A while ago I started converting Lut’s to Cube format, because there was a demand for it. For this I installed conversion software on my computer, and according to the creator of that software the resulting .cube files are suitable for Adobe CS6 and up, and other compatible software. They were tested afterwards on Luminar AI and Darktable on which they worked. But, afterwards I received a message that there were problems in Adobe.
Since then I have been looking for possible explanations and ended up in a tangle of Lut – 3DLut and Cube files. Apparently not everyone is very careful with names, at least, I note that anyway, because what a Lut is to one, a Cube or 3DLut is to the other and vice versa. I have found several “Lut-Cube-3DL” files with exactly the same file extensions, but with different compatibility. Normalization and standardization are apparently hard to find here. Luts and the like are also used in the video world, and there is so much software available nowadays that it is an almost hopeless quest. Anyway, I found another converter that also creates CUBE files, which the creator says is compatible with: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Davinci Resolve, etc.
Regarding the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom I have strong doubts, But Darkroom was also able to open these other files. So they will probably work in some other programs too, you will have to test it out.
So, I’ve put together a new set of Fujifilm simulations in this “different” CUBE format. Provia, Velvia, Classic Chrome, Superia 200, Acros 100II You can download the full set of 5 here:
Please do me a favor, if you have tested these CUBE’s on your computer and they appear to work, Please leave a message below with the name of the software used and version if applicable – I can use that information to assign the correct compatibility, and many other readers will be happy with this ! Thanks in advance ! Marc.
The page of “The Largest Collection of Recipes brought together” is highly updated. There were also broken links, broken menus and some adjustments needed here and there. Normally, you should now have full access to the page again, and you can also find the new additions that I have discovered in the last few months.
Be shure to visit the site of my dear friend Mark G. Adams, where you will not only find a wonderful collection of recipes, but also a lot of information about how and where the settings can be used.
Although Fujifilm Superia is not one of the standard film simulations on a Fujifilm camera, Fuji still has a “similar to” (as they say themselves) in their options, namely the Classic Negative. For some strange reason, Fujifilm Superia was not considered a film for “Professional” use. But after reading countless reviews, visiting chat rooms and forums, photo libraries like Flickr, it quickly became clear that Fujifilm Superia is perhaps one of the most underrated films Fuji has ever made. Granted, the film isn’t perfect, but that’s what makes it interesting at times. And isn’t that why we’re all so eager searching for that “imperfect analog look” from before?
Below is a summary of the overall process, if you’d rather not read this, you can scroll all the way down to download this new film simulation.
Making a film simulation is more than just sitting in front of the computer and cooking something together. To make a film simulation properly, you have to do a lot of research to understand the target film as well as possible. Below are some of the many links I have visited, and an overview of the entire developing process:
After all that research, it’s time to load your camera with film. Before you start shooting your first photo, you already know what to look out for. If a film has certain properties and is very sensitive to for example red and green, then you should not take beach photos. By that I mean, you can enjoy the photography itself, but adjust your subjects and especially the colors to where the film differs from other films. The weather and light also have a major influence on how the film reacts.
Olympus OM20 with Zuiko 50mm f1.4 – with Superia 200
Fujifilm X-T10 with Meike 35mm f1.7
After photographing, development comes. I once read somewhere : “you have no influence on the development process, it is best to leave this to the lab”. Well, forget that. The development has the greatest influence on the result, and this can sometimes differ from lab to lab, believe me. Since this is about color film I did not start on it myself anymore, so I also used a lab, two to be correct. And the result was astonishing … different! One went to a local Fujifilm lab, with very good results. The other via a retail chain “Kruidvat” to a lab in the Netherlands. Comparisons with many other photos taken with Superia 200 showed that the Fujifilm Lab gave the best (read most accurate) result, which was not so surprising in the end.
At both labs I also had the negatives put on CD, always handy to have an extra comparison, because besides that I also have my own Epson V600 scanner. And, because I no longer work on Windows, I have to rely on alternative scanning software. Who is interested in this, here is the link: http://www.sane-project.org/ I myself am currently working on Linux distro Kubuntu 20.04.02 LTS.
And then to work,
scanning negatives and photos
photographing IT color target
comparing color targets
comparing many photos
create presets and fine tuning
creating Lut’s and Cube’s -> testing out, and start over again
Never forget a Preset is very different from a Lut. In a Preset you can do everything that your software package allows and everything is stored in a text file – script, which simply executes all your settings again. The Lut, on the other hand, only stores color and tone. A Lut cannot contain tone mapping, vignette and other special settings such as sharpening and denoising. But even the “normal” settings that can be recorded in a Lut can easily be overdone, causing the final Lut to give strange results when applied. Hence testing, testing, and more testing.
