It seems like everyone who has been fortunate enough to be using the X-Pro2 during the last months all sing along to the same tune.
The ACROS tune!
As I wrote in my review of the X-Pro2 back in January I am also a member of the ACROS sing-a-long choir of believers. I instantly fell in love with the tonality and the flexibility of the jpegs. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but the files just retained a warmth and substance not achievable with previous black and white simulations.
Then FUJIFILM wrote about what had gone into designing ACROS, and why it looked as it did. (see the post HERE) What really struck me was the part about grain differentiation!
Could this be the reason why it looked so full of substance? So organic?
I started studying my files more closely, and found it to be exactly the reason!
The way ACROS film simulation handles the noise in an image is genius. It only has to deal with luminance noise since it’s black and white. It uses extra noise reduction for the highlights and edges, and it leaves the grain untouched in the shadow areas.
The X-Pro2 actually seem to analyse the image for tonality and adjusts grain control accordingly!!
And it does this throughout the entire ISO range. Of course you get more grain as you up your ISO, but still it differentiates it according to tonality!
Below is an incredibly boring image of a can of sparkling water. (It was refreshing, but still quite a boring subject!) I used the X-Pro2, ACROS+Red, +1 highlight and +2 shadows for some punch. The lens used was a Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 non-ASPH.
This is also why the Lightroom ACROS preset does not give you the same files as using the built-in ACROS film simulation. It simply does not apply graduated noise reduction/addition. So with ACROS I actually always use the jpegs. Import them into Lightroom and apply my corrections in there. It simply looks way better than using the Lightroom preset on the RAW file!
The gentle contrast in the ACROS files also gives me great room to manoeuvre in post processing. So I get really great shadow control.
By the way check out a couple of EXCELLENT posts on ACROS if you havn’t already:
I will leave you with some random images shot using ACROS film simulation with various highlight and shadow tweaks in camera. Then jpeg loaded into Lightroom and tweaked with contrast and curves.
ACROS’ed – X-Pro2