Creative Collective 015: Shifting For Inspiration

It’s amazing to me how one setting adjustment can have a major effect on the look of a picture. I take advantage of this when making film simulation recipes, creating all sorts of different picture aesthetics through various setting changes. Sometimes, though, I find myself stuck in a rut, and I need to find some inspiration somewhere—occasionally I need to shift to find that inspiration.

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Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Film Simulation Recipe: Scanned Negative

Mountain Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Scanned Negative”

I was playing around with white balance shift, and came across some settings that I thought looked interesting. I wasn’t attempting to mimic any specific film or process, but was simply experimenting with tints. I’m pretty well acquainted with white balance shift, but I was searching for inspiration—and I found it!

While this film simulation recipe wasn’t modeled after any specific film, what it reminded me of is an improperly color-corrected negative film scan. You see, color negative film is orange (because of the yellow and magenta masks), and when scanned and inverted into a positive image, it will have a green-cast that needs to be color corrected. Some scanners will do this automatically, and some will require manual adjustments. If not color corrected completely right, the picture can have a color cast that might seem a little off—in this case, slightly too green (depending on the light), but not by a lot (and not always). In any event, I think this recipe has a certain mood that’s definitely interesting in the right situations.

Sidewalk Bell – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Scanned Negative”

This “Scanned Negative” film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans II cameras that have the PRO Neg. Std film simulation. The XQ1, XQ2, and X10 I believe don’t have this film simulation, so it’s not compatible with those cameras. If you have an X-Pro1 or X-E1, feel free to try this recipe, too, although the results will be slightly different.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Shadow: 0 (Standard)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Standard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: 5300K, -5 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X-T1 using this “Scanned Negative” film simulation recipe:

Classic Adventures Parked – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Open Sign – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Yellow Poncho – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Icy Hose – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Reflected, Not Reflected – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Stairway to Nativity – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Post & Trashcan – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Ivy & Winter Home – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Snow On Green Bush – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Neighborhood in Winter Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: Fujifilm X-Trans II Film Simulation Recipes
Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Fujifilm X-T3, X-T30 & X-H1 Film Simulation Recipe: Negative Print

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print”

This film simulation recipe was inspired by various pictures I found while browsing old issues of Arizona Highways magazine. I have a small collection of old issues of this publication, which I enjoy flipping through from time-to-time for inspiration. Arizona Highways has a long history of publishing great photographs—even Ansel Adams was a regular contributor back in the day. As I was browsing old issues published over several decades, there was a certain aesthetic that seemed to reappear over and over. It caught my attention because of how lovely it looks. I don’t know the specifics of the film used—most likely Kodak of some sort, and probably multiple emulsion. My suspicion is that the printing process played a significant part in the aesthetic, and that’s why I call this recipe Negative Print.

After some experimenting, I decided that the Eterna film simulation was the best base. Because of that, this recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-H1, X-T3, and X-T30 cameras (as well as older GFX models, although the results will be slightly different). For newer X-Trans IV cameras (plus newer GFX), you’ll have to decide on Grain size (either Small or Large—I recommend Large), Color Chrome FX Blue (I recommend Off), and Clarity (I suggest either 0 or -2). I really like how this recipe renders pictures, and at times it really is reminiscent of those pictures printed in the magazine!

White & Red Rose – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Negative Print”

If you are looking for a classic analog aesthetic, this recipe is a great one to try. The way it renders shadows and colors definitely gives it a film-like look, and I know that this recipe will quickly become a favorite for some of you. I think it might just have a permanent place in my X-H1.

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off/NA
White Balance: Fluorescent 3, -2 Red & -7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Below are example pictures, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Negative Print” Film Simulation Recipe:

Fire & Pine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Trail in the Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tree by a Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Old Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow on the Creek Bank – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Small Waterfall – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30
Rural Pipe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Suburban Snowman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Love Yourself – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Stairs to Foot Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Adult Arlo – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Fujifilm GFX is 5 Years Old

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Five years ago today Fujifilm announced the GFX 50S camera, which launched the GFX medium-format line. The camera’s initial MSRP was $6,500, which was an insanely low price for medium-format, so it is no surprise that Fujifilm quickly became top-dog of the medium-format market.

I remember when Pentax released the 645D in 2010 with a price tag of “only” $10,000. People were shocked that you could get into medium-format so cheaply. Four years later the much improved 645Z was released with an even cheaper cost of $8,500, and people went nuts. Three years later Fujifilm undercut Pentax by $2,000 while delivering a superior camera. Finally, medium-format was affordable!

Of course, Fujifilm didn’t stop there. A year later they released the even cheaper (and much more cool) GFX 50R, with an MSRP of only $4,500! The GFX100 came next, which was the world’s first 100-megapixel mirrorless camera, at a whopping $10,000 price tag (remember when that was shockingly cheap?). Then came the GFX100S, a 100-megapixel model for only $6,000. A few months back Fujifilm released the GFX 50S II, an upgrade to the original GFX camera, with a retail price of only $4,000. Fujifilm has brought medium-format down to the price point of top-tier full-frame. It’s really quite amazing!

Despite the relatively low cost of GFX, it’s still out of my budget. The only time that I was able to shoot with one was last year when Fujifilm kindly loaned me a GFX 50S for a few weeks (read about it here). Maybe someday I’ll own one—that would be a dream come true. In the short time that I had my hands on it, I made three film simulation recipes for GFX: Classic Negative Industrial, Ektachrome, and Provia 400. GFX owners can use X-Trans IV recipes, as the X-T3 and X-T30 recipes are compatible with the “older” GFX models while the recipes for newer X-Trans IV cameras are compatible with newer GFX models. For example, in the video below, I used the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe on the GFX 50S with much success.

A lot of people have questioned Fujifilm’s decision to skip full-frame. When they launched their APS-C X-Trans line, crop sensors were generally regarded as for amateurs and not professionals. That mindset, of course, has changed significantly over the last 10 years as the quality of APS-C cameras has closed the gap on lower-end full-frame cameras, and in some aspects surpassed it. More and more professional and advanced enthusiasts are ditching their bulky full-frame gear for light and nimble APS-C models, like the Fujifilm X-T4. And some cameras, like the X100 and X-Pro series, are just more fun. So sticking with the smaller sensor wasn’t such a mistake after all.

As for GFX, not only has Fujifilm dominated the medium-format market since introducing the GFX 50S five years ago, but they’ve also been able to compete against the high-end full-frame market. People are asking, “Should I spend $6,500 on a Sony Alpha 1 or $6,000 on a GFX100S?” And, “Should I buy the Canon EOS R5 for $3,900 or the GFX 50S II for only $100 more?” So Fujifilm is able to attack the full-frame market from both the bottom and top, while not investing any R&D into launching a new system. Where Fujifilm cannot compete is with mid-range full-frame cameras. I think Fujifilm could do a 40-ish megapixel X100-like full-frame fixed-lens camera, which would be absolutely wonderful, and wouldn’t require investments into a new system—that’s the most practical way for Fujifilm to get into the mid-range full-frame market, and otherwise it’s just not in their cards, which I’m completely alright with.

