Last week (click here if you missed it) I wrote about the intangible magic to the X-Trans i files and showed you some side-by-side images from the X-Pro1 and X-Pro2
I can understand that the two X-Pros are different.
The sensor and the camera’s processor are different.
The pixel amounts and pixel sizes are different
The ISO and Dynamic ranges are different.
The Bit Depth of their RAFs is different
The X-Pro1 has compressed lossy RAF files
There’s plenty of reasons why the two X-Pros don’t produce identical looking files.
The complexity comes for me at least, when I wonder what it is about the technically-not-as-good files that are better 🙂
Some of it could be emotive reasons, after all those original X-Trans cameras were by default some of the first Fujifilm X series we fell in love with, so now perhaps we always have a warm fuzzy place for their images.
Last week I ended by showing you an X-Pro2 RAF that I’d modified to look like it had come from an X-Pro1 and you might have noticed some subtle variations in each file
I’ve been using ExifToolGUI on a windows machine to make these modifications
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the X-Pro2 files to suddenly look identical to the X-Pro1 files!
No that would be daft! But I was curious about what the RAW software decided to do differently just because it thought that one file from a different Fujifilm camera
After all, if we can understand how the software thinks X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 files are different then perhaps some of those differences can be things we explore in our own PP to find the look we want.
So, as per last week, here’s a single X-Pro2 file. It’s been duplicated and the copy modified to indicate that it was shot with an X-Pro1. Then both files (which are really identical don’t forget) were both opened in the RFC software (supplied by Fujifilm) and the film sim Astia was applied
Above is the real X-Pro2 shot
Above is the fake X-Pro1 shot
You might not see much difference between them (look at the orange tiles on the roofs and the pop of the blue towel that’s hanging centre left)
But let’s take a closer look at what RFC has done with each file
Above is the White Balance value from the unmolested X-Pro2 RAF
Above is the White Balance value from the modified to appear from an X-Pro1 RAF
Despite it being exactly the same file, RFC has elected to assign a warmer WB value to the “X-Pro1” file
PERHAPS this explains the differences in colour that we’re seeing? (Seriously that’s not rhetorical! I’ve no clue 🙂 )
Above is the Tone Curve from the unmolested X-Pro2 RAF
Above is the Tone Curve from the modified to appear from an X-Pro1 RAF
Much like the two images, at first glance each appears about the same (it’s the same file after all), but look closer and you see that the “X-Pro1” file actually has a wider spread of data, bunching up a little more at the shadows and stretching out a little further at the highlights end.
The word “contrast” is frequently used to describe the differences between the X-Trans i and iii sensors and we’re certainly seeing here how the (Fujifilm’s own supplied) RAW software seems to share this view that tone curves are to be treated differently between the earlier and later RAF files
One thing that occurs to me about all this, is that what we like or look at in an image might not be the same thing.
There’s the colours, the tones, the contrast, and the acuity to name some!
If for arguments sake we could 100% match (say) the colours between the X-Pro1 and X-Pro2, some people would be very happy with that, declare the files indistinguishable and be off to live happily ever after enjoying the “X-Pro1 look” from their X-Pro2.
But other people might say something like yeah the colours are right, but the contrast looks different and they wouldn’t be as happy
So I think the key understanding to take away, is the answer to the question; what is it that you love about X-Pro1 images and the answer to that question might just be the area to look at when thinking about porting over styles from the X-Pro1 images to your X-Pro2.
For me, one of the things I love about the X-Pro1 is the colour.
Tone curves and WB are image-by-image choices in my opinion, but I can happily take colour that I like en masse 🙂
So with colour in mind, here are another set of comparison pictures.
Above is the real X-Pro2 shot
Above is the fake X-Pro1 shot
Above is the real X-Pro1 shot
Yet again(!) a cursory examination does not show a great deal of obvious differences.
But if you look closer, to my eye the genuine X-Pro2 file has a bit of a greenish tint and the colours are perhaps a little flatter
The genuine X-Pro1 shot looks a little like its from an older camera, it’s a little muted perhaps is the word, but the colours pop and the image is quite bright.
Not surprisingly, the fake X-Pro1 shot I think sits about in the middle.
Here’s a close up of the colour variation between the genuine X-Pro2 file and the fake X-Pro1 file (remember both files are really exactly the same)
Colour comparison: Both files are really X-Pro2, the file that’s modified to appear to come from an X-Pro1 is on the right, red and yellow are both a bit stronger on fake X-Pro1
I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the overall broad differences between X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 files.
Since discovering that I can modify my X-Pro2 RAFs to appear to be X-Pro1 files and get a slightly different file to work on within SilkyPix Pro v8, I have been doing that fairly frequently, and (within the confines of RFC/SilkyPix) doing so certainly seems to offer an end result that I like
Luckily the ExifToolGUI tool offers the ability to modify many files at once 🙂 so it’s not a lot of extra effort
I do still find a really good X-Pro1 image different looking than a really good X-Pro2 image, but this little hack with the exif data has closed that gap.
I look forward to hearing any feedback you might have or any hacks/modification you’ve done yourself?
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