Sane scanning software, IT8 color target shooting, … :
and then, after many versions, the final Lut
I think Carlos Garcia Rodriguez described the film best in his article about the Superia 200. The problem with real film is that it always reacts differently depending on the lighting conditions, but as he writes about using the film for portraits and slightly pinkish skin color, I can only agree because I have found many on the internet. Anyway, I think I managed to build some of these characteristics into this film simulation. I hope you enjoy this new film simulation.
All photos in the gallery below have been developed from RAW to Superia 200 without further adjustments, except +0.5 exposure correction.
This was one of the biggest and most difficult “film simulation” projects I’ve done so far, I’m not only talking about resources, material and cost, but also development time. In the end, I am very satisfied with the result and a little proud to make it available as a free download here, the new PictureFX Pro Fujifilm Superia 200 :
Lut for use in Rawtherapee, Artherapee , Darktable and other compatible software :
3DLut or Cube for use in Adobe Photoshop CS6 (and up ?), Darktable, Luminar AI :
update 27/03/2021 list compatibility updated
update 28/03/2021 although it is a cube format it does not appear to be compatible with all software – it may require a more specific conversion using the LUT as input, this can be done in GrossGrade, there may be other programs that can do this to.
To anyone who downloads this Cube film simulation. It would be nice if you could leave a message at the bottom of which software and version you used with the Cube and whether it worked. If you do not want this public, you can also do it anonymously via the contact page. Thanks in advance !
For the new film simulations that have yet to come, a lot will depend on the coming days/weeks, as we in Belgium are facing a new lockdown. In the meantime I have a second Olympus OM2000 in good used condition – yes, this is such a great camera that I bought another one.
The question is, which film am I going to use now ? I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for that.
And as always, if you are not interested in using film simulations on your computer, then recipes might be right for you ? Click below and visit Mark G. Adams website, the place to be for “everything you ever wanted to know about recipes”, and a rich selection of the finest recipes.
I have found a nice collection of presets for use in Darktable. I haven’t been able to test them myself yet, but it looks very good, and it’s an impressive list of film simulations. Unfortunately, at the moment all of my time is going into work (my last 5 weeks before retirement), and making my newest film simulation: Fujifilm Superia 200.
I have written about this little Japanese camera before in December 2020, but I wanted to put it – and this lens kit – in the spotlight one more time. There are many people – including a brother-in-law of mine – who are not really photographers, but still want to take pictures from far objects. That can be birds, larger animals, the moon … The problem (according to my brother-in-law) is that those cameras are way too complicated – way too heavy – way too big and above all, way too expensive. Well, to refute that, I write one more time about the great Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I combined with an Olympus OM Zuiko Auto T 300mm f4.5, a mount adapter and optionally a 2x doubler.
Yes, in addition to Pentax DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, I also have an old digital Olympus camera. Old is actually relative, as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I was released in 2014, so today it is 7 years old digital technology. If you compare the camera at https://cameradecision.com/ side by side with its descendants, you will notice that the Mark I is actually still a competent camera, even compared to its youngest brother, the latest 20MP Mark IV. This is mainly because the “improvements” like more auto focus points and other bells and whistles, don’t actually make the camera that much better. Certainly not if like me, you only use the camera on “manual” with “vintage lenses”.
Ok, why is this camera better than my other cameras ? Well, this tiny japanese has some advantages that I don’t find in the Fujis and Pentax cameras I own, or do but not in the same way, or not combined.
The camera has “in body stabilization”, and that for a camera of less than € 200 second-hand at time of writing. The 4/3 sensor, perhaps not everyone’s favorite, but it does give me a crop factor of 2. 16MP is more than enough if you do not crop or not much. The above combined with the vintage OM Zuiko Auto-T 300mm f4.5 gives me a “stabilized” 35mm equivalent of a 600mm lens ! and by means of a 2x doubler, a whopping 1200mm bazooka! But not the length of a bazooka, no, the camera with adapter doubler and telephoto lens together are 295mm long – with a total weight of 1775gr. And yes, although the lens has a tripod collar, thanks to the IBIS I use this combo straight “out of hand”.
