Storing Film Simulations on your Fujifilm (A simple guide)

One of the reasons we love and use Fujifilm cameras is because it’s easy to replicate old film stocks, invent new ones, and have more control over the image before we take the photo than any other camera. Some of us only ever shoot in these film simulations that we’ve made, others only use the stock Fujifilm film simulations, while others shoot in raw and then add these simulations using Fuji’s X Raw Studio on their computers.

This guide will take you though a typical Fujifilm X camera set-up, although there may well be differences to which camera you use. The basic idea will be the same regardless of what you use. This is NOT a technical post, and not a discussion on white balance, just a way to help you get to the settings quickly.

Step 1: The Look

The first step is to decide what look you are after. Are you looking to replicate old film stock? If so, One Camera One Lens has a page dedicated to over 15 unique film simulations and recipes. Take a look once you’ve read this article!

You’ll notice that these recipes have various settings that you must alter to change the look of your finished image. Each of these settings, when altered, changes the look of the photographs you take.

Step 2: Enter Your Settings

I’ve seen many articles taking you the long way off entering these settings, this is the quick way and is simple.

1. Press your “Q” button – the screen will change to your Quick settings.
2. Press and HOLD your “Q” button for about a second – you’ll be given a list of C1-C7.
3. Scroll to a C number you want to use.
4. Press “OK” – You’ll be greeted by the various settings. Scroll through them and change them as you need.
5. Press “Back” and it will ask you to save the recipe.

And that is how simple it is. If you’ve disabled the “Q” button for any reason, you can get to step 2 by going into the menus. (Found at IQ>Select Custom Setting)

(Your menus may look slightly different)

Press the “Q” Button to get here.
Press and HOLD the Q button for a second to get here, and choose your Custom number.
Inside this menu you can go ahead and change your settings!

For most people, this will be more than enough to complete the setup of a Film Simulation, however, you may want to add an R/B offset for your white balance, and this is where the fun really begins!

Step 3: The White Balance R/B Offset Conundrum

If you do not need to change the Red and Blue (R/B) offset for your recipe, you can skip this part of the instructions.

This is a step that most confuses new and not so new Fujifilm users. While you can alter many aspects of the White Balance in the Q editing of your recipes, you can’t assign a R/B offset directly into the customising function (in some cameras).

To adjust your R & B values (should you wish) you must adjust one of your three Custom White Balance settings, or other White Balance options, please see the notes on this below the instructions.

To do this, simply follow this instructions:

1. Press your “Menu” button.
2. Scroll down to “White Balance”
3. Choose Auto, Custom 1-3 (whichever you want to assign the R/B offset if needed and not using Auto WB) or any of the other settings such as Kelvin, Daylight, Shade etc. – Press the right arrow/joystick to enter the offset mode.
4. If in the Custom 1-3 setting you Press “OK” on the first screen, it will bypass it (and use the last value*) and you can then enter the Red and Blue values.

* To get a correct white balance if you have changed it in the past, you can point your camera at a white object filling the screen, and then press the shutter release to capture this White Balance. Alternatively you can adjust the offset in the “Auto” section and this will need to be changed each time you change settings to a new simulation. Auto, Kelvin, Daylight, Shade etc can all only have one R/B offset attached. Yes… I know it’s confusing!

(Your menus may look slightly different – Older X cameras may be missing the offset option)

Open the menu and go to “IQ” and then down to “White Balance” . *Choosing “Auto” will allow you to change the R & B values and give them auto WB. This will need to be changed for each Film Simulation. *Choosing “Custom 1-3” will give you the option to offset based on a White Balance that has been set by you when asked to press the shutter below. *Remember when saving your recipes you can only set ONE WB offset per WB setting (Auto, Custom, Daylight etc).

You’ll need to remember which Custom White Balance is for which recipe, as you’ll need to assign it to that recipe.

** White Card Technique **
To assign a custom white balance correctly, the manual states to point your camera and fill the screen with a white object when confronted with the “Shutter: New WB” option. This will then set your white balance for that environment.

Step 4: Use them!

Once your C1-C7 are full, get out and use them! Ideally I would set up my camera so that C1 is a default setting, with just a plain, untouched film simulation, with the ISO settings etc that you know you can rely on, and then have C2-C7 as film simulation edits.

