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Film Simulations are Worthless


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When you use a film simulation you lose the "real scene" and get the simulation. Fuji should have designed the software so you could select a film simulation you want for the Jpeg and then be able to go back to the "real scene" without losing the simulation that you selected. Just a terrible design and for me makes the simulations worthless.

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I see your point, but there's an easy way around this. First you have to know that all film simulations and settings like color, highlight/shadow tones, grain et cetera only affect the jpeg image and not the raw (RAF) file. However, within each raw file there's also a small jpeg included for preview purposes. Regardless of whether you shoot raw-only or raw+jpeg, that embedded jpeg will also be created based on your settings and selected film simulation. It is used for display purposes like the EVF/LCD but also in preview mode in Lightroom and Capture One.

Now the tricky part: that preview jpeg is also used for your histogram. So the histogram actually doesn't show the 'real scene' but the jpeg interpretation of it. If you expose using that histogram it will also affect the raw. So there is an indirect impact of film simulation and H/S settings to the raw file. The setting of Natural Live View alone (or: Preview Pic. Effect) doesn't solve this. Fuji should have included a 'neutral' or bypass mode as well (like e.g. Nikon) but unfortunately they don't.

However, there's a way around this. Create a 'flat' profile for when you are only interested in the raw file. You do that by selecting a film profile with less contrast and neutral colors like PRO NEG STD (or PROVIA/STD) and set the Highlight and Shadow tone to -2 and color to 0. Keep WB and DR on auto and switch on Natural Live View. Now we get a flat neutral image (real scene) with a live histogram that resembles the real values. Using that histogram we can expose exactly how we want the shadows and highlights to be. Further on in post you have the largest possible latitude in your raw file.

Edited by Herco
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Too complicated. Fuji should do a software update to let you set a simulation for the Jpeg file you like and then see the real scene in raw which is critical to shooting in raw to make sure you see what the colors, etc. actually are. Had I know that Fuji cameras cannot do this I would never have purchased the cameras. I was not told that at the camera store. So for me the film simulations are worthless.

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On 3/12/2021 at 5:49 PM, Afterimage said:

Too complicated. Fuji should do a software update to let you set a simulation for the Jpeg file you like and then see the real scene in raw which is critical to shooting in raw to make sure you see what the colors, etc. actually are. Had I know that Fuji cameras cannot do this I would never have purchased the cameras. I was not told that at the camera store. So for me the film simulations are worthless.

There's no such thing as seeing raw. You cannot see RAW files in anything because they are not pictures. Preprocessing needs to be done on them anyway. If you're shooting raw just set your simulation to Provia to get neutral rendering of what your sensor is capturing.

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Two ways. One you could look through the viewfinder and see the effect of the simulation, press a button to set the simulation for the jpeg and then go back to Provia to see the real scene. Or if you have a simulation you like, then select it for the jpeg and then shot with Provia with the jpeg having the simulation.

Should be able to do a custom setting with the simulations you like and then be able to shoot looking at the "real scene". 

Looking at the real scene is important to see the various colors in the scene so you know what you are getting rather than having to see a simulation. 

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4 hours ago, Afterimage said:

Two ways. One you could look through the viewfinder and see the effect of the simulation, press a button to set the simulation for the jpeg and then go back to Provia to see the real scene. Or if you have a simulation you like, then select it for the jpeg and then shot with Provia with the jpeg having the simulation.

Should be able to do a custom setting with the simulations you like and then be able to shoot looking at the "real scene". 

Looking at the real scene is important to see the various colors in the scene so you know what you are getting rather than having to see a simulation. 

What you are proposing is adding a lot of extra steps and introducing more stressful ways for thing to go wrong even in settings such as landscape photography where usually folks are not in a hurry. For fast moving situations, that could be a disaster.

mrPeter is showing you a good way to achieve what are looking for: natural live view.

https://fujiframe.com/articles/natural-live-view-ettr/

“Turning Natural Live View ON disables the visual effects of in-camera JPG processing. This includes film simulation, white balance, shadow/highlight adjustments. Now the image you see is in the viewfinder and LCD is much closer to the raw output.”.

If you want a different simulation than the default jpeg the camera gives you, quite a few raw developers offer the other Fujifilm choices or allow you to use ones that various people have came up with to get close to the film versions. If you look around the forum you can find the recipes listed.

