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Shooting F-Log On Fuji’s XT2 And Pairing It With The Brilliant New Eterna Film Simulation LUT = Perfect Colors

Fuji have yet again raised the bar for cinematic color science, this time with the flawless pairing of F-Log and their latest film simulation LUT – Eterna.

For years, I’ve been blown away by Fuji’s colors. It started when I first picked up an X100, and saw first hand how brilliantly Fuji’s film simulation modes actually worked… At the time, these film simulations were more or less only available for stills, but over time the technology evolved to the point where now all of Fuji’s new cameras include the simulations.

If you’ve never shot with a Fuji – their film simulation modes are essentially picture profiles that allow you to bake in a filmic look in camera. They are based on actual film stocks, and are extremely close (aesthetically-speaking) to their celluloid counterparts. This is largely thanks to Fuji’s background in motion picture/stills film, which effectively laid the groundwork for their ability to implement these color palettes on their digital cameras.

Most recently, Fuji added a brand new film simulation mode – Eterna – which was released with their latest mirrorless camera, the XH1, and has since become a huge hit with Fuji users.

Eterna delivers one of the most filmic looks of any of Fuji’s simulations, producing a gorgeous, subtle color palette with perfect contrast. It seems to have been designed with filmmakers in mind, as it’s not over-stylized, allowing users to either use it as-is, or as a base for further grading.

As an X-T2 user myself, I don’t have the Eterna film simulation built into my camera, but I am still able to benefit from it by recording F-Log (internally with Fuji’s latest firmware), and applying Fuji’s official Eterna LUT in post.

This past weekend, I was finally able to experiment with combining internal F-Log with the new Eterna LUT, and was truly blown away by the results. At some point down the line, I will put together a demo video to fully showcase the footage, but for now I want to share a few screen grabs to show you what the LUT can do.

Below are a series of shots I took of myself at home, recorded in 4K mode on the XT2 using internal F-Log. I intentionally overexposed the footage (slightly), as I generally like to expose to the right when shooting digitally in order to maintain cleaner shadows when crushing the footage in post.

Let’s start by taking a look at the raw shot, straight off the card – 

Now, if I weren’t using a LUT, normally I would adjust the shot manually by bringing down the exposure, adding some contrast, and bumping up the saturation. But doing so would result in this –

Clearly this image doesn’t look right. It has a green wash on it, and is in line with what you might expect from Sony color-wise. But of course, that’s because the F-Log footage was designed to be used with Fuji’s LUTs, which (amongst other adjustments) add some magenta into the image.

Here is what the shot would look like with the Eterna LUT applied –

The image is looking much better, but clearly is still overexposed. When it’s brought down a couple of stops, this is what we get –

To me, this image offers a perfect base grade. The colors are perfectly neutral, the color balance and contrast ratio is spot on, and even the highlight rolloff looks amazing. Sometimes I like to use a soft clip to make overexposed highlights look less harsh/digital looking, but in this case it seems like Fuji’s LUT is doing something similar, automatically. 

Ordinarily, if I were lighting an actual scene, I wouldn’t have so many blown out areas in the frame (hair, window, etc.), but in this case I actually wanted to push the camera/dynamic range to see what would happen when the LUT was applied. Seeing how the LUT works even under poor lighting conditions would give me the confidence to work with it even in run and gun situations where I have less overall control.

Another thing I noticed was how well the base grade worked as a launching off point for applying other creative LUTs. In Resolve, on a separate node I experimented with several of my Cinematic LUTs, and they all applied to the footage beautifully. Here is one example, using a LUT from my Summer pack –

As I mentioned, in the future I will create a demo video with some before/after samples to really showcase what F-Log and Eterna are capable of… But for now, if you are a Fuji user I highly recommend shooting some material on your own and seeing for yourself.

Fuji has made their LUTs available for download here. Note, that when you download the folder, it will actually contain 3 LUTs. One of them is the Eterna LUT, and the other two are alternate translation LUTs that you can use instead. All 3 have their place, but I imagine most of you will want to go straight to the Eterna LUT as it’s the most plug-and-play option, and looks incredible right off the bat.

And for those of you who aren’t Fuji shooters, I encourage you to experiment with the XH1 or XT2 yourself and give Fuji a second look. I am in no way affiliated with them, and have never been sponsored/endorsed by Fuji in any way, but am simply a huge fan of what they are doing… I would even consider shooting an entire feature using the F-Log/Eterna combo – that’s how much I love it.

