Featured Gear: Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm recently confirmed that the X-Pro3 is forthcoming and will include some new features. The X-Pro3 will have an unusual backwards-mounted rear screen, a small second rear screen that displays exposure and film simulation information, no four-way D-Pad, plus a brand new film simulation and some new JPEG options like clarity and curve adjustments. The screen setup has created a lot of buzz, and it seems that people either love or hate the redesign. The X-Pro3 might be the most controversial update by Fujifilm ever, and it hasn’t even been officially announced yet.

The X-Pro line is Fujifilm’s second most beautifully designed camera, only marginally behind the X100 series. Fuji knows how to produce appealing cameras, and X-Pro cameras look great! They resemble 1960’s-era 35mm rangefinders, and can even operate like one. It has a really cool hybrid viewfinder, that can work optically, digitally or both. The X-Pro design produces an experience that’s different from other digital cameras.

The X-Pro2 was released in March of 2016. Despite being three-and-a-half years old now, the X-Pro2 doesn’t often get discounted. It’s a popular camera that’s almost in the collectible or cult-like realm of Leica. It’s one of those cameras that I think most people would love to own just for the joy of it. Is the X-T3 a better camera? Absolutely. Is the X-T3 more fun or better looking? Absolutely not. Enjoyable and superior-styling are how I would describe the X-Pro line. People will often ask you about the camera in your hand when you shoot with an X-Pro. There’s pride in owning one. I know this from first-hand experience. And the joy of the shooting experience is what this camera is about.

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

While the X-Pro3 is around the corner, and will be available to buy before the end of the year, there are reasons to get yourself an X-Pro2 instead. First, the X-Pro2 is available for purchase today, and you don’t have to wait. Plus, it’s currently discounted, since the new camera was conformed by Fujifilm. The upcoming version has the unusual rear screen, which you might not like and maybe think is odd, and it also doesn’t have a D-Pad, which the X-Pro2 does have. You might find the backside of the X-Pro2 a better fit for you than the X-Pro3. Aside from all of that, the X-Trans IV sensor and processor inside the new version isn’t a huge upgrade over the X-Trans III sensor and processor inside the X-Pro2. The biggest benefit to X-Trans IV is heat (the new sensor runs cooler), which allows the camera to operate faster. Your style of photography might not require blazing fast auto-focus. There’s not much of a difference in image quality between X-Trans III and IV. The X-Pro3, aside from some design changes and a few JPEG features, isn’t much different than the X-Pro2, and they’re probably about 90-95% the same exact camera.

Below are the current prices (as of this writing) on the Fujifilm X-Pro2, whether for just the camera body or bundled with a lens. The graphite version with the 23mm lens looks especially appealing, and has the largest discount. You will find affiliate links to buy the camera at both B&H and Amazon. If you do, I will get a small kickback for referring you. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find on this blog, so using my affiliate links to buy an item is an opportunity for you to support what I do on Fuji X Weekly, and it’s greatly appreciated.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 (Body Only): $1,499 ($200 off)
Buy: B&H  Amazon

Fujifilm X-Pro2 w/23mm f/2 lens: $1,948 ($200 off)
Buy: B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-Pro2 w/35mm f/2 lens: $1,898 ($200 off)
Buy: B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-Pro2 w/50mm f/2 lens: $1,948 ($200 off)
Buy: B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite w/23mm f/2 lens: $1,949 ($350 off)
Buy: B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Thoughts

Fujifilm X-Pro2

The upcoming X-Pro3 hasn’t been officially announced by Fujifilm, but aspects about the camera have been leaked, and it’s creating quite a stir. Word on the street is that sometime next month Fujifilm will make the official announcement and we’ll know all about the X-Pro3, but in the meantime we have only little glimpses of it, yet a picture of what this new iteration will be is becoming more clear, and more controversial.

Firstly, as has been widely reported across the web, the X-Pro3 will have an unusual rear screen. The X-Pro2 has a flat, non-flipping and non-touch LCD. The new version will have a flip screen, but mounted backwards. When up, you will see the black backside of the screen. To view the LCD, you will have to flip it down. When up, there will be some sort of mini screen that will display the film simulation and perhaps other information. The idea, I believe, is to literally hide the LCD from the user when in use, so that the photographer uses the viewfinder. You can flip the screen down 90° to shoot from the waist, or 180° to review your pictures. It’s highly unusual, and I imagine that most people won’t like it, but if you are looking for a film-camera-like experience, this could help replicate that a little more closely.

Another thing that will be different on the X-Pro3, according to FujiRumors, is it will not have a D-Pad. I’m a little surprised, as I think having both a focus-joystick and D-Pad is a premium feature, something that should absolutely be included on premium cameras. On the less-than-premium models, the D-Pad is removed in favor of touch-screen controls, which works well enough. My concern on the X-Pro3, when you make the touch screen less convenient by mounting it backwards, you should not make the use of it integral to the operating of the camera. The D-Pad solves that, so I’m curious how this is going to work on the new camera since Fujifilm removed it.

