A Look at Replichrome II from Totally Rad
Replichrome is a set of film emulation presets for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw developed by Totally Rad. Recently Totally Rad launched the second set in the Replichrome series, Replichrome II. The first set was designed to emulate print film, so as you can imagine the second set is designed to emulate slide film.
Replichrome II includes presets for Fuji™, Agfa™ and Kodak™ slide films. It is important to understand, that despite being a set of presets for Lightroom, this is a true emulation tool. By making use of Lightroom’s ability to use custom colour profiles, Totally Rad has used scanned film to profile individual film stocks and then combined them with profiles for various digital cameras to create a close emulation of various types of film. It is this use of the colour profiles that separate Replichrome from other Lightroom presets. The other major company to use this technique is VSCO film. People often complain about the cost of these presets, but there is a substantial amount of work involved in profiling various film stocks, not to mention the cost of the equipment involved to do this properly.
Replichrome II includes the following emulated film stocks:
- Astia 100F™ :: Calibrated / + / - / –
- Astia 100F™ :: Noritsu / P / + / - / –
- Provia 100F™ :: Calibrated / + / -
- Provia 100F™ :: Noritsu / P / + / -
- Provia 400X™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / -
- Provia 400X™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / -
- Sensia 400™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / ++
- Sensia 400™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / ++
- Velvia 50™ :: Calibrated / + / ++ / -
- Velvia 50™ :: Noritsu / L / + / ++ / -
- Velvia 100™ :: Calibrated / P / + / -
- Velvia 100™ :: Noritsu / + / -
- E100G™ :: Calibrated / + / -
- E100G™ :: Noritsu / + / -
- E100VS™ :: Calibrated / L / - / + / ++
- E100VS™ :: Noritsu / + / ++
- E200™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / ++
- E200™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / ++
- Ektachrome 64X™ :: Calibrated / + / ++
- Ektachrome 64X™ :: Noritsu / + / ++
- Panther 400X™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / ++
- Panther 400X™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / ++
- EPP 100™ :: Calibrated / + / -
- EPP 100™ :: Noritsu / + / -
- P800–1600™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / -
- P800–1600™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / -
- Agfa 200RS™ :: Calibrated / Gr / NoGr / + / -
- Agfa 200RS™ :: Noritsu/ NoGr / + / -
- Agfa 1000RS™ :: Calibrated / NoGr / + / ++ / -
- Agfa 1000RS™ :: Noritsu / NoGr / + / ++ / -
- Agfa CTX 100™ :: Calibrated / +
- Agfa CTX 100™ :: Noritsu / +
- Agfa RSXII 50™ :: Calibrated / + / -
- Agfa RSXII 50™ :: Noritsu / + / -
- Agfa Scala 200X™ :: BW / NoGr / + / -
- Scotch Chrome 100™ :: Calibrated / +
- Scotch Chrome 100™ :: Noritsu / +
In Replichrome I Totally Rad included two different scanner types for the various film types, but with Replichrome II they included Noritsu Scans as well as a “Calibrated” version. The reason for this, according to their website is:
Because a Frontier scanner is not ideal for scanning slide film, we replaced it with a custom, calibrated scan performed in-house. Each film stock in Replichrome II includes both a version of the film as scanned on a Nortitsu scanner and a version as scanned on a calibrated flatbed scanner.
Totally Rad were kind enough to send me an evaluation copy and I’ve been trying it out for a short while now. It’s hard for me to judge the accuracy of the emulation because to do so would require that I go out and shoot the same scenes digitally and on film and then compare the two results. As purchasing and processing slide film has become very expensive here in Ireland, that’s not really going to be an option.
I do have a long history with slide film though. When I used to shoot film, I shot slide film almost entirely. My favourite films were Kodak Elitechrome and Kodak Ektachrome, and of course Fuji Velvia. I also worked as an assistant to a photographer and my job involved scanning Film on a professional film scanner, so I'm intimately familiar with the medium.
Most people associate the idea of slide film with high contrast and high saturation, but that isn't necessarily the case. In may respects slide film appears cleaner and more rich than print film, but not necessarily the high contrast and high saturation look that many people think of when they think of transparency. In this respect, Replichrome II captures the spirit of slide film reasonably well. The down side is that if you aren’t used to what slide film actually looks like, rather than what you might think it should look like, then this might not seem like it’s doing the right thing to you.
I think if you’re expecting to use this to create an “effect” on your images you may be disappointed. However, if you want a representation of what slide films colours were like without an overly contrasty look, then Replichrome II works fairly well, although sometimes the colours look a little funny to my eyes.
The Inevitable Comparison to VSCO Film
As the other major set of presets emulating film on the market, it is only fair to compare Replichrome II to VSCO Film. VSCO Film 4 contains many of the same film types as Replichrome II and has been on the market for a while.
It should be noted that Replichrome includes both the Lightroom and Camera Raw versions, where as VSCO just includes one or the other depending on which you purchase.
In my opinion VSCO gives a much stronger effect than Replicrome. In someways it’s probably more like what people are expecting, but I’ve always found the contrast a little much on it. I would often have to adjust the shadow and highlight levels. Which you prefer is kind of a subjective choice though and it depends on your tastes. Personally I do prefer the look of VSCO film, but then I’ve been using it a lot longer and that’s just my personal opinion anyway. You may prefer Replichrome's more subtle approach.