Another Difference Between the Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 (or, I Hate Dust)

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Storms Over Wyoming – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

One week ago I published an article explaining the differences between the Fujifilm X100F and the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/2 lens. There is one important point that I left out that sets the X100F apart (either good or bad, but I believe good), and that is dust on the sensor. Anytime you have an interchangeable-lens camera, you open up the possibilities (probabilities, really) of finding dust spots in your images.

I have owned my X100F for about 10 months now. I have never encountered one single dust speck on any of my pictures captured with that camera. I purchased it second-hand, and the camera is about two-years-old. No dust, no problems. It might never have a dirty sensor!

The X100F is not weather sealed, and there is a small possibility of dust finding its way onto the sensor. It has happened to some people. If it does happen, there’s no dust-removal option built into the camera, and so you are out-of-luck. You either just deal with it, or you send it off somewhere to have it cleaned, which I understand is an expensive option. If dust does manage to land on the sensor, that really stinks! But so far, knock on wood, that has not happened and I’m hopeful that it won’t ever happen.

I’ve had my X-Pro2 for a few weeks now, and I’ve found dust spots on my pictures several times. I’m very careful when I change lenses on this camera. I never do so in an obviously dusty place. I have the lenses prepared so that it is a quick change. I never point the camera up when there is no lens attached. I set the dust-removal to activate at both start-up and shut-down, and I’ll turn the camera on-and-off several times immediately following a lens change. Even with all of these precautions, I still manage to find dust specks sometimes, like on Storms Over Wyoming at the top, which has some obvious specks on the upper-right side.

I hate dust! Dust and photography don’t mix well, and it’s been an ongoing battle since the invention of the camera. Back in the film days dust was a constant problem, and it seemed impossible to win. I would carefully clean the film prior to printing, and I would still find dust spots and lines on my prints. It’s not as bad in the digital photography world, but it is still a significant issue. It’s still an ongoing battle. And it still infuriates me! I’m just as frustrated by it now as I was 20 years ago.

With the X100F dust is no issue whatsoever, and that’s awesome! However, if dust ever does get on the sensor, that would be a big problem. With the X-Pro2, dust is a continuous problem, but most of the time it’s not tough to overcome. It only rears its ugly head occasionally, and it can be dealt with when that happens without a lot of heartache (but some heartache nonetheless). The fact that I’ve not had to deal with dust at all with the X100F is great, and the fact that I’ve already had to deal with dust with the X-Pro2 is not great. For me, that’s a significant contrast.

What Are The Differences Between The Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 With 23mm F/2 Lens?

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2 (left) and Fujifilm X100F (right)

One question that I’ve been asked since purchasing the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is what are the differences between it with the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens and the X100F, which also has a 23mm f/2 lens. Are they the exact same thing? Can they coexist in one camera bag?

The X100F and the X-Pro2 are two of the most beautifully designed digital cameras ever made. Fujifilm knows how to design great-looking cameras that also function as beautifully as they look. Nobody does form and function like Fujifilm, and these two cameras are perhaps the greatest examples of this.

When I first reviewed the pictures that I captured with my X-Pro2 and 23mm lens, I said to myself, “These are X100F images!” They looked identical. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, because the X-Pro2 and X100F share the same sensor and processor. But now that I’ve had a chance to really play around with X-Pro2, I can see some key differences between the two cameras.

Owning an X100F and the X-Pro2 with the Fujinon 23mm f/2 is redundant in many situations–it’s like having the exact same camera; however, sometimes one camera is better than the other, situation dependent. And there is no clear winner on which one is better. They are both very good, and each offers something that the other doesn’t.

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Advantages of the X-Pro2 & 23mm:

Interchangeable lens. You are not stuck with one focal length.

Faster. I won’t say that the difference is huge, but the X-Pro2 has a slightly better auto-focus system that’s also a bit quicker.

Weather sealed. If you are shooting in the rain, you’ll want to use the X-Pro2 and not the X100F.

Sharper wide open. Not only are the corners sharper at f/2 on the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens, but the center is, as well. By f/4 there’s absolutely no difference.

Video. The X-Pro2 can shoot 4K while the X100F cannot.

Duel SD card slots. I’m not sure that I see a big advantage to this or not, but two 64GB SD cards hold a lot of pictures.

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Advantages of the X100F:

Smaller and lighter. You can’t put the X-Pro2 in any pocket, while the X100F can fit into a jacket pocket without problem.

Cheaper. The X100F will run you several hundred dollars less than the X-Pro2 and 23mm lens combo. However, if you already own an X-Pro2, buying the 23mm lens would be much cheaper than buying the X100F.

Leaf shutter & flash. This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the X100F has over the X-Pro2, and I cannot say enough good things about it.

Non-interchangeable lens. Sometimes less is more. Oftentimes limitations improve art.

Magical f/2. The Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens is technically superior when wide open, but it lacks the magic dust that Fuji sprinkled over the X100F.

Battery life. It seems that, so far, the X100F goes just a little further on a fully charged battery than the X-Pro2. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but I just find myself going through batteries faster on the bigger camera.

Built-in Neutral-Density filter. The X100F has it, the X-Pro2 does not.

Other than that, the two cameras are basically the same. If you have one, you essentially have the other. In some situations, one camera will prove to be better for that particular moment than the other. Because of this, I can see both being useful. If you need something small and lightweight or want to snap family photos, the X100F is the winner. Otherwise, the X-Pro2 will be the better choice by a hair. You can’t go wrong with either camera, they’re both good options. If you have the money, there’s a place in your camera bag for both. If it’s between one camera and the other, you’ll have to decide what’s most important to you and pick the camera that best fulfills your needs.

Below are a few examples of similar photographs from the two cameras. They were captured at different times and days with different (but similar) settings. All of them are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

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Apple Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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Apple Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Sun Is Shockingly Bright – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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Shocks – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Historic Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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An Historic Place For Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F Film Simulation Settings

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There’s been a lot of interest in my film simulation recipes, so I thought that I’d put them all in one convenient place. Hopefully this will make things a little easier for those that are looking for them. Below are the different film simulation recipes that I’ve created for the Fujifilm X100F. Simply click the links to be taken to the different recipes. If I make any more I’ll add them to this list.

