Fuji Fun with Film Simulation 'Recipes'

Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
One of the downsides of having recently downgraded my Fujifilm stable, from the significantly larger (but still quite wonderful) X-Pro3 (with its X-Trans IV sensor) to the physically smaller X-T3 (with its slightly older X-Trans III sensor) - is that I no longer have access to what used to be my favorite Fuji Film Simulation, 'Classic Negative', which was only introduced on a handful of (relatively) newer X-Trans IV equipped camera bodies.

So I'm currently embarked on what may be an entertainingly labyrinthine quest to find an X-Trans III simulation 'recipe' that will allow me to get some of the satisfying jpeg color tones and palettes that made me a Fuji fan in the first place. Am sharing a few initial results with fellow Fujiholics who may be at least intrigued by the possibilities. Here is a series of shots taken this morning, of an ancient Olivetti portable typewriter that's been in my family a few generations now - each shot taken with a different 'recipe'.

First, Ritchie Roesch's 'Superia 800' recipe (from his Fuji-X Weekly website).

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#1(Superia800).jpg
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Next, a homegrown general purpose colour recipe developed by the Portuguese photographer Luis Costa. This one is growing on me.

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#2(LuisCosta).jpg
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Then another Superia recipe - this one for 'Superia 100', developed by the Czech photographer Piotr Skrzypek, a little more contrasty with less shadow details than the previous Superia, but interesting nonetheless.

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#3(Superia100).jpg
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Then another recipe from Ritchie Roesch's website, this one his attempt to recreate the feeling of the Kodak motion picture negative film stock, Vision3 250D. I can't say exactly why, but it intrigues me quite a bit.

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#5(KodakVision3-250D).jpg
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Then one more of Ritchie Roesch's recipes, this one a variation on one of my X-T3's default internal simulations, 'Eterna'. Real Eterna was originally a motion picture film and Fujifilm created this simulation initially for videographers, but Ritchie's reinterpretation of it has, to my eyes at least, a more contrasty and analog feel to it. (It's also growing on me.)

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#6(Eterna).jpg
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Finally, just to mix things up, a monochrome recipe. My X-T3 has the excellent default Acros sim (based on Fuji's legendary high-contrast black & white film), which allows the additional implementation of colored filter effects; but there is also a whole host of interesting 3rd party monochrome 'recipes'. This one, too, comes from the Fuji-X weekly website, it's called 'Analog Monochrome'.

XT3_Sept13_22_Olivetti#4(AnalogMonochrome).jpg
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I'm guardedly optimistic that I may not miss the XPro's Classic Neg simulation quite as much as I was afraid I might.
 

lucien

Legend
Your in good hands with what you have so far. I like alot of them. You have to out and shoot them in the wild. Diff lighting etc. to see which one grows on you. Why settle for 1? I'd keep 3 or 4
 
Location
US Midwest
Name
Mark Peterson
Several of these are really nice, @MiguelATF. Cool test with the Olivetti, as well! (I’ve got my dad’s old Smith-Corona lying around somewhere - your pics make me want to haul it out). Another option if you’re a Lightroom user, is there are several photographers who have developed and sell pretty decent ”Classic Neg” LR presets. Of course it’s not the same as using a sim, but I’ve found them useful for times I just want to capture in raw and sort out my “look” later. I downloaded one of the Classic Neg ones for my X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 files and at times it’s quite useful to just do it that way.

That said, I also agree with @lucien - you have enough options above to go out for full day with each one of those you’ve sampled, shoot it across several subjects/situations, and it probably won’t take long for a couple favorites to be clear.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I can see the advantages to that approach, Andrew, but my own instincts are taking me in a different direction. Way back in the dark analog ages, I was accustomed to loading a camera with a particular kind of film - most often, Tri-X - and then going out and trying shoot in such a way that I could take advantage of whatever film stock I working with. A way of limiting myself, I guess. In black & white darkrooms, where I used to do all my developing and printing, I wasn't the kind of patient technician who did complex and masterful retouching and adjustments to my prints. Maybe it was naïveté but I mostly tried to go for the print-the-full-frame-the-way-you-shot-it ethos - which I liked for various reasons. Now, years and lifetimes later, shooting with good digital cameras which are capable of creating digital negatives that offer almost infinite processing alternatives, especially when one shoots RAW - I find myself gravitating back towards the idea of imposing limits. When I had a Ricoh GR, I almost always eschewed RAW for shooting jpegs with the camera's 'Positive Film' internal settings. They came out more to my liking than untold hours of processing. Ditto for my Lumix GX9, which thanks to its internal l.monochrome.d setting, has become my favorite monochrome jpeg picture-making tool.

