Happy Halloween!

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Stranger Things – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

As the days grow shorter and the nights turn colder, and the blustery winds of change howl, the carefree fun of summer gives way to unsettled autumn delight. Pumpkin coffee, sweet chocolate candy, houses made spooky and eccentric costumes are manifestations of the season, as are colorful leaves covering the grass and newly dormant trees obscuring the moon.

Like campfire ghost stories, the mysterious and eerie Halloween night, the last night of October, brings an apprehensive gaiety. Houses decorated, outfits on, and children going door-to-door hoping for sweet treats. It’s all in good fun.

The Fujifilm X100F is the perfect camera for this day. It’s small and lightweight and doesn’t get in the way, easily hiding in a pocket. The flash and leaf shutter combine to make family snapshots a breeze. You can capture great memories and beautiful images, while not limiting yourself to the role of designated photographer. This is the camera to have with you tonight.

Happy Halloween!

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Dia de los Muertos – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Fujifilm Fanboy

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Fortuity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There are Canon guys, Nikon guys, Sony guys, Leica guys, etc., people who praise their camera brand and criticize all the others. These are known as fanboys. They are fanatical about one camera brand, like someone who roots for a particular sports team.

There was this photographer I knew back when I lived in California who was a Canon guy. He would exalt his Canon gear up one side and down the other. He would tell anyone who didn’t have a Canon camera that they should get a Canon camera. He would eagerly inform you that Canon was the number one camera brand and that most pros use it “for a reason.”

A few years back I overheard one photographer tell an aspiring photographer, who was seeking guidance on how to improve, that he needed to buy a certain Nikon camera in order to make better photographs. He needed more dynamic range and better high ISO performance and quicker auto focus and if only he had this specific gear from this certain manufacturer he’d be able to achieve the results he wanted.

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Carousel Counsel – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Leica has perhaps the most fanatic followers of any camera brand, and it has been well documented and heavily discussed all over the web. Leica guys will tell you that there is nothing like shooting with a Leica, and once you photograph with one you’ll never touch another camera brand ever again.

I never really understood this. There’s not a huge difference between camera brands. Every camera is good nowadays and none are perfect. People squabble over a two point difference in some meaningless score over at a website that rates cameras (and that website states a two point difference is imperceptible). It seems so ridiculous.

I doubt you’ve ever said, “That picture must be from a Canon camera!” Or, “The photographer must have used a Nikon to capture that!” Or, “You can really appreciate the Sony look in this image!” Or, “Only a Leica could have created that picture!” That’s because a RAW file from any camera can be manipulated to look however you want. You can make identical pictures with cameras from every camera brand.

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Mobile Service – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The only things that really separate one brand from the next are really small things. One might have a little bit different setup or tiny innovation that the others don’t. I know this because I have owned digital cameras made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Samsung and others. By and large they are all the same, much more similar than dissimilar.

I bring up all this because I have been accused of being “another one of those Fujifilm fanboys.” And, based on the title of this blog, it’s understandable. I do love my Fujifilm X100F. And I loved the X-E1 that I used to own.

What is it about Fujifilm that makes me like it more than other brands of cameras? Am I really a Fujifilm fanboy? I decided that there are two things that separate Fujifilm from everyone else in my book. The first is user experience and the second is JPEG quality.

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Transit Shadow – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

One thing I really like about Fujifilm is the retro styling. People ask me from time to time if I’m shooting a vintage film camera. That’s great and all, but what I really appreciate are the old school controls. There’s no PASM dial. You don’t have to dig through menus to adjust the aperture, you twist a ring around the lens. The shutter and ISO are controlled through dials on the top. Having learned photography in the film era (with a Canon A-E1), all of this is normal, natural and simple. It’s a joy to use! It’s the way cameras should have always been, and I wonder why camera makers ever moved away from it. This isn’t completely unique to Fujifilm, but it’s not all that common, either.

Straight-out-of-camera JPEG quality on Fujifilm cameras are beyond that of any other camera brand. You are probably saying things like “so what” and “you should try RAW” right about now. I was there with you before I began using Fujifilm cameras. I shot a lot of RAW. But then I discovered that Fujifilm cameras can produce JPEGs that resemble post-processed RAW files. I soon realized that I didn’t need to edit my pictures!