Edited by jerryy
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The TO should try to understand that there is no such thing as the „real scene“ when it comes to capturing scenes with a sensor. There’s always processing needed and it‘s not Fuji specific. The viewfinder can only show a processed image if it‘s not an optical one.

Fuji gives you more choices with the film simulations than some other manufacturers. It‘s a question of taste which simulation you find to be most „natural“ and many people like the Fuji renderings. If you don’t like any of the renderings you have to process the raw files to your own taste.

 

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If the OP is monitoring the thread -

Which “picture style” did you use on your Canon if you were shooting JPEG? Standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful or monochrome? With a little research you can figure out that Provia, ProNeg H or std and Velvia are the equivalent of the first three and then if you adjust highlights and shadows by minus 2 you get faithful, add in color by minus 2 and you get neutral...  Monochrome = Monochrome. Be forewarned, Fuji’s JPEG are typically considered better than Canon’s JPEG... unless you like Canon’s JPEG better, but then why use Fuji...

If you shoot RAW and use Capture One and you’re really wanting to minimize the Fuji influence on the image, have the import apply the Linear Response curve to the image and you will get a nice flat desaturated image, just like the camera saw the “real” scene. You will have a lot of extra post processing to do to adjust the image to how you remember the “real” scene.  I suspect Adobe has an equivalent to linear response but as I have never used it I can’t say what it is. By the way, I would not recommend this as it’s just extra work.

If you are wanting the image in your viewfinder to be an unaltered representation of the scene, don’t use a camera with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) use one with an Optical Viewfinder (OVF).

I hope this helps,

Dave

Edited by dward
Typo
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Stick with Provia for "stock" colour including raw defaults in CP21. 

As for film simulations, I have nailed (to my taste) recipes for Provia, Portra, Kodachrome, Ektar, T-Max 3200 and Acros that I am content enough not to bother with raws at all.

 

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On 3/20/2021 at 11:50 AM, dward said:

If the OP is monitoring the thread -

Which “picture style” did you use on your Canon if you were shooting JPEG? Standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful or monochrome? With a little research you can figure out that Provia, ProNeg H or std and Velvia are the equivalent of the first three and then if you adjust highlights and shadows by minus 2 you get faithful, add in color by minus 2 and you get neutral...  Monochrome = Monochrome. Be forewarned, Fuji’s JPEG are typically considered better than Canon’s JPEG... unless you like Canon’s JPEG better, but then why use Fuji...

If you shoot RAW and use Capture One and you’re really wanting to minimize the Fuji influence on the image, have the import apply the Linear Response curve to the image and you will get a nice flat desaturated image, just like the camera saw the “real” scene. You will have a lot of extra post processing to do to adjust the image to how you remember the “real” scene.  I suspect Adobe has an equivalent to linear response but as I have never used it I can’t say what it is. By the way, I would not recommend this as it’s just extra work.

If you are wanting the image in your viewfinder to be an unaltered representation of the scene, don’t use a camera with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) use one with an Optical Viewfinder (OVF).

I hope this helps,

Dave

Hi Dave, without wanting to add more confusion 😉 I wouldn't necessarily call Fuji's JPEGs better than Canon's. Amongst fashion and portrait photographers Canon is renowned for their representation of skin tones. An area Fuji usually struggles with. Let's say they're different... 🙂

Edited by Herco
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On 3/20/2021 at 10:42 AM, Olaf W. said:

The TO should try to understand that there is no such thing as the „real scene“ when it comes to capturing scenes with a sensor. There’s always processing needed and it‘s not Fuji specific. The viewfinder can only show a processed image if it‘s not an optical one.

Fuji gives you more choices with the film simulations than some other manufacturers. It‘s a question of taste which simulation you find to be most „natural“ and many people like the Fuji renderings. If you don’t like any of the renderings you have to process the raw files to your own taste.

 

Hi Olaf, you're right about the processing and taste of simulations. Nevertheless, it would be good if Fuji would include a setting that bypasses all Highlight/Shadow, Color, Film Simulations etc. for the sake of unaffected Histogram readings. As it is now implemented, even in case you shoot raw-only, the histogram displays the effects of the active Custom Settings. You have to consciously create a flat profile in Custom Settings and select that, in order to get the 'raw' histogram.