Which brings me back to Fuji's. My X-Trans cameras - my old XPro3 and now an XT3 - have been... spoiling me. The process of trying to narrow things down to one or a few internal simulations which resonate with how I want to see colors - or highlights - or shadows - before I actually take a picture... is something I find myself enjoying.

Of course, unlike the analog Pentaxes I shot hundreds of rolls of film with, whose optical viewfinders showed me the world in a neutral and seemingly accurate way, the EVF of my XT3 (and that of my XPro3 before it) actually let me SEE the shot much more closely to how (I hope) it will turn out, than the OVF's of my ancient Pentaxes ever did. And being able to see in my EVF - the color palette or shadows or highlights of a particular simulation's rendering of a scene - before I press the shutter - is something I really like.

Each of us has ways or processes which allow us to flex those creative muscles. And I've heard a lot of good things about what Silky Pix, the Fuji software, can do, especially with RAW's. But for me at this point, having less choices both when I'm shooting - and also in PP - seems to be making the picture-taking process more... satisfying. Or it could be, the older I get... the more lazy I'm becoming ;) who can say?
 
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bartjeej

Hall of Famer
To be honest this almost monochrome test image only shows the contrast curve. I'd like to see a test image with skin tones, blue skies, green leaves, that sort of stuff, before commenting on a film sim.

I will say that on most of Ritchie's film sims, the hard +R -B white balance shift makes skin tones look way too lifeless and rubbery for my taste, at least in his test shots. I think it's the -B part especially, it makes the paler parts of white skin tones look so yellow that there's little room for blushing left.

I've gone back and forth with jpeg and raw shooting over the years, but I'm currently firmly in the jpeg camp. I do save the raws for the shots I might want to print at some point, but for online sharing, it's >90% sooc jpegs. Finding a "recipe" (well, just minor adjustments from default really) that resonates with me really helped :)
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
The dangerous thing about these recipes for film simulations for X-Trans sensors is... there are quite a lot of them! Which makes it tempting to try out new ones. Am currently playing around with one of Ritchie Roesch's recipes from his Fuji-X Weekly website - this one inspired by classic Kodachrome 64 slide film. It has a muted intensity that I find appealing - when applied to these freshly picked peppers from the garden.

XT3_Sept17_22_garden_peppers(K64).jpg
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Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
One more in the ongoing exploration: this particular simulation comes from the English photographer, Jamie Chance - and is one of his attempts to come up with something similar to 'Classic Neg' (the Fuji sim for cameras with newer X-Trans sensors) on Fujifilms with slightly older sensors. The initial results look promising - but it's going to require some further experimentation in other lighting situations, obviously.

XT3_Sept18_22_skull(ClNegISO160).jpg
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Lumixdude

Regular
Do the X trans III & IV have the same number of MP on the sensor? If they do, then you can download the free EXIF tool by Phil Harvey? change the camera model in the EXIF data, and run it through your raw converter, and use the picture styles for the IV sensor/camera. I did exactly that with my G9 before any model specific converters were available, and I liked the GH5 colour much better than the GX8. So I changed the EXIF data to GH5, and the raw converter didn't blink an eye
 

Charzes44

All-Pro
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK.
Name
Charles
Do the X trans III & IV have the same number of MP on the sensor? If they do, then you can download the free EXIF tool by Phil Harvey? change the camera model in the EXIF data, and run it through your raw converter, and use the picture styles for the IV sensor/camera. I did exactly that with my G9 before any model specific converters were available, and I liked the GH5 colour much better than the GX8. So I changed the EXIF data to GH5, and the raw converter didn't blink an eye
For the record, the X-Pro3 and X-T3 both have X Trans lV sensors! So yes, they both have 26.1 mega pixels. There is an excellent comparison of these 2 bodies by mirrorlesscomparisons.com.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Do the X trans III & IV have the same number of MP on the sensor?

The answer to your question is slightly more complicated. There are (and have been) three generations of different X-Trans sensors. There is a good explanation of the differences in a post on the Fuji X Passion website, including the following summary, "Fuji bodies that use X-Trans sensor come in three sensor generations (16, 24, 26 MP) and six body lines: X-T „single-digit“, X-H, X-S, X-T „double-digit“ and then, of course, the two „essential Fuji“ lines: X-Pro and X-E. All in all, there are 16 different camera bodies over the years."

