How to match Fuji’s VELVIA JPEGs

DSCF3105FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO800)
 DSCF3105-3FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO800)

Which image do you prefer? The first or the second? I’m sure that most people will prefer the first. I do. The first shows the out of the camera JPEG from my Fuji X-Pro 1 in the Velvia setting. Punchy colors, good contrast – no contest. The VELVIA setting of the Fuji X gives you a ready to use photo while the RAW output is not. The RAW image is very close to what you get from the PROVIA setting. Very good for portraits or post processing but not so good for almost everything else.

DSCF3105-4FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO800)

First I applied a VSCO preset: Kodak Portra 160 VC. I’m a lazy person and this preset does a lot of things in one step. But it also darkens the image so I increased exposure level to bring it back to the original level. I also further increased saturation in general and for red and orange in particular.

DSCF3105-5FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO800)

In a last step I used lights ( the former recovery slider ) to darken the light tones of the image to get a closer match to the VEVLIA setting. I did not play around with the RAW file for hours rather for minutes but I think I got a close match. What I did not manage is to get the “glow” in the wall painting. I prefer the less reddish floor in my version it is closer to reality.

Conclusion: It is possible to almost match the VELVIA JPEG of the Fuji. Why not just use JPEG instead. Problem is: It’s perfect for this shot but you don’t want to use this setting for portraits or other subjects. I don’t want to change the JPEG setting each time I take an image. I want to concentrate on the picture taking process instead of digging into the menu to change the JPEG setting. I will leave my Fuji’s on the RAW+ Fine setting in the future and will use the VELVIA setting as a guideline. There is no need to use the PROVIA setting because the RAW output is very close.

DSCF3105-2FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO800)