I used to estimate that for every hour spent photographing I would need two-to-three hours for editing, depending on exactly how many exposures I made and how much work each needed. That’s a lot of time sitting in front of a computer tweaking images! I always wondered if there was a better, more efficient way. And there certainly is!

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Watching & Waiting – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

You might be wondering about the seemingly unrelated photographs that I’ve included in this article. A few days ago I picked up my aunt from the Salt Lake City airport. I arrived about 20 minutes before she found her way to baggage claim, and then we waited about 15 minutes for her luggage to show up. I brought along my Fujifilm X100F and snapped some street-type images while there.

I captured pictures (off and on) for about 35 minutes, which, in the days before I shot Fujifilm, meant that I’d be staring at a computer monitor post-processing RAW files for somewhere between an hour and ten minutes to an hour and forty five minutes. Instead, it took me ten minutes to upload the JPEGs from the camera onto the computer, sift through them to decide which were keepers, then upload those to Flickr (which is what I use to backup my work). Done. I went about the rest of my day. Tons and tons of time saved.

The pictures here are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. No editing done or required. Do they look like typical JPEGs? No, they don’t because they look finished. They look like they would if I had made RAW exposures and then edited them with software. Or perhaps they have a film-like quality to them.

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Arrived – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent sitting at a computer editing pictures–too many to even begin to estimate. There were times in the past that my workflow was so backed up that I purposefully left my camera on the shelf collecting dust for days and even weeks because I didn’t want to create any more post-processing work. Instead of that, I now spend more time with my family and creating images.

If I didn’t have a Fujifilm camera, my life would consist of significantly more time at a computer. I already spend too much time with my face looking at a screen. Life’s not happening in an office. Life’s not happening at a desk. I missed out on a lot, but I’m not missing out on it now. That may seem over dramatic, but it is true.

I’ve found something that has made a difference to me personally, and I love to share that with you. Does that make me a Fujifilm fanboy? Perhaps. If it does, I’m not ashamed of it. I hope you understand.

Simplicity vs Complexity

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Keep it super simple (the KISS method). Simple is simply better, right?

Why, then, are cameras so darn complicated? Why are there so many menus, options, buttons, knobs, wheels and switches? Why does it take a novel-sized instruction manual to tell you how to operate it?

There are four critical camera controls: aperture, shutter, ISO and focus. This is true for every camera, although in some cases these things might be fixed, such as a home-built pinhole camera (the aperture is a tiny hole, the shutter might be a piece of tape over the hole, ISO is whatever film was placed in it, and focus is determined by the position of the camera itself).

Fujifilm has simplified what other camera makers have over complicated. On the X100F, the aperture is adjusted via a ring around the lens. The shutter speed is set via a knob on top, as is the ISO. Focus is controlled by a ring around the lens. This is how cameras were designed for many decades. This is a simple, user-friendly setup.

When cameras became more electronically controlled, camera makers got away from simplicity, and convoluted the whole process. They changed everything, and made you use a PASM dial and dig through menus for even basic adjustments. It never had to be this way. Thankfully, with Fujifilm, it’s not.

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If you don’t want to manually control some of the settings, the X100F can auto everything. Do you like shutter priority? Set the aperture to A. Like aperture priority? Set the shutter to A. Want the camera to choose the ISO? Set ISO to A. Don’t want to manually focus? Flip the switch on the side to C or S. It can be as manual or auto as you’d like, and going back and forth is easy.

All of the less important settings can be adjusted through the various buttons, wheels, switched, etc., found all over the camera, which can be customized to taste. The Q button allows quick access to almost everything.

Different people have different needs, and prefer different features and settings. The more people demand various things, the more complex the design becomes. The X100F, which is the fourth generation in the series, has many more features and options than the original X100.

What I appreciate is that, even though there are tons of features, options, settings and buttons, the four critical camera controls–aperture, shutter, ISO and focus–are kept simple. The other stuff is kept fairly uncomplicated (all things considered), too, but the things that I adjust from image-to-image are right where they are supposed to be. The design is how cameras were meant to be designed. Fujifilm kept it super simple. Or, at least, as simple as they practically could.

