[Not] My Fujifilm X100V Classic Negative Film Simulation Recipe

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Boy with a Bubble Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

When the Fujifilm X-Pro3 came out late last year, which was the first camera with the new Classic Negative film simulation, I began to see some wonderful pictures that looked like they were captured using Superia film. Classic Negative is supposed to resemble Fujicolor Superia, most likely Superia 200, although Fujifilm doesn’t say. I believe there were more than 10 variants of Superia film made by Fujifilm, so it’s hard to know which version the film simulation was mostly modeled after. Whichever version of the film it’s intended to be, Classic Negative does a great job of mimicking it, because it definitely looks like Superia.

The Classic Negative look that was most intriguing to me was by Luis Costa, and I couldn’t wait for the day that I’d be able to try it for myself. Luis’ Classic Negative film simulation recipe, which can be found on his website, is nothing short of wonderful! It’s especially great for sunny days. It’s every bit as good as Luis made it look in his photographs. It’s programmed into the C1 slot on my Fujifilm X100V, and I doubt that it will move. It reminds me a lot of Superia X-Tra 400 with a warming filter, or maybe Superia 200 pushed one stop. Either way, it just looks good.

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Warm Light on Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V

I did modify Luis Costa’s recipe slightly. Nothing big, but I added Color Chrome Effect and Clarity, and set Grain to Weak instead of Strong. It doesn’t change the look much at all. Feel free to turn off Color Chrome Effect and Clarity and set Grain to Strong if you’d like, which is Luis’ exact recipe. I want to thank Luis Costa for making and sharing his great Classic Negative recipe, and for allowing me to post it here. I encourage you to visit his website.

Because the Classic Negative film simulation changes look depending on how it’s exposed, you can get a couple different aesthetics with this recipe. I encourage you to increase exposure on some shots and decrease it on others (over and under exposing slightly), and see how it renders the picture. You might find that you prefer one look over the other, or that you prefer one in some situations and one in another. It’s fun to experiment with, and I invite you to do just that.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: 0
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: +2
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +4 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

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

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Red Rose Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flowers by the Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburban Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Dragonfly – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Spring Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Girl in Evening Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Upside Down Wheelbarrow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Neighborhood Bubbles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburbs Illuminated – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Boy in the Window Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Little Yellow Ball in the Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lake Reeds – Farmington Bay, 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.

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My Fujifilm X100V Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe

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Evening at a Pond – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V “Kodachrome 64”

The Fujifilm X100V has some new features, including Clarity and Color Chrome Effect Blue, that my X-T30 doesn’t have, despite sharing the same sensor. The more JPEG options that I have, the more accurately I can create in-camera looks. My hope is to revisit some of my film simulation recipes, and create what I hope are more accurate versions using the new features. The first one that I revamped is my Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe.

Many people love my Kodachrome 64 recipe, but not everyone. The biggest complaint that I’ve heard about it is that the reds aren’t vibrant enough. I don’t disagree with that, but there are always compromises when recreating looks in-camera because the tools available to me are limited. Of course, what Kodachrome 64 looks like depends on how you’re viewing it, whether projector, light table, scan, print, and how so. You can find some vastly different looking pictures that were captured on Kodachrome 64. For this revamped recipe, I spent some time studying the Kodachrome slides that I captured many years ago.

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Red Lights & Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V “Kodachrome 64”

While I feel that this is an improved Kodachrome 64 recipe, it’s still not perfect. Those who disliked how reds were rendered on the old recipe will certainly like this one better, but is it 100% exactly like the film? No. I think +2 Color might be too much, but +1 Color doesn’t render reds and yellows vibrant enough. If you prefer +1 Color, feel free to do that instead. There’s a little less contrast with this new version. Both of the Color Chrome Effects, the lower Dynamic Range setting, and Clarity add contrast, so I changed Highlight and Shadow to compensate. The X-T4 has .5 Highlight and Shadow adjustments, and I would set Shadow to +0.5 if I were using these settings on that camera (I hope that Fujifilm updates the X100V and X-Pro3 to allow this, too). I think it would be acceptable to use +1 Shadow, but I felt that was a tad too much, so I set it to 0. Despite not being perfect, I do feel that this version is a little more accurate to actual Kodachrome 64 film.

