New Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Analog

Cotton On – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Analog”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new film simulation recipes. These early-access recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many early-access recipes have already been publicly published on this blog and the App, so now everyone can use them. Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new Patron early-access recipe is called Fujicolor Analog. I was asked to recreate the look of a certain photographer, and I noticed that a lot of their photographs had a Classic Negative aesthetic, so I thought it would be easy to mimic. It turns out that this person shoots a lot of film, including (but not limited to) Fujicolor C200 and various Superia emulsions, as well as digital (but not Fujifilm, as far as I can tell), using RNI and perhaps some other filters or presets. Nothing said what each picture had been captured with, so it became difficult to recreate. After a little frustration, I decided to select only pictures with a certain aesthetic to attempt to emulate. I believe these might have been captured on a Superia emulsion, but they might not have been—they might not even be film! I think I was able to create a pretty close facsimile to this person’s aesthetic… at least one of the many various (but still somewhat similar) looks that this photographer has.

One film can have many different looks, depending on how it was shot, developed, and printed or scanned. I do believe this “Fujicolor Analog” recipe mimics the aesthetic of a Fujifilm color negative film, but which exact film, and how handled, is uncertain. What is certain is that this is a very nice film simulation recipe that some of you will love! It’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II cameras.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Fujicolor Analog” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

Noble Fir – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pine Trunk – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Burly Ladder – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Red Lights – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Utah Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pine in the Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Withering Blooms – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Peaks Above The Gap – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Arts – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Stop Spreading Germs – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pharmacy Lift – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X100V

How To Navigate Fuji X Weekly

When I created the Fuji X Weekly website, I wanted it to be clean and simple. I took a minimalistic approach to its design. For awhile it was clean and simple, but as the website grew and things evolved over time, it became less and less so.

The Blog used to be the Homepage, but now they’re separate—while the Blog is still pretty minimalistic, the Homepage is fairly busy. The two screenshots below show the cluttered Homepage compared to the clean Blog. The original design philosophy still serves a purpose, but in many ways Fuji X Weekly has outgrown it. I will likely at some point revamp the design, which would be a lot of work, but for now it remains as it gets the job done.

Because the Homepage is so busy, it’s easy to overlook things on there. For example, you might have missed that the 10 most recent blog posts can be accessed from it. Or that if you keep scrolling down, there’s an option to “Follow by Email” or even search the website. Because the Blog is so clean, it’s easy to miss much of the available material. The point of this article is to shed some light on how to navigate this website so that you don’t miss anything. There’s much more content than many might realize.

Specifically, I want to talk about the Menus that some people might not even know exist. Before going into that, though, I want to mention that clicking on “Fuji X Weekly” over the camera (see the top picture in this article) will take you to the Homepage. No matter where you are, it’s easy to get back home. To the left and right of “Fuji X Weekly” at the top are what’s called Hamburger Menus. The top-left Hamburger Menu has three horizontal lines, and the top-right Hamburger Menu has four horizontal lines. The left menu will bring up a list of pages. The Homepage and the Blog are just two of 17 standalone pages on Fuji X Weekly. At the bottom is a search bar, which is helpful if you are searching for something specific. The right menu will bring up a list of recent blog posts, an archive of blog posts (you can browse through specific months, going all the way back to the beginning), and a search bar is on top. This is the easiest place to find specific articles, either by searching or browsing. The best way to think about it is: Pages are accessed via the left menu, Posts are accessed through the right menu.

Let’s talk briefly about those 17 standalone pages, accessed through the top-left menu.

The Homepage you already know. Next is About—there’s a short biography (and a link to an article that dives a little deeper into it), but most importantly there’s a “Contact Me” form, if you want to shoot me a message. Then there is the Blog, which, again, you already know. After that is the Creative Collective Corner, which is where you’ll find bonus articles for Creative Collective subscribers. Next is Development, which is simply a list of How-To and Photographic Advice type articles that I’ve published. The Film Simulation Recipes page is next. This is actually a redundant page that originally served a very different purpose. You see, for awhile all of the film simulation recipes were listed there, but then, as I made more-and-more, it just made more sense to separate them into different groups, and not all on one page. I didn’t want to delete the page because there were so many links to it. Now it serves as a launching platform (identical to what’s on the Homepage) to the different recipe groups. If you are not sure which sensor generation your camera has, there’s a list at the bottom of the page. After that is Film Simulation Reviews, which is a list of articles that demonstrate various recipes in different situations. Then there’s the Fuji X Weekly App page, which is everything you need to know about the App. The next six pages are where you’ll find all of the recipes: Bayer, GFX, X-Trans I, X-Trans II, X-Trans III, and X-Trans IV. After that is the Gear page, which is where you’ll find my camera and lens reviews. Next is SOOC Live, which is where you’ll find all of the SOOC episodes. Last but not least is the Video page, which is where you’ll find my YouTube videos.

All of that is accessed through that top-left menu!

