The 7 custom Fujifilm recipes on my camera right now

Those of you who read my “Favorite Fujifilm film simulation recipes” article know that for quite some time I’ve stuck with one single recipe for color and another for B&W. That worked out great and looking back I really enjoy the consistency I got during that period, but eventually it got a little boring – especially in Covid times – so I started experimenting again with other Fuji recipes just to keep things interesting. I’ve posted some of those images on Social Media and got asked quite a lot which recipe it was, so I figured it’s about time I’d share with you guys what I’ve been using lately.

I tried a bunch of stuff from Fuji X Weekly and some other online resources, but ultimately the ones that found a permanent space on my X-pro3 custom settings slots were all variations of my own recipes (with the exception of one that I will talk about soon).

Disclaimer: I absolutely SUCK at coming up with cool names, so I apologize in advance for the very bland and uninspired recipe titles.

Classic Neg Fade

The first recipe on my camera right now is a toned down version of my original Classic Negative recipe and it’s the one I’ve been using more often for the past year. The original version can be too overpowering at times, so I began looking for something a bit more subtle that would mimic the look of real film more accurately.

This has become my default go-to film simulation for documenting everyday life, thanks to its warm colors and (slightly) faded look. As with most of my recipes, it works best on sunny days but also handles other lighting conditions (including night and interiors) much better than my original Classic Negative recipe.

  • Film simulation: Classic Negative
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • White Balance: Auto
  • WB Shift: +2 Red, -5 Blue
  • Highlights: -1
  • Shadows: -1
  • Color: -1
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: 0
  • Sharpening: -4
  • Grain effect: Strong
  • Grain size: Small
  • Color chrome Effect: Strong
  • Color chrome FX blue: Weak
  • Exposure compensation: usually between +2/3 and +1, adjust as necessary

C1 Classic Neg

I’m a big fan of happy accidents and this was one of those cases. I imported a bunch of jpgs (taken with the Classic Neg Fade recipe above) along with the original raw files into Capture One, and the software automatically applied it’s version of Classic Negative to the raws. However, Capture One renders them quite differently compared to the camera jpgs: it doesn’t take into consideration any of the customized in-camera settings (highlights, shadows, color, etc), except for the White Balance shift which it tries to replicate by adjusting the Kelvin and Tint values.

The result is generally punchier and warmer than the camera jpgs which in some images actually works better, so I set out to replicate that look with a new recipe. To be honest I didn’t get very close, but the result was nonetheless pretty interesting so I’ve been using it since. Ironically, I think it resembles Slide film much more than Negative film!

  • Film simulation: Classic Negative
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • White Balance: Auto
  • WB Shift: +3 Red, -8 Blue
  • Highlights: -1
  • Shadows: -2
  • Color: -2
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: 0
  • Sharpening: -4
  • Grain effect: Weak
  • Grain size: Small
  • Color chrome Effect: Strong
  • Color chrome FX blue: Weak
  • Exposure compensation: usually between +1/3 and +2/3, adjust as necessary

Soft Chrome

After getting the X-pro3 with Classic Negative, I was so in love with that simulation that I didn’t use anything else for at least half a year. However, one thing I realized early on was that it wasn’t as versatile as some of the other film simulations: it works beautifully with the right light, but on certain situations it can produce some weird color casts.

Eventually I went back to my old Classic Chrome recipe, but that one felt too warm and punchy for my current tastes so I tweaked it to make it more neutral and with softer contrast. I think this a great all-around recipe that seems to work well in many different scenarios and – to my eyes, at least – it looks very filmic when overexposed.

  • Film simulation: Classic Chrome
  • Dynamic Range: DR200
  • White Balance: Auto
  • WB Shift: +1 Red, -4 Blue
  • Highlights: +2
  • Shadows: 0
  • Color: 0
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: -2
  • Sharpening: 0
  • Grain effect: Weak
  • Grain size: Small
  • Color chrome Effect: Weak
  • Color chrome FX blue: Weak
  • Exposure compensation: usually between +1/3 and +1, adjust as desired

Moody Chrome

As you might have already noticed, pretty much all of my recipes are geared towards bright sunny days. Up until recently whenever I shot in bad weather I always processed the raw files using this Lightroom preset which I love for gloomy, cinematic vibes. A few weeks ago I decided to try and replicate that look using the camera settings, so I used a bunch of photos where I applied the preset as a reference and came up with something that while it’s not an exact match, I think it’s in the ballpark. It has a strong green cast that in some scenarios reminds me a bit of Cinestill 800T.

