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.

Eterna
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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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!

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

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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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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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!

Why I Love The Rokinon 12mm F/2 Lens

This is the first “Why I Love…” article that features a third-party lens. The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS was the very first prime lens that I purchased for my Fujifilm X-E1 when I was just getting into the Fuji system (you can read my review of it here). It’s the oldest lens in my lineup (not including the many vintage lenses I’ve acquired…). Despite being the first, it’s one of my least-used lenses today. Five years ago I used this lens regularly. I had the Fujinon 18-55mm f2.8-f/4 and this Rokinon 12mm f/2, and I used them about equally. Once I got a few vintage primes, the zoom lens was utilized less frequently (I’m not a big fan of zooms, even though Fujifilm does have some excellent options), and I soon sold it off. Not too long later I sold my X-E1 to buy an X100F. Even though I didn’t have a camera to attach it to, I kept the Rokinon 12mm.

When I once again got a Fujifilm interchangeable-lens camera, I regularly attached the Rokinon lens to it. However, as time went on, I used the lens less-and-less. It has nothing to do with the quality of the glass, which is quite good, especially considering how inexpensive this lens is. The reason why I employ the Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens less frequently now is because of the focal-length. The 18mm-full-frame-equivalent focal-length of this lens is just a little too wide for my current tastes. Still, it’s sometimes nice to go ultra-wide, and I’m glad that I have this lens for those occasions.

The Rokinon 12mm f/2 can turn an ordinary scene into something extraordinarily! The lens is both challenging and rewarding. If you want more dramatic pictures, this lens is an excellent place to start—just shove the glass right into the scene! It’s also an excellent option for astrophotography. Why I love this Rokinon lens is because it increases the drama of the picture, and can be extremely rewarding to use. And even though I use it less now, I’ve certainly got my money’s worth out of it!

Interestingly, Rokinon recently released this lens but with autofocus.

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

Rokinon 12mm f/2 (manual) B&H Amazon
Rokinon 12mm f/2 (auto) B&H Amazon

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-E1*:

Barn by the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Urban Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Stars & Salt – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Inside The Savage Bus – Delle, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-T30 & X-T1:

Evening at Monument Valley – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Velvia
Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Portra 160
Flowing Farmington Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Gold 200
Lighthouse Lounge – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Eterna
Sidewalk Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Elite Chrome 200 Color Fade

*Note: the Fujifilm X-E1 pictures were captured before I began making Film Simulation Recipes.

Fujifilm X-H1 (X-Trans III) Film Simulation Recipe: Ilford XP2 Super 400

Freightliner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”

I was asked to create a film simulation recipe for Ilford XP2 Super 400 monochrome film. This is a currently-available black-and-white negative film that’s designed to be in developed in color negative (C41) chemistry. While this is unusual it’s definitely not unique. I’ve shot with some of these films before (namely Kodak BW400CN), and they’re surprisingly good, but a disadvantage is their archival characteristics. While I’ve used many Ilford films in the past (Delta 100 and Delta 400 were my two favorites back in the day), I’ve never shot with XP2 Super, and so I have no firsthand experience with it. Thankfully, I was able to find some good sample images (and other information) to help with the process. The film is somewhat contrasty and bright with fairly fine grain. It can be shot anywhere from ISO 50 to ISO 800, although ISO 400 is what Ilford suggests to shoot it at; whatever ISO you choose will affect the exact outcome.

I wasn’t having good luck with this recipe at first, but as I experimented, I stumbled into what I believe is a fairly accurate facsimile to the film. The White Balance settings (combined with Acros+R) turned out to be the key. Getting the exposure correct can sometimes be tricky, depending on the light and scene, so that’s why the “typical” exposure compensation is such a wide range.

Farmington Train Station – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”

This “Ilford XP2 Super 400” film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans III cameras, plus the X-T3 and X-T30. If you have a newer X-Trans IV camera, you can use this recipe, but you’ll have to decide on the Grain size (I suggest Small).

