Q2 Monochrom film simulation (X-trans IV)

NOTE: There was an early version of this recipe, which I have dramatically altered since then, as it was far from accurate. This new one should be more like the “real” thing.

The great thing about the Fujifilm cameras is their what so called film simulations, which are, as you may know, some sort of colour profiles presets that you can further tweak as of your liking. So, because one doesn’t need too much of an excuse I started to experiment with some new film settings with my X-Pro3 with some b&w recipe that would please my eye.

The Fuji X-Pro3 long term kind of review

As with other pseudo reviews in this site I won’t delve in all the technicalities of this camera. My aim here is to share my shooting experience and hopefully to give you a better idea of what you can expect if you are planning to buy this quite expensive piece of gear. As it stands and for the time being, this is still the pricier camera you can get in all the X line camera series. It’s a niche camera that will appeal to a reduced set of photographers that are seeking for a different photographic experience, in theory, one that might resemble what shooting with film was like, although with the benefits (and limitations) of a “modern” digital camera.

My X-Pro3 sub-monitor issue

Background

I’ve enjoyed my X-Pro3 camera since the first day I’ve had it. I previously owned an X-Pro2 which had been my sort of perfect camera, from street photography to travel photography. After long thought I decided to upgrade to the X-Pro3 and sell the X-Pro2 which I quite frankly regret sometimes, not because I’m not happy with the new one, but because I think the two can coexist perfectly as they have a different sensor and produce different images in terms of quality and style. Anyway, that’s another story, let’s get to the point :

Saul & Ernst Recipe

The inspiration

This is an approach attempt to a colour style inspired from some of the iconic images from the works of Saul Leiter and Ernst Haas. If you don’t know them, check them out it’s well worth it. The idea is to achieve a “painterly” look. I’ve deliberately chosen to go for a warm cast which I think works best for the final effect. Because of this, the recipe could have many subtle colour variations that might suit better the available light conditions and subject. Feel free to experiment and share the results here in the comments.

Kodak Portra 400 recipe. (X-Trans III )

Going “retro”

Lately I have been looking at several examples of film photography using Portra 400, many of them shot with the ever growing popular Leica M6, but also Olympus om4, Pentax 67, Mamiyas and the likes. Film has been back in favour from some years now and it is all the rage right now. Many photographers use it as a means of distinguishing themselves from the masses as a result of cultivating their own style. It is certainly enjoyable to see those classic retro coloured pictures. Even though the film look is old, the images themselves have a very distinctive contemporary look. That is because the modern lenses are so much technically capable than they where and as a result, the images are crispier than ever. It’s only when you deliberately use old glass that you get the true old look. But in my humble opinion sharpness, as overrated as it might be (a “bourgeois concept in the words of H. Cartier Bresson), is a goddess that is hard not to worship nowadays.

The magic of colour

As I previously mentioned, one of the reasons I grew fond of the Fuji system is their colour science and the flexibility it gives you to shoot directly in camera with the style and mood that you choose with little or no need to edit your images afterwards. In this article I will only explain a few basics about the film simulations and recipes that derive from them. If you want to have a deeper understanding of it and play yourself with the concept, I recommend you visit the “bible” of film simulations recipes which is the outstanding website Fuji X Weekly maintained by Ritchie Roesch, a true goldmine on its own on this subject.

Why I bought a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and is it still a relevant camera in 2020 ?

If you don’t feel like reading the following post, the short answer is totally !

Looking for a lighter setup

As many of you probably, I finally took the step to switch to a mirrorless system some time ago. Quite late as a matter of fact. It was back in 2019. I had been a Nikon user for quite some years, mainly mid entry level cameras like de 5100 series for those who are familiar. In the last years after saving enough money I finally bought a D750 (a full frame camera for those who don’t know) which I got to love very much and made perfectly beautiful photographs with, some of them I still very much love to the present day. In a sense I still consider that the flexibility of the files in terms of dynamic range and the cleanliness of the files, specially the colours at high isos, is beautiful. As many of you, no doubt, I got tired to lug around the amount of weight that a camera and a couple of good primes lenses represent (in particular during travel times and hiking).