If you have an X100V, X-Pro3 or X-T4, I invite you to try this new-and-improved Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe. Be sure to let me know what you think! Here are a couple pictures comparing the two versions of this recipes:

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Original Kodachrome 64 recipe.

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New Kodachrome 64 Recipe.

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Original Kodachrome 64 recipe.

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New Kodachrome 64 recipe.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: 0
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Clarity: +3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +2 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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White Horse by a Stream – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Horses in the Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Curious Horse – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Country Tires – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Yellow Flowers, Blue Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Wishful Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Beer & Board – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Road Bicycling – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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All the World’s a Sunny Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Orders & Pickup – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Red, White & Blue Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flag Up Close – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Reeds by the Water – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Evening Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Landscape Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Handlebar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Kodak Colors – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Half of an Orange – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Ground Beans – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Pallets – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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IHOP – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Cupcake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sitting on Concrete – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Spring Snow – 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
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Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Film Simulation Review: Changing Light, Part 2: Ilford HP5 Plus

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Clouds On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

I get asked sometimes how do I decide between color and black-and-white. I don’t remember where I heard this, but a long time ago somebody told me that if color is important to the scene then it should be a color picture, and if it’s not it should be black-and-white. Back then you had to make this decision before loading your camera with 24 or 36 exposures. Nowadays you can wait until after capturing the picture before deciding, although I find it best to choose before making the exposure.

Color pictures are (primarily) about three things: light, shadow and color. Black-and-white pictures are (primarily) about two things: light and shadow. It’s easy to see that if color isn’t an essential element to the picture, then it only serves as a distraction to light and shadow; however, that’s an oversimplified way of looking at it. There are many different color theories, and whether color is important or unimportant is highly subjective. One thing is for certain: black-and-white pictures are about light and shadow and those in-between grays.

Whenever I photograph in monochrome my mentality changes. They way that I look at the scene is different. When I photograph in color, I look for color. When I photograph in black-and-white, I look for tones. That’s why it’s important for me to decide before capturing the picture whether it will be color or not. For the pictures in this article, I decided that they needed to be monochrome. I chose my Ilford HP5 Plus film simulation recipe because I thought it would offer me the right amount of contrast. It’s not my most contrasty black-and-white recipe, but it has a good amount of contrast—not too much or too little. I think it was a great choice for these scenes.

I captured these pictures over the last several days from my house. I didn’t go anywhere. There were a lot of clouds and the light on the mountain was constantly changing. Oftentimes it was rather dull, but sometimes it was amazing! The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T30. Most often I used a Fujinon 100-400mm lens, but occasionally I used a Fujinon 90mm. These longer focal lengths allowed me to “bring close” the mountain, making it appear as though I was in them, and not at a distance. Sometimes you don’t have to go anywhere to capture interesting pictures. That’s especially true if you have a great view where you are.

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Wasatch with Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dramatic Sky Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Silver Sky Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Over the Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Around the Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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White Cloud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Cloud Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds & Dark Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Lightly Snowing On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Gray Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Obscurity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Rain Shower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Downpour – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Mist – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Francis Peak Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dark Hills – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Storm Over Dark Mountains – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds on the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Covered by Clouds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Film Simulation Review: Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

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Wasatch Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

Over the last few days I’ve captured a number of pictures from my house of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. I’m very fortunate that I live so close to such a majestic and beautiful landscape. I can see it from my living room. I can sit on my patio and watch the light change and the seasons change on the mountains. It’s right there! I feel very lucky to witness this and be able to capture it with my camera.