What I believe Fujifilm is attempting to do with the X-Pro3 is further separate it from the X-T3. The X-Pro2 and X-T2 are a lot alike, with the main difference being the body shape (SLR vs. rangefinder). Yes, the X-Pro2 has some things, such as the hybrid viewfinder, that the X-T2 doesn’t, and the X-T2 has some things, such as the rear tilt-screen, that the X-Pro2 doesn’t. But in reality they are 95% the same camera. The X-T2 is perhaps very slightly superior technically, while the X-Pro2 is, in my opinion, superior aesthetically, although some might disagree with both of those points. I think Fujifilm’s research shows that many of those who purchased an X-Pro1 or X-Pro2 did so because the camera reminds them of classic 35mm rangefinders, so Fujifilm is using that information to slightly alter the design to enhance that impression. While internally the X-Pro3 and X-T3 will be nearly identical, the shooting experience of the two cameras will be significantly different, and that’s what will separate the two models from each other. What camera you choose will depend on the experience that you desire. My guess is that most will choose the X-T3.

I can see a few possible scenarios regarding the X-Pro3. People might love the changes, find the backwards screen to be revolutionary, and the camera sells even better than previous models. Alternatively, it might be a total flop, as the design choices leave people confused and frustrated, and this might be the last of the X-Pro line, or perhaps an X-Pro3s is released next year with a normal flip screen. Most likely, a dedicated group loves the design while others don’t “get it” and buy a different camera instead, and the camera does about as well as previous versions have done. I suspect that the X-Pro3 will get plenty of attention, unfortunately much of it will be at least somewhat negative, and it won’t receive the high praise of the X-T3. But I also suspect that it will quietly have a cult following and do surprisingly well for itself. I know that I would gladly give it a chance, although budget constraints will likely prevent that from happening anytime soon. It will be interesting to see the final product and observe how well it does in the marketplace, and that time will come pretty quickly.

[Not] My Fujifilm X Urban Vintage Chrome Film Simulation Recipe


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Refine – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 – “Urban Vintage Chrome”

Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab recently shared with me a film simulation recipe that he created. He calls it “Urban Vintage Chrome” because it has a classic analog aesthetic, it’s based on the Classic Chrome film simulation, and it pairs especially well with urban scenes. I tried it out and was highly impressed with the results. Thomas agreed to let me share it on this blog, and even allowed me to use some of his pictures in the article.

What the Urban Vintage Chrome recipe reminds me of is Bleach Bypass, which is a technique where, during development, you fully or partially skip the bleach. It increases contrast and grain and decreases saturation. The results can vary depending on the film used and how exactly it’s developed, but generally speaking this recipe produces a look that is similar to it, or at least the closest straight-out-of-camera that I’ve seen. It’s compatible with all Fujifilm X-Trans III and IV cameras.

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Hazy Rural Sunset – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – “Urban Vintage Chrome”

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +2
Color: -4
Sharpening: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 4300K, -1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

I want to give big “thank you” to Thomas for sharing this recipe and allowing me to use some of his photographs in this article. I really appreciate it! Be sure to show your appreciation in the comments!

Example photographs using this film simulation recipe:

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Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X-T2 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

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Creek Ducks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Green Locomotive – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Oil Toil – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Tracks By The Refinery – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Gate Arm Nut – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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CF Trailer – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Hidden Wall Street – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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[Not] My Fujifilm X-T30 “Warm Contrast” Film Simulation Recipe


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Flower Pots – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Warm Contrast”

Fuji X Weekly reader Manuel Sechi recently contacted me regarding some camera settings that he was working on. He was trying to replicate the look of the “Warm Contrast” preset in Lightroom. He felt that he was close but was hoping that I might help refine the settings to get a little closer. He showed me some of his pictures where he had applied the preset, which was helpful as I don’t use Lightroom. I tried out his settings and indeed they looked very close to the photographs that he shared. I made some small adjustments to refine it to what I thought might be a closer match to the preset, although not having the preset at my disposable was admittedly a challenge, and I can only hope that I made the recipe better and not worse.

While I call this film simulation recipe “Warm Contrast” due to its intended replication, it’s not particularly warm nor especially high in contrast. It seems to work best in mid-contrast situations, and when the light is already a bit on the warm side. When it works, though, it looks really good. I can see why Manuel was interested in creating it. I’m sure some of you will appreciate these settings, and I’m eager to share them with you.

