Nostalgia - Film Simulation for AfterShot Pro

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Nostalgia - Film Simulator
Nuance - Colour Grading

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A plug-in for the camera RAW image processing program AfterShot Pro.
by Sean M Puckett

What does Nostalgia do?

Nostalgia gives digital images a film look by simulating traditional chemical films such as Tri-X, Kodachrome, Velvia and so on. Nostalgia also simulates familiar papers such as Portra, Multi-Contrast and others. It is the successor to the Bibble plug-ins Andy & Andrea and improves upon them by supporting many more films and papers.

Get Nostalgia Now -- free

Free Version
Installation Package

Windows, Linux and Mac versions in the same download.


To install, launch AfterShot Pro then select File -> Install Plugin... and select the downloaded file.

Help and Feedback

You'll get the fastest response from a large community of users by using the public support forums here: AfterShot Pro support forums.

Purchase Nostalgia Full Version Now

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Suggested pricing is in effect for this plug-in! You can choose from a range of prices during check-out. There's no difference in functionality. All I ask is that you choose a price that is fair and reasonable for you.

No kidding, no catch!

TO BUY: login to plug-in manager.

Sample Images

Original, Kodachrome 64, Polaroid 669, Fomapan/Kentmere, TechPan/Fortezzo, Kodalith/Fortezzo. Image (c) 2012 Sean M Puckett

Original, Tech-Pan 11min/Polymax Filter 0, Tech-Pan 11min/Portra, Fomapan/Brovira-Speed Filter 2, ORTHO Plus PQ 4min/Record-Rapid Soft, Kodalith 2.5min/Portra. All with deep orange or yellow filters. Original image (C) 2011 Sean M Puckett.

Image (c) 2010 <a href="">Frank Stefani photoArt</a>  Frank Stefani Left: original Canon 1Ds III exposure.
Image (c) 2010 <a href="">Frank Stefani photoArt</a>  Frank Stefani Image (c) 2010 <a href="">Frank Stefani photoArt</a>  Frank Stefani
Click to zoom. Sim 1, Kodak Tri X Pan, D76, 7 min / Fomaspeed Variant III, Filter 3
Sim 2, Fomapan 100, Microphen, 11 min / Agfa Brovira Speed, 2 Special (pseudocolour)
Image (c) 2010 Frank Stefani photoArt

I'd like the screenshots here to be from users. So, folks, if you're using Nostalgia, and you're keen on sharing your awesome pictures, get in touch with me. I'll give you full photo credit and link to your site if you wish. I need a "before" picture and an "after" picture, basically one image with Nostalgia disabled then same image again with Nostalgia enabled.

Nostalgia Theory of Operation

Nostalgia simulates the exposure of film in a camera, plus optionally a second exposure of film in a darkroom. Much effort is made to simulate this accurately while still providing adjustments we are accustomed to in the digital world.

Please understand that there's a lot of gibberish in this description that, generally, only very old people will understand. Words like "latitude" and "emulsion" and "slides" which date from the age when film cameras roamed the earth, flapping their loaders and consuming disposable income almost as quickly as iTunes.

Step by Step

Here is how Nostalgia processes your image, and which controls affect each stage:

  1. Digital image data converted to adjusted linear luminance values (RAW Stops)
  2. Camera stock selection and preparation (Camera Stock choice, Film)
  3. Colour filtration applied to luminance data (Filtration Red, Green, Blue)
  4. Camera exposure adjustment (Camera)
  5. Image data "exposed" onto camera stock
  6. Print stock selection and preparation (Print Stock choice, Paper)
  7. Camera-to-print stock exposure balancing (internal calculation)
  8. Darkroom exposure adjustment (Enlarger)
  9. Camera image "exposed" onto print stock
  10. Print exposure final adjustment (Density)
  11. Conversion back to digital image data

When you get confused, and you will get confused, just refer back to the list above to see which control does what. Then, after you've read it for the fifth time and are starting to get dizzy, you can scream and pull your hair out and say Mornington Crescent and boom just like that you win. It's so simple.

Get the Best out of Nostalgia

Here are some tips for getting the best images out of Nostalgia.

  1. No autolevels. Very important: Nostalgia's output is distorted when using Autolevels.
  2. Good white balance. Starting with good colour allows you to use Nostalgia's filter for special effects, instead of correcting bad balance.
  3. Good exposure. It is better to use AfterShot's exposure control to correct a dark image than to use Nostalgia's camera control. Again, this lets Nostalgia's controls be used creatively instead of for correction. (However, do not crush away any highlight detail.)
  4. Maintain highlight headroom. An important characteristic of film is preserving highlight detail. Use AfterShot's highlight recovery if necessary to restore any lost detail in your shot before using Nostalgia.

Simulator Control Reference

Refer to the screenshot to the right for a visual key to these controls.

Top Group

Enable Checkbox

Controls whether Nostalgia affects the image. Turning this checkbox off disables Nostalgia without altering any other settings. If you adjust any settings in Nostalgia while it is disabled, it will be enabled automatically.