It’s been between overcast and partly-cloudy lately, with conditions changing rapidly and dramatically. It’s gone from fairly uninteresting to amazing and back to mostly uninteresting in a matter of moments. This has repeated over and over. I’ve tried to keep an eye out for it, and tried to be quick enough to photograph it before it disappeared. That’s not always possible, and many times I wasn’t successful, but sometimes I was.

The film simulation recipe that I chose for these pictures is my Velvia recipe (I also used my Ilford HP5 Plus recipe, and those pictures are in Part 2). These settings are bold and vibrant, much like actual Velvia film. I really appreciate this film simulation recipe for landscape photography where I want colors to pop. The mountain is covered in the fresh green of spring, and these settings are the best for highlighting that. If I want vivid colors, my Velvia recipe is what I choose.

The gear that I used for these pictures is a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 100-400mm lens attached to it. I like to use a tripod or monopod with the 100-400mm lens, but these pictures are all hand-held. If I had waited to attach a tripod to the lens, I would have missed many of these shots. The long telephoto lens allows me to bring the mountains up-close, like I travelled into the mountains to capture these pictures, yet I didn’t even leave home. It really is amazing that I was able to make these photographs without going anywhere.

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Clearing Clouds Above the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Cold Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Francis Peak Veiled – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Mist – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Spring Green Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain in May – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Sliver of Illumination – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Spring Green Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Wasatch Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

Changing Light, Part 2: Ilford HP5 Plus
See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Fujifilm X100V New Feature: Clarity

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The Fujifilm X100V has a new feature called Clarity. It actually first appeared on the X-Pro3, and it’s also on the new X-T4, but the X100V is the first camera that I’ve used with it. I’m always very happy whenever Fujifilm gives us new JPEG options, as it allows me to  more accurately achieve the look that I’m after in-camera. I can create better film simulation recipes when I’m given more tools, and the X100V indeed has some new tools.

If you’ve ever done RAW processing, you’ve probably seen a Clarity tool within your software of choice. Maybe you use it all of the time, maybe you’ve never touched it. What exactly Clarity does with each software is slightly different, but the gist of it is that it increases mid-tone contrast, while (mostly) leaving the highlights and shadows untouched. This makes the image appear more contrasty while not blocking up shadows or blowing out highlights. Because Clarity often adds micro-contrast (contrast to fine lines), it can make an image appear to be sharper and more finely detailed than it actually is. Some software programs include sharpening within Clarity. Too much Clarity can often make a picture look unnatural and “over baked”.

I like the idea of having a Clarity option on my Fujifilm camera, but I was really unsure of how it would look. Is it actually a good tool? Does it produce pleasing results? Where should I set it on my camera?

In the manual Fujifilm states that Clarity increases or decreases “definition” while minimally altering highlights and shadows. The camera has the options of -5 to +5, with 0 being the default setting. Let’s take a look at some examples to see what exactly this new feature does to photographs.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +5

You can see from the photographs above that there’s a noticeable difference between Clarity set at -5, 0 and +5. There’s a significant contrast difference between the three pictures. Even highlights and shadows are affected. The first picture looks “soft” while the third picture boarders being “over-baked” with too much definition. Let’s take a closer look at some crops, and add -2 and +2 while we’re at it.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -2

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +2

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Clarity +5

When you look closely, you can appreciate using minus Clarity for softening skin. At -2 there’s a small difference, but by -5 there’s a big difference. The X100V has a new lens, and it’s sharper, especially when wide open. Some people (myself included) appreciated the softness of f/2 on the old X100 series lens for artistic effect, but the X100V is tack sharp across the board at all apertures. However, -5 Clarity will give a similar softness at any aperture as the old X100 lens does at f/2. Portrait photographers might especially appreciate selecting a minus Clarity option, and somewhere in the range of -2 to -5 seems to be nice.