Surprisingly, it also creates a very interesting look even on sunny days, I need to try it more often in different situations.

  • Film simulation: Classic Chrome
  • Dynamic Range: DR200
  • White Balance: Daylight
  • WB Shift: -4 Red, -5 Blue
  • Highlights: +2
  • Shadows: 0
  • Color: +4
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: -2
  • Sharpening: -2
  • Grain effect: Strong
  • Grain size: Large
  • Color chrome Effect: Strong
  • Color chrome FX blue: Off
  • Exposure compensation: -1/3, adjust as necessary

Big Negative

This is the only recipe on the list that is not mine. I discovered it while binge-watching photography videos on Youtube and immediately loved its filmic look, you can find the original video here.

This recipe produces gorgeous pastel tones especially in soft light, with a slight shift towards the greens that’s reminiscent of some classic Fuji film stocks. I’ve tweaked it very slightly to my liking, but all the credit goes to Big Negative for coming up with this.

  • Film simulation: Classic Negative
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • White Balance: Auto
  • WB Shift: -2 Red, -5 Blue
  • Highlights: -2
  • Shadows: 0
  • Color: +3
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: -3
  • Sharpening: 0
  • Grain effect: Strong
  • Grain size: Large
  • Color chrome Effect: Weak
  • Color chrome FX blue: Strong
  • Exposure compensation: between +1 and +1 2/3, adjust as needed to keep the image bright

Tri-X Pushed

This has been my go-to Black & White recipe ever since I got my first X-trans III camera many years ago. I discovered back then that the Acros simulation in conjunction with high ISOs produces some very film-like grain, so I intentionally began to set the ISO at 12.800 by default. The result looks a lot like pushed Tri-X, where you can control the amount of “push” by playing with the ISO: lower ISOs will give you cleaner images with more detail, higher ISOs will give you more grain and less definition.

  • Film simulation: Acros Red
  • Dynamic Range: DR200
  • WB Shift: 0 Red, 0 Blue
  • Highlights: +3
  • Shadows: +4
  • Color: 0
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: 0
  • Sharpening: -1
  • Grain effect: Off
  • Grain size: Off
  • Color chrome Effect: Off
  • Color chrome FX blue: Off
  • Exposure compensation: Between +1/3 and +2/3
  • ISO: 12.800 by default, adjust as needed to get the amount of grain you want

Colored B&W

The Tri-X recipe above is great for creating high-contrast images, but occasionally I want something a bit softer that can retain more detail in the shadows. I also wanted to try out the new “Monochromatic Color” option that was introduced in recent camera models, so with those 2 things in mind I started tinkering around with the settings and came up with this recipe. It has an old B&W vibe, almost sepia-like, which I love for documenting every day scenes.

  • Film simulation: Acros Green
  • Dynamic Range: DR200
  • Monochromatic Color: WC +2, MG +2
  • WB Shift: 0 Red, 0 Blue
  • Highlights: +2
  • Shadows: +1
  • Color: 0
  • Noise reduction: -4
  • Clarity: +2
  • Sharpening: 0
  • Grain effect: Strong
  • Grain size: Large
  • Color chrome Effect: Strong
  • Color chrome FX blue: Off
  • Exposure compensation: +1/3 as base, adjust as necessary

How do they compare?

To finish this off, I’ll leave you with a direct comparison of the same image with the different recipes applied, so that you can get a better feel for how they impact the look of the final image.

  • Classic Neg Fade
  • C1 Classic Neg
  • Soft Chrome
  • Moody Chrome
  • Big Negative
  • Tri-X Pushed
  • Colored B&W

Goodbye Fujifilm x100f, hello Ricoh Gr II

This will seem absolutely bonkers to those who read my “Love at first click” article, but it’s true: I sold my x100f and bought a used Ricoh Gr II. I know, I’m still a bit shocked myself! 😲

Truth is, ever since I got the X-Pro3 back in December 2019 the x100f was mostly left on the shelf as the X-Pro became my daily driver. The lack of Classic Negative and a tilt screen were the main reasons for that, but also because in the summer and without a jacket, the x100f wasn’t really small enough to fit in my shorts’ pockets.