Here is the link to the full post which is informative and helpful on the subject--

If they do, then you can download the free EXIF tool by Phil Harvey? change the camera model in the EXIF data, and run it through your raw converter, and use the picture styles for the IV sensor/camera. I did exactly that with my G9 before any model specific converters were available, and I liked the GH5 colour much better than the GX8. So I changed the EXIF data to GH5, and the raw converter didn't blink an eye

Good points. But they also, at least peripherally, touch on a related question - whether one chooses to shoot in JPEG - or whether one chooses or prefers to shoot in RAW, and then subsequently modify one's RAW files in different ways (via software, presets, EXIF tools, etc) to achieve certain looks or effects. Quite a few brilliant Fuji photographers - like Patrick Laroque - shoot only in RAW, and subsequently modify their images to create subtle, complex, and powerful 'looks' in their work. Others - like Charlene Winfred - go back and forth (she spent years shooting in RAW and doing PP, then was partially converted to the shoot-in-JPEG school after acquiring a newer X-Trans IV camera, the X-Pro3) with an internal film simulation (Classic Negative) that she fell in love with... to the point where, partially at least, she changed her workflow and philosophy, from a RAW shooter to a JPEG one.

The conversation or debate (RAW or JPEG) is a fascinating and ongoing one. Here is a piece by Jamie Chance, about his 'conversion' (from RAW to JPEG)--


And here is a slightly opinionated but eminently readable and interesting article by one of the passionate and most articulate members of the shoot-in-JPEG-only movement, Ritchie Roesch, about the 'debate'--

The RAW vs JPEG Debate Needs to End… Again

Incidentally, I belong to both camps - for years I preferred to shoot in RAW (or RAW + JPEG) - and only in the last maybe year and a half, after playing around with Fuji film simulations - and discovering the richness and options in both pre-existing ('default') and homegrown ('recipes') variations, in three different Fuji X-Trans cameras (the compact X30, the X-Pro3, and now my X-T3) - have I adopted a JPEG-only shooting approach with my Fujifilm cameras.

For the record, I've only shot JPEG-only with two other cameras - the Olympus Pen F I used to own (and still miss), which has a cool internal software engine tailored to the creation of brilliant jpeg 'recipes' - and my Lumix GX9, which has one of the nicest internal jpeg monochrome engines ("l.monochrome.d") I've ever found.

And by the way, I have spent hours and hours (sometimes it seems like a few lifetimes) trying to shape the look of different RAW negatives from different cameras, into something I found satisfying, or something close to what I have somewhere "in my mind's eyes". But, for me at least, there are interesting differences between trying to shoot with a given JPEG (either default or recipe) in my camera - vs trying to get there in post. And as Ritchie Roesch points out, neither method is inherently 'better' than the other. Neither option is “right” or “wrong”, they are just different means to an end, which is a finished photograph you’re happy with.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
For the record, the X-Pro3 and X-T3 both have X Trans lV sensors! So yes, they both have 26.1 mega pixels. There is an excellent comparison of these 2 bodies by mirrorlesscomparisons.com.
It's an excellent, thoughtful and detailed comparison.

But it does leave out one interesting detail. Among all the (newer) X-Trans IV camera bodies - only two of them, the X-T3 and the X-T30 - were not ever given the updated firmware which Fuji gave all the other X-Trans IV bodies (including the X-Pro3, the X-T4, the X-S10, and the X-E4). This means that neither the X-T3 nor the X-T30 have the 'Classic Negative' simulation; nor do they have either the internal 'Clarity' setting or the internal Color Chrome Blue effect.

A lot of Fujiholics complained vociferously about this - insisting that it violated Fuji's long-standing claim that it would offer 'Kaizen' updates on all its cameras (Kaizen = 'good' in Japanese - but has the implication that Fuji will continually breathe new life into older cameras by giving them firmware updates to make them as good as the newer models). There were so many complaints among so many users, that Fujifilm partially caved in - and introduced an updated version of the X-T30: the X-T30 II. Essentially it's the same camera but with an updated internal firmware which allows it access to the aforementioned film simulations and settings.

But the X-T3 has never received any 'kaizen' or significant firmware updates - so it still lacks those other capabilities. However Fuji did include them in the newer (and pricier) X-T4. The X-T4 has IBIS (which the X-T3 lacked), a slightly larger body, and a swing-out rear LCD which theoretically is more video-friendly. But it lost the cool vertically tilting rear-screen (preferred by more stills-only shooters) - which still has left a minority of non-video-shooting Fujiholic X-T3 users irritated, to say the least.

But, you're right - the X-T3 does have the newer X-Trans IV 26mp sensor - which definitely makes it a serious improvement over its predecessor, the X-T2. And (the best part for me) it has a truly killer EVF/viewfinder... even better than my previous favorite, the one on my old GX8.
 