On the other side, +5 Clarity is definitely too much for some circumstances, particularly portraits. Even +2 might be pushing it in this case, although the results are acceptable in my book. I find that minus Clarity is better when skin is involved, but you can use plus Clarity for more dramatic portraits, although I’d limit it to no higher than +3, unless you’re trying to accentuate something like wrinkled skin and a greying beard, in which case up to +5 might be acceptable. Outside of portraits, I like adding Clarity, and I find that +2 or +3 is a good range for me.

Here are some more examples:

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

The difference between -5 and +5 Clarity is pretty significant, but the in-between differences aren’t huge. It’s difficult to notice a plus or minus one difference. Going up or down two spots is a bit more obvious, although if you’re not closely comparing side-by-side examples you might not pick up on it. I think you’re perfectly fine selecting any of the Clarity options, but for portraits I’d consider using minus Clarity, unless you’re want a dramatic portrait look. For everything else adding a little Clarity helps the picture to pop more. I personally like Clarity set at +2.

Because Clarity adds contrast and does affect highlights and shadows, if you go higher than +3 Clarity, consider decreasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. Also, if you go lower than -3 Clarity, consider increasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. The X-T4 can do .5 Highlight and Shadow adjustments (please, Fujifilm, update the X100V to allow this, too), and that’s probably closer to what you need to compensate for the increased or decreased contrast due to selecting the far ends of Clarity. Just be aware that when you change the Clarity setting, you are changing the picture’s contrast.

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+3 Clarity

Something that I need to point out is that when Clarity is set to anything other than 0, it takes the camera longer to save the file. Fujifilm actually recommends setting Clarity to 0 and adding it later by reprocessing the RAW files in-camera. If you need to shoot quickly, this might be a good option, but if you’re not in a hurry, I’d just set it to what you want it to be so that you don’t have to change it later. Yes, it does slow you down, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s not a big deal.

In my opinion Fujifilm did a good job of implementing Clarity on the X100V. It’s a useful tool. Those who appreciated the softness of f/2 on the older models will appreciate using minus Clarity on the new model. Those who want to add just a little more punch to their pictures will like using plus Clarity. Each situation might benefit from a Clarity adjustment, and you’ll have to decide which setting is the best for the scene. Whether it’s adding or subtracting Clarity, this is a feature you’ll find me using often. Fujifilm’s inclusion of Clarity on the X100V is something that I’m extremely happy with.

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

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

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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 Film Simulation: Fujicolor 100 Industrial (Video)

I posted a new video to the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel! This is a new series called Fuji Film Simulation, which is sort of the video version of my Film Simulation Reviews. It’s my way of demonstrating how you can use my different recipes in various situations. In this episode I walk around the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City using my Fujicolor 100 Industrial film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens.

The first part of the video, which is right after the super cool intro sequence, is just me talking about this blog, how I got started in photography, my gear, film simulations and so forth. I hope that you find it interesting. Where I walk around the college campus begins at the 3:12 mark. This might be my favorite section of the episode! Be sure to watch to the end.

My wife, Amanda, made this video. The photographs are mine, but all of the footage was captured by her using a Fujifilm X-T20 and a GoPro Hero 8 Black. She did all of the editing. She did such a great job! Really, it turned out better than I hoped it would. She far exceeded my expectations when she showed me the finished video.

I invite you to watch this episode, which you’ll find at the top of this article. If you liked it, I invite you to give it a thumbs up, share and subscribe. I appreciate any feedback that you might have. Let me know what you think!

My New Camera: Fujifilm X100V!

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Today is my 40th birthday! I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but something happened that changed my mind. I had a different article that I had planned to publish today, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

My wonderful wife, Amanda, gave me an amazing surprise. Her gift to me this morning for turning the big 4-0 was a Fujifilm X100V. I couldn’t believe it! A Fujifilm X100V! Wow! This is the camera that I wanted even before it had been announced back in early February.

