Five Fujifilm X-T5 AI AWB Workarounds

Yesterday I stated that I don’t like the inconsistent results from the new AI Auto White Balance found on the Fujifilm X-T5 and the other X-Trans V cameras. This isn’t a problem for most people, I don’t think; however, if you are a wedding or event photographer (or someone who needs consistent rendering over a series of pictures), if you use Film Simulation Recipes and rely on the out-of-camera JPEGs, and if you commonly use Auto White Balance, this is an issue you are likely to encounter, and you will surely be frustrated by it.

For those who are looking for a workaround to this problem, I want to offer you five potential solutions that might be helpful. None are perfect, so I hope that Fujifilm addresses this with a firmware update in the near future, but in the meantime perhaps one of these will be at least ok for you.

1. Use a Film Simulation Recipe that doesn’t use AWB yet matches the lighting conditions. For example, if you will be photographing indoors under artificial light, instead of using AWB, try Serr’s 500T (which uses a specific Kelvin temperature) or CineStill 800T (which uses Fluorescent 3). While AWB recipes are easy to like because of their versatility (Jack-of-all-trades), Auto White Balance won’t always deliver the best results. You’ll have to figure which recipe might be most appropriate for whatever it is that you are photographing, and there could only be one or two that will really work well; however, if you can match the recipe with the scene and situation, that’s when you’ll get the best outcome.

2. Use Custom White Balance. Instead of using Auto White Balance, take a custom white balance measurement in each lighting condition that you encounter. Your camera has three Custom White Balance banks, so you can take a measurement in up to three different situations at the beginning, and just switch between the three banks as you move throughout the event. For example, Custom 1 could be for outdoors, Custom 2 could be for the reception, and Custom 3 could be for the dressing room. If the light changes significantly due to (for example) the sun’s position in the sky or cloud coverage, you might have to remeasure at various times. You’ll have to remember to switch to the appropriate Custom White Balance bank as the light situation changes.

3. Use Auto White Balance Lock (AWB-L). This feature allows you to lock onto a specific white balance for as long as you keep it locked. To do this, first, while in the Shooting Mode (not Playback), press and hold the Disp/Back button until the Bluetooth & Function (Fn) Setting Menu appears. Pick an Fn button (whichever one you like, as long as it isn’t a touchscreen gesture) to customize, and set it to AWB-L. Next, open the Wrench Menu subset, click Button/Dial Setting, select AWB-Lock Mode, and set it to AWB On/Off Switch. Now, when you think AWB is producing a good white balance for the situation, simply press the Fn button you chose to enable AWB-L, and the camera will keep that white balance until you press the button again to disable it. Don’t forget to disable AWB-L when you encounter different lighting.

4. Program the same Film Simulation Recipe into several C1-C7 Custom Presets, but (for example) set the white balance to Daylight (for outdoors) on one, maybe Fluorescent 3 (for indoors) on another, and some other white balance (for another light you expect to encounter) on another. Definitely check the results at the very beginning to make sure it all looks good (and adjust if necessary) before photographing the whole event this way. You’ll have to remember to change to the correct C1-C7 preset as the light situation changes.

5. Take your chances with AWB. If you shoot RAW+JPEG, even if you have no intentions of editing the RAW files, you can reprocess the pictures in-camera or with X RAW Studio if, by chance, a crucial exposure has a weird color cast. You can simply adjust the white balance to be closer to the others, or apply a B&W recipe (such as Kodak Tri-X 400) and call it being creative.

Why I Don’t Like the New AI AWB on the Fujifilm X-T5

Fujifilm used “deep-learning AI Technology” to improve Auto White Balance on the X-T5 (or, more accurately, on X-Trans V cameras—not just the X-T5). According to the promotional statement, the camera is able to more accurately identify warm tints, and adjust to compensate for that when using Auto White Balance. Sounds impressive, right?

When I first learned about this, I was a little concerned that the new Auto White Balance would affect Film Simulation Recipes that use AWB. So I took a few test shots with the X-T5 and an X-Trans IV model side-by-side to compare, and I didn’t notice any difference between the two regarding white balance. It looked the same to me. But now that I’ve used the X-T5 a little longer, I do, in fact, at times notice something that I initially overlooked.

In the banner above, which comes from Fujifilm’s promo materiel for the X-T5 (even though the X-H2 has this same feature, it wasn’t promoted with that camera), you can see the “conventional model” vs the X-T5 AWB rendering in identical light. I assume that the so-called conventional model wasn’t a Sony or Canon, but an X-T4 (or other X-Trans IV camera). I personally prefer the more golden rendering of the “conventional” AWB to the copper rendering of the AI AWB, but each has their own tastes, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Perhaps you prefer the image on the right over the one on the left. It’s definitely subjective.