It’s quite an accomplishment to enter and completely dominate a market segment within such a short period of time, yet that’s exactly what Fujifilm has done with GFX. It all began with the launch of the GFX 50S five years ago today.

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GFX 50S B&H Amazon
GFX 50R B&H Amazon (currently only $3,000!)
GFX100 B&H Amazon
GFX100S B&H Amazon

Film Simulation Recipes — Why Pictures Are Too Yellow & How To Fix It

Kodacolor film simulation recipe in artificial light.

I frequently get asked something to the effect of, “When I use this film simulation recipe indoors, my pictures are too yellow—how do I fix it?” I have the answer—or really answers, since there’s more than one way to tackle this common issue—but first I’ll explain why this happens. Let’s dive in!

With photographic film, with a few rare exceptions, you have two choices: Daylight Balanced and Tungsten Balanced. Daylight film is around 5500K and Tungsten film is around 3200K. If you use Daylight film indoors under artificial light you can get a strong yellow color cast, and if you use Tungsten film in sunny conditions you can get a strong blue color cast. Each film is intended for use under specific light conditions.

With digital cameras, you have so many Kelvin options to choose from, which can be fine-tuned very precisely to match the light no matter what it is. You can even let the camera do it for you with Auto White Balance. Many of my Film Simulation Recipes, especially the ones that are modeled after specific films, require specific White Balance settings, including a White Balance Shift. In the right light situations these recipes can look really good, but when the light is a mismatch for the recipe, you can get unpleasant results, such as a strong yellow color cast. It’s like using Daylight film indoors or Tungsten film outdoors.

With film, the solution is to use the right film type for the situation (such as Daylight outdoors and Tungsten indoors), and, when necessary, use Color Correction Filters (a.k.a Color Conversion Filters or Light Balancing Filters). These filters allow you to change the “white balance” to match the lighting conditions. Type 80 filters (a.k.a. Blue Filters or Cooling Filters) are for using Daylight film with artificial light. There are three of them—80A, 80B, 80C—depending on the artificial light that you are shooting in. Type 82 filters are similar—82A is meant for Daylight film in overly warm daylight while 82B is meant for Tungsten film in overly warm artificial light. Type 81 filters (a.k.a. Warming Filters) are for Daylight film in cool light. There are six of them—81, 81A, 81B, 81C, 81D, 81EF—depending on the coolness of the daylight that you are shooting in, and if a flash is used. Type 85 filters are warming filters meant for Tungsten film in daylight conditions. There are three of these—85, 85B, 85C—depending on the warmth of the daylight. There are other filters, too, like FL-B and FL-D for fluorescent light, and many more. Since you cannot change the “white balance” of the film, you use Color Correction Filters instead.

You can actually use these filters with your Fujifilm cameras. If, for example, you’re using the Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe, which requires a 5200K white balance, yet you are shooting in artificial light, you might select a Type 80 cooling filter to screw onto the end of your lens. This will work for film simulation recipes that don’t use Auto White Balance. It’s worth noting that the recipes which use AWB are the most versatile because it matters much less what the light situation is. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s easy to find these recipes—there are over 70—using Filter By White Balance. If you don’t already have it on your phone, go ahead and download the App for free (Android here, iOS here) and consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience! While using Color Correction Filters was a common solution in the film era, it’s very uncommon in the digital era, and most likely you don’t have these filters sitting around somewhere. Beside, it’s inconvenient to carry 15+ filters with you whenever you go out photographing. While these filters aren’t the most practical solution, it is the most film-like solution, so some of you might appreciate trying Color Correction Filters with your Fujifilm cameras.

The most practical solution is to select a recipe that has a white balance that matches the light you are shooting in. Some recipes are made for use in artificial light, such as Jeff Davenport Night, Ektachrome 320T, Fujicolor NPL 160 Tungsten, or one of the CineStill 800T recipes (here, here, here, here and here). Most recipes are more like Daylight film, and are intended for use in sunny conditions, so if it is daytime, select any of the non-nighttime recipes, which is the vast majority of them. If the light is mixed (or something other than daylight or artificial), using an Auto White Balance recipe is a simple solution.

Even though the light isn’t a good match for a particular recipe, you might want to use that recipe anyway, but you’re disappointed with the results because of the color cast. My best advice is to simply switch to Auto White Balance or take a Custom White Balance measurement. Set the camera to a white balance that will work with the light conditions. This is the digital equivalent of using a Color Correction Filter. It’s better to make a quick adjustment and get the results that you want than to stubbornly stick with something that’s not working for you. Don’t be afraid to “season to taste” the recipe to make it work for you.

When you find yourself in a situation where the film simulation recipe is producing a strong color cast that you don’t like, you have a few options. First, consider switching recipes to one that might work better for light situation, such as a Tungsten recipe or one that utilizes Auto White Balance. Second, if you don’t want to switch recipes, you can use a Color Correction Filter to “fix” the white balance. Third, if Color Correction Filters aren’t an option, you can simply switch the white balance to Auto or something that’s a better match for the light. There’s actually a fourth potential solution, which is to artificially light the scene, and have the Kelvin temperature of the light match (or compensate for) the white balance of the recipe, but for most people this isn’t going to be a particularly practical solution to the problem. Whichever option you decide on needs to be something that works well for you. Yellow pictures are a common outcome when using a film that is mismatched with the light, and also a common outcome when using a film simulation recipe that is mismatched with the light. There are several solutions, so try whichever one makes the most sense to you.

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Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Gold v2

Grass and Frozen Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Gold v2”

This new film simulation recipe comes from Anders Lindborg (Instagram). Anders is the one who created the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, Ilford Pan F Plus 50 recipeseven Fujicolor Pro 160NS recipes, seven Fujicolor Pro 400H recipes, and made an important D-Range Priority discovery. So I know that you’ll love this one, too! He was kind enough to share it with me and allow me to share it with all of you—thank you, Anders!

Anders began by looking at some old prints he has, which were captured on Kodak Gold 200 film. He noticed that these prints looked a little different than my Kodak Gold 200 recipe, but one film can have many different looks depending on how it was shot, developed, printed and/or scanned, or even which generation of the emulsion you’re viewing. This recipe mimics the aesthetic of his prints, but he noticed that it also matches many examples of Gold 200 that he found online.

