully, I don’t think anybody cared what the paper said and nothing negative came out of it. In the case of Suzuki, someone did care what was said and something negative did come out of it.

Fujifilm knew who Tatsuo Suzuki was when they invited him to be an ambassador. They knew who he was when they made the promotional video for their product. They should have stood by him and defended him. If they lost a few customers over it, that’s alright because they knew who he was and despite that (because of that?) decided to partner with him. It seems pretty crummy to toss him aside just because some people complained. It also seems crummy that people don’t care to understand Suzuki’s point of view, and prefer the easy route of character assassination instead. I think that the best advice moving forward is to take a deep breath and examine ourselves first before biting someone’s head off. We have two ears and one mouth, so we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Or, in this case, slow to type.

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm just announced the much anticipated X100V, which replaces the much loved X100F. The X100 series hasn’t changed much externally since it began. This is one of the most beautifully designed cameras in the digital era, so why change it? There’s no reason, so Fujifilm doesn’t. The X100V looks nearly identical to the original X100. What’s different is internal.

Fujifilm redesigned the lens. It looks the same and has the same specs, but with improved sharpness, particularly corner sharpness wide-open. The rear screen now tilts and is a touch-screen. Unfortunately, and this is perhaps the biggest external change, the D-Pad is now gone, but this isn’t a huge deal, as you get used to the touch controls pretty quickly. The viewfinder has been given a small upgrade. The X100V is weather-resistant, which is not the same as weather-sealed; it’s designed to handle the elements a little better than previous versions.

The biggest upgrade for this camera is the X-Trans IV sensor and processor. This is the same sensor and processor found in the X-T3, X-T30 and X-Pro3, yet the X100V has the new features found in the X-Pro3 that aren’t (yet) found in the X-T3 and X-T30, including the Classic Negative film simulation. The X100V is faster, more feature-rich, and has better video capabilities than the X100F.

Fujifilm X100V

Is the X100V a camera that you should buy? Whenever a new camera is released, it’s easy to want it. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. It’s easy to have camera envy. The X100V will be a fantastic camera, no doubt about it! The X100 series cameras are easy to love. But should you really drop everything and order your copy today?

My opinion is this: if you already own the X100F, keep it! The upgrade isn’t significant enough to justify buying the new model. The X100F and the X100V are very similar to each other. If you wear out your X100F, then buy the new model, but if it still works just fine, don’t change cameras. If you have an older model, such as the original X100, X100S or X100T and are considering upgrading, I say sure, why not? But if those cameras still work and bring you joy, why rush to get the new model? If you are trying to decide between the X100F and X100V and money is no issue, go with the X100V, which is a little better than its predecessor. But if you are like most people and have a tight budget, the X100F is nearly as good and can be found for a little cheaper.

The X100V will be released on February 27 with an MSRP of $1,400.

This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

Fujifilm X100V black:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100V silver:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100F black:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100F silver:   B&H   Amazon

An interesting side note: I predicted that this version of the X100 would be called the X100V way back in September of 2017. The “S” in X100S stands for second, the “T” in X100T stands for third, and the “F” in X100F stands for fourth, so nobody really knew what the next one would be called. Some predicted X200, or X110, or X110F, or X100N (“N” for new or next), or X100A (because A is the first letter of the alphabet), or X100Z (because Z is the last letter of the aphabet). I took a guess at “V” because it’s the Roman numeral for five, and this is the fifth iteration of the X100. I have no idea what the next one after the X100V might be called. Any guesses?

My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe

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Man in Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Kodacolor”

Yesterday I published my Kodachrome 64 recipe for X-Trans II cameras, such as my Fujifilm X-T1, and today I will share with you my Kodacolor recipe for X-Trans II! Because this Kodacolor recipe requires the Classic Chrome film simulation, those with X-Trans I cameras can’t use it, but those with X-Trans II or Bayer sensor cameras can. While I got the overall aesthetic pretty darn close to the original Kodacolor recipe for X-Trans III and IV, the one thing that I wish I could change is the grain. Newer Fujifilm cameras have faux grain options, but older ones don’t. If you want to mimic the grain in-camera, your best option is to use a higher ISO, such as 3200 or 6400, and let the digital noise act as faux grain. Otherwise, I’m quite pleased with how this Kodacolor film simulation recipe turned out.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1 (Medium-High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: 6300K, -3 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodacolor recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Front Runner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Fro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Cross at Crosswalks – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Look Both Ways – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pipe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rusty Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Stop by the Rack – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Nord’s Stop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Mall Across the Mud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pond Among Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Grass on the Water – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Lake Reflection – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Antelope Island Beyond Farmington Bay – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Camera Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Green is Good for My Soul – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe

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Sun Roof – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Kodachrome 64”

One of my favorite film simulation recipes is Kodachrome 64. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on Fuji X Weekly. Those with X-Trans III and IV cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T30 that I created it on, have been enjoying it since August, but those with X-Trans II cameras—X-T1, X-T10, X-E2, X-E2s, X100T, and X70—have been left out of the fun. Those with Bayer sensor cameras, such as the X-T100, XF10, X-A7, etc., have been out of luck, too. That all changes, starting now. I have cracked the code, and created a Kodachrome 64 recipe for my X-Trans II camera! Unfortunately, it won’t work on the X100, X100S, X-E1 or X-Pro1 because it requires the Classic Chrome film simulation, which those cameras don’t have. But those who own a Fujifilm X-Trans II or Bayer camera, which do have Classic Chrome, I’m sure will appreciate this Kodachrome 64 recipe.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2 (High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: 0 (Medium)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 64 recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Watered Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reflection in the Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reed Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reeds In Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Sisters on a Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Red Mustang – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Wrangler – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Parking Lot Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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January Evening Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rooftop Birds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Suburban Silver Lining – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Coffee Cup – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Prerequisite – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Yellow Pillows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Smiling Jon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: First three Fujifilm X-T1 Film Simulation Recipes

Comparing JPEGs: Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T30 with Astia film simulation.

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Fujifilm X-T1 with Astia film simulation.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my Fujifilm X-Trans III & IV film simulation recipes compatible with my X-T1 camera, which has an X-Trans II sensor. The X-T1 has the same film simulations as my Fujifilm X-T30, minus Acros and Eterna, but many of the customization options to fine-tune the image are different. For the X-T1, everything maxes out at plus and minus two, while X-Trans III & IV cameras can go to plus and minus four on many settings. There are other tools that the newer cameras have that the older ones don’t. The simple fact is this: X-Trans III & IV recipes aren’t directly compatible with X-Trans I & II cameras; can I recreate those recipes for the older models?

When I looked at the pictures that I captured with the different film simulations on my X-T1, it seemed like the results were different than with the same film simulations on my X-T30. Do the film simulations look different on different sensors? I did some tests to determine what is the same and what is not. I think there are some subtle changes, and you won’t get precisely the same results from X-Trans II as you will from X-Trans III and IV. It’s close, but not exact.

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Fujifilm X-T30 with Monochrome film simulation.

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Fujifilm X-T1 with Monochrome film simulation.

Something that I determined is that, with everything set at 0, X-Trans II has slightly darker shadows and X-Trans IV has slightly lighter highlights. It makes it seem like the pictures from my X-T30 are brighter than those from my X-T1, although mid-tones are identical. I made the mistake in the test below (with the exception of Provia) of trying to compensate for that by dropping the exposure by 1/3 stop on my X-T30, which made it darker than the X-T1. That overcompensated for the highlight and shadow difference, while making the mid-tones all wrong. Instead of lowering the exposure on the X-T30, I could have adjusted shadow and highlight by one (-1 Shadow and +1 Highlight) on the X-T1 to get a closer match. Actually, if I had adjusted shadow and highlight (+1 Shadow and -1 Highlight) on the X-T30, it would have been an even closer match, as I also discovered that +1 on the two cameras are different. I think that +1 on the X-T1 is equal to about +1.25 on the X-T30 (if it could adjust in 1/4 increments), and +2 is equal to about +2.5. I think that, because highlights have a brighter starting point on the X-T30, +2 Highlight is about the same on both cameras, while +2 Shadow on the X-T1 is actually closer to +3 on the X-T30. Interestingly enough, I think that -1 and -2 highlight and shadow on the two cameras are similar to each other, and with the same exact minus settings applied to both cameras, the X-T30 will have lighter highlights and shadows than the X-T1. Color on the X-T1 seems to move in +/-1.25 increments when compared to the X-T30, which means +2 Color on the X-T1 is in-between +2 and +3 on the X-T30, while -2 Color on the X-T1 is in-between -2 and -3 on the X-T30.