The content in the top-right menu is more dynamic, and is always evolving as more articles are published. I want to mention one more time the search bar, which is such a great way to find things—especially if you are unsure where exactly it is located. If you can remember what the article was titled or about, the search feature can help you quickly find it.

Fuji X Weekly has been around for over four years, and I’ve published a lot of articles during that time. Most people come for the film simulation recipes, yet there’s lots of other great stuff to explore; however, it’s not always obvious what there is and where exactly it’s at on the website. The intention of this post is to help you find it. The top-left menu will take you to the various pages, the top-right menu will take you to various posts, and the “Fuji X Weekly” in-between will take you home.

FXW App: Filter by White Balance — How To Use This New Feature

The Fuji X Weekly App was updated just yesterday, and I want to discuss one of the new features that I think will be heavily used: Filter by White Balance! This feature is unlocked by becoming a Fuji X Weekly App Patron.

Filter by White Balance will be a game-changer for many of you. The most obvious use is for finding recipes that match the lighting conditions. Is it sunny? Find a recipe that uses the Daylight White Balance. Is it indoors in mixed lighting? Maybe Auto White Balance would be good. But there’s another way to use Filter by White Balance, which I’ll discuss below, that will make your Fujifilm experience even better!

If your Fujifilm camera is older than the X-Pro3, you cannot save White Balance Shift within the C1-C7 Custom Presets, and each time you change Presets, you have to remember to adjust the WB Shift. It can be a little annoying. However, for each White Balance type, the camera will remember one WB Shift, so if each of your C1-C7 presets uses a different White Balance type, when you switch Presets, you won’t have to adjust the WB Shift. Amazing!

Let’s take a more practical look at this. If you have a Fujifilm X-T3 (for example), we’ll Filter by Camera and select the camera. For the X-T3, you’ll have over 70 recipes to choose from!

Let’s select one recipe to be our C1 in the Custom Settings menu. We’re now going to Filter by White Balance, and tap Auto—there are nearly 40 recipes to choose from! If you find more than one that requires the same WB Shift—Classic Chrome and Velvia both use +1R & -1B, and Velvia v2 and Dramatic Monochrome both use 0R & 0B, just as a couple examples—you can actually use multiple recipes from this White Balance type, and potentially program more than just C1. For this example we’re going to pick just one, perhaps Eterna v3 (interestingly, Agfa Optima 200 shares this same shift, and could be used, too), to be our C1 preset.

For C2 we’re going to select Daylight. There are 12 options to choose from. Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Portra 400, and Kodak Gold 200 all share the same WB Shift, so, in theory, you could program all three of these into your Custom Settings presets. For this, let’s go with Kodak Tri-X 400 to be our C2.

Next, for C3, let’s select Kelvin. You have 15 to choose from. Let’s choose maybe Jeff Davenport Night.

For C4 we’ll go with the Fluorescent 1 White Balance. There are just two options, and we’ll select Kodak Vision3 250D.

It’s the same story for Fluorescent 2: there are only two options. We’ll choose Ektachrome E100G to be our C5 preset.

For C6 we’ll select Incandescent. There’s just one recipe: Eterna Bleach Bypass, so we’ll program that one in.

Lastly, we have C7, and for that we’ll select Shade. There are three options, and we’ll go with Porto 200.

Now we have our C1-C7 Custom Settings presets programmed! C1 is Eterna v3. C2 is Kodak Tri-X 400. C3 is Jeff Davenport Night. C4 is Kodak Vision3 250D. C5 is Ektachrome E100G. C6 is Eterna Bleach Bypass. And C7 is Porto 200. That’s a pretty good set! Since each preset uses a different White Balance type, you won’t have to adjust the WB Shift when you switch presets. For those White Balance types that don’t have very many options, such as Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, etc., if you didn’t like any of the choices, you could alternatively use two recipes that share both the same White Balance and WB Shift (such as the ones mentioned earlier).

You can come up with multiple combinations of these C1-C7 options, and keep track of them using the new colored Stars. Maybe use Green Stars for these seven recipes, and come up with another seven that can be used together and mark them with Blue Stars, and another seven that are marked with Purple Stars. Just an idea.

I hope this all makes sense. Filter by White Balance can be useful in more than one way. If your camera is older than the X-Pro3, this will make your Fujifilm experience more enjoyable, as you won’t have to remember to check the WB Shift each time you change presets. If you don’t have the Fuji X Weekly App, download it now. If you do have the App and it didn’t automatically update, be sure to visit the appropriate App Store and manually update it. If you are not a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, for the best App experience, consider becoming a Patron today!

Available Now: The Fuji X Weekly App Update!

The big Fuji X Weekly App update is available right now!

If your phone or tablet didn’t automatically update the App, be sure to manually update it right away. Depending on your device and how you have it configured, it’s possible that you might have to delete the App and reinstall, but most people shouldn’t have to do that in order to update it. Hopefully for most of you it happened automatically already, and you’re good to go. The App update is in both the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for iOS.