Kids in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Gold v2”

This recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. To make this recipe work on the X-T3 and X-T30, Anders suggests using Grain Strong, White Balance 5900K (with the same shift), and ignoring Clarity—I suggest that you consider using a weak diffusion filter, such as 1/8 Black Pro Mist or 5% CineBloom, in leu of Clarity. In addition, for X-Trans III, ignore Color Chrome Effect. The results will be slightly different, but nearly the same. Anders suggests trying this recipe with a 3200K white balance for night photography.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -1
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 5800K, +2 Red & +4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

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

Moon Behind Pine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Moon Behind Cattails – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Safe Zone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Makeshift Gate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wood Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Trail to Visitors Center – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Green Leaves in January – Farmington UT – Fujifilm X100V
Hanging Red Berries in Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Berries and Barren Branches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Brown Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Jo in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Jo Under The Tennis Net – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Back Alley – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Fuji’s Instant Film: The Immensely Interesting Story of Instax

Fujifilm’s top selling photographic line is not the X-series or GFX. By a large margin, Instax cameras and film are Fujifilm’s most popular photo products. Instax, of course, is instant film—their version of Polaroid. 2021 was an especially good year for Instax, thanks to the Instax Mini LiPlay and Instax Wide Printer, which have been hot sellers. This year, the new Instax Mini EVO is already a huge hit. I received a lot of positive feedback from my article explaining the history of the Fujifilm X-Pro1, so I thought it would be fun to explore the history of Instax. It turns out to be an immensely more interesting story than I imagined.

Let’s get started!

Edwin Land was a freshman physics student at Harvard University in 1926, and he had an idea: control scattered vibrations of light using a magnetic field and microscopic crystals. Less than two years later he dropped out of school and moved to New York City to pursue this idea. He spent extensive time in the public library, reading anything and everything that might help him succeed. Since he didn’t have access to a lab, he would sneak into Columbia University late at night to use theirs. In 1932, after four years of extensive experimenting and testing, Land had done it—he had invented an inexpensive and efficient polarizer. That same year he teamed up with George Wheelwright III, a Harvard physics professor, and started Land-Wheelwright Laboratories. In 1936, after years of work to commercialize the product, and 10 years after Land had his original idea, they began selling the Polaroid J Sheet Polarizer for use in sunglasses and photography. It was a quick hit, and a year later they renamed the company Polaroid after their product.

Many years later, in 1944, while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land snapped a photograph of his three-year-old daughter, Jennifer. As the saying goes, kids say the darndest things. The little girl asked her dad why she couldn’t see the picture that had just been taken. Land thought, “Well, why can’t you?” Within an hour he had figured out the basic idea of how to accomplish this. In 1947 Land had invented a working instant film camera, and two years later Polaroid began selling the Model 95 instant film camera and Type 40 instant film to go with it.

Polaroid Colorpack II camera

Over the next decade Polaroid camera and film sales skyrocketed. Even Ansel Adams joined the instant film revolution, and, in 1963, published a book entitled Polaroid Land Photography. As demand increased, Polaroid struggled to keep up, so in the early 1960’s they contracted Kodak to manufactured their peel-apart packfilm. During that time Polaroid hired Fujifilm to assist with film improvements.

As instant film sales continued to rapidly grow throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, someone at Kodak got the bright idea that they should make their own cameras and film to compete against Polaroid. Using their experience producing film for Polaroid to design their own products, Kodak launched the EK4 and EK6 instant film cameras, as well as their PR10 instant film, in 1976. Polaroid immediately sued Kodak for patent violations, but it took a decade for the courts to make a ruling.

Fujifilm also wanted to get in on the instant film frenzy. They figured that Kodak would overtake Polaroid and become king of instant film, so Fujifilm closely modeled their instant film line after Kodak’s, and paid Kodak for the rights to do so. Fujifilm also approached Polaroid for permission, and Polaroid agreed just as long as Fujifilm shared some technology secrets with them and agreed not to sell their instant film cameras in North America. In 1981 Fujifilm launched the Fotorama instant film camera line, which was marketed only in Asia, and sold mostly in Japan. Instant film photography wasn’t nearly as popular in Asia as it was in America, but the Fotorama line sold well enough for Fujifilm to continue to sell it into the late-1990’s. Fujifilm also began selling instant film for Polaroid cameras during this time, although, again, largely for Asian markets.

Now back to that Kodak/Polaroid lawsuit. Polaroid won in 1986, and Kodak was ordered to stop selling their instant film cameras—they also had to financially compensate those who purchased them. The legal battle continued, and in 1990 Kodak was ordered to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars in damages for copying seven patents. It was such a wild case that books have been written about it. One might think that Polaroid was the big winner and Kodak was the big loser, but Kodak made as much as 12 billion in profits off of their instant film line, so they still came out ahead, while the lengthly lawsuit apparently stifled Polaroid’s creativity and ability to innovate, right during a time when they desperately needed to innovate.

The 1990’s were not particularly good for Polaroid, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. Polaroid was sold and then turned into a hollow shell, with the brand’s name and products licensed to other companies. Polaroid film was discontinued in 2008.

Fujifilm introduced the Instax line in 1998 with the Instax Mini 10 camera. Instax Wide came out a year later. While the size and shape was different, the film and technology was recycled from the Fotorama line. By this time Fujifilm was no longer obligated to remain outside of the U.S. market, but they continued to stay out, with the exception of the Mio camera in 2001, a Polaroid-brand model that shot Instax Mini film, which wasn’t especially successful. Fujifilm didn’t start selling Instax in America until after Polaroid announced it was discontinuing its instant film.

When Polaroid pulled out of instant film photography, Fujifilm seriously considered doing the same. Sales were sluggish, and largely declining. Instant film was nearly dead, and its demise was all but certain. The writing was on the wall.

In 2007 a South Korean television series called Coffee Prince was a huge success. It was especially popular with younger audiences, particularly teenagers. Prominently featured in the show was an Instax camera, and the demand for Instax in South Korea immediately skyrocketed. Then, in 2009, the South Korean series You’re Beautiful aired, which also prominently featured an Instax camera. While this show was only moderately successful on initial airing, it gained a large cult-like following in the years following, and it, too, boosted Instax sales. The popularity of Instax spread out from South Korea across Asia, then to the rest of the world, including America. Suddenly, more than a decade after it was released, Instax was an instant hit, with sales trending sharply up.

2004 was the slowest year for Instax, with about 100,000 cameras sold worldwide. In 2015, Fujifilm sold 5 million Instax cameras, and in 2019 they sold 10 million. Unsurprisingly, 2020 was a slow year, but in 2021 things picked up again, although I couldn’t find specific data on how many cameras were sold. Instax is Fujifilm’s top selling camera line, and it’s very profitable. Fujifilm has stated that some of those profits help fund developments within the X-series and GFX—even if you don’t own any Instax products, you can still be grateful that it’s so popular because it does indirectly affect you.

If Edwin Land hadn’t dropped out of college to pursue his polarizer idea, if his young daughter hadn’t asked why she couldn’t see the picture right away, if Kodak hadn’t ripped off Polaroid, if Fujifilm (like Kodak) hadn’t asked Polaroid for permission, if Polaroid hadn’t gone bankrupt, and if two South Korean television shows hadn’t used Instax as props—if any of these things hadn’t happened, Instax wouldn’t likely be around today. Through a series of twists and turns, Fujifilm created a product line that tens of millions of people worldwide use today. While Polaroid invented instant film photography, Fujifilm is currently king.

That’s the immensely interesting story of Instax!

