[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

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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

My Fujifilm X-T30 Faded Color Film Simulation Recipe

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Fading Memories – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Color”

This recipe is a failure. More accurately, it’s a failed attempt at a certain aesthetic. It doesn’t look like what I was hoping it would look like. It’s close, but no cigar. What it does look like are faded color photographs from perhaps the 1950’s through 1970’s. I have some old issues of Arizona Highways magazine from the 1950’s, and these pictures have a similar look to what’s found in those magazines. You might have some old family photos that have faded over time and perhaps look like the pictures that this recipe creates. You can also achieve this washed-out “milky” look through darkroom techniques. Even though this recipe doesn’t look like what I was trying to create, it looks really amazing, and I am astonished that this look can be achieved in-camera.

What I was trying to create was a certain cinematic characteristic. I was asked by a Fuji X Weekly reader to create a film simulation recipe that produces a look similar to the aesthetic of the Wong Kar Wai movie Chungking Express. I had never seen this movie, so I had to do much research, and thankfully a lot of great information was easily found online. I discovered that the motion picture film used in the movie was Agfa XT320, and that it was often (but not always) push-processed, sometimes one stop and sometimes two. A technique called flashing was used a number of times in the movie, which involves flashing the film with light to give it a smoky, atmospheric, or faded feel, lowering contrast. It’s a type of double exposure, except that the second exposure is nothing more than a little light. Another technique that was used in the movie was to give different scenes a certain color cast using gels. Wong Kar Wai likes to create scenes with one predominant color, and so you will find elements in the scene that are the same color as the color cast. He used a slow shutter speed in the movie to blur motion. There were a ton of different techniques used, and so you can probably understand the difficulty of the task. You cannot incorporate everything into one recipe, so I had to make some choices and create a plan to try to achieve something that looks similar to the movie.

My idea was to attempt a recipe that resembled push-processed Agfa XT320 that has been flashed and has a color cast. I decided to use the double-exposure feature on my Fujifilm X-T30 and white balance shift to achieve this. For the second exposure, which needed to be white, I tried a number of things, including a miniature portable studio, but after some trial-and-error, I settled on a plain white 4″ x 6″ index card. I would hold it a few inches in front of the lens and make the second exposure. Auto-focus would never lock onto it, and I figured that a blurry exposure might actually be preferable. For the color cast, I found that one exposure should not have a shifted white balance and the other should. Initially I was adding the color cast to the main exposure and not the white exposure, but then I switched that and liked the results better for some reason. I used the 16:9 aspect ratio to make it a more cinematic shape. Unfortunately, I could never get the results to look quite right for Chungking Express. I think I was in the general ballpark, but not as close as I was hoping. Fortunately, what I did create was pretty interesting, so I kept shooting with it, except I used the 3:2 aspect ratio.

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Main Motion – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Faded Color”

To use this recipe, you must set the camera to double-exposure, which on the X-T30 is found on a knob on the top. You capture the main exposure, then you must make some adjustments for the second exposure. The white balance must be shifted and the exposure compensation must be adjusted. For the white balance shift, I found going almost to the extremes works well. For a yellow cast, choose 0 Red & -8 Blue. For an orange cast, choose +8 Red & -8 Blue. For a red cast, choose +8 Red and 0 Blue. For a purple cast, choose +8 Red & +8 Blue. For a blue cast, choose 0 Red and +8 Blue. For a cyan cast, choose -8 Red and +8 Blue. For a green cast, choose -8 Red & 0 Blue. For green-yellow cast, choose -8 Red & -8 Blue. The exposure compensation for the white exposure is a little tricky. A lot depends on how bright the white is (whether it has direct light on it or if it is in shade) and how faded you want the image to look. It takes a little practice, but the good news is that the camera shows you exactly what the results are going to be, and even allows you do-overs if you don’t like it. I found that sometimes 0 was good, I found that sometimes -2 was good, and often -2/3 or -1 was a good choice. Each picture should get individual consideration. The second exposure is a picture of something white, such as the blank index card that I already described, although you could certainly try other things if you find something that might work better for you. This creates a faded look that almost seems unbelievable that it came out of the camera unedited.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto (use a shift on the second exposure)
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 Color recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Good Life – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Or Another – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Santa – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Makeup – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Walking Without Wondering – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bike Repair – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Transit Train Transportation – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kid Bowling – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Instax Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Guitar Cat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cracked Eggs – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Good Vibes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Steps & Vines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Faded Daisies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Soft Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Roses – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Rose Faded – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dark Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Red Ball Catching – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tona – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hanging Bulbs – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wet Bloom – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caboose Steps – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Breakboy – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lake Boy – East Canyon SP, UP – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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East Canyon Reservoir – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

My Fujifilm X-T30 Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Mesa Trail – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I already have a Velvia film simulation recipe. I’ve been using it for about a year-and-a-half now and I like the recipe. It’s designed for X-Trans III cameras. With the Fujifilm X-T30, which has the new sensor and processor, including the new Color Chrome Effect, I decided to revisit Velvia. Can I make Velvia better on an X-Trans IV camera?

