Industar 69 Lens + Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm Blog

Fujifilm X-T30 with an Industar 69 lens.

The Industar 69 is a terribly great lens! What I mean is that it is a terrible lens and a great lens at the same time. If you judge it simply on charts and technical qualities, it’s clearly a dud, not worthy of attaching to your camera. If you judge it on the It-Factor, the Industar 69 transcends common rationality and produces a difficult-to-define yet highly appealing quality. This lens is full of flaws, but it’s the flaws that make it especially interesting.

The Industar 69 f/2.8 is a Soviet Union 28mm pancake lens designed for Russian Chaika half-frame cameras. It was produced from the mid-1960’s through the mid-1970’s. It’s an M39 screw-mount lens, and is a Zeiss Tessar copycat. To attach it to my Fujifilm X-T30, I used a cheap M39-to-Fuji-X adapter that I’ve had for several years and paid about $10 for. This particular Industar 69 lens was loaned to me from a friend, but my copy is already ordered and currently en route, costing me only $35, including shipping.

One peculiarity of the Industar 69 is that it can’t focus to infinity (or even all that close to it), because it sits too far from the sensor. It can be modified to focus to infinity, and I plan to make that modification with my lens when it arrives, but unmodified it has a limited window of focus. The aperture is controlled by a thin ring around the glass that doesn’t click at f-stops. The focus ring is smooth. The lens is made of metal and feels solid. The Industar 69 is small and lightweight and might seem like a budget alternative to the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens.

Industar 69 Lens Fujifilm X-T30 Camera

Those who judge lenses based on corner softness and vignetting will not like this lens, as there is noticeable softness in the corners and pronounced vignetting, especially when wide-open, but also when stopped down. There’s also some obvious distortion. Lens flare is not controlled particularly well. The Industar 69 is pretty much the opposite of perfect from a technical point-of-view.

What I love about this lens is how it renders pictures. It produces glowing highlights, similar to (but not exactly like) an Orton effect. While the corners are soft, the center is quite sharp. The Industar 69 has nice bokeh; specifically it has swirly bokeh when wide open. It infuses an analog character into the images captured through its glass, made possible by its flaws, which is not achievable from finely-engineered modern lenses.

The Industar 69 is an interesting vintage pancake option for your Fujifilm camera. It could be considered a low-budget alternative to the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, but I see them as different lenses for particular purposes. They will render pictures much differently, and you’ll likely use them much differently. But if you simply cannot afford the Fujinon lens and want a pancake option, this Russian lens might be your best bet. With that said, the reason to get the Industar 69 is for how it makes pictures look, because there aren’t too many lenses that will do what this one does, which is something you’ll either really appreciate or you won’t. This lens is incredibly inexpensive, so it might be worth trying out for yourself to see whether or not you find it to be terrible or great.

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Glowing Cross – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Backyard Afternoon – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Weber Canyon Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Early Autumn Sycamore – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Josh Throwing Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Smilin’ Jon – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Refill Please – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Sitting Joy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Glass Window Bottles – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Light Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Corner Seat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Jo Cool In Her Carseat – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Sunlit Tree Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

See also:
Using M42 Lenses on Fujifilm X Cameras
Fujifilm X-T30 vs. Sony A6000 – A Showdown With Vintage Glass
Fujifilm Gear

My Fujifilm Gear Page

Fujifilm Gear

Have you visited my Fujifilm Gear page? The intention of this new page is to make it more convenient to find camera and lens reviews, recommendations, and links to buy. Up until recently it has been difficult to find that information because you had to dig for it. The articles were on this blog, but you might have missed them when they were new and perhaps were unaware of their existence, or didn’t know how to locate them. Now it’s all in one easy-to-find place, which should improve the Fuji X Weekly experience, at least a little.

As I write more articles, I will expand the page, adding relevant material. As best as I can I will keep the links accurate so that you can see what gear is available and what’s on sale, which will hopefully make gear shopping a tad easier for you. I’m hoping that this will be a good resource, and it will be a page that you’ll return to often. I’ve made a few additions and changes since the page went live three weeks ago, and I plan to keep working on it over the coming weeks to improve it even more.