If you do experiment with the F-Log/Eterna combo, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

And for more content like this, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

46 Comments

  • Trey
    June 26, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I have been experimenting with flog on my x2t a lot. I love it. Still need to find the perfect color correcting combo. I have been using vintage lenses.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:22 am

      Glad you’re enjoying it Trey! Feel free to share some shots some time…

      Reply
  • Spike
    June 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Noam, I’m looking to get my first Fuji camera. I’m mainly looking for a solid stills camera as I use the GH5 for video and am quite happy with it in that department. Would you recommend going big with the X-H1, or is the X-T2 just as good for stills? That Eterna profile looks awesome. It’s only on the X-H1? Also, what lenses are you using these days? I’ve got lots of vintage m42 lenses, myself. Do you know of any m42 to Fuji X focal reducers?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:24 am

      Hey Spike! Both the XH1 and XT2 are going to deliver VERY similar results with regards to video and stills. If you need the extra features on the XH1, by all means go for it. But it’s purely about image quality, the XT2 still holds up really well. Although it doesn’t have Eterna built in, you can apply the LUT (as per this article) in post.

      As for focal reducers, I haven’t used any for M42 – X myself (not sure if that exists), but I would recommend looking into the Veydra X mount mini primes.

      Reply
  • Arthby
    June 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Great article !
    I too enjoy shooting F-log internally and working with the Eterna Lut. I also realised overexposing a bit gives better result. I love the filmic look we can get with this camera.
    My biggest problem is actually how to shoot, what kind of rig or gimbal do you use?
    I have the x-t2 with 35mm 1.4 and 14mm 2.8. Any shake or even small jitter gives an awfull rolling shutter in 4k. I end up shooting 1080p even if the image is less defined, just to have less rolling shutter. I wonder if I should buy the 18-55mm to have OIS, and if it would help.
    I am also shooting 24fps, what is your favourite shutter speed, 1/50 or 1/40 ? I am not always too happy with the motion cadence when shooting 24p.
    Thank you for your help, I found your blog to be very inspiring, love your work!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:28 am

      Thanks a lot, Arthby! I mainly use the camera on a tripod, so rolling shutter isn’t usually too much of an issue… And typically I am recording at 1/50 shutter speed. In terms of the 18-55 lens, I have it, and use it often – and the stabilization is really quite good. That said, it will never be better than a gimbal or shoulder rig, so if you want to go the extra mile I would experiment with both options (gimbal/shoulder mount), depending on the aesthetic you’re going for and the needs of your projects. Personally, I don’t like using gimbals, so I often work with small shoulder rigs and go for more of a handheld look… But that’s just me!

      Reply
  • Davud
    July 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I follow your blog and big fan of you. Your insights are quite aesthetic. I own X-T2 Looking for your demo work.
    I will appreciate if you explain us how to expose skin tones correctly in F-log, basic grading, Eterna conversion and LUT’s.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:35 am

      Absolutely, Davud! I will keep this in mind for a future post.

      Reply
  • Chris
    July 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Hello Noam!

    You just gave me such high confidence since I made a last minute decision to shoot my next project using my girlfriends XT2. I saw the firmware update and automatically was like yes let me try this out.

    I am having some issues. Can you direct me into the right settings I should use. I am shooting outdoors and some parts will me high sun some will be shade.

    Also, I keep getting a write error on my SD card when using the high speed mode shooting 120p/23.98 setting.

    I am weary and do not want to mess up my footage for my client. I am a canon user full-time but just so badly want to experience what its like filming with the XT2

    hope you can help!

    Chris

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:37 am

      Hey Chris! I would recommend shooting everything in Flog, which will keep your ISO at 800. This means you will likely need some ND filters for the bright daylight shots, even if you are stopping down your lens quite a bit. Also – the issue with your card is likely due to speed. What kind of cards are you using now?