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August Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Warm Contrast”

Thank you, Manuel, for sharing your settings, and allowing me the opportunity to tweak them. While I put “Fujifilm X-T30” in the title, this recipe can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. In low-contrast situations, going +4 on Shadow and +2 on Highlight might produce better results. In cooler light, -1 Red and -5 Blue might prove to be better. As always, don’t be afraid to season this film simulation recipe to taste.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow:+3
Color: +4
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Auto, -2 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using these settings on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Fighting Flamingos – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Duck In A Stream – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rural Stream – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bee On A Pink Flower – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bee At Work – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kids on a Bridge – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Confident Direction – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaves of Various Colors – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Looking Bird – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Yarn Owl – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Green Mountain Majesty – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sloping Ridges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Canvas Sky – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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American Fair – Salt Lake City, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30

Help Fuji X Weekly

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Low-Contrast Film Simulation Recipe


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Gap of Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

After choosing my Eterna film simulation recipe for the Film Simulation Challenge, I thought it might be interesting to attempt a low-contrast Eterna recipe. I wanted to replicating the look of low-cost color negative film, but I didn’t have any specific film in mind, and didn’t do any of my typical film research. What I did do was play with the settings until I found something that I thought might look good. Even though Eterna is supposed to look cinematic, I’ve found it to be a great starting point for color negative aesthetics, and in the case of this recipe, it sometimes roughly resembles Fujifilm C200 and it sometimes (oftentimes?) doesn’t.

I almost didn’t share this recipe. I do sometimes create film simulation recipes that I don’t share, usually because I’m not happy with the results. There’s something not right about it, so I keep it to myself, and either shelve it or attempt to improve it. I was really on the fence with this one. On one hand it can sometimes produce really lovely results, and on the other hand it can be too flat and boring. It seems to require strong light and bright colors, and it makes something beautiful and soft out of it. Even outside of those parameters it can occasionally render a picture quite nice, but often it just delivers a boring rendition. It’s for those times where it might be the just-right recipe that I decided to share it, and hopefully it will be useful to some of you.

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Stock Photography – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2
Shadow: -1
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: 5900K, -3 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Eterna Low-Contrast film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset In The City – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Vintage & Antique – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Been Better – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Trespassing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Everyone Has A Cross To Bear – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joe Shortino – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Good Stuff – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Shopping Cart Line – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cart – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fishing For A Laugh – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sitting In The Evening Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jo Cool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kitchen Towel Roll – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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R Is For Roesch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Too Many Coffee Beans – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Third Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backyard Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Green Tree Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cottonwood Tree Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe


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Kodachrome Slides – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

Kodachrome 64 is probably the most requested film that people have asked me to create a recipe for. Kodachrome has a long history, with the first successful version debuting in 1935 (film simulation recipe here). In the early 1960’s Kodak replaced that version of the film with Kodachrome II and Kodachrome X (film simulation recipe here). In 1974 Kodak made the final version of Kodachrome, available in ISO 25 and ISO 64 (and later ISO 200) versions. This Kodachrome was discontinued 10 years ago. Kodak also discontinued the chemicals to process Kodachrome, and nine years ago the last roll was developed. This film simulation recipe is meant to mimic the aesthetics of Kodachrome 64.

In the early 1970’s there was a movement to end Kodachrome. The process to develop the film was toxic and complex. Kodachrome is actually a black-and-white film with color added during development, which you can imagine isn’t a simple procedure. Instead of discontinuing their most popular color film, Kodak made a new version that required a less-toxic (but still toxic) and less complicated (but still complicated) development process. This appeased those who wanted the film gone, but the new version of Kodachrome was not initially well received by photographers, many of whom liked the old version better. William Eggleston, for example, who used Kodachrome extensively in his early career, wasn’t a fan of the new version, and began to use other films instead.

The photography community did come around to Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. Due to Kodachrome’s sharpness, grain, color, contrast and archival characteristics, this film was a great all-around option that worked well in almost any circumstance. The film became incredibly popular, and was found on the pages of many magazines, including National Geographic, which practically made its use a requirement. Steve McCurry was perhaps the best known photographer to extensively use this era of Kodachrome. He said of the film, “It has almost a poetic look with beautiful colors that were vibrant and true to what you were shooting.”

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I shot many rolls of Kodachrome 64, and a few rolls of Kodachrome 25. My favorite was Kodachrome 64 because it had a little more contrast and was slightly more saturated. It was a sad day for me when Kodak discontinued it. I was just getting into digital photography at that time, and in retrospect I wish that I had paused on digital and shot a few more rolls of Kodachrome. Kodak has hinted that they might resurrect it, but I would be surprised if they actually did because of the complex development process.

When I decided to attempt a Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe for my Fujifilm X-T30, I did some experiments, and after a few tries I thought that I had it figured out. Excitingly, I snapped many frames with these settings, but then I figured that I should consult some actual Kodachrome 64 slides to make sure that it matched. It didn’t. Kodachrome 64 looked different than how I remembered it. I was close, but not close enough, so I went back to the drawing board. A handful of experiments later I got it right, which is the recipe that you see here.