My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Kodak Colors – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summer
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day

Kodachrome is probably the most iconic photographic film ever made. It was legendary, and many people saw the world through its colors. Kodak produced Kodachrome film from 1935 through 2009, when it was suddenly discontinued.

The Kodachrome name has been used for many different films over the years. The first Kodachrome product was a two-glass-plate color negative that was introduced in 1915. Like all other color photography methods of its time, the results weren’t particularly good and the product not especially successful.

In 1935 Kodak released its next Kodachrome, which was a color transparency film with an ISO of 10. This Kodachrome was the first color film that produced reasonably accurate colors and was the first commercially successful color film. It became the standard film for color photography for a couple decades, and was even Ansel Adams’ preferred choice for color work. The December 1946 issue of Arizona Highways, which was the first all-color magazine in the world, featured Barry Goldwater’s Kodachrome images.

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Kodak made significant improvements to Kodachrome, and in 1961 released Kodachrome II. This film boasted more accurate colors, sharper images, finer grain, and a faster ISO of 25. While it was still similar to the previous Kodachrome, it was better in pretty much every way. A year later Kodachrome-X was introduced, which had an ISO of 64.

Another generation of Kodachrome, which came out in 1974, saw Kodachrome II replaced by Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome-X replaced by Kodachrome 64. The differences between this version and the previous weren’t huge and image quality was nearly identical. The biggest change was going from the K-12 to the K-14 development process (which was a little less complex, but still complex). This generation of Kodachrome is what most people think of when they picture (pun intended) the film, gracing the pages of magazines like National Geographic.

I personally have shot plenty of Kodachrome, mostly Kodachrome 64. It was a good general use film that produced sharp images and pleasing colors. I haven’t used it in more than a decade. Its days are gone. Even if you can find an old roll of the film, there are no labs in the world that will develop it.

Plenty of people have attempted to mimic the Kodachrome look with their digital images. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Alien Skin Exposure software has what is likely the best one-size-fits-all Kodachrome presets, but I don’t think they’re exactly right because the results vary from camera to camera.

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L.A. Trolley – Perris, CA – Nikon D3300, Alien Skin Exposure 1935-1960 Kodachrome preset.

Besides, it all depends on exactly what Kodachrome look you are after. There are different versions, including about a dozen that I didn’t mention above, each with their own slightly varied look. Perhaps filters were used in conjunction with the film (which was more common in the film era than the digital era). How it was viewed, whether projected, light table, printed or scanned, also effected the appearance. Kodachrome has a long shelf life if stored in a dark, cool space, but if not stored properly it can fade or become damaged, and maybe you prefer one of those looks over the other. It’s really tough to pin down exactly what Kodachrome looks like because there are so many variables.

Fujifilm X cameras, such as the X100F that I own, have different Film Simulation options. One of those is called Classic Chrome, which is supposed to mimic the general look of Kodak color transparency film. Some have suggested that Classic Chrome imitates Kodachrome, but I think it more closely resembles Ektachrome.

A couple of days ago I accidentally discovered a vintage Kodachrome recipe for my Fujifilm X100F, based on Classic Chrome. By “accidentally” I mean that I had no intentions of creating a Kodachrome look. I captured a RAW image and played around with it in the camera’s built-in RAW editor. I was trying to see what crazy looks I could get if I really messed around with the settings. One of the versions that I created reminded me of vintage Kodachrome.

I dug out my old Kodachrome slides, plus my grandparent’s really old Kodachrome slides (which I happen to have at my house), looked at some vintage magazines and did some internet searches, and studied what real Kodachrome looks like. Relying strictly on my fading memory isn’t always the best idea, so having actual samples to compare was useful. Thankfully I found plenty of old Kodachrome pictures from many different eras to examine.

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Rubber Boots – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F, original “Vintage Kodachrome” image.

The original picture (above) that I thought looked like vintage Kodachrome was somewhat close to the 1935-1960 version of Kodachrome, but it needed some adjustments. I played around a little more and I think that I have created a pretty good Film Simulation recipe for that generation of the film. Some images seem more convincing than others, but overall I believe it is surprisingly accurate.