Color:

My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

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Leaf In The Stream – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Train Ride Through The Christmas Tunnel – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation Recipe

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe

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Where Was Your Head That Day? – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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Expedition Lodge – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe

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Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100 Film Simulation Recipe

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Summer Boy – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Monochrome:

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation Recipe

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Ilford HP5 Plus Film Simulation Recipe

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Grey Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
[Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Photo Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe

Fujifilm X100F Aperture Series: f/2.8

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f/2

Aperture f/2.8 on the Fujifilm X100F is technically superior to f/2. The corners are not as soft. The center is sharper. Vignetting and chromatic aberrations are pretty much gone. But f/2.8 doesn’t contain nearly as much magic as f/2. Notice that I said “nearly as much” because some of that magic is still there. This aperture is both better and worse than shooting wide open on this camera, and overall not all that much different.

Perhaps the biggest reason to choose f/2.8 is for depth-of-field, which is shallow enough to achieve subject separation and large enough to have lots in focus, depending on how far away the subject is. Sometimes f/2 can be too shallow and f/4 not shallow enough, just depending on the situation. It’s a great choice for portraits or low-light situations. I appreciate the way it renders photographs in a variety of situations.

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Strong Coffee – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Torn At The Knee – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Empty Seat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Holiday Sugar Cookies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Daewoo Microwave – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Coffee Didn’t Help – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Hanging Print – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Contrast of Johanna – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

f/4  f/5.6  

My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe


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I had never even heard of CineStill 800T film until a couple of weeks ago when a Fuji X Weekly reader asked if I could help him develop a film simulation recipe that mimics the look of it. This film didn’t exist back in the days when I shot a lot of film. Even though companies like Fujifilm are slowly discontinuing some of their 35mm films, other companies have been introducing new ones. CineStill 800T falls into the latter category, as CineStill has only been around since 2012.

CineStill 800T is Kodak Vision3 500T motion picture film that’s been modified for use in 35mm film cameras and development using the C-41 process. It has a “cinema” look, which means that it doesn’t have a lot of contrast or color saturation, as motion picture film is rarely as punchy as most still picture films are. The “T” in the name means tungsten, which is a fancy way of saying that it is not white balanced for daylight (typically 5500K) but for artificial light (3200K). Even though the unmodified film is rated at ISO 500, the modified version is rated at ISO 800.

I searched the web up and down looking for photographs captured with this film to get a good idea of what it looks like. I’ve never used it myself, so I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of what the aesthetics are. I hope to someday try CineStill 800T, but I have probably 25 rolls of unused 35mm film that I’m looking at right now, and in 2017 I shot a grand total of three rolls. So far in 2018 I’m at zero. I just don’t shoot all that much film anymore, especially after purchasing the Fujifilm X100F.

I discovered that CineStill 800T is an excellent high-ISO color film. The options for good quality high-ISO color film are very slim as most color film that’s ISO 800 and higher look especially bad. There are a few good choices, all of which I believe have been discontinued over the last several years. CineStill 800T definitely looks like one that I would have used if it had been around 15-20 years ago. It seems as though that it is mostly being used for portraits under artificial light and after-sunset street photography, although there are plenty of examples of it being used in other situations.

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Where Was Your Head That Day? – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

The issues with nailing down some good settings to mimic the look of this film (particularly in light of the fact that I’ve never used it) are that, when looking at an image online, I don’t know how much the process of scanning the image has changed the look of it, I don’t know what was done post-scanning to adjust it (if anything), and if filters were used during exposure to change the white balance (a common film practice). Some people provided good notes with their pictures, and this helped tremendously, but most did not, and so I was left guessing. Despite these shortcomings, I think I was able to get a look that’s pretty close to CineStill 800T. It might not be 100% exact, but I believe it to be close enough that you could probably convince some people that you used the film instead of your digital camera.

Initially I was just doing this recipe to help out a reader and for the challenge of it, but I’m pretty happy with the results and I might continue using it occasionally in the right situations. It’s not something that I’d want to use all of the time, but in the right moments it looks quite nice. It has an analog feel and certainly a different “look” than what most people are creating with their X100F. I simulated using three rolls of 36 exposure film to get the pictures seen in this article.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3 (+2 when there is a bright light source in the image)
Shadow: +1
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: 3200K
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs, using my CineStill 800T Film Simulation recipe:

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Pavilion Roof – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Watering Days – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Blue Bird – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Jets – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Red & White Floral – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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New Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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White Spring Blossoms – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Blinding Blue – S. Weber, UT – Fuji X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Jon Laughing – S. Weber, UT – Fuji X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Spoonful of Sugar – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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City Intersection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Moving Trax – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Down Main Street – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Inside Looking Out – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Anxious To Cross – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Hospital Nights – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Hamburgers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Red Circle – Farmington, UT – Fuji X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Lamp Post – Farmington, UT – Fuji X100F – “CineStill 800T”

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Max Illumination – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “CineStill 800T”

See also: My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor 800 Superia Film Simulation Recipe

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Fujifilm X100F Aperture Series: f/2 – Ordinary or Extraordinary?

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This is the first in a series of articles on the Fujifilm X100F’s different apertures. While I will write words for each article, it is more of a photoessay. I hope that you enjoy the photographs!

When I purchased my Fujifilm X100F last July, I immediately put it through the rigors to figure out how to best use the camera. I wanted to discover its strengths and weaknesses. I took some test shots at all of the different apertures, and looked at things like center sharpness, corner sharpness, vignetting and chromatic aberrations. One conclusion I made was that aperture f/2 was the weakest. The corners were soft. The center wasn’t nearly as crisp. There was some minor vignetting and even a tiny amount of chromatic aberrations. Things improved noticeably by f/2.8.

Interestingly enough, Fujifilm lists the softness of f/2 as a feature on the X100F. I figured that this was nothing more than marketing drivel, claiming a weak point about a product as a reason to purchase it. I dismissed this aperture, deciding to use it only when absolutely necessary. Of all the apertures, f/2 seemed the most ordinary, the one to be the least excited about. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It wasn’t until recently, after many months of using the X100F, that I discovered there is actually something very special about f/2. There were a lot of pictures that I could have used this aperture with, and they might have turned out even better. Instead, I opted for f/2.8 or f/4, which are fine apertures, but they don’t contain the magic that is found at f/2.