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Instax Mini 40
Instax Mini 70
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Instax Mini 11
Instax SQ6

Instax Wide 300
Instax Mini Link Printer

Instax Link Wide Printer
Instax Mini Film
Instax Square Film
Instax Wide Film

Fujifilm X-Pro1: A 10-Year X-Trans Legacy

A Worn But Working 10-Year-Old Fujifilm X-Pro1 in 2022.

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is 10 years old!

Let’s drop a beer can into Mr. Fusion, jump into our DeLorean, activate the time circuits, make sure the flux capacitor is fluxing, blast a Huey Lewis tune on the tape deck, and see what happens when this baby hits 88 miles per hour! Yes, we’re headed back in time to understand why the Fujifilm X-Pro1 was a crucial camera that changed photography.

The first stop on our time-travel trip is 1988. The Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California. George Michael’s Faith was the top hit song in America. Oh, and Fujifilm introduced the world’s first completely digital camera, the FUJIX DS-1P.

This first all-digital camera captured 0.4 megapixel images and stored them on a removable memory card—as many as 10 pictures! While this doesn’t sound like a significant achievement, it was a pivotal moment in the advancement of digital camera technology. One year later, the same year that Back To The Future Part II played in theaters, Fujifilm released the world’s first commercially-produced digital camera, the FUJIX DS-X. Fujifilm would continue to develop (pun intended) it’s digital camera technology throughout the 1990’s, making several important innovations, and even collaborating with other brands, such as Nikon.

Despite Fujifilm’s pioneering advancements, digital camera sales were slow, primarily due to the poor image quality of the early sensors plus the very high costs to buy. Meanwhile, film sales went through the roof! A billion rolls of film were sold in 1999, and even more were sold in 2000, which was the absolute pinnacle of analog photography. If you were a Fujifilm manager during those two years, and you’re seeing tons of money going into the digital camera department yet not much financially to show for it, and film sales seemed to be on a trajectory towards the moon, what would you do? It’s understandable, then, that Fujifilm did what it did: double-down on analog and pull back from digital. But the timing was awful, because film sales hit a wall, and in 2003 began to fall off a cliff, while digital sales rose sharply.

Although Fujifilm scaled back from digital, they didn’t abandon it. In fact, in 2000, Fujifilm introduced the S1 Pro, a Nikon SLR retrofitted with a 3-megapixel Super-CCD sensor. Fujifilm invented this new sensor type, which claimed to produce double the apparent resolution of a traditional Bayer sensor while simultaneously increasing dynamic range. There would be four models of these Nikon-turned-Fujifilm DSLRs—the last one, the S5 Pro, was discontinued in 2009, after disappointing sales. Mostly, though, following the fall of film, Fujifilm turned their attention to digital point-and-shoots, a fairly profitable segment at that time. They also turned their attention to non-photographic opportunities, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among others things.

Around the time that Fujifilm was discontinuing their DSLR, they began to work on something new. Pocket point-and-shoot cameras were popular, but not with professional photographers, due to poor image quality and basic controls. What if Fujifilm made a high-end pocketable camera aimed specifically at the professional crowd? It took over two years for this idea to be realized—the Fujifilm X100 was released in March 2011, giving birth to the X-series. This camera had a rangefinder design with retro controls, harkening back to the glory days of film, and a 12-megapixel APS-C sensor. A Bayer sensor. Not Super-CCD, which was abandoned with the S5 Pro. And not X-Trans, which hadn’t been invented yet. This was also the first camera ever with a hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder.

If the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there. Thankfully, the camera was generally well received, and it sold a lot of copies. I know that I wanted one. I remember seeing it in a photography magazine and being captivated by it. I couldn’t afford the $1,200 price tag, so I didn’t buy it, but I would have if I could have. It was a camera you wanted to own!

What I said in the last paragraph—”if the X100 had been a flop, the X-series would have ended there”—isn’t actually true. The X-Trans sensor had been in the works for five years and was almost ready when the X100 was released. Work began on the X-Pro1 back in 2010, and it was decided that it would be the first camera to carry the new sensor. Whether the X100 was a flop or success had no bearing on the release of the X-Pro1, but its success most certainly helped the X-Pro1 to sell well, too.

What made this new X-Trans sensor unique? How was it different than Bayer? What was the point of it?

Fujifilm had been experimenting with different sensor concepts since the 1990’s. They tried many different things to get the most resolution, sharpness, and dynamic range from the low-megapixel sensors of the time, and that’s where the Super-CCD technology came from. Fujifilm continued to experiment, and, inspired by the randomness of silver halide, decided to test a “random” color filter array. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of computing power to interpret the data, and that was the biggest hurdle that had to be overcome, since processing power wasn’t plentiful back then.

X-Trans was a complex solution to what Fujifilm recognized as a problem, but most didn’t. The randomness of the color filter array made it less susceptible to moire pattern distortion, so an optical low-pass filter wasn’t needed. This did two things: produce sharper pictures with the appearance of more resolution, and the ability to better distinguish noise vs. signal. The latter was the most important of the two side effects. Since noise and signal could be more easily differentiated, Fujifilm could control it better, and get improved high-ISO results, as well as better shadow details. This is why Fujifilm’s noise is rendered differently than other brands, and has more of a film-grain-like appearance. Also, the extra green pixels in an X-Trans sensor produces more luminosity information, which improves dynamic range, high-ISO performance, and fine detail rendering.

Blooms Despite Adversity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Punchy Velvia

Is there a difference between Bayer and X-Trans? Of course there is! It’s not immediately obvious at low-ISO, as many of the benefits are extremely subtle, but as the ISO increases the differences become more obvious. It’s not a night-and-day distinction, but there is definitely a divergence if you look close enough.

Fujifilm announced the X-Pro1 in January 2012 and began shipping it in March, which means that the camera is 10-years-old in 2022! The X-Pro1 was similar to the X100, but larger and with some design changes, and with the ability to swap lenses. Plus, it had the new 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor. Between the rangefinder styling, retro controls, hybrid viewfinder, and new sensor, Fujifilm made people take notice! The camera just grabs your attention.

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, though. The X100 and X-Pro1, plus the X-E1 that followed, all had problems, and were called sluggish and quirky in camera reviews. Many of the issues were fixed with firmware updates over time, but it took time to iron out the wrinkles. Some issues weren’t Fujifilm’s fault, like RAW editing software having trouble handling the X-Trans files. Fujifilm actually intended the in-camera JPEG processor, which utilized Film Simulations (profiles created from Fujifilm’s extensive experience in film), to be a serious tool that photographers would utilize. When Fujifilm expressed this, they were scoffed at by the photography “experts” of the time, because, you know, real photographers shoot RAW, and only amateurs shoot JPEG. The response was so loud that for awhile Fujifilm stopped suggesting photographers should shoot JPEG, and put less effort towards promoting their in-camera processing.

Pink Roses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Color Negative Film

Despite what the so-called experts thought, many of those with Fujifilm cameras began to realize that the JPEGs were actually pretty good. In September of 2014 Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X100T, which had a new Film Simulation called Classic Chrome. It was intended to mimic the aesthetic of documentary-style pictures found in magazines. Classic Chrome was an instant hit, and it brought a new awareness to Fujifilm’s JPEG engine.

