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11-03-2020, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #1
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c.a.m's Avatar

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The Pentax 'film simulation' effect

Users of Fujifilm digital cameras praise the 'film simulations' that are built in to various models -- classic films such as Provia and Velvia, each with its own distinct take on toning, saturation, vividness, and hue. Many users share their recipes for all sorts of subjects; there are comparisons to real film pictures; and Fujifilm itself promotes the sims. For those who might be interested, an article by Imaging Resource covers Fuji's simulations in detail: The ultimate guide to Fuji’s Film Simulations; A DEEP dive to de-mystify one of Fuji’s best features

What about Pentax?

Similar to Fuji's film simulations, Pentax cameras offer a "Custom Image" feature, which Ricoh Imaging describes as:

"All PENTAX digital SLR cameras currently on the market feature the creative Custom Image function, which lets you alter the finishing touch of an image you’ve captured, just like changing the film type. In addition to the easy selection of the Custom Image mode best suited for a given scene or subject — one of the great advantages of digital photography — it also gives you the flexibility of customizing any selected Custom Image mode by shifting various parameters." [my emphasis]

Give further expression with PENTAX "Custom Image" | RICOH IMAGING

The 'Custom Image' doesn't seem to have the panache of Fuji's 'Film Simulation', so it may not be as popular within the Pentax community. Some photographers try to emulate Fuji's simulations in their Pentax cameras, although the Pentax options themselves provide an array of interesting variations. Threads in Pentax Forums discuss this feature, for example:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/384730-custom-i...n-english.html .
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/32-digital-processing-software-printing/...o400-film.html


The Custom Image options include:
  • Bright
  • Natural
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Vibrant
  • Radiant
  • Muted
  • Flat
  • Bleach Bypass
  • Reversal Film
  • Monochrome
  • Cross Process

While many Pentax shooters prefer to develop RAW files to taste, there are benefits in processing the files automatically in camera, using Custom Image settings to tailor the JPEG image. I tend to favour RAW files, but occasionally use straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. Typically, I select a 'natural', 'bright', or 'muted' customization.

Interestingly, the RAW developer application RawTherapee has an option to use HaldCLUT (Colour Look Up Table) film simulations, which emulate a variety of film types from Ilford, Fujifilm, Kodak, and others. I usually draw on the ones that offer subtle toning and colouring effects such as Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Astia for colour or Ilford HP5 for black and white. I have no idea whether my images reflect their real-film counterparts faithfully, but I like the effects.

Information on the RawTherapee function may be found in RawPedia: Film Simulation - RawPedia.

The post processing program that is supplied with Pentax cameras -- the Pentax Digital Camera Utility (PDCU) -- also has an option to apply the Custom Image settings to RAW files, just at they would be in camera.

- Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 11-07-2020 at 02:24 PM.
11-03-2020, 01:56 PM   #2
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There are large numbers of film simulation presets in ON1, both B&W and colour. I haven't tested them for fidelity to the supposed originals, but they look pretty good, and can also be useful starting points for more detailed processing.

Some examples. There are more.




Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 11-03-2020 at 02:16 PM.
04-28-2021, 09:02 AM   #3
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I would really like to see camera-matching raw profiles for Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom that cover all of the custom image settings that come by default in the camera. I think we can expect that when ACR has been updated to support the K-3 iii, we will see camera matching profiles for Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant. However, I doubt they will be that different from the Adobe Landscape, Adobe Portrait, etc. profiles. I would like to be able to play in Lightroom Classic with the more interesting (reversal film, bleach bypass, etc.) custom image settings as raw profiles. I found somewhere that was selling a cheap set of profiles that claimed to match Pentax custom images, but in shooting raw + JPEG and comparing the reversal film JPEG my K-3 iii produced to what the profile created when applied to the DNG, they were miles apart (and the profile applied to the raw did not appeal to me). It looks like ACR ships with the Fuji film simulations for their cameras, so do you think we'll get lucky enough to have more than the "boring" camera matching raw profiles? Maybe we need to file feature requests so Adobe considers doing it while they're gearing up to support the K-3 iii (and maybe while they're at it, they could add the profiles for some of the other Pentax cameras…although maybe they make them using loaner bodies from Ricoh and so wouldn't be able to do it any more).
04-28-2021, 09:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Users of Fujifilm digital cameras praise the 'film simulations' that are built in to various models -- classic films such as Provia and Velvia, each with its own distinct take on toning, saturation, vividness, and hue. Many users share their recipes for all sorts of subjects; there are comparisons to real film pictures; and Fujifilm itself promotes the sims. For those who might be interested, an article by Imaging Resource covers Fuji's simulations in detail: The ultimate guide to Fuji’s Film Simulations; A DEEP dive to de-mystify one of Fuji’s best features
This is largely marketing. Color science isn't rocket science at all, it is technically very easy and also highly subjective. Fujifilm digital simulation produce results that are fairly different from the rendering of actual Fujifilm color film.

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
The 'Custom Image' doesn't seem to have the panache of Fuji's 'Film Simulation', so it may not be as popular within the Pentax community.
You have even more room by tweaking Pentax basic profiles compared to Fujifilm canned film simulations. Film simulations in digital is closer to cooking than it is to science.

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