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Island Joy – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

I liken f/2 on the X100F to Antelope Island State Park in Utah. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. As you drive in you are greeted with a rotten egg smell. The landscape is often bleak, like it drew the short end of the stick, almost-but-not-quite desert. Then you discover the bugs: biting and non-biting flies, swarms of mosquitoes, brine flies that literally cover the shore like a cloud, wolf spiders, black widow spiders, and orb weaver spiders that seem like they’re everywhere. The beach looks inviting, but it’s a long walk out there and when you finally arrive to the water you realize that it’s kind of gross. But put all of that aside, and the place is amazing with a unique beauty. There’s something about the reflections in the still water and how the mountains and rocks rise from the grass that can be breathtaking! Wildlife abounds, including bison and deer and so many different birds. It’s hard to put into words, but the place has the “it” factor for me that keeps me returning over and over with my camera. Even though Antelope Island shouldn’t be a great place to visit with all of its shortcomings, it really is wonderful.

Aperture f/2 on the X100F has plenty of shortcomings, but it also has the “it” factor. The way it renders photographs, which is sometimes almost dream-like, can be stunning. The shallow depth-of-field, which, when used correctly, separates the subject from the background wonderfully. One has to set aside the test charts and other such nonsense and just use this aperture in the real world to appreciate it. Now that I know this, I want to use it all of the time. It is indeed extraordinary!

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Pillars – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Joy As Sacagawea – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Girl Fingers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Tirelessly Determined – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Jon Laughing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Eight Car Joshua – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Flamingo Baby – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Aspherical – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Max Illumination – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

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Fireplace – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2

f/2.8  f/4  f/5.6  

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 2: Monochrome

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Canyon Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 – Color

I’ve heard it said that at Grand Canyon National Park your widest lens isn’t wide enough and your longest lens isn’t long enough, no matter how wide-angle or telephoto those lenses might be. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times, and each time I’ve felt that way. The place is amazing, yet it seems difficult to do it justice with a camera.

The canyon is huge! The national park is almost 2,000 square miles. The Colorado River traverses 277 miles through it. At its deepest point (or, really, the highest part of the rim to the river) is 6,000′. The longest stretch across rim-to-rim is 18 miles. It’s hard to effectively portray this scale in a photograph.

The Grand Canyon is the most photographed landmark in Arizona and one of the most photographed places in America, with tens of thousands of images created within the park daily. The task of creating something that’s photographically unique is nearly impossible. I’m sure that there are hundreds of pictures that look almost identical to mine. One has to spend significant time within the park, as well as exercise the creative mind, in order to capture something different than what’s already been done before.

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

I was attempting art with some of the photographs that I captured at the Grand Canyon. Other images were family snapshots meant simply for memories. There’s a difference between interpreting and documenting. Both are valid and serve different purposes, and they each take a different approach to accomplish. In this article you’ll find both.

I used my Fujifilm X100F for most of these pictures, which are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The Acros Film Simulation makes for exceptional monochrome images, and I used my Acros and Acros Push-Process film simulations for these X100F images. I used my Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens for three of these pictures, which are also camera-made JPEGs. I used the Monochrome film simulation, which isn’t as good as Acros, but the X-A3 doesn’t have Acros so I couldn’t use it.

I love black-and-white photography, and Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to create monochrome images. I look forward to returning. Grand Canyon is a special place, and it’s been much too long between visits. Maybe next time I can stay a little longer.

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Kids Approaching The Rim – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Maricopa Point – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M 

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Canyon Juniper – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Boy Riding Backwards – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Strapped In Her Stroller – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy of Window Shopping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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From Behind Glass – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Two Young Explorers – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree Over Arch – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Of Light & Shadow – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Grand – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Scraggly Tree At Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking West From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Watchtower Sun – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Desert Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Telescoping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon River – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Sky Above The Canyon Below – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Grand View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Heavenly Sky – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Passed By – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 1: Color

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Grand Canyon From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

A couple of weeks ago my family and I jumped in the car and made the long drive to Grand Canyon National Park. From my house to the hotel we booked in Williams, Arizona, was nine hours of driving, not including stops. We left early and arrived late, weary from the road. Really, it was too many hours in the car for one day, but we only had a short time for this adventure, so we pushed through to our destination.

The next day we got back in the car and drove 45 minutes to Tusayan, the tiny town right outside the entrance of the national park, and had some breakfast. After our bellies were full, and with cups of hot coffee, we continued the short trek to Grand Canyon Village and to the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times before, and the reaction for first-time visitors, as well as those who haven’t been in awhile, is the same: “Whoa!” That first look is always awe-inspiring and breathtaking. It just appears so impossibly grand! Everything seems so small and insignificant in comparison. It really is the magic of this incredible place.

We walked along the Rim Trail for awhile, stepping into some of the historic lodges and buildings along the way. We encountered the Bright Angel Trail and headed down, but only to the tunnel, which is probably about a mile trek round-trip. Someday I’d like to hike all the way to the bottom, but this wasn’t the trip for that.

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Grand Sight – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Lunch was at the Harvey House Cafe. Then we headed to the car to drive around and see more sights. Heading east on Highway 64, we made it to Desert View and saw the Watchtower, which is at the eastern end of the park. On the way back towards the village we stopped at a few overlooks. It was approaching dinner, so we said goodbye to Grand Canyon National Park and traveled back to Williams.

I cannot say enough how amazingly beautiful Grand Canyon National Park is! If I had more time I would have made sure to be there for sunrise and sunset. This was just a quick visit, so I missed both golden hours. Early the next morning we left for home, which is near Salt Lake City, Utah. We encountered some winter weather, so the drive back ended up being longer than the drive out. To say that we were happy to be home when we arrived close to midnight would be a huge understatement. It was two full days of being crammed in the car just to be at the Grand Canyon for one day, but it was completely worth it!

For these photographs I used a Fujifilm X100F and a Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens. The X100F was great because it fit into my jacket pocket and captured wonderful pictures with ease. The X-A3 with the Jupiter lens was bulky and heavy and became tiresome carrying around my neck, but it allowed me to capture some images that I simply couldn’t with the other camera. When you travel, smaller and lighter is almost always better, but sometimes something more is needed.

These are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and I used Velvia, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Std, and PRO Neg. Hi film simulations. Not editing the pictures saved me tons of time, and both cameras did an excellent job thanks to Fujifilm’s fine JPEG engine, which I rely heavily on. If I had post-processed RAW files instead, the results wouldn’t be much different to what you see here, except that I’d still be sitting in front of the computer editing them. Instead, they were finished before I even got home, and you’re able to enjoy them today.

