Fujifilm Color Interview Part 2: GFX and X Series Color, Film Simulations Are Truly Unique, Presets, and More

DC.Watch published part two of a very lengthy interview with Kosuke Irie, the Technical Manager, Optical and Electronic Video Product Development Center, and Shinya Fujiwara, the Optical and Electronic Video Product Development Center. You can read Part 1 here. Below is a summary of the translated interview:

How to make a film simulation

  • Some simulations are attractive world wide like clasic chrome, but others like classic negative are designed based on Japanies ideals.
  • When they design film simulations they are designed in Japan though so when they think of blue skies they think of Hawaii
  • They can also look to journalism for more looks
  • Fujifilm doesnt like to move off the standard of 18% gray based off the film days, which is why they do not have an automatic graduation correction function like other companies so if you want to move outside of the scene recognition auto mode you need to adjust exposure and dynamic range
  • The measurement data is exactly the same with GFX series and the X series cameras
  • The dynamic range on the highlight side which is more difficult to over expose on the GFX which acounts for some differences in look
  • GFX and X series are based on common design concepts so they are designed to be able to look the same on the highlight side
  • The excellent lens performance and a high MTF allow for GFX files to have less sharpening which does make the images look a little different
  • Making any adjustement to an image in processing is kind of overdoing a file which adds noise and accounts for more difference, which is the same for adding sharpening
  • These adjustments can make the shadow side look rough, which will add even more difference
  • All of these adjustments may affect the impressions of the entire image
  • Finally the image senor size does make some difference

From the impression of each film simulation

  • When it comes to PROVIA photographers that started with film find it hard, but photographers that only shoot digital find it just rights
  • PROVIA aims at the greatest common divisor that makes you feel “beautiful” at a glance, but Irie agress that it is slightly hard by default
  • Some set provia as shadows, highlight and color -1
  • Velvia was difficult to develop because color satuaration would be a problem in ultra-high saturation subjects especially on early Fujifilm cameras, but it got better from the X-Pro2 on
  • If you have a camera that suppoers color chrome effect the depth of color will increas dramaticlly if you enable weak color chrome effect
  • Velvia lacked color depth compared to silver salt velvia so if you apply the color chrome effect it is more ideal and closer to Velvia
  • Velvia’s green shadow should be blue
  • You can’t adjust film simulations to look similar to each other because the color balance is different
  • You should think about film simulations like changing film in a camera, because they are that different
  • All film simulations have different color tils for each lightness and they are designed to change smoothly in three dimensions
  • PRO Neg. is not straight, but it is straight foward which makes it easy to handle
  • ASTIA is deisgned to improve the balance of saturation between people and landscapes, so it is best not to change the settings much
  • Monochrome is based on the grayscale of PROVIA
  • ACROS is tuned to perform based on the spectral sensitivity cureve of film reproducing gray tones in relation to color, which is different than Monochrome
  • Fujifilm is sensitive to longer wavelengths of red because it is necessary for starscapes and it is easy to design if you cut aroudn 650nm
  • Irie would like to make changes, but many of the choices about color come down to what a beginer might do and what a professional would want
  • Irie mainly uses Prove with highlights, shadows, color, sharpness set to -1 and color chrome set to weak
  • If that is too flashy PRO Neg. Std with +2 color, which Irie feels is halfway between what is impressive at first glance and what makes you feel comfortable looking at it all the time
  • In other modes classic negative has a larger grain effect with strong intensity and maximum sharpness on the negative side which makes it shine
  • ETERNA Bleach Bypass is like half the bleach bypass of film so it might look a little off from what is expected for photographic work
  • If you want to use ETERNA Bleach Bypass for photographic work you can set the tone control shadow to +3, highlights to +1, and color to -4 which makes the tone harder and the color lighter
  • Classic negative was origionally called superior, but the name changed for various reasons
  • ACROS was always ACROS
  • Irie thinks of color depth as color tone
  • Fujiwara thinks color dept is tonality involving brighness, hue, saturation and how gradualy and smoothyly they transition
  • Color Chrome effect was born to express the depth of color by contrasting brightness and saturation of dark colors and it does not just reduce the brightness of dark colors
  • Differences in color tone make photos look 3D and if you loose the transition the image becomes flat looking
  • The film simulation development team is not made up of silver halide experts, but they have learned from the experts at Fujifilm what is the comfort of images
  • If Fujifilm didnt have a history with silver halide they probably couldn’t have developed such great simulations, because they wouldn’t know how to talk about color
  • It’s easiler to catch up to other companies with the digital generation

If you want to read the interview in Japnese it can be found here at DC.Watch.

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