My journey into the world of Fujifilm began with a used X-E1 in the summer of 2016. Actually, let’s get back into our DeLorean and head even further into the past. In the summer of 1998 I took an epic trip with some friends to the New England states, and I borrowed my dad’s Sears 35mm SLR to photograph the journey. When I returned home and got the pictures back from the 1-hour photo lab, they were awful! I couldn’t have screwed up the pictures any more than I did. That fall I enrolled in Photography 101 in college so that I could learn to take a decent picture, and I ended up falling in love with photography. This was at the pinnacle of film. I was not a fan of the digital photography revolution because I didn’t like how digital pictures looked. In my opinion, film was much superior, and so I stubbornly stuck with it. Around 2010 I purchased my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, because it was inexpensive and because I could use the lenses from my Pentax SLR with it. I soon discovered why digital photography had surpassed film—it was much more quick and convenient—but I still preferred the look of film. While I continued to shoot both film and digital, I jumped from brand-to-brand trying to find a digital camera that I liked. After Pentax I tried Samsung. Then Sigma. Then Nikon. Then Sony. In 2016 I purchased the X-E1, and was instantly thrilled by the experience of the camera. Finally, a digital camera that I could love! One year later I bought an X100F, the fourth iteration of the original X100.

I configured my X100F to shoot RAW+JPEG, and after fiddling with the RAW files, I noticed that the post-processed RAW pictures didn’t look a whole lot different than the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I realized that with a few small tweaks in the camera settings I could make them match even more closely. That was the birth of my “Film Simulation Recipes” (camera settings that produce a certain look, often modeled after classic film stocks and analog processes). The popularity of Film Simulation Recipes has grown and grown—exploding over the last two years—and with it has seen a significant increase in those shooting JPEGs with their Fujifilm cameras. Film Simulation Recipes save you time by eliminating the need to edit (or, for some, reducing the amount of editing needed), while making the process more enjoyable. It is Fujifilm’s vision come true, although I doubt they envisioned exactly where this whole thing has gone.

Not Filed – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome I

Over the last decade Fujifilm has continued to innovate, leaping various hurdles, to improve and grow the X-series. Fujifilm has doubled-down on in-camera processing, and the stigma of shooting JPEGs has softened significantly. Even though much progress has been made, and the brand-new cameras are absolutely incredible, there’s still a lot of love for the original models. There’s a special quality to them, even if they’re slower, more quirky, lower resolution, and with fewer options.

While I started with an X-E1 (I’ve actually owned two), I’ve mostly used the newer models. Knowing that the X-Pro1 was approaching the 10-year mark, and loving the X-Pro series design, last year I purchased a well-used but still perfectly functioning X-Pro1. I wanted to use the X-Pro1 in 2022 as a way to celebrate the importance of this model in photography.

Let me pause here for a moment. Digital technology advances quickly. Most people aren’t still using a 10-year-old cellphone or television. Most people aren’t using a 10-year-old camera, although certainly some are. In the film era, it wasn’t uncommon to use the same camera for decades or even a whole career. In the digital era, a lot of people “upgrade” their camera gear every two or three years. While most aren’t still shooting with a camera from 2012, some are, and they’re probably thinking pretty seriously that it’s time to upgrade to the latest model. The X-Pro1 is a 10-year-old camera that not only are some people still shooting, there are actually people searching it out so that they can use it, even though they have newer models. In 2022, the X-Pro1 is a desired camera! This speaks to the genius of those who designed it—the camera itself is art, and it is a very capable tool for creating art, even after a decade.

Diesel – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome

Now, let me explain more directly exactly how the Fujifilm X-Pro1 changed photography.

While Fujifilm has been making cameras since 1948, and digital cameras since the late-1980’s, their DSLRs, while innovative, were Nikon bodies with Fujifilm innards. Buying one of these DSLRs was buying into the Nikon system. There were some advantages to buying the Fujifilm version, and there were also some disadvantages, so it was an odd market that Fujifilm found itself in. Basically, Fujifilm was hoping to convince Nikon owners to buy the Fujifilm version of Nikon’s camera, or else convince those from other brands to switch to Nikon, except the Fuji-Nikon and not actual Nikon. And there were no aftermarket products to sell, which is where the money is made. Fujifilm’s attempt to be in the professional camera market was halfhearted and failed, so with the writing on the wall, Fujifilm regrouped.

After the failure of the S5 Pro, the X100 was Fujifilm’s first attempt to capture the attention of professional and advanced enthusiast photographers, but right on its heels was the X-Pro1 with the brand-new X-Trans sensor. This was an interchangeable-lens model, which was important because selling lenses is where the real profit is. It was highly advanced: mirrorless (a fairly new concept at the time), hybrid viewfinder, new sensor type. But it was also retro: rangefinder style with no PASM dial anywhere. It was something new yet absolutely a classic. It was simultaneously modern and nostalgic.

Storm Building Over Mountain Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Kodachrome II

The X-Pro1’s success allowed the Fuji-X line to continue, and all of the cameras that followed are thanks to the original model. If the X-Pro1 had flopped, Fujifilm would have exited stage left, and there would be no X-Pro3 or X-T4 or X-E4 or any other X-series camera today. I likely wouldn’t have purchased an X-E1 in 2016 and I definitely wouldn’t have bought an X100F in 2017, because the X100F wouldn’t exist. If not for the X100F, I wouldn’t have made Film Simulation Recipes, I wouldn’t have created the Fuji X Weekly App, and you wouldn’t know the joys of using these recipes. There are literally tens of thousands of photographers worldwide—from first-camera newbies to experienced professionals with recognizable names—who are capturing the world through the colors and tones of Film Simulation Recipes. If not for the X-Pro1, this would never have happened. If you shoot with Film Simulation Recipes, you can, in part, thank the X-Pro1 (or, more specifically, the team that made that camera a reality). Because of it, far more photographers are relying on camera-made JPEGs today than they otherwise would, which saves them time and makes their photographic process more enjoyable.

The X-Pro1 is an important camera in the photography continuum, but it is more than just a display piece. The X-Pro1, a decade after it was announced, is still a quality tool for capturing the world. It’s a camera I used in 2021, and it’s a camera I’ll continue to use in 2022, and likely the years to follow. My copy is a little worn, but, as long as it continues to work, I will still use it. I have many Fujifilm cameras, but I have a special place for the X-Pro1 both in my heart and in my camera bag. That’s a legacy worth noting!

What about you? Do you own a Fujifilm X-Pro1? What was your first Fujifilm camera? Which Fujifilm cameras do you currently own? Which Film Simulation Recipe is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Creative Collective 014: Using a Fujifilm X100V as a Disposable Film Camera

Well, this is going to sound crazy, but I turned my Fujifilm X100V into a disposable film camera. No, I didn’t disassemble my digital camera, rip out the sensor, and adapt a film spool. Instead, I configured my X100V to capture pictures that appear as though they were captured with a cheap throwaway film camera. Why? I’ve done crazier things before, including distressing a camera, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that I’d do this—perhaps it was just a matter of time.