Something I have noticed—and I don’t like—is that this new rendering is inconsistent. From one exposure to the next, with identical lighting and identical settings, you can get something more like the “conventional model” rendering or something more like the AI AWB rendering. I’ve noticed it in artificial light, and I’ve noticed it in golden-hour/sunset situations. Two exposures, one right after the other—nothing’s changed—but the camera produces two very different tints when using AWB. Take a look at the two pictures below for an example of this. They were captured under identical light with identical settings, but they clearly aren’t identical. This was in a set of 32 pictures (of my son opening birthday gifts); 19 had the golden-ish cast and 13 had the copper-ish cast (these are frames nine and ten, for those wondering).

Obviously if you are a wedding or event photographer, and you rely on Auto White Balance, this could be a big issue for you, because you want consistent results. You don’t want the white balance to be bouncing back-and-forth between two tints. I don’t even want it for my son’s birthday pictures! If the camera chose one rendering in the situation, and consistently applied that to each image, whether gold or copper or something else entirely, that’s fine—it’s what is expected to happen—but bouncing between renderings is bad and should not happen. If you can’t trust AWB, and if it’s a tool that you commonly use, the X-T5 (or any of the X-Trans V models) might not be the camera for you.

Of course, for many people this might not be an issue whatsoever. Maybe you don’t even use AWB. Perhaps you do but you don’t care if the results are different between exposures. It could be that you’re going to adjust white balance in software later anyway, so what the camera records makes no difference to you. If that’s you, and none of this matters to you, great! But I do want to point it out for those who it might matter for, because they should know. It’s better to find out now before dropping so much money on something that’s just going to frustrate you.

I imagine that this is something Fujifilm could fix fairly easily via a firmware update. A simple tweak to the code could possibly make this behavior happen much less frequently. Fujifilm should address this issue. I hope in a few months from now this will all be a past problem that was fixed and forgotten. Or it could be the expected behavior that all Fujifilm X-Trans V cameras will have, and it will only be fixed by an even more improved AI-AWB on X-Trans VI models. Time will tell.

See also: Five Fujifilm X-T5 AI AWB Workarounds

Creative Collective 031: Comparing 10 Recipes For Indoor Photography — Part 1

Sunlit Table Corner – Avondale, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Royal Gold 400”

You might have a favorite Film Simulation Recipe, but when the light changes you’re disappointed with the results. This is a pretty common problem, and not unique to Fujifilm or even a new issue to photography. This happens because many of my recipes are modeled after or are inspired by analog film, and this is a long-time film problem.

With a few rare exceptions, film is either daylight balanced (usually around 5500K) or tungsten balanced (typically 3200K)—one for use in daylight, and the other for use in artificial light. If you encountered light outside of the temperature that the film was intended to be shot in, you would either accept the results or use a color correction filter (described in this article) to fix the imbalance. Many Film Simulation Recipes have this same issue: they’re intended to be used in a specific light condition, and outside of that they might not produce the best results.

CocoLove – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Serr’s 500T”

When shooting film, your best option is to use the correct film for the situation; with recipes, I think this is also the best solution. Sometimes this isn’t practical, and so you could use color correction filters (both with film and film simulations), although carrying around a bag full of filters isn’t an especially convenient option. With digital, you have an added solution: adjust the white balance, which is essentially the digital equivalent of using color correction filters. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the first option, which is selecting a Film Simulation Recipe that does well in the light situation that you find yourself shooting in.

With over 250 Film Simulation Recipes on this website (and the Fuji X Weekly App), it can be hard to know which ones perform best in which light. In this article (and hopefully additional articles in the future), we’re going to compare how 10 recipes perform in various light conditions. It should be enlightening, and hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of when to use which recipes.

Same picture, different recipes

Before we jump into it, I think it’s important to briefly discuss Kelvin. The measurement of the temperature (warm or cold) of light is called Kelvin, and the scale is pretty large, ranging from 0 to 20000—the lower the number, the warmer the light, and the higher the number, the cooler the light. The typical temperature of a candle flame is 1900K. Artificial light (incandescent lights, halogen bulbs, fluorescent tubes, etc.) is usually between 2800K and 4300K, depending on the specific bulbs being used. “Golden Hour” light (sunrise and sunset) is around 3500K. Morning and afternoon sunlight (outside of golden hour) is typically between 4500K and 5000K, while midday sunlight is typically 5600K. Overcast sky often ranges from 6000K to 9000K, and shade can be 8000K to 10000K. Your camera’s white balance is designed to “balance” these temperatures so that white is white—a warm light will need a cool white balance, and a cool light will need a warm white balance.

With that prerequisite understanding, let’s take a look at how 10 different Film Simulation Recipes handle various Kelvin temperature light conditions.

