In this article, I share a new Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Negative-OK (Classic Negative – Organic Kodak). Taking inspiration from the classic Kodak instant prints.
1. Reason For Creation
The last two recipes developed were intended to suit a more modern style. That is why I have decided to try an old classic film type. One that is perhaps everyone’s favourite, Kodak instants.
There is little reason beyond this. After programming in the two modern recipes beforehand, I wanted to have the option of switching to something that could render a more retro aesthetic. At times I get tired of treating my camera like a professional piece of equipment and instead want to use it as a toy to have some fun.
2. Recipe Development
After looking at several old Kodak instant prints, I knew that the base simulation was classic negative. The reason is that the classic negative simulation is already creamy warm, and stylised. Perfect for the starting point of this recipe.
Next, a strong level of grain was necessary. So, of course, the grain settings were going to be cranked right up.
Setting the Kalvin level to 5000k achieves the extra warmth present in the Kodak prints.
Unsure of the tone curve settings, I created a high contract curve. In many Kodak prints, the highlights are overexposed. But the shadows tend to vary from deep to raised and matte. I advise you to play with the shadow curve until you achieve a satisfactory result.
Reducing the colour helps achieve that washed-out look many Kodak prints have.
Lastly, to maintain as much grain as possible in the image, the noise reduction option is all but removed.
3. Positive Observations
This recipe seems to shine between the 50-80mm focal lengths. Zooming into subjects and taking close up shots of things seems to balance out the tonal curve and renders a good contrast between highlights and shadows.
The colours rendered follow a retro-style aesthetic. They are subdued but not too washed out. Browns and greens mix nicely, giving a warm and earthy look.
4. Negative Observations
The tone curve creates too much contrast in the images when shooting at wide focal lengths. This contrast becomes evident when incorporating high highlights and deep shadows into a frame.
The recipe itself does follow the characteristics of a vintage-style print, with warm colours, blown-out highlights and strong grain. However, the images themselves don’t look straight from an instant Kodak camera.
To overcome this, you can apply a matte effect later in post-production
5. Where/How To Use
The images of the portraits and flowers in this set are both rendered beautifully. I would use this recipe for future projects with undertones of nature and growth.
I would avoid using it for projects and sets that required a louder, more playful energy.
6. The Recipe
Film Simulation: Classic Neg
Grain Effect: Strong / Large
Colour Chrome Effect: Off
Colour Chrome FX Blue: Off
White Balance: K 5000
Dynamic Range: 100
Tone Curve: H+2 S+3
High ISO NR: -4
If you don’t already own a Fujifilm camera and would like to achieve results like these straight from your camera I recommend you purchase the XT-4 with the 16-80mm (the same lens used for these photos). UK readers click here. US readers click here.
Another great resource for film recipes is Fuji X Weekly which you can visit by clicking here.
The recipe does not render images identical to Kodak prints. However, it does still follow retro principles. And for that reason, I believe it has been a success. If I want to increase the retro aesthetic with this recipe, I can apply a matte effect and decrease contrast in post-production.
Example photo – Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Negative-OK, Example photo – Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Negative-OK.