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Kids At The Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Amanda, Johanna & I – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – captured by Joy Roesch

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Kids On Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Evergreen Tree & Red Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Behind The Pines – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Grand Canyon Railway – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Lamp In The Lodge – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hopi Art – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Unforgiving Environment – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Colorado River of Green – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Red Canyon Walls – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Light Over A Barren Landscape – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Get Your Gifts On Route 66 – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Gifts – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheap Room – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Bistro – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Drink Coke – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Steaks & BBQ – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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BBQ & Coke – Williams, AZ – X100F

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Fire In The Sky – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Spiked Cactus – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids At Moqui Cave – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Anderson Mountain – Paragonah, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 2 – B&W

Fujifilm X100F Ease of Use

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Love As Deep As The Canyon – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

It was a beautiful moment. The sun was preparing to set on what had been an adventure-filled day. The sight was breathtaking. My wife and I were enjoying the grandeur, breathing in the occasion, and appreciating the company. This slice of time was special, set apart from the rest, worthy of a lifetime remembrance.

I quickly set my Fujifilm X100F to be in auto-mode and handed it to my ten-year-old daughter, Joy, and I asked her to take a picture of us. The camera is small and lightweight and easy for a kid to handle. It’s perfect to hand over and get a decent picture from a non-photographer. My daughter captured Love As Deep As The Canyon at the top of this article, and it’s a cherished picture, one of my favorites from the trip.

My daughter has had a knack for making interesting photographs ever since she was a toddler. I’m not sure if it’s just her perspective (being little), her childhood creativity, or just the free spirit of not knowing the rules (or something else or a combination of things). I’m happy to let her use my camera occasionally, and watch her capture images that I couldn’t.

Sometimes strangers will offer to snap a group family picture for us. I’ll often say yes, and I’ll let them snap a photo with my camera. I’ve yet to have someone run away with my gear or break it, although I’m always a little concerned that might happen. The results are rarely anything good, but at least we have a visual record that we were all there together.

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Roesch Family At Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – captured by a stranger

What makes it possible is the X100F’s ease of use. In a matter of seconds I can have the camera set to auto, and then let the person, whether my kids, wife or a stranger, snap a picture. I just show them which button to press to make the exposure. Every once in awhile I get lucky and the picture is good (like the one my daughter captured). Most of the time the picture is very mediocre at best, but I’m not asking a stranger to create art with my camera, only to document a fraction of a second of time and space. And it seems like anyone can do that, because all it entails is holding the camera and pushing a button.

I don’t use the X100F in full auto myself. I like to control many different things, such as aperture, shutter, etc., etc., because I am trying to create art, or at least something other than a thoughtless snapshot. I like the layout of the controls, the retro-styled knobs and such, that allow me to make quick changes without jumping through menus. But another great aspect is the ease of use. When handing the camera to a novice, as long as I set it up well for them (take it out of manual), I can tell them to “push that button” and the camera will capture a correctly exposed, correctly focused image. Even in a tough situation with harsh lighting.

The picture above, Roesch Family At Mesa Arch, is a snapshot by a stranger who volunteered to take our picture. It’s not a great image, especially since we were looking directly into the low sun and have squinting eyes. But it’s a rare photograph with the whole family, because I’m usually not in the pictures (since I’m the one that’s capturing them), or if I am in the picture my wife isn’t (because she captured it). There aren’t a whole lot of pictures that feature all six of us, so this one is precious to us even though it’s not great.

A thoughtless snapshot by a novice will never be great. I could never expect something worthy of hanging on the wall from a stranger. I’m quite happy with what I did get, a so-so picture with all of us in it, and it’s thanks to the easy of use of the X100F. My daughter, on the other hand, did manage to capture something worthy of printing and hanging on the wall, and that, no doubt, is a true treasure.

My Fujifilm X100F Auto-ISO Settings

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Fortuity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

A reader of Fuji X Weekly asked me what my Auto-ISO settings are for the Fujifilm X100F. I realized that I’ve never fully covered this in a post. I’ve mentioned some things here and there regarding Auto-ISO, but never laid it out in one place. So I’ll explain it here and now.

Back in the days of film or in the early days of digital, ISO was critical because things didn’t look particularly good past a certain point. I remember when I considered ISO 400 to be high ISO. I remember that my first DSLR, which I purchased about a decade ago, was only capable of good results to ISO 1600, and any ISO above that looked unpleasant. Nowadays cameras are capable of great results at ridiculously high ISOs. The X100F is good to ISO 12800, which is amazing to me!

Auto-ISO is a great feature. Most cameras have it, and the X100F is no exception. You can set it and forget it. You can worry about more important things since you know you’ll get good results no matter what the camera chooses.

Most of the time I operate the X100F in aperture-priority mode, which means that I set the aperture but let the camera choose the ISO and shutter speed. It’s all situational, and I don’t always do things the same way, but the majority of the time this is what I do because the aperture is what I typically want control of.

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Kiki – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

For the Auto-ISO parameters I set the minimum ISO to ISO 200 and the maximum to ISO 6400. Why not ISO 12800? Because if I use the digital teleconverter, ISO 12800 doesn’t look so great. I can always manually set the ISO to 12800 if I need it with a quick and short twist of a ring on top of the camera.

I also set the minimum shutter speed to 1/125. The camera will only choose a slower shutter speed than 1/125 if it reaches ISO 6400 but needs more light for a correct exposure. I find this to be a good shutter speed for most situations. If nothing in the scene is moving and you use a good technique for holding the camera, it’s possible to get sharp pictures handheld with a shutter speed as slow as 1/15. Sometimes if the subject is quickly moving, 1/125 isn’t fast enough, and 1/250 or even 1/500 might be more appropriate. It’s pretty easy to adjust the shutter to be either slower or faster with a turn of the shutter knob on top of the camera from “A” to whatever is needed.

Auto-ISO is a feature that I rely on extensively, but from time-to-time I manually adjust the ISO and/or the shutter speed whenever appropriate. The auto features work well on this camera, and manual adjustments are simple when necessary because the X100F is well designed for quick on-the-fly adjustments.

To summarize, on the X100F I use Auto-ISO with ISO 200 set as the minimum and ISO 6400 set as the maximum, and with the minimum shutter speed set to 1/125. But I look at each situation and decide if these settings will work, and, if not, I make manual adjustments. I hope this helps.

