On my first outing with the Fuji X-Pro3, I decided to head towards the busy Iao Hon neighborhood in the northern district of Macau for some street photography. Apart from testing the X-Pro3’s unique OVF, this would also be an opportunity to try the new Classic Negative film simulation.
The shots you see below are all straight out of camera JPEGs with no post-processing. Classic Negative film was loaded to the X-Pro3 coupled to the XF 23mm f/2 lens.
The camera was set to Auto WB, Auto ISO capped at 1600, Aperture Priority. Most photos shot at f/5.6.
I’ve been shooting Fuji for almost 10 years now and for the first time I’m taking their film simulations seriously. The reason being that ever since I moved to Fuji, I was happy right from day 1 with their standard colour profile, especially in regards to skin tones — so I didn’t pay much attention to the simulations.
On the other hand, I admit arrogance played a part — a big part. I’ve always regarded film simulations as fanboy stuff, no different from the cheap filters most people use in Instagram and the likes. I shoot RAW — that was my stance.
The X-Pro3 is changing me though. It’s pushing me to embrace the full potential of straight out-of-camera JPEGs coming from Fuji’s rich experience in film colour science.
Laugh as you wish for my superficiality, but what’s really motivating me to go this way is the small sub-screen at the back. Yes, because it’s good fun and it looks so much better when you shoot JPEG and see the film logo displayed at the back…
I really like how it looks. It reminds me of the film look from days past, when worn out lab equipment that developed thousands of photos on a daily basis would deliver outputs with washed out colours.
I’d say Classic Negative is like taking Classic Chrome as the starting point, but with added contrast at the expense of details lost in blown-out highlights and darker shadows. Colours get more saturation, but remain muted. All in all, it results in a punchier image or, as Fuji calls it, more depth.
Classic Negative looks really, really cool to me. What makes it stand apart from cheap filters is that, notwithstanding all the tweaks and adjustments on the image parameters, everything still looks so natural.
And, most importantly, it sets a very special mood to the photo, however mundane and boring the subject might be. It’s pretty amazing.
Classic Negative is very powerful in this sense and I’m looking forward to further explore the potential. And all other available film simulations as well: Velvia, Astia, Pro Negative, Classic Chrome, Eterna, Acros…