What’s in this “big” update? Plenty! Some of the things are for everyone, and some of the things are only for Fuji X Weekly App Patrons. Let’s talk about the improvements that are for everyone first, and then we will get to the good stuff that’s for Patrons.

View Sample Pictures Larger

Normal size pictures.
Tap to view pictures larger.

This is a pretty straightforward improvement: tap on a picture to view larger, and tap again to return to normal size. One request that I’ve received many times is the ability to enlarge the sample pictures in each recipe. Now you can! Of course, you can view them even larger (and see more of them) on the website—there’s a link at the bottom of each recipe.

Sort by A-Z, Z-A, Newest-to-Oldest, & Oldest-to-Newest

Before this update, you could only sort the recipes either alphabetically A-Z or chronologically Newest-to-Oldest. Now I’ve added Z-A or Oldest-to-Newest as options. If you know the name of the recipe and it begins on or after the letter N, sorting Z-A might make it quicker to locate. Or if you know that a recipe you are looking for was published awhile ago, sorting Oldest-to-Newest might make more sense. This should make it a little easier and quicker to locate what you are searching for.

Now, to the good stuff!

All of the improvements mentioned below are available for Fuji X Weekly App Patrons. The best App experienced is reserved for Patrons, so if you are not one, consider subscribing today! Simply tap the Gear icon in the App, and then select Become a Patron.

Filter by White Balance or Dynamic Range

There are two new Filter options: White Balance and Dynamic Range. Some users will benefit from Filter by Dynamic Range, but Filter by White Balance is huge! If your Fujifilm camera is older than the X-Pro3, you cannot save White Balance Shift within C1-C7 Custom Presets, and each time you change Presets, you have to remember to adjust the WB Shift. It can be a little annoying. However, for each White Balance type, the camera will remember one WB Shift, so if each of your C1-C7 presets uses a different White Balance type, when you switch Presets, you won’t have to adjust the WB Shift. For many, this is a game-changer!

Favorite with Colored Stars

One really great upgrade is Favoriting with colored Stars. Before, when you tapped the Star to Favorite a recipe, it came in one color (yellow). But now you can choose between five different colors: yellow, red, green, blue, and purple. The benefit of this is that you can use colored Stars to organize recipes. Maybe yellow represents the recipes currently loaded into your camera, red represents the recipes you want to try next, and green represents the ones you tried in the past and really liked. Or maybe yellow is your favorite portrait recipes, green your favorite landscape recipes, and blue your favorite street recipes. Use the colored Stars to categorize the recipes however is meaningful to you. This is a great organizational tool, and, for some, this makes the App a significantly better experience.

Blank Recipe Cards

If you’ve ever created your own film simulation recipe, or if you’ve found some elsewhere that you like (perhaps on the Fuji X Weekly Community Recipes page, such as AstiAmore in the example above), you can now add them to your App! A new feature is blank recipe cards that you fill out. You can even add your own pictures from your camera roll! At some point down the road the idea is that you’ll be able to export, import, and share these custom recipes; however, that ability isn’t in this update—with any luck it will come before summer. Several of you have asked for blank recipe cards, and now you have them! This is a great new feature that many of you will really appreciate.

There’s one other thing that I want to mention: if you tap the Gear icon in the top-left of the App and look way down at the bottom, you will see Shop The Latest Fujifilm Gear. These are affiliate links to B&H and Amazon. If you are shopping for some new gear and you happen to think about it, I’ll be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links. It’s a simple way to support Fuji X Weekly that doesn’t cost you anything.

Below are even more images of the new and improved Fuji X Weekly App!

I want to give a special thanks to Sahand Nayebaziz for all his hard work on this App update! Without him, not only would the App not be nearly as good as it is, but there wouldn’t be a Fuji X Weekly App at all. Thank you so much, Sahand!

Why I Love The Fujinon 35mm F/2

Chair & Pillow – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Ilford Delta Push Process

The Fujinon 35mm f/2 was once my most-used lens. It was what you would typically see attached to my Fujifilm X-T30, or sometimes my Fujifilm X-T1. There’s a lot to love about this lens, but I don’t use it nearly as often as I once did, and it has absolutely nothing to do with image quality.

You can read my full review of the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens here. I don’t want to rehash what I’ve already stated, but simply tell you why I love this lens (and also why I don’t use it much anymore).

The 35mm f/2 is a lovely little lens that’s super sharp, has nice bokeh, has a pretty good maximum aperture of f/2, is fast, small and lightweight. It captures wonderful pictures! There’s not much at all that can be said negatively about it. It’s a solid prime with a very useful focal length. It’s a great example of the Fujinon quality that Fujifilm has become known for, and I would recommend it to anyone.

