The problem with Filmist 2 no one is talking about …

In late November, Gavin Seim released the Filmist 2 preset pack over at Seim Effects. I was busy at the time, so didn’t clock the release until mid-December or thereabouts. If you’ve spent any time on this blog, or seen my newsletters, you likely know how much I like the original Filmist presets. They’re great, and so I was excited about this new upgrade. And we were preparing to leave on a trip to Barcelona for the year’s end, so I thought, “Hey, this is great! I’ll come back from Barcelona with a heap of fresh images I can use to review the new Filmist presets!”

But oh, what a fool am I!

Let me be blunt. Filmist 2 has a major problem.

That problem is, the F SENSIA 100 preset is so good, I haven’t been able to try anything else.

Seriously, there are 53 different film styles in Filmist 2, and I’ve used exactly ONE of them. I would love to try the others, but I just … can’t. I mouse over the other presets, but I always come back to F SENSIA 100. Maybe it’s the spirit-film of Barcelona? Deep in the city’s urban soul, its truest self is expressed in F SENSIA 100 … ?!?!

Or maybe Gavin Seim is a madman. Certainly, he’s gone too far this time. F SENSIA 100 is too good. Just look at these before-and-after comparisons.

And man, I have done so little to these images. It’s not right I’ve done so little and they should look so good.

I cannot speak to the accuracy of the film simulation — I personally have no experience shooting Fuji’s Sensia films — but Gavin does his homework researching these film stocks, shooting, comparing, tweaking the Filmist presets like some sort of barmy alchemist.

These images aren’t from Barcelona, but are older images from Busan, Seoul Korea that I like to use for color comparisons. Mind the captions; left-to-right, they are unprocessed raw, F Sensia 100F from Filmist 1.9, and F SENSIA 100 from Filmist 2.

Honestly, I had no particular feelings about F Sensia 100F in the first Filmist collection. Looking at it now, I feel the contrast is too high, the reds are too muted, and parts of the image feel overcooked, while others feel under done. I’m not sure I ever used it.

But now in Filmist 2, I can’t use anything else.

I love the way that it pitches skies into cyan. It pops reds, and kisses every image with a bit of sunshine. It breathes life into greens, deepens shadows, and does it all with respect to the scene’s natural colors. The raw files might be dull, but F SENSIA 100 brings the images back to life, makes them feel the way I felt when I shot them, when I was there. And that’s the whole point of processing, is it not?

And the preset does so much of the heavy lifting, I hardly have to do anything at all. It’s almost insulting how little I, the photographer, have to do to these images. It’s too easy. Too easy. I’ll walk you through the recipe I’ve been using, start to finish; mind the captions.

So, I click two presets, adjust two sliders, and the image is done. IT’S TOO EASY!!

I am no longer afraid of photographers being replaced by artificial intelligence. I am afraid of being replaced by Filmist. Like, do I even need to work at this now? Click, click, slide, slide, done. What next?! Is Filmist 3 going to come along and just take the photos for me?! I won’t even need my camera anymore?!

Now I understand why Gavin has been hiding in Mexico all these years. He’s probably on an FBI watchlist. Filmist is becoming too dangerous. It starts with F SENSIA 100, and it ends with the world on fire, in sun-kissed flames against a glorious cyan sky!

I don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll explore the rest of what’s in Filmist 2. But at least not until I’ve finished my Barcelona pics. F SENSIA 100 to the very end.

UPDATE: Gav agrees that F SENSIA 100 is overpowered at the moment, and promises it will be nerfed in an upcoming balance patch, paving the way for a new KODAChrome/Velvia meta.

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