The numbers in the photos show the “real” focal lengths – 300mm = 300mm, 300mm with doubler = 600mm, taking into account the crop factor you have to multiply everything by 2 again. The first three photos were taken total darkness of a far-lit signboard. Iso was set to 1600 and shutter to 1/125 – yes 1/125! -> that’s where the IBIS lends a “hand”. These photos are not cropped, not enhanced in any way – only resized for use on this website. The next three were taken the next day in the late afternoon, the sun was already setting. Then the two photos of the chimney, they were not taken at the same time. The smallest magnification is just with the 300mm, @ iso400 1/100, taken end 2020 when I just had the lens. The other is taken with a 2x doubler recently @ iso1600 1/125. Again, no improvements, just jpeg from camera and reduced for the website.
The last one below is from a thrush in the garden with only the 300mm, the distance was around 10m. Again straight out of camera jpeg – All pictures were taken “out of hand” – no tripod – and at a fairly low shutter speed !
Due to all that has happened in the last year, and the fact that the camera / lens combination is also relatively recent, I do not have an extensive portfolio of birds or other distant objects. But I think the previous photos show enough what this camera and lens is capable of. This camera lens combo has everything a would-be nature photographer needs. In summary : It’s a very powerful combination. It is a relatively small and reasonably light combo – fits easily in a small backpack with enough space for a lunch pack, canteen and blanket. Technical: The IBIS is really fantastic + the camera has up to 15x image magnification and focus peaking. The 300mm lens has a tripod mount for long observations. An adjustable LCD screen and WiFi if you want to send pictures “in the field” to your phone. And its cheap ! – how cheap :
I bought the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm pancake on a second-hand site for €250. The lens separately is worth around € 199 second-hand, so the camera was really a bargain. ! But you can find them body only for around €150/200.
I found the Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-T 300mm f4.5 in near mint condition for €150 on eBay (prices vary between €150 and €300)
A K&F Concept adapter OM-M4/3 can be found new for €30
I bought the RMC Tokina Doubler for O/OM on eBay for €23
All in all, along with the 14-42mm pancake which is a nice addition, I spent about €450
Nowadays people are not easily satisfied anymore, it is all not so long ago that we worked with film, and had to do all the settings on the camera by hand. And was that worse? The kit is not waterproof, but a plastic bag can work wonders. No auto focus if using the above combination – but neither do your binoculars – and the camera has IBIS. My wife (who is better at English than I am) says there is a saying that says “you can’t have the cake and eat it” Well, I disagree, I always eat the cake I said 🙂 Then she explained it, and it turned out that I had interpreted it differently. Anyway, if you can make a compromise between “state of the art” and the “old fashioned” way at (at least) 1/10 of the price, what are we nagging about ?
I don’t know what you are going to do, but I’m going to eat a piece of cake with a cup of tea 🙂
Hi Guys! Whasup ! Feeling Lomo and a bit Flower Power!
No, I haven’t been smoking something 🙂 This is just a new PictureFX creation. The next Film Simulation is still days if not weeks away, To put it briefly, for a sunset filter you need a sunset, for a “real film” simulation I need specific subjects and lighting conditions, and photos with film and digital at the same time. Restrictions make it difficult to find the right subjects and conditions – it’s hard to just try to shoot, unless you are indeed shooting doorknobs or your pets, everyone has the same problem now. But still I wanted to create something new. Specially because this year PictureFX is 6 years old, and also because tomorrow the undersigned will reach the blessed age of 60 years 🙂 Hence I would like to introduce you: the new PictureFX Lomo Flower Power. A set of 4 Luts and Cube in one Anniversary Pack download – Usable on most image editing software, such as Adobe, Skylum Luminar, Rawtherapee, Darktable, Artherapee, … The filters gives a “Bleached Out” – “Expired Film” look, and a choice of 4 different “Tone Colored” effects to choose from. Hey, it’s just to have a little fun !
Oh yes, there is a built-in tone curve, so when applying the filter leave everything “neutral” first, depending on your picture, exposure setting afterwards can maybe go up or down, also don’t forget to adjust the filter strength to your taste.
Stay safe and well, Regards, Marc.