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Film Simulation Recipes — Why Pictures Are Too Yellow & How To Fix It

Kodacolor film simulation recipe in artificial light.

I frequently get asked something to the effect of, “When I use this film simulation recipe indoors, my pictures are too yellow—how do I fix it?” I have the answer—or really answers, since there’s more than one way to tackle this common issue—but first I’ll explain why this happens. Let’s dive in!

With photographic film, with a few rare exceptions, you have two choices: Daylight Balanced and Tungsten Balanced. Daylight film is around 5500K and Tungsten film is around 3200K. If you use Daylight film indoors under artificial light you can get a strong yellow color cast, and if you use Tungsten film in sunny conditions you can get a strong blue color cast. Each film is intended for use under specific light conditions.

With digital cameras, you have so many Kelvin options to choose from, which can be fine-tuned very precisely to match the light no matter what it is. You can even let the camera do it for you with Auto White Balance. Many of my Film Simulation Recipes, especially the ones that are modeled after specific films, require specific White Balance settings, including a White Balance Shift. In the right light situations these recipes can look really good, but when the light is a mismatch for the recipe, you can get unpleasant results, such as a strong yellow color cast. It’s like using Daylight film indoors or Tungsten film outdoors.

With film, the solution is to use the right film type for the situation (such as Daylight outdoors and Tungsten indoors), and, when necessary, use Color Correction Filters (a.k.a Color Conversion Filters or Light Balancing Filters). These filters allow you to change the “white balance” to match the lighting conditions. Type 80 filters (a.k.a. Blue Filters or Cooling Filters) are for using Daylight film with artificial light. There are three of them—80A, 80B, 80C—depending on the artificial light that you are shooting in. Type 82 filters are similar—82A is meant for Daylight film in overly warm daylight while 82B is meant for Tungsten film in overly warm artificial light. Type 81 filters (a.k.a. Warming Filters) are for Daylight film in cool light. There are six of them—81, 81A, 81B, 81C, 81D, 81EF—depending on the coolness of the daylight that you are shooting in, and if a flash is used. Type 85 filters are warming filters meant for Tungsten film in daylight conditions. There are three of these—85, 85B, 85C—depending on the warmth of the daylight. There are other filters, too, like FL-B and FL-D for fluorescent light, and many more. Since you cannot change the “white balance” of the film, you use Color Correction Filters instead.

You can actually use these filters with your Fujifilm cameras. If, for example, you’re using the Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe, which requires a 5200K white balance, yet you are shooting in artificial light, you might select a Type 80 cooling filter to screw onto the end of your lens. This will work for film simulation recipes that don’t use Auto White Balance. It’s worth noting that the recipes which use AWB are the most versatile because it matters much less what the light situation is. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s easy to find these recipes—there are over 70—using Filter By White Balance. If you don’t already have it on your phone, go ahead and download the App for free (Android here, iOS here) and consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience! While using Color Correction Filters was a common solution in the film era, it’s very uncommon in the digital era, and most likely you don’t have these filters sitting around somewhere. Beside, it’s inconvenient to carry 15+ filters with you whenever you go out photographing. While these filters aren’t the most practical solution, it is the most film-like solution, so some of you might appreciate trying Color Correction Filters with your Fujifilm cameras.

The most practical solution is to select a recipe that has a white balance that matches the light you are shooting in. Some recipes are made for use in artificial light, such as Jeff Davenport Night, Ektachrome 320T, Fujicolor NPL 160 Tungsten, or one of the CineStill 800T recipes (here, here, here, here and here). Most recipes are more like Daylight film, and are intended for use in sunny conditions, so if it is daytime, select any of the non-nighttime recipes, which is the vast majority of them. If the light is mixed (or something other than daylight or artificial), using an Auto White Balance recipe is a simple solution.

Even though the light isn’t a good match for a particular recipe, you might want to use that recipe anyway, but you’re disappointed with the results because of the color cast. My best advice is to simply switch to Auto White Balance or take a Custom White Balance measurement. Set the camera to a white balance that will work with the light conditions. This is the digital equivalent of using a Color Correction Filter. It’s better to make a quick adjustment and get the results that you want than to stubbornly stick with something that’s not working for you. Don’t be afraid to “season to taste” the recipe to make it work for you.

When you find yourself in a situation where the film simulation recipe is producing a strong color cast that you don’t like, you have a few options. First, consider switching recipes to one that might work better for light situation, such as a Tungsten recipe or one that utilizes Auto White Balance. Second, if you don’t want to switch recipes, you can use a Color Correction Filter to “fix” the white balance. Third, if Color Correction Filters aren’t an option, you can simply switch the white balance to Auto or something that’s a better match for the light. There’s actually a fourth potential solution, which is to artificially light the scene, and have the Kelvin temperature of the light match (or compensate for) the white balance of the recipe, but for most people this isn’t going to be a particularly practical solution to the problem. Whichever option you decide on needs to be something that works well for you. Yellow pictures are a common outcome when using a film that is mismatched with the light, and also a common outcome when using a film simulation recipe that is mismatched with the light. There are several solutions, so try whichever one makes the most sense to you.

