About two months ago I received an email from TotallyRad! Inc, a company known for awesome Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. They asked me to review their new film presets for Adobe Lightroom – presets that allow photographers quickly and easily edit images so that the final product looks as if it were shot on different types of film.
I am a huge film photography aficionado – I shot film professionally for many years and even when I switched to digital for all of my commercial work I still shoot a ton of film for personal projects. When VSCO came out with Adobe Lightroom presets about two years ago, I was completely blown away. They did an amazing job of replicating all the wonderful tonal properties of different films and crossing the bridge between digital and analog images.
When TotallyRad! asked me to review their new presets, I was very hesitant – while I generally embrace change, I’ve been in love with VSCO film presets for so long, I did not want to try another product. A few weeks ago I finally got enough free time to sit down and play with Replichrome presets for a few hours. Let me tell you, they are pretty damn great.
While VSCO offers separate sets of Lightroom presets specifically calibrated for Nikon and Canon cameras, Replichrome presets are split based on commercial film scanners – Noritsu and Frontier.
I edited a single image using most presets by both VSCO and Replichrome. All Replichrome edits were done using Noritsu presets (since I prefer tonal qualities of that particular scanner). Each pair of images has a Replichrome edit at the top and a VSCO edit on the bottom. Even though both companies offer presets for simulating under- and over-exposure, I edited this image using standard exposure setting. The image was straight out of the camera and edited ONLY using the presets.
Fuji Reala 100 (Replichrome only)
Kodak BW 400CN (Replichrome only)
Kodak Portra 160
Kodak Portra 400
Kodak Portra 800
Kodak T-MAX 3200
Kodak Tri-X 400