If you don’t feel like editing photos on a computer the answer is: Recipes ! click below to visit my good friend Mark G. Adams website with everything you ever wanted to know about and a huge selection of Top Quality Recipes :
An update on my last writing. The Olympus OM 2000 is made ready to start, new SR44 batteries. An old camera removed from the mothballs, a Nikon F60 with 35-70mm, dusted and also provided with batteries. A Nikon F60 isn’t the best camera for this purpose, but it uses film, can be set manually, and most importantly, it works. Another windfall is the delivery of my OM/Pen adapter, it arrived today, finally ! so this camera is ready for action also. In the meantime I also received the new films, so as far as color film is concerned, I am ready to go. For the black & white, I found out that the new lab I discovered cannot help me, they only do color C41. On the internet I also found out that the recommended filter for the Rollei IR film by the store (they said a regular red filter) is not good enough, but a real IR filter 720nm is needed – Christopher Schmidtke -film stock review : rollei infrared 400. So for both IR films i need to investigate a little more, and probably find myself an IR filter somewhere. With a bit of luck both Fujifilms Color Superia from earlier arrive by the end of this week, so i can start scanning film, and start with developing a film simulation for it. For the new films I need more freedom and our partly lockdown lifted so I can go out, and don’t have to shoot doorknobs and bored dogs anymore.
Actually, in the “oven” is speaking early probably, they are not “baked” yet 🙂 I also did not intend to make other Film Simulations outside of Fujifilm Simulations, however, circumstances can change and in this case it did. Being more busy with real film is the most important reason I think, it automatically created the desire to make a digital version of it. Technical problems with the gear I have, but also logistical problems with the delivery and other problems with new gear have not made it easy lately, but there are also some good things happening.
At an auction I was recently able to purchase an almost brand new “gun metal finish” Olympus OM 2000 with 35/70mm lens for € 150. Maybe not cheap, but I was tired of waiting for the other one, and this one is Mint condition. Hopefully it is also a well-functioning camera, because I urgently need one now. I found a new supplier online for analog film and I placed my first order, and I also found a new lab to develop my films nearby. A while ago I shot a roll of Fujifilm Superia 200 on my Olympus OM10 that has already gone to the lab – unfortunately it has also been gone for over 3 weeks now, so I hope it has not been lost either. A second Fuji Superia 200 is still on a Olympus OM20 only I’m starting to worry that it is also defective – the shutter is acting strange, almost if it only fires at 1/15, or it is the mirror that’s slow. Anyway, the Olympus OM2000, is waiting for a new batch of 35mm film. That will be:
Rollei Infrared – this is infrared, that’s clear CineStill 800T – a very special film based on cinema film, and intended for tungsten light Lomochrome Metropolis – very promising, the pictures of it I saw are very “classic chrome” like, so this was a “must have 35mm film” Revolog 460nm – something special to try out, the pictures color change as if they were taken through a colored filter, and appear blue/violet or yellow/green Ilford SFX – not quite sure, very red sensitive, but unclear in the description whether infrared or not Silberra Color 100 – limited edition (2000 rolls world wide, I bought two), the description says “based on secret Russian color film” – that was enough for me to buy it, more about it here.
And besides those 6 films, I still have a Kodak Ultramax and Kodak Color Plus in the drawer. For the infrared and the Cinestill 800T I need to purchase a set of Kokin filters – a dark red for the infrared and an orange 85B for shooting the CineStill in daylight – but it’s obvious that there will be some time between deliveries, shooting pictures, developing and finally making a simulation on a computer. In any case, it gives an idea of new Film Simulations to be expected, all special I think !
And then there is the PictureFX Color toning Pro series, the film simulations that I have always wanted to make in order to have a NIK Collections alternative. I recently released the first set of three: PictureFX Color Toning Pro – Topaz – Topaz Silver and Topaz Gold. But there are other versions on paper that I want to convert to a Lut or Cube format, unfortunately bound by Covid, I cannot get the right test pictures to be able to develop them further.
Lots to look forward to I think, now all we need is good weather, subjects and more freedom to get out and about.
As for the follow up, these are the latest developments:
The English OM 2000 is still on the way, the reason it takes this long would be Brexit and therefore the chaos at customs over there or here. It should work out in the end – hopefully.
The German Olympus Pen, eBay got involved because they saw that the seller was not cooperating, in the meantime I have returned the camera and eBay has started a refund procedure – so this will be fine I think.
The local Olympus Pen Medical of a second-hand site, the seller apologized and indeed turned out to be completely unaware of the different versions. We’ve made a fair deal, and I’m keeping the camera for now, hoping it’s a little usable anyway. And frankly, I’m a bit afraid to buy another one.
