Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipes

Classic Chrome is one of the most popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. It produces a look similar to quintessential Kodak color transparency films like Kodachrome and Ektachrome, which graced the pages of publications like National Geographic and Arizona Highways for many years. With all things vintage being in style, there is a huge draw to the analog-esque results produced by the Classic Chrome film simulation.

I love Classic Chrome and I have used it as the base for a bunch of different film simulation recipes. It’s possible to achieve a number of different interesting looks straight out of camera by adjusting the settings. Honestly, I think that I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. I plan to create even more film simulation recipes using Classic Chrome in the coming months. As I do, I will add them to this article.

Below you will find all of my different film simulation recipes that I have created that use Classic Chrome. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorite is Kodachrome II, but they each have their own usefulness and charm. Let me know in the comments which recipe you like most!

Even though the different recipes say X100F, X-Pro2, and X-T20, they are completely compatible with any Fujifilm X-Trans III or IV camera. For example, you don’t have to use the X100F recipes exclusively on the X100F. You can use any of my recipes on any X-Trans III camera.

My original Classic Chrome recipe.

My dramatic Classic Chrome recipe.

My Vintage Kodachrome recipe.

My Kodachrome II recipe.

My Vintage Agfacolor recipe.

My Kodak Portra recipe.

See also:

My Classic Chrome recipe for Fujifilm Bayer and X-Trans II.

If you like these recipes, be sure to follow Fuji X Weekly so that you don’t miss out when I publish a new one! Feel free to comment, as I appreciate your feedback. Please share on social media this article or any other that you found useful so that others might find it, too.

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Weekly Photo Project, Week 23

Another week down! These pictures were from the last full week of 2018, and it always amazes me how quickly each year passes by. I really hope that you all had a great holiday season. I hope that 2019 is an amazing year for you! I appreciate all of you who visit this blog, read my articles and view my pictures. You guys and gals are great! Thank you for being a part of this project and a part of this blog!

Monday, December 24, 2018

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Christmas Eve Candle – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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The Joy of Instax – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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Winter Forest Impression – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, December 28, 2018

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Cold Mountain Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 29, 2018

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Lifting Clouds Around The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Sunday, December 30, 2018

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Winter Shrub – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 22  Week 24

My Fujifilm X Camera Lens Recommendations, Part 1: Fujinon

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Perhaps you got a new Fujifilm X camera for Christmas, or maybe you’ve had one for awhile now, and you are considering the purchase of a new lens. What options do you have? Which ones are good? What should you buy? You probably have a lot of questions, and you’re hoping to find some sound advice. Well, my goal is to give you sound advice! I’m hoping that this article will be helpful for those who are in the market for a new lens for their Fujifilm X camera.

There are tons of great lens options, most of which I’ve never owned. You could spend a small fortune collecting camera lenses. I certainly don’t have that kind of money lying around, so I’ve only owned a handful of different Fujinon lenses. I’m not going to talk much about the camera lenses that I’ve yet to use, and concentrate on the ones that I have firsthand experience with. I want you to know that the lenses listed below are ones that I have owned and used, and my opinions are based on my experience of capturing photographs with them.

Just so that you are aware, I am providing links to Amazon where you can purchase these lenses if you want to. If you do, I will receive a small kickback from Amazon for referring you, which helps to support this website. Nobody pays me to write these articles. If you happen to decide that you want to purchase a certain lens that I have linked to, and if Amazon is the seller you would normally use, it would be great if you used my links to do so. I certainly appreciate it!

Now let’s talk about lenses!

Zooms

Zoom lenses are popular because you can cover a large range of focal-lengths without carrying three, four or five different prime lenses. It simplifies things and allows you to have a smaller and lighter camera bag. It might make your camera kit more affordable, too. Zoom lenses are versatile, but there’s always a trade-off, which might be sharpness, distortion or maximum aperture. While I prefer prime lenses instead of zooms, Fujifilm offers many compelling zoom choices that are worth considering.

Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

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Mirrored Mountain – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm

The first lens that I want to talk about is the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, which is one of Fujifilm’s best zooms, available at Amazon for about $700. If you have the cheap kit zoom that came with your camera, this lens is similar but better–definitely an upgrade! It has a larger maximum aperture and produces results more in line with what you’d expect from a fixed-focal-length lens. There are some professional photographers who use this as their primary lens because of its size, quality and versatility. If you want something better than your cheap kit zoom lens but still want the convenience of the standard zoom, this is a very good option that you should strongly consider. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens is even better, but will cost you several hundred dollars more.

Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 50-230mm

If you have a standard zoom lens but would like an option with more telephoto reach, the Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II is a good lens that won’t break the bank, and it’s available at Amazon for about $400. This lens is surprisingly lightweight for its size and surprisingly sharp for the price. If you are a wildlife or sports photographer, you might not find this lens to be sufficient for your needs, but for those who only need a longer lens occasionally, this is your best bet because of its excellent value. Alternatively, the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is a better lens for a few hundred dollars more, or for about $1,600, which is a steep price, the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is the best quality option.

Primes

I prefer prime lenses over zooms. Since the focal-length is fixed, the optics can be more precisely engineered, often resulting in sharper glass with fewer flaws. Often prime lenses have a larger maximum aperture than zooms. The disadvantage is that you will likely need three, four or five different prime lenses, which can cost a lot of money and add significant bulk to your bag, while one or two zoom lenses might cover all your focal-length needs. There are pluses and minuses to both routes. Still, I’d rather have several prime lenses than one or two zooms, but that’s just my personal preference.

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

The Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR, which is available at Amazon for about $1,000, is an excellent wide-angle prime lens. It is sharp and fast and quite wide, which makes it particularly great for dramatic points of view and astrophotography. Not everyone needs a lens that’s as wide-angle as this one, but for those who do, this is a superb choice. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, which doesn’t have as large of a maximum aperture as the 16mm, is slightly wider and cheaper, and overall an excellent option.

Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR

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Starry Nights – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

Everyone should have a walk-around prime lens, and the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR, which is available at Amazon for about $450, is a great choice for that role. This lens is superb, small and lightweight, and the focal-length is good for everyday shooting. If you’ve never owned a prime lens before, this is an excellent one to start with. There are several good alternatives, including the more expensive Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R, the more wide-angle Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R, the more telephoto Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R and the more compact Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8, all of which are quality lenses that are worth having. Pick one, as you should definitely own one.

Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

One of my favorite lenses is the Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro, which is available at Amazon for about $650. This lens is a short telephoto (in other words, telephoto but not too telephoto), which gives you a little more reach than the kit zoom, and is great for portraits or landscapes. It’s a macro lens, if just barely, which allows you to focus closer to the subject than many other lenses. I find it to be quite versatile. The quality is exceptional, and it’s pretty small and lightweight for what it is. If there is one complaint it’s that autofocus is a tad slow, which is typical of macro lenses, but it’s not that big of a deal. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, which some consider to be the very best Fujinon lens, is a similar focal length, but it’s about $1,000, and the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, which also gets brought up in the “best Fujinon” conversations, might be a better macro lens, but it costs about $1,200.

Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & 90mm

A great portrait lens, which is also a great landscape lens when you are a distance from the subject, is the Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR. It’s available at Amazon for about $950.  This lens is a bit big and heavy, but it’s super sharp and captures lovely images. Because of its focal-length, it can be tough to use at times, but in those situations where you can use it, the lens delivers stunning results! As far as image quality is concerned, this is my favorite Fujinon lens. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, which is more expensive and not quite as telephoto, is really your only other option (outside of a telephoto zoom lens), but it’s also an excellent choice.

The list of Fujinon lenses above, plus the alternatives mentioned, are only some of the lenses available for your Fujifilm X camera. There are other great Fujinon options, plus third-party lenses, that you might also consider. These lenses have worked well for me and my photography, and I believe that they will do well for others, as well. If you do go with my suggestions, know that I am sincere in my recommendations, but that doesn’t mean that those lenses are necessarily the right ones for you and your photography, because I don’t know what your exact needs are. These are definitely generalized suggestions, and it’s a good idea to consider what would be the best options for what you will be capturing. Anytime you see someone recommend a certain camera or lens or other gear, it’s smart to do your own research to better understand what your needs are and how to best meet those needs. I hope that this article has been helpful to you in some way in your search for a new lens for your Fujifilm camera!

Coming soon: Part 2 – Third Party Lenses For Your Fujifilm X Camera!

My Favorite Photographs of 2018

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” –Ansel Adams

I like to begin each new year with a look back at the year that just ended. What happened that was particularly good? What happened that was especially bad? What successes did I have? Failures? Did I achieve my goals? I examine the different aspects of my life to see what went well and what didn’t so that I can hopefully do better in the coming 12 months. New Year’s is a good opportunity for self-reflection.