One thing that I’m not completely thrilled about with the recipe is the film grain. I think that strong is too strong and weak is too weak. I wish that there was a medium option, but there’s not. On real Kodachrome the grain is not uniform and tends to clump, and so the grain looks much different than Fujifilm’s more regular faux grain. Beginning with Kodachrome II the grain was more fine, and so I definitely wouldn’t pick strong grain if I was trying to simulate a later version. The reason that I chose strong instead of weak is because it furthers the impression of vintage, despite the inaccuracy.

A characteristic of the 1935-1960 Kodachrome is the color shift. Blues veered toward cyan, reds were a bit darker, and skin tones had more of a bronze/orange look. It wasn’t as true-to-life as later versions of the film, but for its time it was considered very accurate.

I think my Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation recipe is a great way to create in-camera retro-styled images. The example photographs in this post are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. It’s pretty darn close to that first era of Kodachrome slide film, and while not 100% accurate, it definitely has the right aesthetic to be convincing.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: -2
Color: +4
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red, -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to -1 (typically)

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Books On A Mantel – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Two Thirds – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Pumpkin – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Leaves In The Grass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Leaves Around A Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Bicycle Trail – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Through The Fall Forest – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Autumn In The Woods – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Golden Forest – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Changing Leaves – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Changing Forest – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Red Autumn Leaf – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Seeds of Gold – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Boy Unsure – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Respect – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Autumn Canopy – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Weber River Autumn – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Log Above The Riverbank – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

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Weber River In October – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Vintage Kodachrome”

See also:
My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

Fujifilm X100F Dynamic Range Settings

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Autumn At Mill Creek – Bountiful, UT – FujiFilm X100F Astia @ DR200 – captured on a sunny afternoon with strong highlights and deep shadows.

Fujifilm X cameras, including the X100F that I own, have three Dynamic Range settings: DR100, DR200 and DR400. Let’s explore what these setting are and what it means for your pictures.

To begin with, it’s important to understand that the X-Trans sensors found inside Fujifilm cameras are actually made by Sony. Once upon a time digital camera sensors would increase the energy pumped into them to make the photosites more sensitive to light in order to increase ISO. At some point Sony figured out that doing so was unnecessary, that the camera, even in very dark areas, was recording a lot of information. Thus, the “ISO-less” sensor was born.

An ISO-less sensor, which modern Sony-made sensors are, increases ISO by simply increasing the luminosity levels with software. You can try this at home by capturing an exposure at ISO 6400 and a RAW exposure at ISO 200 underexposed by five stops, then brighten the underexposed file in software to the correct exposure. You’ll notice that the the two files now look the same.

In other words, the camera is actually capturing every shot at base ISO and increasing the brightness after the exposure for whatever ISO was selected. You are completely unaware, and it is automatically done, even to RAW files. That’s why they call it ISO-less.

What this means is that there are a lot of details that can be pulled out of the shadows of your RAW files. The highlights can clip rather sharply and there isn’t a lot of room for error, but you have tons of room in the shadows. It’s best to underexpose to protect the highlights and increase the luminosity in post.

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Vibrant Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F Velvia @ DR200 – contrast from back-lit trees are handled well, with shadows that are strong but not devoid of details.

 

That’s great for RAW shooters, but what about those who prefer JPEG? Fujifilm built into their cameras the Dynamic Range settings, which allows the benefits of the ISO-less sensor to be applied to JPEGs.

Have you ever wondered why base ISO on Fujifilm X cameras is ISO 200? It’s actually a software trick. The real base ISO on the sensor is ISO 100 (which is available as an “extended ISO”), but the camera applies a curve in software to pull more details out of the shadows, essentially underexposing the scene and then increasing the luminosity of everything (except the highlights) to maximize the dynamic range. This is also why some people claim that Fujifilm “cheats” with their ISOs.

The Dynamic Range settings don’t mean anything to RAW files, but they have a big effect on JPEGs. They allow you to retain shadow details and prevent clipped highlights.

The default setting is Dynamic Range 100 (DR100). This is the standard Dynamic Range option and it cannot be turned off (except by selected extended ISO 100). Dynamic Range 200 (DR200) is next, and if it is selected the minimum ISO is 400 (instead of ISO 200). The third option is Dynamic Range 400 (DR400), and if it is selected the minimum ISO is 800. There is also an option to let the camera auto-decide which Dynamic Range setting to use.

