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New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?

  
 
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


I see on their website that Cobalt-Image have just release two new "Cobalt Elite" film emulations:
-Elite Fuji Neg

-Elite Portra

https://www.cobalt-image.com/product/cobalt-elite-portra/
The website states that these are the "first release of scientific film emulations profiles:
In the past, our Kodak and Fuji film packs were renowned for capturing the unique mood of film emulsions. However, we have now taken our emulation to the next level with our high-end emulation pack. This isnít just a mood anymore Ė itís a scientific reproduction of your favourite film emulsions, brought to life on digital. Our team has spent months meticulously reducing every manageable variable in the acquisition process to ensure that we are able to offer a true emulation of these legendary film packs on digital as you can see here. We are proud to be the first in...Show more

While I understand the words, that these profiles are "more accurate," I don't really understand how these new profiles differ in practice from the earlier Cobalt Kodak and Fuji film emulations. Does anyone know anything more about these profiles?



May 30, 2023 at 11:58 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Hi Mitch,
I've tried a few of the new Elite profiles and really like the results so far. I snapped some shots today and used the new Kodak Portra 400, Portra 800, Fuji Pro400H, and Classic Neg profiles. To me they are very pleasant.

Except for the 5th image, I didn't use the Cobalt 'Grain' settings for these samples:




Elite Kodak Portra 400

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.4    1/500s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Elite Kodak Portra 400

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.4    1/1000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Elite Kodak Portra 400

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.4    1/90s    125 ISO    0.0 EV  






Elite Kodak Portra 400

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/2.8    1/500s    125 ISO    0.0 EV  






Elite Kodak Portra 800 with dedicated grain

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.4    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






Fuji Classic Neg

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.4    1/180s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  






Elite Kodak Portra 800

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.7    1/3000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






New Fujifilm Acros profile

  LEICA M10-R    Summilux-M 1:1.4/28 ASPH. lens    28mm    f/1.7    1/250s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






New Fujifilm Acros profile




May 30, 2023 at 02:56 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


These look great! Would love to give them a go but I use Lightroom not Lightroom Classic so its not supported.




May 30, 2023 at 05:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


RustyRus wrote:
These look great! Would love to give them a go but I use Lightroom not Lightroom Classic so its not supported.


Are you certain about this? It seems that profiles can be imported into Adobe Lightroom, as I personally utilize them in Lightroom Mobile. It effectively synchronizes with Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic.



May 30, 2023 at 09:46 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Are you certain about this? It seems that profiles can be imported into Adobe Lightroom, as I personally utilize them in Lightroom Mobile. It effectively synchronizes with Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic.


Not sureÖMy Mac Studio is running 6.x Lightroom (latest update) and my IPAD is 8.x. Not sure how that corresponds.

Are you running on Mac? What version

Cheers



May 30, 2023 at 10:11 PM
Ayoul
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


I'm a big fond of the 400h by DVLOP Film for LR but if their product for LR are serious and based on a real profile for each camera, they are just useless styles on Capture One.

And I'm still looking for a good Fuji 400H for Capture One...

I may give this new Cobalt Sims a try for C1 despite being in general a little bit skeptical with Cobalt Products and their hyperbolic claims. I was not impressed for instance with the homogeneity of their neutral profiles between my A9 and my A7III.



May 31, 2023 at 03:10 AM
bjhurley
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Ayoul wrote:
And I'm still looking for a good Fuji 400H for Capture One...



Did you try RNI All Films 5 for Capture One? It doesn't use styles in Capture One; instead it applies an ICC profile. The main caveat is that you need to be sure you don't blow any highlights, as the highlight recovery built into RNI for Lightroom can't be implemented in Capture One. Hasn't been an issue for me since I'm pretty careful to avoid blowing highlights unless I specifically choose to (which I do sometimes). I find their film emulations quite nice and they do have a Fuji 400h in two styles (normal and faded). You can apply it in several strengths.