The OM/Pen adapter also from a local second hand site, up to this point the adapter has not been delivered, and it probably won’t although I still have hope. After many messages the seller and I where finally able to reach an agreement.
But I still don’t have an adapter. The intention was to use my OM lenses on the small Olympus Medical Pen. For example, I thought of the OM Zuiko 21mm, which has a greater depth of field so that I don’t actually have to focus, and thus solve the problem of a missing focusing screen + a round viewfinder that only shows a part of the image. The search continues, and hopefully I am finally lucky.
In the meantime, you can always use the Fujifilm Recipes from Mark G. Adams, he probably has recipes you haven’t tried yet, click below to go to his site:
No sharpness tests, pixel counting or other technical mumbo jumbo, just everyday pictures with the intention of showing the view angle, color pattern and character, and my thoughts of the lens.
Olympus OM System G. Zuiko Auto-W 35mm f:2.8
I had been working on this lens review for a while, I think even before the beginning of the Corona epidemic. It has probably been somewhat forgotten because of that. So I have now taken the time to write everything out properly.
When the pictures below were taken the sky was gray, so the colors are not quite what they should be. I took each picture at f2.8 and f16 to compare afterwards. The camera I used was the Fujifilm X-T10.
Focusing is very smooth with this lens, from 0.30 to infinity you need a little less than half a turn (less than 180 °). When first viewed on a computer, I noticed that the pictures at f16 were a lot less good, and the f2.8 seemed very sharp.
you can also see a clear difference in contrast between f2.8 and f16
sharpness deteriorates at f16
To see where the lens performs best, I did a test on a tripod at a short distance, one picture on each aperture position, and enlarged one part of the photo 100%
Pictures were taken at f2.8, f4.0, f5.6, f8.0, f11 and f16. The picture on f2.8 is soft but improved a lot on f4.0 – on f5.6 and f8.0 you have reached the maximum sharpness I think.
Same order as above, but full
The Olympus 35 mm f2.8 is a small lens, which means that with an adapter you only have 6 cm in length on your camera, so that is not too bad, and using an adapter may be the only drawback this lens has. The performance is very good from f4.0 to f8.0. Something that I find a very big advantage is the aperture ring that is located at the beginning of the lens, direct behind it the focus ring makes it convenient to work with. Many other lenses in the Olympus OM Zuiko line have the widely used 49mm filter thread, so you can use lenses from 21mm f3.5 up to 200mm f5.0 all with the same filters and lens hood, which is also handy.
Asking prices can go in any direction, sometimes you can find a good lens for € 50 or less. But Olympus has a sought-after status and the 35mm is unfortunately less common, many sellers know that and some dare to charge outrageous prices. There is always someone who wants to pay more for it, so do not pay too much. A good Olympus OM G.Zuiko 35mm f2.8 can be found from € 75 to € 150, prices can even go up to € 300 on Ebay. Even an original lens hood is sometimes sold for € 30 to € 40. I also bought my lens on Ebay in Germany for about € 120 including shipping, taking into account the shipping, this is an average price.
Final Conclusion :
It’s a real gem and a must have, but don’t pay more than € 150. The build quality is great (much better than a Meike or 7Artisans), and the color rendering of the glass gives superb results. The aperture ring at the front is a real plus for me, something other reviewers apparently didn’t always appreciate. And the aperture clicks! which is usually not the case with Chinese alternatives. When purchasing, pay attention to the condition of the glass. A very small scratch usually doesn’t do much harm and neither does dust, unless it is full of it, but watch out for fungus.
The table above gives you a comparison between the Oly 35mm and the Meike 35mm f1.7 that I also bought and tested a while ago. There may be differences in the different versions of the Meike, and that is also the case with the 7Artisans. But in general, the build quality and handling with the Chinese lenses are pretty much the same. I think the aperture is clickless on all Chinese lenses. It is different when you buy for example a Samyang or Viltrox, you really feel a difference in build quality. On the other hand, those lenses are a lot heavier, bigger and a lot more expensive. Those Chinese lenses do have that advantage, they are very similar in size to the vintage lenses. An Olympus or a Meike / 7Artisans? A difficult question. The adapter for vintage lenses is sometimes a problem (in terms of size) A clickless aperture can also be annoying. Color rendering of the vintage Oly is much more vivid. But if you want more natural (not to say flat) colors, the Chinese is better. Price wise they are close together. I use them both, sometimes it depends on the space I have left, or if I just want to take a compact camera with me. Both have advantages.