How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera

I’ve published over 100 film simulation recipes for Fujifilm X cameras, but I’ve never explained how to program them—the practical side of entering the data into the gear. How do you add a recipe to your camera? If you don’t know how, this article is for you!

Most Fujifilm cameras allow you to store up to seven custom presets; however, some only allow you to have one. There are some variations between models and generations, but no matter your Fujifilm X camera, you should be able to program a recipe by the end of this article, because it’s actually pretty simple. I think it’s always a good idea to read the manual—Fujifilm has all of them available online, and a Google search will bring up your model’s manual quickly. It’s important to really familiarize yourself with your gear to get the most out of it.

Most of the settings that a film simulation recipe requires you to adjust are found in the IQ Menu set, which you access by pressing the Menu button on the camera. Things like Film Simulation, Highlight, Shadow, Color, Dynamic Range, etc., etc., are found in this menu. For those who have a model that can’t save custom presets (such as the Fujifilm X-T200), this is where you can enter in the required parameters of a recipe. You might find many of these settings in the Q-Menu, as well, or through various other buttons on your camera, but they’re pretty much all in one place in the IQ Menu. White Balance Shift is adjusted within the White Balance submenu.

For those with cameras that can save seven custom presets (which most Fujifilm cameras are able to), you can program these custom presets with different film simulation recipes. Find “Edit/Save Custom Settings” in the IQ Menu, or, more quickly, press the Q button to open the Q Menu, then press and hold the Q button, and the Edit/Save Custom Settings submenu will appear. Again, there’s some variations between models, but this should work with most Fujifilm cameras. Once there, select the custom slot you want to use, enter the parameters that the recipe requires, and hit the Back button to save. Many cameras, but not all, have the option to name the custom preset.

Only the latest models, the X-Pro3 and newer, allow you to save the White Balance Shift with a custom preset. For most cameras, you’ll have to manually adjust the WB Shift each time that you change recipes. Exposure Compensation (which is a suggested starting point and not a hard-and-fast rule) can’t be stored, either. For those with cameras that can name presets, one option is to use a recipe name format to remind yourself what these settings should be, so that you know what to set them to.

Once you have everything set, then you can access the seven custom presets through the Q button. Changing between recipes becomes quick and easy! My X100V can save the WB Shift, which is great; however, my other cameras cannot, so on those models I have a button custom set to quickly access White Balance. That way I can easily adjust the shift, since I have to manually adjust that parameter each time I change recipes.

You should now be well on your way to setting up a film simulation recipe on your camera. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, the process will become quick for you. That first time or two, where you’re not really sure how to do it, is the hardest, but with experience it becomes easy.

Recipe Custom Name Format

An issue that many people have found with the different film simulation recipes is knowing what to adjust the White Balance Shift to, as well as knowing what the exposure compensation should be, when changing recipes. Only the newest Fujifilm cameras (the X-Pro3 and newer) have the ability to save the WB Shift with the custom presets; unfortunately, most Fujifilm cameras cannot save WB Shift with custom presets, and that’s a problem when switching between different recipes. Since the camera can’t save certain settings, people have come up with different solutions to help remember what those settings should be. One of those solutions is to put the WB Shift into the custom preset name. Not all Fujifilm cameras have the ability to name the custom settings, but many of them do.

Fuji X Weekly reader Randy Kirk took this name solution to a new level! He designed an abbreviation format for recipe names as a solution to the problem, which he explains below.

“The format translates, from left to right, as follows:
Film Recipe Name, WB mode (auto, daylight, etc), WB Offset, exposure compensation, and finally ISO or misc notes.”

“I use these abbreviations for White Balance:
AU: Auto
TN: Tungsten
C1: Custom 1, etc
F1: Fluorescent 1
KV: Kelvin
CL: Cloud
… and so on. Most can also be abbreviated to one letter if I run out of space to type.”

Below are some examples.

Kodachrome 64 is named: K64 DY+2r-5b +2/3~ 
Translation: “Kodachrome 64, Daylight White Balance with a +2 Red & -5 Blue shift, exposure comp +2/3, plus or minus 1/3 of a stop. The squiggle after the fraction translates to ‘more or less’ and takes less space than typing the full range listed in the recipe.”

Portra 160 is named: P160 DY~+4r-5b +1~
Translation: “Here, the squiggle after DY lets me know I can mess around with the White Balance, and the exposure compensation translates to +2/3 to +1 1/3 stop.”

Tri-X 400 is named: TriX C1+9r-9B +2/3~ 1600+
Translation: “White balance is Custom 1, exposure compensation is +1/3 to +1 stop, and ISO 1600 and up is recommended.”

“Last, here’s one that condenses my cheat notes for two recipes into one preset name:
K2/E100 A+3r-4b +1/3+ C/V
It looks funky, but translates to:
Kodachrome II / Ektachrome 100SW, Auto WB (abbreviated to A), WB Shift, Exposure Comp +1/3 to +2/3 stop.. and the last note indicates Classic Chrome (for Kodachrome II) or Velvia (for E100SW).” 

“A plus sign *after* the exposure compensation indicates another 1/3 stop ‘up’ (for a range of +1/3 to +2/3). Or if a recipe calls for an exposure range of minus 1/3 to minus 2/3 stop, then it would simply read ‘-1/3-‘.”

If you are having trouble remembering what adjustments that you need to make to your camera when you switch between recipes, this system of abbreviations with your custom recipe names might be just what you need. I know that this will be helpful to many of you. Thank you, Randy Kirk, for designing these abbreviations and sharing them!