Journeying Bras Basah Complex with the Fujifilm Acros simulation.

A whole article based on a Fujifilm film simulation is not common, with my last one on Eterna back in 2018 and today, our focus shall be on Acros, a film simulation released with the X-Pro2 in 2016 and available in film format since the 1950s, which was discontinued and then re-released as Neopan Acros 100 II in 2020.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

Fujifilm X-mount released the Acros film simulation with the X-Pro2 back in 2016, an era back when Fujifilm’s kaizen spirit was well and true and the good old days when we as fanboys were so excited about weather-resistance debuting in a X-Pro body that we did things that made Fujifilm management grimace in pain.

Yeap, the crazy things we did. (WR was built to protect the camera top down, not bottom up)

The original Neopan ACROS 100 film was widely known for its extremely fine grain, and a character unique to it. Some samples of Neopan ACROS 100 film shot on the Nikon 35Ti is below. 

Neopan Acros 100 film on Nikon 35Ti
Neopan Acros 100 film on Nikon 35Ti

These are the qualities that the colour scientists at Fujifilm aimed to achieve when re-creating the Fujifilm ACROS Simulation for their digital X-Trans sensors.

“We developed it from the core of the image file to achieve a very complex and natural like grain expression. Optimal and different grain expressions are added to highlight and low light areas. You would not find unnatural dotted graininess in the highlight areas just like how the monochrome film behaves.

from Fujifilm (summarised)

And so, with this idea, the Acros film simulation was born together with the X-Pro2. 

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

And with Acros’s heritage and characteristics, we decided to make a trip down to the largely unchanged mixed commercial-residential use building from the 1980s, the Bras Basah Complex for a photowalk.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

Akin to shooting any monochromatic images, contrast or simply, how light and shadows interplay in the image is of utmost importance.  Like how the rule of thirds works, our eyes will gravitate towards the most contrasty areas in any black and white image. 

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

Walking around Bras Basah Complex was a very rich experience, seeing how some shops have weathered the decades in a complex with dwindling footfall was surreal. Almost every shop space seem to have their own story to tell, probably a story of how they fought to maintain their unique identity in a relentless society driven by capitalism.

Every shop and space, seemed to have their own unique tale to share.

There was this shop selling antiques from an era mostly forgotten, the old barber shop, the hipster themed shop selling ornaments and shops selling customised acrylic signs or even framing servicing for the budding artist’s works. Very much unlike the moderns malls where we simply find the mundane boring ctrl-C, ctrl-V set of shops.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

Yeap, we found a shop space with nothing except a functional toilet bowl wrapped up in toilet paper.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

At this moment, the complex is undergoing renovation works, and part of it is closed off to the public. Personally I do hope the unique character of the complex manages to stay, even though deep inside seeing how aged most of the shop-owners are, this is not likely to be so, especially in Singapore known for its penchant of rebuilding and rebuilding.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4
Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

And with this, we call the visit to this time-capsule of a building a close. Regardless of why you had been kind enough to read this article, I do hope that you will leave with an appreciation of heritage of Singapore and also, how Acros as a film simulation can inspire you to photograph, especially in the way this beautiful film simulation handles high ISO values.

Acros, X-Pro3 with XF35mm ƒ1.4

Thank you for reading.

Disclaimers:

  1. Obviously Fujifilm did not pay me for this article and this was written out of my passion for photography with one of my favorite camera brands.
  2. All images shared were photographed by me, in Acros and edited from the JPGs in LR CC classic to my preferences. I used the X-Pro3 and XF35mm ƒ1.4 for the whole article.
  3. A cute question asked by a reader some time ago was, how much am I earning from this review blog, and if anyone is curious, the answer is ‘not much’ and I simply aim to cover the costs of paying WordPress for the domain and premium account. Donations are always welcome though I do not need that and frankly do not like to do what some writers do when they use the blog to solicit for donations.
  4. I would love for loan of equipment to review and share though, sponsorships be great haha. If keen, I am always contactable at moostar@gmail.com or thru IG at www.instagram.com/keith.wee

5 Replies to “Journeying Bras Basah Complex with the Fujifilm Acros simulation.”

  1. Hi Keith, always looking forward to another writeups. Your acros shots look much more contrasty and punchier than the ones I get. Do you mind sharing the post-processing steps?

    Like

    1. Hi Markinson, thank you. I agree out of camera that Acros look much more ‘flatter’. What I do is I make adjustments to the tone curve, especially the shadows and highlights to bring out a more punchier feel.

      I edited these direct from the jpgs , not from raw files this time round.

      Like

  2. Beautiful sharing on Bras Basah complex. I noticed you used the XF35/1.4, was it fast enough generally for your shots?

    Like

    1. Hi Jennifer, thank you for popping by. The XF35/1.4 won’t be the fastest tool in the kit and the X-Pro3 hasn’t been officially updated performance wise since launch so haha, my answer is more of ‘I have to learn to work with it’. I had around say 15% of lost shots for this set.

      Like

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