Of course, the issue with all of these film simulation recipes that mimic actual film is that one film can have many different looks, depending on how it was shot, under what conditions, how it was developed, and how it’s viewed, whether through a projector or light table, a print (and how it was printed), or a scan (and how it was scanned and perhaps digitally altered, and the monitor). There are a ton of variables! Kodachrome looks best when viewed by projector, no doubt about it, but that’s not how Kodachrome is seen today, unless you own a projector and have some slides. While I don’t think that this recipe will ever match the magic of projected Kodachrome, I do think it’s a close approximation of the film and it deserves to share the famed name.

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Mayhem – Tooele, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I have Grain set to Weak, but I feel that when using this recipe at higher ISOs Grain should be set to Off. While I chose DR400, in low-contrast situations DR200 is a good Dynamic Range option. For X-Trans III cameras, which obviously don’t have Color Chrome Effect, this recipe will still work and will appear nearly identical, but it will produce a slightly different look. To modify this recipe for Kodachrome 25, I suggest setting Shadow to +1, Color to -1, Grain to Off, and Sharpness to +3.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +2 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Shopping Cart Car – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hay Stack – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pony Express Trail – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Country – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Grazing – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lonely Horse – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild & Free – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Onaqui Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Spotted Green – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grassland – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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In The Dust – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Roar Forever – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jon In The Backyard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Evening Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Look Up To The Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Bee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Sunset – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sun Kissed Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Tree Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jar of Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Beans To Grind – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sugar Dish – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Processed by Kodak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Kodachrome 64 for X-Trans II

Help Fuji X Weekly

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe


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Summit Merc – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but if you like my Kodachrome II or Portra 400 recipes, which are both very popular, you’ll likely also appreciate this one. It’s in the same neighborhood as those, producing a classic Kodak analog aesthetic. I think many of you will like this film simulation recipe.

Last week I was contacted by a Fuji X Weekly reader who wanted help creating an in-camera look that was similar to the pictures from this other photographer. It didn’t take me long to realize that the photographer in question was using a digital camera (Nikon D750) and applying a plugin preset (most likely VSCO) to achieve the desired look. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the preset is supposed to resemble Kodak Portra 400, although probably one of the alternative versions and not the straight Portra 400 preset. Anytime that I get one of these requests I always make an attempt to create it, although oftentimes my efforts are not successful and no recipe is made. This time, my first stab at it was pretty close, and a little refining made it even closer. I was able to quickly create a film simulation recipe that produces similar results in-camera to what that other photographer is getting with software.

The reason that I named this recipe Kodacolor and not Portra is that, to me, it looks more like Kodacolor VR than Portra, although the aesthetics of these two films are quite similar. Portra is the better film with improved grain, more tolerance to under and over exposure, and slightly more accurate skin tones, but overall the films produce very similar looks. Kodak originally developed Kodacolor VR film in the early 1980’s for their Disc cameras, which used a film cartridge resembling a computer floppy disc (or the “save icon”), allowing the camera to be small and easy to use. It made tiny exposures on the disc of film, and the film prior to Kodacolor VR, which was called Kodacolor II, was too grainy and not sharp enough for the small exposure to produce good results. Kodak’s solution was to create a sharper film with finer grain, which they originally named Kodacolor HR, and quickly renamed Kodacolor VR after making a small improvement. Kodacolor VR was available in ISO 100, 200, 400 and 1000 film speeds. This film simulation recipe most closely resembles Kodacolor VR 200, in my opinion. Kodacolor VR was replaced by Kodacolor VR-G in the mid 1980’s, which was later renamed Kodak Gold. Kodacolor VR was technically discontinued in 1986, but the ISO 200 version was renamed Kodacolor 200 and later ColorPlus 200, which is surprisingly still available today.

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Kodak Flying Disc – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

One characteristic of Kodacolor VR is that it’s not particularly tolerant to underexposure (for color negative film), so a common technique was to overexpose the film (to prevent accidental underexposure). The side-effect of this, which is a common side-effect of most Kodak color negative films, but it’s especially pronounced on this particular film, is cyan sky. Blues tend to become an unnatural lighter color. That’s what this film simulation recipe looks like: Kodacolor VR 200 that’s been overexposed. It’s also a close proximity to Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, although it’s not quite as strong of a match for that as Kodacolor VR.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 6300K, -1 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to + 1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Kodacolor film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Echo Canyon Morning – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Morning Light In Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Tree On The Rocky Ledge – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Western Cliff – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Rock Bowl – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Mesa – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Witches – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Trees Dotting The Rock – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Sky Rocks – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Weber River Thistle Blooms – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Yucca Blossoms – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sky Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sycamore Seeds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Green Cottonwood Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Cottonwood Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Vintage Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Hole – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Clouds Behind The Green Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Blue & Green – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Big Cloud Behind The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Grey Sky Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Car Wash – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Burger Umbrellas – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Renew or Replace – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Curve – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Corner – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Moore Motor – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Better Days Behind – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Building For Sale – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Brick Angles – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Suburban Garage – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas Cafe – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Neighborhood Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Joy of Driving Rain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Man of Steel – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30  – Kodacolor