2018 was a particularly prolific photographic year for me. I captured more images than any other year in my life. I have never made more pictures in a twelve month period than I did in the last twelve. Perhaps one reason why I captured more photographs is because of the 365 project that I’m almost halfway through, which keeps me shooting even when I don’t think I have time or don’t feel like it. Another reason is because Fujifilm cameras allow me to get the results I want straight-out-of-camera without the need for editing, so I have noticeably more time for capturing photos. In fact, of the twelve pictures below, only one received any post-processing aside from minor cropping, and the rest are unedited camera-made JPEGs. It might also be because I did a little more traveling than in years past. Besides quantity, I think that the quality of my photographs also reached new heights. I made many pictures that I’m proud of in 2018.

I was attempting to compile a list of my favorite photographs that I captured in 2018, and that turned out to be a big task. Based on the Ansel Adams quote at the top of this article, I kept it strictly to twelve pictures. It took me several days to review all of my photos, and when the dust settled I had over 50 finalists! It wasn’t too difficult to narrow that list to 14 color pictures and 17 black-and-whites because there were clearly two tiers of images. Reducing those 31 to 12 was actually quite hard, and I’m not confident that I got it right. I might not have picked the right twelve!

It’s difficult for photographers to decide which of their own pictures are the best because photographers carry a lot of biases. Steve McCurry’s famous Afgan Girl photograph wasn’t his favorite from that shoot, but National Geographic preferred the exposure that would grace the June 1985 cover, and it’s the one we all know and love, while Steve’s favorite has pretty much remained unnoticed. Just because I chose a picture as my favorite doesn’t mean that it’s my best. I don’t really know which pictures are my best. Often it’s not the photographer that decides this.

Whether or not the twelve pictures below are my best, or if my best pictures were tossed out when I reduced the list from 31, I believe the group found here could be called a good crop. I think these pictures are significant in their own way. Each one of them are interesting. I feel like they all convey something. Perhaps more importantly they’re my favorite. It’s good to look back at these pictures and mark them as successes. It makes me excited for all the photographs that I will capture in 2019. If I keep working hard, next year’s list will be even better!

Color:

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 (Dec.)

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Canyon Pinion – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F (Feb.)

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Vibrant Autumn Forest – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 (Nov.)

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (May)

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (July)

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Needle’s Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (May)

B&W:

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F (July)

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F (Mar.)

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (May)

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Epic Zip Line – Sundance, UT – Fujifilm X100F (Oct.)

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (Oct.)

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 (July)

Weekly Photo Project, Week 22

There’s an advantage and disadvantage to doing a photo-a-day project like this. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult and exhausting. There were a couple of days during this week that I wanted to stop. I had so much going on with the holiday season, and the weather is cold and the daylight is short, so making time for photography seemed unnecessary. It’s easy to make excuses, but it’s important to not allow them to stop us from achieving our goals. The advantage to doing a 365 project is that, because I forced myself to capture some images when I didn’t want to, I was able to create some pictures that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I can clearly see the benefit as I look back at the pictures I’ve captured over the last five months. The advantage significantly outweighs the disadvantage, and so I persevere, still on track going into the new year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

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Sparkle Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Mountain & Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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Christmas Glow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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Wasatch Mountain Moon Rise – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, December 21, 2018

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Three 35mm Film Canisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 22, 2018

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Frosted Tree & Winter Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Sunday, December 23, 2018

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Monochrome Architecture Angles – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 21   Week 23

Art & Photography

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Pas Une Abeille – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Photography is a form of art, or at least it can be. Discussing art is kind of a dangerous proposition because it’s subjective, and you are bound to step on someone’s toes. I think it’s important to talk about art, and, even if someone might be offended, it is beneficial to have some understanding of what it is and how it relates to photography. I’ll make an attempt at defining art and demonstrating how it relates to you.

Most photographs are not art, which means most people who snap pictures with a camera are not artists. Most people who have a paintbrush in their hands are not artists. Most people who sing aren’t recording artists. Not all people who whittle are wood-carvers. Not all people who draw letters are calligraphers. You get the idea. Just because something is similar to art, does not make it art. There is something that separates actual art from facsimile “art” that’s not really art at all.