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

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!

About White Balance

This cross process look is made possible by a White Balance adjustment.

I get asked regularly about White Balance. My film simulation recipes require various White Balance adjustments, and sometimes, in different light situations, the results can be unusual, which can be good or bad, depending on what you are trying to achieve. So let’s discuss this, and figure out what you can do if the results aren’t what you want.

White Balance is the adjustment of color temperature (measured in Kelvin) to account for various light conditions, so that white objects appear white, and not yellow or blue or some other color. White Balance Shift is a tool to precisely fine-tune the White Balance. The intention of White Balance and White Balance Shift is to achieve a natural color balance that matches what the eye sees. But you can give your photographs whatever color balance you’d like—this is art; there are no rules.

Back when I shot film, I don’t remember hearing the term “white balance” spoken even once. There were two options: daylight film and tungsten film. The former was most common and was used in natural light situations, the the latter was less common and used in artificial light situations. I carried with me a warming filter and cooling filter to compensate for various light conditions, essentially to adjust the “white balance” when the light changed. You can actually still do this with digital photography, but the White Balance tools on your camera make it unnecessary to carry around warming and cooling filters.

Different film simulation recipes require different White Balance settings. Some use Auto, but many use Daylight or a specific Kelvin temperature or some other option. Most have a shift, as well. Often they are intended for natural light, and a few for artificial light, but when the light changes, the results can look strange sometimes. Occasionally that “strange” result might be something you really like, but often it’s probably not. When that happens, what can you do?

The White Balance in this picture is intended to produce good results at night.

I’ve said for a few years now that film simulation recipes can be seasoned to taste. This means that if you aren’t getting the look you want, don’t be afraid to adjust the parameters to achieve desired results. For White Balance, this might mean selecting something different than what the recipe calls for. Will this make it look more like the film that it’s based off of? Probably not, but if it gets you the look that you want, then that’s good, right? The next time you are in some light situation that’s giving you too warm or too cool results, see if simply selecting a different White Balance (maybe even simply using Auto White Balance) fixes the issue for you.

Another option is to use a different recipe. Some film simulation recipes are intended to work well in certain light conditions. Look for one that might be a better fit for the situation. If you read the articles and view the sample pictures, that might provide a clue of when a certain recipe will work well; however, it’ll probably take some trial and error to really figure out which recipes to use when.

Other than either adjusting the White Balance to something different than what the recipe calls for or selecting a different recipe altogether, your options are to use a warming or cooling filter like in the film days or to simply embrace the unusual results. There’s not a whole lot else that you can do. My advice is to consider beforehand if the recipe will be a good fit for the light; if it’s not but you still want to use it, either accept the results for what they are or adjust the White Balance to something that will give you the results that you want. Don’t be afraid to make an adjustment to the White Balance if that’s what the situation calls for.

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….

Fujifilm White Balance Shift: What It Is + How To Use It

White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +3 Red & +1 Blue. Fujicolor Superia 1600.

What is White Balance Shift and how do you use it on your Fujifilm camera? White Balance Shift is one of my favorite JPEG tools that Fujifilm has included on their cameras. It can have a big impact on the aesthetic of an image, and it’s a critical component of my Film Simulation Recipes. It’s one of those things that’s easy to overlook. In this article I’ll explain what White Balance Shift is and how to use it.

White Balance is the adjustment of color temperature (measured in Kelvin) to account for various light conditions, so that white objects appear white, and not yellow or blue or some other color. White Balance Shift is a tool to precisely fine-tune the White Balance. The intention of White Balance and White Balance Shift is to achieve a natural color balance that matches what the eye sees. But you can give your photographs whatever color balance you’d like—this is art; there are no rules.

How do you adjust White Balance Shift on your Fujifilm camera? It’s not immediately obvious, but quite easy once you know where it is. In your camera’s Menu select White Balance. Once in the White Balance Menu, arrow up or down to whichever White Balance you’d like to use, and then arrow right to adjust the White Balance Shift for that particular White Balance. Select OK to set.

Easy, right?

Now that you know how to adjust the White Balance Shift, let’s take a look at what it does to a photograph. The image below demonstrates the dramatic impact White Balance Shift can have on a picture:

Center: 0 Red & 0 Blue. Top-Left: -9 Red & +9 Blue. Top-Center: 0 Red & +9 Blue. Top-Right: +9 Red & +9 Blue. Center-Right: +9 Red & 0 Blue. Bottom-Right: +9 Red & -9 Blue. Bottom-Center: 0 Red & -9 Blue. Bottom-Left: -9 Red & -9 Blue. Center-Left: -9 Red & 0 Blue.