The reason that the minimum ISO increases is because the camera is increasing the luminosity in the files (except for the highlights) to an equivalent of that ISO. The good news is that there really isn’t an image quality difference between ISO 200 and ISO 800, so there should be no hesitation using ISO 800 if you want a larger dynamic range.

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Autumn Forest Light – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F Astia @ DR200 – sunlight created deep shadows, but they are handled quite well by the camera.

A lot of people keep the Dynamic Range set at the default DR100, and that’s fine for them. I think it works well in low contrast situations. For normal everyday use I prefer DR200 because it does a great job of capturing the dynamic range of most scenes while not looking flat. DR400 is a good option for scenes with a large dynamic range (it seems nearly impossible to clip highlights), but if there isn’t enough contrast in the scene your images will look flat (but contrast could be added in post-processing).

Which Dynamic Range setting is best and which you should choose depends on the situation. I don’t think DR100 is strong enough, and you are more likely to experience clipped highlights and deep black shadows with it selected. DR400 seems too strong, but if you plan to post-process the JPEG this gives you the most latitude for editing (then again, if you are going to post-process, why not shoot RAW?). DR200 seems to be the “just right” option that delivers results similar to what I’d achieve if I had edited a RAW exposure.

That’s putting it simply because there’s a lot more to it than that. Each scene has to be judged individually. If the light is even and there’s little contrast in the scene perhaps DR100 gives you the best look. Each Film Simulation has different amounts of contrast, so maybe DR200 works good for one and DR100 or DR400 works best for another. And it also depends on what exactly you’ve got highlights and shadows set to within your Film Simulation.

There are a lot of moving parts and things to consider when determining which Dynamic Range setting to select. There are many variables that might make you adjust it. I find myself using DR200 most of the time, and occasionally adjusting it up or down if I need to.

In conclusion, the Fujifilm Dynamic Range settings are a great way for JPEG users to take advantage of the large dynamic range capabilities of the X-Trans sensor. It has no effect on RAW, you will have to apply your own curves to pull out the shadow details if you are a RAW shooter. It’s a neat trick that Fuji uses to elevate their out-of-camera JPEGs to a level beyond that of other camera brands. It’s just a matter of figuring out which settings are best for each situation.

Update:

A reader contacted me to explain how I got this wrong, that the Dynamic Range settings only protect highlights and don’t effect shadows. That’s true, but because highlights are protected, I’m exposing a little more than I would otherwise, making the image a little brighter, including shadows. My exposure compensation is typically dialed between +2/3 and +1-1/3, situation specific, which would give me blown highlights without DR. So while the Dynamic Range options don’t directly increase the dynamic range within the shadows, they indirectly do.

My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

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Fujifilm Astia 100F color reversal (slide) film was popular among portrait and fashion photographers because of its excellent skin tone reproduction. It was known for low contrast and low color saturation, as well as having a slight warm/yellow cast and creamy highlights.

Astia would be pretty low on your list of choices for anything other than pictures of people. Because of this I only ever shot one roll of Astia 100F film.

The Astia Film Simulation on Fujifilm cameras doesn’t match real Astia film. It has far too much contrast and saturation, and the cast is more orange-red than yellow. But that doesn’t make it unworthy of your use. In fact, on the X-E1 that I used to own, it was my favorite choice and I used it probably 80% of the time.

Astia is not my favorite choice for color on my X100F. Classic Chrome is my go-to option, and I select Velvia (which has been noticeably improved) when I want something more bold. There is still a time and place for Astia, and I do use it occasionally.

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Autumn Forest Light – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F Astia

Something interesting that I discovered back on the X-E1, and it is still true on the X100F, is that Astia and Pro Neg Hi are nearly identical. Put them side-by-side and it can be tough to tell which is which. Astia has just a hair more color saturation and is just a tad warmer. Adjust color by one and customize the white balance and the two options are completely interchangeable.

One thing that I like about the Astia Film Simulation is that it strikes a good balance, sort of the Goldilocks of the Film Simulation options. Not too little or too much contrast, not too little or too much saturation, not too little or too much warmth–for many situations it is just a good choice. It won’t wow you but it won’t underwhelm you, either. I think it is a better standard Film Simulation than the standard (Provia) option.