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Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
My latest simulation discovery: a Kodacolor sim created by Ritchie Roesch, which he then subsequently tweaked slightly to give it more of the feel of much of the work of Stephen Shore (who over the years often used Kodacolor film in a variety of cameras. I've only taken a handful of shots with it but they are surprising me. Perhaps my favorite is this one, taken outside a local automotive tire store---

XT3_Sept20_22_Tires(LesSchwab)#1.jpg
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This next was taken indoors, at my local library, where an exhibit of antique Japanese dolls is on display.

XT3_Sept20_22_Japanese_doll@Library.jpg
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Another indoor shot, taken with a mix of natural (sunlight) with a bit of peripheral tungsten light from a lamp. The tones surprised me.

XT3_Sept20_22_morning_light_on_clock#2.jpg
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Lastly, two exterior shots in the harsher mid-to-late afternoon sunlight.
The first I noticed out of my peripheral vision driving through a suburban neighborhood; of course, since I had the X-T3 with me, I promptly had to turn the car around and drive back for a closer look.

XT3_Sept20_22_Honor_Roll#2.jpg
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Finally, saving my other favorite from today for the end...

XT3_Sept20_22_Green_Acres_Pet_Cemetery.jpg
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Confession: I did a tiny bit of processing on the last one, mainly to give the clouds a little more definition - but it's close to the SOOC jpeg.

For those interested in the 'recipe', it's in this Fuji-X Weekly post:
Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe, Part 2
 

lucien

Legend
Nice I like this new set. How many sims can the camera hold? Can you have say 5 monochrome ones then 5 film ones?
just curious
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
It depends on which camera you have, but most X-Trans Fujifilm cameras have seven (7) custom slots in which different simulations can be stored, C1 through C7. You can, literally, pick any simulations you choose at any particular moment - so you could have, for example, 5 monochrome ones and 2 color ones (for a total of 7) - or 3 & 4 - or an all-monochrome lineup of 7 monochromes if you choose.

However there is another complicating factor - namely, different recipes call for different WB settings. When you move from one Custom recipe to another (C1, C2, C3, and so on), if you have a newer X-Trans IV sensor camera - such as the X-Pro3 or, I believe, the X-T4 as well, then the camera automatically remembers what specific and exact WB you are using - and changes them automatically (as per the recipe). Otherwise, if you have an older camera - like my X-T3 (which technically has an X-Trans IV sensor but was partially crippled by Fuji's not updating & expanding its firmware) - that means that if you move from one custom recipe to another - you MAY have to reset the White Balance on some or all of them. An example of this is if several of your custom recipes are based on an Auto (automatic) WB shift, then each may specify additional settings -- such as -3R +4B - R being the Red scale and B being the blue scale -- when you dive into the Fuji Menus, you can not only set these as necessary but immediately see the effects. Kodak film sims tend to have stronger Reds often while some Fuji film sims have weaker reds but stronger blues or greens, etc.

But - and I'm getting a bit technical here but it helps to know this stuff if you're thinking about using all 7 Custom slots for different recipes - there is a workaround which eliminates the need to reset WB shift settings. In Fujifilm cameras, when setting the specific WB for different recipes or different simulations, you have multiple choices - Auto, Daylight, multiple Fluorescents, multiple specific Kelvin color temperatures - and if you program 7 custom recipes which each have a different WB setting - then as you switch between choosing C1 or C4 or C7 or whatever - the camera automatically will change the WB Shift for you.

It sounded a bit complicated to me too at first. There's an excellent post on the Fuji-X Weekly website which explains what I just said more clearly and in more detail--


--and, of course, if you have one of the NEWER X-Trans IV cameras (like the XPro3), they will make all changes automatically so you never have to think about any of this.

But, short answer to your question: YES, you can usually program in 7 settings to most Fuji-X cameras - and they can be whatever (monochrome, color, etc) you choose. Hopefully, some of the preceding makes sense.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
One of my other new favorites - the all-purpose Color simulation developed by Luís Costa. It somehow creates a colour palette I find quite cool.
Here's a recent sample--

XT3_Sept23_22_Japanese_doll_on_printer.jpg
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Here is a link to Luís Costa's website, where he gives the details of a few of his favorite simulation 'recipes'. The one I'm using is the one he created for cameras with X-Trans III sensors.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Two radically different simulation looks, both based on 'recipes' by Ritchie Roesch from the Fuji-X Weekly website. Both taken inside an eclectic local grocery market, which also sells transcendental refrigerator magnets.
First, Kodacolor---

XT3_Sept26_22_Buddha_magnet#1(Kodacolor).jpg
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Then Superia 800---

XT3_Sept26_22_Buddha_magnet#2(Superia800).jpg
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These may be may two current favorites.
 
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