Color Temperature Not Correct

I used to scan my film on an Epson V600 but I recently decided to switch to digital camera scanning because digital camera have higher resolution scan. However, I quickly realize there might be some color temperature issues that I need help from the community.

First of all, the digital camera scan is really good, the sharpness can really takeover the Epson V600. However, the color looks not right. As you can see on the screenshot, the left is a lab scan from a Noritsu scanner, the right one is from my Canon 6D. I do not have a Epson V600 but I expect the color is more on the Noritsu side based on my past experience even though it is not really sharp.

Can anyone know how can i fix this?

Some debug information:
FIlm Stock: Kodak Portra 400 (35mm, shot at ISO 200)
Scan using: Canon 6D, 100mm L macro, (shot at F8 and ISO 100, tried both auto white balance and day light)
Back light source: Raleno plv-s116
I follow exactly as the NLP Guide and the Nate’s guide (take WB from the film border)
I also turned off all the light, take off the UV filter.

Given all of those info, is this consider normal? If this is normal, I might buy a film scanner instead because the color temperature makes it look like I am not shooting film at all, it is the color temperature of digital literally, not to mention this is film and Portra 400 (warmer).

Please ignore the white box, i put it there on purpose to block out my friend’s face :))

Thank you!

Hi @zli824,

Honestly, this isn’t that far off.

To me at least, the NLP conversion is more true to life, but you can match the Noritsu conversion here with just a few adjustments:

  1. Increase the “Lights” in NLP
  2. Increase the “Lab Glow” in NLP
  3. Add a bit more yellow to the “Temp” slider in NLP
  4. Go to the “shadows” color tab, and add some green to the shadows

I’d also be happy to show you the exact settings to match here if you’d like. Just send the raw to me at

Why doesn’t is match exactly off the bat?

  1. There are a LOT of variables at play. At the Lab, you have a technician making decisions on color balance and tone. You have differences based on how the machine is calibrated (or not calibrated). In some labs, they may digitally alter the file after conversion. And at home, there are also a lot of variables, like the light source used, the sensor of the camera, etc… I try to account for these variables as best as possible, but I can’t also account for it perfectly.
  2. Also, the initial conversions in NLP try to protect shadows and highlights from being blow out. In this case, you can see how the lab scan has essentially washed out the sky in the background, while NLP renders a blue sky. The “washed out” look may be desirable to you in the case, but it is not desirable to all users (especially coming from a lab, where the 8-bit JPEG they return has lost a ton of edibility). My goal is for the initial conversion to get as close as possible off the bat, but give users the tools to further interpret their photos as they wish.

Hope that helps!

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Well, you’ve heard from the expert there and I agree completely. It’s subjective I know but I’d be thrilled if I got the result on the right, it looks like a positive advertisement for the benefits of using NLP to me. Fuji didn’t design colour negative Portra 400 to give insipid overly warm prints, it was supposed to actually portray the scene as it was, with a bit of Fuji pizzaz thrown in. As Nate has said I think it’s more than colour temperature, I can see how you can possibly make some adjustments to go from the camera scan on the right to make it look more like the Noritsu scan on the left but I’m pretty sure you couldn’t do it the other way, much of the colour information seems to be missing.

Aaagh - Kodak Portra, my mistake, the same applies though.

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Thanks @nate, I am pleased to have your reply. I am sorry for my late reply as I was busy on the weekday and I finally have time to take a deeper look into this.

First of all, thank you for offer me the opportunity to me that you are happy to help me match the color with the Noritsu. I really do not want to bother you a lot and I will might try to figure it out myself as I might need to do more similar color adjusting myself in the future.

I agree with you that I notice that the highlight blown out in some of the pictures i got from this roll using the lab scanner. Speaking back to the post, I played with the ‘Advanced’ tab and change the WB Density to ‘Natural Density’ and WB Type to ‘Midtone Weighted’ and I suddenly got the result 90% matched to the Noritsu. I am not saying that I need NLP to be exactly the same as Noritsu or Frontier (then why I am scanning myself). But i do agree that those color getting from the lab machine is somehow look more natural and look close to the actual film stock color. So 90% with some slightly manual adjustment should make me happy in order to maintain some consistent across my work.

I will play with the settings more and also try to adjust the picture using your suggestion with the original default setting.

Thanks again!

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I agree. This is actually my first few frame using my new 100mm macro scan. I need to play the setting more and see what works for me and which settings fit me the best. I still see many advantages of using a DSLR scanning, mainly the sharpness always make me to put my V600 on Craigslist. Next, I will try to figure out what settings will give me the result as close to (or better than) the lab scan. I am just not a fan of editing picture and this is one of the reason why I shot film rather than digital now. :laughing:

I understand that you don’t want to get too involved in the processing right now so hopefully Nate’s suggestions will get you closer to how you want things to look. The good thing is if you’re shooting RAW with your digital scanning setup you’ll be capturing all the colour information so in the future you might decide to go for a different look.

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If you are not a fan of editing pictures then moving to digital may not have been a good decision. A well exposed RAW file rarely looks great straight out of the camera or scanner and every device will produce a different ‘look’ at least initially. RAW represents a ‘maximum data capture’ and is quite different to the way we expose film. The RAW capture should regarded simply as starting point for our own creative manipulations in achieving whatever result we find pleasing. As in your example, there is nothing wrong with either scan - they are just subject to different interpretations.