Reset Button

Returns all sliders and settings and checkboxes in Nostalgia to standard values. Does not reset choice of film and print stocks, however. Use this if you get "lost" while playing with settings!

Info/Upgrade Button

Shows version and author of the plug-in. (Upgrade appears in the demo version.)

Film & Paper Stock Group

Chooses a film stock and paper stock to simulate. The full roster of stock is shown at the end of this page.

The top menu is the list of film stocks. That is, what you want to put in the simulated camera. Some film stocks have variations available. The variation describes the different behaviour of the stock under different circumstances, i.e. development time, chemical or temperature. Generally the variants have similar looks but more or less contrast. (Similar adjustments in contrast can be made on all films by using the Film latitude control.)

The second stock is the paper you want to print the image on. This is the "second exposure" that is made in the darkroom. Light is shone through the developed camera film onto the raw print stock, which is then developed.

Note that some film stocks are transparencies, slides or direct positives and therefore do not need a second printing step. These are called "positive" films.

Simulation Option Group

These checkboxes control how the simulator operates.

Colour Checkbox

When Colour Process is enabled, all three colour channels are treated separately according to the specific rules of the simulated film and/or print stocks. Note that if either film or paper is a monochromatic (B&W) emulsion, its spectral response will be honoured but each colour channel will be processed individually through the monochrome path causing a full colour output. In this way, you can use the response characteristics of a B&W film for creating colour output.

If you don't want full colour output, turn off Colour Process. When off, incoming colour channel data is condensed according to the spectral response of the film/paper, modulated by the colour filter, and then summed to a single monochromatic value. Note that, even if Colour Process is off, if you are using colour sensitive film/paper, you may get colour tinted output anyway as the response curve of that film/paper might not be identical across the spectrum.

Print Checkbox

Controls whether the second simulation happens. That is, Nostalgia always runs one simulation: camera. If you are simulating a negative film, you'll probably want to print that negative onto a stock that can produce a positive, recognisable image. Similarly, if you're simulating a positive film (i.e. slide film), you don't really need a print -- the slide is the finished product.

Auto Checkbox

When Auto is on, both Colour and Print will automatically change to match the normal process for the simulated film stock. Black & white films will set Colour off, colour films set it on. Negative films turn Print on, positive films turn it off.

Clip Checkbox

When enabled, the image is modified to show you both over-exposure and under-exposure in the processing chain. Do not inadvertently leave this option enabled when you perform final renders!

Exposure Controls

These sliders adjust the simulator directly by adjusting how light passes through it.

Camera Slider

Controls the brightness of the scene sent to the simulated film, in stops. Increase to make the image brighter. Decrease to darken it.

Enlarger Slider

Controls the brightness of the scene sent to the simulated print stock, in stops. Increase to make the image brighter. Decrease to darken it.

Simulation Adjustments

These adjustments control the conversion of data between the real-world image and the simulation.

Density Slider

Sets the contrast level of black vs. white in the final output. Should be left at 5 except when you specifically want to expressly simulate the not-really-black levels of traditional media.

Since typical projection & presentation methods introduce their own not-really-black issues, this is typically not necessary to get a good simulation. However, it can produce very authentic looking results if you are specifically going for an antique film look.

Raw Stops Slider

Specifies the contrast of the source material in stops from deep black to white. Should be realistically set for your capture device. In general, the following chart applies:

  • Point & Shoot camera, high ISO, night/indoors - 5-6 (five stops)
  • Point & Shoot camera, low ISO, daylight outdoors - 6-7 (six stops)
  • Micro 4/3 or other mirrorless compact, 6-8 (six to eight stops)
  • Consumer DSLR, 7-8 (seven stops)
  • Pro DSLR, 8-10 (eight to nine stops)
  • Digital Back, 9-11 (nine to eleven stops)
  • Film scanner raw data, 12-16 (twelve to sixteen stops)

Do not overestimate the capabilities of your capture device. Doing so will cause unpleasant banding and speckles in the shadows. When in doubt, underestimate or perform real world tests to determine the capabilities of your device and compression scheme. The best simulation begins with the most carefully captured and considered data.

Latitude Adjustment Group

Adjusts the contrast of the simulated film and print stocks without significantly altering their individual character, as if we were developing the film for more or less time. This is the advantage of a simulation: we can do things that are otherwise unpossible!

Film Slider

Adds or removes exposure latitude (contrast) across the film response curve.

Paper Slider

Adds or removes exposure latitude (contrast) across the print response curve.

Lens Filtration Group

Adds a colour filter in front of the virtual camera lens.

When Color Process is turned off, the colour filter applies before the spectral condenser and thus may be used to create various levels of spectral sensitivity. In other words, a red filter will cause blue objects to appear dark, while a blue filter will cause blue objects to be light and red objects to be dark.

In order to make Nostalgia easier to use, filter values are normalized so that you will not need to make a compensation adjustment to the camera exposure. This is non-traditional but much less annoying.

Red Filter Slider

Cyan - Red filtration. Move to the right to add varying degrees of red filter. Move to the left to add a cyan filter.

Green Filter Slider

Magenta - Green filtration. Move to the right to add a green filter. Move to the left to add a magenta filter.