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3 hours ago, Herco said:

... As it is now implemented, even in case you shoot raw-only, the histogram displays the effects of the active Custom Settings. You have to consciously create a flat profile in Custom Settings and select that, in order to get the 'raw' histogram.

This is close but not completely true, ... “Turning the Natural Live View on, reduces the impact the Film Simulation mode has on the histogram, so it’ll mirror more closely what it’ll look like when you import it into your editing software.”

https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/exposure-center/get-the-most-out-of-your-histogram/

As also mentioned here: “With Natural Live View ON, the histogram is a much closer representation of the raw exposure.”

https://fujiframe.com/articles/natural-live-view-ettr/

It is not perfect, but considering you are looking at a lcd preview (back screen or evf) it is difficult to see any difference.

(edit) This page goes into much more detail:

https://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2018/12/a-fujifilm-x-t3-feature-ive-come-to.html

beginning with the section “With the X-T3, there is a setting called Natural Live View.”

 

 

Edited by jerryy
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14 hours ago, jerryy said:

This is close but not completely true, ... “Turning the Natural Live View on, reduces the impact the Film Simulation mode has on the histogram, so it’ll mirror more closely what it’ll look like when you import it into your editing software.”

https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/exposure-center/get-the-most-out-of-your-histogram/

As also mentioned here: “With Natural Live View ON, the histogram is a much closer representation of the raw exposure.”

https://fujiframe.com/articles/natural-live-view-ettr/

It is not perfect, but considering you are looking at a lcd preview (back screen or evf) it is difficult to see any difference.

(edit) This page goes into much more detail:

https://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2018/12/a-fujifilm-x-t3-feature-ive-come-to.html

beginning with the section “With the X-T3, there is a setting called Natural Live View.”

 

 

Hi Jerryy, to my knowledge the Natural Live View actually makes it worse. It increases the Dynmic Range by 2 stops, so in order to get the correct histogram you should set DR at 400%. At least that’s what I’ve learned from Rico Pfirstinger. To quote his excellent book:  

“Important: The Natural Live View of the X-T2 extends highlight dynamic range by two stops, rendering the live histogram inaccurate when shooting with DR100%, DR200%, or DR-Auto dynamic range settings.”

Excerpt From
The Fujifilm X-T2
Rico Pfirstinger
This material may be protected by copyright.

This is from the X-T2 book, but to my knowledge is hasn’t changed in newer cameras.

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20 hours ago, Herco said:

Hi Dave, without wanting to add more confusion 😉 I wouldn't necessarily call Fuji's JPEGs better than Canon's. Amongst fashion and portrait photographers Canon is renowned for their representation of skin tones. An area Fuji usually struggles with. Let's say they're different... 🙂

Agreed, I was hoping the “unless you like Canon’s JPEG” caveat would address the individual preferences.

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9 hours ago, Herco said:

Hi Jerryy, to my knowledge the Natural Live View actually makes it worse. It increases the Dynmic Range by 2 stops, so in order to get the correct histogram you should set DR at 400%. At least that’s what I’ve learned from Rico Pfirstinger. To quote his excellent book:  

“Important: The Natural Live View of the X-T2 extends highlight dynamic range by two stops, rendering the live histogram inaccurate when shooting with DR100%, DR200%, or DR-Auto dynamic range settings.”

Excerpt From
The Fujifilm X-T2
Rico Pfirstinger
This material may be protected by copyright.

This is from the X-T2 book, but to my knowledge is hasn’t changed in newer cameras.

Hello Herco,

Rico Pfirstinger is chock full of very good tips and tricks no doubt. His information helps in a lot of situations. But he got dragged over on DPReview about that comment because he provided no basis or context for his comment. Actually, if you use the section you quoted to try to set the menu option for a X-T2, you would not be able to because it is called Preview Pic. Effect on that camera and turning it on or off is exactly backwards to later cameras where it is called Natural Live View.

The original poster is concerned with raw file quality vs imputed histogram effects. But generically the same question can be asked for all three set-ups:

1) jpeg only: set your basic menu choices to support the simulation you  are using. Turn Natural Live View OFF (Preview Pic. Effect ON) and use the L or RGB histogram as a close guide.