The Fuji X Weekly blog began as my Fujifilm X100F journal. Almost all of the early articles are about the fourth model of the X100 camera. I happily sold that X100F, not because I didn’t like it (I loved it), but because I used the proceeds to buy my wife a Fujifilm X-T20. A couple years ago she wanted a camera for her birthday, so I sold my X100F to buy her one. I’d do it again without thinking twice about it. Now, things have come full circle, and she bought me an X100V for my birthday.

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I had a battery already charged, so I was able to quickly set up the camera, but just barely. There are a number of new features that I’ll have to spend some time playing with. I like what I see so far. The X100F is a great camera; it’s clear that the X100V is even better. You can expect many articles about this camera and the new features in the coming weeks and months.

I made a handful of exposures with the X100V this afternoon, which are the pictures below. They are all camera-made JPEGs using the new Classic Negative film simulation. I’ll likely create many new recipes from Classic Negative. The little that I’ve seen from this film simulation has left me very impressed. I can tell already that it’s a great film simulation, and I look forward to seeing what I’ll do with it. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It’ll be a fun journey, and it’s all because my wife gave me a wonderful gift for my 40th birthday. Thank you, Amanda, for such an amazing surprise!

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Sunlight Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Singular Flower Blossom – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Deep Blue Sky & Blooms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Fisher Beer – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Two Yellow Hooks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Electric Yellow – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Hanging In There – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Film Simulation Review: Walk in the Park, Part 1: Kodak Ektar 100

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April Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Last week I went for a walk in a local park here in Utah. This park has trails that pass through forests. There’s a stream and a small lake. The snow-capped peaks are visible to the east. It’s a beautiful place, especially in the spring when the green is fresh and the flowers are blossomed. On this hike I brought along my Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, which is one of my absolute favorite lenses. It’s sharp, small, and plenty fast, plus it’s a versatile focal length. On the way up the trail I used my Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe, which are the pictures that you see here in Part 1, and on the way back down I used my Portra 160 recipe, which you’ll find in Part 2.

Ektar is a color negative film made by Kodak. It’s known for vibrant colors, high contrast and fine grain. It’s the closest negative film to reversal film. In fact, when Kodak discontinued Ektachrome 100VS, they recommended Ektar 100 as the best alternative. It’s a great film for landscape photography, which is why I chose it for this walk in the park.

Ektar film, and especially this Ektar film simulation, can be difficult to use because of the contrast. With the film, there are things that can be done in development and/or printing to reduce the contrast if it’s too much. With these settings, one could use +2 Shadow instead of +3, which is what the recipe calls for, if they wanted less contrast. These pictures are straight-out-of-camera (with the exception of some minor cropping) with the  settings exactly as the recipe states.

My opinion is that my Ektar recipe is best suited for low-contrast landscapes, where a boost in contrast and vibrancy is needed. But it can do well in other situations, as well. I thought it served this photographic outing well, although it was borderline too contrasty for the scene. Ektar was a good choice for a walk in the park, but was it the best choice? How does it compare to Portra 160? We’ll take a look at that in Part 2.

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Sunlight Through The Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Old Log – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Forest Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Stream & Yellow Flower – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Single Tree Blossom – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Green Tree, White Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Blossoming Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Walk in the Park, Part 2: Portra 160
See also: Film Simulation Reviews

All About Aspect Ratios

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Your Fujifilm X camera has three aspect ratio options: 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1. You can see an example of each of those above. Have you ever wondered which one to use? Why these three? Why not others? Should you crop to a different aspect ratio? What do the numbers mean? I hope to answer these questions and more in this article!

Before moving on, I want to quickly discuss the aspect ratio numbers and what they mean. For instance, what does 3:2 stand for? It’s math, and it means that one side of the picture is 3 parts long (whatever the measure), and the other is two. It’s the shape of the image, and the shape matters when you print. A 3:2 image can be printed 4″ x 6″ without cropping, as well as 8″ x 12″, 12″ x 18″, 16″ x 24″ and 20″ x 30″. If you want to print at those sizes and don’t want to crop, the 3:2 aspect ratio is the right shape for you. The shape also matters for composition. What might look great with one aspect ratio might not with another. You will likely compose your pictures differently depending on the shape.