Fujifilm X100F, The Chronicle Camera (At McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park)

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Train Ride Through The Christmas Tunnel – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

There are many reasons to photograph. It might be because someone is paying you money to do so. It could be because you want to hang a pretty picture on your wall. Perhaps you want to share what you ate for lunch with your social network followers. Maybe you have a message you want to photographically convey. Or it might be because you are compelled to create art. There are any number of reasons to take a picture.

Ever since I purchased my Fujifilm X100F, I have found myself much more than ever before using the camera to chronicle my family and the adventures we have. I’m documenting us, the Roesch family. This is something I’ve always done, but never to the extent that I’ve done over the last six months. I’ve captured a heck-of-a-lot of family snapshots lately.

There are several reasons why I’m photographing my family more, and it comes down to gear. The X100F is the perfect chronicle camera. It’s small and lightweight enough to fit in my pocket, so I carry it around with me and it’s never in the way. The image quality is nothing short of fantastic. Many of the different film simulations are great for people pictures. The leaf shutter and built-in fill-flash are great for portraits. It produces wonderful pictures right out of the camera that don’t require editing, so I’m not bogged down with post-processing.

That last point is an important one. I used to spend hours and hours and hours sitting in front of a computer screen editing RAW files. That’s time spent away from family. My workflow was constantly backlogged. I found myself purposefully not capturing images because I knew that meant editing them, which required time that I didn’t have. In fact, I still have thousands of RAW exposures sitting on hard drives that I never got around to post-processing.

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Joyful Johanna – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

With the X100F, I not only have more time to capture pictures, but I’m also not worried about the time that I would have to spend with each image after exposure. I click the shutter and the image is done. It’s ready to be uploaded to the web (which is where I backup my pictures). I’ve saved so much time, and I believe that this more than anything accounts for why I’m now taking more family snapshots.

Years from now these pictures will be worth more to my family and I than any of the other ones. These will be the cherished photographs. I have an old box of slides that my grandparents captured, mostly in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There are images of Yosemite and Yellowstone and such in that box, but the pictures that are most interesting are the family snapshots. Pictures of my dad and his siblings as young kids, or my grandparents when they were young adults, are particularly fascinating.

The photographs in this post are from our family trip to Arizona last Christmas. There’s a really neat place in Scottsdale called the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, which is just an incredible place for any train enthusiast (and what kid isn’t a train enthusiast?). We spent an afternoon at the park, and these are the family snapshots that I captured. The kids had a blast! It was a really good couple of hours. Because I chronicled it with my camera–the adventure was documented–my kids and their future kids will have these treasured exposures. This will be meaningful to them.

The Fujifilm X100F is a great camera because, among other things, it makes family snapshots easy, producing excellent results without fuss. I’m so glad that I purchased it six months ago. I can’t wait to use it to chronicle the next family adventure, wherever and whenever that might be.

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Looking Out The Bright Window – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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What Time Does The Train Leave? – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Leaving The Station – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Learning Scale – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joshua At The Train Museum – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Trolley Driver – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Bottle Time – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Happy Holiday Baby – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Happy Girls – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy On The Lighted Path – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Christmas Bulb Reflection – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Our Arizona Christmas – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F (captured by a stranger)

My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe (PRO Neg. Std)


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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Back in the days when I shot a lot of film, I would typically use ISOs of 25, 50, 64, 100 and 160. I would consider ISO 400 film as my go-to high-ISO choice (yes, I considered ISO 400 to be high-ISO!), but sometimes that wasn’t enough. For black-and-white photography there were several good options (mostly involving push-process), yet for color the choices for good film with ISOs above 400 were few and far between. When I needed something faster than ISO 400 for color work, the two options that I typically went with were Fujicolor Pro 800Z and Fujicolor Superia 800.

Fujicolor Pro 800Z was a good indoor portrait film. It had muted colors, low contrast, a very slight yellow cast, accurate skin tones, and fine grain (for ISO 800 film). It was quite popular among wedding and event photographers. For low-light pictures of people it was the best option. I used it a few times.

Fujicolor Superia 800 was a better film choice for things other than portraits. Of the two films, it had more color saturation, more contrast, a green cast, less accurate skin tones and more grain. It was the more bold, gritty, punchy choice of the two. Not that it was particularly wild (because it wasn’t), but Pro 800Z, while it could be beautiful, was especially bland (which is why it was good for pictures of people). I used Superia 800 a lot more frequently than Pro 800Z.

With this in mind, I set out to create a facsimile to Superia 800 with my Fujifilm X100F. I wanted in-camera to create the look of the high-speed film. I experimented with different film simulations and settings, and was able to achieve something similar to the film, using PRO Neg. Std as the starting point. It’s not a 100% match, but I feel like it’s convincing enough that I might be able to fool someone into thinking that I used actual film instead of digital capture.

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Sketching By A Window – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

One issue that I have with this film simulation recipe is the film grain. Even with a strong grain effect selected, it’s not quite as grainy as Superia 800 (specifically, the faux grain is too small). In fact, it might not even be as grainy as Pro 800Z! If there was an extra-strength grain effect option I would choose that instead, but alas there is not. I think it is grainy enough to give the right impression, even if inaccurate.

Another thing that’s not quite right about my film simulation recipe is that skin tones are too accurate when compared to the film. Superia 800 did not render human skin as nicely as these settings do. Even though it’s not true to the film in this regard, it might be viewed as a positive and not a negative.

Otherwise, my Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation recipe produces a convincing analog film look, delivering pleasing results in a variety of situations. I’ve been using it extensively since I created it a week ago. I’m very happy with how it renders photographs, so I anticipate it being one of my go-to film simulation options. I think it’s one of the best ones that I’ve discovered so far. I invite you to give it a try yourself!

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadows: +2
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, -2 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation recipe:

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Dormant Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Abandoned Bridge Over Weber River – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Weber Canyon Moonrise – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Watch Out For The T-Rex – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Lost Trail – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Baby Swing – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Neighborhood Stroll With Johanna – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Hanging Print – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Parked Alone – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pigeon Window – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Disabled Illumination – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Illuminated Beauty – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee Table – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee Shop Latte – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Caramel Coffee – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Raspberry Cookies – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cake Slice For Two – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Delicious Cake – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X100F PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Fujifilm X100F Face-Eye Detection

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Contrast of Johanna – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Acros Push-Process

One of the auto-focus options for the Fujifilm X100F is Face Detection, which, as you might guess, recognizes faces and automatically focuses on them. When on, you can set Eye Detection to left eye priority, right eye priority, auto or off. How well does it work? Is this a feature you should use?

