Answers to the 10 Most Common Fujifilm How-To Questions

Because I’m one of the more knowledgable people in the Fujifilm community when it comes to the ins and outs of camera settings, I’m constantly asked how-to type questions. I’m always happy to help, but I have to say, most of the time the answers are easily found in the owner’s manual. You mean that boring technical book packaged with my camera? Yes, exactly. Thankfully, Fujifilm has made them available online, and most of the manuals are easily navigated and even searchable. Digging into the owner’s manual for your camera has never been easier. Can’t find the answer with a Google search? I bet you can find it in the manual pretty quickly and painlessly. That really should be everyone’s starting point.

Not everyone will look through the manual, or maybe you did and still can’t find the answer. I decided to take this opportunity to answer the 10 most common how-to questions that I receive. Maybe you are searching for the answer and Google brought you here. My hope is that this article will be helpful to some of you as you’re trying to figure things out on your Fujifilm camera.

1. How to program a Film Simulation Recipe

I’m most known for Film Simulation Recipes—I have published pretty darn close to 300, which you can find on this website and the Fuji X Weekly App—so it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m asked about it the most. Programming Film Simulation Recipes into your Fujifilm camera is easy, once you’ve done it once or twice. While the process is similar across the range, not every camera is exactly the same, so you’ll want to review the Image Quality (IQ) Menu section of your manual, and also Edit/Save Custom Settings (not all Fujifilm cameras have this, but most do).

More than two years ago I published an article explaining how to program Film Simulation Recipes into your Fujifilm camera. That might be a good place to start, but not everyone learns well by reading. You might be just as confused afterwards as you were before. Thankfully, Scott Dawson made a video walking you through the process of programming a Recipe. Between my article, Scott’s video, and your camera’s manual, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this one.

Sometimes that’s not enough, so here’s the quick answer: if your camera has C1-C7 (or C1-C4) Custom Presets (most models do, but the Bayer models and a couple of the really old cameras don’t), press the Q-button, then press-and-hold the Q-button, and the Edit/Save Custom Settings Menu will appear (except on a couple of the really old models). That’s where you can enter the parameters (or most of the parameters) of a Recipe. Alternatively, and for those cameras without C1-C7, you can enter the parameters by pressing Menu/OK, then adjusting the appropriate settings, which are found in the IQ subset.

You should now be good to go. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will be a piece of cake.

2. How to resolve Clarity greyed out

The 1981 Kodak Recipe uses minus Clarity

This is simple: the drive mode must be set to Single frame (S) in order to use Clarity. Your camera will disable Clarity for any continuous shooting (burst) mode, HDR, or bracket. If you find Clarity greyed out, set your camera’s drive mode to Single frame (S).

3. How to fix DR200 or DR400 not available

This is another simple answer: the Dynamic Range options are ISO dependent. If DR200 and/or DR400 are not available, simply increase the ISO. For X-Trans III and older, a minimum ISO of 400 is required for DR200 and a minimum ISO of 800 is required for DR400. For X-Trans IV, ISO 320 is required for DR200 and ISO 640 is required for DR400. For X-Trans V, ISO 250 is required for DR200 and ISO 500 is required for DR400. Make sure the minimum ISO threshold has been met for the Dynamic Range setting you are attempting to use.

4. How to set Highlight & Shadow with D-Range Priority

The Vibrant Arizona Recipe uses D-Range Priority

This one can be a little confusing. In my Recipes, D-Range Priority should always be set to Off unless otherwise stated. Most Recipes do not use D-Range Priority, but a few do. Sometimes D-Range Priority is confused with the Dynamic Range settings (DR100, DR200, DR400), but they are two separate things. When you enable D-Range Priority, it is in lieu of Dynamic Range, Highlight, and Shadow, so those three options will not be available to select. In other words, you can either use Dynamic Range (such as DR200) and the Tone Curve (Highlight and Shadow) or you can use D-Range Priority, but you can’t do both options simultaneously. Also, like Dynamic Range, D-Range Priority is ISO dependent.

5. How to set a White Balance Shift

The Cross Process Recipe uses a WB Shift of -3 Red & -8 Blue

This used to be the most asked question, but not so much lately. I wrote an article about it almost three years ago, so if you are stuck, be sure to check it out (click here). The simple answer: find the White Balance submenu in the IQ menu subset, highlight the desired White Balance option, then arrow-to-the-right to open the White Balance Shift menu for that particular WB type. Cameras older than the X-Pro3—X-Trans I, II, III, and the X-T3 & X-T30—cannot save a WB Shift within the C1-C7 Custom Presets, but the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II, and X-Trans V can. If you have a model that cannot save a WB Shift within the Edit/Save Custom Settings Menu, I did publish a solution that you might find helpful (click here). Models that can save the WB Shift offer a much improved experience.

6. How to get less yellow pictures

The Fujicolor Superia 100 Recipe is Daylight-balanced

Like film, many Film Simulation Recipes are intended for use in a particular light, mostly sunny daylight. When used in the “wrong” light, you might not get desirable results, and your pictures could come out yellow. My best advice is to use the right Recipe for the lighting situation that you find yourself in, or pick an Auto White Balance Recipe, which are usually more versatile.

7. How to shoot with a manual lens

I like manual lenses, whether it’s classic film gear or inexpensive third-party glass. They often have great character, which is missing in most precision-engineered modern lenses. Fujifilm has a weird quirk where you have to find Shoot Without Lens in the Menu (and it’s not always in an easy-to-spot location), or else the camera won’t let you capture a picture with one of these lenses attached. Once enabled, you can use manual lenses, but if disabled, your camera won’t capture a picture. If you cannot find it, look for Shoot Without Lens in your camera’s owner’s manual, and it will instruct you where to find it.

8. How to set Exposure Compensation

I’m surprised by how often this question comes up, and I think it’s because each Recipe lists a typical exposure compensation, usually with a range, such as +1/3 to +1. First, the suggested exposure compensation is simply meant as a starting point and is not a rule; each exposure should be judged individually, and you might need to use an exposure comp that’s outside of my recommendation. Second, if you are shooting full manual, think about how much you might need to increase or decrease the exposure over what the light meter is telling you in order to achieve the desired results—you aren’t using the exposure comp dial, so you’ll be manually doing it yourself with the aperture/shutter/ISO triangle. Third, you cannot set an exposure comp range or save exposure compensation to the C1-C7 Custom Presets. Fourth, Exposure Compensation, with rare exceptions, is found on a dial on top of the camera: +1 equals one f-stop, and the dots in-between equal 1/3 stops.

9. How to use older Recipes on newer models

The Kodak Vision3 250D Recipe is intended for the X-T3/X-T30, but used here on an X-E4

X-Trans III Film Simulation Recipes can indeed be used on X-Trans IV models. For the X-T3 and X-T30, simply set Color Chrome Effect to Off; for the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II, additionally set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and choose a Grain size (either Small or Large)—do this also for adapting X-T3/X-T30 Recipes to the newer models. X-Trans IV Recipes can technically be used on X-Trans V, but, because blue renders more deeply on some film simulations, you should make an adjustment to Color Chrome FX Blue: if the X-Trans IV Recipe calls for CCEB set to Strong use Weak on X-Trans V, and if it calls for Weak use Off. This is for Recipes that use Classic Chrome, Classic Negative, Eterna, and Eterna Bleach Bypass; for the other films sims, no adjustment is needed.

10. How to resolve the Clarity pause

The Kodak Tri-X 400 Recipe uses plus Clarity

Most of the Film Simulation Recipes made for the newer models use Clarity; however, if Clarity is set to anything other than 0 it will cause a storing pause. I use this pause, which is about the same amount of time as advancing to the next frame on a film camera, to slow myself down, which I think is beneficial. If you are in a hurry, this pause can be annoying, and you might want to avoid it. So what are your options? You could forget Clarity and just accept the results for what they are. Switching to a burst mode, such as Continuous Low (CL), will disable Clarity; if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you could reprocess in-camera (or X RAW Studio) and add Clarity after the fact (this is Fujifilm’s recommendation). If a Recipe calls for minus Clarity, you could use a diffusion filter, such as CineBloom or Black Pro Mist, to produce a similar effect (5% CineBloom and 1/8 BPM are roughly equivalent to -1 & -2 Clarity, 10% CineBloom and 1/4 BPM are roughly equivalent to -3 & -4 Clarity, and 20% CineBloom and 1/2 BPM are roughly equivalent to -5 Clarity); however, there is no substitution for plus Clarity.

Those are the 10 most common how-to type questions I get asked. Hopefully this article will be helpful to a few of you who are searching for answers. Don’t be afraid to ask if you are still stuck with whatever issue you’re facing with your Fujifilm cameras. I don’t work for Fujifilm so I can’t guarantee an answer, but I’ll try to help if I can. I just ask that you attempt to find the answer in your camera’s owner’s manual first, because you probably don’t actually need my help; however, if you do, I’m happy to try.

New: Fuji X Weekly Development Page

Fujifilm Blog

I created a new Fuji X Weekly page called Development. You can find it by clicking on the top-left “hamburger” menu and then selecting Development. This new page has absolutely nothing to do with developing pictures, but instead has posts relating to personal development as a photographer. This is where you’ll find things like how-to articles and photography advice. So far it’s not a huge list of articles, but I hope to expand it greatly in the coming months. It’s small now, but it will be much larger soon enough. I’m hoping that it will be a wonderful resource for some of you. I encourage you to check it out, and to revisit it regularly to see what’s new.