About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Mastin Labs Fujicolour Original for Capture One: A Quick First Look

Mastin Labs Fujicolour Original for Capture One: A Quick First Look

I’m a little late with this but following on from their first Capture One set, Mastin Labs has released another film emulation style pack. This set, called “Fujicolour Original” covers Fujifilm negative stocks, and is similar to their previous Kodak set, and the company’s Lightroom presets of the same name. They sent me a set to try out, and so here is my quick first impressions review.

First off, let me say that I’m probably not the best person to review these. I would imagine these work best with people and portraits, and that’s not something I really take. Even so, I tried them a range of images to get a feel for them.

First up, let me break down what’s in the set. There are 4 main styles, corresponding to four film stocks. Then there are a set of tools, which cover things like white balance, tone, lens corrections and grain. It’s broken down into sections, and you use this like a sort of toolbox, ticking options on and off.

One of the things I really like about this is the tool based nature of the set, and part of this is something that only works in Capture One. You can tick the styles on and off. For example, say I clicked the “Cloudy” white balance style on, it get’s a tick beside it. If I tick it again, the tick goes off and just that style is disabled. This goes for all of the options. You couldn’t really do this with the Lightroom version and you’d have to reset the tool in order to turn it back off.

Screenshot 2019-09-16 16.13.12.jpg

The looks have a distinctly cooler tone than the Kodak ones, and there is a desaturation of greens. The Fujicolour 800Z style is more contrasty and a bit warmer.

Is it an accurate representation of film?

I’m not really sure it’s 100% accurate to shooting the same film stocks - especially on 35mm. While I haven’t shot a lot of these particular colour socks, I have shot a good bit on film. I think this captures the essence of film, but not necessarily a completely realistic simulation. The main reason is that most people would probably be turned off if it was 100% accurate. We have a fairly nostalgic view of film but in reality, digital has surpassed it in terms of resolution and “quality”. When you shoot a roll and scan it, it has a nice nostalgic feel, but grain and inherent softness are a lot more than people probably would expect, unless you regularly shoot film (cue hate mail from film photographers).

The shot below is a recent scan of a film photo. (Kodak though, not Fujicolour). You can see that the character is very different. I’m not talking about colours, but the overall look.

Shot on Film, Scanned on a (old) Canon Film Scanner

There’s also a lot of variables when working with film, including processing, the type of scanner, how the scanner is calibrated, how it was exposed and so on. With these presets, like I said, they’re taking the best of this nostalgic feeling and portraying it that way, but it’s better and cleaner than perhaps the actual negative would be. Whether that’s’ a good or a bad thing is up for you to decide.

The only serious issue I have with these is the price. There are basically only 4 presets in the pack and for that you have to pay $99. This seems overly expensive to me. I’m sure that for some people this is entirely worth it but it seems a bit much to me. They are highly regarded though, so I can appreciate that people do like them, but as I said at the start, I’m probably not the target market for these.

If you want to see more, you can find details on the Mastin Labs website here. These are also available for Lightroom (which I haven’t tried).

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