Film Simulation

Sama halnya dengan Picture Style di Canon dan Picture Control di Nikon, adalah Film Simulation di Fuji. Prinsipnya sama, mengatur warna, kontras dll sehingga JPEG yang dihasilkan sudah setengah jadi post pro nya.

Ini merupakan kumpulan dari artikel di FB FujiWorld mengenai Film simulation … saya bukan penterjemah, jadi silahkan gunakan google translate buat yang bingung dengan bahasa inggris nya 🙂


If you shoot with a digital camera and are serious about photography, chances are that you shoot in RAW format. RAW is flexible and therefore undeniably a very attractive option. But if you own a FUJIFILM camera, put that thought on the side for a second. You may be wasting just about half of the camera’s potential.

First of all, the color reproduction is not just a “tendency” for FUJIFILM cameras, but rather a “world of its own” to put it more correctly. It does not just look “vivid” or “soft”. They are in their own world of color reproduction of “Velvia” and “ASTIA”.

When you shoot a photo, you would first look at the subject. It can be anything from “autumn leaves” to “person”. And you would set it to “Vivid” or “Soft” depending on the subject. You may be happy with the result if the autumn leaves appear vivid or the skin appears soft.  At the same time, you may be unsatisfied with the result, but think that “it can be edited later” if they were shot in RAW.

If you use FUJIFILM camera, your style of photography can be a bit different. How would the autumn leaves or the person appear if they were shot in Velvia? How would they appear if they were shot in ASTIA?

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This is the fundamental idea of FUJIFILM’s approach to color reproduction and photography. We regard the time you spend shooting very important.

And as the FUJIFILM cameras are mirrorless, you can check the final image before the shot is taken. You can preview the world of Velvia and ASTIA.

How would the scene you see in front of you appear when perfected in the form of photography? It is very important that you can check that in real time.

The reason that Film Simulation has its own “world” is that it is very particular about the “robustness about the scene”.

The”World of Velvia” certainly tends to be vivid and the “World of ASTIA” certainly has soft tonality. But they both have soft and hard parts in particular area. Each film simulation is composed with just the right balance.

It is our belief that “the photos should never look unnatural even though one can easily see that they are composed with the color of Velvia or ASTIA.”

FUJIFILM’s color reproduction designers prioritize the live action. They take photos of scenery that should not be taken in Velvia. They take photos upon customizing the setting that one would never think of.

They would print these out and evaluate. People who evaluate are not the people who took the photos. In order for a fair evaluation, they would need the neutral eye for the job and they do that for every test.

This is the process of creating the world of color that are unique, but yet never fail.


“CLASSIC CHROME”

Since its release in September, 2014, the film simulation has vastly gained popularity, especially among street and documentary photographers. They often shoot in monochrome and find the film simulation to be fit with their style.

We are glad to hear such opinion. The basic idea upon designing “CLASSIC CHROME” is that it would be a film simulation in color that can be used how monochrome is used. For CLASSIC CHROME, the tonality is the key to tell the story of a photo.

Take a look at the chart. The saturation is the lowest among all film simulations. The saturation has been minimized to the limit.

10568844_841760022563469_6804099464762648277_nPhotography is often called “Art of omission”. CLASSIC CHROME omits the element of color in order to stand for the story you want to tell to stand out.

Velvia uses color as the main element, and CLASSIC CHROME is on the opposite end. The use of color is minimized and the tonality becomes the main element.

Take a look at the chart again. You can see that the tonality is a little above the center line and is the second hardest after Velvia.

CLASSIC CHROME’s tonality is hard, but it is not equally hard in all range from shadow to highlight. The shadow end is hard, but the tonality is soft on the highlight end.

To express the tight atmosphere in a picture, one may set the exposure under, but that would equally affect all range from highlight to shadow. The final image would be better if only shadow part is under exposed and the highlight part is kept as is. The subject would become more live and the texture remains present by doing so.

Monochrome is not present on the chart, but the tonality of Monochrome is designed exactly the same as PROVIA for FUJIFILM cameras. It means that the CLASSIC CHROME’s tonality is harder than Monochrome.

CLASSIC CHROME minimizes saturation as much as possible, but the element of color remains and therefore the subject of the picture still remains in color. So the feel of “Monochrome” would be more apparent if the tonality is a little bit on the harder end.

Minimized saturation and one of a kind tonality that make the subject stand out, this is all to tell the story as clear as possible. We would like the photographers that advocate for contents, to also use this film simulation.


“Velvia”

Many photographers would put a smile on their face when they hear the word “Velvia”. It often sets off a discussion like which Velvia is best, the original or the 100F and etc.,

Velvia is a reversal film that FUJIFILM introduced back in 1991. Since its debut, it has gained massive popularity especially among the landscape and nature photographers, so much that the Velvia color has set a standard in the field of photography.