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Bicycle Back Tire – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Chaos Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Hat On A Bed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Couch Pillows – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wall Curtain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Intelligence Game – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Trouble With Age – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Ketchup – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Orange – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Playing With Fire – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Mastrena – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Be The Light – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Adidas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Balloon Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Standing In The Water Balloon Pool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Water Balloon Fight – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Recording Summer Fun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Johanna – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Canyon Morning Freight – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Freight Train At Echo – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Eastbound Freight Through Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

See also:
Kodacolor, Part 2
Kodacolor for X-Trans II

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Top 10 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes

Film simulation recipes are the number one most popular type of article on Fuji X Weekly. These posts are what most people come to this blog to read. In fact, so far this year, the top twenty most read articles are all film simulation recipes. I thought it would be fun to share which are the most popular recipes, based on how many times they’ve been viewed so far this year. The newest ones haven’t been around long enough to make this list, so maybe I’ll periodically revisit this topic.

Top 10 Most Popular Film Simulation Recipes:

#10. X100F Acros

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I was surprised to learn that this recipe, which is my original Acros recipe and the second film simulation recipe that I created, is the only black-and-white settings to make this list. I guess B&W isn’t as popular as color.

#9. X100F Astia

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Zions Bank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was one of the early film simulation recipes that I created. Honestly, it’s not my favorite, even though I liked it when I created it. I think it requires the right light to be effective, and it certainly can be effective, but it’s a little flat (lacking contrast) for many situations. Still, as I stated in the article, it’s a better option than keeping the camera on Provia with everything set to 0.

#8. X100F Ektar

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Summer Boy – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This recipe uses Astia, as well, yet produces much different results. While the regular Astia recipe is rather flat and bland, this one is vibrant and bold–sometimes too vibrant and bold. It’s not for everyday photography, but it’s an especially good recipe for the right subject.

#7. X100F Velvia

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

This is another early film simulation recipe. It was one that I always had programmed into the Q menu, until I made a new Velvia recipe that I liked more. Still, these are good settings that I used regularly for many months.

#6. X100F Eterna

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Expedition Lodge – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was my attempt to create something that resembles the Eterna film simulation for those who have a Fujifilm camera without Eterna. More recently I created an alternative Eterna recipe that I much prefer.

#5. X100F Fujicolor Superia 800

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

What I appreciate about this recipe is that it produces a nice negative film aesthetic with a slightly green-ish color cast. Many of my recipes tend to lean warm, so this one is a reprieve from that. I think it delivers lovely results, and I can definitely understand why it’s a popular recipe.

#4. X100F Portra 400

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Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

What I don’t appreciate about this recipe is that it requires a tricky white balance setting that’s difficult to get right. If you can get the custom measurement correct, the results are great. I should revisit this recipe and attempt to create this look without requiring a vague custom white balance measurement.

#3. X100F Classic Chrome

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Closed Drive Thru Window – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This was the very first film simulation recipe that I created. It produces a look in the Ektachrome neighborhood. It looks nice and I’m not surprised that it’s so popular, but I have created other recipes that use Classic Chrome that I prefer more.

#2. X100F Vintage Kodachrome

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Vintage Kodachrome is intended to mimic the look of the first generation of Kodachrome, which was used by photographers like Ansel Adams, Chuck Abbott, Barry Goldwater, and others. It’s a fun recipe, producing a vintage slide aesthetic.

#1. X-Pro2 Kodachrome II

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Classic Chrome is a popular film simulation, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the top four recipes are all based on it. Kodachrome II is the only recipe in this list not developed on the X100F, although it can (like all of these recipes) be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. This recipe is intended to mimic the look of the second generation of Kodachrome, which was used by photographers like Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri, William Eggleston and others. It’s one of my absolute favorite recipes that I’ve created.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these 10 recipes do you like most? Which recipe not on this list is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

My Fujifilm X-T30 Redscale Film Simulation Recipe


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Red Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Redscale”

Redscale is a photographic technique where you shoot film backwards. Instead of shooting the film through the front, you shoot it through the backside. In order to do this, one must load the film into the canister backwards, or buy film that’s already been purposefully loaded backwards. Normally, in color negative film, the red layer is exposed last, for the light has passed through other layers and filters before it reaches it. When you shoot from the wrong side, light hits the red layer first. The results can be quite unique!

