Fujifilm has, to date, blessed photographers with 17 different film simulations in their most current cameras. The X-Pro3 being the most recent release has all 17 simulations. However, for X-T3 users, like myself, if you process your RAW, RAF, files in Capture One Pro 12, you get to use the brand new Fuji Classic Negative film sim, or profile, currently only available in the X-Pro3.
Having 17 different looks to choose from may seem like a lot but everyone has different tastes in photography. For me, Astia has always been my preference for portraits, and indeed, most other work as well. That is until Fuji’s Classic Negative profile came along.
Recently I attended a local “Frontier Days” re-enactment camp that is put on every year. I knew I would have plenty of opportunities to grab some impromptu portraits to test my new X-T3.
I set up my camera to shoot RAW+Jpeg Fine. It is easy to customize the Jpeg results on a Fuji. I set mine up to shoot Astia with +1 Highlights, +1 Shadows, 0 Color, & +1 Sharpening with -4 Noise Reduction. I left everything else at the default settings. I did not change the settings during my time at the event, knowing I could change things up with the RAW RAF file later, if I wished.
The image above is essentially straight out of the camera. I took about 15 seconds to create a masking layer, lightening up the woman’s face just a bit since we were in complete shade on a heavily overcast day. With Capture One using the layers function is very quick and easy. Before I set out I set the camera White Balance manually at 6300K (Capture One Pro 12 read this to be 6110K). I made no changes in post.
I love the soft warm look of Astia for portraits. In particular, with this portrait, nothing else worked for me. Again, this is the Jpeg, not the RAF.
If you like to work in black and white Fuji cameras are ideal. You can shoot B&W Jpegs and you will still have the RAW, RAF, that you can convert to color any time you wish. On occasion I will set up my X-T3 to shoot B&W Jpegs. When I do set up for B&W I usually use the Acros film simulation. It really is quite good. However, the standard Monochrome film simulation should not be overlooked.
In the image below I processed the RAW image to B&W using the standard Monochrome -Y setting, (Y stands for the addition of a yellow filter in the film days). I think it looks pretty good. I could have had an excellent starting point by setting up to shoot B&W jpegs, but for this event I chose not to. Still, this looks pretty darn good.
The following images are all conversions of the RAW file using the Classic Negative film simulation. It simply was a one click process for me. The X-T3 light meter was spot on and the white balance was also. I love the look of Classic Negative but not because it reminds me of my old film days. It does not. I used Kodak color negative film exclusively. I have to admit I have never shot a single frame of Fuji film in my life. But I love this look for certain subjects.
I think you can see that the Classic Negative film sim is very fitting for certain portraits.
I’ll end the post with one last portrait. Below is a Native American woman participating in the Frontier Days exhibition. This is the Jpeg, straight out of the camera with only a slight Curve adjustment to brighten the midtones due to the very dull light. Astia is such a good choice for portraits. I know I’ll continue to use it and if Fuji decides to release another firmware update to add Classic Negative to the native pallet in the X-T3, I’m certain that I will be using that too.