Review: Replichrome Plugin for Adobe Lightroom

Untitled. (Greece)

It would seem that our undying fascination, no, obsession with all things analog has led multiple software developers to set out and replicate the looks of favored film stocks from decades past. Totally Rad! (yes that is their name) has put a lot of effort into their plugin for Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) and what they’ve created is something rather like VSCO Film. So is it worth your time to consider a plugin like this? Read on for our review of Replichrome by Totally Rad!

BETTER IMAGES THROUGH SCIENCE

To develop Replichrome, we collected the most popular film stocks in the world, then shot that film in every lighting condition with every camera we could get our hands on. Next, we scanned our film at some of the best labs in the country, on both Noritsu™ and Frontier™ scanners (because true filmophiles know that makes a difference!) Using that test data, we developed presets that are truly accurate with all cameras, in both Lightroom and ACR. In short, we did what they said couldn’t be done.

Included Films:

FUJI™ COLOR FILMS
Includes the following presets:
– Fuji Pro 160C™ :: Frontier
– Fuji Pro 160C™ :: Noritsu
– Fuji Pro 160S™ :: Frontier
– Fuji Pro 160S™ :: Frontier –
– Fuji Pro 160S™ :: Noritsu
– Fuji Pro 160S™ :: Noritsu –
– Fuji Pro 400H™ :: Frontier
– Fuji Pro 400H™ :: Frontier +/-
– Fuji Pro 400H™ :: Noritsu
– Fuji Pro 400H™ :: Noritsu +/-
– Fuji Pro 800Z™ :: Frontier
– Fuji Pro 800Z™ :: Frontier +/-
– Fuji Pro 800Z™ :: Noritsu
– Fuji Pro 800Z™ :: Noritsu +/-
– Fuji Reala 100™ :: Frontier
– Fuji Reala 100™ :: Frontier +/-
– Fuji Reala 100™ :: Noritsu
– Fuji Reala 100™ :: Noritsu +/-

KODAK™ COLOR FILMS
Includes the following presets:
– Kodak Ektar 100™ :: Frontier
– Kodak Ektar 100™ :: Frontier +/-
– Kodak Ektar 100™ :: Noritsu
– Kodak Ektar 100™ :: Noritsu +/-
– Kodak Portra 160™ :: Frontier
– Kodak Portra 160™ :: Frontier +/-
– Kodak Portra 160™ :: Noritsu
– Kodak Portra 160™ :: Noritsu +/-
– Kodak Portra 400™ :: Frontier
– Kodak Portra 400™ :: Frontier +/-
– Kodak Portra 400™ :: Noritsu
– Kodak Portra 400™ :: Noritsu +/-
– Kodak Portra 800™ :: Frontier
– Kodak Portra 800™ :: Frontier +/-
– Kodak Portra 800™ :: Noritsu
– Kodak Portra 800™ :: Noritsu +/-

KODAK™ BLACK + WHITE FILMS
Includes the following presets:
– Kodak BW 400CN™
– Kodak BW 400CN™ +
– Kodak BW 400CN™ -/–
– Kodak Plus-X 125™
– Kodak Plus-X 125™ +/++
– Kodak Plus-X 125™ -/–
– Kodak T-Max 3200™
– Kodak T-Max 3200™ +/++
– Kodak T-Max 3200™ -/–
– Kodak Tri-X 400™
– Kodak Tri-X 400™ –
– Kodak Tri-X 400™ +/++

Ease of Use

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_Interface-1

If you’ve used Adobe’s Lightroom, you’ll pretty much have no problem using the Replichrome plugin. It runs inside of Lightroom and you simply pick and choose the presets you want to apply to your images. I liked that there were so many choices available but my first attempt at using the effects I wasn’t too pleased with the results.

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_Interface-2

I realized though that this set of plugins works best on base images that have good lighting; if your images all have harsh sunlight, most of them aren’t going to turn out too well in Replichrome. Once I figured this bit of information out, I was getting much more pleasing results from the presets.

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_Interface-3

After a few simple clicks, you can completely change the look of your images and really enhance the overall quality of your finished images.

Image Quality

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-7

Kodak TMax 3200

A direct competitor for Replichrome is obviously going to be the VSCO Film packs (01,02 would be the closest match), and if you compare them side by side, it is possible to get very similar looks with the two plugins, but Replichrome seems to emphasize “grain” a lot more than VSCO, not that this is a bad thing, it is merely a different look and it may be just the right one for you and your images. You have three main choices between Black and White emulation, Fuji Color Film and Kodak Color Film, each one has been designed to be as accurate as possible to the actual film stock, and I respect the effort they put into trying to get it right.

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-12

Fuji Reala 100 – Frontier

I thought it was an interesting addition to allow you to tailor the look of your images around both the film stock and a choice of scanner (Frontier & Noritsu, both of which have devoted legions in the film world), it seems to me that they included these options to allow you to create a very specific look, possibly one even tailored around an existing film workflow which may be using the same materials. Overall, I was pretty happy with the results I was getting once I got the lighting situation figured out for optimal results.

Additional Image Samples

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-4

Kodak Plus-X 125 –

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-2

Kodak Ektar 100 – Noritsu

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-1

Kodak Ektar 100 – Noritsu –

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-13

Kodak Tri-X 400 –

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-9

Kodak Ektar 100 – Noritsu +

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-10

Kodak Ektar 100 Noritsu

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-11

Kodak Tri-X 400

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-6

Kodak Plus-X 125 –

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-5

Fuji Pro 160 C – Frontier

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Replichrome_ImageSamples-8

Kodak Portra 160 – Frontier

Conclusions

Totally Rad! (sorry I just love to say that name) has presented us with an interesting alternative to VSCO Film with their Replichrome plugin for Adobe’s Lightroom and Camera Raw (ACR). At $99 for the pack it may seem like a lot but you are getting a lot of variety with these presets, and by comparison, each VSCO Film pack is priced at $119, which means it’ll cost you nearly $500 to purchase all 4 of them (though I believe VSCO offers a promotional discount if you buy more than one pack). So in that sense, Replichrome is actually a great value for what you get. It produces a distinct analog look to your images, which are pretty darn close to the actual film stocks that they emulate (in most cases). So if you’re into “faux-film” and use Lightroom, I recommend that you check this one out; you can pick it up for yourself direct from Totally Rad’s website.

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