At the moment I don’t rely on JPEGs from any cameras as my SOOC (straight-out-of-camera) originals for online or print reproduction. Several reasons, prime of which is our lousy national broadband upload speeds and allocations. Then there is the fact that I use and love two different mirrorless camera systems for their different video capabilities and when shooting stills I prefer to edit raw files to colour match projects shot with both. Lastly, I don’t have any clients that demand fast turnaround and online transmission soon after shooting.
I do, however, like to set custom JPEG and video profiles on each system’s cameras and my preference is looks emulating some of the great analog films of yesteryear. Using as many of them as I could lay hands on, processing and printing my own negatives and transparencies, may have wrecked my health but it exposed me to a vast range of analog tone and colour possibilities that I now apply to visualizing and processing digital images.
Although my workflow does not require film simulation presets when shooting, it is fun to have them in-camera as custom settings. The latest firmware for for Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 and X-T2 permits renaming all seven custom settings. Until Peter Dareth Evans of Pete Takes Pictures shared his custom settings, I had both of Kevin Mullins’ wedding photojournalism customs settings installed but yearned for other looks as well.
Six of the greats plus one
Mr Evans seven custom settings pay homage to some of the greats of photography – William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, Mary Ellen Mark, Daido Moriyama, Garry Winogrand and John Bulmer – and one Fujifilm X-Photographer member of the KAGE Collective, Patrick LaRoque.
Those six greats, or at least the photographic schools of thought to which they belong, have been important to my own development as a photographer and moviemaker, so I quickly overwrite my custom settings with them and custom named them according to Mr Evans’ own descriptions.
I am looking forward to putting them to the test with some serious photography soon. Meantime I applied them to some quick and dirty X-Pr02 videos of domestic scenes and was impressed.
The downside of Fujifilm’s implementation of video on the X-Pro2, other than being 1080p only, is that only the film simulation part of the settings apply. Dynamic Range, Grain Effect, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, Colour, Noise, Grain, Sharpness settings have no effect on video though they do on JPEGs.
My quick and dirty workaround is to apply a tone recovery LUT from my ever-growing collection of free and paid-for LUTs, in this case FilmContrast_Light.cube from CoreMelt’s LUTx Feature Looks Collection or either of the two recovery LUTs from James Miller’s DeLUTS Fujifilm X-Pro2 LUT set.
Fujifilm, give us exposure zebras on all your cameras PLEASE!
Although Fujifilm continues to improve its cameras’ video capabilities, the company has several blindspots that have me wondering about its commitment to moviemakers using their cameras.
None of Fujifilm’s cameras’ firmware includes exposure zebras, the most essential tool for obtaining correct exposure of video and stills via ETTR – expose to the right. I rely on zebras when shooting video and stills on all my cameras of another mirrorless brand and zebras’ absence from the X-T2 is a major factor in not purchasing one despite its otherwise promising video support.
Crippling the application of custom settings to the X-Pro2’s video capability is deeply disappointing though it did not deter me from purchasing the X-Pro2. I have been yearning for an affordable digital interchangeable lens OVF camera for years now and the X-Pro2 has satisfied that desire for my stills photography work.
Shooting movies with OVF cameras is a passion and pleasure, perhaps peculiar to someone like me who began making short movies with old OVF film cameras. I so wish that the X-Pro2 supported zebras in its EVF, monitor and ERF, and allowed me to fine-tune my custom settings for video in the way that Messers Evans and Mullins do for stills photography.
- CoreMelt – LUTx powerful LUT tool for FCPX – Feature Looks Collections includes three FilmContrast LUTs for recovering high and low values. I use FilmContrast_Light.cube as a starting point for X-Pro2 footage.
- CoreMelt – NAB 2017 Presentations: Chromatic Color Grading Plugin
- DeLUTs – Fujifilm X-Pro2 DELUTS – Cinematographer James Miller’s X-Pro2 video LUTs containing two recovery LUTs.
- F16.Click – Shooting Weddings with Fuji – British wedding photojournalist Kevin Mullins shares his best settings.
- Fuji Rumors – This Guy Fine Tuned his Fujifilm Film Simulation Settings Inspired by the Work of Great Film Photographers. See “Chrome Eggleston” & More
- Pete Takes Pictures – Film & Vision – Making Fuji-X Simulations Work For You – Peter Dareth Evans.