Fuji X Acros Revisited

Quite a while I did a cursory look at the new Acros film simulation included with cameras having Fuji's updated X Processor Pro or whatever they call it. The entire focus of that post was about the grain emulation. Why? Well the slight difference in the tonal curve isn't crazy special from my point of view. Is it? Don't get me wrong, I love my Fuji gear and am a loyal customer but All the hoopla and "we cannot do dis without processor pro" crap is about the grain emulation. I hope they aren't trying to say some minor tonal response curve change-up or color sensitivity (which appears similar to the old Monochrome emulation) is something that requires super-hefty processing power just not available before — complete nonsense.

So… What about that tonal response curve? How special is it and what does it matter anyway? A lot, a little?

Below we have exactly as shot OOC JPEG from my XPro-2 using Acros+G with none of that grain emulation stuff. Just a resize to a manageable size, that's it. No sharpening on export, no nothin'

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Now the next one is from Lightroom CC using the Camera Acros+G profile in Adobe's camera calibration section. Same deal, no nothing in terms of other adjustments and exported without any output sharpening.

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I don't know but can the vast majority of us agree that that's about as close as it gets? Do you see any difference in tonal response or color response? Any? I don't. Okay so let's assume that Lightroom CC and the Camera whatever profiles get within a hair of what the OOC JPEG's look like. Right, so it just so happens that that response curve in this lighting with these high-ish contrast ratios is not bad. Let's call it well matched for not messing about with anything.

Let's take a look at Acros vs some other things. The obvious one would be the old crappy ass monochrome + G filter from the old now crappy X cameras. That's directly below.

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Hmm, obviously you'd be hard pressed to distinguish which is which at first glance. Holy crap with a bunch of text in between the two it's actually hard to tell what's what isn't it. Yes I has a hair more contrast but it's slight. Is there anything super special about that particular hair more contrast? That super special place where the curve is a tiny bit more "S-y". I guess it depends. It might be somehow special if…

  • The lighting is exactly the right combination of certain highlights and shadows and
  • The scene is exactly the right colors and
  • The auto WB, or manual, or whatever is just so and
  • Your exposure is a nit this way or that way.

You get my point. How about maybe just a Lightroom quick and dirty conversion using that black and white button at the top?

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Even less contrasty but that's the case for Adobe Standard profile vs every single one of the camera specific Fuji profiles. It also doesn't have the color sensitivity adjustments favoring green. Here's another one using the same as above with a few clicks in the basic panel and a color mix that favors green, prolly not the same color mix as the Fuji camera profiles but not important.

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The Bottom Line

Here's the point. Tonal response curves are pretty basic things and all the fine analysis and tuning in the world is kinda useless across scenes of different characteristics. Sure I guess Acros simulation curve is slightly different than the other one we used to have. Is it crazy "better"?? I don't know but I can predict any other changes you make to the shadow tone or highlight tone or whatever in camera is even more different. Same goes for any tonal response changes you make to a RAW file in post. If you like it somehow across all the pictures you make, go ahead slap it on in Lightroom and be done.

End Notes

All pictures made with the Fuji XPro-2 and 18mm f/2 R. Processing as noted above. If I'm missing something here feel free to shoot me an email to discuss.

edit: For the one person that asked. ISO 1600 1/100s f/4