Film Simulations on Nikon

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon

michaeladawson wrote:

David Lumsden wrote:

Fuji simulations are a deep dive into color least according to Fuji. Nikon Picture Control, OTOH, offers Brightness, Contrast, and Sharpness, but the only color manipulations available are global Saturation, Hue and, to a certain degree, Clarity. Until NPC offers granular control of every aspect of every color, it cannot hope to achieve the subtle gradations of a Fuji simulation like classic chrome. Wish it could.

Yes, it's not clear what Fuji actually puts into their film simulations that are in the camera. As far as color goes is it really anything more than saturation and hue? I don't know. However, the user cannot change much about the simulation.

I think there is more to it than just saturation and hue. Fuji claims to go deep into “color science” based on their decades of color film experience. I tend to believe them, particularly with respect to Classic chrome, because I have messed around in post processing trying to get a similar look and the only hint of success I have had was by tweaking all of the color variables that I will list below.

Nikon's Picture Control Utility is pretty powerful though in the ability to manipulate the tone curve.

I don’t follow you here. Have you found a specific means of altering the tone curve in the picture control utility that can then be applied to a preset in the camera? Or are you referring to the Effect Level Control that is only present in the pre-cooked presets, i.e. pink, denim, dream, etc.? So far, the only way I have found to manipulate the tone curve effectively is in post processing software.

Nikon could make the tone curve even more powerful if they allowed you to tweak the tone curve for each of the RGB channels. Another nice advancement would be to allow saturation adjustments on each channel as well.

Completely agreed. Without such access, the tonal subtleties of the best Fuji simulations would be unattainable.

One of the things I don't think photographers really put much thought into with the use of these film simulations is white balance. They'll pick a film simulation like Classic Chrome and then use auto white balance. Or set a while balance.

Agreed again. The first thing I do in post processing a shot for a Classic Chrome feeling is to warm up the white balance.

Well, film doesn't have much in the way of variable white balance. Part of the look of film is the color balance that you get. You won't really get the true film look of Chrome or Velvia if you modify the white balance. Of course, that's not completely true. A film user had the option of color filters on the lens to alter the scene white balance. But how many film photographers can say they really did that back in the day?

FWIW, here are the steps I have been modifying in my quest for cc. In all cases, the modifications are modest, at least at first.


CONTRAST lower (sometimes)


EXPOSURE (sometimes) lower

REDS (saturation up) (brightness down)

BLUES (saturation down) (white balance warmer)

Here’s one I’m working on now:



I also have a secret sauce I sometimes add to increase the drama. This is a step away from the CC, but it is fun to experiment with:

I’m sure this will be over the top for some, but I do sort of like it.

 David Lumsden's gear list:David Lumsden's gear list
Olympus Air Nikon Z50 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR +7 more
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