Film emulation presets and styles stylize digital images to resemble classic film stocks of the twentieth century: Kodak Portra 400, Fuji Pro 400, Kodak Ektar 100, Ilford Delta 400, just to name a few. They’re popular for matching digital images to film (a common task today in wedding photography) and quickly applying classic film looks with minimal effort.
You can of course just shoot film, but it’s expensive, and many films are (sadly) no longer available, including the recently decommissioned Fuji Pro 400H.
(Disclosure: I am a paying customer of Really Nice Images and have no business relationship with them. I’m singling them out because I think their emulations are of good quality and value.)
Really Nice Images Film Emulations
RNI All Films includes over 180+ film emulation profiles. The collection includes classic negative films, slide films, instant films, vintage (early 20th century) films, and black and white films. All Films v5 also includes an extra collection of Kodak Aerochrome infrared-inspired looks.
Most emulations include variants that emulate how film changes when underexposed, overexposed, faded, or when lighter/heavier contrast is used. Some films also include alternate versions that emulate warming and cooling filters.
The collection also includes “grainy” versions that emulate the size and roughness of a film’s natural grain. This means you may choose between a “clean” digital image or grainy images for a more nostalgic, realistic look.
Lightroom and Capture One Presets/Profiles
RNI All Films are offered as presets and profiles for Adobe Lightroom / Camera RAW. Version 4 is older and uses presets, while version 5 is newer and uses profiles.
From a user experience perspective, presets are older and less sophisticated. They apply static values to settings in the Develop panel, and can easily overwrite or conflict with your edits. Additionally, the intensity of presets can’t be adjusted.
Profiles have always been part of Lightroom but were elevated and expanded by Adobe beginning with Lightroom Classic 7.3, Lightroom CC 1.3, and Camera Raw 10.3. Profiles function similarly to presets, but they instead function at the root level of RAW data transformation without any adjustments to Develop settings. Their edits are additive and non-destructive.
RNI All Films v5 (profiles) also offers more sophisticated highlight control. Similar to the behavior of film, you may push the exposure of your RAW image without clipping. The profile does this by limiting the white point to an appropriate value for each film emulation.
Capture One Styles
RNI All Films v5 are also available as “Styles” for Capture One. All the same film emulations rom the Lightroom version are included, with a few functional differences.
One (at the time of this writing), Capture One does not provide an intensity or strength slider for Styles. Additionally, styles using ICC Profiles (like these from RNI) cannot be applied to Layers and adjusted with opacity. For this reason, each set of styles (Negative, Slide, etc) includes four strengths (25, 50, 75, and 100%) to choose from.
Two, unlike the Lightroom profiles, there is no highlight protection. This is due to technical limitations in the underlying architecture of Capture One.
Three, unlike the single collection of profiles for Lightroom, the Capture One version includes four collections of styles: “Standard”, “Fujifilm”, “Nikon/Sony” and “jpeg”.
“jpeg” includes lighter versions of each style (with less contrast and saturation) for converting JPGs. The other three collections (“Standard”, “Fujifilm” and “Nikon/Sony”) are for RAW files. Each collection contains the exact same film emulations, and you may use any of them with any image, but you will get better, more accurate results by using the film emulations that match the type of camera used.
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I’ve produced two videos about film emulation presets/profiles for Lightroom and styles for Capture One. Check them out below.