Adobe released Lightroom 5.4 last week, a ‘point release’ I wouldn’t normally get excited about, but this one happened to include very-long-awaited official camera profiles for Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras. Ever since the Release Candidate of ACR 8.4 a few weeks ago I’ve been refreshing Lightroom blogs waiting for it so I was pretty excited to fire up 5.4 and put the new profiles to the test.

Why the fuss? Well if you’ve ever looked at a lovely Fujifilm X100S JPG and the default Lightroom treatment of the equivalent .RAF file, you’ll know! Lightroom made those raw files look pretty grotty in comparison, especially skin tones. Oh God, the skin tones… Of course that’s as it should be really: the JPGs look awesome because of the excellent X-Trans processing engine, whereas the raw files are meant to be a neutral starting point with all the image information available to play with.

The problem was I’d been spoiled by Adobe’s excellent Nikon camera profiles which get my D700 raw images as close as possible to how the camera is set up, ready for basic exposure and white balance tweaks. When I started using the X100S with the D700 on jobs it was a lot of hassle getting the X100S raw files anywhere close to the JPG colours I wanted.

In the end I came up with my own Develop preset for the X100S .RAF files that fudged around with saturation and colour sliders enough to as-close-as-dammit match the ‘Standard/Provia’ film simulation mode I used most often, fixing the over-saturated-lighting problem along the way, but it was never quite right, especially in the skin tones.

Now I don’t need it any more!

So are Adobe’s Fujifilm Camera profiles any good?

Fujifilm Camera Profiles Lightroom 5.4 - Adobe Lightroom 5.4 and the new Fujifilm Camera Profiles
The nine Fujifilm Camera Profiles that now ship with Adobe Lightroom 5.4, available in the Camera Calibration panel

Yep, they’re fantastic. In short, if you want to shoot raw with your X-Series camera, the magic of those Fujifilm JPG colours is now just one click away in Lightroom – pretty much.

They show up automatically in the Camera Calibration panel in Develop, so long as you’re looking at a raw file from a supported supported X-Trans camera. Just click where it says ‘Adobe Standard’ to reveal the list.

Bear in mind they’re not absolutely precisely identical. The X-Trans engine does its own on-the-fly work on each image so a preset will never 100% match but for me the only noticeable differences tended to be in shadow contrast, but they were only obvious while obsessively flicking back and forth between them and you can just apply a bit of a curve in a Preset if you find it’s an issue. Also, the profiles don’t add sharpening or noise reduction of course, but again you can apply those yourself in Lightroom.

It’s the colours that we want and they’re great, especially those skin tones! Depending on the situation there’s some subtle differences in shades of colour: for example to my eye the Standard/Provia profile needed a little tweak in the greens and yellows in the Colour panel. I’ve saved the Provia profile plus those changes as a new User Preset that I can apply on import to all my Provia-shot .RAF files and now I have even less work to do on each shot in the edit.

Thank you, Adobe! It took long enough, but you got there in the end! It’s making that already-tempting Fujifilm X-T1 purchase seem even easier now…

Must… resist…

(UPDATE: I totally didn’t resist. Now I’m using Fuji X almost every shoot!)

Top tip

Because you can’t select Camera Profiles to apply on import like you can with Develop Presets I recommend you create nine new User Presets each based on one of the nine Fujifilm Camera Profiles now included in Lightroom 5.4 (plus any custom tweaks you want to make). That way it’s super easy to apply one of the profiles as you import your .RAF files, or easily apply them to batches of images if you used multiple film simulation modes during the shoot.

And now, a gallery

I went back through my Lightroom catalog filtering for X100S .RAF files and picked out a few ‘arty’ ones to try the profiles out on. I played mainly with the Provia, Velvia and Monochrome+R profiles, with some extra tweaking in Lightroom here and there.

On my X100S I have a preset in the Q-menu for ‘Mono+R, +2 Shadows, +2 Highlights’ so in Lightroom I recreated that with a fairly typical S-curve and saved it as a User Preset. I also created a ‘filmic’ version of my Standard/Provia look that uses a Curve to fade blacks a little, spill a soupçon of magenta in the shadows, and add a teeny tiny smidgeon of a hint of soft vignette.

Hope you like, thanks for reading!

Fuji Lightroom Profiles - Adobe Lightroom 5.4 and the new Fujifilm Camera Profiles

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