I also like that RNI gives you access to old emulsions that haven't been available in many decades, even going back to the 1940s. I also like that it gives me a lot of Agfa films, which was my preferred brand back when I was shooting film in the 1980s-90s.

It's expensive, but cheaper than buying and processing a dozen or so rolls of film.

I bought it when I was trying to convince myself to avoid getting back into film, but that strategy didn't work (I am shooting film again, and am less interested in film emulations in digital now, but I do like playing with some of the older film emulations in RNI).

Edited on May 31, 2023 at 03:40 AM · View previous versions



May 31, 2023 at 03:22 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


bjhurley wrote:
Did you try RNI All Films 5 for Capture One? It doesn't use styles in Capture One; instead it applies an ICC profile. The main caveat is that you need to be sure you don't blow any highlights, as the highlight recovery built into RNI for Lightroom can't be implemented in Capture One. Hasn't been an issue for me since I'm pretty careful to avoid blowing highlights unless I specifically choose to (which I do sometimes). I find their film emulations quite nice and they do have a Fuji 400h in two styles (normal and faded). You can apply it
...Show more

I have the RNI all Films 5 for C1. I don't know if they are faithful or not but I'm not a big fond of the rendering. They claim to use "profiles" but when you check inside the downloaded file, their ICC files are not tailored for each camera, at least in C1. For a simulation (ex : Kodak Portra 800 v2 100%), there is juste one profile made for all Nikon and Sony cameras. Pretty rudimentary process...



May 31, 2023 at 03:39 AM
bjhurley
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Ayoul wrote:
I have the RNI all Films 5 for C1. I don't know if they are faithful or not but I'm not a big fond of the rendering. They claim to use "profiles" but when you check inside the downloaded file, their ICC files are not tailored for each camera, at least in C1. For a simulation (ex : Kodak Portra 800 v2 100%), there is juste one profile made for all Nikon and Sony cameras. Pretty rudimentary process...


They are profiles for the film, not for the camera. I feel like if you're applying a film emulation, there's not much point in having a correct profile for your camera anyway, since you're changing the color science and everything else.



May 31, 2023 at 03:42 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


bjhurley wrote:
They are profiles for the film, not for the camera. I feel like if you're applying a film emulation, there's not much point in having a correct profile for your camera anyway, since you're changing the color science and everything else.


I don't think that it works that way, even if I'm not a sensor specialist. At the end of the day, if the CFA is different, one ICC will never make the job perfectly, the colors won't match.

I know at least one other company selling film "simulations" (the Archetype Process), which claims that they use "profiles", but as long as it's not tailored for each CFA, I struggle to understand how it can really works flawlessly. I asked them once via email if they made a profile for each camera and they avoided the question by claiming the same kind of thing. I bought one of their product (for Lr) and they have one xmp file for each simulation, that's all...

I didn't like some of the results that I got with Cobalt. My neutral profiles from A7III and A9 have more differences that I would like for 2 cameras of the same brand and same era, which have probably a similar CFA. But at least the basic principle is good. Like DVLOP Film for LR.



May 31, 2023 at 03:59 AM
 


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bjhurley
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Ayoul wrote:
At the end of the day, if the CFA is different, one ICC will never make the job perfectly, the colors won't match.



Okay, but in my view if you're applying film emulations you're essentially degrading the image quality for the sake of beauty or a specific look -- you're compressing dynamic range, losing some detail, changing colours, etc. to imitate the qualities of film. It's about imperfection, not perfection. When I look at my actual film shots, colors never match from shot to shot anyway; they change quite dramatically based on exposure for example.



May 31, 2023 at 04:41 AM
Ayoul
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


bjhurley wrote:
Okay, but in my view if you're applying film emulations you're essentially degrading the image quality for the sake of beauty or a specific look -- you're compressing dynamic range, losing some detail, changing colours, etc. to imitate the qualities of film. It's about imperfection, not perfection. When I look at my actual film shots, colors never match from shot to shot anyway; they change quite dramatically based on exposure for example.