Conclusion

It’s great fun shooting in film simulations, if you shoot in raw and jpeg, you’ll have even more options as you can take the raw file into Fuji X Raw Studio and choose different film simulations (another blog entry coming soon on this).

Don’t be afraid to experiment, and if you want the full experience, don’t forget to print your images! The film simulations you use from the internet are great starting points, and sometimes a little tweak or two can make all the difference if you’re not quite happy with the results.

Don’t forget to check out our main page which hosts film simulations, plus like and comment if you have found this useful, as it really helps me out!

— There are different variants of software in each camera, this guide is a general one and your camera may have more or less options, but the general idea should be the same in each case.

Improve your photography with a prime lens

A lot of people fail to understand how using a prime lens can make you a better photographer than you are at the moment. There’s a mindset that believes that you are constrained by using a single focal length, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this article I’ll explain why using a prime lens can, and will, make you a better photographer. You’ll see things differently, and your photography skills will become enhanced in ways you never thought possible.

There are five major points to using a prime lens, all of which give you more discipline in what you do, and all of which will give noticeable difference to photographs and attitude. Of course, as perfect as the one camera one lens and one focal length is, there are times when you will need a longer, wider or zoom lens, it would be silly to think otherwise.

So, here’s the guide to why using a prime lens will make you a better photographer, and the advantages of brings.

One: The Hunt

Although the phrase “Zoom with your feet” is one that is thrown away each time people mention prime lenses, a better term would be “Hunt for your composition”. With the constraint of just one length, you simply just can’t stand in one place and zoom in and out on a composition, getting the same old compositions that everyone else gets. You have to move around and hunt for compositions that are not as obvious. You’ll wander around, get closer or further away, you’ll move more around the perimeter and your eyes will concentrate on your subject.

It may not sound much, but hunting for your composition is much more rewarding. You’ll discover things on the way to your composition, you’ll have different angles and different points of view to what you would get with a zoom lens. Most of all, you’ll be engaging with your brain. No longer will you be lazy and point and shoot from a couple of spots, you’ll figure out each move, step by step.

Two: Creative through assumed limitation

Because of the nature of having a fixed lens, you’ll find yourself being far more creative when taking photos. You’ll usually have a shallower depth of field to play with, giving you a more artistic approach to teaching the photograph.

In other ways you’ll be able to experiment with things such as panoramas, combining numerous shots to make wider landscapes, or play with with Bokeh to get better depth if field. You’ll also generally benefit from using the lens in low light as generally speaking prime lenses have much wider apertures, meaning they let in much more light.

Three: Consistency

Having a focal length you know, and get used to give you a number of advantages. First of all, and most important if you want a body of work to stand out, is that all your photographs will have a consistent look due to the single lens and focal length you are using. A lot of people get confused by this simple point. The human eye hates juxtaposition. If you’re looking at something, and the images vary widley from one focal length to the other, it can seem rather messy if viewed as a body of work. Simply put, your work will look much better, and people will appreciate it much more by being consistent.

Another great advantage of using a prime lens is that your eyes and brain will know exactly how a composition will look before you take the photograph. You’ll be able to envisage the subject in the frame, without lifting your camera, and at the right moment pick up the camera and instantly know your composition before you even less the button. It’s why the 35mm prime lens focal length is so perfect. You look, you see, you photograph, and it’s exactly as you pictured it in your mind.

Four: Set yourself free

A prime lens is usually (but not always) smaller than a zoom lens. For photographers who photograph street photography, weddings, portraits, events or even go on long walks and do landscape, you no longer have to worry about the weight of your lens, you can have the one or two prime lenses and be covered for all occasions.

You’ll be set free because you can forget about putting up a zoom lens to your eye and endlessly moving zoom in and out, you can simply look at your subject and press your shutter button. It’s an invigorating experience, that once you understand, will set you free.

Five: Don’t worry about light

As mentioned, with a prime lens you usually get much wider apertures. Where as most zoom lens start at around F/3.5 or above, prime lenses average anywhere between F/1.2 and F/2.8. You’ll find most are around the F/1.4-F/1.8 range, leaving in a couple of more stops than an average zoom. It’s the difference between shooting at ISO1600 and ISO6400 if you are looking at nighttime shooting!

You’ll find you won’t care about what light your are taking photos in, you won’t mind what your top end auto ISO is set to, and you know you can set a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th with next to no issues. Prime lenses really are your friend in do many situations!