Before jumping too deep into this, I want to clarify that it is perfectly fine that most photographs are not art. There are many different purposes for the photograph, and art is just one of them. There is nothing wrong with pictures that aren’t art, as they have their place, just as photographs as art also have their place. Just because one uses a camera doesn’t mean that person must be or should be an artist. You may have little to no interest in art at all, but you love to photograph, and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

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Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F

Webster defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination.” Oxford defines it as “the expression of human creative skill and imagination.” Both of these explanations are similar and describe the two critical components for determining if something is art or not: skill and imagination. If something is created skillfully but not imaginatively, it’s not art. If something is created imaginatively but not skillfully, it’s not art. It must be both skillfully and imaginatively completed in order to be considered art.

People have different levels of skill and creativity. You might be very skillful but only marginally creative. You can be highly creative but only marginally skillful. Either way, you can still create art, and you can work to improve your shortcomings. You can become more proficient and increase your creativity with practice. Obviously you want to be very skillful and highly creative if you wish to be an artist photographer. That’s a life-long process, and there are no easy one-size-fits-all instant answers. Just continue to work hard and be persistent.

Aside from knowing how to use your camera gear to achieve your desired results, and having imagination enough to know what you want the results to be in the first place, I think that there are a few more aspects to art that should be talked about. Look again at what Webster said of art, paying particular attention to the phrase, “conscious use of…” in the definition. You have to know what it is that you are creating. You have to be able to define it. You should be able to explain it to some extent. If you can’t, it’s not likely art that you’re creating.

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Ethos – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I used to show my photographs to people and they’d say, “Oh, that looks nice!” Or, “What a pretty picture!” Then one day someone asked, “What does this picture mean? What is its purpose?” I had no answer because I had never thought of that before. I really didn’t know what to say, and it was kind of embarrassing. I realized that I needed to have an answer for all of my photographs–I needed to know the purpose and meaning of each–but the answer needed to be made prior to exposure, not after. If I’m trying to make it up after the fact it will typically translate as artificial and weak. If a photograph is art, the photographer should be able to give a clear and concise explanation of the image. It doesn’t necessarily have to be profound. It doesn’t necessarily have to be obvious to the viewer. But the photographer should know clearly in their mind why they created the image and what the meaning of it is. And it’s okay if the viewer doesn’t see it the same way that you see it, it only matters that you know why you created it.

I believe that if something is art it should convey something to the viewer. It might be a strong and obvious message, it might be a subtle concept, it might be an emotion–there should be some kind of nonverbal communication, whether clear or vague. The photographer must decide what it is that the picture will convey, and then make decisions prior to exposure that will most strongly speak it. The Oxford explanation of art uses the word “expression” which can be defined as making one’s thoughts and feelings known. When you are an artist photographer, that’s exactly what you are doing. You are expressing your thoughts and/or feelings to others through your pictures. You are giving the viewer a glimpse of yourself through your photographs. Art is self expression. How you do this is entirely up to you. What glimpses you give of yourself is entirely up to you. You have to make those decisions, then skillfully and imaginatively create something from it.

Not everyone will appreciate your art. Not everyone will get it. In fact, if you are truly expressing yourself, you should expect criticism. People have opinions that are different than yours. People have experiences that are different than yours. People see the world through different eyes than yours. Strangers will look at something that you think is great and they’ll think it’s terrible. That’s completely okay, and you may not realize it, but you do the exact same thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

If you are an artist photographer, you have to expect that criticism will come. Take it for what it’s worth, and, most likely, it’s not worth much. Listen to people who you trust, and take their criticism to heart. They mean well with what they say, and they’re just trying to help you. For everyone else, give the criticism a listen, but don’t put much stock into it, and don’t let it bother you. If you’re not getting any criticism at all, it’s most likely because you are not creating art, and you are not expressing yourself through your photographs enough.

Not everyone is an artist photographer, and not every artist photographer is always creating art. Photography as art happens when someone consciously expresses themselves in a masterful and creative fashion. It happens when the photographer communicates thoughts or emotions through pictures. I’m constantly striving to be an artist photographer. Sometimes I think I’ve succeeded, other times I feel like I’ve fallen short. But I keep at it, never giving up, always striving ahead.

The takeaway that I’d like to most impart is that you and I should continuously be working towards becoming more skilled with our gear and we should daily be practicing creativity. Constantly take baby steps to become a better and more artistic photographer. Even if things are slow developing or mistakes happen, don’t give up but instead keep moving forward. Be persistent. Tomorrow’s photographs can be better than today’s.