If it’s all sunshine and lollipops, why don’t I use this lens much anymore? It has to do with the focal-length. Earlier this year I got the new Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, which has a full-frame-equivalent focal-length of 40.5mm—nearly “standard” (as the eyes see), and only barely wide-angle. The 35mm lens is 52.5mm full-frame-equivalent, which is also in the range of “standard,” but is a little telephoto. (For those wondering, roughly 30mm on a Fujifilm camera, or 45mm on full-frame, is neither telephoto nor wide-angle). So these two lenses—27mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2—are similar and in many ways redundant. The 27mm lens isn’t necessarily “better” but it is my preference because I like the focal-length just a little more. They’re both excellent options, but I only need one.

I do still use the 35mm f/2 sometimes. If I want just a little more reach, or if I need a little larger maximum aperture (such as for low-light photography), the 35mm lens is the one to grab. However, the number one reason why I choose it over the 27mm is because my wife often has the 27mm lens on her camera, so the 35mm—being a close second pick—is what I use on my camera instead. Of course, I have many other lenses to choose from, so sometimes I use the opportunity to try something completely different. In any event, I would be a little sad parting ways with the Fujinon 35mm f/2, but it wouldn’t really change much for me.

If you are looking for a standard prime lens that’s not too big or expensive and just captures wonderful pictures, the Fujinon 35mm f/2 is one to strongly consider. I like the 27mm f/2.8 just a little better, but the new one (with the aperture ring) is tough to find at the moment, so if you are impatient, this is an excellent alternative. The 35mm f/2 is such a good lens that it just seems “wrong” to give it a silver medal instead of gold, but when there are multiple options that are exceptional, things like that happen. Beside, you might prefer it over the 27mm, because you like the focal-length or larger aperture better. Maybe the Fujinon 35mm f/2 would suit your photography just a bit better.

Even though I don’t use it much anymore, I still love the Fujinon 35mm f/2, and would be plenty happy if it were the only lens I owned.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.
Fujinon 35mm f/2 (Black) B&H Amazon
Fujinon 35mm f/2 (Silver) B&H Amazon

Man in Red – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodacolor
Pigeons Over A Roof – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Mitchell Mesa – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodak Portra 160
Palm Tree Bees – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Bright Spikes – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Saguaro In The City – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400
Dramatic Desert Sky – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400
Dike Road – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Monochrome
Reflection on a Dirt Road – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm – “Dramatic Monochrome
Terrible Ford – Boulder City, NV – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Retro Gold Low Contrast

Purple Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Retro Gold Low Contrast”

Two days ago I published my new Retro Gold film simulation recipe, which is great for “golden hour” photography. That recipe has a lot of contrast in it—I stated in the article that it was similar to slide film or maybe push-processed negative film. A high-contrast recipe works great in situations that are low-contrast. Sometimes when the sun is low, the scenes you encounter aren’t low-contrast, but high contrast. In those cases, the Retro Gold recipe may not be the best choice. Thomas Schwab suggested that I should create a low-contrast version that’s better suited for high-contrast situations—that’s how this recipe, which I call Retro Gold Low Contrast, came to be.

This recipe has more of a color negative film look (Kodak Gold, maybe?). The color cast is perhaps similar to using an enhancing filter (and maybe a polarizer, too). Like the other recipe, this one isn’t intended to mimic any specific film, but it definitely has an analog aesthetic to it.

Yellow Leaf of Autumn – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Retro Gold Low Contrast”

Because this “Retro Gold Low Contrast” film simulation recipe uses Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, it’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. It might also be compatible with the newer GFX cameras, too, although I’m not certain of that. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -2
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Fluorescent 3 (“Cool White Fluorescent”), +4 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to -2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Retro Gold Low Contrast” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Cloudy Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cloudy Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dressed Warm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Vines up the Bark – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Long Yellow Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Country Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
November Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Orange Haze – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Orange Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Creative Collective 006: Blurry Bokeh Balls As Abstract Art

Bokeh Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Retro Gold” recipe

Bokeh is an often discussed aspect of picture quality. A lot of people use the term, but I don’t know how commonly it is understood. Bokeh is a misspelled Japanese word that means fuzziness. In photography, it is used to describe the out-of-focus portion of a photograph. Good bokeh simply means that the quality of the blurry part of an image is pleasant. Obviously what is “good” is subjective, as different people have different tastes. When there are bright points (such as lights) that are out-of-focus in a picture, the camera will render them as blurry orbs, which are sometimes called “bokeh orbs” or “bokeh balls” or “bokeh circles” (depending on who you ask). Sometimes when people discuss “bokeh” they’re specifically talking about these orbs and not the rest of the blurry part of the picture, even though technically all of it is bokeh, and not just the bokeh balls.

In this article we’re going to purposefully create blurry bokeh balls as abstract art. We’re going to do some things in the name of creativity that might seem photographically unusual or even outlandish.

Hold on tight, because things are about to get fuzzy!