The inspiration for this project has been building for awhile. I have a picture displayed on my dresser that’s over 20 years old—it’s my wife and I, captured sometime shortly after we got married. A friend took the picture with a disposable camera. I can tell that it was a Fujifilm QuickSnap camera by the color palette, which is clearly Fujicolor. The picture is special to me because it’s a very personal (and happy) moment that’s been frozen in time through photography. It’s nothing more than a snapshot captured on a cheap camera, and would be completely meaningless to almost anyone else. I have a box full of these type of pictures, mostly 4″ x 6″ prints. You might have a box like this, too—snapshots that are meaningful to you.

Bread Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm developed the QuickSnap camera, a “one-time-use” 35mm film camera, in the mid-1980’s (Kodak released its version, called FunSaver, a couple years later), and it was an instant hit. These “disposable” cameras were extremely popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They came preloaded with 27 frames (a 24-exposure roll of film, but you got three extra shots), and were point-and-shoot. You’d push the shutter-release and advance the film, but otherwise there typically weren’t any other controls, so anyone could use these cameras—no skill required. Once you exposed all of the frames, you’d take the camera to the 1-hour lab, where they removed the film for development and recycled the camera. 60 minutes later you’d have a packet of 4″ x 6″ prints.

Cheap digital point-and-shoots made a dent in disposable camera sales, but it was really the cellphone camera that rendered them obsolete; however, you might be surprised to learn that you can still buy disposable cameras today. Thanks to the Lomography movement and an increased interest in film photography, there’s enough of a market for these cameras to continue to exist in 2022. I briefly considered purchasing one, but instead of that, I decided to capture QuickSnap-like images on my Fujifilm X100V.

Now you know the why, so let’s get into the how.

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Fujifilm X-H1 Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak GT 800-5

Rural Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm H-H1 – “Kodak GT 800-5”

My Kodak Max 800 film simulation recipe was modeled after some film I found that had “Kodak GT 800-3” imprinted on the negatives. After some research I found out that it was Kodak Max Zoom 800 (specifically, the third iteration of this film). Kodak Max Zoom 800 was replaced by Kodak Max Versatility Plus 800 in 2006, and those negatives had “Kodak GT 800-4” imprinted on them. Well, I found some more prints plus the negatives, and this film has “Kodak GT 800-5” imprinted on them. I searched and searched, but I didn’t find any information on this film. My suspicion is that Kodak updated the Kodak Max Versatility Plus 800 film in some way, yet kept the name the same, but that’s just a guess—it could be an entirely different emulsion sold under a different name. In other words, I’m pretty sure “Kodak GT 800-5” is a descendant of Kodak Max 800, but I wasn’t able to find any specific information on it.

The 4″ x 6″ prints I found were captured in 2008 while on a day-trip to Sedona, Arizona, and were developed at Walgreens. I’m pretty sure the film was shot using a disposable camera, although I don’t remember why (I remember the trip, but I don’t remember anything specific about the pictures). The prints have a strong warm (red/orange) color cast, are somewhat desaturated, and have dark shadows. I’m not sure if this is due to the film itself, or the development and printing by Walgreens, or because they’re degrading with time, or a combination of all three—perhaps something else entirely, like sitting too long in a hot car (always a possibility in Arizona). Whatever the reason, I thought the aesthetic was interesting, so I recreated it on my Fujifilm X-H1.

A Poor quality scan of a print from actual Kodak GT 800-5 film.

A goal of mine for 2022 is to buy a better scanner. I had a “better” one (by better, I simply mean better than what I currently have, because it was mediocre, or really “good enough”), but it stopped working about 10 months ago. This current scanner, which is part of a printer/scanner combination, is particularly bad for some reason. I say all of this because the scan above doesn’t do the print justice, but I wanted to include it anyway to give you an idea where the inspiration for this recipe came from.

This Kodak GT 800-5 film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, which include the Fujifilm X-Pro2, X100F, X-E3, X-T2, X-T20, and X-H1. You can also use it on the X-T3 and X-T30 by setting Color Chrome Effect to Off. Because of the particularly warm color cast, this isn’t a recipe that’s for everyone or every situation, but in certain situations this will produce interesting results, and some of you will definitely like it.

Passenger Train Platform – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Kodak GT 800-5”

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Color: -3
Sharpness: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
White Balance: 7100K, +7 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Kodak GT 800-5” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Storm Over Mountains at Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow Covered Blackberry Vines by a Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Blossom Remnants 1 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Blossom Remnants 2 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Milkweed in January – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Small Spillway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Rural Road Near Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Path in the Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Cattails & Frozen Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Frozen Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Citations Will Be Issued – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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New FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Analog Gold

Wood Shack – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Analog Gold”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new film simulation recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many Early-Access Recipes have been publicly published on this blog and the App, so now everyone can use them! Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new Patron Early-Access recipe is called Analog Gold because it has a vintage film-like aesthetic with a golden color cast. It produces a warm, somewhat-muted look, and does well in both sunny and overcast conditions. While it’s not modeled after any specific film or process, it does convey an analog quality that’s easy to appreciate. I know that some of you will love this one!

This “Analog Gold” Patron Early-Access Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you are a Fuji X Weekly Patron, it’s available to you right now on the Fuji X Weekly App! If you don’t have the App, download it for free today.

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Analog Gold” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Kaysville Pond in January – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Weather Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dry Leaves & Red Berries – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rusty Fence Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Flowing Creek in Grass – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Frozen Pond – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass & Frozen Pond Water – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass in the Ice – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dry Shrub – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Helicopters Waiting to Fly – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Statue & Sky – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Old Kodak

No Trespassing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

I was inspired to create this film simulation recipe after viewing some old pictures captured on various Kodak films. These pictures reminded me of the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 film simulation recipes, but they weren’t exactly the same. I thought if I tweaked those recipes I could get closer to mimicking the aesthetic of the old Kodak pictures that I was looking at (which is why I call this recipe Old Kodak). If you like the Vintage Kodachrome and Kodachrome 1 recipes, you’ll really appreciate this one, too!

Old Kodak was a Patron Early-Access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly App, and App Patrons have had access to it for nine months; however, it’s been replaced by a different Early-Access recipe, so now it’s available to everyone! The best App experience is reserved for Patrons, and early-access to some new film simulation recipes is one of the Patron benefits. If you are a Patron, be sure to look for the new Early-Access recipe that replaced this one.