Of course you're degrading image quality with a film emulation. But I would prefer that they degrade all my cameras in the same way, with the same result. Calling "profile" some kind of a unique LUT applied to dozens of camera is almost misleading... I know that colors change with exposure, some film simulations try to emulate that kind of thing.

I'm a wedding photographer, if I use some kind of "profile", I expect it to be consistent. This is expected by the clients, and that's why I prefer to buy real profiles, like Cobalt or DVLOP.



May 31, 2023 at 05:09 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Hi Mitch,
I've tried a few of the new Elite profiles and really like the results so far..:


Thanks, Fred. These do look very good. How do they differ from the Cobalt-Image Kodak v3.1 Portra profiles, in actual use? Reading the Cobalt-Image website, one gets the impression that the new Elite profiles are so much more accurate that they "force" the Portra film look even when White Balance may be substantially off. In other words, do the new Elite profiles make it much easier to get these results, i.e., needing much less adjustment than using the v3.1 profiles?



May 31, 2023 at 10:40 AM
Ulysseita
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Hi Mitch,

This our product is something different from the older.

In the past we found a way to emulate a feeling of the film emulsion at the best for our approach and that was made in our film packs .

Today we approached a new workflow to reproduce a good averaged develop pipeline of the negatives and slides and to add to our profiles. As you can read there

https://www.cobalt-image.com/cobalt-elite-film-emulations/

Was a big journey from the previous approach for a different product, not anymore a feeling emulation ma a proper scientific one giving you a starting point for your photography, just colours , curve and grain for your raw development coming straight from the film emulsion.

In the years many preset maker made many emulations like these(presets even with profiles, just presets made profiles for Adobe but still a presets and so not accurate for each cameras and with a colour output strictly connected to what slides you move) but as we wrote on the website, if the cc24 is not enough for a good colour calibration for your camera is quite impossible that would be good enough to capture the thousands of shades of a film. Using an extended and well made target with a thousand patches, and our latest approach to the emulations was the trigger that started the creation of the elite pack.

No one before us did that using a so calibrated and fine approach , from the start to the creation of the profiles (remember, profiles) passing through the ideal illuminant on acquisition to the controlled develop and scanning process.

Just to have an idea, only a 10% of scans today between labs and home scanning has a colourimetric approach, the whole process follow only the level of details and there are so many variables on it that many expert donít even care about it.



Sorry for my english, my phone today seems to have fun!

If you are looking for something extreme and creative to enrich your photos this is not your product.
These are simulations of a perfect developed film colours so not so far away from the ideal colourimetry of the scene.




Mitch Alland wrote:
Thanks, Fred. These do look very good. How do they differ from the Cobalt-Image Kodak v3.1 Portra profiles, in actual use? Reading the Cobalt-Image website, one gets the impression that the new Elite profiles are so much more accurate that they "force" the Portra film look even when White Balance may be substantially off. In other words, do the new Elite profiles make it much easier to get these results, i.e., needing much less adjustment than using the v3.1 profiles?




May 31, 2023 at 11:58 AM
BokehBeauty
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


I bought it in the hope to get the Jose Villa Fuji 400H style more easily. But so far no success. I expected to get profiles simulating over overexposed analog film, such as 400H exposed as ISO 100. To my understanding this is one of the ingredients of artists like Jose Villa. I would be very interested to learn and see how professionals as Ayoul, Fred and others achieve their desired results.

On the other hand, Iím very happy with the new Fuji digital v4 profiles. They give me with my Canon R5 files more of what I like about my Fuji digital files.

Related question, Fred showed an image processed with Fuji Classic Neg. I donít have that profile in the Fuji Elite pack, but in the Fuji digital pack. Do I miss something?



May 31, 2023 at 01:46 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


BokehBeauty wrote:
I bought it in the hope to get the Jose Villa Fuji 400H style more easily. But so far no success. I expected to get profiles simulating over overexposed analog film, such as 400H exposed as ISO 100. To my understanding this is one of the ingredients of artists like Jose Villa. I would be very interested to learn and see how professionals as Ayoul, Fred and others achieve their desired results.