Acros+R
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong

White Balance: 10000K, +7 Red & +7 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Ilford XP2 Super 400” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Francis Peak on a Sunny Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Reed by the Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Swan Season Closed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Do Not Block Access – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Boat Launch Area – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Littering Prohibited – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Long Road to Nowhere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Rural Tractor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Cat & Honey Bucket – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Caterpillar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tractor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Lamp & Side Mirrors – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
A Y – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Empty Benches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Tracks with no Train – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

See also: Fujifilm X-Trans III Film Simulation Recipes

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

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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Vintage Lenses on Modern Cameras: Using M42 on Fujifilm X

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Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 on a Fujifilm X-T20

Lenses can be quite expensive. Most new lenses cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. Many people want to expand their glass collection but simply cannot afford it. A good solution is to use vintage lenses from the film era on your modern camera. An inexpensive adapter will allow you to attach lenses from another mount to your Fujifilm X camera. This is a cost-effective way to add more glass to your current camera kit.

One lens mount that’s common to find is M42 screw mount, which was originally designed by Carl Zeiss in the late-1930’s. Several different camera brands used M42 at one time or another, including Pentax, Contax, Praktica, Fujica, Yashica, Cosina, Ricoh, Zenit, Olympus and others. Most camera manufacturers who used M42 had moved on to other mounts by the late-1970s, but some M42 screw mount lenses are manufactured to this day. Thankfully, your options for this mount are plentiful!

What I love about many of these vintage lenses is that they have exceptional image quality, yet they also seem to have their own unique character. Many modern lenses are precision engineered, which is great, but they lack character. What sets one apart from another is just how precisely it was designed and tooled. Vintage lenses often have flaws, which might seem like a negative attribute, but these flaws sometimes produce unique effects that you’d never find on a brand-new lens. It might be a certain bokeh, soft corners, lens flare–whatever the flaw is, it makes your pictures less perfect, which is the character that is often missing in modern photography. Actor Willie Garson famously stated, “Perfection is the antithesis of authenticity.”

The challenge with using older lenses is that auto-focus and auto-aperture are out the window. You will need to manual focus, which is made easier thanks to focus peaking and focus confirmation, but it is still a skill to learn for those who aren’t used to it. You will have to set the aperture yourself, which isn’t a difficult skill, but if you always use auto-aperture this might take some practice. For some people there will be a learning curve, but I believe that the manual features are actually a help and not a hindrance, since it slows you down and forces you to consider things a little bit more deeply. You also must ensure that “Shoot Without Lens” is selected on your Fujifilm camera, or else it won’t work.

These old lenses are often easy to find for a reasonable price. Some can be expensive, but most are not. In fact, if you shop around, you can get two or three different lenses for less than $100! If money is tight, this is probably your best bet for purchasing additional glass for your camera. Look at thrift stores, antique shops, yard sales, flea markets, Facebook Marketplace and eBay for good bargains. Below are three different M42 screw mount lenses that I have used on Fujifilm X cameras.

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2

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The Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 is a Soviet Union lens renown for its swirly bokeh. It’s a knockoff of the Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 that was made in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This lens was mass-produced in Russia for many, many years and can be found for very little money. In fact, mine came attached to a Zenit-E camera that was less than $50. If there is one lens that epitomizes character, this is it, as it has fantastic image quality, yet it can be quirky, often in the best ways possible.

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Tricycle In The Woods – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Helios 44-2

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Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1 & Helios 44-2

Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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The Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 was made by Pentax in the late-1950’s and early 1960’s, and there was a nearly identical lens but with a slightly larger aperture (f/2) that was manufactured into the 1970’s. This is a great prime lens that produces beautiful pictures. It doesn’t have as much character as the Helios, but it makes up for it by how lovely it renders pictures. It’s definitely a favorite of mine! Oh, and I paid $35 dollars for it and the camera that it was attached to.

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Welcome To Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Asahi 55mm

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Super Moon Illumination – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Asahi 55mm

Jupiter 21M 200mm f/4

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The Jupiter 21M 200mm f/4 is Soviet Union lens that was manufactured from the early 1970’s through the late 1990’s, and a nearly identical earlier version of this lens was introduced in the late 1950’s. The image quality is nothing short of fantastic, but it’s super heavy and feels like a tank. It’s not something that you want to carry around all day. The Jupiter 21M can sometimes be found for less than $100, so it’s a really great bargain for what you get. It’s a solid long-telephoto option for those on a tight budget.

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Layers of Grey – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Endless Canyons – Dead Horse SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M