To get to Fujifilm Gear, simply click on the three bars (the “hamburger menu”) at the top-left of this page, and then click on Fujifilm Gear. Once there, I recommend bookmarking the page so that you can easily find it whenever you might want to access it. I also invite you to follow Fuji X Weekly, if you haven’t already done so. When you are at the top of this page, click “follow” on the bottom-right. Oh, and don’t forget to look me up on Instragram: @fujixweekly.

 

 

 

 

 

Share Your Website on Fuji X Weekly

Fujifilm X100F

What’s your website?

I thought it would be a fun idea to give you an opportunity to share your website with me and the Fuji X Weekly community. I know that many of you have a website. It would be great if you posted it, so that I or anyone else reading this could visit it. Even if it’s not photography related, please feel free to share your website. Simply, leave your website address in the comments section. Give your name, web address, and maybe a brief description of your website.

We’re all on this road together. The photography community has been incredibly helpful to me over the years, and I’m glad to be a part of this continuum. If we are all kind and helpful to each other, we’ll all be better photographers for it. I’m hoping that this post will benefit some of you, and maybe you’ll discover some good resource or inspiration. Perhaps you’ll find a website a two to follow, in addition to the others that you already follow (and don’t forget to follow Fuji X Weekly if you are not doing so already).

I look forward to seeing your website in the comments section. I encourage you to check back on this post after a few days and click the different websites that are shared in the comments, and see what others are up to.

This should be a fun!

Budget Fujifilm Kit Recommendation

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Back in June I wrote a post explaining how one could buy an elaborate kit, complete with multiple bodies and lenses, for $3,000 or less, the exact price depending on the body and lens combinations. The deals that made it possible have since expired, so I thought I would suggest a budget kit based on what’s on sale now. This one won’t be as grand as the previous, but if you are trying to assemble an “ultimate kit” on a low-budget, this might help you achieve that.

The first thing that I’d start with is a Fujifilm X-T20 bundled with the excellent 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, which will set you back $1,000. This is a great mid-level body to build the rest of the kit around, and bundling the lens saves some cash. For a second camera body, I would buy an X-E3, which right now is $600. This would give you two quality camera bodies and a good zoom, and you would have spent only $1,600. Assuming that we’re staying within the same $3,000 budget, you now have $1,400 to spend on lenses.

If you visit my Fujifilm Gear page, you can see the different lens options and what they’re currently going for on Amazon. There’s a lot of potential combinations that would fit within the budget, and what would work best for you will depend on your photography needs. That being said, I will lay out a few ideas for how to spend that $1,400. You could buy the 10-24mm f/4 or the 16mm f/1.4 or the 56mm f/1.2 for $1,000, and the 35mm f/2 or the 50mm-230mm f/4.5-6.7 for $400. You could buy the 14mm f/2.8 or the 23mm f/1.4 or the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 for $900, and the 23mm f/2 or the 27mm f/2.8 or the 50mm f/2 for $450. Or, if you want the most lenses, maybe choose your favorite three from the $400-$450 options listed above. I really like the 90mm f/2, which costs $950, and the 35mm f/2, which are two lenses that I use regularly, but you could choose any one of the $400-$450 lenses to pair with the 90mm. There are a lot of potential combinations!

For $3,000 or less, you could have two solid camera bodies, and three or possibly four quality lenses. That’s really quite amazing! While these current deals aren’t nearly as blockbuster as the ones in June were, there’s still a lot of value available for your money. You could still assemble an very solid Fujifilm kit for a reasonable price.

New: Fujifilm X-A7

Fujifilm just announced the upcoming X-A7 mirrorless camera. The X-A line is a low-budget series that uses a Bayer sensor instead of X-Trans, and is comparable to the X-T100. Honestly, I’m not sure why Fujifilm has both camera series, as they are a lot alike, aside from body design. The X-A7 has some advantages over the X-T100, but I’m sure whenever the X-T110 is announced, it will include these same upgrades.

