Color Issues within Lightroom CC

Hello everyone,

I am really hoping someone here can help me with this problem. I have been using this software for quite a while and generally am really impressed with it. But it is very common for me to get results like this from the conversion process.

It usually takes an extremely long time from here to get a decent looking image but after that, the colors only look decently right. What am I doing wrong?

I capture the negative with my Nikon DSLR. White balance it with the outside of the image area of the film. Crop so it is just the image with no border and this is my result?


It would be helpful to know more about your setup

  • Light Source
  • Lens
  • Film
  • How film was developed (home or lab?)

An immediate thing I notice…

From the screenshot, it looks like there is direct light from your light table that is not being masked out. This can cause some major issues to color consistency and conversions.

Even in the conversions earlier in the strip that turned out better, you can see areas that should be “white” are a weird mix of yellow and blue… that’s likely from either lens flare, sensor flare, or reflections in the film.

So you may have to scan these again, paying special attention to that and making sure to mask out ALL the light on the light table that is not directly illuminating your frame.

Another trick you can do… I see that some of the earlier frames did convert more neutrally (like frame 15). Select that frame, hold down “shift” and click this bad conversion. Then open NLP, go to the edit tab, and select “Sync Scene.” This will take a known “good” conversion and apply it to this image. You can then edit further in NLP.

Hope that helps!
Creator of Negative Lab Pro

Hey Nate,

Thank you for the detailed response! I’ll try and clarify some of my process.

  • My light source is a light table that is about 8.5x11". I place my negatives in a film holder and lay this directly on the light table.
  • the lens I use is a 55mm macro lens.
  • The film stock is Kodak UltraMax 400 shot at box speed
  • Home developed with fresh C-41 chemicals from Unicolor (I believe)

So from what I gather from you response about masking, you mean blacking out all areas of the lightbox that are not being used to illuminate the negative? This would eliminate any spill light onto my cameras sensor that could be affecting the scan?

Again, thank you so much for this response!

Yep, you got it!

Just be aware that all light tables are not equal when it comes to color reproduction. See this post:


I got home and made a little cover that will go over everything except the negative I am scanning and did a very rough test. I made sure that the only light in the room was the one coming through the negative.

I seem to be getting fairly similar results.

Hmm… Ok, have you tried using “sync scene” from one of the earlier shots in the roll that has appeared to convert better?

Could you send me the RAW file via PM or email (, and I’ll have a look at it? Just want to rule out any issues in your LR environment, and maybe provide some tips on how to process the colors in this…


Just sent you an email with the RAW file attached,


Hey! Got it, thank you for sharing!

I should have mentioned this earlier, but you should also try to mask out the sprocket holes. Have the mask in between the light source and the film, and have it mask out those sprocket holes. The sprocket holes allow for direct light from the light table to hit your lens, which can cause lens flare, or reflection in the lens… it also can cause light to enter the enter the film “through the side” of the film (i.e. not directly illuminated.

That may help improve the initial conversion and provide more consistent color across the frame.

Still, it is possible to get this in a good place using only Negative Lab Pro…

First, for whatever reason, you can see that the colors are “over-separated” - so some of the yellow is green, and other parts look more like it should. To fix this, start with a LOWER pre-saturation. Here, I used a Pre-Sat value of 1.

Second, it appears this negative was probably over-exposed a bit. Because of this, it has a hard time finding a good reference “black” in the scene. You can adjust this using the “shadows” color correction. Here, I’ve added a good deal of yellow, magenta and red (looking at it now, I think I went overboard on the red, haha).

But you can see that this is a lot editability in here!