Let’s take a look at each of the three aspect ratios that Fujifilm gives you, plus some other common aspect ratios not found on your camera.

3:2

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The 3:2 aspect ratio is the native ratio on your Fujifilm X camera, and that’s because it’s the shape of the sensor. It’s the common aspect ratio of full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras, and it’s also the aspect ratio of 35mm film. The 3:2 aspect ratio is one of the most used, if not the most used, aspect ratios in digital photography. It’s a very familiar shape that most of us use every day, and it conveniently matches a number of different print sizes.

While the 3:2 aspect ratio is a very common shape, for some it’s too wide, and for others not wide enough. There are other shapes that might suite your photography better.

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16:9

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The 16:9 aspect ratio might seem cinematic, and that’s because it’s the shape of wide-screen televisions. When you watch your favorite TV show or movie at home, you likely view it in this aspect ratio. This is a common shape for video.

While mainly intended for video, the 16:9 aspect ratio can be used for still photography. The long, thin proportions are almost panoramic, and can be especially great for landscape photography. In order to create this shape, your camera crops a little off the top and bottom of the image and doesn’t use the whole sensor.

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1:1

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The 1:1 aspect ratio is square, but that doesn’t mean it’s lame. In fact, it’s the original shape of Instagram. The square picture has been around nearly as long as photography itself. There have been numerous cameras over the years that capture square images, including many 120 and 126 film cameras.

Magazine and newspaper editors used to prefer square pictures because they could crop them tall or wide, whatever would best fit the available space. On your Fujifilm X camera, some of the picture is cropped off the ends to make it square, so it doesn’t use the whole sensor.

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5:4

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The 5:4 aspect ratio is not found on your Fujifilm X camera. In fact, none of the rest are, only the first three. In order to get this shape, which is almost square, you’ll need to crop your picture using software.

This aspect ratio is from large format film, which commonly come in 4″ x 5″ or 8″ x 10″ sheets. You might note that this is the shape of 8″ x 10″ and 16″ x 20″ prints, which are common sizes. While it’s not unusual to print in this aspect ratio, it is a bit unusual to find a camera that captures it.

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4:3

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The 4:3 aspect ratio, which has its origins in medium format film, is very common. Most digital cameras with sensors larger than full frame or smaller than APS-C use this aspect ratio, including Fujifilm GFX. It’s not as wide as 3:2, but wider than 5:4. I wish that Fujifilm offered this as an option on their X-Trans models. Since they don’t, if you want to use the 4:3 aspect ratio you’ll have to crop using software. If you print poster-sized, you might make a 30″ x 40″ print; otherwise, the 4:3 aspect ratio will require some cropping to print common sizes.

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7:5

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The 7:5 aspect ratio is very uncommon. It’s a not-especially-popular large format film size. You can make 5″ x 7″ prints, too. Outside of that, this is a pretty much forgotten aspect ratio. With that said, it’s a nice in-between to the 3:2 and 4:3 ratios, which might make it a good option if you’re looking for something different.

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Your Fujifilm X camera has 3:2 as its standard aspect ratio, which is good because it won’t require cropping for many common print sizes. You also have the option of 16:9 if you want a wide picture, or 1:1 if you want a square picture, although the camera won’t use the whole sensor. Any other aspect ratio will require you to crop using software. You can make a picture any shape you want, but the more uncommon the aspect ratio, the more difficult it might be to print. Still, that shouldn’t stop you if that’s what you want to do. It can be tricky to discover what aspect ratio works best for your photography, so if you aren’t sure, I invite you to try different shapes until you find what you like best. You might find that you appreciate different shapes for different subjects or situations. There’s no one-size-fits-all aspect ratio, but the 3:2 aspect ratio is one-size-fits-most, which makes it ideal to have as the shape of your sensor.

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.