Those are examples of big White Balance Shifts, but what about subtle Shifts? Do they make a difference? Take a look at the picture below. The left image is without a Shift (0 Red & 0 Blue), and the right image is with a subtle Shift (+1 Red & -1 Blue). It’s not a huge change, but noticeable nonetheless.

Slide left and right to compare images.

Now let’s take a look at some less subtle White Balance Shifts and how it can change the aesthetic of a picture. The examples below are all Auto White Balance using various White Balance Shifts, which are prescribed in different Film Simulation Recipes. The specific Shifts and Recipes are listed under each picture.

Shift: +2 Red & -2 Blue. Recipe: Fujicolor Pro 400 Overexposed.
Shift: +2 Red & -4 Blue. Recipe: Vintage Kodachrome.
Shift: +5 Red & -6 Blue. Recipe: Eterna.
Shift: -3 Red & -8 Blue. Recipe: Cross Process.

As you can see, you can get many different color casts using White Balance Shift. In fact, Fujifilm gives you over 350 different options! You can get creative and mix a White Balance Shift with a White Balance that’s other than Auto. Below you’ll find some examples of this. The specific White Balance, Shift, and Recipe are located under each picture.

White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +2 Red & -5 Blue. Recipe: Kodachrome 64.
White Balance: Fluorescent 1 (Daylight Fluorescent). Shift: -3 Red & -1 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Vision3 250D.
White Balance: 6050K. Shift +3 Red & 0 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Ektar 100.
White Balance: 2650K. Shift: -1 Red & +4 Blue. Recipe: Jeff Davenport Night.

White Balance and White Balance Shift affect black-and-white pictures, too! You can manipulate how grey tones are rendered in an image using these tools. The picture below was captured using Acros+R. The version on the left has Auto White Balance and no Shift (0 Red & 0 Blue), while the one on the right has a White Balance of 4200K and a Shift of 0 Red & +9 Blue. Otherwise these two dramatically different images have identical settings.

Slide left and right to compare images.

Below are a few more examples of combining White Balance and White Balance Shift in black-and-white pictures. The specific White Balance, Shift, and Recipe are located under each picture.

White Balance: Auto. Shift: 0 Red & +9 Blue. Recipe: Monochrome Kodachrome.
White Balance: Daylight. Shift: +9 Red & -9 Blue. Recipe: Kodak Tri-X 400.
White Balance: 2750K. Shift: -5 Red & +5 Blue. Recipe: B&W Ifrared.

There’s one more application of White Balance Shift that I’d like to mention: Multiple Exposure photography. One example of White Balance Shift applied to Multiple Exposures, which is the first image below, is an exposure (the “main exposure”) made without a Shift, and then a second exposure of white paper or card-stock with a Shift applied. This gives the picture a faded color-cast aesthetic. Another example, which is the second picture below, is to capture two or more (for cameras capable of more than two) exposures, changing the Shift between exposures. This creates an abstract color rendering.

Shift: +9 Red & +9 Blue. Recipe: Faded Color.
Four exposures, each with a different Shift: +9 Red & -9 Blue; +9 Red & +9 Blue; -9 Red & -9 Blue; -9 Red & +9 Blue.

Most Fujifilm cameras do not have the ability to save White Balance Shifts within Custom Presets. Most of my Film Simulation Recipes require a Shift, yet you cannot save the Shift, so each time you change Recipes you must manually adjust the Shift. This is unfortunate, but thankfully Fujifilm has fixed this issue on the X100V (review here), X-Pro3 and X-T4! If you have one of those three cameras, you can save a White Balance Shift with each Custom Preset. As much as I love the new Clarity setting, Color Chrome Effect Blue, and the new Classic Negative film simulation, my absolute favorite new feature Fujifilm has added to their cameras is the ability to save White Balance Shifts. Thank you, Fujifilm!

White Balance Shift is an amazing tool on your Fujifilm camera! Found within the White Balance Menu, it allows you to fine-tune the color cast of your pictures. You can use this tool to customize your picture aesthetics. I use it extensively in my Film Simulation Recipes, both color and black-and-white, to achieve various looks. Without White Balance Shift many of my Recipes would not be possible. You can use it subtly or dramatically, with Auto White Balance or one of the other White Balance options.

Now you know what White Balance Shift is on your Fujifilm camera and how to use it. Now it’s time to get creative with it!