Conclusion

Set yourself a task before questioning these five steps. Put a 35mm or 50mm equivalent lens on your camera (that would be approx 23mm or 33mm on a crop body), and make it the only lens you use the next ten times you go out. Don’t think about it, go out and shoot (use common sense, you wouldn’t use a 23mm taking photos of birds). At the end of the ten photography sessions, print out a couple of photos from each shoot (printing is an important part of learning). Then think to yourself how you felt, and how much more unique your photos are. Think how you learned everything from above, and how you didn’t need to zoom at every opportunity.

There’s no denying some people won’t feel comfortable with a prime lens, and there’s no right or wrong, that’s the way of the World. But just take the time to take your prime out like mentioned above, and after that you may not want to stick to it, but you sure as hell will improve your photography!

Which Prime Lens?

Ideally you need to choose a prime lens that is great for general use. Forget the 50mm on a crop sensor camera, that’s equivalent to 75mm on a full frame camera, and in no way useable day in and day out. You need to use equivalent to 35mm or 50mm (so 23mm or 33mm/35mm on a crop) for the best results and to understand why Prime lenses are so amazing at making your photography better.

If you don’t own a prime lens, there always the option of using your basic lens (usually 18-55mm or thereabouts) at 18mm or 55m (27mm and 82.5mm) and not moving off that focal length.

The Continuous Shooting Trick That’ll Get You The Shot

There’s a way to capture the perfect photo, a way which will allow you to never miss the moment, … And it’s simple to do on any camera!

Most people, most of the time line up their composition, wait for the perfect moment and then press the shutter button. Their camera will click, and an image will be captured. This is all very good, and in days of film, it was the only way in which you really could take a photograph, however there is a little dial or switch on your camera that allows you to change your shooting habits forever!

Look at your camera and you will find markings stating C, CH or CL (and maybe something else depending on camera). These stand for Continuous, Continuous High and Continuous Low. This works really simply, the longer your finger is on the shutter release button, the more shots it will take!

Different cameras have different amount of frames per second that they can take, anywhere between 3 and 30+ per second. Ideally, for everyday use you need to set your Continuous Low (a bit slower than CH) to a shutter speed of between 3-5 shots, but this can be adjusted to your needs.

Now, when your camera is in your hand and you are taking photos of family of friends, hold the shutter and you’ll capture a few shots in quick succession, meaning at least one of your shots will be perfect with everyone’s eyes open, smiles and no blur! This works for other things such as flowers or insects, instead of one attempt, you’re firing off a few shots so the flower will be in the right spot if windy and the insect will be in focus if you’re up close!

Once you get into the habit of being in a continuous shooting mode, it’s hard to to rely on it as you’ll have way more usable shots. The downside of course is that you’ll have more shots to go through of you’re editing, but the chance of getting that perfect shot far outweighs the negative.

Give this feature a try! You’ll be surprised that you never used it before!

Why Printing Your Photographs Is Important Now More Than Ever

History

There was a time when the only photographs you could look at that you had taken were printed images. They may have been square Polaroids, 6×4, 7×5 or larger prints, and even passport sized images. They were stored away in photo albums and once in a while they were taken out to view. Inside those albums you’d find images of your friends and families, moments in time captured forever. You’d find photographs of places you’d visited, landscapes you’d admired, music artists you’d watched, random shots of animals and so much more.

In those photo albums you’d have photographs that your parents had slipped in from a time before you were born, and you could study your parents as children, your grandparents and their parents. Photographs sometimes hundreds of years old… Rarely seen… But there to bring back memories.

I’m sure after reading the first couple of paragraphs you’re already realising that the people before you, probably cared about photography, and the longevity of preserving the story of the past, far more than you ever thought. Think to yourself, when did you make an effort to print out your images on this scale? The chances are you haven’t (unless you’re one of the rare breed, like myself, who actually do print digital images and still take 35mm format film images).

For most of us, if we are of a certain age, if we were to lose our lives tomorrow, very few relatives would have the incline of where you store your digital photographs. Even if they have your computer or back up drives, do they have a password if it’s protected? Are all your images raw files, making it next to impossible for non-photographers to view or print? Possibly some will, but even not getting into your laptop or computer because of that password could instantly mean all your images will never be seen again.

And then there’s the old enemy called time. While generations from now can look at your fading, tattered photographs, will they be able to open your digital files as easily as looking at those photos? Will the digital files become corrupt over time? How many have lost files over the last few years because hard drives etc have failed on them?