I used to have a Fujifilm X-A3, which is two model-years removed from the X-A7 (there’s no X-A4 or X-A6). It was a surprisingly good camera. The user experience and image quality reminded me a lot of X-Trans I or maybe X-Trans II sensor cameras. The big improvements that have come since then are in regards to speed (including auto-focus, which is supposed to be pretty fantastic on the X-A7), video quality, and the new “vari-angle” rear LCD screen. I doubt there is much difference in image quality between the X-A3 and X-A7, but it seems like the rest of the camera has come pretty far. It might be like X-Trans II+ (if such a thing existed), but not quite equivalent to X-Trans III, yet with an LCD that is unlike anything found on any X-Trans camera, and better auto-focus, too.

I know that a lot of people are less than thrilled by this camera, not because it’s bad, but because it’s not X-Trans and it’s mostly made of plastic. The X-A line is not particularly popular in America, but in some parts of the world it’s extremely popular. I’ve heard that in a couple southeastern Asia countries, the X-A line sells better than Nikon, Canon and Sony combined. I have no idea if that’s true, but I do know that the camera will sell well internationally, and will get only minor-league attention in the American market, which is too bad because it’s a good camera.

For those looking for an inexpensive second (or third, perhaps) camera body, the X-A7 (or even the X-A5 or X-A3) is a good choice. This could also be a great option for those buying their first interchangeable-lens camera. I can see the X-A7 as a stepping stone into the Fujifilm system for someone with limited funds. If you are trying to decide between the X-A7 and X-T100, if video or super fast auto-focus are important, I would recommend the X-A7, but if not, the X-T100 is basically the same thing, and $100 cheaper right now (while the X-A5 is $200 cheaper and the X-A3 $285 cheaper). My personal recommendation is to get the X-T20 combined with the 16-50mm lens, which is only $100 more right now, and is a better overall camera. The X-A7, with an MSRP of $700 combined with the kit 15-45mm lens, is available today for pre-order (click here to pre-order from Amazon), and will be shipped on October 24th. Be sure to check out the “mint green” version, which you will either love or hate (probably hate). While I’m sure most of you are yawning at this announcement, a few of you are likely going to buy this camera and will enjoy it over the next few years.

Below are some photographs that I captured with a Fujifilm X-A3:

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Endless Canyons – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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La Sal Through Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Hoodoos – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Feeling Blue – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Kids At The Salt Flats – Wendover, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Salty Tree Stumps – Wendover, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Salt Water Reflection – Wendover, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Stark Salt – Wendover, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Canyon River – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3

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Maricopa Point – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3

Photoessay: Suburban B&W

You might think that you live in a boring neighborhood. You might think that there’s nothing of interest to photograph where you live. You might think that you have to go somewhere to capture good photographs. This photoessay is intended to debunk that. I live in a boring suburban neighborhood, but I have still made an effort to walk the sidewalks with my camera in hand. This particular collection features some recent black-and-white images that I’ve captured in the neighborhood where I live. In the past I’ve shared many pictures captured in my neighborhood, so these are far from the only ones or even the best ones–they are simply ones that I have not posted on here before. I hope that this article inspires you to get out into your local area with your camera, even if “getting out” is just a short trip around the block.

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Home Peek – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Shadow Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Suburban Pathway – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Monochrome American Flag – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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Geo – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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House Work – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Alaskan Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Ray Above The Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Hill Behind The Homes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Curious Cow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Grey Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

[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

Help Fuji X Weekly

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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

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

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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

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

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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 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

Help Fuji X Weekly

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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

Help Fuji X Weekly

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The Ultimate Fujifilm X Kit?

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What would be my ultimate Fujifilm X camera and lens kit? What would I have in my camera bag if money was no issue? I have been asked these types of questions several times, and I don’t really like to answer them because, like many of you, my resources are limited and I’ll probably never own an “ultimate” kit. Some of you might have the money, so perhaps you’re trying to assemble such a thing and are seeking advice, so this will be my attempt to answer the question of the ultimate Fujifilm X kit. Hopefully my opinion will be useful to someone.