It can be tough to nail focus on a person’s eyes, and, if a person is the subject, the eyes should absolutely be in sharp focus. If you are in a controlled environment (such as a studio) you might have time to manually focus and focus peek to ensure it is spot-on. In real world use where the subject might be still for just a short moment, it’s a lot more difficult to achieve perfect focus on the eyes. When I use the focus joystick I usually get pretty close, but I notice that I do miss sometimes and the subject’s eyes aren’t tack sharp.

This is much more critical when you are using a shallow depth of field. If you have a small aperture and much of the scene is in focus, getting perfect focus on the eyes isn’t a big deal because the eyes and everything else will fall within the focus zone. If you are using a large aperture, because of the shallow depth of field, being off even a half of an inch could ruin an otherwise great picture.

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Aunt & Niece – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – Acros Push-Process

Face Detection auto-focus with Eye Detection on the X100F does a much better job of getting the subject’s eyes perfectly in focus than I ever could. It’s quick, so it works well even with little kids who can’t sit still. I’ve captured photographs that would have otherwise been unsuccessful if not for this feature.

There are some negatives, though. There are reasons that you might not want to use face and eye detection. There are lots of people who don’t use it, and, while I use it frequently, I don’t always have it on.

One issue is that the camera won’t always pick the correct face. If there is more than one person in the scene, the camera might pick the wrong one to focus on instead of the main subject because it will pick the face closest to the center of the frame. So it works better with one person than two or more. A similar issue is that the camera will occasionally detect a face when there isn’t one. Sometimes it falsely thinks it sees a human face based on a pattern in the picture. There have been times that I didn’t get the picture because of Face Detection. It’s rare, but it has happened.

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Johanna’s Face – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F – Acros Push-Process

When the camera detects a face, it automatically spot meters on it, which is usually a good thing (but occasionally not). However, because of this, the general spot metering setting is disabled when Face Detection is turned on. For some people this is a reason not to use it. If you frequently use spot metering, it might be best to not use Face Detection when photographing things other than people.

If you use the optical viewfinder (OVF), Face Detection works, but there is no indication that it is working. It’s definitely an awkward operation, so my recommendation is to not use the two features together.

The face and eye detection feature on the X100F is slick when it works, and it usually does, but it is frustrating when it doesn’t. I think it’s worth trying if you’ve never done so. With a little practice it can be turned on and off quickly, and it’s not a big deal to change in and out of it, depending on what you are photographing.

For The Love of Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation

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Mount Nebo – Mona, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I really love the different film simulations available on my Fujifilm X100F. There is one that I like more than the others, and it’s Acros. The contrast, tonality and grain are simply beautiful, and Acros has a true film-like aesthetic.

I know, that’s been said so much that it’s almost cliche, and, besides, not everyone wants a film look. I appreciate the look of film and I like it much more than the digital aesthetic. I grew up on analog photography, I shot tons of 35mm and 120 film, and to me it’s how photography should look. Digital is far more convenient than film, so it can be hard to justify the hassle of film. The best of both worlds would be the convenience of digital with a film aesthetic.

I’ve been trying to get a film look from my digital files for awhile. I’ve used different software options, such as Alien Skin Exposure and Nik Silver Efex, which are both excellent, to achieve the look that I want. The Acros Film Simulation on my Fujifilm X100F is every bit as good (maybe better) as what I would get using either of those editing programs, and I get it straight out of the camera, no editing required.

One aspect of Acros that Fujifilm got especially right is the grain. Digital noise, which is the modern equivalent of film grain, doesn’t match the look of actual silver grain, and the aesthetic of it is far inferior (although X-Trans noise is better looking than most). Adding a layer of faux grain over top of an image can get you closer (and Alien Skin does a better job with this than anyone in my opinion), but it’s still not the same. The “grain” found in my Acros JPEGs more resembles actual film grain than anything else I’ve found in digital photography.

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Apache Sky – Mountain Green, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If you were to scan actual film and compare it side-by-side to images captured with the Acros Film Simulation, you’d have a tough time identifying which is film and which is digital. Same thing if you printed from the film and from the digital file, and asked people to identify which is which. The Acros Film Simulation doesn’t look all that digital as it more closely resembles analog.

Images captured with Acros look beautiful. They look nice viewed from a distance and up close, on a computer screen or printed and hung on a wall. Even though the film simulation produces a JPEG file and not RAW, the results are what one would expect to achieve if they post-processed a RAW file. This isn’t typical camera-made JPEG stuff.

Great black-and-white results without hassle is what the Acros Film Simulation delivers. That’s the convenience of digital photography merged with the quality of film photography. I have two different settings, a “standard” Acros and a “push-process” Acros, that I frequently use, and they’re very good. The photographs in this article are examples of both that I’ve captured over the last several weeks.

I remember the “old days” of film photography. It was a slow process. Loading the film, using the entire roll before you could change it, rewinding it by hand, then all of the darkroom work–winding it onto a reel in complete darkness, baths in chemicals and water, drying, printing a contact sheet, then making prints. One print could take hours of work to get right. It wasn’t easy, but that’s the way it was, and the results made it worthwhile. Now, thanks to the X100F and Acros, I can achieve similar results with ease.

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One Way Or Another – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Sanitary Sewer Surprise – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Palm Shadow – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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Serious Coffee – Taylorsville, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Agave Drops – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Shelf Owls – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hot Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bird Bath – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Aunt & Niece – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Convenience & Quickness

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Cooking Tomatillos – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Astia

I mentioned last month that I sometimes photograph my wife’s culinary creations. Last night she boiled some tomatillos to make make chile verde, which was absolutely delicious! After she placed the tomatillos in a pot of water, she waved me over to show me how beautiful it looked. She saw the photographic potential, and, as soon as she shared it with me, I saw it, too.

The great thing about having a Fujifilm X100F is that it’s easy to grab and capture a beautiful picture without fuss. The camera does well in whatever situation I throw it in, and produces great results that don’t require any computer software. Cooking Tomatillos is a straight-out-of-camera high-ISO JPEG. It has a film-like aesthetic, yet it’s much better looking than if I had captured this image with actual 35mm film.

