fujifilm

Sharpening Fuji files in Photoshop vs Lightroom

Sharpening Fuji files in Photoshop vs Lightroom

Fuji RAF files have been long plagued by sharpening "worms" when using the Camera Raw algorithms for processing.  At first glance the files look lovely, but when you apply any form of zoom to check and correct sharpness, the dreaded wormy artifacts appear.  Many people have suggested using other raw processors, such as Capture One Pro, Irident etc, but if you've already committed to Creative Cloud this is not the best option.  Many other people have suggested instead using Photoshop's sharpening filters to add sharpness.  Nothing I am about to say is new or has been discovered by myself, this is just me looking into the different options and deciding (based on my own opinion) which is the best for me.

Kodak Portra 400 and Fujifilm Pro 400H

For the last few weeks I have been experimenting with colour film.  The first rolls I picked up were the muted, pastel options from Kodak and Fujifilm.  Both are 400 speed films, but I had read on various sites that they tend to look a little better (perhaps a bit more dreamy) when a stop over-exposed.  So, all the images you'll see were metered at 200 ISO.  I tried out the films during two main trips, Cambridge city and Wimpole Hall estate (a National Trust property to the west of the city), and luckily I had sunny, bright conditions!  It will be interesting to see how the films perform in more dull conditions. I processed the films myself at home using a Tetenal 1L C-41 kit.  The results have been fine, although I have had some problems with chemical spots and the occasional streak.  This is a bit weird, as I have had no such problems with my black and white development.  I know my technique and steps are OK, so maybe it's a curiosity specifically related to the C-41 chemistry...

The sharpness of both films is great, with minimal grain (much less compared to a 400 speed B&W film e.g. HP5+), but less contrast compared to other film stocks and formats.  The main difference between the films is the colour cast you get straight from the scanner.  The Portra is much, much warmer, much more yellow than the Fuji.  The colours are muted in both, but the Portra images seemed much more summery - perfect if you are going for that look.  Take a look at the images below and decide for yourself which film you prefer.  Let me know in the comments below.  [Again, I have only edited the images to remove dust and hairs from the jpegs, I have not corrected colour, contrast etc]

Kodak Portra 400

Fujifilm Pro 400H