I have this unspoken rule that if I have an expensive piece of gear that gets little to no use for a 6 month period, it’s time to let it go. But I knew I would miss having a smaller carry around camera, so after looking into the available options I decided to get a used Ricoh Gr II that costed me a little more than half of what I sold the x100f for.

I knew the camera was small, but I was still surprised when I received it – it’s actually smaller than my phone! I’m loving the fact that it fits into any pocket and I can use it with just one hand, which is also a big plus for my dog walks. The 28mm (FF equivalent) focal length will take some getting used to but that in itself is a fun challenge, I like forcing myself to see things from a different perspective every now and then.

I’ll probably share some more insights once I’ve used it for a few weeks, stay tuned.

New film simulation recipe for the X-pro3 / x100V

As most of you already know, I’ve been using the X-Pro3 for a few weeks now and since day one I set it to Classic Negative and haven’t changed it yet (though I did process some images in Black & White afterwards).

I’ve been getting some questions on Instagram regarding the settings I’ve been using, so I figured it was about time I’d update my “Favorite Fujifilm film simulation settings” article to reflect this.

I’ve left the previous versions of the recipe untouched because I know very few people have Classic Negative right now, although I have a feeling it should be coming soon to other X-Trans IV models like the X-T3 and X-T30.

Let me know what you think and feel free to ask any questions you may have!

So, this happened…

…I am now the proud owner of a X-pro3, the camera that nearly broke the Internet! 😁

Those who follow me on social media may recall that I was fairly critical of some of the design choices made (though nowhere near the level of insanity that rocked the once peaceful Fuji community). I couldn’t wrap my head around that flip screen, and the removal of the D-pad also seemed like a step backwards in terms of customization. So what gives? Why did I end up selling my x-pro1, x-t20 and a guitar to buy this (very) expensive quirky camera just a couple of months later?

Well, the fact is the more I read about it and analyzed my own way of shooting, the more I felt it could be a great match for my needs. If you read my x100f tribute, you know that on that camera I prefer to keep the back screen off most of the times; when I do use it, I’ve always wished it would tilt so I could shoot from the hip in a more controlled manner (instead of hoping for the best). At the same time, for the past year or so I’ve been using mostly one single color recipe and one black white recipe in order to gain some consistency in my images, but also to spend less time messing with camera settings and focus more on what’s actually happening around me.

So, once the dust settled and the initial shock wore off, I realized the x-pro3’s more controversial design changes – hidden screen and no d-pad – were actually what I’ve been asking all along for the x100f! I’ve only been using it for a couple of days but I can already tell the ergonomics are brilliant, once you’ve customized the buttons to your needs. There’s also a ton of new software features that are godsent to jpg shooters like me – for example, you can now save a white balance shift on each custom setting! This is a total game changer for fans of in-camera film simulation settings.

That being said, one thing the x-pro3 is not is an “all-purpose” camera. The x-pro line has always been target at a very specific audience, if anything the new hardware changes only made that audience narrower. There are much better options in Fuji’s lineup for people looking for an all-around camera, or for those who prefer to shoot with the lcd screen and change settings often. But if you’re into street or documentary photography and have that “set it and forget it” mentality, I’d argue this is the best camera out there right now (at least without going into Leica territory).

Below are some of the first snaps I took with the x-pro3, all straight out of camera jpgs with the new Classic Negative film simulation. I’m still messing around with this new simulation but I’ll probably have to update my favorite film simulation settings soon! 😉

Updated my favorite Fujifilm film simulation settings (again)

It’s that time of year again! It’s been almost 10 months since I’ve updated my favorite film simulation settings page, but in the last few months I’ve been using slightly different settings so I figured a new update is in order. I did some very minor tweaks to my color settings, but also added a specific recipe for X-trans I sensors and some comments on my post-processing workflow (yes, I still do P.P. even though I shoot mostly in jpg)! You can read all about it here.