Fujifilm GFX-50S Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Negative Industrial

January Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S – “Classic Negative Industrial”

One of my favorite film simulation recipes is Fujicolor 100 Industrial, which is intended for Fujifilm X-T30 and X-T3 cameras. X-Trans IV recipes for the X-T30 and X-T3 plus X-Trans III recipes are compatible with the GFX-50S, but the results seem to be very slightly different. I programmed the Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe into the GFX-50S. Later I updated the firmware, which added the Classic Negative film simulation; it just so happened that the Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe was selected, and I changed the film simulation from PRO Neg. Std to Classic Negative with this recipe still programmed. I immediately loved the results!

This film simulation recipe, with Classic Negative instead of PRO Neg. Std, doesn’t mimic real Fujicolor 100 Industrial film as well as the original recipe, I don’t think, but the results are pretty nice nonetheless. It can be magical! It’s not a recipe for every situation, but it is indeed beautiful in the right situations. It’s a very happy accident!

Forest Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S – “Classic Negative Industrial”

I believe that this film simulation recipe is compatible with all GFX cameras, although I’m not completely sure about the GFX100 (it should be). It cannot be used on the X-T30 and X-T3 because those cameras don’t have Classic Negative, but it can be used on other X-Trans IV cameras (X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4 and X-S10) by selecting Color Chrome FX Blue Off, Clarity 0 (or maybe -2), and Grain Weak + Small; however, results will be slightly different. I tried it on my Fujifilm X100V and it did, in fact, look good, but it’s really intended for GFX cameras.

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

Sample photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured with a Fujifilm GFX-50S using this Classic Negative Industrial recipe:

Tunnel Silhouette – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Pedestrian Tunnel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Manhole Cover – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
No Parking Any Time – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Flasher – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Fallen Tree on Frozen Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Smiling Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
January Sun in the Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Backlit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Creekside Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Vines on Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Spiky Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Sunlight Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S
Brown Among Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S

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

Fujifilm GFX-50S Amazon B&H
Fujinon GF 23mm f/4 Amazon B&H

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Medium Format vs Crop Sensor: How Much Better is Fujifilm GFX than Fujifilm X?

Fujifilm North America sent me a GFX-50S medium-format camera and Fujinon 23mm lens to go with it. The camera and lens aren’t mine; I get to use them for a few weeks, then return them to Fujifilm. The camera is $5,500 (it was $6,500 when it came out four years ago), and the lens is $2,600, so just over $8,000 altogether. This is the most expensive camera and lens that I’ve ever put my hands on!

There are two questions that I want to answer: how much better is medium-format GFX over the APS-C X cameras, and which film simulation recipes, if any, are compatible with GFX. By the way, this isn’t my review of the camera. I’ll write that after I’ve had it for longer. This article is the first step towards a review. I’m simply trying to answer a couple of questions about the GFX-50S camera.

Yesterday I did a little survey on my Instagram account: can you tell the difference between pictures captured on my Fujifilm X-T30 with a Rokinon 12mm lens (a $1,200 combo) and those captured on a GFX-50S with a Fujinon 23mm lens? By far, most photographs are viewed on social media. People post their pictures on Instagram and Facebook and other platforms, and that’s how we see them. Printed photographs are far less common. That’s just the way it is. I wanted to know: on social media, is it even possible to tell the difference between pictures captured using $1,200 gear and $8,000 gear?

Before I get into the responses to that survey, I want to briefly talk about the technical stuff—the why. The reason that I chose the X-T30 is because its JPEG settings are very similar to the GFX-50S’ JPEG settings. I used the same film simulation recipes, Kodak Ultramax for color and Kodak Tri-X 400 for black-and-white, on both cameras (this also allowed me to see how similar or dissimilar recipes are rendered on these cameras). I chose the Rokinon 12mm lens because it has the same 18mm full-frame-equivalent focal length as the 23mm lens on the GFX camera. I used f/8 on the Rokinon and f/16 on the Fujinon (to better match the depth-of-field) and adjusted the shutter speed to compensate; otherwise, the settings on both cameras were identical.

Here are the pictures that I posted to Instagram, in the same order:

Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S
Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S
Fujifilm X-T30
GFX-50S
Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S

Now to that survey! The majority of the comments were something to the effect of, “I can’t tell which camera took which pictures.” There were 10 people who took a guess, and five got it right and five wrong. I was actually surprised that five people figured it out—some of you have very keen eyes! There were three sets of two pictures to allow for direct comparisons, but the final two pictures weren’t a set, and those two pictures tripped up a few people who otherwise figured out the rest. Even a couple of those who guessed correctly said that they weren’t certain on those last two. The takeaway is that, on social media, if you study the pictures carefully and can side-by-side compare, there is a barely noticeable difference between images captured on GFX cameras and those captured on X cameras, but otherwise you can’t tell.

Of course, you’re not spending $8,000 for good-looking social media pictures, but for good-looking prints. So I printed the pictures! All of the prints were 8″ x 12″, but I made some crops that would be about 16″ x 24″, 24″ x 36″, and 40″ x 60″ if the rest of the picture was there. Here are a few of those crops:

Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S
Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S
Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm GFX-50S
The prints!