If “CLASSIC CHROME” is a film simulation that communicates through its tone, then “Velvia” is a film simulation that communicates through its color.

Color is the main element for “Velvia” with its unique high saturation. It has to be said, before we go any further, that FUJIFILM had designed “Velvia” with the concept of “Image Color”.11009091_845163142223157_4388882779238252612_n

“Image Color” is the color of how photographers remember the scene. It is also the color of how the viewers expect upon looking at the photographs.

In Japanese, photography is written as “写(Copy)真(Truth)”. And some also think of photography’s meaning as “same as how it appears”. But photography, in one point of view, can be thought as the medium of emotional communication. Then the term “Copying Truth” would be inappropriate. It would also be inappropriate in terms of psychological mechanism of the photographers and the viewers.

People wouldn’t condemn painter’s work just because the model doesn’t appear the same in the painting and in reality. This goes the same for photographs. In order for a photograph to deliver the intended emotion, essential and unessential elements need to be selected.

When people look and memorize things, psychological factor is added during the process. And because of that, if the color is truly a reflection of reality, then people would often find that “the photo is missing something” or that “the color isn’t just right”. “Image Color” is indeed a bit far from the truth. But in people’s mind, the image color is the correct answer.

Back to the topic on designing of Velvia.

Even though Velvia is based upon “Image Color”, if too much editing has been done, then it goes far off from how the “Image Color” should be. So what is the recipe that link the natural color and the color in people’s mind? This was the key to designing “Velvia”.

“How can you understand the colors in my mind?”, a philosopher may ask. And the scientists and researchers try to find the answer to that question by trial & error and by feedback.

FUJIFILM is a camera manufacturer, a film manufacturer, and a print developer. We cover all process of photography and have tremendous volume of “printed” feedback as assets.

What are the colors that stay strong in people’s memory? How are the colors altered upon the process of memorization?

Much effort have been put trying to find the answer to the question, and two key color for landscape photography have emerged at last: “Blue in the sky” and “Green in the grass”.

In order to make “Blue” more memorable, a bit of magenta is being added. “Add magenta to enhance blue?” you may wonder. But by realizing just how much to add, this results in most comfortable and eye-pleasing blue. Gradation needs to be controlled as well as other elements, and recipe for each elements are implemented.

“Green” as well as other colors have gone through the same process as “Blue” to optimize each color; making the colors close to how people would remember.

It is often said that Velvia adds more depth and flavor, and that the colors are more vibrant. This is the result of the effort that have been put for the research.

The epitome of Velvia is the communication through color between the photographer and the viewer. There are certain emotions that only “Image Color” can deliver.

In film, Velvia only has sensitivity of 50 and 100. With Velvia film simulation, you can control as freely as you like. On top of that, there also is the robustness of a film simulation. We believe Velvia color reproduction have a lot more to offer if they are more utilized.


“PRO Neg.”

Perhaps it is the least commonly known film simulation, and given the special nature of its origins it is an understandable story.
It may be the “least commonly known”, but it does not mean that it is not being used. The film simulation has its usage just like other film simulations.

First let us talk about “PRO Neg. STD”.
It simulates “NS160”, a professional color negative film for studio portraiture, printed on “FUJI COLOR Paper Professional MP”.

The tonality is very soft, and the skin tone appears very soft. The rich tonality reflects the lighting setting perfectly. If you just press the shutter button without thinking of the final output, then it will just produce a boring flat image. The film simulation is most effective when you have clear vision of the final output. The film simulation is great for studio portraiture where you have time to think about composition, lighting, pose, and expression.

11130109_849129421826529_4454405627879284815_nPRO Neg. Hi” has a harder tonality when compared with “PRO Neg STD”, but still maintains soft tonality to be used for portraiture. The film simulation is designed to be used for portraiture where the lighting isn’t set perfectly, like fashion photography, in which the lighting cannot follow models movement. Street and candid photography are other good examples for its usage. The film simulation enhances the shadow tone even with just a simple lighting setting,

The two film simulation compliment each other. “PRO Neg. STD” is good for still subject and “PRO Neg. Hi” is good for active subject.

The first ever film simulation was introduced back in 2003 when FinePix F700 featured “F-Chrome” color mode. The film simulation started with Chrome, a reversal film simulation. The original “PRO Neg.” film simulation followed soon after when S3Pro featured “F1” color mode in 2004. There was a strong demand from the wedding and portrait photographers that they wanted to shoot digital, just the same way they shoot with “NS160” professional negative film. The “PRO Neg.” film simulation was created for the professional who wanted to use in the professional field of work.