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How To Use The Fuji X Weekly App (Videos)

I’ve been asked a few times recently to demonstrate through video how to use the Fuji X Weekly App. How do you get the most out of it? Some people are visual learners, and seeing it done makes much more sense than reading about it. If that’s you, this post is intended to help you.

I don’t currently have any videos that demonstrates this, as my two (below) only give a brief glimpse. They’re promotional videos and not how-to, although you can likely glean the gist of how it all works from them. I’m not really a “video guy” (just lightly dabble, I guess), so it’s not easy for me to whip something up real quick. However, I hope this article is helpful to you, as I share what is on YouTube regarding this. There are several great resources out there.

The SOOC series is a good starting point. For those who may not know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different film simulation recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

As a part of this, Nathalie and I discuss and even demonstrate aspects of the Fuji X Weekly App. So if you are trying to understand how to use the App and how to get the most out of it, you without a doubt want to watch these episodes! They’re quite long, so under each video I’ve put a time that you should skip ahead to if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

Skip to 48:43 & 1:06:30
Skip to 32:32
Skip to 23:58
Skip to 42:46 & 49:43
Skip to 21:00 & 29:20

Those SOOC episodes are great resources, and if you have the time I recommend watching them in their entirety. But if not, just skip ahead to those times under each video. Be sure to tune in on December 9th to catch Episode 06, as we will certainly discuss the App even more!

While I don’t have videos that show how to use the Fuji X Weekly App, other people have made some great videos that demonstrate how to do it! Yea! You’ll find these below—I’m sure they’ll be helpful to you.

Hopefully those above videos are great resources to you and will help you understand how to use the App. For those who prefer written words, check out these articles:

How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera
Fuji X Weekly App: Filtering by Camera or Sensor?
Why You Should Become A Fuji X Weekly App Patron
Current 10 FXW App Patron Early-Access Recipes
Sneak Peek At The Fuji X Weekly App Update

Fujifilm Deals

There are a few new Fujifilm deals that were announced today. A couple are worth noting, namely $400 off of the X-T3 and $1,500 off the GFX50R! If you’ve been considering getting into the GFX system, this might be your best opportunity. For those looking out for a deal (perhaps for holiday shopping), those Fujifilm items that are currently on sale can be found below.

Fujifilm X-T3 – Save $400 – B&H Amazon
Fujifilm X-T4 – Save $200 – B&H Amazon
Fujifilm X-T30 – Save $100 – B&H Amazon

Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 – Save $200 – B&H Amazon
Fujinon 50mm f/1 – Save $200 – B&H Amazon

GFX50R – Save $1,500 – B&H Amazon

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

Creative Collective 005: Are You A Better Photographer Than A Middle Schooler? — Photography Challenge

Jonathan capturing pictures for his middle school art project.

Do you remember the television gameshow hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy called Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? If not, the premise was pretty simple: answer questions from elementary school textbooks, with the most difficult questions taken from the fifth grade. Actual fifth grade students were on hand to offer help if the contestants should need it (and they always did). It turns out that most adults don’t remember the things they learned in elementary school—only two people ever won the million dollar grand prize. Those who lost had to admit on camera that they were not smarter than a fifth grader.

My 12-year-old son, Jon, is taking an art class in school, and one unit of this class is on photography. A project that he had to complete for this was to capture 10 photographs, each using a different and specific element of art. I let Jon use my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached. I did this same project right along side him, and I used a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached. Were my pictures going to be better than a middle schooler’s? How about you—are your pictures better than a middle schooler’s?

Let’s do this challenge together! There’s no prize, but it will be fun.

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Why I Love The Fujinon 27mm F/2.8

As I was getting ready to write this article, I was looking around my gear cabinet for this lens and I couldn’t locate it. When I did find it, the lens was attached to my wife’s X-T4! It turns out that the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR is her favorite lens. It seems that whenever I want to use it, the lens is attached to her camera. This is the only lens that we fight over.

That first paragraph could be the entirety of this article. It says everything that you need to know (although my full review of the 27mm f/2.8 lens can be read here). If there could only be one lens in our household, it would be this one! But why? What makes this lens special?

The technical specs for this lens don’t stand out. A maximum aperture of f/2.8 isn’t eye-popping. The stats seem kind of ho-hum—in fact, that is why I hesitated to buy this lens in the first place. But stats don’t tell the whole story. What’s most important are the pictures, and the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR captures wonderful photographs!

Why does this lens capture such good images? It’s the sharpness, the micro-contrast, and the bokeh, which are all excellent. Perhaps, above all that, it’s the very useful focal-length, as 27mm is full-frame-equivalent to 40.5mm, which is pretty close to “normal” and very similar to what the eyes see. You can use this focal-length for most genres of photography. Useful and excellent—that’s the best summery of why I (we, actually) love this lens so much.

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with Positive Film

This is speaking nothing of the compact-size and lightweightness (I don’t think that’s a word) of this pancake lens, which makes it a joy to carry. Your gear is better when it doesn’t get in the way of itself, and this one—the smallest lens in the Fujinon lineup—certainly stays out of the way.