What’s interesting about Redscale photography is that the results can vary greatly, depending on the film, exposure and development. Most commonly, Redscale images have a strong maroon, red, orange or yellow color cast. Sometimes the color cast can be extraordinarily bold and sometimes it can be quite subtle. Even one roll of film can produce different looks depending on the light and how it was shot. Generally speaking, darker images tend to be more red and brighter images tend to be more yellow, but there are certainly exceptions to that. A Redscale image is easy to spot when you see one, but it can be difficult to strictly define the aesthetic.

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Peach Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Redscale”

I was asked by Fuji X Weekly reader Aycan Gonenc to create a Redscale film simulation. He had developed one already and shared his settings with me, but was hoping that I might make some improvements. I made some changes and adjustments and the results are this recipe, so it is a collaborative effort. What I will say is that the settings can be adjusted considerably, and one can still achieve a Redscale look. Simply change the film simulation from Astia to something else and you will create a different Redscale look. The white balance can be dropped to as low as 7700K, and the shift can have blue added or subtracted. Any of the settings can be adjusted to taste. These settings are only what I felt would produce a good Redscale facsimile, and I believe it does that.

Astia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: 10000K, +9 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Redscale film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Building Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cloud Around The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Overcast Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Clouds Floating Above The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Orange Hill Under Red Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Westbound I-84 – Peterson, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Evening Freight – Henefer, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wood Fence Roses – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Rose Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Really Red Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pink Bud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Floral Red – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Yellow Rose Gold – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daisy Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Small Wild Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Corner Trunk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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T is for Tree – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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An American Home – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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299 – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Continental Bike Tire – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Window – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30

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Night Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Cross – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree Top – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunlit Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Russian Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bolsey Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Birds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Eye Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl & Hungry Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cat Cone – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tractor Mirror – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stucco Lamp – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Iced Coffee Cups – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Faded Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe


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All Aboard Boy – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Monochrome”

I love the results of my Faded Color recipe, so creating a Faded Monochrome recipe was a natural next step. This film simulation recipe requires the use of the double-exposure feature of the camera. The first exposure is a normal photo, and the second exposure is of something plain white. I’ve tried different things, but for me a 4″ x 6″ plain white index card works well. No need for the second exposure to be in focus. It’s a simple idea that I wish I had thought of earlier. I think I’ve just scratched the surface of what can be created using this technique.

In film photography, you could achieve a similar look by printing with a low-contrast filter. You could also develop the film for low contrast by adjusting any number of things in the lab. You might also get this look by accident if you reused the fixer one too many times. Sometimes underexposed pushed-processed film has a very similar aesthetic. It’s possible for negatives to fade over time, especially if not stored correctly, and that, too, might create a similar look. While “faded” is in the title of this recipe, the look isn’t so much faded as it is low-contrast with “milky” blacks. It works especially well for high-contrast scenes.

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Monochrome”

To use this recipe, you will create two exposures using the double-exposure feature of your camera. The first exposure is the main image, and the second exposure is of something plain white, such as a 4″ x 6″ plain white index card. There is no need for the second exposure to be in focus. The exposure compensation for the second exposure can vary greatly depending on how bright the white is and how you want the picture to look. You will have to play around with it to figure out what works for you. The good news is that your camera will give you a preview of the finished image and will allow do-overs.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0 (Neutral)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (main exposure), 0 to -2 (second exposure)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Faded Monochrome recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Grey Rose – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grey Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lake Boat – Willard Bay SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree Limbs – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Well – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Don’t Give – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Escape – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Brick Buildings – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Center Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urbanscape Monochrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Less Is More – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Leaves – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Small Flower In The Big City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Park Bench – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joshua Monochrome – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Happy Girl – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Children On A Park Slide – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Instax Photographer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joy In The City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bank Time – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Water On The Glass – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Club – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stepping By – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Vibes – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Quiet – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Cloud – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Angles & Lines – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Utah Artist – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Treading Lightly – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Marlboro Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Come Inside – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Mono Chrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stop In Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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UTA Station – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Ride Abstract – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Train Seats – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Passenger – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Passenger Window – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train 19 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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UTA 19 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Host – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hungry Traveler – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Steps Monochrome – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Display – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Industrial Sunlight – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ladder Climb – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Fujicolor 100 Industrial Film Simulation Recipe


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Urban Binding – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Fujicolor 100 Industrial”

I get asked frequently to create different film simulation recipes, and I always put some consideration into those requests. I don’t get around to attempting all of them, although I do attempt many, but I at least think about how I might create a certain look. Even if I do attempt it, I’m not usually successful, as it just doesn’t look right quite often, so I go back to the drawing board when time and inspiration allows. On rare occasions I’m able to create a certain aesthetic quickly and easily. This recipe falls into the latter category.