Benefits Of Printing

If this hasn’t scared you into understanding the importance of printing nothing will! But as well as the significance of historical value, there are some true benefits to printing out your images for yourself, friends and family which we will look at here.

1. You can learn from looking at the printed photo – Yes! It’s all well and good looking at a monitor or your mobile device to look at photos, but when they’re printed they take on a whole new different life. You’ll see things you hadn’t seen before, you’ll appreciate them in an altogether different light. Print a few large enough to hang on the wall, and you’ll really start to understand where you’re going right or wrong as people comment on them, or you just judge it more over time.

2. People will appreciate your photos more – When people look at a digital photo, they have seen so many digital images, they don’t take in what exactly they are seeing. When people see a photograph printed, they can see, touch and smell and have a very different experience.

3. The image lifespan vastly extends – Your digital images will have a lifespan of interest of anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending on where they are on the internet. A printed image lasts forever. Your grandchildren will be able to pick up your photo album and admire your images many years after you have gone. Your digital prints will be gone from memory days after you’ve shared them.

4. You’ll understand you rarely need to edit – Editing has become a term synonymous with digital photography for those who think they are more serious about photography than others. Getting it right in camera, and printing the image as you seen it and you’ll realise, that the majority of the time, you don’t need to do anything to landscapes, people, buildings or places. Printing on various film stocks just make things look perfect!

5. You’ll learn to be selective over composition – Similar to the first point, over time you’ll learn which compositions work and which don’t. Seeing your photographs evolve over time, you’ll learn what works as what doesn’t.

Framing your images is a good way to take note of them, and for others to admire your work.

What To Print?

We all have different things we want to print, so I’ll just describe what I print out and keep in my photo albums. Firstly, and mostly family, friends and people. The reason for this, it will be interesting for people now and in the future to view. There’s always something about family photos that draws people in, and it’s a historical record of your life. The important thing to me about these photos is that they are totally unedited (by me) and straight from camera. Thankfully shooting Fujifilm, these photographs look absolutely amazing when printed!

Secondly, for my photo albums, I print selected images that I’ve edited of landscapes, buildings, animals and insects etc. I don’t print many of these, just the ones I think people will find interesting, and the ones which offer some reference to a time or a place of possible. I also go over these photos quite regularly and think about how they would look as bigger prints for hanging on the walls

As mentioned, I also print out photos to hang on walls. Anything from A4 to whichever size I feel suits the room that it’s going to be situated. These are normally up on walls for a long time, and when it’s time to change them, they are usually given away to family or friends who have shown interest in them in the past. These larger prints are usually sunsets, landscapes, animals and insects or places.

The Benefit Of Being A Fujifilm Camera User

There are many benefit’s of using Fujifilm mirrorless camera’s, but one of the most beneficial, and the one that attracts so many photographers to the system is it’s ability to emulate older film stock. Fujifilm film simulations are more than just presets for your photos, they processed in your camera and act more like film than many think. They add grain and the colour reproduces as if you were using a 3mm film camera. Because of this, you can simply sent your camera’s jpeg straight to the printer and the final image will be as if you have had a film developed.

I’ve shot in most of the various film simulations, and Classic Chrome, Acros and Provia are my favourite straight from camera, while Velvia and Astia need to be experienced more as I think they have great potential. Also of course, with Fujifilm you can use your own film simulations and when they are printed, they look amazing too!

Visit Our Fujifilm Film Simulation Page Here

Kodak ColorPlus film stock, your Fujifilm camera could get images to look like this straight out of camera.

Conclusion

Regardless of how seriously you take your photography, print out your photographs. There’s literally no reason why you shouldn’t. If you have a printer at home, the quality is amazing these days so no excuse, if you haven’t got a printer, there are plenty of services which offer 50 free prints a month, cheap larger prints, canvases and much more at reasonable prices.

Having your images as digital photos only is a day reflection of the days we live in now. You won’t realise what you’re missing until you print. Even if you only print any special occasions you attend, or one of your favourite photos a month… Get printing and get hooked to seeing your photos as they should be seen. If they’re family photos, keep them real and just print the jpeg, it’s much more fun looking at photos that may not be perfect for whatever reason. If they’re photos of something you’re interested in such as landscapes or sunsets, print them and hang them on your wall and use them to improve and develop your photography skills.