After capturing the image, I wirelessly uploaded it from my the camera to my phone, and then uploaded it from my phone to the internet. Within five minutes after making the exposure I could share it to whoever I wanted around the world. That’s amazing to me! Not just because technology allows one to share an image across the globe quickly, but that I can share a high-quality finished photograph quickly. Before I would have had to load the RAW file onto my computer and mess around with it for awhile in software before I would dare share it with anyone.

A couple of days ago I was out driving around and saw a white horse standing on the ridge of a hill. It just looked incredible–beautiful and majestic–and the landscape was bleak from winter. I wanted to capture it, and I knew my 10-year-old daughter, who is all about horses, would love the image, so I parked the car in the dirt along the road and got out.

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White Stallion – Mountain Green, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Whenever I’m out and about I try to carry my X100F with me, whether I think that I might photograph something or not. I grabbed the camera and headed down a trail that got me a little closer to the horse. The hill was very muddy and I wasn’t able to get all that near the animal, so I used the Digital Teleconverter to “zoom” to 75mm. Click!

Unfortunately I had the film simulation set to Velvia, which was not the look that I wanted, and I didn’t realize this until after I snapped the picture. I was in too much of a hurry. It didn’t take me long to change to Acros, but by the time I did the horse had turned away and was beginning to leave. Not a big worry, I wirelessly uploaded the picture from the camera to my phone, then did a black-and-white conversion (with some other quick edits) using Snapseed, then uploaded it from my phone to the internet. The whole process only took a few minutes. And the JPEG file held up plenty well to the editing.

Because it’s small and lightweight and surprisingly versatile, the X100F makes images like these possible. I might have captured them if I had a DSLR instead, and I might not have. What I can tell you for sure is that I never would have had so quickly a finished picture ready to share. The files would likely still be sitting on an SD card in the camera, or perhaps in a folder on the computer waiting in line to be post-processed.

I was able to show my daughter White Stallion when I got home, and she loved it every bit as much as I thought she would. She wants to hang it on her bedroom wall. That’s what makes the X100F so good, and that’s why I own it.

Photoessay: Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park

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Kolob Canyon Road – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

In late December, just a couple days after Christmas, I had a chance to visit Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park. Zion is the sixth most visited national park in America and is the most visited national park in Utah. Kolob Canyon is a lesser known section of the park that’s isolated from the rest. We found a little snow on the ground from a storm the week before.

Access to Kolob Canyon is easy because it’s right off of Interstate 15 between St. George and Cedar City. A quick five-mile dead-end road curves through the scenic canyon. Because those on the freeway are just passing through and it’s a bit out of the way for those visiting the main part of the park, it just gets overlooked. It really is a hidden gem!

Kolob Canyon is full of impressive red-orange cliffs, finger canyons and sweeping vistas. It’s higher in elevation than the more-visited sections of Zion, so the landscape is little more green and a little less desert. It’s easy to see why this area was included in the national park, it’s just chocked full of natural beauty!

My short visit to the park was not during ideal light conditions for photography. The sky was a deep blue, but the sun was harsh and nearly overhead. My family and I arrived at 12:40 in the afternoon and we left about an hour-and-a-half later. Undeterred by the problematic light, I used my Fujifilm X100F to capture the grand sights that were before me. I used my wide-angle conversion lens for many of the exposures.

All of these photographs are camera-made JPEGs; however, I used Fujifilm’s X RAW Studio to process the RAW files (click the link if that statement is confusing to you). I used my Velvia Film Simulation recipe, but adjusted shadows to -1 and sometimes -2 because the shadows were harsh. I adjusted highlights to -2 in a few of the images, as well. In retrospect, I wonder if using DR400 would have worked better. Either way, I’m pretty happy with the results, all things considered.

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Beatty Point – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Paria Point – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Paria & Beatty Points – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Zion Desert – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Timber Top Mountain – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Old Log In Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sunlight Over Shuntavi Butte – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Orange Cliffs – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Kolob Canyon In December – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Trees, Rocks, Canyons & Hanging Valleys – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation Recipe (Portraits)


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Jo – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

I’m not a portrait photographer, although I have done some portrait photography. I’m not a wedding photographer, although I have done some wedding photography. Whether capturing pictures of people is the bread-and-butter of your photography or just something you do occasionally, you’ll likely want some go-to camera settings for these types of images.

I really like the way camera-made JPEGs look on my Fujifilm X100F. I use the different Film Simulations extensively. I have different recipes for different looks and situations. For people pictures in color, I frequently use Classic Chrome or Astia. Lately, though, I’ve been using PRO Neg. Hi much of the time for portraits.

Astia and PRO Neg. Hi are the two film simulations that are most similar to each other. Put them side-by-side and it can be difficult to tell which is which because the differences are so subtle. PRO Neg. Hi is slightly softer in the highlights and slightly harsher in the shadows. Also, Astia has just a bit more color saturation, and has a barely noticeable shift towards red. As far as I can tell they’re otherwise identical and basically interchangeable. I tend to use Astia more for non-people pictures and PRO Neg. Hi more for people pictures, although this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

I’m not 100% sure which film PRO Neg. Hi is supposed to simulate. It’s not an exact match for any. Sometimes I think it’s closer to Fujicolor Pro 160C and sometimes I think it’s closer to Fujichrome Provia 400X (note that the Provia Film Simulation does not match actual Provia film). Based on the name, my guess is that PRO Neg. Hi is supposed to simulate Fujicolor Pro 160C, but, according to my fading memory of shooting the film, it’s off by a little.

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Ready To Party Like A Mother-In-Law – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

It’s not all that important if PRO Neg. Hi is a perfect match to an actual film stock or not. It produces good results that are especially excellent for pictures of people. It has punchy colors and contrast (but not too punchy like Velvia) while still rendering appealing skin tones. It’s a good film simulation that you should try if you haven’t done so already.

One thing to note is that the shadow setting is very situation specific. I have found that -2 is sometimes better, 0 is sometimes better, but most often -1 is good. DR100 sometimes works better in low-contrast scenes, but DR200 is preferable in normal lighting conditions. For photographs without people, +2 or even +3 on color produces good results.

PRO Neg. Hi
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -1
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Flash: On (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs, of my PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation recipe:

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Happiness Is Holiday Family Fun – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi 

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Christmas Cousins – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Aunt, Great Aunt – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Christmas Dinner – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Happy Sisters – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Three Sisters – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Obverse Converse – Youngtown, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – PRO Neg. Hi

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Fujifilm X100F & Bokeh

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The Bokeh Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

Let’s talk about bokeh on the Fujifilm X100F! Bokeh is an often discussed aspect of an image, and this is especially true over the last ten or fifteen years. If you aren’t sure exactly what bokeh is, don’t worry, you are not alone, and a lot of people misunderstand it. Bokeh is defined as the quality of the out-of-focus area of an image. It’s how well a lens renders blur, the aesthetics of it.

