Aperture 3 And The Fuji X100S Pink Problem

Even if you don't shoot a Fuji X100S or use Aperture 3 you may want to read this. A quick post today specific to the X100S and a question that came up about the pink problem. Forgive me - I forget where this came up and exactly who asked me. Also forgive my somewhat terse response… specifically something along the lines of "I don't really do pink". Ummm sorry - turns out I have a bunch of images of StupidCrap™ with lots of pinks in them. I have been shooting a lot of various subjects and conditions to get to a place I am comfortable with before I release my Fuji presets I just lost track of what was right in front of me in a brain dead moment.

I do actually tend to avoid pinks in real photographs I make on purpose. I don't know why - probably because I tend to prefer a limited color palette and Pink is not going to be anywhere near my top choice of one of those limited hues.

Cutting to the chase - another fellow X100S shooter asked me about how I fix what he perceived as an issue with Aperture 3 rendering pinks so so so so saturated it looks freaky - that's a technical photography term if you are not familiar. Well that's easy. Here's a decent starting point for just about everything you shoot with the X100S. I actually have something similar but not exact in the preset prototypes already. Just take a look at the color block in the screenshot at the top.

The shot that is highlighted is an X100S RAW file with the generic "pink fix" I would use as a starting point. The other images is an OOC JPEG using the ProNeg H setting in camera. Close enough. Here's how the numbers work out if you don't feel like opening up the screenshot.

  • Starting with a Hue centered around 340 that should be shifted a bit towards red/orange. My starting point is between +5 and +6 on the hue slider.
  • Way way way less saturation. Here I used -39.4. When you dail that or anywhere near it in it will look all wrong don't worry because…
  • You also will probably want to ratchet up the luminance. Here I am using about +30. This will actually ad a bit more saturation back in. When you mess with this stuff it's usually a balancing act between the saturation and luminance that will get you to where you want to be. A little more of one may cause you to have to take a little out of the other and the reverse.

Here's the OOC RAW without the above set of modifications…

Okay now for the caveats. The exact settings are going to be highly dependent on what else you like to do to your own files. Some of the relative luminance differences in the pinks are also highly depending on the tone curve etc. If you add or subtract global saturation or vibrance or add contrast or even exposure you will absolutely need to adjust that color control to suit since all of the other things will majorly screw with saturation and luminance prior to getting to this adjustment. This is an isolated ground zero as imported kind of bunch of settings. Hard to predict where you start so take that into account. Almost without fail you will need a shift towards red/orange and less saturation on the pinks.

Now for all of you non X100S shooters as well as non-Aperture users or a combination of any of the above. Aperture 3 tends to do this pink thing to various degrees to all cameras. The X100S may arguably be a bit worse than my Nikon's maybe not - they have an issue in the same direction. I use the word "issue" mostly based on my taste and to a lesser extent to describe some ultimate rendering accuracy. Part of the reason that a specific X100S pink problem did not register with me at first.

As an aside and this is totally from a taste perspective and even more so a people specific issue with me. I find just about every digital camera and every RAW processor to have a varying degree of too pink for my taste. Specifically I don't like how purple pinks look - I don't like how pink reds look as compared to say… film. Sorry had to do that. As a matter of course I tend to skew pinks in that hue range towards red/orange and reds a hair toward orange. If I don't I always hate the way most shades of lips and lipstick look relative to skin color when I shoot digital. Just too too purple/pink… Food for thought.


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