Film Simulations on Nikon

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erjennin Regular Member • Posts: 174
Film Simulations on Nikon
11

I just discovered this and made a YouTube video about it. Pretty cool to get in-camera film profiles on Nikon cameras

https://youtu.be/pRdRmDUmwkQ

forg1vr Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon
2

For what it's worth, here are my favorites I have loaded on my Z50:

-Kodak Portra NC

-Kodak Portra 160NC

-Kodak T-Max 400

-Fuji Astia

-Fuji Provia

-Fuji Velvia

-Shing TokyoTone

-Tri-X B&W

-Rose Curve

Happy Shooting!

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FuhTeng
FuhTeng Senior Member • Posts: 1,233
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon
1

Very cool, thank you. I've never thought about playing with picture profiles outside of picking monochrome or landscape occassionally.

As of right now nikonpc.com is down? I'll have to check back.

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"Our young men should spend more time considering the composition and merit of their images, and less time with magnifying glasses counting how many bricks and shingles they can resolve." - from a Paris newspaper article on Daguerrotype photography, from 1841. (and https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/05/1839-and-the-frenzy-that-followed)

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David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon
2

Fuji simulations are a deep dive into color science...at 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.

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rangel28 Regular Member • Posts: 290
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon

Thanks for posting this. I came across the Nikon Picture Control site but wasn't sure what it was for. Very easy to upload it into Picture Control Utility 2 software and then onto the camera.

Timo Vahala
Timo Vahala Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon
1

I've given up with nikonpc.com profiles, they are almost all over cooked to my taste. I've used plenty of time honing my own. With curves and new Creative Picture Controls one can create something that when printed may fool someone for a minute or two. Trying to emulate certain film type with tools we have now is hopeless, but one can create mood or atmosphere in images that might have film era echos.

"Neutral" Picture Control with custom curve.

"RED" Picture Control

"TOY" Picture Control

"DREAM" Picture Control

Timo

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,488
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon

David Lumsden wrote:

Fuji simulations are a deep dive into color science...at 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.

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

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.

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?

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Mike Dawson

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David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon

michaeladawson wrote:

David Lumsden wrote:

Fuji simulations are a deep dive into color science...at 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.

WHITE BALANCE warmer.

CONTRAST lower (sometimes)

SATURATION lower

EXPOSURE (sometimes) lower

REDS (saturation up) (brightness down)

BLUES (saturation down) (white balance warmer)

Here’s one I’m working on now:

Original

Cooked

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:

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

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,488
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon

David Lumsden wrote:

michaeladawson wrote:

David Lumsden wrote:

Fuji simulations are a deep dive into color science...at 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.

Well, apps like LR and ACR come with Fuji film simulations that are pretty close to what Fuji delivers in-camera.  I'm not sure how they do it.  If you use Adobe's Profile Editor program to make custom profiles you have the ability to move all the colors around.  I haven't gotten into this in any advanced way.  I've only used their utility to make a custom profile from a ColorChecker card.

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.

I've never made one myself but that's what Nikon's Picture Control Utility app is for.  I don't know if you can change the tone curve of one of Nikon's preset picture controls, but you can certainly alter the tone curve if you are rolling your own profile.

I don't know how Nikon makes their own preset picture controls.  But they've got a number of profiles that have some pretty big color alterations.  Is it just saturation, hue, and tone curve?  I don't know.

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.

Yes.  Color film has it's own "white balance".  If you take daylight balanced film and shoot it under direct sun or on a heavy overcast day you are going to get two different looks.  So in some purist sense one should manually set the white balance in the camera to a set value regardless of the light conditions.  Although, as I said, back in the old days you could always put a filter on the lens to warm or cool the output.

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.

WHITE BALANCE warmer.

CONTRAST lower (sometimes)

SATURATION lower

EXPOSURE (sometimes) lower

REDS (saturation up) (brightness down)

BLUES (saturation down) (white balance warmer)

Here’s one I’m working on now:

The cyan tinted skies certainly have that classic vintage film look.ย 

I'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.  As a result I don't really use profiles that much.  I went through a period of learning about L*a*b color from books by Dan Margulis.  For a while I was a big fan of his Picture Postcard workflow.