Wet Radio Flyer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Old Kodak”

Because this recipe uses 0.5 adjustments to Highlight and Shadow, plus the Auto White Priority white balance, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X-Pro3 or X100V, if you set Highlight to +3, Shadow to -1, and white balance to Auto, it will be similar but not exactly the same (don’t be afraid to try it anyway). While the “typical exposure compensation” is between -1/3 and +1/3, in situations with strong highlights you might have to go -2/3 or even -1 on occasion to prevent the highlights from clipping.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3.5
Shadow: -0.5
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto White Priority, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Old Kodak” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Salt Lake Marsh Evening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Big Sky Over Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rural Red Barn – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Holland Deere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Open Gate – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Wheel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Rusty Bolts In A Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburban Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
The Joy of Writing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Gumby on a Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Pallets – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Kaysville Pond – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunset Light on Winter Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Creative Collective 013: How To Use 2 Cameras To Create Dreamy, Surreal Photos

Frozen Marsh & Bird Sanctuary – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujifilm X-Pro1

I figured out a simple technique for creating dreamy, surreal photographs using two cameras. It’s pretty simple, really, but it will require some specific tools. What you’ll achieve with this technique is something Lomo-looking—perhaps toy camera or even instant-film-like. If you are drawn to a soft, analog-esque aesthetic, this is something you’ll want to try!

Let’s dive in!

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Fujifilm X-H1 (X-Trans III + X-T3 & X-T30) Film Simulation Recipe: Analog Monochrome

Old Tractor 15 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Analog Monochrome”

This film simulation recipe began as an attempt to fulfill a need. You see, there are many Fujifilm cameras (like the X-H1) that are not capable of saving the White Balance Shift within Custom Presets, but there’s a solution: if each Custom Preset uses a different White Balance type, the camera will remember one White Balance Shift per type, and you won’t have to remember to adjust the shift when switching presets. This makes the camera experience more enjoyable.

The problem is that most film simulation recipes use the Auto, Daylight, or Kelvin White Balance types, and you have seven Custom Preset slots. The remaining White Balance types have a limited number of choices. Prior to this recipe, Incandescent had only one option: Eterna Bleach Bypass. Now, if you are using this solution, you can choose either this Analog Monochrome recipe or the Eterna Bleach Bypass recipe—one color and one B&W—for one of your C1-C7 slots.

Doll – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Analog Monochrome”

I didn’t model this Analog Monochrome recipe after any specific film. Instead, I simply set out to create some settings that look good. This recipe has nice contrast with deep blacks, and whites that are bright yet don’t easily clip. I set Grain to Weak for a clean look, but feel free to try Strong for a grittier look. I feel that it has a very nice classic B&W film aesthetic that some of you will really appreciate.

Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -1
Grain Effect: Weak

White Balance: Incandescent, -8 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Analog Monochrome” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Minolta SRT303b – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Car Console – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jon Smiling for the Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Joy Laughing at a Funny Message – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Horse Close Up – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
You Shall Not Pass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jesus Loves You! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Friendly Neighborhood Snowman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Walking Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Farmington Creek in Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Three Ducks in the Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Snow and Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Winter Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Stump In Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Wild Grass in Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Melting Snow In The Tall Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this film simulation recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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How To Switch Between Custom Presets More Quickly On Your Fujifilm Camera

Did you know that there’s a faster way to switch between the C1-C7 Custom Presets on your Fujifilm camera?

The C1-C7 Custom Presets are a great place to store up to seven Film Simulation Recipes. Not all Fujifilm cameras have the ability to store Custom Presets, but most do, and they’re pretty easy to program, especially after you’ve done it a time or two. Once you have the Custom Presets programmed into the camera, for most models, you access them by selecting the Q-Button, which brings up the Q-Menu. In the Q-Menu you can scroll through the C1-C7 options using (usually) the Rear Command Dial. There’s some variance between models, so your camera might be different, and there’s more than one way to access Custom Presets, but this is likely how most of you do it.

If you have an X-Trans III or X-Trans IV camera, with a couple exceptions, there’s a faster way to switch between Custom Presets. This will work only if your model has the ability to assign “Select Custom Setting” to the Rear Command Dial. For those with a capable model, on you camera, select Menu and go to the Set-Up (Wrench) subset, select Button/Dial Setting, then Function (Fn) Setting, scroll down to R-Dial, and choose Select Custom Setting. That’s it! Now let’s try it out.

To switch between C1-C7 Custom Presets, simply push the Rear Command Dial to open a C1-C7 menu on your screen. Use the Rear Command Dial wheel, Joystick, or D-Pad to scroll through the options, and push the Rear Command Dial, Joystick, or the OK button to select the one you want. Because you can use the Rear Command Dial to open the menu, scroll through the options, and select the Custom Preset, you can do this very quickly with one finger while looking through the viewfinder. For some of you, this will noticeably improve your Fujifilm user experience!

Obviously if you use the Rear Command Dial for something else already, this might not be a good solution for you. And this won’t work on every Fujifilm camera. I have my X100V, X-T30, and X-H1 programmed this way, and I much prefer this method for switching between C1-C7 Custom Presets. I think some of you will, too.

If you do program your Fujifilm camera this way and find that it works better for you, let me know in the comments!

My Current Fujinon Lenses

After my Why I Love… series, which included the Fujinon 18mm f/2, Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, Fujinon 35mm f/2, and Fujinon 90mm f/2, I’ve been asked a few times which Fujinon lenses I currently own. I have a few third-party lenses and a number of vintage lenses, too, but the questions were specifically which Fujinon lenses are in my collection, so I’ll just talk about that.

My favorite Fujinon lens is the 27mm f/2 (read my review here). Because this is also my wife’s favorite lens and we share it, I often use the Fujinon 35mm f/2 (read my review here) as an alternative that is a close second-favorite. When I want to go wide-angle, I use the Fujinon 18mm f/2 (read my review here), and when I want to go telephoto, I chose the Fujinon 90mm f/2 (read my review here). This is actually a really good wide-standard-telephoto setup, and if I wasn’t sharing lenses, I’d only need the 27mm or 35mm and not both.

Some of you might be surprised to learn that I have other Fujinon lenses (and I’m not talking about the one permanently attached to my Fujifilm X100V). I own a Fujinon 100-400mm telephoto zoom (read my review here) that I occasionally use when I need something longer than 90mm. It’s the most expensive lens that I’ve ever purchased, and for how much it cost, I don’t use it nearly as much as I should. My wife owns three Fujinon lenses (that I have access to): the Fujinon 10-24mm f/4, the cheap kit Fujinon 16-50mm (read my review here), and the Fujinon 50-230mm (read my review here). The 10-24mm lens is the most used of those three, and I do borrow it occasionally, but if my wife isn’t using the 27mm f/2.8, then she’s using the 10-24mm f/4 (especially for video), so it’s not always available. The 16-50mm lens is almost never used by either of us, although it has been attached to a camera for video a few times. I borrowed the 50-230mm lens occasionally before I purchased the 100-400mm, but now it’s pretty much never used, except by my wife every once in a long while.

In order of most used to least used by both my wife and I combined: 27mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 90mm f/2, 10-24mm f/4, 18mm f/2, 100-400mm, 50-230mm, 16-50mm.

Now it’s your turn! Which Fujinon lenses do you own? Let me know in the comments!

