Fuji Film Simulations

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by VidThreeNorth, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Nov 27, 2011
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    St. Louis
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    No, you can't do that in X-Raw Studio. X-Raw Studio is just a computer interface to the camera's image processing software. To use it the camera has to be connected to your computer and turned on. You will then be able to do the same set of operations that you could perform using the camera raw processor. The camera raw processor provides a pretty limited range of adjustments. You can push/pull how bright the image is. You can use any of that camera's film simulations. You can use the camera's tone adjustments to push/pull highlights and shadows, but you also mentioned midtones above. X-Raw Studio doesn't offer any additional functions beyond what's in the camera.
    In terms of color the Fuji film sims give you much more than what you can do easily in a raw processor. Using a high-end raw processor you can make or import your own camera input profiles which then allows you (caveat: effort and time involved) to do much more than the Fuji film sims.

    But that's color and not tone response. To use the Fuji film sims in the camera (including w/X-Raw Studio) you have to use the camera's image processing software. (There is the option to use something like Lightroom or Capture One's simulations of the simulations and a lot of folks are happy with that....)

    So it's all about tone response. Fuji's image processing software is as good as it gets and maybe as good as it will ever get. It offers a lot of options and can generate a pretty nice photo under restricted circumstances. If you're taking all of your photos in the studio and are very careful with your lighting you should be able to set up the camera to output pretty decent results. But most of us don't do all of our photography in a studio and so we don't normally have complete control of the lighting and there's the rub.

    The camera software is going to apply a tone curve to your image. You get to modify that tone curve and lighten or darken the image and push/pull the highlights and shadows (and further make changes to the color). BUT YOU ONLY GET ONE TONE CURVE. And that one tone curve will be applied to the entire image. Thinking about my own personal experience that'll work every once in awhile although I can't remember the last time it did. Ask a skilled darkroom printer when was the last time they made a print and didn't improve the image with any burning or dodging?

    The two photos I showed you yesterday were extreme examples of lighting that the camera can't handle at all. I shot those straight into the sun. I'll take that back -- Fuji's D-Range function will do a pretty fair job with lighting like that but for the catch that you have to reduce exposure to use it. I didn't have to reduce exposure.

    Let's look at another photo I took in the park on Tuesday. This is X-Raw Studio using the camera processor to make a JPEG from the raw file:


    What we've got here is full front-lit sunlight. Camera should do a pretty good job with that. One little tricky spot is the brightest areas of that cloud on the right. I'd actually prefer the image just a little brighter but if I take that option the camera image processor clips the cloud. I already have the highlights pulled back as far as they'll go and the film sim is Astia which is lower contrast. If the image were a little brighter the shadows wouldn't be quite so hard and harsh. But I'm getting picky. WB is auto and the color of the sky is dead on accurate.

    The image is a little flat overall and the reason is because of that pull back on the highlights. So even with lighting as easy as this I'm rock and hard place wedged between a better contrast tone curve and clipping diffuse highlights in the cloud. So I've taken the lesser of two evils and gone with no cloud clipping. This is why I said above ask a skilled darkroom printer when was the last time they made a print and didn't improve the image with any burning or dodging? Printing this in the darkroom I would have raised the overall tone curve contrast and then burned down that cloud a little. And again there's the rub with using the camera software: you only get one tone curve and it get's applied to the entire image.

    My observation looking at lots of photos is that most people would have opted to go the other way and get a higher contrast and slightly lighter result from the camera. The cloud highlights would clip and they'd settle for that. I see a lot of that.

    Here's my version of that photo:


    I used four tone curves selectively applied to different parts of the image. Compare my cloud highlights with the camera's. Look below the cloud and to the left of the fake ruins at the shadows in the shrubs. My shadows are more open even though my photo has more contrast. Look at the rubble and base of the fountain -- huge difference. Part of the problem there for the camera was the actual material itself. But the camera software has no option to address that spot problem directly. I do.

    So even with pretty easy lighting my photo is better than the camera's. What's the one thing I have that the camera can't provide? I can selectively address any region or item in the photo independently. When's the last time I processed a photo and didn't find a good reason to do that? I couldn't tell you.


    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
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  2. markjwyatt

    markjwyatt No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Apr 24, 2018
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    So. Cal
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    Thanks, Joe. I understand what you are saying. Unfortunately, Fuji X-RAW Studio is just not a full RAW processing program. I like your final print. I can see big differences in the sky/clouds, reflections on water and even in the vegetation, as well as the architectural elements. None of it appears overdone, it all looks optimal and very natural.
  3. rajputaman04

    rajputaman04 TPF Noob!

    Jan 13, 2021
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    I have a Fuji S5 pro digital single-lens reflex I need to see what kind of film simulations it has, if indeed it has any.

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