I studied the prints, then I had my wife, Amanda, look at them. We both came to the same conclusion: printed at 8″ x 12″ it’s really difficult to tell which camera captured which picture; at 16″ x 24″ it’s a little easier to tell but still very tough; at 24″ x 36″ it’s more obvious, but the X-T30 still looks pretty good; and at 40″ x 60″ the GFX is the clear winner, but the X-T30 image isn’t awful.

The Fujifilm GFX-50S costs six times as much as the Fujifilm X-T30. Does it produce six times better image quality? No. Does it produce twice as good image quality? No. Is it a pixel-peeper’s dream? Yes! If you like to zoom into your images and admire the fine details that can only be noticed when you look closely, the GFX-50S is a great option. If you need to crop deeply and still have good-looking pictures, the GFX-50S will deliver. If you print really, really big, the GFX-50S is indeed a fine photographic tool. Outside of that, there’s not a big advantage to the medium-format camera. In fact, there might be as many disadvantages as there are advantages, but that’s a discussion for another time. Did I mention that those files look really nice when you look really close?

Forest Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S – Classic Negative

I have seven different film simulation recipes programmed into the GFX-50S right now, and here’s my probably-too-soon opinion: X-Trans III recipes and X-Trans IV recipes that are compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30 are usable on the GFX-50S… but they don’t look exactly the same. One difference is that the JPEGs from the GFX-50S are slightly less saturated and a hair less warm; it’s very minor but noticeable when side-by-side comparing. The GFX-50S has a larger dynamic range, which not only gives you more latitude for highlight and shadow recovery, but also produces a more flat picture; that’s not necessarily bad, just different. The GFX-50S has Classic Negative—yea!—but not the other JPEG options, such as Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, that the newer X-Trans IV cameras have.

I look forward to shooting more with the GFX-50S, and I know it will be difficult to send back. Using it reaffirms that X series cameras are fantastic and that the gap between APS-C and medium-format isn’t as big as what one might think. There are people who would benefit from the larger sensor and higher resolution that the GFX-50S offers, and those people likely know who they are. If I could, I would definitely own this camera, but it’s not a big deal that I don’t because my other Fujifilm cameras are pretty darn good, too.

Top 20 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes of 2020

Here are the Top 20 most popular film simulation recipes of 2020! I used page views to rank these recipes. Those with Kodak, Kodachrome or Portra in the name are quite popular. More than half of these use Classic Chrome as the base. It’s interesting to compare these to the 12 most popular recipes of December 2020. Only one black-and-white recipe made this list, which isn’t too surprising because color is more popular than monochrome. No Bayer, X-Trans I or X-Trans II recipes found their way into the top 20, only X-Trans III and X-Trans IV.

Without further ado, here are the Top 20 most popular film simulation recipes of 2020:

#1: Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64

Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

#2: Fujifilm X100V Kodachrome 64

Spring Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodachrome 64”

#3: Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400

May Clouds Over Wasatch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Kodak Portra 400”

#4: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II

From Dust to Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”

#5: Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome

Weber River Autumn – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Vintage Kodachrome”

#6: Fujifilm X100V Kodak Portra 400

Journal – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400”

#7: Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna

Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna”

#8: Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome

Closed Drive Thru Window – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Classic Chrome”

#9: Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 160

Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodak Portra 160”

#10: Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 400

Pink Tree Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodak Portra 400”

#11: Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800

Goodyear – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”

#12: Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T

Where Was Your Head That Day? – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

#13: “Classic Negative” for X-Trans III

November Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – “‘Classic Negative’ for X-Trans III”

#14: Fujifilm X100V Cine Teal

Sunlit Tree Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Cine Teal”

#15: Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100

Open Fountain – Brigham City, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Kodak Ektar 100”

#16: Fujifilm X-T30 Kodacolor

Vintage Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodacolor”

#17: Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Gold 200

Outside 7-Eleven – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodak Gold 200”

#18: Fujifilm X100V Classic Negative

Boy in the Window Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Classic Negative”

#19: Fujifilm X100V Kodak Tri-X 400

Wrong Way – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

#20: Fujifilm X100V Fujicolor Superia 100

Grandmother & Grandson – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100”

You can find these film simulation recipes and many more on the Fuji X Weekly app!

Which one of these 20 recipes is your favorite? Which recipe do you use that didn’t make this list? Let me know in the comments!

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Monochrome

Signs, Poles & Wires – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Classic Monochrome”

For some reason, black-and-white film simulation recipes aren’t as popular as color, but Fujifilm cameras are capable of some great monochrome images straight-out-of-camera. This new “Classic Monochrome” recipe was made by Thomas Schwab (B&W Instagram), who has created several of the film simulation recipes on this website and collaborated on several others. He’s a friend of this blog, and I’m honored that he allows me to share his recipes here!

Thomas said that he started with one of the Ilford recipes, and this evolved from that. It’s called “Classic Monochrome” because it has a great old-school B&W print feel. The only change that I added was Toning, which is optional, but it seems to look nice with these settings. This recipe has quickly become one of my favorite black-and-white options! It’s most similar to Dramatic Monochrome, so if you like that recipe you’ll like this one, too. Thank you, Thomas!