      Reply
      • Anton
        November 29, 2018 at 8:42 pm

        Flog is horrible in the shadows with a perfectly lit scene in FHD (lovely chunky compression artifacts). It would be good to lower the ISO and turn up the studio lights. I have called Fuji about the ISO 800 minimum with Flog and they are investigating. It’s almost impossible to shoot outdoors without stopping right down or using ND filters (which means manual focus time). We can also forget Flog 120p (FHD only). I have a BMCC and you can lower the ISO below native without issue. Do you know why Flog bottoms out at ISO 800? Cheers, Anton

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          January 17, 2019 at 12:57 am

          Great question – not sure why Flog is locked into 800, but if you find out please share!

          Reply
  • Ricard Raventos Tato
    August 1, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Thanks Noah for the insights, i didnt know the trick about overexposing a little bit to keep the shadows clear. It works great!
    Im looking forward to see a video with this combo f-log eterna and color correcting!

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 21, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      No worries Ricard! Thanks for the note.

      Reply
  • Nathan Henneton
    August 5, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Hello Noam, thanks for your blog, so helpfull both for URSA MINI PRO /Grading and the Fuji
    I just got an XT2 for my photography and smaller project when I usualy use an A7S MK1 rig with good results.
    I have quite an issue with the HDMI out of the XT2, I use a 501 from SmallHD for framing / luts / false color and so on. And the HDMI out of the XT2 (the SmallHD doesn’t accept 4K signal) is very bad. Aliasing, blury; weak signals compared to my A7S MK1. Is there something I’m doing wrong ? Same HDMI Cable as my A7S and I tested a bunched of them.
    Have you noticed that as well ?

    Best regards

    Nathan from France

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 21, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Hi Nathan! That’s bizarre – I haven’t had issues like that with my XT2. I would try updating the firmware to see if it’s a bug. Otherwise, try contacting Fuji, and hopefully they have an answer!

      Reply
  • Martin Treacy
    August 5, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Great and inspiring article as usual. Your contributions on the X-T2 for film-making are always much appreciated Noam!

    Reply
  • Jennifer Piazza
    August 10, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I’m new to shooting F-Log and I found that when I shot with it the other day my exposure was darker than I expected when I brought it into post. Any advice on how to make sure my exposure is set properly while shooting in F-Log? Right now I don’t have an external monitor but I might get one in the future so that I can apply the LUT in the monitor.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 21, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Jennifer! When in doubt, you could always expose using a different picture profile and then switch over to F-Log. It can be a bit annoying to switch over, but once you do it enough times you’ll develop the eye to know when your F-Log footage is correctly exposed.

      Reply
  • Mo
    August 12, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I’ve been shooting videos with the Fuji’s since the X-T2 came out. I’m using both that and the X-H1 in F-Log, and wanted to ask how much you overexpose and also what WB Kelvin temperature you use with Tungsten light. I’m using 5300K which seems to work pretty well, but haven’t figured out how far to overexpose in different types of settings. Thanks! Keep up the good work…

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 21, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Hey Mo – I typically use the daylight preset, or set the camera to 5600… That said, I’m sure 5300 could work well too! My rule of thumb lately for overexposure is to go 1/2 to 1 stop over. I don’t like to push it too far (as it can make other parts of the image clip), but just a stop or so of overexposure can go a long way. That applies no matter what type of lighting I’m using.

      Reply
      • Mo
        October 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        I did a shoot where I was about 1 stop over and it did result in some blown skin tone highlights. After speaking to one of the Fuji reps at the Fujifilm Festival in Venice Beach, he explained to ‘expose properly’ – i.e. not to purposefully overexpose areas that should be in proper exposure. Just an FYI. I bought an X-rite color checker (after trying not to all of these years) to use when shooting f-log. Also their papers for f-Log says that 18% grey is at 46 IRE which I found helpful. Thanks again – XT3 has been great!

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          November 14, 2018 at 5:28 am

          Thanks Mo! I agree with the note on overexposure. If I can ride the line, I like the results. But as soon as you go over and clip, there is no coming back.

          Reply
  • Chad Philp
    September 21, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    What Zebra setting would you recommend for F-Log?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 14, 2018 at 4:55 am

      Do you prefer to expose for skin tones or highlights?

      Reply
  • Alexis
    October 3, 2018 at 5:07 am

    I think I know the answer to this but will you be upgrading to the X-T3 or sticking with the T2?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 14, 2018 at 5:19 am

      I’m not sure I even know yet 🙂

      Reply
  • Guillem Servitja
    October 24, 2018 at 12:49 am

    hello Noam!