My White Balance Shift Solution

As you know, my film simulation recipes rely heavily on white balance shifts. Unfortunately, you cannot save white balance shifts with custom presets. You can only save one white balance shift for each white balance type in the White Balance Menu. In other words, whatever shift you set for auto white balance will be applied to all custom presets that use auto white balance. If all of your C1-C7 presets in the Q menu use the same white balance, one white balance shift will be applied to all of them. For many people, this means that whenever you change recipes you’re also having to adjust the white balance shift, which is a pain sometimes.

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 doesn’t have this problem from what I’ve heard. You can save unique white balance shifts with each preset in the Q menu. You can set it and forget it! There’s a decent chance that this ability will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update at some point, but right now the X-Pro3 is the only camera that can do this. There’s an outside chance that X-Trans III cameras could also be given this feature, but most likely not. Don’t fret! I do have a solution. There’s a simple work-around that might make things much easier for you.

The issue is that only one white balance shift can be saved per white balance, but in that statement lies the answer! What you need are presets that use different white balances. Or you can have presets that use the same white balance and the same white balance shift. What do I mean?

So you have custom slots C1 through C7, right? Maybe you use all seven of them for color. Or maybe you set aside one or two for black-and-white, in which case white balance and white balance shift may or may not be important. For each color preset you simply use a film simulation recipe with a different white balance. If each recipe uses a different white balance, then you can set the shift for that recipe and you’re good to go. It will always be set to that unless you decided to change it.


For example, you could have Kodachrome II, which uses auto white balance, set to C1, Kodacolor, which uses a kelvin white balance, set to C2, Kodachrome 64, which uses daylight white balance, set to C3, Lomography Color 100, which uses cloudy/shade white balance, set to C4, Color Negative, which uses fluorescent 1 white balance, set to C5, Fujichrome Sensia, which uses flurescent 2 white balance, set to C6, and Portra 400, which uses a custom white balance, set to C7. If you did that, since each recipe uses a different white balance, you wouldn’t have to adjust the white balance shift when going between different presets. Also, there a few recipes that share the same white balance and white balance shift as others, such as Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW, so you could use both of those and never have to change the shift.

To make things easy for you, I’ve organized the color film simulation recipes by white balance. Choose one from each until all of your available presets are filled. It’s pretty simple. Unfortunately, you might not be able to use all of your favorite recipes, depending on exactly what the white balance and white balance shifts are. But I hope that you find enough options you like to fill your available presets.

Film Simulation Recipes that use AWB
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin
Film Simulation Recipes that use other White Balances

Since I set up my custom presets this way on my camera, it’s made a world of difference to me. It’s so much easier moving between recipes! The user experience has been greatly improved. I hope that you find this just as useful as I did.

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Film Simulation Recipes That Use Other White Balances


I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use a white balance other than auto or kelvin. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use a white balance other than auto or kelvin. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.


Kodachrome 64 (+2R, -5B)


Lomography Color 100 (-3R, +7B)

Fluorescent 1:

Color Negative (-2R, +4B)

Fluorescent 2:

Fujichrome Sensia 100 (-1R, -3B)


Portra 400 (+2R, -5B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes that use Auto White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin

Film Simulation Recipes That Use Kelvin White Balance


I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use a white balance with a specific Kelvin temperature. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use a kelvin white balance. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.

Kodacolor (-1R, -4B)
Eterna Low-Contrast 
(-3R, +3B)
Elite Chrome 200 (+4R, -8B)
Urban Vintage Chrome (-1R, -3B)
Fujicolor 100 Industrial (+8R, -8B)
Redscle (+9R, 0B)
Cinestill 800T (no shift)
“Classic Negative” (-2R, +7B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes That Use Auto White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes That Use Other White Balances

Film Simulation Recipes That Use Auto White Balance

Fujifilm Film Simulation Blog

I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use auto white balance. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use auto white balance. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.

X-T30 Eterna (+5R, -5B)
Expired Eterna
(+5R, +5B)
Faded Color
(shift variable)
“Warm Contrast”
(-2R, -4B)
X-T30 Velvia
(+1R, -1B)
X100F Velvia 
(+1R, -1B)
Classic Chrome (+1R, -1B)
Dramatic Classic Chrome (+1R, -1B)
(no shift)
PRO Neg. Hi (no shift)
Vintage Kodachrome (+2R, -4B)
Fujicolor Superia 800 
(-2R, -3B)
(+2R, +2B)
Ektar 100 
(+3R, -2B)
Cross Process 
(-3R, -8B)
Kodachrome II 
(+3R, -4B)
Ektachrome 100SW (+3R, -4B)
Vintage Agfacolor
(-3R, -4B)
Aged Color 
(+5R, -3B)
Fujicolor Pro 400H 
(+2R, +1B)
Agfa Optima 200 
(-1R, -1B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes that use Other White Balances

Dear Fujifilm


I doubt that anyone with any position of influence within the Fujifilm corporation reads Fuji X Weekly, but I’m writing this open letter to Fujifilm on the off chance that someone who can enact change within the company will find and read this. There is one piece of feedback regarding Fujifilm cameras that I have received far more than anything else. By “far more” I mean probably 10-1 this one thing verses everything else combined. It’s a landslide! I feel that perhaps the only reason Fujifilm has not addressed it is because they are unaware that there is a big demand from their users for this thing.