There’s another difference that I discovered between X-Trans II and X-Trans IV: the white balance is not the same. The X-T1 is actually slightly warmer, leaning towards yellow or yellow-green. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s not exactly the same, which means a slight adjustment will be required to the white balance shift for recreating recipes. What I anticipate as I attempt to translate X-Trans III & IV recipes for X-Trans II is that some will be easy, and some will be difficult or maybe impossible. Because there are less tools to work with on my X-T1, the aesthetic won’t be as precise, as it’s not as fine-tune-able. Despite that, I hope to have some good film simulation recipes very soon for those with older Fujifilm X cameras.

Provia:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

Velvia:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

Astia:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

Classic Chrome:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

Pro Neg. Hi:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

Pro Neg. Std:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

-2:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

-1:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

+1:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

+2:

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Fujifilm X-T30

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Fujifilm X-T1

+3:

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Fujifilm X-T30

+4:

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Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm Monochrome, Part 2

Monochrome Wasatch Mountain

Dramatic Silver Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

In my last post I suggested that Fujifilm should make a monochrome camera like the Leica M10 Monochrom. I wasn’t planning to say anymore about it, but the response I received from that article compelled me to type out this one. The majority of those who replied, either in a comment under that post, via Instagram, or through email, said that they would consider buying a black-and-white-only camera if Fujifilm made one. Some of you had great ideas for it. There’s a chance that someone at Fujifilm reads Fuji X Weekly, so I’m writing this with that in mind.

I had suggested that, if Fujifilm did make a monochrome camera, it should either be in an X-Pro3 or X100V body, and they should call it “X-Pro3 Acros” or “X100V Acros” after their film and film simulation of the same name. It was pointed out to me that it doesn’t have to be in those bodies. It could be in a cheaper body, such as the X-T200, and since it doesn’t require any special sensor, just one without a color filter array, and would have a stripped down menu, the camera could potentially be made affordable. The less expensive the camera is, the more copies it will sell. Of all the body suggestions that I received, the X-E3 was the most popular choice for a monochrome camera by Fuji X Weekly readers.

Someone had an interesting idea for a feature on a monochrome camera: color filters. The X100F has a built-in neutral-density filter, so why couldn’t a monochrome camera have built-in yellow, red and green filters (and perhaps blue)? Click a button and the filter of choice is applied. That made me wonder: is it possible to have a color filter array that can be turned on and off? With the click of a button, perhaps the X-Pro4 can become a monochrome camera, and with another click it’s back to normal. That would be cool! It might be completely impossible, but I’m sure someone smarter than I can figure it out.

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Bountiful Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

The second largest response that I got from my last post, not far behind the “I want that” replies, is, “would a monochrome camera even produce better results than what I can already get with the Acros film simulation?” My initial response was, heck yes! You get a big bump in resolution. But then I was shown two different YouTube videos that do blind tests between the Leica M10 Monochrom and the Fujifilm X-T3 (here and here), and it changed my mind. I did the blind test in both videos, and I was surprised by the results. In the first blind test, which compares the Leica with the Fujifilm and a Sony A7 III, the author uses the Monochrome film simulation, and not Acros, on the X-T3. Even so, the camera that I blindly picked as I looked at the pictures was the Fujifilm. I watched the blind test part twice before making up my mind and viewing the reveal. In the second video, which compares the Leica against another Leica monochrome camera and the Fujifilm and actual film, the author uses both the Monochrome and Acros film simulations. There were five pictures to choose from, and a few looked very close so it was more difficult to pick a favorite. I was surprised that the one I picked was the X-T3 with the Monochrome film simulation. Again, I watched the blind test part twice before deciding and viewing the reveal.

I’m not sure how much stock one can put into YouTube videos, where it’s difficult to really appreciate the pictures. Even so, I made two conclusions: Fujifilm cameras are especially great for black-and-white photography and I need to shoot more with the Monochrome film simulation. I use Acros on my X-T30, but it’s about time that I create a recipe using the Monochrome film simulation, which is apparently better than I gave it credit for.

Would a Fujifilm monochrome camera be awesome? Yes, it would! Would it be better at black-and-white than your current Fujifilm camera? Probably, but not by a big margin, that’s for sure. Perhaps if you print very large, that’s when the monochrome camera would be advantageous. I would still buy one if Fujifilm made one, but it’s good to reaffirm that Fujifilm is already superb at black-and-white photography, and I’m not missing much by not owning a monochrome-only camera.

In closing, I’m very curious what your results are with the blind tests. If you watched the videos, please let me know in the comments what your results were. Which camera made the best black-and-white pictures in your opinion? Thanks!

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.