— I’ve been a photographer all my life, printing all my life, taking photos all my life. I’ve done a few years of being a semi-professional photographer selling services and prints, however the last year I’ve taken time out to just enjoy photography, write blogs, give free lessons and run free photography groups. Please support me by following the blog and liking any pages or blogs that you read.

Special thinks to my good friend Mike Winson for his wise words of wisdom on the importance of printing as opposed to just using digital files.

Creating Film (Fujifilm Film Simulations)

Introduction

Onecameraonelens hosts over a dozen film simulations which were created by myself. Leica M10, Agfa, Kodachrome and Fujicolour are just a few of the examples of film simulations that have been based on classic film stock, while others are tweaked versions of Fuji’s own film simulations, giving an altogether different look.

The idea of this site is to build up a collection of simulations based on real film stock, however, the approach taken is slightly different from others, and this blog will explain how much work goes into creating the perfect film simulation (or as perfect as possible).

Why?

The point of creating film simulations is to get the camera to reproduce as close as possible, straight out of camera, a look that resembles film stock, or one that needs little to no editing in software later. Because of the experience of using a Fujifilm camera is very similar to using an old fashioned 35mm film camera, a lot of people like to recreate this as closely as they can. There’s nothing quite as exciting as taking photos with your Fujifilm camera and looking at the jpegs to see such stunning retro (or modern) images.

Capturing photographs with the Minolta and Fujicolor 200

Process

The first part of the process is to decide what film type needs to be emulated. This will be done by researching different looks of film, discovering old 35mm photographs and looking at other sources such as presets and LUTs on various computer programs. You can never do enough research to get things right.

Once an idea for a film simulation comes to mind, the process officially begins and the recipe starts to take shape.

A photograph, either digital or printed is placed near the screen and the camera is attached to the computer to use Fujifilm X Raw Studio. At this stage I have three images that I work on, one a photo with a person on it, one a photo of flowers and the final photo one with blue sky, green grass and trees in it. I constantly tweak one of the photos until it looks like the sample image and then go back and forth to my test photos until it starts to look like the real thing.

It is trial and error at this stage, and deciding on the right in-camera film emulation as a base point is priority. A lot of older chrome type films can easily have Classic Chrome as a base, while more colour film types will use Provia or Astia etc. Black and white is a bit simpler, but you still need to get your black and white type (monochrome or Acros) correct, along with adding the Red, Green or Yellow.

The process is literally, at this point, going through the settings in Fuji X Studio Raw and changing each one. Once you know the contrast, highlights and shadows are roughly what you need, it’s the all important White Balance section that takes the most amount of time to get looking right.

The White Balance affects everything in the image, and the offset settings of Red and Blue can make all the difference between getting things right and wrong. Quite often it will look right on one image, and then you take it across to an image with a person in it and the colour tones will be completely wrong. So you must tweak, with your test images to find a middle ground.

Classic film stock

End Results

Once happy with the test images, the next stage is to try out the film simulation on even more photographs, with different subjects in them. When happy with this, the film simulation is stored in the camera and taken to the next shoot. At this point I will use the particular film simulation on location, and take photographs as normal. If I can see things not looking right through the viewfinder, I will tweak the settings in camera slightly to try and correct them, before getting back to the computer and just running through the process again to ensure things are as close as they can be to the look of the old film stock.

The process can take a few hours to perfect, and sometimes I label film simulations as Version 1 or Version 2. This is usually because looking at original photographs/LUTs etc, these can have slightly different looks in different circumstances, so Version 1 might be a general version of the new film simulation, while Version 2 might be more for people or different light conditions.

Conclusion

I do this for fun, and to hopefully bring other people some enjoyment. Some people will like some looks, some people will like other looks, that’s why I’m building up the collection as a resource for people. These film simulations may not always be perfect, because of the nature of photography, but hopefully they are damn close to what they are intended to be.

Think of film simulations as a starting point. In perfect conditions they should not need any tweaks in software once you’ve taken the photo, but it’s up to you. Please support me and my work by mentioning the website onecamreaonelens.com or using the hashtag #OneCameraOneLens and I will continue to create the most authentic film simulations that I possibly can.

Please like and share this blog so that people will understand how much work goes into making film simulations.

PART TWO coming soon – Complete guide to storing simulations on your Fujifilm.