    I’m a beginner… what program for video editing do you recommend to apply the flog from an xt2 to eterna?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 14, 2018 at 5:36 am

      If you’re on a Mac, FCP X. On a PC, DaVinci Resolve!

      Reply
  • JP
    November 13, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Awesome article, thanks!

    Trading my D7500 for a XT2 today! Excited!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Right on, JP! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it if you’d like to share.

      Reply
  • Jim Fenner
    December 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Hi Noam,
    Hah! Your name reminded me of Noam Chomski, I mentally pictured you as an old wrinkly (which I am)
    Good to see you are young and photogenic

    Got my X-T3 and am enjoying the F-Log and Eterna. Lots to learn.

    Jim
    Canberra

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 17, 2019 at 1:01 am

      Haha! Thanks Jim. Appreciate the note and good luck with your XT3!

      Reply
  • Saesha Walia
    December 19, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Could you share a video tutorial?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Bill Staley
    January 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Noam, I enjoyed the article. I just bought the X-T3 and I don’t understand the difference between shooting with the built in Eterna emulation “baked in” to the footage versus shooting FLog and applying the Eterna LUT. Wouldn’t they have the same result? Also, if shooting in FLog, do I make ANY adjustments in Resolve prior to applying the LUT? For example, lower the lift to near 0 and push the highs for more contrast, or does the LUT take care of that automatically? Thanks for helping a novice.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 5, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Bill. The only real difference is that you will have more flexibility to manipulate the image in post if you shot Log. In other words, you may want to adjust the image further (even after you’ve added the LUT), and the Log image will likely give you some more room to work. Otherwise though, you shouldn’t need to adjust any other setting while you work with the footage and LUT in post.

      Reply
  • Cris
    May 22, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Hi Noam! I really love your review and I enjoyed reading it! … I too owned a Fujifilm XT2 paired with my 16 F1.4 and 56 F1,2, I use it for both Video and photo but mostly Video. I have a question regarding applying any LUT file on my F log footage in Premier I noticed that every time I apply a LUT file it would not appear as what I expected it to be like cinematic with great tones. I always shoot in 1080 120Fps,60fps and 30fps. So usually I adjust the opacity, exposure, Temperature, tint, highlights, and contrast I always lower the exposure and crush the highlights and the opacity is on full 100% but the footage still looks bad and not cinematic. Do you have any advice and tips on how I apply any LUT file on my Flog footage in premier and how to make it very cinematic? like in the Hollywood movies and indie films… Cause I am also planning to buy one of your Color LUTS for my wedding shoots, short films, commercial and travel videos looking forward to your respond thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 1:05 am

      Hi Cris! What doesn’t look good about the image? Is it the colors? Contrast? If you could give me some more info about the issue you’re experiencing, I would be happy to make some suggestions for you.

      Reply
  • TJ
    June 25, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    hey I just picked up an XT-30! It has Eterna built in… what would be your recommend flow for getting a good look using your LUT packs? DaVinci after capture straight with Eterna on it ? Then apply your LUT ?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 1:33 am

      Congrats! And yes, that’s exactly the workflow. Convert using Eterna LUT first, make any obvious fixes to white balance/contrast if needed, and then apply one of my LUTs.

      Reply
  • Dominik
    July 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Noam, thanks so much for your blog and all the informations you put together. I have a X-T2 and getting into DaVinci Resolve – so this website looks perfect for me. When I´m recording F-Log internal in the X-T2 to a SD Card and getting the file into Resolve for applying the ETERNA LUT – should I change the DATA LEVELS of the file to VIDEO or FULL under “clip attributes” ?? Thanks a lot ! Nick

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 1:50 am

      I would leave the data levels at full. Good luck with everything!

      Reply
  • Michael
    September 16, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for the great article. I was wondering if you were still using the Fujifilm X-T2 for anything … personal/professional/b-roll camera? I am considering picking up a used X-T2 (best for my budget). I’d love to use it for photography, as well as some wedding videography and corporate work. Have you had any issues with the battery life getting in the way of your process? Do you still this this is a viable camera in late 2019?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 22, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Michael – I still love the XT2. In the spirit of experimentation, I swapped mine for a Sigma FP (review on that coming soon), but the XT2 is absolutely still an amazing option in 2019, and beyond.

      Reply

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