Although I don't process that way much anymore I still use his L*a*b color guidelines for correct "natural color".  For instance, in Photoshop a "correct" blue sky should always have a negative "a" (green/magenta) value, but never less than around -7.  Clouds should not have a negative "a" value (green tint).  So I bring my nature shots into Photoshop and use L*a*b color to verify my colors.  It it's off I go back to ACR and adjust color temperature and tint.

I do something similar with portraits and skin tones.  I go into Photoshop and use the CMYK color tool.  I modify my white balance until I have the right ratio of M and Y, regardless of what might be indicated by a white card.

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Mike Dawson

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David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

Michael,

You wrote, โ€œI'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.โ€ Youโ€™re getting close to the dangerous swamp of perceptual philosophy, or pseudo-philosophy, here. A ray of light may be objective in space, but it becomes subjective when it enters the retina and stimulates the brain. Itโ€™s the old dorm room bull session question: โ€œHow do we know that my blue is your blue?โ€ Damned if I know. BTW, I do know this much: my left eye โ€œseesโ€much warmer colors than my right eye does. Which ๐Ÿ‘, if either, is seeing the โ€accurateโ€ RGB?

(Extra credit question: Do your ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ also vary in white balance, or are mine just bizarre?)

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P Harg Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

David Lumsden wrote:

Michael,

You wrote, โ€œI'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.โ€ Youโ€™re getting close to the dangerous swamp of perceptual philosophy, or pseudo-philosophy, here. A ray of light may be objective in space, but it becomes subjective when it enters the retina and stimulates the brain. Itโ€™s the old dorm room bull session question: โ€œHow do we know that my blue is your blue?โ€ Damned if I know. BTW, I do know this much: my left eye โ€œseesโ€much warmer colors than my right eye does. Which ๐Ÿ‘, if either, is seeing the โ€accurateโ€ RGB?

(Extra credit question: Do your ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ also vary in white balance, or are mine just bizarre?)

David

Snap! My left eye sees much warmer colours than my right. A lot of people I have mentioned this to have difficulty understanding what I'm on about.

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Peter

David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

P Harg wrote:

David Lumsden wrote:

Michael,

You wrote, โ€œI'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.โ€ Youโ€™re getting close to the dangerous swamp of perceptual philosophy, or pseudo-philosophy, here. A ray of light may be objective in space, but it becomes subjective when it enters the retina and stimulates the brain. Itโ€™s the old dorm room bull session question: โ€œHow do we know that my blue is your blue?โ€ Damned if I know. BTW, I do know this much: my left eye โ€œseesโ€much warmer colors than my right eye does. Which ๐Ÿ‘, if either, is seeing the โ€accurateโ€ RGB?

(Extra credit question: Do your ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ also vary in white balance, or are mine just bizarre?)

David

Snap! My left eye sees much warmer colours than my right. A lot of people I have mentioned this to have difficulty understanding what I'm on about.

Same here. Either their eyes are perfectly, or at least evenly, white balanced, or they just don’t understand the concept, or they’re gaslighting me.

Here’s the dilemma: I frame a shot in the EVF with my right eye, but I view and post-process the result with both eyes. Black and white, here I come.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,488
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

David Lumsden wrote:

Michael,

You wrote, โ€œI'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.โ€ Youโ€™re getting close to the dangerous swamp of perceptual philosophy, or pseudo-philosophy, here. A ray of light may be objective in space, but it becomes subjective when it enters the retina and stimulates the brain. Itโ€™s the old dorm room bull session question: โ€œHow do we know that my blue is your blue?โ€ Damned if I know. BTW, I do know this much: my left eye โ€œseesโ€much warmer colors than my right eye does. Which ๐Ÿ‘, if either, is seeing the โ€accurateโ€ RGB?

(Extra credit question: Do your ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ also vary in white balance, or are mine just bizarre?)

