Photography, Reviews

Film Styles For Capture One reviewed

There’s one thing Capture One has always missed: true film styles like those of Dxo Filmpack or Alien Skin’s Exposure. Film Styles For Capture One seeks to fix this. Alexander Svet, a professional photographer and Phase One Certified Professional has spent a good number of years recreating film looks for Capture One. The Film Styles For Capture One bundle he came up with has over 100 B&W and colour film styles combined. That’s no small feat as Capture One doesn’t offer much support for third parties to extend functionality.

Just like Alien Skin, Alex Svet didn’t scan films for Film Styles For Capture One but recreated them based on research and experience. When you buy his styles bundle, you’ll get two folders — one for Capture One 7 and one for version 8 — with each two subfolders (B&W and Color). You can either use the Import feature of Capture One Pro to import the styles, or drop the folders into Capture One’s styles folder in the Library. There’s a good explanation on the developer’s website on the benefits of each method as well as on how to go the second, manual installation route.

I opted for the manual folder drop as this is the easiest way to organise your styles in the B&W and Color categories already created by the developer. Starting up Capture One Pro 8 felt as zippy as always, but in the Styles and Presets drop-down I could now find my B&W and Color User Styles under the Styles Library tab. The list of films Alex Svet and his team have recreated is impressive, with a number of film types I have yet to see in products like Filmpack and Exposure. For example, Kodalith and Panatomic are films I can’t find in DxO Filmpack, but only in Film Styles For Capture One and Exposure. Colour films like PL PX-70 and PX-680 are exclusive to Film Styles For Capture One.

Film Styles For Capture One

The quality of the film styles is identical to Filmpack or Exposure, i.e. the film types that I can still refer to — a handful of B&W and colour films — are very close to what Alex Svet has made of them. I therefore assume the other types are just as close to the real thing. There’s one thing the Film Styles For Capture One don’t have, though: grain.

Grain is something you need to set yourself — remember, these are styles, not exact duplicates of real film. Capture One Pro 8 makes it very easy to add grain — different types of it even — and create just the look you want. But if your goal really is to have an exact duplicate of the film type you’re using, you might dislike it not to have been set up by default. I personally don’t mind setting grain myself for two reasons:

  • It’s a style, not the film itself.
  • Grain depends on film size as much as on film type; having grain preset for every size of film from 35mm to medium and perhaps large size as well would have made up for 300 or 400 styles, which isn’t really practical anymore.

With Filmpack and Exposure you can set grain yourself, but these developers did choose to predefine a grain setting. That results in, with me anyway, a psychological barrier against changing it (“This is the way the film looked, so when I change it, it won’t be the exact film look anymore”). I know that’s nonsense, but especially with Filmpack it’s real film I’m dealing with in my mind. With looks like Film Styles For Capture One I don’t have that and I don’t feel that restricted.

A nice side-effect of having these styles in Capture One is when you hold the mouse over a style in the drop-down, you can immediately see the changes reflected in the image as well as the settings listed in an info pop-up.

Film Styles For Capture One costs approx. €44.50. In my opinion, it is worth double the price.

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J.D. – Copywriter – Tech. Writer – Editor at Visuals Producer – Contributor at Photoshop User, Studio Daily, POST Magazine – Sub-editor at RedShark News