I have to be honest, when I was asked to create a recipe to mimic the look of Fujicolor 100 Industrial film, I had never heard of it and knew absolutely nothing about it. I had to do some research on this film, and I found lots of good and helpful information. As it turns out, Fujicolor 100 Industrial is a negative film only sold in bulk in Japan, although you can purchase it from some camera stores who sell it individually. It’s actually re-branded Fujicolor 100, well, the Japanese version of Fujicolor 100, which is not the same film as Fujicolor 100 in America, although they’re similar to each other. Something interesting about Fujicolor 100 Industrial (and Fujicolor 100 Japan, which is the same film) is that it has a Tungsten emulsion (with a Kelvin temperature of 3200), but it is daylight balanced because the dye colors have been shifted to account for the cooler temperature. Weird, huh? Well, it turns out that you can do the same thing in your Fujifilm camera using white balance shift, and it creates a similar aesthetic.

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Backyard Daisy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Fujicolor 100 Industrial”

I find that this recipe is especially good in higher-contrast scenes, although it can still deliver interesting results in lower-contrast scenes. It’s a milder recipe that doesn’t have a lot of saturation, although sometimes just the right amount, and it handles shadows and highlights well. It creates lovely pictures that are soft and not bold. It needs the right subject and light to stand out, but it can look really great in the right situations. It definitely has a low-ISO print-film quality to it, and resembles Fujicolor 100 Industrial film surprisingly well.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: +1
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: 3200K, +8 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Sample photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured with a Fujifilm X-T30 using this Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe:

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US Bike Lane – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Twilight Temple – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Broadway Me – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Three Stories – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boston Building Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Corporate Ladder – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Their Bank – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Urban Sunset – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Partial Loaf – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Purple Zebra – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaves In The Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Partly Cloudy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rosebud Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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In Case of Fire – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Watching Television – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Little Feet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Donut Eater – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Plastic Hand – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Expired Eterna Film Simulation Recipe


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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

I used to shoot film. I don’t much anymore, but I was one of those crazy holdouts that refused to go digital when it seemed as though everyone else had. Eventually I succumbed, and I’ve been shooting digitally for awhile now. One thing that I appreciate about Fujifilm cameras is that they produce images that are a little more film-like and a little less digital-esque than other camera brands. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as Fujifilm started out as a film company. On Fujifilm cameras one will find many great film simulation options. The most recent addition is Eterna, which is modeled after their motion picture films, but it can be made to resemble color negative film. What I appreciate about film is it has character that’s often lacking in digital cameras.

While Eterna was a motion picture film, it was also made and sold in limited quantities for still photography. A Fuji X Weekly reader recently purchased and used an expired roll of Eterna and shared one of the pictures. Using expired film is always an interesting endeavor because you don’t know exactly what you’ll get. Depending on the film, how long it has been expired and how it was stored, the results can vary significantly. The picture that the Fuji X Weekly reader shared had a purple color cast, which is a common trait of expired film.

There are many reasons why an analog picture might have a purple color cast, not just because the film expired. If the film was exposed to too much heat (such as left in a hot car) the pictures might have a purple cast. If a print or slide isn’t stored correctly it could turn purple over time. I’ve seen cross-processed film produce a purple color cast. You can even buy purple film. While I’ve called this recipe “Expired Eterna,” it’s not necessarily meant to exactly mimic expired Eterna film, but to produce an analog film look that could have turned purple for any number of reasons, including but not limited to being expired.

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American Debt – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

You might notice that I didn’t include an ISO setting in this recipe, and that’s because you can use any ISO you’d like. I got interesting results all the way up to ISO 25600. In fact, you might use an ultra-high ISO on purpose to get a certain look that you can’t get at a lower ISO. Trying this recipe at different ISOs is a fun experiment. It’s also interesting to see the results you get from different exposures, whether slightly overexposed or underexposed. Expired Eterna is a fun recipe to play around with, and I enjoyed pairing it with vintage lenses.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & +5 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

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

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Bloom Purple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Pink Paper Flower – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sunlight Through The Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Backlit Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Rural Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Country Trees – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Cottonwood Trunk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Little Flowers & Stone – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Rosebud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Country Foot Bridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Boy Behind Chain-Link – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Orange Cones – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Reaching Rosebud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sycamore Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Dusk Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Mountain View Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Spring Sky Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sunset Whisper – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Dramatic Sky Behind Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Bright Storm Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Grey Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Disk Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Jo In A Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Lady’s Sun Hat – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Girl Climbing Bleachers – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Number of Intersecting Lines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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One Through Six – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Parked RV – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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American Suburb – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Light Flag – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Green Spray Bottle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Curious Kitchen Curios – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

High ISO:

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Cirrus Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Sycamore Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Cottonwood – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Cottonwood Cotton – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 25600

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Old Wheelbarrow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 25600

“Expired Eterna” for X-Trans III:

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Bottle Vases – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Alternate recipe using PRO Neg. Std instead of Eterna.

