The Sayings of Wotan


I’ll be honest with you. I was never a fan of B&W photography until recently. Granted, some of that is because, as a kid shooting film, it was a color roll or a B&W roll. Why would I have wanted to drop 12 or 24 frames of B&W?

I’ll also note that I was a fan of colorized movies as a kid. I now appreciate B&W movies.


It was only after I got my X-T30 that I started shooting B&W, and I pretty much only use the Acros sim, usually with the red filter.

All of my recipes add grain to the jpeg. I like the film grain, and Fujifilm’s reputation for fairly realistic grain is one of the reasons I picked the platform. Unlike the other sims, Acros is naturally grainy/noisy, especially at high ISO. I still add grain on top of that. I use a lower ISO setting in this recipe to compensate for the natural grain. If I redevelop an image using this recipe, sometimes it is very noisy due to having been shot with a higher ISO than I would if I originally took the picture in B&W. It creates some interesting looks.

Cleancros was an attempt to create a good, general-purpose B&W recipe. As the name might imply, it is supposed to be “clean.” It’s been the only B&W recipe in my camera for some months now.

This recipe differs from my current color recipes in one regard: my highlights and shadow settings. I have highlights set to 0 on this one instead of 1, and my shadows are +1 instead of -1. I like the darker look I get from those settings. And, of course, I can adjust those when I develop the image to see if I can add some contrast or if the shadows are too dark.

Examples of the standard recipe. Note that when I say standard, the jpeg was almost certainly generated using a different EV and DR than in the settings I provide.

DSCF9835 DSCF9239(2) DSCF7241(2) DSCF7200(3) DSCF6616 DSCF7231 DSCF4408

Notice how the skies range from fairly light to almost black. That’s a function of the white balance settings. B&W lets you do some crazy things that would look terrible in color (unless you are going for a weird look!).

Now some examples with boosted contrast.

DSCF7196 DSCF9210 DSCF9217

Film Simulation: AcrosR
White Balance: Auto R: 0 B: +9

Dynamic Range: 400
Highlights: 0
Shadows: +1
Color: 0
Sharpness: +2
Noise reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Weak
CC Effect: Off
ISO: 640
Exp. Compensation: 0

This recipe is licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)