Blue Filter Slider

Yellow - Blue filtration. Move to the right to add a blue filter. Move to the left to add

Filter Selection & Stacking

This short list shows some commonly used lens filters for both colour and B&W photography. To use one or more of these filters, select it in the list, then click Stack. The sliders are then adjusted to reflect the additional filtration you've chosen.

You can stack multiple filters by clicking Stack again, as many times as you wish. Note the slider values are adjusted so that overall brightness of the images doesn't change too much no matter how many filters you add -- this is a convenience and doesn't affect the true effect of the filters.

Simulation Roster

In the roster, simulations shown in Bold appear in the free version of Nostalgia. To access all simulations, please purchase the full version of Nostalgia.

See important trademark notice at the bottom of this page.

Camera Stock

Black and White Negative

  • Adox 25 in D-76 (4 variants)
  • Adox 50 in D-76 (4 variants)
  • Adox 100 in D-76 (4 variants)
  • Agfapan 25 in Refinal
  • Agfapan 100 in Refinal
  • Agfapan 400 in Refinal
  • Fomapan 100 in Microphen (3 variants)
  • Fujifilm Neopan 100 in Microphen (4 variants)
  • Fujifilm Neopan 400 in T-MAX (3x), D-76 (3x), SPD (3x)
  • Fujifilm Neopan 1600 in SPD (3x), D-76 (3x), Fujidol (3x), Microfine (3x)
  • Ilford FP4 in Ilfotec HC
  • Ilford PANF in Ilfotec HC (4 variants)
  • Ilford Delta 3200 in Ilfotec
  • Ilford ORTHO (6 variants)
  • Ilford XP2
  • Kodak HS Infrared Unfiltered in D-76 (very strong blue response), and filtered in D19, D-76 and HC-110 (note the simulation does not attempt to fabricate infrared light -- you get the red channel only)
  • Kodak Imagelink HQ in Prostar
  • Kodak Kodalith in Kodalith developer (1 variant) and D-11 (3 variants)
  • Kodak TechPan in HC-110 (3 variants), Technidol (3 variants), and Dektol
  • Kodak Tri-X in T-MAX (4 variants) and D-76 (3 variants)
  • Kodak Verichrome Pan in HC-110 (3 variants) and D-76 (3 variants)

B&W Positive Film

  • Polaroid Polapan 400 (3 temperatures)

Colour Negative

  • Agfa Aviphot 100X (3 variations)
  • Agfa Ultra 100
  • Agfa Vista 100
  • Agfa Vista 200
  • Agfa Vista 400
  • Agfa Vista 800
  • Fuji Pro 160C
  • Fuji Pro 160NS
  • Fuji Superia 200
  • Kodak Portra 160VC
  • Kodak Portra 160NC

Colour Positive Film

  • Agfa Agfachrome RSX II
  • Agfa CTprecisa 100
  • Agfa Aviphot Chrome 200
  • Fuji Astia 100
  • Fuji Provia 100F
  • Fuji Sensia 100
  • Fuji T64
  • Fuji Velvia 100T
  • Fuji Eterna-CP 3521
  • Fuji Eterna-CP 3513
  • Kodak Ektachrome 100D / 7285
  • Kodak Ektachrome 64T / 7280
  • Kodak Kodachrome 200
  • Kodak Kodachrome 100
  • Kodak Kodachrome 64
  • Kodak Kodachrome 40 / 7268
  • Kodak Kodachrome 25
  • Polaroid 600 (3 temperatures)
  • Polaroid 669 (3 temperatures)


Black and White Paper

  • Agfa Brovira-Speed in all six grades (0-5)
  • Agfa Multicontrast Premium with all six filters (0-5)
  • Agfa Record-Rapid in all four grades (1-4)
  • Foma Fomaspeed, four grades (soft-hard)
  • Foma Fomaspeed Variant III, six filters (0-5)
  • Forte Fortezzo in Hard, Normal and Soft
  • Ilford Multigrade IV Fiber, seven filters (00-5)
  • Kentmere Art Classic
  • Kentmere Art Deluxe in Grade 2 and Grade 3
  • Kentmere VC Select seven filters (00-5)
  • Kodak AZO in Grade 2 and Grade 3
  • Kodak Polymax II RC in Dektol, six filters (0-5)
  • Kodak Portra in RA-4 (just one variant)

Colour Paper

  • Agfa Prestige 3
  • Agfa Rapitone C1/C2
  • Fuji Crystal Archive SP
  • Kodak Pro Image II
  • Kodak Ultra Endura
  • Kodak Portra Endura
  • Kodak Supra Endura VC

Important Trademark Notice

Company and product names used on this page and within the Nostalgia plug-in may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks. Use of these terms does not constitute endorsement. The use of these terms in the context of describing the transformation of a digital image is not intended as infringement -- it is an indication of homage and respect. In no way can a digital image manipulation be mistaken for the behaviour and appearance of traditional films, papers and chemicals. Thank you for 150 years of beautiful imagery.

Release Notes

Nostalgia Release Notes.
All content on is the property and responsibility of the contributor. Don't steal. Use your head.