I know that not every Fujifilm camera has the Eterna film simulation. Right now Eterna can only be found on the X-T3, X-T30, X-H1 and the GFX line. For those who don’t have it, I’ve made an alternative recipe that produces similar results using PRO Neg. Std. I found that Shadow set to 0 isn’t quite strong enough, but +1 is too strong, so pick whichever you like better. While the results aren’t 100% identical, it’s still a pretty close match. You do have to drop the exposure by about 1/3 stop compared to using Eterna. I hope that this is useful for some of you.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: 0
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & +5 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to 0

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When Does ISO Matter?

Modern cameras have amazing high-ISO capabilities. Back in the days of film, ISO 400 was considered high-ISO by many (including Fujifilm, who designated all their ISO 400 films with the letter “H” for high-speed), and ISO 1600 was ultra-high-ISO, used only out of absolute necessity or by the brave who wanted a certain gritty look. Nowadays some photographers don’t even think of ISO 1600 as a high-ISO setting, and don’t think twice about using it. For many, high-ISO doesn’t really begin until ISO 3200, and ultra-high-ISO doesn’t begin until you go above ISO 6400. It’s really unbelievable!

The real question is this: when does ISO matter? Since modern cameras make such good-looking images at incredibly high sensitivities, when should you start considering image quality degradation? When is a certain ISO setting too high? That’s what I want to answer.

Of course, since this is the Fuji X Weekly blog, I’m discussing Fujifilm X cameras, specifically X-Trans III. This won’t apply 100% to other cameras, but it’s still relevant to some degree no matter the camera make and model. If you are reading this with another camera in mind, take everything said here with a small grain of salt.

I did a little experiment just to better understand all of this ISO stuff. I already knew the answer from experience even before beginning the experiment, but I wanted to see if my instincts matched reality. I captured a few sets of identical pictures, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs from a Fujifilm X-T20, using ISO 400 and ISO 6400. I made sure that all of the settings were the same between the identical pictures except for ISO and shutter speed. This isn’t 100% scientific, but it’s a controlled-enough test to draw some conclusions about ISO capabilities.

Here are the original pictures:

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400 – my Velvia recipe

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ISO 6400

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ISO 6400

There’s not a lot that can be learned by looking at the above images, other than when viewing images on the web the ISO doesn’t matter whatsoever because it’s incredibly difficult to spot the differences even when comparing side-by-side. In real life nobody does side-by-side comparisons, that’s pretty much an internet-only thing, so it would be impossible to tell if a picture was captured using a low-ISO or high-ISO just by looking at it on your screen. We need to look much closer to really gain anything from this test. Below are some crops from the above images.

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

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ISO 400

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ISO 6400

If you study the color crops carefully, you’ll notice that the ISO 400 images are cleaner, sharper and have just a hair more dynamic range, but the differences are quite small and subtle. You really have to look carefully to find them. With the black-and-white image, the differences are even less obvious, and I actually prefer the ISO 6400 version, as it seems to have a more film-like quality. Looking at the crops clarifies things a little, but what kind of conclusions can we really draw?

My opinion with regards to color photography and ISO is this: if I’m printing smaller than 16″ x 24″ or displaying the pictures on the web, I don’t find any practical difference between base ISO and ISO 6400. Even ISO 12800 can be acceptable, especially if I’m not going to print the picture. If I’m going to print 16″ x 24″ or larger, a lower ISO is better, preferably less than ISO 3200, but it’s not a big deal to use up to ISO 6400. The ISO that I select does not make a huge difference to the outcome of the image, so I don’t worry a whole lot about it. Put more simply, if I print large, it’s preferable but not critical that I use a lower ISO, and if I don’t print large it doesn’t matter at all.

My opinion with regards to black-and-white photography and ISO is this: the ISO doesn’t matter much at all no matter how large I’m printing, and I often prefer (just by a little) high-ISO over low-ISO because it looks more analog. I freely use without hesitation any ISO up to 12800. Thanks to the Acros film simulation, Fujifilm X cameras are some of the best monochrome cameras on the market, and with that film simulation, often times the higher the ISO the better.

These are, of course, my opinions, and not everyone is going to agree with them, and that’s perfectly alright. Find what works for you. Use a higher ISO or lower ISO if that’s what you need for your pictures, because, after all, they’re your pictures. I’m not here to judge your camera setting choices, only to offer mine, which I’m hoping is helpful to some of you. I hope that this article makes sense and clarifies some things regarding high-ISO on Fujifilm X cameras.

Below is a video that I made on this topic: