Lightroom Fujifilm Profiles vs VSCO Film 04

Back in April, Adobe released Lightroom 5.4 with color profiles for Fujifilm cameras. Up until that point, I had been using the VSCO Film presets as a starting point for editing most of my RAW files in Lightroom. Since the Lightroom update however, I find that I'm now using the Lightroom profiles more and more. To get a better idea of the actual difference between the two, I decided to do a comparison by editing some RAW files using both. Here are a set images I shot recently edited using the Lightroom Velvia profile and the VSCO Film 04 Velvia 100 preset. As you can see, the differences are subtle but apparent. While I prefer the results produced by the Lightroom profile, I think the case can be made for using either as a starting point. I guess at the end of the day, I'm just happy that I now have two different places to start from when editing my RAW files from my Fujifilm cameras.

Lightroom Velvia Profile

VSCO Film 04 Velvia 100 Preset

VSCO Film 04 Landscape Preset Samples

After spending a bit more time with VSCO Film 04, I have really taken a liking to many of the slide film presets. My favorites thus far are the landscape versions included for the Fuji Fortia SP, Fuji Velvia, and Kodak E100VS film types. While these presets can produce images that are more vibrant than what I'm now accustomed to, I definitely see potential for using these as the starting point when editing my landscape images. To give you an idea of the possibilities, here are a few before and after samples of some images I edited using the landscape presets. 

Fuji Fortia SP Landscape (before)

Fuji Fortia SP Landscape (after)

Fuji Velvia 50 Landscape + (before)

Fuji Velvia 50 Landscape + (after)

Fuji Velvia 100F Landscape (before)

Fuji Velvia 100F Landscape (after)

Kodak E100VS Landscape (before)

Kodak E100VS Landscape (after)

VSCO Film 04 and New Fuji Presets

It's been nearly two months since I started using VSCO Film 02 to edit my X-Pro1 RAW files. My favorite preset, without a doubt, is Fuji Superia and its many variations. As good as the Superia presets are however, I still missed the Provia, Velvia, and Astia simulation modes of the X100 and X-Pro1. Well, it looks like I no longer have to choose between shooting in RAW and using the film modes because VSCO just released their slide film presets, VSCO Film 04, which includes emulations of these three films. 

Since I just purchased VSCO Film 04 yesterday, I haven't had much time to work with the presets yet. I will say this though, if you're using one of the newer Fujifilm X Series cameras and have been on the fence about VSCO, these are probably the presets to get. With that, I'll leave you with two images I made in San Francisco edited using the Provia, Velvia, and Astia presets.


Fuji Provia 100F

Fuji Velvia 100F

Fuji Astia 100F


Fuji Provia 100F

Fuji Velvia 100F

Fuji Astia 100F

VSCO Film vs Fujifilm Digital

I've been using VSCO Film 02 for a week now and so far I like the results of the images I processed using the presets. Only time will tell whether or not I grow tired of the look the presets produce. The nice thing about the film pack and accompanying toolkits, however, is that they make it easy to dial back on "the look". The adjustments bundled into the film pack and two toolkits for Lightroom each have various versions which let me fine tune my edits quickly and easily. After a week, one of the biggest benefits I've noticed is that the presets speed up the editing process while allowing me to maintain a high level of consistency from image to image. True, I could have saved my money and created presets myself that gave me the look I was after. But sometimes, it's worth the investment to let someone else do part of the work for you, especially when they do it as well as VSCO has done here.

Here's a set of images I shot yesterday and edited using the Fuji Superia 100 preset. For comparison, I also included the JPEGs processed by the Fujifilm X-Pro1 using the built in Astia film simulation mode. (For each set of images, the RAW files edited using VSCO Film are on the right while the out of camera JPEGs are on the left.)

Fuji, VSCO Film, and the Salton Sea

I haven't been able to get out to shoot the past couple weeks so I've been spending a lot of time combing through the archives. What I've come to realize is that my style of shooting hasn't changed much over the past five years. The thing that has varied quite a bit has been my post processing. While I still lean towards creating very high contrast images, the vibrancy of those images seems to have decreased. From comparing my current photographs to those in the past, I can see a definite change in my work.

This change may be partly attributed to my purchase of the Fujifilm X100 last year because I really like its film simulation modes. I like them so much in fact that I shot JPEGs using (mostly) the Astia film simulation mode for almost a year. Now that I'm shooting more and more with the X-Pro1, I find myself slowly shifting into shooting RAW+JPEG, something I've never done. This is partly because I want the extra data in the RAW files for my long exposure photographs and partly because I like the option of getting more creative with my post processing.

This brings me to the latest tool in my post processing toolkit, VSCO Film. Having gone back and forth for weeks, I finally took the plunge today and purchased the classic films (02) presets for Lightroom. My first impression is that the presets are much more subtle than I thought they would be, and that's a good thing. I was a little worried that they would give my images that over-processed look that I just don't like. Having used it to re-edit a few of my old images, I can say that is certainly not the case. The presets altered my images just enough to provide the look of film without making them look over processed. To give you an idea, here are a couple images I made of my friend's dog, Charley, back in 2010 at the Salton Sea. Both photographs were shot using my Canon 40D and a Lensbaby Composer and edited using the Fuji Superia 100++ preset.