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Fujifilm X-Pro2: Studying 'Grain Effect' in Black and White Conversions

Get Fujifilm X-Pro2 at B&H Photo.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Grain Effect
(RAW to JPEG conversion)

The Fujifilm X-Pro2 offers a Grain Effect setting with its in-camera RAW-to-JPEG feature. This is most applicable to monochrome conversions, but can be used with color.

The rendering of the Grain Effect setting is studied in black and white, along with some Photoshop ACR conversions for comparison using the ACR Grain setting.

Fujifilm X-Pro2: Monochrome 'Grain Effect' vs Photoshop Grain

All three levels of in-camera Grain Effect are shown {Off, Weak, Strong} along with three ACR grain renditions (and no grain) for comparison. All at up to full 24MP resolution including unaltered camera originals at 24MP.

Kudos has to go to Fujifilm for a very fine performance.

Oil Pump, McKittrick Oil Field near Taft, CA
f2 @ 1/5000 sec, ISO 200; 2016-03-22 12:37:29
X-Pro2 + XF35mmF2 R WR @ 53.4mm equiv (35mm)

[low-res image for bot]

Jason W writes:

I agree the in-camera grain of the X-Pro2 in the example does look excellent. Do you believe this is a rare instance where the X-trans pixel layout is superior to Bayer matrix?

Also, I'd like to see a color example.

DIGLLOYD: My guess is that this is the excellence of the in-camera demosaicing which avoids the artifacting issues with raw converters (I do NOT like the X-Trans sensor as it does not play well with ACR), plus the excellence of Fuji image processing in general.

Dr S writes:

Really like the B and W w/grain. Reminds me of my childhood not too far from Signal Hill in Southern CA and all the oil pumps.

Since most of the photography in the 1950's by my dad and the little I could do in my single digit age was monochrome, these kinds of "treatments" are nostalgic. Even though the Fuji gets beaten in the resolution department by many other cams I cannot get away from the exceptional quality of photos you have presented. The colors in your "color" images seem real and, if there is such a term in photography, effortless with good tonality. Your mugshot shows a very good skin color on my monitor. I have never seen you in person but I imagine it is pretty close to what you see in the mirror.

What you have presented is a compelling argument for the Fuji "X" shooter to make an upgrade or, at the least, look forward for the X-T1 replacement.

Thanks for taking the time to evaluate it.

DIGLLOYD: Yes, the skin tones seem quite good, assuming the green tint issue is corrected out. And yes, I do think the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a worthwhile upgrade over prior models.

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