Getting the “X-Pro1 Look” from the X-Pro2 in Capture One Express

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Yes that’s right!! It’s (yet) another one of those articles where I look at X-Pro2 files and compare them to X-Pro1 ones.

 

So really Adam, AGAIN?

 

Bear with me…

 

The release of Capture One Express (for Fujifilm) brings with it new possibilities, possibilities that I want to explore.

 

The possibility that I want to explore in this article isn’t so much a like-for-like image creation process, but more of a X-Pro1 alike BASE SETTING

 

As far as I’m concerned, the only true way to make the images from camera A look exactly like camera B is to take both cameras with you, then harmonise the results in post, tweaking things like WB and HSL as and when needed.

 

Although that’s how these images were shot (same time/place/lens) I don’t think that’s really the deliverable of getting (as much as possible) the look of the earlier X-Trans cameras from the newer units.

 

In my opinion, in regards to getting the images from camera A to look exactly like camera B, we have to ask ourselves…

 

….do we want to form (say) a Rolling Stones cover band or do we want to form a band inspired by the Rolling Stones?

 

For me (so as ever YMMV), getting the images from camera A to look exactly like camera B can only ever really result in edits inspired by the first camera, there’s just to many little (and big) variables for the X-Pro2 to be an X-Pro1 covers band (caveat: unless you take both cameras with you, then painstakingly port over every possible nuance from one RAF to the other)

 

So what I’m seeking to do with this article, is to use the supplied tools available within Capture One Express (C1E) to create a base line edit that can be applied to my X-Pro2 images to give me more of a X-Pro1 feeling/vibe about them.

 

Once we’ve set a baseline, we can then apply tailored edits as per our wants and desires for each individual image.

 

So for the sake of clarity… this isn’t an article that says do XYZ and your X-Pro2 images will look exactly like X-Pro1 ones. No, this is about making a starting point.

 

Ultimately, saturation/contrast/exposure/dodge and burn/WB/sharpening/NR/etc are all personal creative choices that we can (and should!) decide about on a image by image basis. If we allow the camera to automate any part of the image capture process then we may find we need to make big or small changes to the resultant images (the same can be true if we work 100% manually too!)

 

Simply put, I don’t see much merit in giving advice such as always raise exposure by 1/3 of a stop or always apply 25% shadow recovery simply because I don’t personally believe that every image is likely to require it.

 

So to kick this off, we’re going to start with the four pairs of X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 images 100% as they look when opened in C1E with zero editing

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 zero edits

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 zero edits

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 zero edits

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 zero edits

 

As ever, some of you will much prefer one set over the other, or you’ll like some from the X-Pro1 and some from the X-Pro2. Not to be dismissive, but whatever – this isn’t about comparing the images as they arrive straight into the software.

 

Next we have the same set of pairs, only this time I’ve applied exactly the same base edits to each X-Pro2 image and done NO other editing

 

Judge for yourself… but I think that immediately we can see that the tonal distribution of the X-Pro2 shots is closer to the X-Pro1 images (NB: the X-Pro1 images are unchanged from those shown above)

 


X-Pro2 base edit applied

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 base edit applied

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 base edit applied

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 


X-Pro2 base edit applied

 


X-Pro1 zero edits

 

Now as you can undoubtedly see, the X-Pro2 images don’t suddenly look exactly the same as the X-Pro1 shots. There’s still variance in the colours (especially the blue sky), there’s still WB differences.

 

That’s why this article is about finding a base, not about making the images from camera A to look exactly like camera B

 

The deliverable here for me, was not about editing the X-Pro2 images to look exactly like X-Pro1 ones, but finding a repeatable, easily applicable process that gives me a starting point for all shots which then enables me to make tailored edits to each individual shot.

 

After all, the X-Pro1 is not some template by which ALL other images must be hammered into. This isn’t about being in a X-Pro1 cover band it’s about being inspired by what I do like about those images.

 

Once I’ve applied this base setting, I would then view each image as a standalone workflow, making saturation/contrast/exposure/dodge and burn/WB/sharpening/NR/etc changes as I see fit.

 

In order to make this baseline setting, I made only two changes to the default C1E X-Pro2 import settings

 


In the Base Characteristics tool, select Film Extra Shadow

 


In the Styles and Presets tool, select Mid Tones – Brighter

 

I hope that you found this article at least somewhere between interesting and helpful! I’d like to think that (if you haven’t already) this might inspire you to play around a little more in C1E and find your own way of using the tools to provide what you want, customise them for your self and create you own presets

 

You can read my guide (which includes preset creation) on using C1E here

 

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The X-Pro Series Content: Referenced and All In One Place

The X-Pro Series Content: A Contents Page with Page Numbers and a Brief Description

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