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.

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.