Film Simulation Review: Light & Shadow with Ilford Delta Push-Process

49799174976_3323caa23b_c

Chair & Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Photography is about light. Without light there are no photographs. Great photographs require great light. What “great light” is depends on the picture and circumstance, and what’s great for one image might not be for another. Great light can be found anytime of the day or night if one looks hard enough for it.

This series of pictures demonstrate the play of light and shadow in an image. It features instances of bright highlights and deep shadows together. It’s the contrast between illumination and the absence of it. I needed a dramatic film simulation recipe to capture these pictures. I knew that it would need to be black-and-white because these pictures aren’t about color, but light and shadow. Color would only be a distraction to the point. But which black-and-white film simulation recipe should I choose?

There are several options for dramatic black-and-white that I could have chosen, including Dramatic Monochrome, Monochrome Kodachrome, Agfa Scala, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford HP5 Push-Process, X100F Acros, X-T30 Acros, Acros Push-Process, and Tri-X Push-Process. Any of those recipes would have worked, but each would have produced a different result. Some have more contrast, some less. Some have a greater dynamic range and others a more narrow. Some are brighter, some darker. Some have more grain and other less. I could have picked any of them and gotten interesting results, but I went with Ilford Delta Push-Process instead, partially because I had been using it for other pictures during this time. It turns out it was a good choice, because it seems to have the right contrast, tones and grain for this series. Sometimes luck plays a role. What I know now is that the Ilford Delta Push-Process recipe is a great option for dramatic light situations like these, and I will choose it again for similar situations in the future. I captured these pictures on a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it.

49818816966_ba274b1796_c

Suburban Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49800321407_3392926952_c

Seat Back Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49799994066_37c6f10175_c

Chair Details – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49804673292_8a33003c32_c

Girl Ghost – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49807185692_1ea5be3357_c

Sunlight on the Kitchen Floor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49807986706_ac72ccd919_c

Don’t Step Into Darkness – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

[Not] My Fujifilm X-T30 Ilford Delta Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

49798615493_71e813a61b_c

Boy in a Chair with a Phone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Ilford Delta Push-Process”

When I shot film, Ilford Delta was my go-to for black-and-white photography. Sure, I used other films, but Ilford Delta was what I most often loaded into my camera. For fine-grain, I used Delta 100. For situations other than bright daylight, or if I wanted more contrast and grittiness, I would choose Delta 400. For dim light, I would on a rare occasion use Delta 3200. Sometimes I would push-process the Delta 100 and Delta 400 a stop or two. I actually still have a couple rolls of Delta film sitting around, although I haven’t shot much film in the last few years. The last roll of Ilford Delta that I shot was Delta 3200.

Something that people might not be aware of is that Delta 3200 is actually not an ISO 3200 film, it’s actually rated at ISO 1000, but has “built-in” push-processing to ISO 3200 (labs know to increase the development time unless you specify otherwise). Ilford Delta films have a lot of latitude and flexibility. There’s a lot that one can do in the lab with any of the Ilford Delta films to customize the contrast and grain.

Fuji X Weekly reader K. Adam Christensen shared with me his film simulation recipe for Ilford Delta 3200, and I really like the way that his recipe looks. It’s a great black-and-white recipe! I made a couple of small tweaks to it, nothing big. Adam uses this recipe on his X100V, and he sets Grain to Large, which is an option on that camera, as well as the X-Pro3 and X-T4, but not on my X-T30. If I could set Grain to Large I would, as that would better mimic Delta 3200. Without it, perhaps these settings more resemble Delta 3200 shot and developed at ISO 1600. It reminds me of Delta 400 pushed one stop or maybe a stop and a half.

49806215336_67a964580d_c

White House Beyond the Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Ilford Delta Push-Process”

I have the ISO on this recipe set at 12800, which makes it difficult (but not impossible) to use in daylight situations. It’s a little easier on X100 cameras that have a built-in neutral density filter. If you need to drop the ISO, you can go as low as ISO 3200 and still get good results, but for best results keep the ISO at 12800 as much as possible. All of the pictures in this article were shot at ISO 12800.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
Sharpening: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO 12800

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Ilford Delta Push-Process film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

49798728983_bc53365f55_c

FED 5C & Industar 69 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799168921_74c75b9973_c

Phone Numbers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799174961_1cdea2e50d_c

Girl, Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799174896_78383b5ddb_c

Broccoli – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49798733123_281f08f2bd_c

Faux Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799480782_778d06b297_c

Glass Bottles with Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803387453_071844fd0d_c

Flowers Waiting to Pot – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803860711_ca805a2f6c_c

Potted Tulip – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803811223_5a72786c1e_c

White Tulips at Night – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803812683_dc60d90b97_c

Outdoor Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49804367426_6f5fe88cb1_c

Dirty Feet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799447538_94334ac1f3_c