Capturing Family Photos – Being Both Behind & In Front of The Camera

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Each year when it’s time to capture family portraits, my wife, Amanda, suggests that we hire a photographer to do the job. I have mixed feelings on this because if you want good pictures you should hire a good photographer, and I’m a photographer but it can be very tough to be both in front of the camera and behind the camera at the same time. I’m generally cheap but I’m also happy to help support the photographic community. Most years, including last year, I end up with the job and only a few times have we actually had someone else do it. Almost every year, though, the idea of hiring someone gets brought up.

This year we took our own pictures once again, deciding not to hire someone. There are  always challenges in doing this, and the results are a mixed bag. This is known going into it. I prepared myself mentally that things weren’t going to be perfect. When you are in front of the camera, you simply don’t have the control, vision or freedom that you are used to when you’re behind the camera. You rely a little more on preparation and luck, and really just hope for the best.

There were two shots that my wife and I were hoping to get good: one picture with the two of us and one picture with all six of us. Anything else would be the icing on the cake. We knew that we would do the photo shoot at Antelope Island State Park, and we purposefully chose a day that was supposed to be overcast so that we’d have softer light. We scouted out three different locations on Antelope Island for the pictures. We made a plan and had everything set.

For the photographs of Amanda and I and also the entire family, I used two cameras set on tripods. I had a Fujifilm X-T20 with a 90mm lens, and set closer (but out of the frame of the X-T20) was a Fujifilm X100F. I used the Fujifilm camera remote app to control the X-T20 from my phone and on the X100F I used the interval timer (set to capture an image every 15 seconds) to snap random shots. This turned out to be a good setup, providing two angles and capturing a little of the serendipity. For the rest of the pictures the cameras were taken off of the tripods and my wife and I both captured images, which were the “icing on the cake” photographs.

What was out of my control was the weather, or more specifically the temperature, as it was colder than we were dressed for. The kids were pretty miserable. We sent them to the car (which was never far out of frame) frequently to warm up. Besides being cold, my four-year-old son was nervous and didn’t have a good attitude for much of the shoot. Despite our best efforts, we really struggled to get him to have a look on his face that didn’t clearly say, “I don’t want to be here!”

Some of my favorite pictures are the random ones captured by the X100F. These “outtakes” are humorous and give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the “real” us. The out-of-focus shot of Amanda and I was a happy accident. I captured RAW+JPEG, and using the built-in RAW converter on the cameras, made both color and black-and-white versions of each picture. Our favorites are the black-and-whites, so that’s what I decided to share here. Overall I believe it went well. The pictures aren’t perfect. The photo shoot would likely have turned out a little better if I had hired someone to do it. Maybe next year I’ll do that. Or maybe once again I’ll find myself in two places at once.

The kids:

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Amanda and I:

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Partial family:

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The whole family:

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Outtakes:

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Weekly Photo Project, Week 21

My weekly photo project is an attempt to capture one picture every day for a year, taking things one week at a time. I’m 21 weeks into it now, and perhaps you have not been following this project from the beginning. If you’d like to take a look back, here’s a link to Week 1, and from there you can see each week from the start. You could also browse through it backwards using the link at the bottom of this article. I hope that you enjoy the pictures!

Monday, December 10, 2018

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Christmas Lights Display – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Reading To Children And Seniors – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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Clouds Moving Across The Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Frosted Hill – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, December 14, 2018

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Watching Trains – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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Red Chairs In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Sunday. December 16, 2018

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Ogden Airport – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 20  Week 22

My Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation Recipe

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Taking Out The Trash – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H is a color negative film that was first introduced in 2002 (originally named NPH400). It’s a popular print film that has survived the digital era, as Fujifilm continues to manufacture Pro 400H to this very day, while many other films have seen the chopping block. It’s a fine-grain (for ISO 400), natural-color, versatile film that’s especially good for weddings and portraits. I have used it a couple times myself, although not anytime recently. I do remember some of the idiosyncrasies of the film. Interestingly, the “H” in the name stands for “high speed,” which is the designation that Fujifilm gave to all their ISO 400 films.

I’ve tried in the past to create a Pro 400H recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, but I was never happy with the results. In fact, you might recall that I suggested Fujifilm include this as a new film simulation in future cameras. Recently a Fuji X Weekly reader, Mauricio, shared with me his settings for Pro 400H, and he asked my thoughts on it. I was able to try it out and I liked it! His settings were indeed close, although I felt it needed some tweaking to better mimic the film.