Suburban Garages – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Classic Monochrome”

This recipe is contrasty and clean. It reminds me of Agfapan 25 printed using a high-contrast filter (maybe a #4, or even split-filtered). It’s not intended to look like it, but that’s what it reminds me of. It does have a limited dynamic range, and it’s easy to clip highlights, so the exposure should be carefully considered, or perhaps try DR-Auto if you are concerned. It’s compatible (as of this writing) with the Fujifilm X100V, X-T4, X-Pro3 and X-S10 cameras.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Clarity: +4
Toning: WC +1, MG 0

Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Classic Monochrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Marks the Spot – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Main Line Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Empty Box – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Empty Bench – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Joshua Biking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girl & Bike – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Horses & Ducks – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Country Road Bus – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
No Motor Vehicles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Weed 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Weed 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Ice Abstract 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Ice Abstract 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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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Don’t Steal My Stuff

I’ve become aware that someone has stolen my stuff. Sadly, it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. Unfortunately, there are crooked people out there, and creatives are particularly vulnerable to having their work ripped off because we put our art out there for the world to see.

Someone is profiting from the film simulation recipes found on the Fuji X Weekly blog. I, Ritchie Roesch, created most of them. Some were co-created between myself and collaborators (friends of this blog). A few were not created by me, but I always ask for and receive permission before publishing them on this website, and I always give credit to the creator. But someone has published the recipes from this website on their own platform; this person never asked for nor received permission from me, and I was never cited or given any credit. Some of the recipes were renamed to something similar, but most were copied straight up. This person is collecting money through solicited donations and paid “premium” content. But most of this person’s content is mine. While this person doesn’t state that they created the recipes, they don’t state that they didn’t, which is downright misleading.

I put in so much time into this blog as a service to the Fujifilm community. It’s disheartening to say the least that someone has taken this work for their own financial benefit. Create your own recipes! Or, here’s a thought: cite your sources. Even better, reach out to me in the first place. What this person did is extremely underhanded and unethical and probably illegal. It’s really shameful.

If the person who did this (and they know who they are) reads this article, my hope is that they stop collecting money (profiting from other’s work without permission) and clearly cite their sources (instead of plagiarism). This person should also contact me. It’s not right what you did. There’s a right way and wrong way to do things, and you chose the wrong way. I ask you to please set things right. Be inspired by this website, but do not steal from it!

About White Balance

This cross process look is made possible by a White Balance adjustment.

I get asked regularly about White Balance. My film simulation recipes require various White Balance adjustments, and sometimes, in different light situations, the results can be unusual, which can be good or bad, depending on what you are trying to achieve. So let’s discuss this, and figure out what you can do if the results aren’t what you want.

White Balance is the adjustment of color temperature (measured in Kelvin) to account for various light conditions, so that white objects appear white, and not yellow or blue or some other color. White Balance Shift is a tool to precisely fine-tune the White Balance. The intention of White Balance and White Balance Shift is to achieve a natural color balance that matches what the eye sees. But you can give your photographs whatever color balance you’d like—this is art; there are no rules.

Back when I shot film, I don’t remember hearing the term “white balance” spoken even once. There were two options: daylight film and tungsten film. The former was most common and was used in natural light situations, the the latter was less common and used in artificial light situations. I carried with me a warming filter and cooling filter to compensate for various light conditions, essentially to adjust the “white balance” when the light changed. You can actually still do this with digital photography, but the White Balance tools on your camera make it unnecessary to carry around warming and cooling filters.

Different film simulation recipes require different White Balance settings. Some use Auto, but many use Daylight or a specific Kelvin temperature or some other option. Most have a shift, as well. Often they are intended for natural light, and a few for artificial light, but when the light changes, the results can look strange sometimes. Occasionally that “strange” result might be something you really like, but often it’s probably not. When that happens, what can you do?

The White Balance in this picture is intended to produce good results at night.

I’ve said for a few years now that film simulation recipes can be seasoned to taste. This means that if you aren’t getting the look you want, don’t be afraid to adjust the parameters to achieve desired results. For White Balance, this might mean selecting something different than what the recipe calls for. Will this make it look more like the film that it’s based off of? Probably not, but if it gets you the look that you want, then that’s good, right? The next time you are in some light situation that’s giving you too warm or too cool results, see if simply selecting a different White Balance (maybe even simply using Auto White Balance) fixes the issue for you.

Another option is to use a different recipe. Some film simulation recipes are intended to work well in certain light conditions. Look for one that might be a better fit for the situation. If you read the articles and view the sample pictures, that might provide a clue of when a certain recipe will work well; however, it’ll probably take some trial and error to really figure out which recipes to use when.

Other than either adjusting the White Balance to something different than what the recipe calls for or selecting a different recipe altogether, your options are to use a warming or cooling filter like in the film days or to simply embrace the unusual results. There’s not a whole lot else that you can do. My advice is to consider beforehand if the recipe will be a good fit for the light; if it’s not but you still want to use it, either accept the results for what they are or adjust the White Balance to something that will give you the results that you want. Don’t be afraid to make an adjustment to the White Balance if that’s what the situation calls for.

