Color in center and edge

Hi, I developed a 30 year old film and the colors of the cherry blossoms are ok at the edge but white in the center. Is there anything I can do to change this? So e.g. more color in the center?

I guess you could try playing around with the graduated filter in Lightroom, one on each side, then changing the WB & tint. You’d certainly improve it that way. Perhaps save as a tiff first so that the sliders work the right way.

First of all, welcome to the forum @Wilfried

IMO, your first step should be to verify if the falloff is already present in your negative or is added by your setup, e.g. the lighting and/or lens vignetting.

To check the negative, take a capture each of the left and right parts, crop out the rebate and try the conversion. If the colour is still wrong, but in the same area as before, the negative seems to be the cause. Reposition your backlight and do the same as before and third, change aperture settings to see if the issue changes. A capture of the backlight (without film and film holders) should also help to assess the situation. You can also find more info on similar effects in the user guide or other posts.


Hi, thanks for your answers. I don’t think that the setup itself is causing the “problem”, as other films scans are ok (Olympus OM-1 + 30mm macro, Valoi 360 holder on CS-Lite light source).
I have a theory and maybe you can tell me if that sounds reasonable. I used a more than 20 year old Kodak Gold 200 film. Because of the age I shot the film at ISO 50 (2 stops more light). The negatives are all quite dark, so I think they are overexposed. Therefore, in the center the color burned out. At the edges, because of the lens vignetting (Canon FD 50mm f1.8), the exposure was lower and the colours came out.

I’m wondering if other frames on this roll showed precisely the same effects or if there were any other clues, anything in the unexposed rebates that might help to explain this? In particular can you actually see this effect by examining the actual negative over a light box?

Sound advice from Digitizer to test if it was the copying setup, there have been a relatively large number of posts where ‘shading’ from the light source when copying can produce edge effects like this, especially with certain film holders combined with unmasked light sources though they’re not normally quite as extreme as this. Relatively simple to discount with this particular frame by taking the steps suggested and also copying a blank unexposed piece of film can be useful. However it looks as if you have already discounted that possibility if other films don’t show it.

Your theory is interesting but it doesn’t quite ring true for me simply because I used the Canon FD f1.8 and f1.4 50mm lenses for many years and I would never expect to see appreciable vignetting with normal scenes like this one, and that was with both colour and black & white negative and colour transparency. Inevitably it will have been there to a degree I suppose and it would have varied with aperture. Also, I appreciate that this film looks to be over-exposed so that could be a factor but the edges in your positive above don’t appear to be materially darker, they just have a different colour balance and if anything to me they are slightly lighter. I wonder if in fact with a few tweaks in NLP you could bring back or correct for the colour in the central section at the expense of the outer areas.

On the other hand I don’t have another theory!

Is it just me or is there a significant “bleed” of the color into the sky on both the left and right sides of the image (it’s really obvious on the right side.) Plus, the skin tones look odd in the scan. You may have an issue with the age of the film as you suggested in your original post.

Try to do a manual vignette correction before the conversion (lens correction panel, manual). Amount +20 and midpoint -100. I also use Valoi 360 and CS-Lite panel. Sometimes corners have a red tint ( not so pronounced as in your photo) and I correct them that way

Thanks for the answers and suggestions. I have made some experiments:

I scanned over two images (2024_P3260001). In this scan, the center is darker and the edges are lighter. So I would say, the vignetting is on the negative and not through the scanning.

In 2024_P3260003, I have cropped the image to just the top-middle part, converted with NLP and cropped back to the full image. The image is darker but some color in the center came back.

In 2024_P3260003-2, I did a manual vignette correction before converting with NLP. Again some color is back in the center without having the image looking too dark.

2024_P3230020 is from the same day, but different film (Revue), same scan/development process.

So my conclusion is, old film could be difficult to handle. I think, the vignette corrections gives the best results. The Kodak is definitely overexposed, so two stops more was too much. The exposure of the Revue is good (also two stops more) and the scan gives good results.

Old film can be difficult to handle and I tried NLP with transparencies that are about 70 years old…with fairly good results:

As for negatives, most of the films I convert are between 30 and 50 years old and most of them convert fairly well. Overexposed or thin (underexposed) negatives are more difficult to convert, but results can be improved if e.g. the overexposed (“blown”) parts are excluded from NLP’s analysis - by cropping said parts off before converting. It takes a bit of time and exercise to find out, when and what crop to apply though.

I mostly set “Border Buffer” to something between 15% and 25%, also in order to not have to crop before converting, and in order to focus NLP on the “important” central parts of the images.

I would come to a different conclusion in fact, the ‘scan’ across 2 frames shows the edges of the ‘scan’ are still lighter and have a different colour balance as in your orginal scan that you posted. The two edges captured in the centre don’t show this. To me that points to a problem with the copying setup.

If you have vignetting with the lens that you have used in your film camera then the negative will be lighter around the edges as it receives less exposure but when inverted it will show as a darker vignette, simply representing how your camera saw the scene with that lens, just as you might see it through the viewfinder if it’s an SLR and you were looking out for it.

This particular problem with some combinations of film holder and light source is counter-intuitive, the edges receive less light because of ‘shading’ so the negative is darker towards the edges and the inverted image will be lighter, as it is here.

I had exact same issue (with easy valoy35 + micro-nikkor 2.8/60). The root-cause is heavy vignetting produced by your lens/tubes/light-source combination. it is fixable via ‘lens correction/vignette’ settings in lightroom - just try playing around it.

I changed the setup and used a different lens for the scan. After also applying Flat-Field Correction the images are better. Now there is no vignetting visible for me and also no orange tint on the edge.

After adding some magenta to the highs I come closer to what I want:

Thanks for your help so far :smile:

Any idea how to get better colors for the overall picture?

Any idea of what “better” is?

Considering the age of the original material, this is possibly what it can deliver, but you can also play with saturation, hue shifts, tonality, rendering etc., all doable in the second tab of NLP or, on an exported 16 bit TIFF, in Lightroom.

I used “play” to express the learning process. Try something, proceed or go back etc. None of us can tell you what “better” is but you.

Read here: