3 B&W Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes + 1 Bonus Color Recipe

When the Nikon Zfc was announced in 2021, I preordered it, and waited a long time for it to come. When it finally arrived, I pulled the Zfc out of the box and began to use it, and I was quickly disappointed. I said that it was most similar to the Fujifilm X-T200, yet significantly bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Still, I put the camera through its paces, and even created 11 Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes using the Zfc. Then the camera went back into its box, and I strongly considered selling it.

After months and months of none-use, and after moving to a different state, I decided to give the Zfc one more try, but with a significant modification: I ditched the lousy Nikkor 28mm lens in favor of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4. Why? Because the TTArtisan lens has an aperture ring, and the Nikkor doesn’t. The TTArtisan lens is better optically than the Nikkor, too—I’m much happier with this setup. I then made three more Nikon Z recipes!

Right now I’m working on my full-review of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 lens (coming very soon!), and that means using it. In the process, I made four more recipes—I guess I couldn’t help myself! Three of these are black-and-white and one is color. If you add these four to the 14 others, I now have 18 Film Simulation Recipes for Nikon Z cameras!

Obviously, I made these JPEG recipes on the Zfc, so it will render differently on the full-frame models, but I’m not sure exactly how differently, as I’ve never used a full-frame Z camera. The reports have been positive, though, so I assume that they work well, including on the more expensive bodies—I just have no first-hand experience myself.

For those who might not know what “Film Simulation Recipes” are, they’re JPEG camera settings that allow you to achieve various looks (mostly analog-inspired) straight-out-of-camera, no editing needed. It can save you a lot of time by simplifying your workflow, and it can make the process of creating photographs more enjoyable.

These will be the last Nikon Z recipes that I create, as I decided not to keep the Zfc. If you are interested in buying it (bundled with the 28mm pancake and TTArtisan 25mm lenses), let me know. It’s gently used, and has spent more time in its box than out of it. Just send me a message if you are interested. Why am I selling the Zfc? Partly because I have never been fully satisfied with it, and partly because I’ve yet to figure out where it makes sense in my photographic process—it seems out of place in my bag. If sometime in the future Nikon makes a better effort on a similar camera, I’ll certainly consider buying it; however, the Zfc was just not the one for me.

Dramatic Monochromatic

Nikon Zfc — Dramatic Monochromatic

Similarities to using a red filter with B&W film.

Picture Control: Monochrome
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +3.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: +1.00
Contrast: +1.00

Brightness: +1.00
Filter Effects: Red

Toning: B&W
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Cloudy
WB Adjust: B6.0 G6.0
ISO: up to 6400

Nikon Zfc — Dramatic Monochromatic
Nikon Zfc — Dramatic Monochromatic
Nikon Zfc — Dramatic Monochromatic
Nikon Zfc — Dramatic Monochromatic

B&W Push-Processed

Nikon Zfc — B&W Push-Process

Resembles the contrast of B&W film that has been push-processed.

Picture Control: Graphite
Effect Level: 100
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +2.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +2.00
Filter Effects: Yellow

Toning: B&W
Active D-Lighting: Extra High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Direct Sunlight
WB Adjust: A0.0 G0.0
ISO: up to 6400

Nikon Zfc — B&W Push-Process
Nikon Zfc — B&W Push-Process
Nikon Zfc — B&W Push-Process
Nikon Zfc — B&W Push-Process

B&W Film

Nikon Zfc — B&W Film

Reminiscent of black-and-white negative film.

Picture Control: Carbon
Effect Level: 100
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Filter Effects: Orange

Toning: B&W
Active D-Lighting: Extra High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Natural Light Auto
WB Adjust: A0.0 G0.0
ISO: up to 6400

Nikon Zfc — B&W Film
Nikon Zfc — B&W Film
Nikon Zfc — B&W Film
Nikon Zfc — B&W Film

Vintage Agfacolor Fade

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Agfacolor Fade

Reminds me of Agfacolor slides from the 1930’s

Picture Control: Graphite
Effect Level: 50
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: 0.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Filter Effects: Red

Toning: Blue Green 0.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Incandescent
WB Adjust: A6.0 M1.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Agfacolor Fade
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Agfacolor Fade
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Agfacolor Fade
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Agfacolor Fade

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

Nikon Zfc — Amazon — B&H
TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 — Amazon — B&H

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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3 (More) Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes

When the Nikon Zfc was announced in 2021, I preordered it, and waited a long time for it to come. When it finally arrived, I pulled the Zfc out of the box and began to use it, and I was quickly disappointed. I said that it was most similar to the Fujifilm X-T200, yet significantly bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Still, I put the camera through its paces, and even created 11 Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes using the Zfc. Then the camera went back into its box, and I strongly considered selling it.

After months and months of none-use, and after moving to a different state, I decided to give the Zfc one more try, but with a significant modification: I ditched the lousy Nikkor 28mm lens in favor of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4. Why? Because the TTArtisan lens has an aperture ring, and the Nikkor doesn’t. The TTArtisan lens is better optically than the Nikkor, too—I’m much happier with this setup.

Right now I’m working on my full-review of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 lens, and that means using it. Initially on my Zfc I was using the recipes that I had already created, but then I decided to make a few new ones—I guess I couldn’t help myself. If you add these three to the 11 others, I now have 14 Film Simulation Recipes for Nikon Z cameras!

Obviously, I made these JPEG recipes on the Zfc, so it will render differently on the full-frame models, but I’m not sure exactly how differently, as I’ve never used a full-frame Z camera. The reports have been positive, though, so I assume that they work well, including on the more expensive bodies—I just have no first-hand experience.

For those who might not know what “Film Simulation Recipes” are, they’re JPEG camera settings that allow you to achieve various looks (mostly analog-inspired) straight-out-of-camera, no editing needed. It can save you a lot of time by simplifying your workflow, and it can make the process of creating photographs more enjoyable.

Vintage Teal

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal

Vintage mood with a deep-teal cast.

Picture Control: Sepia
Effect Level: 40
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Filter Effects: Red

Toning: 7.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Cloudy
WB Adjust: A1.0 G4.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal

Redscale

Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”

Similar to Kodak Gold with the film spooled backwards (redscale).

Picture Control: Red
Effect Level: 50
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: -1.00
Contrast: +2.00
Filter Effects: Green

Toning: 6.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Day White Fluorescent
WB Adjust: B2.0 G4.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”

Bright Negative

Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”

Reminiscent of brightly exposed color negative film.

Picture Control: Melancholic
Effect Level: 100
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: 0.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -1.00
Contrast: +3.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Daylight Fluorescent
WB Adjust: A6.0 G6.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”

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

Nikon Zfc — Amazon — B&H
TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 — Amazon — B&H

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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I Got it WRONG — How to Use the Nikon Zfc the Right Way!

Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4

I was wrong about the Nikon Zfc.

I wasn’t wrong about everything, actually. The Zfc is indeed surprisingly large and heavy—since it’s large and heavy it should have a grip, but it doesn’t. The camera feels too plasticky. It has an unnecessary PASM switch. The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens that it came with is pretty pedestrian—plus it doesn’t have an aperture ring (none of Nikon’s Z lenses do, unfortunately). The Zfc is a little overpriced. It’s a camera that is easy to be disappointed with, and I believe a missed opportunity for Nikon. I was right about all of that.

Where did I get the Zfc wrong? How I was using it. This is a camera that begs to be used with a manual third-party (or vintage) lens, and with the PASM switch set to M. Forget that crummy Nikkor lens! Buy a cheap “nifty fifity” from China instead. Then use the Zfc as an all-manual camera. Viola! It suddenly makes sense!

Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4

I purchased a TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 for about $85 (stay tuned for a full review), and I’m much happier with it than the 28mm f/2.8. It has nothing to do with the focal length of the Nikkor lens or its maximum aperture. My favorite Fujinon lens is the 27mm f/2.8—that Fujifilm pancake is great! The Nikon version is not. The TTArtisans lens is much better than the Nikon lens that came with Zfc—it’s both optically superior and has more character. More importantly, though, it has an aperture ring.