You raise a good point.  However, when I say "accurate" color I don't mean accurate to my eyes.  I mean "accurate" to known color standards.  For example, are the color swatches on a ColorChecker card being reproduced accurately as measured by a computer program eyedropper?  It's very possible that someone could look at my processed photos and say "I don't really like your color".  And my response a number of years ago would have been, "yeah, but they're fairly accurate based on a ColorChecker card".

I've actually been changing how I process photos quite significantly as of late.  I used to religiously generate .dng color profiles for ACR using either the X-Rite software or Adobe's own Profile Editor program and I applied them to all my photos.  I've recently begun to change my workflow and have been using the Adobe Color profile most of the time.  However, I still make frequent use of L*a*b and CMYK as an aid to setting white balance.

I've recently gone back to photos from a two week travel trip in 2014.  I don't really like the color anymore.  I bring them into ACR and apply my current process to them and like them much better.  Has my taste in color changed over time?  Has Adobe improved their conversion and rendering of raw files?  Probably a bit of both.

As to your extra credit question...  I don't notice any WB perception difference between my two eyes.  That's not to say it's not there.  Just that I don't notice it.

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Mike Dawson

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David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

Michael,

I admire the rigor of your process. I must confess that I take a very different approach to color, which is consistent with my overall approach to post processing. Basically, I will take advantage of any tool available to me to maximize my enjoyment of the final print. That includes not only color management but also cropping, sharpening, blurring, DR manipulations and so on. I do have some rules. I don’t use packaged filters ala Instagram and I don’t use global tints. (I am definitely anti-sepia.) Also, for the life of me, I don’t understand why anyone would want to introduce grain (noise) or light leaks. Grain wasn’t a “feature” of TriX, it was a necessity to go to 400 ISO ( “ASA” in those days).

Apart from those limitations and a few others, as you can see from the examples above, I know no shame.

BTW, congratulations on your retinal consistency.

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David Lumsden
David Lumsden Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Film Simulations on Nikon - The ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ have it.

michaeladawson wrote:

David Lumsden wrote:

Michael,

You wrote, โ€œI'm usually after accurate color reproduction rather than some film look.โ€ Youโ€™re getting close to the dangerous swamp of perceptual philosophy, or pseudo-philosophy, here. A ray of light may be objective in space, but it becomes subjective when it enters the retina and stimulates the brain. Itโ€™s the old dorm room bull session question: โ€œHow do we know that my blue is your blue?โ€ Damned if I know. BTW, I do know this much: my left eye โ€œseesโ€much warmer colors than my right eye does. Which ๐Ÿ‘, if either, is seeing the โ€accurateโ€ RGB?

(Extra credit question: Do your ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ also vary in white balance, or are mine just bizarre?)

You raise a good point. However, when I say "accurate" color I don't mean accurate to my eyes. I mean "accurate" to known color standards. For example, are the color swatches on a ColorChecker card being reproduced accurately as measured by a computer program eyedropper? It's very possible that someone could look at my processed photos and say "I don't really like your color". And my response a number of years ago would have been, "yeah, but they're fairly accurate based on a ColorChecker card".

I've actually been changing how I process photos quite significantly as of late. I used to religiously generate .dng color profiles for ACR using either the X-Rite software or Adobe's own Profile Editor program and I applied them to all my photos. I've recently begun to change my workflow and have been using the Adobe Color profile most of the time. However, I still make frequent use of L*a*b and CMYK as an aid to setting white balance.

I've recently gone back to photos from a two week travel trip in 2014. I don't really like the color anymore. I bring them into ACR and apply my current process to them and like them much better. Has my taste in color changed over time? Has Adobe improved their conversion and rendering of raw files? Probably a bit of both.

If it’s not being intrusive, I would really like to see a couple of illustrations, before and after, about how your color taste has changed. I am betting it has gone from flatter to richer.

As to your extra credit question... I don't notice any WB perception difference between my two eyes. That's not to say it's not there. Just that I don't notice 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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