I’m going to limit this to APS-C Fujifilm X, and not the medium-format GFX system. In all honesty, if I were independently wealthy, I’d likely own a GFX camera. That would be amazing! My best hope for that, perhaps in five or six years, is to buy one that’s used and is being sold at a bargain basement price. I can always dream, right?

What cameras would be in my bag? Well, probably the Fujifilm X-T3, which is the ultimate X camera right now (I know, an argument could be made that the X-H1 is the top X camera). Later this year the X-Pro3 should be released, and I’d prefer that over the X-T3, but it’s a close call between the two, and since the X-T3 is available right now, that’s the camera that I would own. I would have a backup interchangeable-lens camera, one that’s smaller and lighter and better for walk-around and travel, and that would be the Fujifilm X-T30, which is a camera I already have, so I suppose that’s a start to my ultimate kit. I would also own a compact fixed-lens camera for travel and street photography, and that would be the Fujifilm X100F, which is an incredible camera for that purpose. The X100F is not essential, but it is an extraordinarily enjoyable camera, and so it would definitely be in my ultimate bag.

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I would have a number of different lenses to go with those cameras. My choice for Fujifilm primes would be the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, Fujinon 35mm f/2, Fujinon 56mm f/1.2, and Fujinon 90mm f/2. I would also own the Rokinon 12mm f/2. I would have a telephoto zoom, probably the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8, and maybe even a wide-angle zoom, perhaps the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I prefer primes over zooms, but occasionally zooms are preferred for their versatility, so having a couple of them would be important.

All of those cameras and lenses are going to add up to a lot of money. This would not be a cheap kit! Of course, that’s the point, as this would be a money-is-no-object situation. Most people, myself included, are on a tight budget with limited resources. So I will give alternative suggestions for a more budget-friendly ultimate kit. Maybe this will be helpful to some of you.

If you still want an “ultimate” Fujifilm X kit but the suggestions above are out of budget, I would choose instead the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T20, which will save you several hundred dollars right off the bat, and will get you essentially the same exact thing. If that’s still too much, get the X-T20 and the Fujifilm X-T100, or skip having a second camera body altogether. You could skip the X100F and purchase the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens and get similar results to that camera without actually owning it, which will save some money. Alternatively, if you really want the X100F, buy one used or get the X100T, or even choose the Fujifilm XF10 instead.

For lenses, you could save money by choosing the Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 lens over the 16mm f/1.4, and the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 instead of the 56mm f/1.2. Or just skip those lenses altogether, and get the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8, which would cover those focal lengths pretty well. If you chose carefully, you could have an almost-as-good ultimate kit for probably half the price as my suggested ultimate kit. There are certainly options for those on a small budget. And don’t be afraid to buy a lens here-and-there when you can, slowly building your glass collection. Nobody says you have to buy everything all at once.

Vintage Lenses on Modern Cameras: Using M42 on Fujifilm X

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2

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

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

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

Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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

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

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

Jupiter 21M 200mm f/4

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

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

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

7 Incredibly Cheap & Easy Photography Hacks

In the video above I share seven simple and inexpensive (or free!) photography tips and tricks. Feel free to use them, and if you like the video be sure to share it so that others can learn the tricks, too.

Here are the seven hacks in the video:
– mini string lights for foreground bokeh (click here for the mini string lights)
colored page markers for light leaks (click here for the page markers)
– crumpled tin foil bokeh background
– coffee sleeve lens hood
faux wood ceramic tiles for worn wood setting
– backwards mount macro lens (click here for the adapter)
shift the white balance

You’ll notice that I included links above to Amazon where you can see and purchase some of the items that I used in the video. I am an Amazon Affiliate partner (so that I can improve the Fuji X Weekly experience), but I did this more so that you can see the actual product used than for you to go buy something (the items are under $10 each, so I don’t expect the links to be particularly financially beneficial). Perhaps doing this is helpful to someone.

I hope that you appreciate the video and find it useful! It was fun to make, and I hope to do many more videos over the coming days, weeks and months. If you like it, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss anything!

Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome – A Film Simulation Showdown

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I have two very similar film simulation recipes that both produce results quite close to their namesake slide films: Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW. Even though the settings are nearly the same, the looks that they produce are quite different. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the old “Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome” debate from the days of film. There were people who preferred one over the other for various reasons. Kodachrome was more iconic. Ektachrome had more variations. Despite the fact that they were both color transparencies made by the same company, I could probably write a long article about the differences between the two films, but this blog is about Fujifilm X cameras and not Kodak film stocks.

What I wanted to do here is compare the two film simulation recipes side by side. I will show them both, and you can decide which is best for you. It’s kind of a revival of the old debate, but with a modern twist. Kodachrome or Ektachrome? You get to decide which is the better film simulation recipe!

Take a look at the pictures below:

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Welcome to Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Winter Mountain – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Desert Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Kodachrome II”

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Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Kodachrome II”

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View From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

What I like about the Kodachrome II recipe is that it produces a vintage color look that reminds me of the images found on the pages of old magazines, such as National Geographic and Arizona Highways. As I look through my grandparent’s old slide collection (which I have at home), I can see this look in their old photographs from 50 or so years ago. It’s such a fantastic recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, and I just love it!

What I like about the Ektachrome 100SW recipe is that it produces a color look that reminds me of some images that I have captured with the actual film. The film was good for western landscapes or any situation where you needed some color saturation with a warm color cast. It wasn’t around for very long because it was only marginally commercially successful, but it was one of the better variations of Ektachrome film in my opinion.

What do you think, Kodachrome or Ektachrome? Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe you like best!

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:

My Fujifilm X Camera Lens Recommendations, Part 2: Third Party

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Part 1: Fujinon

I listed my recommended Fujinon lenses for Fujifilm X cameras in Part 1. In this second segment I will give my recommendations for third party lenses. Like in the previous article, I will be focusing on what I’ve actually used, because I prefer to talk about what I have experience with. My opinions are based off of my own use of these different lenses.

Let’s jump right in!

Rokinon/Samyang 12mm f/2 NCS CS

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Salt & Stars – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

The 12mm f/2 NCS CS ultra-wide-angle lens, which is sold under both the Rokinon and Samyang brands (it’s the exact same lens), is a great manual focus lens. It’s sharp with surprisingly little distortion and few flaws. Since it is so cheap, it’s a great budget-friendly alternative to the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, or even a companion to it. Not everyone needs a lens as wide-angle as this one, but it’s a fantastic option for those who do. If you need something ultra-wide for astrophotography or dramatic landscapes, this is a must-have lens!

Meike 35mm f/1.7

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

The Meike 35mm f/1.7 is a “nifty-fifty” standard prime lens on Fujifilm X cameras, and if you don’t mind an all-manual lens, this is a great budget-friendly option. In fact, it’s probably the best $80 you’ll ever spend on new camera gear! It’s not without flaws, though. You can read my review of the lens here. For the cheap price, I wouldn’t be afraid to try the Meike 28mm f/2.8 or the Meike 50mm f/2, either. In fact, you could buy all three for less than the cost of one Fujinon lens! The 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 is a good alternative, which I reviewed here. I’ve never tried the 7artisans 35mm f/1.2, which is an intriguing option but a little more expensive.

There are, of course, plenty of other third-party lenses, of which I’ve tried zero. I know that the Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 II is highly regarded, yet it’s also on the expensive side of things. The Rokinon 50mm f/1.2 and Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 are two lenses that I’ve seen highly recommended by others, and, based on my experience with their 12mm lens, I’d definitely believe it. However, I don’t want to spend much time on lenses that I have no experience with. Instead, let me offer one other alternative: vintage lenses.

You can typically buy old film lenses for very little money. Since most people don’t shoot film any longer, these lenses are cheap, yet many of them are exceptionally good in quality. You will need an adapter to mount them to your Fujifilm X camera, since they’ll have a different mount. Just make sure you know which mount the lens is so that you buy the right adapter. Thankfully most adapters are pretty inexpensive. Below is a video that I made on this topic.