Sunset Photography w/ Fujifilm X-T30 + Fujinon 100-400mm

Oquirrh Mountain Evening – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

My most expensive lens, by far, is the Fujinon 100-400mm, which retails for $1,900. Despite the hefty price tag, I find myself not using that lens very often. Why? There are several reasons. First, the camera that I reach for the most is my Fujifilm X100V, which has a fixed lens, so I can’t use the 100-400mm with that camera. Another reason is that the focal length is very long and sometimes difficult to use; it’s not the right tool for many situations. The final reason is that it’s big and heavy, especially compared to my other lenses, and it works best when attached to a tripod, so it’s kind of a hassle to use. I paid a lot of money for this lens, so I need to use it more often.

One recent opportunity I had to use the Fujinon 100-400mm lens was photographing the sunset in Bountiful, Utah. Some distant clouds and haze created the potential for a great sunset. I set my tripod at the top of a hill that overlooked the valley below, attached the lens to the tripod, then attached my Fujifilm X-T30 to the lens. I had my Velvia film simulation recipe loaded into the camera, which is a great recipe for sunset photography because of its contrast and vibrant colors. In the film days, Velvia 50 was a top choice if you wanted stunning sunset pictures, and now with Fujifilm X cameras the Velvia film simulation is a top option.

Temple – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

The sunset didn’t disappoint. Actually, it was more vibrant and lovely than I could have hoped for! It was a great show that lasted about 10 minutes. Even though I had the lens on a tripod, I still kept the shutter speed high to prevent blur from shake because I didn’t tighten everything down so that I could swing the lens around. To get a faster shutter speed I had the ISO set higher than one might expect. I was doing manual exposure. I zoomed in and out, trying to find different compositions. These seven pictures were captured from that one spot within the 10 minutes of the sunset show. The 100-400mm lens allowed me to capture a variety of pictures without moving places.

These photographs aren’t in sequential order. The picture at the top of this article was actually the last exposure, and the picture above of the temple was second-to-last. The very first exposure is the last picture at the bottom of this post. The order of the rest are scrambled up. In some pictures, I think the saturation is a little too much, and perhaps the recipe too bold, but in some other pictures it was the right choice. The X-T30 is a good camera, and the 100-400mm a good lens, and they worked very well together to make these pictures possible. I need to use these together more often.

Lava Sky over Stansbury Mountains – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
South End of Antelope Island – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Antelope & Stansbury – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Salt Lake & Stansbury Mountains At Sunset – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Stansbury Mountains – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Color Negative 400

Wind Rewind – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Color Negative 400”

I ran across a picture in an article about coffee, and that picture reminded me a lot of the Classic Negative film simulation. I don’t think the picture was captured with Classic Negative; perhaps a VSCO (or some other brand) preset was used that was intended to look something like Superia film. So, with one picture as my guide, I set out to recreate the look with my Fujifilm X100V. Ideally you want more than one sample picture to study, but that’s all I had. These settings look pretty darn close to that picture, but it’s difficult to know if it’s truly accurate because I only had one sample to work with, and I don’t know how it should look in various situations. Still, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Initially I was going to name this recipe “Fujicolor Negative” because it has a Fujicolor Superia-like look, but then I stumbled across some Kodak ColorPlus 400 photographs, and they looked quite similar to these pictures. Even though the resemblance to ColorPlus 400 is completely accidental, I thought that calling it “Color Negative 400” was more appropriate because it is in the general ballpark of a film that’s not Fujicolor. Or, more accurately, it is similar to both a Kodak stock and a Fujifilm stock, and not exactly like either. I do think, no matter how close it may or may not be to an actual film, it has a nice film-like aesthetic to it that many will appreciate.

Ability – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Color Negative 400”

This recipe is dark and contrasty, and can be used to create a certain moody look. I think it works best in low-contrast scenes, and does well both indoors and outdoors. This recipe is only compatible (as of this writing) with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4 and X-S10 cameras.

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Color Negative 400 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Succulent Faux – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fabric Leaf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Holga 120N & Ilford HP5 Plus – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Table Bolsey – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Three Indoor Plants – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Face Masks Are Required – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Speed Stars – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fish on a Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Waiting for Fish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Contemplation – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Stroller Ride – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Leaning into the Frame – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Bicycle Here – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Birds in a Dormant Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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

50557680816_8cb5645e93_c

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Fuji X Weekly 2020 Quick Recap

2020 wasn’t great in general (understatement of the year?), but it was a great year for the Fuji X Weekly blog! Let me share with you some of the highlights and statistics from this last year.

In 2020:
– There were 3.7 million page views on this website—that’s more than four times as many as 2019!
– I published 178 articles, almost one every other day (I only promise one per week, hence the name…).
– The #1 most viewed article, My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe, had 79,939 views.
– This blog was mentioned in videos by Andrew & Denae, Vuhlandes, Omar Gonzalez, and The Snap Chick, among others.
– The Fuji X Weekly App made an appearance on FujiRumors and PetaPixel, among others.
– Oh, and the Fuji X Weekly app for iOS came out on December 1st! Android coming soon.
– Back in October I redesigned the website, making it easier to find film simulation recipes.

How did I find the time? I do all this “on the side” in the spare moments of my day. So many people have helped my photography over the years, and this is my way to pay it forward. Sometimes I wish that I had more time to dedicate to this website and photography, because there’s so much more that I could do.

While 2020 was definitely a big year for this blog—which was only possible because of you, the greatest audience in photography—I know that 2021 will be even bigger. There’s so much in the works, and so much that I hope to accomplish, that it’s bound to be a big year! Some great things for the Fujifilm community await, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

The two pictures below are examples of what will be the first new film simulation recipe of 2021—it’s coming soon!

