Fuji Colour Film Simulations explained – part 1

If you shoot with Fuji, then you would already know about the fantastic film simulations that come with the cameras. Shooting .jpg means that you can get a very good idea of what your final image will be like straight from the viewfinder. If you are a RAW user however although you can set the film simulation in camera, using software such as Lightroom CC means that you will have to choose the simulation again from the Profile Browser section when you process to get the benefit of the Fuji emulations.

However, Fuji say that you should be using the film simulations available in your Fuji camera in a more proactive way and by adding the setting after the photograph has been taken could mean that you have missed a creative opportunity.

Fuji say that the generic film simulation terms of “vivid” or “soft” should not be confused with the Fuji settings of, for example, “Velvia and “Astia” as the latter two have Fujifilm characteristics built-in to echo their famous film stock. Further, they say that the choice of the emulation should be carefully chosen, as you would with their colour film, to suit the situation that is being photographed.

To that end, they released information sheets which describe the photographic attributes of their simulations and the situations in which they could be used. When taking a photograph with a Fuji camera, they say that you should first look at the subject and then decide on the simulation according to the effect you want to get from your Raw file. Changing the simulation in the camera will enable you to see the effect as you take the picture which you can then replicate with the RAW file in your software. Below are some characteristics you might expect from Fujifilm film simulations.

In the above graph, you can see where each of the Fujifilm simulations (this does not include Acros or the new Eterna video simulation) sit on both a tonality and a colour saturation axis.

Classic Chrome
Fuji say that the idea behind Chrome was to produce a colour equivalent of monochrome. Looking at the chart above, the simulation’s saturation is the lowest amongst them all, it has been minimised as far as possible. The chart also shows that Chrome has the second-hardest tonality after Velvia, however, its emphasis is in the shadow end whilst the highlight end is made slightly softer. In effect the shadow contrast is increased, the highlights are controlled and the dark tones are made denser. The simulation also has a slightly desaturated look to it.

The actual film is a reversal or transparency media. The colours in the simulation are saturated and have been devised by Fuji not to show “true” colours necessarily but what they call “Memorized Colour”. For example, after much trial and testing, Fuji added a hint of magenta to the blue of the sky in order to produce the colour that people believe they have seen or remember. So looking at the chart we can see this is the simulation to use if you want to enhance colours in landscape and nature photography as it is at the top of the colour saturation and tonality axis.

Next time:

Pro Neg, Astia and Provia



One thought on “Fuji Colour Film Simulations explained – part 1

  1. Thank you for this very helpful overview. It is a great starting point for experimenting with film settings on my XT-10. For me, the article also helps to explain why I invested in a Fujifilm camera and lenses in the first place. During my long research process that included reviews of customer-submitted photos, those taken with Fuji generally appeared more interesting in terms of color and contrast than the “natural” photos from other cameras. If natural was the most important criteria in photography, nobody would use post-processing, lighting effects, or all the effort required to frame and format photographs in the first place. Images are an art form.


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