Fuji X pro 2 – Grain Settings – What do you think?

The X pro 2 camera from Fuji is an exceptional camera, and Fuji has taken everything that was wonderful about the X pro 1 and brought it forward with very up to date technology.

One of the things that was added, besides the Acros black and white film simulation was the ability to add grain.  Not noise, but actual film looking grain.  I have had the camera a few months and really backed off using this feature and for that matter even considering it.  The main reason was the fact that any simulations that are used for the Jpeg files do not appear in the raw files and I have been using mainly raw files.  That may change if only because it is really difficult to try and duplicate what Fuji has created with the Jpeg engine.

Yesterday it was hot, muggy, very cloudy, and really not a very nice day to shoot much of anything outdoors.  So I brought a little bit of the outside inside and decided to run a minor test using the grain option in the Fuji X pro 2.

I set up a portable work station, added a black drape, worked with available light.

1-I shot the Acros black and white, using no filter.  200 iso. I first shot it with out adding any grain.  Then I added heavy grain and then weak grain.

2-I then did that for Acros, but this time also added the yellow, the green, and the red filters and followed the same shooting pattern.

3-Then I shot the Acros with no filter but with strong grain and at 3200 iso.

4-Next I should the standard provia simulation using the same procedures and the last shot was strong grain at 3200 iso.

5-Finally I did the same exact procedure with Classic Chrome.

All of the images attached here are labeled as to how they were shot so you can judge for yourself.  If you would like to get original files let me know and I can send you a zip file.

What I found is that the grain effect can be very pleasing both in color and black and white.  Unlike noise, the grain is very much like film but not exactly. Fuji being the film experts they are have done a pretty good job but like with everything else we all have different tastes.

==================================

 

Classic Chrome 3200 iso strong grain
Classic Chrome 3200 iso strong grain
Provia Standard 3200 iso strong grain
Provia Standard 3200 iso strong grain
Classic Chrome
Classic Chrome
Classic Chrome strong grain
Classic Chrome strong grain
Classic Chrome weak grain
Classic Chrome weak grain
Acros plain
Acros plain
Acros strong grain
Acros strong grain
Acros weak grain
Acros weak grain
Acros Yellow
Acros Yellow
Acros yellow strong grain
Acros yellow strong grain
Acros yellow weak grain
Acros yellow weak grain
Acros red
Acros red
Acros red strong grain
Acros red strong grain
Acros red weak grain
Acros red weak grain
Acros green
Acros green
Acros green strong grain
Acros green strong grain
Acros green weak grain
Acros green weak grain
Acros 3200 iso strong grain
Acros 3200 iso strong grain
Provia Standard
Provia Standard
Provia Standard strong grain
Provia Standard strong grain
Provia Standard weak grain
Provia Standard weak grain

10 thoughts on “Fuji X pro 2 – Grain Settings – What do you think?

  1. Sure, np

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155289

    Start there, then work from the links in the thread!

    For the ISOless thing… Set the camera to ISO800, when the shutter speed gets too low, use negative EV on the dial to bring it up… keep in mind that the XP2 offers +/- 5 EV, but your raw converter might not be happy with more than 3 EV (or even have more than 3EV available!)

    For a fair test, apply +3EV to a ISO800 image to equal native ISO6400. For practical testing, you may want to use shadow and/or highlight sliders to lift the brightness only where you need/want too (eg a dark street with lights, where you’re happy with the lights at ISO800 and just want to lift the shadows)

  2. Hi Elliot,

    Having only had my X-Pro2 for about 3.5 weeks, I’ve not had chance to play with the in camera grain yet… There’s something about the notion of it that makes me think ‘er fake grain, tacky!’ but this is so wrong of me and I should see what I think in practice, not principle…

    In regards to SOOC, I’ve yet to move much away from Acros!

    In fact the SOOC Jpeg engine is superb in my opinion… Today I took some shots for a neighbour figuring I’d go with the SOOC Jpegs, but once the files were on the computer, I ended up PP’ing the RAWs, but at the end I referenced them to SOOC output and (in this particular application) there really wasn’t a great deal in it.. The Jpegs can take a bit of pushing around away…

    On a unrelated note.. there’s some claims floating around that the X-Pro2 (and A6300) actually have 2 base ISOs (!! yes that’s what I thought too) I’m looking into this… The claim is that the base ISOs are 200 and 800, with 800 offering about the same DR as 600, (when plotted against a standard curve for DR degradation against increasing ISO)

    Have you had any chance to look at this?

    1. I am not sure yet how to determine if the grain is a way I would want to go. It actually did not look bad. It is not film grain but it’s also not noise. When looking at the files for the strong grain, it was different but not disappointing. However if it was something that I thought would work under most situations it would mean relying on Jpeg files. I have spent so much of my digital history trying to perfect a decent raw workflow and was on track until I switched to Fuji from Nikon.

      I think I will reserve grain for certain mood shots and leave it at that for now.

      I also read some where that there are to base ISOs, but cannot get a lock on that. I understand that the way Fuji applies dynamic range is ISO based. Dr100 up to a certain range and so forth with DR400 kicking in somewhere about 3200. I may be wrong about the numbers and have to find where I read that.

      In the same vein I am hesitant to change the highlight and shadow settings in the camera because I am not unhappy with I already get. It seems to me that the more minimal I try to become in gear there are too many variables to worry about in regards to in camera processing. Of course if one only shoots raw then all of that is meaningless.

      1. Funnily enough I went out for a quick and dirty grain play, after leaving that reply!

        Nothing to scientific!

        It’s not an unpleasant effect when set to weak.. But IMO you’re quickly back to the age old Jpeg narrative… when everything goes great with your exposure and your chosen Jpeg settings it’s; ‘hey why do I even bother with RAW’ but when things wander from ideal, the Jpeg recovery options (although very good on the X-Pro2) aren’t a patch on what you can get from the RAF..

        Of course the Jpeg files can take a bit of punishment in post, but for my 2 pennies worth.. if you’re taking images off the camera, and running them through image manipulation SW, then you might as well run with the RAWs. Sure there’s the odd occasion when the SOOC file just has that ‘something’ that seems unattainable from anything you’re doing on the computer… but that’s when that file can go back through the in-camera RAW convertor!

        Fuji DR expansion is ISO 400 & 800 (DR200 & DR400 modes) and I’m still not convinced it’s a great idea for RAW shooters! (OK I am sure – it’s not, but others mileage will surely vary!)

        There’s a intelligent thread about the dual base ISO thing other on rangefinders forum, there you’ll find far more knowledgeable minds than mine, explaining it all in way that I can only envy, whilst linking to external resources that I’m in awe of!

        So, rather than make a half baked attempt at explaining on your post here, I’ll leave you/your readers to engage their interest at their digression!

        I’ll say this though… In my own preliminary test, ISO800 pushed +3EV in post from RAW, destroyed, and I mean annihilated, the IQ I got (also from RAW) from ISO6400 0EV, so it’s definitely something I’ll be looking at (and writing about) in due course!

        Thanks for this article Elliot, it pushed me to go out and have a little play with the Jpeg engine, it’s over 90 out there today and the only thing more harsh than the heat is the light, but it was worth it!

      2. please post the link. I would be interested in reading it and if I can understand just a tiny bit then I have learned something today. 🙂

        “I’ll say this though… In my own preliminary test, ISO800 pushed +3EV in post from RAW, destroyed, and I mean annihilated, the IQ I got (also from RAW) from ISO6400 0EV, so it’s definitely something I’ll be looking at (and writing about) in due course!”

        Let me know what you discover. That is interesting and now I shall have to go out and play the morning. I have the perfect place. Marine Corp museum in Quantico Va. right down the road from me.

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