I have customized my Astia Film Simulation to my liking. It is not intended to be more faithful to the actual film. I think if you were to adjust my settings to be -2 color and take a little red out of the white-balance you would be pretty close to actual Astia film. That’s not the look I want, so I stick with my custom recipe, which I think is better than Astia film ever was for things other than portraits.

Astia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -2
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Astia Film Simulation recipe:

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Leaf On The Windshield  – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn Apple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Red Leaf In The Water – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Downtown Tree In October – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn At Mill Creek – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sunlight In The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leaf In The Stream – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pumpkin Donut – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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FED 5c & Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Blue Sky High Rise – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Tired & Sad – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Downtown Tourists – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Temple Square – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pantheon & Patriotism – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Zions Bank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also: My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

Fall at Black Island Farms

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Sun Corn – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fall is for family field trips to the farm. In fact, my family and I went on a field trip to Black Island Farms in Syracuse, Utah, just last week. I also brought along my Fujifilm X100F.

The farm was great! We went on a tractor ride to pick pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. We saw some farm animals. We watched a pig race and a turkey race. We played on a giant playground made from stacks of hay. We made our way through a big corn maze (and didn’t get too lost). It was a nice autumn afternoon, and this was a great way to soak it in.

As far as photography goes, it wasn’t the best conditions. The midday light was harsh with plenty of bright highlights and deep shadows. And when you have four young kids, you need a free hand or two for them. But that’s where the X100F came in handy.

The camera is small enough to fit into a large pocket. Grab it when I want to snap a picture, hide it when I need free hands! Smaller is better in these types of situations, and pocket-sized is a huge plus. A DSLR is simply too big and bulky.

I used the built-in fill-flash frequently on this trip. It handled the tough lighting without fuss. The X100F has a good dynamic range, but the scenes typically exceeded the limit of the sensor; however, the flash helped fill the gap, making the light a little more even.

I used my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe for these photographs. I love the film-like way it renders the pictures. It has a classic Kodak slide film look. And it come straight out of the camera looking finished. These are unedited. I don’t have time to mess with RAW anymore, and the X100F speeds up my workload drastically by producing good results that don’t need editing.

The Fujifilm X100F is the best camera I’ve ever used for snapping family pictures. Go on an adventure with the kids and come back with nice pictures to supplement the great memories made. It’s so effortless. I wish that I had this camera years ago!

The takeaway is that a couple hours at the farm in difficult light can still produce a number of keeper photos when you have the X100F in your pocket. These are mostly personal family pictures, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

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Autumn Flag – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Red Tractor – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Empty Bench – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Biting Cabbage – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Carrot Farmer – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Three Pumpkin Heads – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Say Hello – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Crate Pumpkins – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

 

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Cute Little Pumpkin – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Found Two Great Pumpkins – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Help Needed – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Pumpkin Master – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Jon’s Pumpkin – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Perfect Pumpkins Are Picked – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Trouble – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Jon Watching The Turkey Race – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Climbing Hay – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Hay, Girl – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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At The Bottom of The Hay Slide – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Jon In A Corn Maze – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Down Into The Corn – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Tattered Corn Blade – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Corn Stalk – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Nice Day At The Farm – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

 

Yashica Y35 – Why This Is & Isn’t A Good Idea & How It Relates To Fujifilm

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor Film – Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome

Yashica used to make 35mm and medium-format film cameras. From the 1950’s through the 1980’s Yashica was a popular brand. They are perhaps best known for introducing the first electronically controlled camera, the Electro 35, in 1965.

Yashica has long been out of business, but the brand is being revived with a brand-new digital camera with a twist. The Yashica Y35, which is being crowdfunded, will come out next year. The twist? You have to load “film cartridges” into your digital camera, and the camera will not allow you to take the next picture until you have advanced to the next frame via a lever on top.

What I like about the Y35 is the vintage styling that looks a lot like their old Electro 35 or even the Minister-D. Vintage styling is one thing I like about the Fujifilm X100F, too. I also like that they are using “film simulations” albeit in a little different way than Fuji. I like that the camera is a manual camera.