Using the Zfc in full-manual without an aperture ring just doesn’t make sense. Using the Zfc in Aperture-Priority without an aperture ring doesn’t make sense, either. Using an aperture-ring-lens on a PASM camera isn’t particularly natural in my opinion, unless you set it to M and treat it like an old-school film camera—that’s what I did with my Zfc! It works on this camera only because it has shutter and ISO knobs—I control the exposure triangle with physical controls.

Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4

This! This is how to use the Nikon Zfc—the right way—all manual. No auto anything. The Zfc is unique in that, even though it has PASM, it also has physical controls that are activated by being in the correct mode (in this case, manual mode). When you do this, the shooting experience is similar to manually shooting with a Fujifilm X camera—this is the closest to the traditional Fujifilm experience that I have found outside of using a Fujifilm camera. If you don’t mind attaching a non-Nikkor lens and shooting full-manual, the Zfc is actually an alright camera. Yes, it’s still short of what it could have and should have been, but at least I found how I can enjoy using it.

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

Nikon Zfc — AmazonB&H
TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 — AmazonB&H

Example photographs, captured with my Nikon Zfc plus the TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 lens, using some of my Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes:

Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Analog Film” Film Simulation Recipe
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Analog Film” Film Simulation Recipe
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Vintage Color” Film Simulation Recipe
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Aged Analog” Film Simulation Recipe
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Aged Analog” Film Simulation Recipe (increased exposure)
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Aged Analog” Film Simulation Recipe
Nikon Zfc + TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 + “Vintage Color” Film Simulation Recipe

Nikon Copying Fujifilm?

Photo’s via NikonRumors.com

Nikon is about to announce a new retro-SLR-styled APS-C mirrorless camera: the Zfc. It has some similarities to the Fujifilm X-T30, X-T4, and X-T200 (and also the Olympus OM-D), while not being exactly like any of them. According to NikonRumors, this camera is the Nikon Z50, just in a retro body inspired by the Nikon FM and Df cameras. The Z50 has a 20-megapixel sensor, and, as far as I know, is well regarded yet unexciting. This new body design will certainly create some excitement!

You might notice the Zfc has a shutter knob, exposure compensation knob, and ISO knob on the top of the body (much like the X-T4). There’s also a PASM switch. I can’t help but wonder, if Nikon had included an aperture ring around the lens, would the PASM switch even be necessary? I feel like Nikon went 90% there, but just didn’t push themselves all the way. Of course, they know their audience far better than I do, and they have far more experience in camera design than I.

With this camera, I believe that Nikon is specifically targeting the Fujifilm market. I’m not sure if they’re trying to lure Fujifilm photographers to Nikon, or simply attempting to stop Nikon shooter from leaving for Fujifilm, or maybe both, or perhaps those moving on from Micro 4/3. I have no idea how successful they’ll be at this, but I do think the Zfc will get some attention, something Nikon desperately needs. It seems like they’ve produced a lot of rather ho-hum products as their customers have jumped ship for other brands.

What Nikon doesn’t have that Fujifilm does are Film Simulations and Film Simulation Recipes. That’s not to say that Nikon’s JPEGs are junk (because I’m sure they’re not), but there’s nothing in the photographic world that rivals what Fujifilm and Fujifilm shooters (that’s you and me!) have created. While Nikon’s new exterior camera design is great, if they really want to compete against Fujifilm they need to recommit to the camera-made JPEG and do something just as radical inside as they did with the body. After all, photography is both about the picture and the experience, and I think the Zfc is an attempt to improve the latter (for certain people) while not addressing the former. I like this step that Nikon is taking, and I think it would be great if they continued down that path, but I’d be surprised if they did. We’ll see. Nevertheless, the Nikon Zfc is indeed a lovely looking camera.