What is this thing that I’m talking about? The ability to save white balance shifts with each custom preset in the Q menu. If you select Auto-White-Balance for each of your presets, whatever the one white balance shift that’s been selected is applied to every preset. But, if your presets are anything like my film simulation recipes, each one likely requires a different white balance shift. Every time that you change to a different custom setting, you have to also go into the menu and change the white balance shift. It adds extra steps and button presses. You should be able to save a unique white balance shift with each preset in the Q menu.


Please, Fujifilm, update your cameras to allow each custom preset to have a white balance shift saved with it. This would save your customers time and frustration and otherwise make using Fujifilm X cameras a more enjoyable experience. It’s a little thing, but it would be a big deal to a lot of people. It really doesn’t seem like it would take much effort to update the firmware to allow this. It should be a fairly simple software change that your programmers could handle with relative ease.

I really hope that someone at Fujifilm reads this and takes these words into consideration. I’ve been saying this for probably a year-and-a-half or more, and I’ve not been heard. Perhaps this open letter will be more visible. The reality is that this will likely be unseen by those who could bring about this change, so I’m not holding my breath. But it’s good that I do what I can do, which is use my voice on this blog, to make a long-shot plea to get this one issue fixed. Maybe, just maybe, it will work.

Using White Balance Shift For Black & White


Dramatic Sky Over The Wasatch Front – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted an article about using white balance shift to achieve different looks in color photographs. What you may not be aware of is that white balance shift can be used to adjust the look of black-and-white images, and it can sometimes be surprisingly dramatic how much it changes things. White balance shift is an unexpected tool that allows you to better achieve desired results in monochrome.

When you shift the white balance it changes how different colors are rendered, so it only makes sense that the grey interpretation of those colors would also be different. Some colors might appear as darker shades of grey and some as lighter. The tones shift, creating a slightly different rendering of the scene. It could be very subtle or it could be quite apparent, but indeed the monochrome interpretation has been altered.

Let’s take a look at the photo below. I reprocessed the same exposure using the RAW developer built into the Fujifilm X-T20, with each version having identical settings except for the white balance shift. I used the Acros+R Film Simulation for this image. As you can see, each adjustment changes the look of the image. For instance, the sky has some areas of bright white in the top version, which is the overall brightest picture, but not the bottom version, which is overall the darkest picture. The highlights on the mountain are handled a little differently in the top and bottom versions. The two middle versions fall in-between, and are only very subtly different from each other.


White balance shift: +9 Red & 0 Blue


White balance shift: 0 Red & -9 Blue


White balance shift: 0 Red & +9 Blue


White balance shift: -9 Red & 0 Blue

If I were to use Acros+G, the white balance shift would manipulate the image differently than what you see above. It still changes things, but not in the same way. That goes for Acros and Acros+Y, as well. It makes sense when you consider that Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G settings are designed to simulate the look of using colored filters on real black-and-white film. One must consider the color cast that is being applied to an image, and how the different Acros options will render that.

I’m still figuring out how to use this knowledge in actual real life situations. It’s one thing to apply it when redeveloping a RAW file, and another thing to use it in the field, applying it before the exposure. The latter option is where I’d like to be, but it will take a lot more practice. It’s certainly fun to play with! White balance shift is an interesting option for getting the grey tones more precisely where you want them to be in black and white photographs.

The Power of White Balance Shift

Truck Stop Cross Process – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm film simulation recipes often call for a white balance shift. A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that I’ve never explained what a white balance shift is, how it changes an image, and how to use it. Then last week a Fuji X Weekly reader asked if I would write an article on this topic, so I knew it was time to demonstrate what this is.

White balance is the Kelvin temperature of an image. There are different temperatures so that the image color matches the light in the scene. If the white balance temperature is too cool, your photograph will have a blue cast. If the white balance temperature is too warm, your photograph will have a yellow cast. Most people use auto white balance and let the camera figure it out, but you can set it manually. In fact, some photographers purposefully use a “wrong” white balance to make their images have a cool or warm feel. I could write a whole article explaining white balance, but what I want to talk about in this post is white balance shift, which is related but different.

Many cameras, including Fujifilm, have an option to customize the white balance by shifting the color cast. In fact, Fujifilm allows you to choose between over 300 different color casts! You can shift the colors quite subtlety or obviously. White balance shift is a great tool for creating a specific look, and that’s why I rely on it for creating my film simulation recipes.