Fish on a Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – My last exposure of 2020
Leaning into the Frame – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – My first exposure of 2021

New Video: Making Blue Hour Photographs During Daylight

I just published a new video on the Fuji X Weekly YouTube Channel! This particular video is a mix of this article about creating blue hour pictures in daylight and this article about Fujifilm using my picture on their website, plus some footage of downtown Ogden, Utah. It’s pretty short, so if you have a spare two minutes, give the video a watch!

If you don’t subscribe to the Fuji X Weekly YouTube Channel, be sure to do so, that way you don’t miss new content when it comes out. Also, as a reminder, Fuji X Weekly is on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow me on social media. Thank you for coming to this blog, for sharing articles on your social media, for all the likes and comments, and for all your support! I appreciate all of you!

New Patron Early-Access Recipe: Kodak Portra 400 Warm

Old Trolley Building – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 Warm”

Yesterday I added my Kodak Portra 400 v2 film simulation recipe to the Fuji X Weekly blog. That was a Patron-only early-access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly app, but now it’s available to everyone! I think a lot of people will really appreciate that Portra 400 v2 recipe. Now there’s a new Patron early-access recipe on the app in its place called Kodak Portra 400 Warm. If you are a Fuji X Weekly Patron, check it out!

This new Kodak Portra 400 Warm recipe came about after the Kyle McDougall Portra-Style comparison article. These settings are an attempt to get closer to Kyle’s preset aesthetic. Some film simulation recipes are good for everyday use, some are good only in the right situation. This is one falls into the latter category, I think. This one isn’t for everyone or every situation, but for some people in the right situations, this recipe will be greatly loved! I think it looks best in sunny daylight, but can produce interesting results sometimes in other lighting situations, too.

If you aren’t a Patron, don’t worry. Like all of the early-access recipes, this one will eventually be made available to everyone. Just have patience. If you have the app but aren’t a Patron, yet you want to use this recipe, you can either wait for it to become free or become a Patron and help support the great things that are happening here! Really, Patrons are the ones who are making so much happen because I can’t do it on my own. If you are a Patron, thank you so much for your support!

Beer & Wings – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 Warm”
Bright Yellow House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 Warm”
Dumpster, Truck – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 Warm”
Evening Chair – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 Warm”

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Portra 400 v2

Sage Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”

One film can have many different looks depending on how it’s shot, developed, scanned or printed. This new Portra 400 film simulation recipe, called Kodak Portra 400 v2, is an alternative aesthetic, created by studying examples of actual Portra 400 film (thanks to Julien Jarry). The “other” Fujifilm X100V Kodak Portra 400 recipe was also created by studying examples of actual film (thanks to Thomas Schwab). They’re both good options for achieving a Portra look, and neither is more “right” than the other.

This isn’t exactly a brand-new recipe. It was published as a Patron early-access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly App back on December 1st, and now another early-access recipe has replaced it, so this one is now available to everyone! You might remember that this Kodak Porta 400 v2 recipe was mentioned in the Kyle McDougall preset comparison article.

Ford Truck – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”

If you like my other Portra recipes, you’re sure to like this one, too. Because it uses Clarity, it slows down the camera considerably. I hope that Fujifilm speeds this up with a firmware update at some point, but in the meantime, if you can, my recommendation is to embrace the slowdown. This recipe is only compatible with the latest Fujifilm X cameras: the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4 and X-S10.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -2
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 5200K, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new Kodak Portra 400 v2 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Stacked Pallets – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Now Hiring – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Double-Double – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Burger Roof – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Julien Jarry with RED Camera – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Julien Filming – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Yellow Rabbitbrush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Frary Peak Peeking – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Desert Brush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Light Log – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Sunlight Through the Forest Trees – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V
One Lane Bridge – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
String of Lightbulbs – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Dock at Night – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Moon Over RV – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Sunset RED – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Buffalo Point Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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

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Fuji X Weekly App featured on FujiRumors & PetaPixel!

The Fuji X Weekly App for iOS has been making the rounds on the web! FujiRumors shared it on December 24th, a Christmas Eve surprise! Today, PetaPixel published an article about it! These were both completely unexpected! Being featured on these websites is a big deal, and this is a first appearance for me on Petapixel. I’m really honored.

Here’s a quick update:
The Android version of the app is being worked on and progress is so far going quite well. I’m hoping that it will be available before March, but there’s still a long ways to go before it’s done, so it’s hard to say for sure when it will be released. The Fuji X Weekly Patrons are the ones who are making this happen, and the Android app would be nowhere close to where it is now without the Patrons. Your support is going to produce some amazing things that would not be possible without you. Thank you, Patrons!

Once the Android version is out, the next big thing is an update that will bring new features and functionality to the app. Some things will be made available to everyone, and some things will be made available only to Patrons, and some current Patron-only features will be unlocked for everyone. I don’t know how long it will take to get the update up and running, but I’m really hoping it can be done before the summer.

The Fuji X Weekly app has been downloaded 20,000 times! That’s incredible! I’m happy to provide this free resource to you, and it will only get better and better! I’m extremely appreciative of all the Patrons, because without your support none of this would be possible. We all owe you a debt of gratitude! I want to give a big “thank you” to those who have downloaded the app, to those who have shared the app on their websites and social media, and especially to all the Patrons!

On This Day…

I thought it would be fun to share a couple of old articles from the Fuji X Weekly blog. I’m digging back in the archives to what I published on this day last year and the year before. I might do this fairly regularly in 2021.

5 Tips To Become A Better Photographer in 2020

I don’t know if anyone found this post helpful when I published it last year. These tips can be applied to any year, not just 2020. What are the five tips? Read the manual. Understand how your gear works. Invest in experiences. Find the light. Be the person who came back. Obviously to really understand what those tips mean you have to read the article; maybe one or more of them will resonate with you, and will help you improve your pictures in the coming year. The camera pictured above is the Fujifilm X-E1 that I distressed two-and-a-half years ago.

Art & Photography

This essay discusses the artist photographer. You might find it interesting. You might find it boring. You might disagree with what I said. Maybe you don’t care at all. If you don’t remember reading it, I invite you, if you think it might be interesting to you and you have a few minutes to spare, to click the link and give it a look. By the way, that bee picture above (which is not a bee) is an in-camera double-exposure that’s a tip of the hat to Rene Magritte.

One-Step Photography

I believe that it’s often better to spend money on experiences rather than new gear. Sometimes a book can be just as good as an experience; perhaps it can be an experience in and of itself. For Christmas my family gifted me three photography books, each one featuring the legendary photographer Ansel Adams. One of the three books was especially surprising: Polaroid Land Photography by Ansel Adams.

Did you know that Ansel Adams, the renown black-and-white landscape photographer who invented the Zone System and who was celebrated for his darkroom mastery, loved Polaroid photography? I didn’t. I was surprised to learn that one of his well-known Yosemite pictures was a Polaroid (Type 55), and this picture was found in one of the other two books I was gifted. Adams’ Polaroid book is a thorough and highly technical look at instant film. It’s the ultimate guide to Polaroid, at least from 1978 when this second edition was published. I want to share a few quotes from the book, then circle it back to this blog and Fujifilm.

“It is unfortunate that so many photographers have thought of the Land camera as a ‘toy,’ a casual device for ‘fun’ pictures, or, at best, a gadget to make record pictures! The process has revolutionized the art and craft of photography….”

—Ansel Adams

It’s clear right from the beginning of the book that Adams considered the Polaroid camera a serious photographic tool. He felt it was under-appreciated and underutilized by the photographic community at large.

“By making it possible for the photographer to observe his work and his subject simultaneously, and by removing most of the manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph, it is hoped that many of the satisfactions of working in the early arts can be brought to a new group of photographers. The process must be concealed from—non-existent for—the photographer, who by definition need think of the art in taking and not in making photographs. In short, all that should be necessary to get a good picture is to take a good picture, and our task is to make that possible.”

—Edwin H Land, co-founder of Polaroid

Adams included that Edward Land quote in Chapter 13, Principles of One-Step Photography, and he immediately followed it with this:

“The effect of one-step processing on both amateur and professional creative photography has been revolutionary.”

—Ansel Adams

Polaroid Land Photography is an extensive user’s manual—Adams referred to it as such many times—yet it is full of inspiration, both in written words and great photography. There is so much that I could quote, but I will refrain myself and add just one more.

“As with all art forms, we must accept the limitations of the medium as well as revel in the advantages.”

—Ansel Adams

I was reading all this as I was simultaneously celebrating the fact that I had so easily finished the pictures of my kids opening their Christmas presents. By finished, I mean finished. I captured the pictures, and in the time it takes most people to load their RAW files onto their PC or Mac, I had already uploaded them to my phone, put them into storage, and shared them to loved ones. Done. It occurred to me that this is the modern equivalent of one-step processing.

Over the last several months I have been pondering why my different film simulation recipes are so popular. Tens of thousands of photographers across the globe, from newbies to experienced pros, are using these camera settings on their Fujifilm cameras. I get feedback daily from people telling me how these recipes have changed their photographic lives. There’s been a very real impact that this blog has had on the photography continuum. Yet the why has been illusive to me, until today.

Polaroid changed photography 50, 60, 70 years ago. The biggest name in photography not only embraced it but called it revolutionary. There are a few parallels to Polaroid cameras and film simulation recipes on Fujifilm X cameras, but the biggest is perhaps one-step processing. Yes, if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you can always reprocess the RAW, but there is fun in not having to do so if you don’t want to. There’s a certain satisfaction, not to mention time saved, in having a completed picture right out of camera that needs no editing, or maybe only some small, quick adjustments. I wonder if Ansel Adams were still around today, if he would embrace the film simulation recipe the same as he did the Polaroid. Honestly, the answer isn’t important, because so many photographers are embracing it, and it’s revolutionizing photography.

Here is a small sampling of those pictures that I captured on Christmas morning. I used my Fujifilm X100V camera loaded with my Superia Premium 400 film simulation recipe.

