Last Updated on 11/16/2022 by Mark Beckenbach
“Well, what’s left?” was the response I received from a Fujifilm rep when I inquired about more film simulations not too long ago. Truth be told, there’s still a lot that can be done. Testing another product recently, I got a hint about something that could occur. We all have our own ideas about what the next Fujifilm film simulation might be. And we’re hoping that Fujifilm isn’t finished making them. So here’s what we think can be come next.
First off, let me briefly mention the ones that I want to see.
- Natura: This film isn’t coming back from the dead. Give it to us.
- A tungsten film: telling someone to just lock their white balance isn’t the same thing.
- An Infrared render
- The film name around the edge of the image
These are some of the common sense suggestions to most of us. But, I don’t think this is what’s coming. What I think is coming next is an Instax simulation.
While testing the latest Fujifilm Instax Square Link camera, there’s this curious mode on it called Natural Photo mode. Natural Photo mode applies this pretty foolproof look over whatever digital image you’re shooting to make it look like an Instax photo. Specifically, it will look like it was shot with an Instax camera. Now, this tech might be staying with the Instax division, but I’d be shocked if it doesn’t make its way to the X-series in some way.
So who’d want this? Do you really need an answer? Everyone who loves genuine analog looks will also care about Instax and how it renders digital. Many times, I’ve photographed people with a digital camera who didn’t like the way they looked. But when photographed on Instax, which is a larger format, they like the way they look. Instax can be a very sharp film, but generally it’s shot using plastic lenses. And those plastic lenses are fun and have their assortment of character flaws in them. What we really need these days is more fun instead of focusing on what’s serious.
Some of you may not want this, and that’s fine. I think that, if anything is coming next, it will be Reala or Natura. Superia is more or less covered in Classic Negative. But Natura is a film that is missed and mourned by lots of photographers. It was only ever available in Japan, so photographers bought it in droves and stored it. That film is gone but it was pretty unique and revered by many photographers. I think bringing it back digitally could be a nice way to keep it alive.
Otherwise, Fujifilm doesn’t need to tap into their own films. Nostalgic Negative is designed to look like prints. Classic Chrome is more or less supposed to mimic Kodachrome. What about an infrared look that renders the greens to look purple? It’s possible with current presets, so why can’t it be done in-camera too? This is a look lots of photographers go for when they can.
Overall, I feel like Instax might be coming next. Considering what I’ve seen, I think there’s some validity to my guess because the film simulation literally exists with an Instax printer already. It might not come; it’s just my best guess, but my fingers are crossed.