ASTIA. Fujifilm has published Episode 5 – “ASTIA” in their series of “episodes” on their unique Film Simulation modes. ASTIA is close to PRO Neg. Hi, which was covered in episode 4.
Which of the portrait modes to use depends on the lighting available and the effect you’re after.
In a studio where you control the lighting, use PRO Neg. STD. When the subject is in action and the lighting is simple, use PRO Neg. Hi. When there is little or no lighting, use ASTIA to bring out the silky soft look and beautiful skin tones of your subject.
And, since ASTIA also adds a little bit of contrast (hardness in shadow tone) to make a photo sharp, it can also be used outside of portrait photography.
Here’s episode 5 (“ASTIA”) of the “The World of Film Simulation”:
The world of Film Simulation episode #5
The fifth episode is about “ASTIA”.
“ASTIA“, “PRO Neg. STD” and “PRO Neg. Hi” are all designed for portrait photography. All three of them? you may wonder, but this kind of thing makes FUJIFILM unique and different. We are about color and we are about portrait photography.
The common denominator is that soft skin tones and tonality are the selling points for all three film simulation. The difference between them is that they are designed differently to be used under different environment.
“PRO Neg. STD” is designed to be used under perfect lighting, composition, and posing. “PRO Neg. Hi” is designed to be used under simple lighting and subject in action, and “ASTIA” is close to “PRO Neg. Hi”.
“ASTIA” is designed to be used under little or no lighting and subject in action. The film simulation is carefully designed to express the soft skin tones and not to wash out at the high end while making the shadow end a little hard. Tonality is designed so that it is sharp enough even without the use of lighting.
The reproduction of primary colors differentiates “ASTIA” and “PRO Neg. Hi”. “ASTIA” film simulation has its roots in reversal films, so the reversal-like high saturation makes “ASTIA” different from “PRO Neg. Hi”.
If you are shooting portrait or fashion outside with nature in the background, the high saturation of “ASTIA” should help you express the beauty of the clothes that the model is wearing. “ASTIA” is recommended for such use.
In the camera menu, it reads “ASTIA / SOFT”, but this is quite misleading. When you look at the chart, you see that it is softer than standard “PROVIA”, however, the softness is limited only to certain colors like skin color. And you can also see that there are softer film simulations than “ASTIA”.
It is important to remember that “ASTIA” adds hardness in shadow tone to make photo sharp. And that little amount of hardness is convenient for use other than portrait photography.
Taking advantage of the short flange back distance of 17.7mm, there are many X-mount users that enjoy old lenses with the use of mount adapter. “ASTIA” is recommended for such users.
Thanks to the newest optical and processing technology, you are not likely to find the lack of contrast when using current XF lenses. But when you use the lenses from the days that only had limited coating technology and glass materials, the image seems somewhat “loose”.
Of course, you can take full advantage of the “looseness” and enjoy the photography, but it dose not also hurt to remember that “ASTIA” adds a little bit of contrast to your picture. The film simulation helps the main theme of your photo stand out while retaining the old lenses’ characteristics.
And, on the final note, just to be clear, “ASTIA” is certainly recommended for the current XF lenses. It is like another standard film simulation with just a little bit of contrast, and soft skin tone.
Here are all six of “The World of Film Simulation” episodes:
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 1
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 2: CLASSIC CHROME
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 3: Velvia
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 4: PRO Neg.
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 5: ASTIA
- The World of FUJIFILM Film Simulation – Episode 6: PROVIA