Having fun with photography is a crucial part of the learning process. That is why, it is essential that every once in a while the pursuit of taking the perfect photograph is dropped to simply muck around a bit. This is true even for the professional, seasoned veterans of the discipline.FujiFilm Classic Film Simulation Recipe: Superia X-Tra 400
To summarise them in a nutshell, that is what these Fujifilm simulations are about. Unless you are building your personal brand of photography based on retro aesthetics which many photographers do, these are predominantly just for fun.
Fujicolour Superia is a Fujifilm brand of daylight-balanced colour negative film. First introduced in 1998, the Superia film stock was aimed primarily at the consumer market. Furthremore, it was also available in professional ‘press’ variants.
The film was introduced to the market relatively late and replaced the previous ‘Super G plus’ films. In 2009 a Superia Premium 400 variant was introduced into the Japanese market.
The film is still being manufactured in 2022 and is available at several speeds (100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600 ISO). All options were also available in 135 formats. Superia 100 and 400, as well as Reala 100, were additionally available in 120.
A defining feature of this film is its fourth cyan colour layer, which improved colour reproduction under fluorescent lighting. Kodak has similar stocks, called Kodacolour/Kodak Gold and Ultramax.
In addition, despite launching this more advanced consumer film that replaced earlier versions, Fujifilm continued to manufacture budget ‘Fujicolor’ negative film stock in ISO 100 200 speeds for more price-sensitive markets.
Ongoing, the Superia line has had several variants since its introduction. Despite this, due to the rise of digital photography, many have been discontinued. The discontinued variants of Superia include:
- Superia Rela
- Superia 100
- Superia 200
- True Definition 400
- Superia X-tra 800/Venus 800
- Superia 1600/Natura 1600
- Press 400, 800 & 1600
The current variants still being manufactured to this day include:
- Superia X-tra 400
- Superia Premium 400
2. Positive Observations
The settings used in this recipe achieve a stunning film aesthetic. Not too sharp, but also not too subdued that the planes of focus fall under an acceptable level of sharpness.
The white balance creates a warm and inviting feel to the photographs, with the oranges appearing particularly vivid in the images. Furthermore, the strong chroming of blue skies creates a stunning contrast between these two colours. The deeper greens present also generate photographs with a warmer richness.
The classic negative film simulation tends to render over orange skin tones that contrast sharply with the background of a subject. However, due to the increased warm and intensified oranges, this recipe finds a balance between background oranges and those present in skin tones.
3. Negative Observations
The original Superia X-Tra 400 Filmstock renders images with a more balanced white balance that often leans slightly towards greener Hughes. For this reason, the colour settings in this recipe fail to render images true to the original film stock.
When shooting in hard light the shadows rendered in the images also tend to fall on the darker side. Creating more contrast in the images than would be typically present in prints made from the Superia X-tra film.
4. Where/How To Use
The Superia X-tra film was made to be used in a variety of situations. This recipe is no different. However, I would avoid using it for any photography where the end goal is to create images with sombre undertones.
The warmth generated from this recipe is better suited for occasions where this effect can help increase the desired effect in the images. Particularly any summer events such as BBQs, garden parties, holiday photos and summer retro photoshoots would be ideal places to use this recipe.
Due to its over stylised nature, I would also not recommend it for use in professional settings such as editorial work. If used in these settings, make sure you are shooting in RAW also.
5. The Recipe
- Film Simulation: Classic Negative
- Grain Effect: Small, Weak
- Colour Chrome Effect: Off
- Colour Chrome FX Blue: Strong
- White Balance: 5200k, R:+3 B:-5
- Dynamic Range: 400
- Tone Curve: H: 0 S:-1
- Colour: +4
- High ISO NR: -4
- Clarity: -2
Interested in seeing more Fujifilm recipes? Click here to see the full list.
A warm recipe with a spot-on balance of sharpness and grain that renders beautifully retro style images. This Superia X-tra 400 recipe is ideal for the retro film enthusiasts among the Fuji community.
The recipe isn’t spot on and could do with some further tweaking. However, Thomas Schwab has done a brilliant job at creating a beautiful simulation for the community.
What do you think of the recipe? Do you have any feedback on how it could be improved? What has your experience been with the original film and or the recipe?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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FujiFilm Classic Film Simulation Recipe: Superia X-Tra 400 FujiFilm Classic Film Simulation Recipe: Superia X-Tra 400 FujiFilm Classic Film Simulation Recipe: Superia X-Tra 400 FujiFilm Classic Film Simulation Recipe: Superia X-Tra 400