Anytime that you are attempting to recreate the look of a certain film with a digital camera, there are variables that make it difficult. How was it shot? How was it developed? Was it printed, and how so? Was it scanned, and how so? Those are common challenges, plus more. With Pro 400H, there is an additional challenge: the film can look much different depending on the light and exposure. There are several distinct looks that can be achieved using the film, and it’s not possible to recreate all of those aesthetics with a film simulation recipe. Despite all of the challenges, I do feel that I was able to create a look that is in the ballpark of the film, thanks to the help of Mauricio.

There were several compromises that I had to make. I tried many different things to get the aesthetics as close as I could. For example, the film is known for cool blueish shadows and a warm pinkish highlights. Split toning is not possible on Fujifilm X cameras. I could get the shadow color cast more accurate but at the expense of the highlight color, or I could get the highlight color cast more accurate but at the expense of the shadow color. The white balance shift that I settled on, which is the same one that was suggested to me in the first place, isn’t spot-on accurate for the shadows or highlights, but it’s a nice middle ground that’s close enough to both to be convincing. What you get is a cool color cast showing through in the shadows and a slight red color cast showing up in the highlights. The light and exposure of an image will change the look of it in a similar fashion to the actual film, although not completely the same. It’s as close as I could get it.

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Holiday Decor – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H film has a huge latitude in the highlights. You can overexpose it by three stops easily (maybe four) and get a good print. In fact, a lot of people purposefully overexpose the film because the colors turn pastel and the images become more warm and vibrant. The X-Trans III sensor has a lot of dynamic range, but it cannot hold up to a three stop overexposure. I found that DR200 is a good setting in many circumstances, but in high-contrast scenes, DR400 might be a better option. I used DR200 for all of the pictures in this article, but some might have benefited from the higher dynamic range setting. I think in high contrast scenes, in order to prevent clipped highlights, if you aren’t going to select DR400, perhaps set highlights to -1. I debated on whether +2 or +3 is the best setting for shadows. I think a +2.5 option would be most correct, but unfortunately that doesn’t exist. My recommendation would be to use +2 in higher contrast scenes and +3 in lower contrast scenes. I used +3 for all of the photos here.

Another setting that I debated on was color saturation. I settled on +4, which I think is the most correct for simulating slightly overexposed Pro 400H. An argument could be made that +3, +2 and +1 are also correct, depending on how the film was exposed and handled. If you think that +4 is too saturated for your tastes, simply find the color setting that works best for you. Pro 400H is definitely a tough film to make a recipe for. I think these settings are going to be your best bet for achieving a look straight out of camera that mimics the film’s aesthetic. Even though I captured these photographs using an X-T20, this film simulation recipe is compatible with all Fujifilm X-Trans III and IV cameras.

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Grain: Weak
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation recipe:

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Red Chairs In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Up From The Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Second Day of Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Frosted Trees & Winter Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Cold Neighborhood Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Some Lady’s Book Store – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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TV Fiasco – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Pierre’s Miniature Bakery – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Christmas Decoration – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Faith – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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FED 5c Rangefinder – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Bolsey Behind Bars – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Fake Grass In A Box – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Lavender & Twine – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Pentax & Fujifilm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Three 35mm Film Canisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Vase Arm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Red Fire Hydrant – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Neighborhood Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Dead Rose Bush Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Frozen Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Moon Rise Over The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Snow Dusted Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Mountain & Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Brick Wall Boy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Car Play – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Girl By The Window Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

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Green Night Shed – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Current Fujifilm X-T2 Deals

I wanted to pass along some great deals on the Fujifilm X-T2 that are currently going on at Amazon. While the X-T20 is my top recommended Fujifilm camera, right now the X-T2 is probably the best value because it’s a really high quality camera that has been steeply discounted (thanks to the X-T3). If you’ve thought about getting this camera, now is the time, as I understand that these prices will change on January 1st. Also, if you use my links to buy the camera, you’ll be supporting this website, which is something that I appreciate! Oh, and it’s not too late if you are Christmas shopping.

Here are the current deals on the Fujifilm X-T2:

The Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) is $1,099, which is $500 off!
The graphite Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) is $1,199, which is $600 off!
The Fujifilm X-T2 with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens is $1,400, which is $500 off!