Roller Skating – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49800329187_26d1b615b5_c

Skates – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807434638_93caf16496_c

Girl Outdoor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807432658_179e60e64e_c

Two Feet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807185842_f76e1ac113_c

Chair Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49806893771_9063390822_c

Blackberry Vine on Concrete – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49808293227_4925587d92_c

Watering Plant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49810266718_8eba8a89c5_c

Wet Handlebar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49810049808_f2d61909f8_c

Raindrops on a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

$2.00

Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Faded Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe


49562239621_f61177f026_c

Partially Illuminated – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 “Faded Monochrome”

This is my Faded Monochrome recipe adapted for my Fujifilm X-T1. It will work on all X-Trans I & II and Bayer sensor cameras, just so long as it has a double-exposure mode (I think they all do, but I’m not 100% certain). You have to put the camera into double-exposure mode, capture the scene with the first exposure, and use the second exposure to photograph a medium-grey piece of paper (I used an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of construction paper). I prefer the second exposure to be out of focus. The first exposure should be slightly overexposed, perhaps by 1/3 to 2/3 stop, because the second exposure will decrease the contrast. The second exposure should be underexposed by at least 1 stop, and as many as 3 stops. How bright or dark the second exposure is will determine just how faded the picture will be. It requires some experimentation, but thankfully you get a real-time display of what the picture will look like and the opportunity for a do-over (simply select “Retry”). The look you get is similar to using a low-contrast filter when making black-and-white prints in the darkroom.

Monochrome
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +2 (High)
Shadow: +2 (High)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Faded Monochrome recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

49535687427_1e87027c32_c

Thought – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49562469097_7f81831b4f_c

Girl Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49535391981_f3dfe57521_c

Piano Hand – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49535391881_d1b21a7d31_c

Piano Fingers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49549899483_8436ea804a_c

Faded Lily – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49534962998_21bccaf62a_c

Flowers Fading – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49561760608_b0b263a43d_c

Bouquet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49549899573_313ac31c7a_c

Wheelbarrow Monochrome – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49535392066_7ec4d287d3_c

Gathering – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

49549899213_66bfaa1043_c

Window Blinds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

$2.00

My Fujifilm X-T30 Dramatic Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe


49514367492_b9d101a7de_c

The Obscurity of Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

A couple of weeks ago when I was discussing the possibility of Fujifilm creating a black-and-white only camera, something that I came to learn by accident is that the Monochrome film simulation is pretty darn good. On X-Trans III & IV cameras, I have always used the Acros film simulation because it is beautiful and has a film-like quality to it. But there’s something about the “old-fashioned” Monochrome film simulation that’s nice, as well. I had never made a Monochrome film simulation for X-Trans III & IV cameras, so I set out to do so.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so I decided that the best starting point was to revisit the iconic photographs of the great photographers from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s—people like Ansel Adams, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau, Weegee, Pual Strand, Elliott Erwitt and others. I realized that I was drawn to the high-contrast pictures that these photographers had created. I wanted to create a recipe that mimics that look in-camera. These settings, which I call Dramatic Monochrome, are what resulted from that.

49488720501_442444082a_c

Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

For those with X-Trans III sensors, which don’t have the Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get similar results, but it won’t be quite as dramatic. The difference isn’t very big, so don’t worry about it. I would consider using +2 for Sharpness on X-Trans III instead of +3. On X-Trans IV cameras, you could give a +1 toning for a subtle warm look, such as what would happen if you gave a print a quick Sepia bath.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0
Sharpening: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Dramatic Monochrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

49518780956_b4dacc1b7c_c

Chair Near a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49488717121_ed3074fd6e_c

Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49488718596_c1d4c8c89f_c

White Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49518253368_b33d348f06_c

Santa Fe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49518253273_3a0d381d63_c

Young Piano Hands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49503917118_3b442059a3_c

Clouds Above The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49490169686_2a3eae11b7_c

Wasatch Ridge Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49488718266_0281d9ed5b_c

Lines In The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49518775796_a1820e628a_c

Clouds Over The Frosted Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49521556283_25fd0b8f7d_c

White Beyond Dark – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49521192566_94ec9fbbd2_c

Frosted – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49514153566_52e1de3a78_c

Darkness & Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

$2.00

Fujifilm Monochrome, Part 2

Monochrome Wasatch Mountain

Dramatic Silver Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

In my last post I suggested that Fujifilm should make a monochrome camera like the Leica M10 Monochrom. I wasn’t planning to say anymore about it, but the response I received from that article compelled me to type out this one. The majority of those who replied, either in a comment under that post, via Instagram, or through email, said that they would consider buying a black-and-white-only camera if Fujifilm made one. Some of you had great ideas for it. There’s a chance that someone at Fujifilm reads Fuji X Weekly, so I’m writing this with that in mind.

I had suggested that, if Fujifilm did make a monochrome camera, it should either be in an X-Pro3 or X100V body, and they should call it “X-Pro3 Acros” or “X100V Acros” after their film and film simulation of the same name. It was pointed out to me that it doesn’t have to be in those bodies. It could be in a cheaper body, such as the X-T200, and since it doesn’t require any special sensor, just one without a color filter array, and would have a stripped down menu, the camera could potentially be made affordable. The less expensive the camera is, the more copies it will sell. Of all the body suggestions that I received, the X-E3 was the most popular choice for a monochrome camera by Fuji X Weekly readers.

Someone had an interesting idea for a feature on a monochrome camera: color filters. The X100F has a built-in neutral-density filter, so why couldn’t a monochrome camera have built-in yellow, red and green filters (and perhaps blue)? Click a button and the filter of choice is applied. That made me wonder: is it possible to have a color filter array that can be turned on and off? With the click of a button, perhaps the X-Pro4 can become a monochrome camera, and with another click it’s back to normal. That would be cool! It might be completely impossible, but I’m sure someone smarter than I can figure it out.

49452013198_fa08a72936_c

Bountiful Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

The second largest response that I got from my last post, not far behind the “I want that” replies, is, “would a monochrome camera even produce better results than what I can already get with the Acros film simulation?” My initial response was, heck yes! You get a big bump in resolution. But then I was shown two different YouTube videos that do blind tests between the Leica M10 Monochrom and the Fujifilm X-T3 (here and here), and it changed my mind. I did the blind test in both videos, and I was surprised by the results. In the first blind test, which compares the Leica with the Fujifilm and a Sony A7 III, the author uses the Monochrome film simulation, and not Acros, on the X-T3. Even so, the camera that I blindly picked as I looked at the pictures was the Fujifilm. I watched the blind test part twice before making up my mind and viewing the reveal. In the second video, which compares the Leica against another Leica monochrome camera and the Fujifilm and actual film, the author uses both the Monochrome and Acros film simulations. There were five pictures to choose from, and a few looked very close so it was more difficult to pick a favorite. I was surprised that the one I picked was the X-T3 with the Monochrome film simulation. Again, I watched the blind test part twice before deciding and viewing the reveal.

I’m not sure how much stock one can put into YouTube videos, where it’s difficult to really appreciate the pictures. Even so, I made two conclusions: Fujifilm cameras are especially great for black-and-white photography and I need to shoot more with the Monochrome film simulation. I use Acros on my X-T30, but it’s about time that I create a recipe using the Monochrome film simulation, which is apparently better than I gave it credit for.

Would a Fujifilm monochrome camera be awesome? Yes, it would! Would it be better at black-and-white than your current Fujifilm camera? Probably, but not by a big margin, that’s for sure. Perhaps if you print very large, that’s when the monochrome camera would be advantageous. I would still buy one if Fujifilm made one, but it’s good to reaffirm that Fujifilm is already superb at black-and-white photography, and I’m not missing much by not owning a monochrome-only camera.

In closing, I’m very curious what your results are with the blind tests. If you watched the videos, please let me know in the comments what your results were. Which camera made the best black-and-white pictures in your opinion? Thanks!

Fujifilm Monochrome

49194683491_046aa4aab5_c

Mountains Dressed In Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Leica recently announced the M10 Monochrom, which is their third black-and-white only camera. It can’t capture a color picture because it doesn’t have a Bayer array. It only does black-and-white photography. Fujifilm should do something similar, even though most won’t buy it.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

I think an X-Pro3-M, a black-and-white only version of the X-Pro3, or an X100V-M, a black-and-white only version of the upcoming X100V, would do well enough commercially. Yes, it’s clearly a niche product, as there’s only a tiny market for it, yet Leica found a way to make it profitable, and Fujifilm could, too. There are plenty of photographers who use their X-Pro or X100 series camera to only shoot black-and-white. A Monochrome version would make things simpler for them, while improving perceived resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO. And, Fujifilm has a cool marketing angle: call it the X-Pro3 Acros or X100V Acros. People would eat that up. Increase the price a couple hundred dollars and it would sell well enough to be profitable, in my non-expert opinion.

The flip side to this is that Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, particularly X-Trans III and IV cameras that have the Acros film simulation, are already fantastic for black-and-white photography. Would a monochrome-only camera really produce enough of an improved image to justify buying one? I think that’s a tough question to answer, but my guess is probably not for most people. Still, a monochrome-only camera wouldn’t be for “most people” as it would be for a very small crowd, and for those people the difference would indeed justify buying it. For most, your current X-Trans camera is a great black-and-white photography tool, and there’s no need to get a monochrome-only camera. Some, however, would absolutely love to have one, and I think there’s enough of those people that such a camera could be profitable for Fujifilm, if they ever wished to create one. I hope they do.