“ASTIA”

“ASTIA”, “PRO Neg. STD” and “PRO Neg. Hi” are all designed for portrait photography. All three of them? you may wonder, but this kind of thing makes FUJIFILM unique and different. We are about color and we are about portrait photography.

The common denominator is that soft skin tones and tonality are the selling points for all three film simulation. The difference between them is that they are designed differently to be used under different environment.

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“PRO Neg. STD” is designed to be used under perfect lighting, composition, and posing. “PRO Neg. Hi” is designed to be used under simple lighting and subject in action, and “ASTIA” is close to “PRO Neg. Hi”.

“ASTIA” is designed to be used under little or no lighting and subject in action. The film simulation is carefully designed to express the soft skin tones and not to wash out at the high end while making the shadow end a little hard. Tonality is designed so that it is sharp enough even without the use of lighting.

The reproduction of primary colors differentiates “ASTIA” and “PRO Neg. Hi”. “ASTIA” film simulation has its roots in reversal films, so the reversal-like high saturation makes “ASTIA” different from “PRO Neg. Hi”.

If you are shooting portrait or fashion outside with nature in the background, the high saturation of “ASTIA” should help you achieve express the beauty of the clothes that the model is wearing. “ASTIA” is recommended for such use.

In the camera menu, it reads “ASTIA / SOFT”, but this is quite misleading. When you look at the chart, you see that it is softer than standard “PROVIA”, however, the softness is limited only to certain colors like skin color. And you can also see that there are softer film simulations than “ASTIA”.

It is important to remember that “ASTIA” adds hardness in shadow tone to make photo sharp. And that little amount of hardness is convenient for use other than portrait photography.

Taking advantage of the short flange back distance of 17.7mm, there are many X-mount users that enjoy old lenses with the use of mount adapter. “ASTIA” is recommended for such users.

Thanks to the newest optical and processing technology, you are not likely to find the lack of contrast when using current XF lenses. But when you use the lenses from the days that only had limited coating technology and glass materials, the image seems somewhat “loose”.

Of course, you can take full advantage of the “looseness” and enjoy the photography, but it dose not also hurt to remember that “ASTIA” adds a little bit of contrast to your picture. The film simulation helps stand out the main theme of your photo while retaining the old lenses’ characteristics.

And on the final note, just to be clear, “ASTIA” is certainly recommended for the current XF lenses. It is like another standard film simulation with just a little bit of contrast, and soft skin tone.


“PROVIA”

Throughout the series, we have been looking at the mapping chart with tonality on the vertical axis and saturation on the horizontal axis. “PROVIA” stays at the center of the chart and is the FUJIFILM’s standard film simulation.

You might think of “standard” as being medium, but better suited description would be “almighty” in case of PROVIA. Why? Because PROVIA is all about robustness.

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No matter what the subject, lighting, or the shooting environment may be, you will find the photos non-collapsed when it is taken in PROVIA. You will also probably find yourself not needing to change the settings when you shoot in PROVIA.

With the X series cameras, you can customize tone, colors, white balance, dynamic range and etc just by pushing the “Q” button. You can create your preferred setting to suit your taste and you can set the parameters to the extreme. With PROVIA, you will find that images stays tough against these customization. It is like good meat remains tasty, no matter what the recipe may be.

You can use PROVIA for various applications. The expression is limitless. The dot on the chart should be replaced with a wide circle. PROVIA is like Ace of Spades. This is the strongest card of all, and you can be confident of the outcome even when you do not know what to expect.

And before we end the series, let us talk about RAW images. We have received messages from many people questioning whether we would delete the RAW options in future. And our answer to the question is “NO”!

We, at FUJIFILM, do not deny the idea of RAW files or processing.
We believe that the RAW files are part of the fun in photography. But at the same time, we also believe that RAW files are not complete as photo images when they remain just as they are.

FUJIFILM is a camera maker and a photography maker at the same time.
As a camera maker, we are responsible for making quality cameras. And as a photography maker, we need to assure the images that these cameras create. We need show what we believe are good photography.

The Film Simulation is one of our answers. When you are processing RAW files on your computer, it might be fun to question “How would FUJIFILM would edit these colors and images?”

Film SimulationCharactersUse For
Classic ChromeSaturation : minimal
Tonality is the strong character (second strongest after Velvia)

Street
Documentary
VelviaSpeak with color
Unique high saturation
Vibrant
Landscape
Nature
Pro Neg StandardTonality & skintone very soft
Studio Portraiture / where you can arrange the light etc
Still Object
Pro Neg HighTonality is higher compare to StandardPortraiture - where lighting you could not control
Fashion
Street
Candid
Active Object
AstiaClose to pro neg High
High saturation
Portrait photography
without / minimal lighting & active object
Outdoor
Recommended for old lenses
ProviaAll roundAll round film simulation

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