Ask anyone who owns this lens (or even the original 27mm f/2.8, which is optically identical), and they’ll tell you that it’s one of their favorites. On paper it shouldn’t be, but it is, because “on paper” is much different than real world use. The Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR is an easy lens to recommend to anyone. However, if there’s one issue, it’s that this lens is really difficult to find right now, so if you are shopping for it, I wish you the best of luck.

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

Buy the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Scanned Superia
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Fujicolor C200
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with AgfaChrome RS 100
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Super HG Astia
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Fujicolor Super HG v2

Why I Love the Fujinon 90mm f/2

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

One of my absolute favorite lenses is the Fujinon 90mm f/2! It’s super sharp, plenty bright, great bokeh, and just lovely image quality. Technically speaking, the lens is near perfection, and practically speaking, it does nothing but produce lovely pictures. You can read my full review of the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens here. I don’t want to rehash what I’ve already said, but instead convey why this is one of my absolute favorite lenses.

I purchased my Fujinon 90mm f/2 about three years ago. I had read that it was one of Fujifilm’s best portrait lenses, and I was going to be doing some portrait photography, so I bought it for that purpose. I had intended to sell it afterwards, but after I used it there was no way that I was going to sell it—it was love at first click! All of the great things that I read about it turned out to be completely true.

90mm is full-frame-equivalent to 135mm, which once was a very common focal-length, but it’s not really in vogue anymore. It’s not quite long enough for sports and wildlife photographers, and it’s too long for a lot of other purposes. Even portrait photographers might prefer a shorter focal-length with a larger maximum aperture. 135mm can be a bit challenging to use, but also very rewarding.

Robert Capa coined the phrase, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Robert probably wasn’t advocating the use of longer lenses, but actually taking a few steps closer; however, the Fujinon 90mm lens allows you to get closer without actually getting closer. It forces you to remove unnecessary elements from the frame, because they simply won’t fit—you can’t get it all in, so you have to be more purposeful with what you do and don’t include. That’s the challenge, but better pictures are the reward.

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — Photo by Amanda Roesch

When Fujifilm introduced the 90mm f/2 in 2015, they likely had in mind that it would be popular among portrait photographers, and for sure it is! But I’m not a portrait photographer—at least not usually. While the lens is optimized for portrait photography, it is great for still-life, nature, urban, and many other circumstances. I use it most frequently for landscape photography.

The only negative comment that I have to say against the Fujinon 90mm f/2 is that it is a little hefty. It balances better on a camera like the X-T4 than X-E4, but I still use it frequently on smaller bodies. It’s not comfortable to carry around all day long. Aside from that, the 90mm lens is the epitome of the Fujinon quality that Fujifilm is renown for. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with the images captured through this glass.

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — Photo by Amanda Roesch

The Fujinon 90mm f/2 can be challenging to use because of its focal-length, but if you take on that challenge you will be rewarded with wonderful photographs. That’s why I love it! If you are not a portrait photographer, this lens might not be on your radar, but it is worth owning anyway, as it is useful in many circumstances, and not just portraits. If you are a portrait photographer, this should be one of your top considerations. It retails for $950.

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

Buy the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200”

FUJIFILM GFX 2021 Challenge Grant Program

I got an email from Fujifilm, detailing a new program called GFX 2021 Challenge Grant Program. This is how they describe it:

The GFX Challenge Grant Program, sponsored by FUJIFILM, is a grant program that awards 5 Global Grant Award and 10 Regional Grant Award to help aspiring creatives bring their imaging projects to life. It is designed to nurture and develop the skills of emerging/promising content creators, giving them the opportunity to create content on topics that have significant meaning to them, while gaining experience using FUJIFILM GFX System gear. Proposed projects may be submitted as still photography or in a movie format. At the conclusion of the production period in August 2022, the award recipients’ final content will be showcased on the website. 

This video explains it a little more:

Good luck to any of you who might participate in this! Click here for all of the details.

Creative Collective 003: Double Exposure Art — A Simple Method

In-camera double exposure using Fujifilm X-E4 & Ferrania Solaris FG 400 recipe.

I love double exposure photography! If done right, you can cleverly create exceptionally artful pictures. But how do you do it on your Fujifilm camera? What are some easy techniques that give good results? In this article I’ll discuss this topic in detail and provide some useful tips to help you make your own artistic double-exposure photographs.

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See also: The Creative Collect Corner

Fuji X Weekly will be Live with Fujifilm Today!

I am the special guest today on Fujifilm’s Live Weekly Tech Webinar! If you have some free time today at 5PM Eastern, 2PM Pacific, please join us as we “talk shop” about Fujifilm cameras and settings. They describe the program as informal yet informative nerdiness for your photographic soul. If you are interested, click here for more information. I hope to see you in a few hours!