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

Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 B&H Amazon
Fujinon 18mm f/2 B&H Amazon
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 B&H Amazon
Fujinon 35mm f/2  B&H  Amazon
Fujinon 90mm f/2   B&H   Amazon
Fujinon 100-400mm B&H   Amazon
Fujinon 16-50mm B&H Amazon
Fujinon 50-230mm B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Ilford Pan F Plus 50

Santa’s Bed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford Pan F Plus 50”

Anders Lindborg (Instagram) sent me a black-and-white film simulation recipe to try, which he modeled after Ilford Pan F Plus 50 film. Anders, you might recall, created the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, teamed with Thomas Schwab to create the Kodak T-Max 400 recipe, made seven Fujicolor Pro 160NS recipes, created seven Fujicolor Pro 400H recipes, and made an important D-Range Priority discovery. His contributions to the Fujifilm community are significant! The Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe is a favorite of mine that I use frequently, so I’m personally very grateful to Anders for his hard work on this recipe and all the others.

And hard work it was! Anders sent me a lengthy note on his process to create this recipe, and I want to share with you a short snippet just so you get an idea of the effort put into this. “I checked the spectrum sensitivity chart and looked for any significant bumps in the wavelengths,” he wrote. “For the largest bump, I checked what color it represents to try to match it as close as possible with the white balance shift. This recreated the bump in the recipe to make the simulation a bit extra sensitive to that specific color.” This was point four of seven in his process, and shows the kind of effort that can go into creating film simulation recipes.

Ilford Pan F 50 Plus is a low-ISO, contrasty, sharp, detailed, fine-grain, black-and-white negative film. It has the punchiness of a mid-ISO film, but is very clean, and can be printed large and still appear crisp and fine-detailed. Of course, how a film is exposed, developed, scanned and/or printed will affect the exact aesthetic. Ilford Pan F 50 Plus is one of the best black-and-white films you can buy today, and this recipe is a pretty darn good facsimile of it.

Sugar House Traffic District – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford Pan F Plus 50”

“This one needs some care,” Anders wrote of this recipe, “and really soft light is recommended for portraits, but the reward is wonderful! If you’re looking for drama, this is it. Great in studio where lighting can be controlled, but can sometimes also work nicely for certain kinds of street photography. High contrast with a really classic black and white look, emphasis on the black.”

I modified Anders recipe a little. His version calls for Shadows to be +2 and Clarity set to 0, but he says that +2 Shadow can sometimes be too strong, and that +1 is not always strong enough, but +1.5 (for those cameras that are capable) is probably just right. I wanted to use this recipe on my Fujifilm X100V, which isn’t capable of .5 Shadow adjustments, so I set Shadow to +1 and Clarity to +2 (to increase the contrast, similar to what +1.5 Shadow might be)… alternatively, Shadow +2 and Clarity -2 is an option, too, but I didn’t like it quite as much. Because of Clarity, I decreased Sharpening to 0 from +1 (what the original recipe calls for). Instead of -3, I set Noise Reduction to -4, which is my preference. If you want to use Anders full recipe, set Shadow to +2 (or +1.5 if your camera is capable), Clarity to 0, Sharpness to +1, and Noise Reduction to -3. Otherwise, you’ll find my slightly modified version below. This recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4 and X-T30 II cameras.

Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: +2
Grain Effect: Weak, Large 
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400 (for best results, try to limit the ISO to 1600 and lower when able)
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Ilford Pan F Plus 50” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Item Number – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Snow on Seat – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Wheelchair Shopping – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Face Masks For Everyone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Can, Baskets & Baby Seats – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Watching Her Brothers Catch Carp – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Boots – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Salty Pavement – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Street Puddle – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
To Cross – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Open – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Central Book Exchange – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Parley’s Creek in Winter – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Creative Collective 012: FXW Zine — Issue 02 — January 2022

Happy New Year, everyone!

The second issue of FXW Zine is out now, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now.

What’s in the January issue? How big is it? There are four articles: Behind the Picture: The Story of Rock BalancedRising At DawnThe Man Who Came Back, and Yosemite In Vintage Color. There are 29 photographs, including the cover image (above). This issue is 20 pages long cover-to-cover. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine.

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective today! Click here to learn more about the Creative Collective.

Fuji X Weekly: Top 21 Articles of 2021

It’s been a wild year—at least for me, and I imagine for many of you, too. As 2021 winds down and 2022 quickly approaches, I thought it would be fun to look back at the most-viewed articles of the year. Since it’s 2021, I decided to share the Top 21 articles. Below that, just for fun, you’ll find the most overlook (least viewed) articles of 2021.

Top 21 Articles of 2021

21. My Fujifilm X100V Cine Teal Film Simulation Recipe
20. My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe (PRO Neg. Std)
19. My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100 Film Simulation Recipe
18. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Color Negative 400
17. My Fujifilm “Classic Negative” Film Simulation Recipe (For X-Trans III)
16. Two Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipes: Kodachrome II
15. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Ektar 100
14. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Tri-X 400
13. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodachrome 1
12. My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe
11. My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe
10. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Portra 800
9. My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
8. My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
7. New Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation + X-Trans IV Nostalgic Negative Recipe!
6. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Portra 400 v2
5. My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
4. My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe
3. Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation: Kodak Portra 400
2. My Fujifilm X100V Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe
1. How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera

You might notice that all but one of these Top 21 articles are Film Simulation Recipes, which is not a surprise to me. These recipes are why most people come to Fuji X Weekly, and what I’m best known for. You might also notice that recipes modeled after Kodak film stocks tend to be the most popular, which shouldn’t surprise anyone since Kodak was the top-dog in the film world for a century or so.

Top 21 Most Overlooked Articles of 2021:

21. How To Add “Light Leaks” To Your Photos Using Page Markers
20. Fuji X Weekly App: Filtering by Camera or Sensor?
19. The Journey Is The Destination, Part 2: Time to Eat
18. FXW App: Filter by White Balance — How To Use This New Feature
17. Fujifilm X100F Face-Eye Detection
16. Capturing Family Photos – Being Both Behind & In Front of The Camera
15. Defending Tatsuo Suzuki
14. Fujifilm X100F – Digital Teleconverter + High ISO
13. 200 Film Simulation Recipes on the FXW App!
12. Fujifilm X100F vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill
11. The Journey is the Destination, Part 3: Lodging Locations
10. Digital Is Disposable
9. Creative Uses of Multiple Exposure Photography
8. Fujifilm X-A3 & Soviet Lenses, Part 3: Industar 61
7. Fujifilm X100F & Bokeh
6. Comparing “Classic Negative” and “Color Negative” Film Simulation Recipes
5. Fujifilm X-A3 & Soviet Lenses, Part 2: Jupiter 21M
4. Camera Basics: Shutter Speed
3. How To Use The Fuji X Weekly App (Videos)
2. Fujifilm X RAW Studio
1. The Artist Photographer

Many of these are old articles from several years ago, and a few are from this year. If you don’t recognize a title, consider clicking the link to perhaps see something you missed.

I want to take a quick moment in closing to thank everyone who has visited this website, shared articles, commented, downloaded the App, watched SOOC, and were otherwise a part of the Fuji X Weekly community in some way or another. You all are who make this whole project great! I truly hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2022 will be a great year for you!