Little Angel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Christmas Joy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Sister & Brother – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girl, Christmas Morning – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Learn To Draw – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Time to Open Gifts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pokemon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Small Gifts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
The Big Box – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girls Love Horses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Christmas Brothers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Photo by Amanda Roesch
How-To Draw Book – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Santa Was Here – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Josh Playing Christmas Songs – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

12 Film Simulation Recipes of Christmas

This Christmas I thought that I would do something fun for you: the 12 Film Simulation Recipes of Christmas! I took the twelve most popular film simulation recipes this month (based on page views), and captured one picture with each. The subject of every image is the number the recipe ranks. It’s basically a parody of the classic holiday coral The Twelve Days of Christmas, but also an opportunity to share with you which recipes people are using this December.

The top twelve film simulation recipes this month (from most to least popular) are: Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Portra 400, Vintage Kodachrome, Kodachrome II, Classic Chrome, Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 800, CineStill 800T, Cine Teal, Fujicolor Superia 800, and Classic Negative. There are some surprises, at least to me. First, no black-and-white recipes made this list; color recipes are more popular than monochrome for some reason. The top eight recipes all use the Classic Chrome film simulation; those named Kodachrome or Portra are widely used. The original Portra 400 is the most popular Portra recipe, despite its difficult white balance requirement. The second film simulation recipe ever published on this website, simply called Classic Chrome, made this list (oldie but goodie?). Only one recipe that uses the Classic Negative film simulation made the top twelve, and just barely; the most popular recipe with the Superia name (Classic Negative is based on Superia) uses PRO Neg. Std.

If you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:

On the 12 Days of Christmas, I snapped with recipes…
12 people limit,
11 with a seven,
10 pm closing,
9 fortune cookies,
Ate holiday sweets,
7 metal boxes,
6 holds for swinging,
5 pots for plants,
4 times said no,
3 drink cans,
2 push to cross,
And… a face mask with emojis!

12 People Limit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Classic Negative
11 With A Seven – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Fujicolor Superia 800
10 PM Closing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Cine Teal
9 Fortune Cookies – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – CineStill 800T
Ate Holiday Sweets – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak Portra 800
7 Metal Boxes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodachrome 64
6 Holds for Swinging – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Classic Chrome
5 Pots for Plants – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodachrome II
4 Times Said No – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Vintage Kodachrome
3 Drink Cans – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak Portra 400
2 Push to Cross – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodak Portra 400
A Face Mask with Emojis – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64

Merry Christmas from Fuji X Weekly!

Montana Autumn + Fujifilm X100V

Autumn Aspen – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V

Back in October I took a quick vacation to Montana. I’ve shared some of those pictures on this website, but many of them I haven’t, because I’ve been busy with other things. Today marks Winter Solstice, which means fall is officially over, yet I’ve finally just now found the time to post some of my autumn pictures from that Montana trip!

All of these pictures were captured with my Fujifilm X100V. The film simulation recipes that I used were Kodak Portra 400 v2 (currently only available on the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS), an experiment (which I had actually forgotten about until I was reviewing these pictures) where I used Classic Negative instead of Classic Chrome with the Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe (I might have also adjusted the WB Shift a little, I don’t remember), and The Rockwell for a few pictures (I think I might have made an adjustment or two to that recipe on this trip, but, again, I don’t really remember). Most of these pictures were captured with that Classic Negative experiment, and I realize that I need to revisit it, because the results are pretty good!

The Fujifilm X100V is such a great camera to carry around on vacation. It’s small enough that it’s not in the way, yet it’s capable of capturing amazing pictures. It rained while I was there, and the camera survived getting a little wet. The X100V is my favorite travel camera hands down, and I enjoy it immensely. It’s not the right tool for every situation, but it’s the camera that I use most often, especially when on vacation.

Yellow Spots – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Wet Red Leaves – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Turning Red – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Red – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Yellow in the Forest – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Changing to Yellow – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Early Autumn Forest – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Golden Forest – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Light Log – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Sunlight Through The Forest Trees – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V
One Lane Bridge – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
One Car – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Red on Pine – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
443 Osborn – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V
Whitefish Lake – Whitefish, MT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm Changes Name of Noise Reduction on the X-T4

Those with the Fujifilm X-T4 (and also the X-S10) might have noticed that Noise Reduction is no longer in the menu. Instead, there’s something called High ISO NR. What’s the difference? Why the change?

Below is a screenshot of the X-T3 manual (top) and X-T4 manual (bottom):

Notice that they both say the same thing: Reduce noise in pictures taken at high sensitivities. This demonstrates that they’re actually the same thing, just renamed. The X-T4 manual adds a little more info about what Noise Reduction does to a picture, although vaguely.

I don’t know why Fujifilm renamed Noise Reduction to High ISO NR; perhaps it’s a more accurate name, but it seems to have created some confusion. I’ve received several messages from users asking about it. Just know that both are the same exact thing: High ISO NR is Noise Reduction.

A couple years ago I took a closer look at Noise Reduction (and also Sharpening), and concluded that, for the most part, it doesn’t matter what the Noise Reduction is set to unless you pixel peep or print large. My personal opinion is that I like Noise Reduction set to -2, -3 or -4, with the lower setting most preferable. Why? Because the digital noise from Fujifilm X-Trans cameras has a film-grain-like appearance, and doesn’t look like typical digital noise from other camera brands. I like film grain, and I like the digital noise from Fujifilm cameras. That’s just my preference. Besides that, Noise Reduction reduces sharpness and smudges fine details, at least a little—you’ll likely only notice if you look very, very closely. There’s no right or wrong setting—choose whatever you prefer—but I most often set Noise Reduction (or High ISO NR) to the lowest option available, which is -4 on X-Trans IV cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4.

