One of my favorite features on the X Series cameras is the new B&W Adjustment settings that lets you apply WARM/COOL tones to your black and white images.
First introduced in the X-T3 and also included in the X-T30, the B&W ADJ. setting allows you to dial up or down with 9 increments into either the warm or cool spectrum when you’re shooting with either the ACROS or MONOCHROME Film Simulation.
As with many of the other X Series features, this setting lets you apply the look right inside the camera. I love this approach, because it fits right in-line with my current photography mindset of getting it right in the moment, instead of shooting RAW and processing later or having to resort to plug-ins.
This continues to be one of my favorite features on the X-T3, and I find myself using it all the time to add richness and style to my scenes. The warm tones harken back those days of sepia-toned platinum prints, while the bluish cast replicates the cool look that gold-toned prints traditionally had.
I see this as one more arrow in the awesome “creative quiver” we have with the X Series cameras. As much as have a deep fascination for color in photography, I love shooting in black and white on my Fujifilm cameras, especially with the ACROS film simulation.
There’s something special about rendering your scene in monochromatic tones that triggers the brain in a different way. Since most of us don’t normally see in black and white, this forces your viewer to focus more on the elements of shape, shadow, tone and the placement of your subject matter. With no color present, the particular message and feel of your image gets translated with a different level of visual impact.
It’s really fun to experiment with these settings and vary between adding a slight twinge of warm or cool tone to your scene, or going full bore and maxing out the slider at +9 to create a bold, deeply toned photograph.
And then, with a few clicks, you can go back to normal and capture your scene with a straight neutral gray color scheme, or even revert to color by choosing a different film simulation.
The adjustment is so easy, you can dial up or down with ease and experiment with different creative looks right there on location. On my X-T3, I added the B&W ADJ. setting into the My Menu for even quicker access.
I just love the creative options this new setting offers and I find myself using it on a wide variety of scenes.
One thing to note, this setting is not available if you’re bracketing film simulations, even if one or more of your chosen film sims are set to ACROS or Monochrome.
Also, if you shoot RAW only, it’s almost guaranteed that most RAW conversion software, like Adobe Camera RAW, Capture One and Luminar will trash the nice warm or cool color look you’ve applied as soon as you upload the image.
However, if you’re shooting RAW and doing in-camera conversions on the X-T3 or X-T30, you can apply the B/W ADJ. setting in the conversion menu and save a JPEG copy with the embedded tone, but only if you’re already using a black and white film sim. If your original RAW was shot with a color film sim, this option is grayed out.
As of right now, this setting is only found on the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T30. My guess is that it requires faster processing power, so it’s unlikely to be added retroactively to the earlier X Series cameras, but it will probably appear in all future models.
If you have one of these cameras, then I highly encourage you to play around with this setting and see what you can come up with. If you have an older model Fuji and are thinking about upgrading, then the B&W ADJ. setting just might be the reason to make the jump.