On the other hand, Iím very happy with the new Fuji digital v4 profiles. They give me with my Canon R5 files more of what I like about
...Show more

Before loading the profile, I ensure that the scene has the correct white balance. Once the profile is loaded, I typically make adjustments to the color "Tint". Give it a try and see if it improves the results.



May 31, 2023 at 04:50 PM
Ayoul
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


BokehBeauty wrote:
I bought it in the hope to get the Jose Villa Fuji 400H style more easily. But so far no success. I expected to get profiles simulating over overexposed analog film, such as 400H exposed as ISO 100. To my understanding this is one of the ingredients of artists like Jose Villa. I would be very interested to learn and see how professionals as Ayoul, Fred and others achieve their desired results.


DVLOP Film sells a "Jose Villa" "For the love of Film" Fuji pack.

The Frontier 400h is very pleasing to my eyes, and the look is based on an overexposed 400h, like he does. Each simulation comes in three variations, smooth, natural, and with some kind of Jose Villa preset (a little bit more punch) called FTLOF. (For the Love of Film).

They are built on a neutral profile first, and on top of them some LR adjustments (presets), so probably not as sophisticated as the new Cobalt with their fancy scientific things. But I like them.

There is also a Jose Villa Kodak pack. Of course, all of this is probably just some branding, some naming. I don't know how much he was involved in the process, probably not a lot. But I like the look and that's what matters. The thing is, they are only available for Lightroom. They sell them for Capture One, but they are not based on a neutral profile, they are just some presets and they are not that good. It's absolutely not the same product and imho the C1 version should not be sold.

I have an interesting result in adapting the DVLOP Film 400h from Lightroom to Capture One using 3D Lut Creator and a personal neutral profile, but of course some differences remains.

I paid yesterday for a Cobalt Elite Fuji Neg for my camera in C1 and will compare the result as soon as I get the download link. But there is no mention on the Cobalt website that their goal is to emulate an overexposed 400h, so...



Jun 01, 2023 at 03:03 AM
BokehBeauty
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Fred, Ayoul, thank you for your advice. My little excitement with the Cobalt Fuji Elite Pack is not due to the colors, but the gradation that for me lacks resemblance with the unique midtone and hightone gradation and associated difference in punch of overexposed 400h. Sure I will have to try harder. Hopefully on the weekend I'll have the time.


Jun 01, 2023 at 04:53 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


BokehBeauty wrote:
...Cobalt Fuji Elite Pack...for me lacks resemblance with the unique midtone and hightone gradation and associated difference in punch of overexposed 400h. Sure I will have to try harder. Hopefully on the weekend I'll have the time.


I look forward to seeing your results.

At this stage, from the examples @Fred Miranda posted above and from what @Ulysseita wrote:
...If you are looking for something extreme and creative to enrich your photos this is not your product.
These are simulations of a perfect developed film colours so not so far away from the ideal colourimetry of the scene.

...I get the impression that the Cobalt Elite simulations are best for when you want to match the result of Portra or Fuji-H films shot at box speed.

My own interest is in the best emulations of Portra for digital shot in harsh and bright tropical light, for example underexposed by as much as 3 stops (equivalent, of course, to color negative film overexposed by 3 stops): for this, I get the impression that the Cobalt Portra (and Fuji) v3.1 emulations might be better than the Cobalt Elite packs. But let's see what you find.



Jun 01, 2023 at 06:20 AM
Mark Sisco
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · New "Cobalt Elite" Film Emulations - How are they in practice?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Hi Mitch,
I've tried a few of the new Elite profiles and really like the results so far. I snapped some shots today and used the new Kodak Portra 400, Portra 800, Fuji Pro400H, and Classic Neg profiles. To me they are very pleasant.

Except for the 5th image, I didn't use the Cobalt 'Grain' settings for these samples:


Hey Fred,
Thanks for sharing these! Any chance of posting a before and after for a few of the color images (edited but before Cobalt, then with the Cobalt applied)?
Mark



Jun 01, 2023 at 08:46 AM
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