Crunchy Skies after conversion

When posting about Image Conversion Issues, please include the following information:

  1. Which version of Negative Lab Pro are you using?


  1. If using DSLR scanning, please include: 1) camera make/model, 2) lens make/model, 3) light source make/model

Sony A7RIV
Sony G 90mm OSS Macro
Negative Supply Light Source 35

  1. Please add the conversion you are having difficulty with, along with a short description of what you are seeing wrong with it.

If a picture has a lot of blue sky, the skies often end up really crunchy and with a lot of color banding.

  1. It’s not required, but it’s very helpful if you can provide a link to the original RAW or TIFF negative before conversion. If you don’t want to share this file publicly, you can also email it to me at

Hey there!

That’s a classic in problematic conversions. The majority of the image is either blue or white.

Try adding a little bit of the border prior to converting with NLP and you’ll get a much more balanced image to begin with. I have no idea on the interals of NLP and why blue is so problematic, but adding border help.

This is your photo with no further tweaks applied. Straight conversion.

This is the amount of border I left on the photo prior to NLP conversion.


So just crop with a litte bit of border left and then set the border in NLP to 0%?


NLP tries to determine the white and black points in the image and with yours (snow + blue skies) there is no clear blackpoint. Adding the film base as black point helps to balance things out.

Generally it’s adviceable to leave the border out and re-convert with border if you find the conversion to be problematic.

Good luck with your photos!

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Thanks so much! Looks so much better now.

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I would add couple of things to the excellent suggestion by @cvandebroek :
you may add 1 or 11/2 stop while capturing the film image. You want mask/rebate to be as light as possible without clipping . That makes for better colors.
On the side let me note that film holder apparently is not aligned with the camera in the best way. You can see that sky is sharper then the foreground in terms of capturing film grain and defects - you may want to address that. Also the back light illumination is not exactly uniform - as evidenced by that picture where curve is applied to the extreme. That may also lead to certain color disbalance in the final image. Hope this helps.

I had similar cases in which a very tight crop would help. Imagene a thirds grid and only use the center of it, cropping away the outer 8 parts, or crop in from left and right to only leave a small strip. Try to get as big vaiety of colours and tones into the visible part.

Thanks @VladS. The camera is indeed not 100% aligned, because the copy stand I’m using is not able to hold the camera perfectly straight. My light source is also on the cheaper end, so I guess this is why it’s not perfectly uniform.

However, as I’m mostly shooting with a P&S camera I’m quite happy with the results.

…and you can align your camera with a mirror.

Try exporting the file as a 16 bit photoshop file. Sweeting it in photoshop them save a copy to the format you desire.

Tried the images you shared, but don’t get irritating results. Blue saturation is high indeed and the takes seem to be not quite sharp, I could live with the results though.

What do you mean by “crunchy”? Do you mean the noise? Did you take the original photos with P&S camera? Could you be more specific about the film you used?

I know, lots of questions, but the respective answers could help to elaborate if what you get is to be expected or not.

The problem could be as simple as over-saturated blue. This tends to happen when Blue is over-saturated. Try reducing saturation and you may see the problem fading away.

indeed :wink:

My problem is that my conversions don’t show banding or out-of-the-ordinary crunch…and I don’t see it in the attached screens either.