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Develop module Digitising colour neg

AlexR

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
56
Location
Radnorshire, UK
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
13
Operating System
  1. macOS 12 Monterey
Anyone have any thoughts as to an appropriate Lightroom curve to apply to digital images of colour negs (of several different types, unfortunately)? The main problem, obviously, is the orange mask.

Alex
 
Anyone have any thoughts as to an appropriate Lightroom curve to apply to digital images of colour negs (of several different types, unfortunately)? The main problem, obviously, is the orange mask.

Alex
The quick and dirty method is as follows:
1. Photograph the negative on a light table. Include a bit of the orange surround but not too much or it will throw out the exposure.
2. White balance on the orange.
3. Create and apply a negative curve. That is, the opposite of the normal linear curve.
4. Process further as required.
With further processing, you'll notice some of the sliders work opposite to normal. If this is problem for you, export the image as a jpeg into the same folder. Synchronize and reimport.
 
Anyone have any thoughts as to an appropriate Lightroom curve to apply to digital images of colour negs (of several different types, unfortunately)? The main problem, obviously, is the orange mask.

How are you digitizing the color negative images? With a film scanner, or with a camera?

I use a film scanner, using VueScan software which can automatically invert color negative film and remove the orange mask, so when I import those scans into Lightroom Classic, they come in as positive images with neutral color balance, with no need to use the Develop controls backwards. VueScan also comes with a range of profiles for various films, but for some reason I like leaving it set to Generic Color Negative. As for the exact curve to use, that seems to depend on what exposure, contrast, color, and clipping values I set in the scanning software. I did make a Tone Curve preset that works well as long as I scan using certain settings.

If I didn’t already have VueScan to run my film scanner and convert the negative images to positive, or if I was digitizing film with a camera, I would probably be using Negative Lab Pro, because I keep hearing such good things about it.
 
If you don't have the equipment to do as Conrad mentioned (your original post would indicate not), then try the Negative Lab Pro software - there's a trial for 12 negs, it really is simple and if you have a volume to do, well worth it!
 
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