To use different “film simulations” you have to buy and insert a fake film cartridge into the camera. You have four choices: ISO 1600 color, ISO 400 B&W, ISO 200 color, and ISO 200 color square. I like the idea, but would like a few more options. Maybe they have plans for more in the future, who knows.

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35mm Film & Yashica Rangefinder – Fujifilm X-E1 Astia

You have to “advance the film” in order to take the next shot, which might not be a bad thing. It helps prevent “spray and pray” and generally anything that slows you down can be good if you use the extra time to better compose the scene. The only other control is shutter speed (you have five options between 1 second and 1/500). You control the ISO with the “film” choice and the aperture is fixed at f/2.8. The camera’s focal-length is 35mm-equivalent. It is manual-focus-only, and there is a built-in viewfinder. There is no LCD on the back (a good thing, in my opinion).

What I don’t like is the sensor. It’s a 14-megapixel 1/3.2” CMOS, which isn’t even as large as some cellphones. You can expect a noisy image with a small dynamic range. That’s really too bad, because it seems like an interesting idea otherwise. Maybe they will make a larger-sensor version in the future (1″ maybe?).

The camera isn’t that expensive. It’s only $150 for the camera and four “films” if you join their crowdfunding effort, which expires in a few hours, otherwise you can expect to pay a little more in April when the camera comes out. I think it is probably more of a toy camera for kids than anything serious, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun.

How does all this relate to Fujifilm? I would like to see Fuji offer a camera similar to the X100F without an LCD and without auto-focus, just manual only. Maybe in the $500-600 range. I would also like Fujifilm to develop new film simulations and offer them as downloads. You choose which films you want and don’t want. I think that’s a great idea.

5 Acros The Autumn Sky

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve captured a bunch of pictures with my Fujifilm X100F. Most of them have been color photographs. During the autumn months I tend to shoot more color than black-and-white, mainly because of the changing leaves.

Even though I’ve shot a lot of color, I still have captured many monochrome images. As I was looking through some of those pictures this morning, five stood out as a mini-set. They’re not really related to each other (well, two of them are), but they don’t seem out of place side-by-side either.

The commonality between these pictures (besides lack of color) is that they show the changing weather of the changing season. Note how the sky looks in each image. It’s the same autumn in every photograph, but the conditions are different. It’s not just the tree leaves that change in fall. This mini-set demonstrates that. The autumn sky takes on many different looks, even on the same day.

The photographs below were all captured using my Fujifilm X100F within a two-week period between late-September and early-October. They are all camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Film Simulation recipe.

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Alpine Loop Monochrome – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Wasatch September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Farm Windmill – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Monochrome Architecture – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Snow Dusting The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F & Color Street Photography

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I mentioned in my article Fujifilm X100F & Monochrome Street Photography that I’m not really a street photographer, but occasionally find myself photographing within the genre. When I do I’m usually thinking black-and-white and have my Fujifilm X100F set to Acros Film Simulation. I prefer monochrome street photographs because the lighting I encounter is often not ideal for color pictures, and the abstractness of black-and-white tends to be more appropriate for the subject. Sometimes, however, I choose to capture in color.

For color street photography with the Fujifilm X100F I use my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe. It has a Kodak slide film look that reminds me a lot of Ektachrome. A lot of color street photography was shot on Kodak color reversal film before digital took the world by storm.

At times this set of photographs strays a little outside of what is traditionally defined as street photography. I’m not a stickler for rules. I don’t mind coloring outside the lines sometimes. I believe my monochrome street images are a stronger group, but some of these I like and I think are good pictures. I didn’t have a large selection to choose from. I think it’s about time to head downtown with my X100F.

The fifteen pictures below are my favorite color street photographs that I’ve captured with the Fujifilm X100F during the first two months of use. I hope you enjoy them!

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Coffee Delivery – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Playing For The Camera – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Stopped To Text – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Shopping For Trash – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Red Bicycle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Two Bikes – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bicycle Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Tourists At Lower Yellowstone Falls – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Getting Off The Holiday Bus – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Along The Midway Geyser Basin Walkway – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Evening Commuters – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting For The Northbound Train – Farmington, UT – X100F

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The Right Move Is To Open – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Ogden’s Time Square – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee & Grocery – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F