2) raw only: set your basic menu choices to be flat and wide to support raw (tone controls at 0, auto white balance, etc. embedded jpeg image to be ehh, Provia, Eternal, or Pro-Neg Standard -- these are fairly flat. it would be nice if we had ProPhoto color space or better yet XYZ color space, but we do not so set that to Adobe and not sRGB, etc.) (Natural Live View ON - Preview Pic. Effect OFF). Then the EVF histogram will be close (not perfect, it is an evf, but close) to what the raw file will be.

3) raw plus jpg: this is the tricky one. Depends on the simulation and which you favor more, the raw or the jpeg. Always a trade off.

 

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1 hour ago, jerryy said:

Hello Herco,

Rico Pfirstinger is chock full of very good tips and tricks no doubt. His information helps in a lot of situations. But he got dragged over on DPReview about that comment because he provided no basis or context for his comment. Actually, if you use the section you quoted to try to set the menu option for a X-T2, you would not be able to because it is called Preview Pic. Effect on that camera and turning it on or off is exactly backwards to later cameras where it is called Natural Live View.

The original poster is concerned with raw file quality vs imputed histogram effects. But generically the same question can be asked for all three set-ups:

1) jpeg only: set your basic menu choices to support the simulation you  are using. Turn Natural Live View OFF (Preview Pic. Effect ON) and use the L or RGB histogram as a close guide.

2) raw only: set your basic menu choices to be flat and wide to support raw (tone controls at 0, auto white balance, etc. embedded jpeg image to be ehh, Provia, Eternal, or Pro-Neg Standard -- these are fairly flat. it would be nice if we had ProPhoto color space or better yet XYZ color space, but we do not so set that to Adobe and not sRGB, etc.) (Natural Live View ON - Preview Pic. Effect OFF). Then the EVF histogram will be close (not perfect, it is an evf, but close) to what the raw file will be.

3) raw plus jpg: this is the tricky one. Depends on the simulation and which you favor more, the raw or the jpeg. Always a trade off.

 

Hi Jerryy, your advise in points 1, 2 and 3 is indeed correct. The color space however (I guess you refer to CIEXYZ) doesn’t affect the histogram reading. I would also recommend to set the tone controls to -1 or -2 to create even more lattitude in the ultimate raw file when exposing the image. The confusing issue remains that even in raw-only, the histogram keeps working based on the jpeg settings. Whether the jpeg is stored or not.

Fuji did indeed rename the menu options between the X-T2 and the X-H1. It was quite confusing. The underlying function however did not change. Natural Live View On (or Preview Pic. Effect Off) is meant to give a view as close as possible to what the human eye sees. Our human eye can bridge a much larger dynamic range than the camera sensor. That’s why Fuji boosts the DR by approx. 1-2 stops when you switch on Natural Live View. In order to correct the histogram reading (not the screen view) you therefor need to also select DR 400%. Not only Rico advised this, but also a Fuji rep I talked to when switching from Canon to Fuji in 2014 and couldn’t figure out what was ‘wrong’ with the histogram.

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For some Fujifilm cameras, the color space affects the view seen through the evf differently than the lcd back-screen (old problem). Using the wider Adobe color space instead of the sRGB color space gave similar results to both, so the evf was being fed a different data stream; which stream fed the displayed histogram (lcd vs evf) was not clear. Hence use the wider one. Of course Adobe RGB is not good for jpegs except when the monitor correctly shows the colorspace, but Adobe RGB is better for raw. Even better is ProPhoto RGB and ever better is XYZ.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/19/2021 at 11:01 AM, Afterimage said:

Two ways. One you could look through the viewfinder and see the effect of the simulation, press a button to set the simulation for the jpeg and then go back to Provia to see the real scene. Or if you have a simulation you like, then select it for the jpeg and then shot with Provia with the jpeg having the simulation.

Should be able to do a custom setting with the simulations you like and then be able to shoot looking at the "real scene". 

Looking at the real scene is important to see the various colors in the scene so you know what you are getting rather than having to see a simulation. 

 

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2 hours ago, Afterimage said:

What button?

You can assign Natural Live View (or Preview Pic. Effect as it is called on older models) to a function button and use that to toggle the function on/off.

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