I don’t know if this recipe is better than the old one. It’s a little bolder with slightly more contrast and color saturation. It’s probably a little more accurate to Velvia 100 than the old recipe, and a tad closer to Velvia 50, too. I do like this recipe more than the original, but the old one has its place, too. I don’t think this replaces the old recipe, but more supplements it when the situation calls for something punchier.

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I have grain effect set to weak on this recipe, but I only like to have grain on when using ISO 1600 or below. Above that the digital noise acts as a grain effect, so I like to turn the grain effect off when working with higher ISOs. Depending on the image, +4 color can sometimes look better, so don’t be afraid to bump that up when needed, but I think +3 works best as the standard setting. This recipe has a stronger shadow setting than the old one, and if you find that there’s too much contrast, simply set Shadow to 0. The original Velvia recipe called for DR200, but I went with DR-Auto on this one. If you’d prefer to use DR200 instead of auto, feel free to do so.

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured using a Fujifilm X-T30 with this film simulation recipe:

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Rock Balanced – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Water & Stone – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Cactus Noon – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Dead Tree Point – Dead Horse Point, SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Desert River – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Peak Through The Thin Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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

My Fujifilm X-T30 Acros Film Simulation Recipe (Agfa APX 400)

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Cloud Over The White Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

I made a new Acros recipe! I’ve been playing around lately with the Acros settings on my Fujifilm X-T30, trying to create a certain look (which I’m still working on), and I stumbled upon some interesting settings. I tried them out for a few days and wanted to share my findings with you. I think some of you might like this one!

This recipe is not intended to mimic the look of any particular film, but it’s in the neighborhood of a couple different black-and-white stocks. The closest might be Agfa APX 400 (the newer version), but it’s not an exact match for that film. I don’t think it really matters if it’s an exact match or not, it has an analog black-and-white look that’s easy to appreciate!

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Shopping Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

The idea behind this film simulation recipe is to have a lower-contrast option that doesn’t look flat. It seems to be especially well suited for high-contrast scenes, but there’s a certain beauty in low-contrast scenes where it produces almost a faded aesthetic. This Acros recipe is really great for certain situations, and it’s one of my favorite Acros recipes that I’ve created. If you don’t have an X-Trans IV camera, you can still use this recipe, except you can’t use Color Chrome Effect or Toning, so the results will be slightly different, but still very similar.

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

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

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mid Morning Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Head In The Clouds – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mountain Obscured – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Reaching For Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Jo by a Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Girl Sitting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Bread Cutting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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The Course Toward – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Asleep – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Couch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Three Vases By A Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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White Flower Bouquet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Dead Rose Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Hiding Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Eterna is beautiful. Fujifilm’s most recent film simulation, Eterna, has a lot of potential for creating lovely color negative film aesthetics. Even though it has the lowest contrast and lowest color saturation of all the different film simulation options, I suspect that it has significant potential for mimicking many analog looks. It has a film-like feel to it.

Real Eterna was a motion picture film. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows captured on Eterna and didn’t even know it. While Fujifilm invented and intended the Eterna film simulation for video use, which it is quite good for, they made it available for still photographs on X-Trans IV cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T30, as well as GFX cameras and the X-H1. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one of those cameras you can’t use this recipe. [Update: if your camera doesn’t have Eterna, you can use this alternative (click here)]

I wasn’t trying to mimic the look of any particular film when I invented this recipe. I was just playing around with the settings and really liked what I found. It has an analog feel to it. Initially the look reminded me of something from Nik Anolog Efex. As I used these settings, I found myself getting interesting results. Depending on the lighting and exposure, I was achieving different looks, despite using the exact same settings. Sometimes the results remind me of overexposed Fujifilm 400H, sometimes pushed-process Fujifilm Superia 400, sometimes underexposed expired Superia 800, and sometimes Superia 1600. Occasionally it doesn’t resemble any of those films. It’s not supposed to look like any specific film, yet it often does, but results vary.

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Gathering Raindrops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

I have always included a typical exposure compensation in my different film simulation recipes, but I didn’t do that this time because you get different results with different exposures. You can select -1 exposure compensation and you can select +1 exposure compensation, or anything in-between, and achieve various looks. You have to play around with it and decide what you like. Also, while I have Auto-ISO set to ISO 6400, I really feel that the best results are found at ISO 3200 or lower. You’ll have to decide how high you want to go with the ISO. For those using this on the X-H1, which doesn’t have Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get very similar results but it will be slightly different.

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 & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Below are all camera-made JPEGs captured using this Eterna Film Simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30 camera:

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Fake Plants For Sale – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Light Lens – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Franklin – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wildcat Radial – Layton, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Evening Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Cleanup Tools – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Red Tile – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Tops – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kodak 35mm Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Longing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Ball In The Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Blooming Red Tulip – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wee Wet White Flowers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Daffodil Drops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Spring or Autumn? – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Love – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Siblings Playing On A Tablet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Don, Walt & Mickey – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Brick & Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Taste On Sale – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Jarred Pig – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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25th Street & Lincoln Avenue – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna