Simulating a better Acros with Raw files in Lightroom
I recently posted a piece about shooting some photos using the in-camera Acros mode on the X-Pro 2. While I posted Jpegs straight from the camera in that post, I’ve also been working on matching the effect in Raw. This might sound like a straight forward process. You just set the colour profile, right? Well, after experimenting for a bit, there seems to be more to it than that.
If you’re trying to match the in-camera version, a lot will depend on how you have the settings set in camera. For the shots that I was taking I, had the shadow tone set to +4 and the highlight tone set to +1 to maximise the contrast. I also had grain turned on. If you just do a straight conversion, and use the Acros colour profile in Lightroom, you won’t get the same results. In fact, even matching the black levels to compensate for the shadow tone options.
The images out of the camera seem to have an almost chocolaty feel to them (ok - I know that’s a vague description, but it’s the best way I can think of describing it). Sometimes the blacks (not the black lives from the blacks slider) are setup a bit, and you need to use curves to match it. This isn’t the case all the time, however. There’s obviously more going on behind the scenes in the camera than just a straight profile. I know Fuji did make a point of mentioning this at one point, but I can’t remember the exact technical description.
Anyway, I did some experimenting, and after some trial and error, I’ve created a few presets for different variations on Acros. I used a variety of techniques to create these, including curves, shadows and highlights, and a bit of dehaze. You can find these below. These use the colour profile for the base conversion to black and white, so you’ll need to have raw files from wither the X-Pro 2 or the X-T2. I’ve also added some grain to these as well, and as I said above, I’ve used dehaze in the process, so you’ll need to have the right version of Lightroom. Actually, I think that if you have a version of Lightroom that supports the Acros profile and the necessary cameras, then you’ll have de-haze support anyway.
Here are some examples using these presets:
If you’re wondering, why not just use the Jpegs? well, in this case I did, but I still prefer the quality of the Raw files, even with Lightroom’s conversion issues.
You can download the presets below. I’m not providing any support with these and I can’t stress this enough - they won’t enable Acros on cameras that don’t support it. I know that may seem obvious, but I keep getting people emailing me about the colour profiles wondering why Acros doesn’t work for them when they don’t have the right camera. You need to have the X-T2 or the X-Pro 2 (or whatever comes next, if you’re reading this in the future)
If you're not sure how to install Lightroom presets, then see this guide.
Help Support the Blog
All of the work I do here, and the information on this blog is done entirely free of charge and takes up quite a bit of work. I want to spend more and more time on this blog, and offer more and more of this kind of information, tips and so on, so If you like what I'm doing here and want to show support, then you can do so by buying something from my Digital Download Store. I have Lightroom Presets, and e-books all available for download.
If you're a Fuji X-Trans shooter and Lightroom user, check out my guide to post processing X-Trans files in Lightroom. I also have a guides for processing X-Trans files in Capture One and Iridient Developer.
For Sony Alpha shooters I have a new guide with tips on how to get the best from processing your A6000 Images in Lightroom.
If you want to get regular updates, and notices of occasional special offers, and discounts from my store, then please sign up for the Newsletter.