If the terms “analog” or “SOOC” make your ears perk up, you’ve found the right edition of Tech Talk Weekly Webinar. This week the Fujifilm tech team is joined by Ritchie Roesch of Fuji X Weekly. If you aren’t familiar check out the website or find the app available on Android and IOS. Join us to hear about this awesome community based project, built around Fujifilm cameras and designed to allow for some amazing in camera creativity. Bring your camera, your questions, and join us for this informal yet informative photo nerd session.

Best Fujifilm Cameras For Beginners

If you are looking for your first Fujifilm camera, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. Perhaps this will be your first “serious” camera. Or maybe you’ve had a different brand of camera for awhile, but you don’t use it all of the time, and you’re not all that experienced with it. It could be that you’re interested in a Fujifilm camera because you want to try my film simulation recipes. This article is intended to help you with your buying decision.

I’m making a few assumptions with this post: you’re in the market for a new camera, you want a camera that’s easy-to-use yet you can grow with, and you’re on a limited budget. Maybe those assumptions are incorrect for you, but I bet they’re true for many of the people who this article was intended for. My hope is that this post will give you some clarity.

So let’s look at a few Fujifilm cameras!

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-S10

The X-S10 is a mid-range mirrorless offering from Fujifilm that’s great for both still photography and video. It doesn’t have all the typical retro stylings and controls that most Fujifilm cameras are known for, but if you have some experience (even if just a little) shooting DSLRs or mirrorless cameras from other brands, this camera will likely feel more natural to you, and the learning curve will be just a little easier. It’s an extraordinarily capable model, and will keep up with you as you become a better photographer. If you are looking for the best budget Fujifilm camera for video, look no further, as the video-centric X-S10 is well-regarded for it’s cinematic capabilities. The camera retails body-only for $1,000, or $1,500 bundled with the Fujinon 16-80mm lens.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-S10 camera if:
– You have some experience with a different brand and want the easiest transition to Fujifilm.
– You will be doing a lot of videography.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-S10 camera if:
– You want the full Fujifilm retro experience.
– You are on a tight budget.

Buy the Fujifilm X-S10 here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-T30

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a great retro-styled mid-range mirrorless camera, but it is a couple years old now. Despite having the same X-Trans IV sensor and processor as all of the other models in this list, it is more like a previous generation camera. Don’t get me wrong: the X-T30 is an excellent option. I have this camera and use it frequently (you can read my review of the X-T30 here). Of all the cameras in this list, the X-T30 is the one I recommend the least, but I do still recommend it. It’s a solid option for both stills and video, but it is beginning to feel slightly dated. The camera retails body-only for $900, or $1,300 bundled with the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens or Fujinon 18-55mm lens; however, it might be possible to find it discounted.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-T30 camera if:
– You like the retro-styling.
– You can find it on sale.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-T30 camera if:
– Having the latest and greatest is important to you.
– You’ll be primarily using it for video.

Buy the Fujifilm X-T30 here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-T30 II

The Fujifilm X-T30 II is a minor update to the X-T30, but if you plan to use film simulation recipes and/or use the camera for video, the new model has some important features that make it worth choosing. The X-T30 and X-T30 II share the same sensor and processor, but are basically two different camera generations. Not surprising, the new version is better. The camera retails body-only for $900, or $1,000 bundled with the Fujinon 15-45mm lens, and $1,300 bundled with the Fujinon 18-55mm lens; however, the X-T30 II isn’t out just yet, but it is available for preorder.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-T30 II camera if:
– You want the best mid-range retro-styled Fujifilm model.
– You will be doing both still photography and videography.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-T30 II camera if:
– You need a camera right away.
– You can find the original X-T30 on sale for significantly cheaper.

Buy the Fujifilm X-T30 II here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm doesn’t currently have any low-budget entry-level models—the Bayer-sensor cameras, which serve this purpose, have all been discontinued, at least for now—so the X-E4 currently sits at the bottom of the roster, but, make no mistake, this is a mid-tier camera, similar to the ones above, and not low-end. While the X-E4 sits at the bottom, it is actually my top recommendation, with one exceptions: If you will be doing a lot of video, the X-E4 has some limitations that the X-T30 II and (especially) the X-S10 do not. Otherwise, my best suggestion for those in the market for their first Fujifilm camera is the X-E4. The camera isn’t perfect (you can read my review of the X-E4 here), and perhaps Fujifilm went slightly too minimalistic with it, but it is a pretty darn good option, and an excellent choice for someone wanting an uncomplicated camera that will grow with them as they become better and more experienced. The X-E4 retails body-only for $850, or $1,050 when bundled with the Fujinon 27mm lens.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-E4 camera if:
– You want the cheapest mid-range retro-styled Fujifilm model.
– You want an uncomplicated option.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-E4 camera if:
– You will be primarily using it for video.
– You think you’ll want a lot of programable buttons and dials.

