A.M. Flight — Cinematic Short Film with a Fujifilm X-T4 and Pergear 50mm f/1.8

I just uploaded a new video, entitled A.M. Flight, to the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel! I hope you enjoy it!

The reason why we—and by “we” I mean mostly Amanda—created this short film was to test the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens for video. I already published a review of the Pergear lens for still photography, but I thought this lens might be a good inexpensive option for cinema. I needed to put it to the test.

Amanda recorded A.M. Flight on her Fujifilm X-T4 with a Pergear 50mm f/1.8. All of it was handheld, no tripod or gimbal was used. The 50mm focal-length, which is 75mm full-frame equivalent, is telephoto, and camera shake is exaggerated because of this. The X-T4 has in-body-image-stabilization (IBIS)—the X-S10 and X-H1 are the only other two Fujifilm X cameras with IBIS—and even with the stabilization there’s still a fair amount of shakiness to the clips. We recommend the use of a tripod or gimbal to help reduce shake; if your camera doesn’t have IBIS, a tripod or gimbal is a must with this lens.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is all manual, which means you’ll have to manually focus. A.M. Flight has a lot of fast movements in the film, and nailing focus manually proved to be very difficult; this lens might be better suited for projects that don’t have quickly moving objects. The focus ring is smooth, a positive for sure! The aperture ring is click-less, which is great for video because you can change the aperture while recording a clip, either increasing or decreasing the depth-of-field.

The f/1.8 aperture is fast, but the depth-of-field is shallow (making nailing focus even more difficult) and image quality isn’t the best when wide-open. It was nice to have f/1.8 as an option when filming in dark locations, but it’s definitely better to stop down a little (at least f/4 is you can) to maximize image quality whenever you can.

When light hits the lens just right, there’s something special about the results. There’s a particularly nice quality to some of the video clips, thanks to the Pergear lens. There’s a certain character that you just won’t find in most modern lenses; if that’s something you want in your video, this lens is for you.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens is challenging to use for video because it is all manual and because it doesn’t have any stabilization. Cameras with IBIS, like the Fujifilm X-T4, make it a little easier to use, and it’s possible to get away with not having a tripod or gimbal, but if you don’t have IBIS you’re going to want to do something to stabilize the clips. This lens is not the most ideal option for video, but if you are on a tight budget or want the special character that this lens can give you, it’s a good one to consider.

This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.
Amazon $79

Snow Fun with Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm + New Film Simulation Recipe: Amanda’s Classic Negative

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch

My wife, Amanda, has a Fujifilm X-T4. She uses it for both stills and video. Amanda pretty much runs the video side of Fuji X Weekly, as that’s something she’s good at, but she also does some occasional portrait and product photography. A few days ago she borrowed my Fujinon 90mm lens, attached it to her X-T4, and on a snowy morning captured some pictures of our kids sledding at a local park (I was shooting with a GFX-50S, you can see some of those pictures here).

Amanda showed me the photographs that she had captured, and I liked the picture aesthetic, so I asked her what settings she used. She told me she just picked some that she thought might look nice, and went with that. She made her own recipe! It’s based on Classic Negative, which is such a great film simulation. I asked her if I could share her pictures and recipe here, and she agreed. Thanks, Amanda!

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch

This film simulation recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-S10 (most likely the X-E4, too, when that comes out next month). If you like this recipe or these pictures, be sure to let Amanda know by leaving her a comment.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +1.5
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Clarity: 0
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1

All of the pictures in this article are camera-made JPEGs captured by Amanda Roesch using this Classic Negative film simulation recipe on her Fujifilm X-T4.

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch
Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm – Photo by Amanda Roesch

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-T4 Amazon B&H
Fujinon 90mm Amazon B&H

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Quick Eterna Bleach Bypass Experiments

LomoChrome Metropolis recipe, using the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation

My wife has a Fujifilm X-T4, and I was able to borrow it briefly for an experiment with the new Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation. The X-T4 and the X-S10 are currently the only cameras that have this film simulation. My new LomoChrome Metropolis recipe, which is currently only found on the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS, uses Eterna Bleach Bypass.

I snapped the picture below of my daughter using the Fujifilm X-T4 and the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation. Highlight, Shadow and Color were set to 0, using Auto White Balance, and pretty much everything set to defaults.

Eterna Bleach Bypass

I reprocessed the RAW file in-camera, and tried to (in a short period of time) recreate Eterna Bleach Bypass using regular ol’ Eterna. I set Highlight to +4, Shadow to +3, Color to -4, and set a shift of -2 Red and -3 Blue to the Auto White Balance, which roughly gets you close. If I had more time I could get closer, but this was just a quick experiment. The takeaway is that Eterna Bleach Bypass is essentially Eterna but with more contrast and less color saturation, and some other small differences.

“Eterna Bleach Bypass” using Eterna

Below I reprocessed the RAW file in-camera using my Bleach Bypass film simulation recipe that uses Classic Negative. That recipe wasn’t intended to mimic the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation, but actual bleach bypassed film. It looks kind of like the new film simulation, but with more contrast and saturation.

“Bleach Bypass” using Classic Negative

There was an interview published recently in Japan where a couple of Fujifilm managers explained a bunch of different things about Fujifilm cameras. Between the translation and my interpretation of that translation, I mistakenly thought that it said a Bleach Bypass look could be achieved using the Provia film simulation with Highlight set to +1, Shadow set to +3 and Color set to -4, so I reprocessed the RAW file in-camera doing this, which is below.

“Bleach Bypass” using Provia?

Obviously that doesn’t look right, so I reread the quote, and realized what it actually said was that the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation recipe is intended to mimic cinematic film (for cinematic purposes) that’s skipped the bleach during development. Bleach bypass for still photography is (or often is) not the same—different film and/or different process. What was being said by those Fujifilm managers is to mimic bleach bypass for still photography, use the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation (not Provia) with Highlight set to +1, Shadow set to +3, and color Set to -4. An example of that is below.

Eterna Bleach Bypass with more contrast and less saturation

Bleach bypass is a darkroom technique where you skip or limit the bleach during development of color film, which causes it to retain the silver. Results will vary greatly depending on the film used and exactly how you develop it, but generally speaking what you get with bleach bypass is a high-contrast, low-saturation, grainy picture that appears as if a black-and-white and color picture were combined together. This technique is more common for motion picture film than still photography, but some people do bleach bypass with C-41 film.

There’s no one exact aesthetic for bleach bypass. The Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation is a great starting point, and I plan to experiment more with it and create at least a few different film simulation recipes using it. Classic Negative can also be used, and maybe even Classic Chrome and PRO Neg. Hi (and perhaps others), just depending on the exact bleach bypass look you are after. While more complicated, you can use the double-exposure feature to create a bleach bypass look. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way, or even a right or wrong look, which makes experimentation more fun. I invite you to pick a film simulation (whether or not your camera has the new Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation), turn up the contrast and turn down the color saturation, and see what you can create!

New Auto White Balance Options: White Priority & Ambience Priority

My wife, Amanda, upgraded her Fujifilm X-T20 to an X-T4! Video-wise, the X-T4 is a huge upgrade; stills-wise, the X-T20 is a solid camera, but the X-T4 is a little better. The picture above shows Amanda with her new camera, captured with my Fujifilm X100V using a new film simulation recipe that I will publish very soon! The Fujifilm X-T4 has two new Auto White Balance options: Auto White Priority and Auto Ambience Priority. What are these? What do they do to your pictures? Let’s take a look!

For Auto White Priority, the manual says, “Choose for whiter whites in scenes lit by incandescent bulbs.” And for Auto Ambience Priority, “Choose for warmer whites in scenes lit by incandescent bulbs.” Essentially, Auto White Priority is the same as Auto White Balance, except it has a cooler tone under artificial light, and Auto Ambience Priority is the same as Auto White Balance, except it has a warmer tone under artificial light. In natural light, all three are the same.

The pictures below show all three Auto White Balance options under natural light (using my Kodak Ultramax recipe). Can you tell which is Auto, Auto White Priority and Auto Ambience Priority?

Which is which? I have no idea! I can’t tell the difference. The three images look identical to me. Even when I closely examined the three full-resolution files, I couldn’t figure it out.

Under artificial light, the differences between Auto, Auto White Priority, and Auto Ambience Priority becomes much more obvious. You can see in the pictures below that Auto White Priority is cooler than standard Auto White Balance, and Auto Ambience Priority is warmer than standard Auto. Take a look!

Auto White Priority
Auto White Balance
Auto Ambience Priority

Of the two new Auto White Balance options, I’m most excited about Auto White Priority, although I think in some situations Auto Ambience Priority might produce nice results. The new LomoChrome Metropolis film simulation recipe that’s on the Fuji X Weekly App requires Auto White Priority, the first recipe to use one of the new White Balance options. I think there’s some good potential for incorporating these new options into new recipes to create different looks. Now if I can just convince my wife to let me borrow her new camera….

Announced: Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm just officially announced the upcoming X-T4, which replaces the not very old X-T3. The big difference between the two cameras is that the X-T4 is bigger and heavier because it now has in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The X-T4 also has the flip screen from the X-A7 and X-T200, improved auto-focus, and the two new film simulations: Bleach Bypass and Classic Negative. It has a new battery, with improved battery life.

The X-T4 has several flashy new features, but internally it still sports the same X-Trans IV sensor and processor as the X-T3. Don’t expect image quality to be any different. If you have an X-T3, or even an X-T2, unless you really need IBIS, I don’t see much reason for upgrading cameras. If you are deciding between the X-T3 and X-T4, if having IBIS is important to you, get the X-T4, and if not, save yourself some money and get the very fantastic and nearly identical X-T3.

The Fujifilm X-T4 will be released on April 30 with an MSRP of $1,700 for the camera body. It’s available now for pre-order.

Fujifilm X-T4 (Body Only) Black   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T4 (Body Only) Silver   B&H   Amazon

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New Film Simulation Coming: Bleach Bypass

According to Fujirumors, the upcoming Fujifilm X-T4 will come with a brand new film simulation: Bleach Bypass. What’s bleach bypass? It’s a darkroom technique where you skip or limit the bleach during the development of color film, which retains the silver in the film. What you end up with is a high-contrast, low-saturated image that might appear as though someone combined a color and black-and-white image. Think Classic Chrome, but with more contrast and less saturation, and a silvery appearance. I think this new film simulation will be an excellent addition!

Will Fujifilm make the new Bleach Bypass film simulation available to other cameras via a firmware update? Maybe the X-Trans IV models, not likely any other. Fujifilm has yet to add Classic Negative to the X-T3 or X-T30, and maybe they never will. I’m hopeful that after the release of the X-T4, Fujifilm will add both of these new film simulations to the “older” X-Trans IV models, but that might be nothing more than wishful thinking. I will tell you this: it’s hard not to be envious! I’m really looking forward to one day trying both of them and creating new film simulation recipes. I just hope that day comes sooner than later.