Fujifilm introduced a new film simulation with the GFX100 II called Reala Ace. Fujifilm says that it “combines faithful reproduction with hard tonality,” showing it with a little higher vibrancy than Classic Negative paired with a tonality more similar to Provia. Some have described it as being true-to-life. Photographs that I have found captured with the new film simulation have a Classic Negative look, but with an increase in color, a reduction in contrast, and significantly more blue. I think this new film sim could have been called Classic Negative v2, but Fujifilm named it Reala Ace instead.
Fujicolor Reala 100 was Fujifilm’s first Superia film, even though initially it did not have Superia in the name. Superia films shared Fuji’s “4th layer technology” and Reala was the first to have it, but Reala was marketed towards “pro” photographers while Superia was marketed towards “consumer” photographers. Eventually, though, Fujifilm added Superia to Reala’s name. There were several different versions of Reala manufactured, including a high-ISO Tungsten one made for motion pictures, but Reala 100 was the most popular. Reala was very similar to Superia, but Superia was intended for “general purpose” photography while Reala was intended for portrait and wedding photography. Colors are rendered a little differently between the two films, especially blue, which is deeper and more saturated on Reala, despite Reala being overall slightly less saturated than Superia 100. Fujifilm discontinued Reala in 2013. I have a Film Simulation Recipe that replicates Fujicolor Reala 100, which uses Classic Negative as the base, since Classic Negative is closely modeled after Superia film.
On occasion, Fujifilm named certain film stocks differently in Japan than the rest of the world, and there were several film stocks made available only in Japan. Fujicolor Reala Ace 100 was a color negative film sold only in Japan. Some speculated that it was the exact same thing as Fujicolor Superia Reala 100 just sold under a slightly different name, while others said that Fujicolor Reala Ace 100 was a unique film similar to the Reala sold worldwide except fine-tuned for Japanese skin tones. There doesn’t seem to be any consensus on which is correct, but I’d bet that the latter is true. It was said for decades that Fujifilm kept their best emulsions in Japan. For whatever reason, Fujifilm went with the name Reala Ace for their new film simulation, and not simply Reala. Not all film sims are accurate reproductions of the emulsions that they’re named after, but Reala Ace seems to have the right vibe for replicating actual Reala film.
I have never used the new Reala Ace film simulation. There aren’t a lot of examples of it, but there are some; however, it’s impossible to know if those images are straight-out-of-camera factory-default Reala Ace JPEGs, or if the photographer adjusted some parameters or post-edited the pictures in some way. Trying to emulate new film simulations when there’s not a lot known about it is tricky, and the results are often wrong. For example, my attempt at Classic Negative was way off, and I stated that it would likely be—I was hesitant to publish it for that reason. Nostalgic Negative was a near identical story, and I stated, “…this Recipe will likely turn out to be an inaccurate facsimile to the real Nostalgic Negative film simulation.” I was right about that. This time, though, is different, as I am confident that this Reala Ace film simulation is a close approximation of the real thing. It might not be perfect, but it is definitely in the ballpark. I bet that it is a 95% match—if not closer—but it’s impossible to know for certain until more samples come out, and (even better) it trickles out to other models and I have a chance to try it myself. It’s definitely close enough that I feel quite good calling it Reala Ace.
Fujifilm said of the new film sim, “As an approach to rich gradation expression, the new sensor for the GFX100 II is the best fit for it. Without this sensor, we are not able to realize the Reala film simulation in it.” They talked about silver halide and signal-to-noise ratios and stuff. You might think this means that Reala Ace won’t make its way to the X-series; however, Fujifilm said something very similar about Nostalgic Neg., yet it is now available for X-Trans V generation models, including the X-S20, which has an X-Trans IV sensor. I think this is just Fujifilm’s way of saying that it’s not coming to X-Trans right away. I, of course, believe that this is a big mistake, because the majority of GFX users don’t use Film Simulation Recipes and won’t really care about this new film sim, while a whole lot of X-series owners do use Recipes and do care a lot about new film simulations. Fujifilm is letting what could be a big promotional opportunity just slip through their fingers, which is exactly what they did with Nostalgic Negative. I hope someday they learn this lesson, and stop making the same mistake over and over. Fujifilm: seriously, and I cannot state this any louder or more clearly, you need to introduce new film simulations with significant X-Trans releases, and not GFX. We can all see through the bogus it-has-to-be-100mp excuse, because I did in three days (and with much more limited resources) what you said wasn’t possible, and made Reala Ace available to all those with X-Trans V cameras. Please don’t hate me for rectifying your mistake, as this Recipe will likely influence more people to buy an X-series camera than Reala Ace will cause people to buy the GXF100 II. For those looking for an excuse to upgrade to an X-Trans V model, this Reala Ace Film Simulation Recipe might just be it for you, because it is that good.
I love this new Reala Ace Film Simulation Recipe, and for me it’s an instant favorite! It is kind of like a cross between the Fujicolor Reala 100 and Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled Recipes—you could consider it a “v2” of either of those two, although it has a much stronger Reala vibe than NPS 160. The Recipe is soft yet colorful, highly versatile, and has a clear analog-like aesthetic. It’s just as Fujifilm put it: suitable for all subjects and situations. If you have a fifth-generation X-Trans camera, which (as of this writing) are the X-H2s, X-H2, X-T5, and X-S20 (yes, the X-S20!), I invite you to try this Reala Ace Recipe today! If you have a fourth-generation X-Trans camera with Classic Negative and half-point Highlight/Shadow adjustments, which are the X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II, you can also use this Recipe, but know that blues will be render slightly less deeply (try it anyway). For the X-Pro3 and X100V, consider Highlight set to -1 in low contrast situations and -2 in high contrast situations.
Film Simulation: Classic Negative
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome FX Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & +1 Blue
Dynamic Range: DR400
High ISO NR: -4
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Reala Ace Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T5:
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