Different color films had different color casts. Different films showed color differently, and, because of this, some films were better for landscapes and some were better for portraits. Some people preferred one film over another because of how it rendered images. Not every film is for everyone or every purpose, but one can create a variety of looks depending on which films they choose and how they process those films.

Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

White balance shift allows one to create a variety of different looks for different purposes and situations, much like one would choose different films for different looks and purposes. It’s simple to give a photograph an orange cast or green cast or blue cast, etc., etc., which will alter how the image renders colors, by using white balance shift. It’s possible to mimic film aesthetics or create something new using the tools that Fujifilm provides on their cameras.

When you change the color cast, you do a couple of different things to your pictures. The first is that you give your image feeling, either warm or cool. A warm image will portray happiness, like an inviting warm light inside a house at dusk. A cool image will portray sadness, like endless grey skies on a lonely winter day. You can change the emotional response from viewers by adjusting the color cast to either a warm or cool color. The side effect of adjusting the color cast is that it changes how different colors are rendered. Blues, reds, greens–every color–changes slightly to a new shade as one shifts the white balance. You may want to pick a certain color cast because of how it shifts the colors in an image.

I created the image above to demonstrate all of this. The middle picture has the white balance shift set directly in the middle: 0 red and 0 blue. Each of the other pictures show what happens when you pick the extremes of white balance shift. Starting at the top-center and moving clockwise around: 0 red & +9 blue, +9 red & +9 blue, +9 red & 0 blue, +9 red & -9 blue, 0 red & -9 blue, -9 red & -9 blue, -9 red & 0 blue, and -9 red & +9 blue. Normally you wouldn’t choose to adjust the white balance shift to the degrees shown here, but choose something a little more subtle instead. Typically you want it to be barely or at most moderately perceivable. However, there might be times that an image would benefit from a wild white balance shift. You have a lot of color cast options, which allows you to be as creative and crazy as you’d like.

White balance shift is a great tool for customizing the look of your photographs by changing the color cast. You can control the emotion and color shade by adding or subtracting blue and red. You can create looks that mimic classic film stock or you could invent something unique. Unfortunately you cannot save anymore than one white balance shift preset. I hope that someday Fujifilm will allow you to make many different ones that can be assigned to the quick recall presets, because white balance shift is a powerful tool that I use frequently.

Possible Workaround For Custom White Balance Shift


The one question that I’ve been asked the most, by far, since starting this blog last year is whether or not custom white balance shifts can be saved on the X100F. Some of my film simulation recipes, such as Vintage Kodachrome and Fujicolor Superia 800, require different white balance shifts. Auto-white-balance allows you the option to save one white balance shift that’s always on (as long as auto-white-balance is selected), but you can’t customize it for each set of custom settings.

What I’ve done, and it’s not convenient but it works for me, is simply remember what the shift is and adjust it whenever I want to use one of those film simulation recipes that require a shift. For example, I know that Vintage Kodachrome requires +2 Red and -4 Blue and that Fujicolor Superia 800 requires -2 Red and -3 Blue, so I manually make the white balance adjustment before making the exposure.

Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa has a different workaround, so I thought I’d share it. The X100F has the option to program three custom white balance settings. You can set the white balance shift to something different with each one. So C1 could be for Vintage Kodachrome, C2 could be for Fujicolor Superia, C3 could be for Classic Chrome and the auto-white-balance could have a white balance shift set for something else. You could have four different white balance shifts saved for different recipes that are all programmed for easy use.

The problem with this solution is that the custom white balance settings are not auto-white-balance. It’s a custom kelvin number based on a measurement by the camera. If the light changes you have to make a new measurement. If you use a grey card and don’t rely on auto-white-balance, Luis Costa’s workaround is a godsend and you should absolutely use it. If you rely on auto-white-balance, then it’s something that you may want to try, but you might find it to be just as much work as adjusting the white balance shift each time you change recipes.

Depending on how you use white balance on your X100F, this might be the thing you’ve been looking for, or it might be something to try and see if it works for you or not. I did give it a try myself and found it to be a good option if the lighting doesn’t change (for instance, shooting outdoors on a sunny day), but a little cumbersome for constantly changing light.

Another thought on how this might be helpful is that you could set a white balance shift in each of the custom white balance options so that you have a reminder of what exactly the shift should be for the different film simulations. You wouldn’t use custom white balance, but simply look at what you set the white balance shift to so that you can remember what to set the shift on your auto-white-balance each time you change recipes.

Hopefully this all makes sense. It’s a little confusing to me as I read it, and I wrote it! My suggestion is to play around with the custom white balance settings and find out for yourself if it’s something that might be helpful to you. Thank you, Luis, for pointing out this white balance shift workaround!