This article introduces you to the Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Negative-SR. An abbreviation for Classic Negative Smooth Rubber. The name was given due to the rubbery characteristics created in the subjects’ skin.
1. Reason For Creation
I have long been a fan of the classic negative film simulation. Between this simulation and classic chrome, it is hard to decide on my favourite one of the two. Of course, they both have distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on the subject matter. But I would say they both see a similar amount of action in my XT-4.
Having just programmed my first classic chrome recipe (Modern Chrome) of my Asian adventure, I decided to mix another based on the Classic negative simulation. Programming it in a way that limits my time in post-production or removes the need for it entirely.
2. Recipe Development
As any photographer knows, post-processing images is a time-consuming business. Hours, if not days, can be spent in front of a screen. Painstakingly culling images and then editing those images one by one. And that’s before the optimisation for their future lives. Be it print, web, or some other form of media.
The bottom line is anything that allows us to spend less time in front of the computer and more time in the field is a winner. That is why I have developed this recipe to mimic my post-processing style.
It was crucial to reduce as much noise as possible while maintaining a natural-looking image. That is why I decided against programming any grain at all. Furthermore, I have increased the ISO noise reduction to help smooth any grain that does appear.
Classic Negative is already a dramatic simulation. However, the sharpness and colour are enhanced further to help give the photographs some extra punch.
However, some of this punch gets muted in other areas. The heightened shadows reduce the contrast in the image. And the raised highlights create just enough depth.
3. Positive Observations
The images rendered by this recipe are silky smooth. The best effects observed when shooting in daylight and a low ISO no noise is visible. Making it a perfect mix for the times you are not attempting to render photographs that mimic old prints made from developing film.
The subtle matting of the image also makes this simulation more documentary friendly. Perfect for travel.
The above features also increase the recipe’s ability to capture quality portraits. Objects with smooth surfaces like cars and leaves also benefit from these.
4. Negative Observations
Any simulation has its strengths and weaknesses based on its intended use. For example, using Velvia for a set of wedding photographs would not be suitable. And this recipe is no different.
As mentioned, the classic negative simulation in its base state is already impactful. Furthermore, its colour balance is unnatural. And in this recipe, both of these settings have been further enhanced.
These characteristics lead to images that are unnatural looking. R-Neg is not a recipe to use if you want to generate close to life looking photographs. It is a recipe based more on artistic style.
5. Where To Use
I have often found that using the classic negative simulation when shooting caucasian skin will often give a very unpleasant orange hue to the skin tones. Meaning these would nearly always need to be desaturated in post.
However, while shooting the lovely people of Thailand, I have not found this to be the case. Because of their dark skin tones. So firstly, I would recommend the simulation for shooting people with tanned to dark skin tones.
As stated previously, this is a dramatic simulation. So in any instances that you want your images to pop without looking like grainy film simulations, then this may be for you. The warmer colour hues also make it ideal for bringing some emotion to your images.
Perhaps you spend some time with the family for Christmas, or maybe take them somewhere tropical? As stated, this is a unique simulation that makes images with a level of aesthetic that appeals to individual taste. So judge how you like the sample images shown on this page. And if you’re still undecided, why not try it out and see what you think of the results.
7. The Recipe
- Film Simulation: Classic Neg
- Grain Effect: Off
- Colour Chrome Effect:: Strong
- Colour Chrome FX Blue: Off
- White Balance: Auto
- Dynamic Range: 400
- Tone Curve: H+1 S-2
- Colour: +2
- Sharpness: +3
- High ISO NR: +3
- Clarity: +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.
Although not perfect, I like this recipe a lot. To achieve a quality image, they will still need to be post-processed. However, From my experience with this recipe, it has not been necessary to spend more than a minute or two touching up the JPEGS from these settings.
If you have tried this recipe for yourself, please let me and the rest of the gang know your thoughts by leaving them in the comments section below. All feedback is highly valued and will help me build better simulations for everyone in the future.