I don’t remember hearing the word bokeh spoken even once when I studied photography in college almost 20 years ago. It’s not that it didn’t exist, because obviously bokeh did exist, but it didn’t really matter. You either liked how a certain lens rendered blur or you didn’t, and few were trying to quantify it or rate it.

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/4

Today you’ll hear terms like “bokeh monster” when describing a lens and “bokeh master” when describing a person. People will say that a certain lens produces a lot of bokeh, which, frankly, doesn’t make any sense, because bokeh is defined by character and is not a measurement. You can’t have more bokeh or less bokeh. You can only have nice bokeh or ugly bokeh.

People confuse depth-of-field with bokeh, but they are two entirely different things. Depth-of-field is the amount of an image that is in focus, determined by the aperture, subject distance and non-subject distance, as well as the physical size of the sensor or film. A lot of people mean depth-of-field when they say bokeh, it’s a misunderstanding of terms. Depth-of-field is a mathematical calculation, while bokeh is subjective, and what one person might think is nice another might think is ugly.

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Yellow Rose – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/4.5

To achieve an out-of-focus area within an image, one needs to use a large aperture or focus really close to the end of the lens or both, which will create a shallow depth-of-field. The Fujifilm X100F has a maximum aperture of f/2, which is plenty large enough to attain a shallow depth-of-field. You can attain blur with a much larger aperture, even f/16, if your subject is really close to the end of the lens.

The quality of the out-of-focus area, or bokeh, on the Fujifilm X100F is smooth, pleasant, relaxed, creamy, and otherwise how bokeh should be. I rate it as good, perhaps even great. I give it two thumbs up! Again, it’s subjective, and just because I like it doesn’t mean that you will. Perhaps you like bokeh with a little more character, such as a soap-bubble or swirly effect that some vintage lenses provide. The X100F has a rather bland bokeh, but that’s not a bad thing, just as bokeh with a lot of character may not be a good thing. It’s all what you like and dislike.

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Evergreen Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/5.6

I think rating bokeh is overrated. It’s something people on message boards talk about much too much. It doesn’t matter anywhere close to what some people would have you believe. The important thing is whether the blur is distracting or not. You don’t want bokeh to take the viewer’s eyes off of what’s important in an image, unless, perhaps, bokeh is what’s important to a particular image. And bokeh can’t be used to cover up something distracting in the background, because it’s just as distracting blurred as it is sharp.

You can have a great image with poor bokeh and a poor image with great bokeh. The quality of the bokeh has little to do with the outcome of a photograph. Since photographers often worry about insignificant things (while sometimes ignoring what is significant), especially on the internet, this is a topic that’s brought up over and over again. It’s worth discussing, but with the caveat that it is an extraordinarily tiny part of the big picture. Whether good or bad it’s not a big deal. In my opinion bokeh on the Fujifilm X100F is good, so take that for what it’s worth.

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Arizona Bougainvillea – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/10

Photoessay: 20 Fall Foliage Photographs

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Fall Again – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Autumn officially ended a little over two weeks ago. It was a good season for fall foliage photography, with plenty of opportunities to capture the autumn colors. The leaves began to change in September here in Utah, and the leaves were still colorful when I visited Seattle in late November.

This was my first year photographing the season of change using my Fujifilm X100F. The camera is a great all-around photography tool, and (no surprise) it did just fine capturing autumn leaves. For these photographs I used Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome and “Vintage Kodochrome” film simulations.

The 20 photographs below are some of my favorites that I captured this last autumn. I obviously made a lot more images than these, but the ones below are what I decided to share, they’re the ones that I like best. Even though winter has fully taken hold, I hope you enjoy these fall foliage photographs, and perhaps the bright colors will bring you a little unexpected warmth today.

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Temple Square – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Zions Bank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leaf On The Windshield  – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Country Leaves – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leaf In The Stream – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Floating Yellow Leaves – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Fall Leaves, Wet Road – Richland, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Red Autumn Leaf – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Golden Forest – Uintah, Utah – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn Forest Light – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Orange & Yellow – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Wasatch Dressed In Fall Colors – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Timpanogos September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Alpine Autumn – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Vibrant Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Highway 158 Junction – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Yellow Bush & Red Berries – Edmunds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn Hike – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Forest Trail – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Road Through The Autumn Trees – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2017

Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

We’re a few days into the new year. In January I like to reflect on the previous year, what was good and what wasn’t, what I experienced and what I wished I had experienced, the successes and failures, gains and losses, dreams realized and abandoned, etc., etc. It’s good to look back so as to get a better perspective on where you’re going.

As a very small part of this process, I looked at Fuji X Weekly, what took place here, and how it’s all going. I’ve shared a few insights with you already, and I will share some more with you in a few different posts in the coming weeks.

For this article I will show you what posts were the most viewed, plus, as a bonus, which were the most overlooked, that maybe the readers of this blog missed. Not to brag, but there’s some quality material here. I invite you to click the links and read the different articles.

One thing that I found interesting is that, by a large margin, Film Simulation recipes are the most popular thing on Fuji X Weekly. Lots of people are searching the web for ideas on which simulations and settings are best. I’m happy to share mine with you, and you can expect more to be published in the coming months.

Without any more delay, below are my top 10 most popular posts of 2017 on Fuji X Weekly, in order of most viewed to least:

My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe

My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

Fujifilm X100F Digital Teleconverter

Digital Film – Why I Shoot JPEGs With The Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

Understanding X-Trans

Leaf Shutter & Flash & X100F – Oh, My!

Top 10 most overlooked posts of 2017 on Fuji X Weekly, in order of least viewed to most:

Fujifilm X Raw Studio

Simplicity vs Complexity

Fujifilm X100F Battery Life

So Why The Fujifilm X100F?

Authenticity & Photography

Fujifilm Fanboy

Placing An Attachment Ring On A Fujifilm X100F

5 Essential Elements of Photographic Vision

Fujifilm X100F Advanced Filter: Toy Camera, Part 1

Why I Dislike The PASM Dial (And Love The Fujifilm X100F)