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09-12-2017, 02:20 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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The Film Emulation Challenge - Post your Digital Pictures with that Film look

We all love film... but it's gotten more and more expensive to shoot and develop. Not to mention the work of scanning it, unless we pay someone to do it, and even then it doesn't look a lot like what it would if we had printed it with an enlarger lens...

I guess film emulations (both presets and home brewed) are the next best thing. How do you go about getting a more film-like look from some of your pictures?

I have a couple of approaches... I use HaldClut film emulations in RawTherapee sometimes, it even enhances pictures that I don't intend for the viewer to see as a film picture - just as a good picture. But sometimes I do try to make it, I guess, a bit more nostalgic, like in this shot, where I used the Agfa APX 25 preset from HaldClut:



Another approach I took a while back was to create some presets in Corel Aftershot Pro, messing a lot with colors, contrast and curves, until I found something that looked like it was made on slide film, but not emulating a specific film. Just a bit of that "70s vibe" I guess. When I switched computers I had to ditch Corel Aftershot Pro - they no longer support some of features I used a lot in version 1, like Vignette (!!!), I guess they want you to pay to go to a newer version of the software. But I heard horror stories about AP 2 and 3 crashing all the time. So I just switched completely to RawTherapee, where i have yet to create the same kind of preset to make my pictures more film-like. Having HaldClut which already has great presets is probably keeping me from investing time on it...

Here's an example of what I did with Aftershot Pro and my "home brewed film emulation".



I've also used Nik Analog Fx Pro 2 in the past with good results, but lately I've just been using RawTherapee - much more convenient and I think the HaldClut package is just as good as Nik's stuff... except for all the film dirt and imperfections - which I don't use anyway.

So, do you have a similar approach to your photography and try to emulate what you used to get with film? How do you do it? Let's get a discussion started


Last edited by ChristianRock; 09-12-2017 at 03:31 PM.
09-12-2017, 04:35 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I like it....
09-12-2017, 05:51 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I don't generally don't aim to emulate a particular brand/product, but I do use a set of Lightroom presets for monochrome conversion that are based on a film photography paradigm. One can choose a spectral response based broadly on film types, add filters (red, yellow, blue, etc), paper contrast (I don't use that one), and toning. Below is an example showing the "before and after". The "after" was explored on Flickr.

Here is the "before", Byron Peak near the Portage Glacier in Alaska.



Now let's apply the following Monochrome Toolkit* presets:
  • film+pan (conventional panchromatic)**
  • filter+yellow (yellow filter)
  • toning+selenium (approximates selenium toning)




I think the presets do a pretty good job of approximating a well-made black and white print from any number of fine-grain films (T-max 100, original APX-100, Panatomic). Of course, it helps to make an intensive first pass on the color capture to get the most out of the capture. BTW...this one prints up very, very nicely and could pass for the real thing.


Steve

* Monochrome Toolkit was a free download provided by XEQUALS several years ago. The zip was available for quite awhile as a link off a blog post, but had been removed from their site the last time I looked.

** The film+ presets along with the filter emulation are where the power of the package lies. Available film types are: infrared, ortho, ortho-pan (Acros), pan, and pan-super (Rollei Retro 80s). Filters cover: aqua, blue, green, magenta, orange, purple, red, and yellow. The effects are very similar to actual filters.
09-13-2017, 04:00 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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My favorite suite is AlienSkin Exposure X2.

I recently did some shots of my brother's band in the studio, and they wanted a film look for their images. With Exposure, I was able to quickly apply various looks that I thought particularly suited specific images.

One of the neat features of Exposure is you can set the grian profile to reflect different film formats. Given the high res of the files generated by the K-1 and the fact that I was using f/1.2 lenses, I went with a 120 grain emulation rather than a 35mm to fake a more MF look. While these were all at ISO1600 or greater, the low noise characteristics of the K-1 images allowed me to use finer grained "lower ISO" film emulations without things looking too weird.

The emulations listed for each of the following are from memory, so take with copious amounts of salt:

Fuji FP-100C



Kodak Technical Pan



Portra 160NC



Ilford Delta 100



Last edited by dcshooter; 09-13-2017 at 04:06 PM.
09-14-2017, 03:58 AM   #5
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I'd say you nailed the look with the last couple pictures especially, dcshooter

@steve - thanks for the insight and for sharing how you got the results. That is the type of sharing of information that I hope we can have with this thread
09-15-2017, 09:04 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Another example... also a black and white picture.

In this one I was going for more of a 60s look... again, no film in particular, just that kind of vibe. I think the decor helps give that 60s impression, though this is a new development in the downtown Norcross, GA area. I also used Aftershot Pro for this one, using the Nostalgia plugin (free download). That is one plugin I am going to miss because it's great for black and white.

09-17-2017, 05:07 AM - 1 Like   #7
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K-3 with Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG

wanting that noir-feel, maybe with some suspense



straightened the horizon in Luminar, then converted to B&W in Tonality; my own preset 'vader' which is derived from Kodak Tri-X 400X Pro but with a bit more contrast and grit...
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
wanting that noir-feel, maybe with some suspense



straightened the horizon in Luminar, then converted to B&W in Tonality; my own preset 'vader' which is derived from Kodak Tri-X 400X Pro but with a bit more contrast and grit...
I like that a lot! It has a great feel to it... suspense, as you said...

6 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I like that a lot! It has a great feel to it... suspense, as you said...

thank you...
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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There's a film emulation in the HaldClut for RawTherapee that I'm enjoying quite a bit... the Agfa Precisa 100. Some say it's repackaged Fuji Provia 100? I don't know... the emulation looks different maybe someone here has shot both films?

This is just your summer park fare... but I thought the film look helped a bit here.

Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 @35mm


SMC-A 70-210mm f4 Macro
6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
There's a film emulation in the HaldClut for RawTherapee that I'm enjoying quite a bit... the Agfa Precisa 100. Some say it's repackaged Fuji Provia 100? I don't know... the emulation looks different maybe someone here has shot both films?
I like the look of those

I've only just started dabbling with HaldClut - I used the Agfa Vista 200 preset on this one. I thought it added a bit of pop. Zenitar 16 on *ist D, wide-open or close to it:
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
I like the look of those

I've only just started dabbling with HaldClut - I used the Agfa Vista 200 preset on this one. I thought it added a bit of pop. Zenitar 16 on *ist D, wide-open or close to it:
I may need to add that emulation to my list of favorites!
2 Days Ago - 1 Like   #13
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CR, I tried that Agfa Precisa 100 preset to this shot. Not sure how film-like it is, but it gives interesting results. Super Tak 35/3.5 on *ist D:
2 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
CR, I tried that Agfa Precisa 100 preset to this shot. Not sure how film-like it is, but it gives interesting results. Super Tak 35/3.5 on *ist D:
I like it.. I find the emulation warms up the picture while the blues remain natural... A good choice to emulate end of day pictures
I find this Agfa emulation is very film like when you pixel peep...
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