Buy the Fujifilm X-E4 here:
B&H Amazon

Additional Thoughts

Obviously, if this will be your first Fujifilm camera and you are on a tight budget, you are going to need a lens—a body-only option won’t likely be your best bet, as you will want a lens bundle. Unfortunately, the X-T30 II bundled with the 15-45mm is the only option if you don’t want to spend more than $1,000. The 15-45mm lens is decent enough for a cheap zoom, but there’s a reason it only costs $100 (when bundled). Also, the X-T30 II isn’t out yet, although you can preorder it if you don’t mind waiting. Your next best bet is the X-E4 bundled with the (excellent) 27mm f/2.8, which is $1,050. The rest of the bundles are $1,300-$1,500, which very well might be above your budget.

If these prices are outside of what you can afford, you might consider a used camera, perhaps an X-Trans II or X-Trans III model. Something like the X-T1, X100F, X-E3, X-T20, or a number of other older cameras are good options. The used route is a good way to get into the system without breaking the bank.

If, by chance, you can afford a $1,400 camera, I have one more recommendation for you.

Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is my “desert island” model—if I could only have one camera, it would be this! I love mine (you can read my review of the X100V here), as it’s such an excellent camera. The X100V has a fixed lens, so you don’t need to go out and buy one, although the lack of interchangeable capability is a limitation you’ll have to consider carefully. Of all of the cameras in this list, the X100V would be considered the most “premium” of the group. The camera retails for $1,400.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X100V camera if:
– You want the most enjoyable Fujifilm experience.
– You want a compact option.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X100V camera if:
– You have a limited budget.
– You don’t think you’d like the limitation of a fixed lens.

Buy the Fujifilm X100V here:
B&H Amazon

Creative Collective 002: When Film Simulation Bracket Is Actually Useful

All Fujifilm X cameras have a feature called Film Simulation Bracket. Select three different film simulations, and the camera will process each exposure as three different images using whichever film simulations you selected. Unfortunately, with Film Simulation Bracket, you cannot change any other parameter, only the film simulation. This means that the camera will not apply three different film simulation recipes. When Fujifilm designed this feature, I’m sure that they were unaware of how people would be using their cameras, and Film Simulation Bracket definitely demonstrates that. Instead of what it is, it should be Custom Preset Bracket—you pick three different C1-C7 presets, and the camera will generate an image using each with every exposure. That would be amazing! But, sadly, that’s not an option. I’ve never really liked or used Film Simulation Bracket until recently, and I discovered that it can sometimes be a useful tool.

In this article we will look at what Film Simulation Bracket is, how to use it, and when it is a useful feature.

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Creative Collective 001: Stacking Diffusion Filters

In my article No Edit Photography: 7 Tips To Get The Film Look From Your Digital Photos, I suggested that you should sometimes use diffusion filters (Tip 3) in order to better achieve an analog aesthetic. In that article I stated, “You want the effect to be subtle.” I think that’s generally good advice, as in most circumstances subtleness will get you the best results. But what happens when you ignore the “rules” and get crazy? What happens when you use multiple diffusion filters together in order to get a bold effect? This article will explore those questions, and hopefully it will inspire you to do your own experiments with diffusion filters.

Ready to get crazy?

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I Love Getting Analog Looks SOOC

Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the Fujicolor Pro 400H recipe.

I love getting an analog aesthetic right out of camera! Fujifilm X cameras offer many great tools to get film-like results straight-out-of-camera without the need to edit. By adjusting the JPEG parameters, you can create various looks that I call film simulation recipes—I have published nearly 200 of them! These settings save you time, simplify the photographic process, and make capturing pictures even more enjoyable.

“By making it possible for the photographer to observe his work and his subject simultaneously,” wrote Edwin H. Land, co-founder of Polaroid, “and by removing most of the manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph, it is hoped that many of the satisfactions of working in the early arts can be brought to a new group of photographers.”

Ansel Adams called it One-Step Photography, and added, “The effect of one-step processing on both amateur and professional creative photography has been revolutionary. As with all art forms, we must accept the limitations of the medium as well as revel in the advantages.”

Land and Adams were specifically talking about Polaroid pictures, but I think it applies similarly to Fujifilm X cameras and film simulation recipes. The “manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph” have been removed! Now you just have to decide which recipe you want to use, like picking which film to load, and start creating, without worrying about how you’re going to later manipulate the pictures, because the straight-out-of-camera pictures are pretty darn good, and don’t require manipulation. Sure, edit if you want—there’s nothing wrong with that—but you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Ansel Adams called it “revolutionary” and said to “revel in the advantages.” There’s freedom in this.

All of the pictures in this article are unedited (except for perhaps some minor cropping) straight-out-of-camera JPEGs that I recently captured using a Fujifilm X camera and a film simulation recipe.

Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe.
Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the AgfaColor RS 100 recipe.
Captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 using the Kodacolor VR recipe.
Captured using a Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujicolor Superia 1600 recipe.