Fuji X Weekly on The Snap Chick

Photography vloggers and bloggers Leigh and Raymond of The Snap Chick (YouTube, Blog, Instagram) just published a video about Fuji X Weekly! Even better, I’m in it! Be sure to watch it if you have 10 minutes to spare. Maybe you can relate to their experience. I love hearing stories where this website (and also now the app) has a real impact on people’s photography. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your story!

Lens Review: Pergear 50mm f/1.8

I get asked frequently, “How can I make my digital pictures look more like film?”

My film simulation recipes—made possible by Fujifilm’s commitment to the camera-made JPEG and their long history with film—are a great start for achieving a film-like look. Another step that can go a long way towards achieving an analog aesthetic is the lens that’s attached to the camera. You see, most modern lenses are precision engineered, designed to eliminate flaws as much as possible. They score well on test charts, but often at the expense of character. Modern lenses render photographs differently than vintage lenses; old lenses have flaws, as they weren’t designed with today’s technology or for today’s standards, and these flaws are why they render images uniquely. For (typically) not very much money you can buy antique lenses intended for film cameras, and mount them to your Fujifilm X camera with an adapter—something that I love to do! Cheap third-party lenses often accomplish the same thing, but you’re buying something that’s new (instead of old) and you don’t need an adapter. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens is an inexpensive option for your Fujifilm X camera, and it indeed has character similar to a vintage lens!

I get gift cards sometimes, usually for my birthday or Christmas, and it can be hard to know what to buy myself. In the past I have purchased a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens and a 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 lens—both are under $100, which is the right price range for those gift cards that I don’t know what to do with. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8, with an MSRP of $79, is in that same category. The Pergear lens has other things in common with the Meike and 7artisans models: click-less aperture rings, seemingly good build quality, similar flaws, and lots of character. You’d almost think that they were made by the same company, but apparently they’re not.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is a 75mm-equivalent manual-focus, manual-aperture prime lens from China. It has 10 rounded aperture blades, 6 elements in 4 groups, a maximum aperture of f/1.8, a minimum aperture of f/16, a minimum focus distance of about 15 inches, and accepts 43mm threaded filters. The aperture and focus rings are both smooth. I do wish that the aperture ring had f-stop clicks, but it doesn’t—not a big deal, though.

Center sharpness is pretty fantastic on the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens at all apertures. Corner sharpness is decent-enough when wide open and noticeably improves when stopped down to f/4. There’s some minor vignetting when wide open; it improves when stopped down, yet it never fully goes away, although it’s hardly noticeable at apertures smaller than f/2.8. There’s some noticeable chromatic aberrations in extreme high-contrast light, but is otherwise well controlled. There’s almost no distortion. Bokeh is pretty good thanks to those rounded blades.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 has a weird flaw, which can be stunningly beautiful or terribly awful, depending on your tastes and the exact situation: the center of the frame can get a warm haze. It seems to become more pronounced when the aperture is (roughly) f/5.6 and smaller, and when there’s a bright light source somewhere in front of the camera (it can be outside the frame). Sometimes I really love this haze, and it’s almost like having a diffusion filter built into the lens, and sometimes it’s just too pronounced and essentially ruins the picture. Opening up the aperture seems to reduce the effect in those situations where it might be too pronounced. This strange haze is both the reason to buy this lens and the reason not to, depending on your opinion of it. I personally really like it, although I’m happy to have it limited to one lens, which I can choose to use when I want this character in my pictures. To be clear, this haze won’t show up in every picture—there are many situations where it won’t, either because the aperture is too large or because the light isn’t right, and even when it does appear, it’s often very subtle, which is great.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is a good, sharp lens, producing lovely images in most situations. It has character that you just won’t find in most modern lenses. It has quirks, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation and your tastes. It’s all manual, which I like, but can take some practice to get good at if you’ve only ever used auto lenses. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens, when used in conjunction with the Fujifilm JPEG settings, can help you achieve a much-sought-after film-like look from your digital camera. It’s not for everyone, but, for the price, it’s worth a try, especially if you are unsure what to buy with that gift card in your wallet.

This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.
Amazon $79

Below are camera-made JPEGs that I captured using the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30. For the color pictures I used my new Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe (available on the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS), except for the the top picture, which was captured with Velvia, and the two night pictures below that, which were captured with Porto 200 (also available on the app). For the black-and-white pictures I used my Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe. The photographs of the lens (above) were captured with a Fujifilm X100V using my Superia Premium 400 recipe.

Piano Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Train at Night – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Windshield Bokeh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Red Berry Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Resting Girl on Chair – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Handicapped Parking – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Trash, Truck – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Rural Trash Can – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Dam & Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Water Under The Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Cold Country Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
December Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Hunting Journey – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Winter Sunflower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Reed by a Frozen Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Cattails – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Pole Cone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Duck Hunters – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Grass in the Cold Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Motor Vehicles Prohibited – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Steel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Barren Landscape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Grass in the Frozen Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Storm Over Frozen Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
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