Hi there! I am having a hard time getting halfway decent colors via a Camera scan. I’m using a gx85 or gh5 to scan in my negatives on a simple amazon light table (I realize cheaper light tables have lower tlci and cri ratings but I didn’t think they could be this wonky). Through my v600 I’m scanning as a positive and converting through NLP in LR, and the colors look amazing. If I capture the negs with my Digi cam and convert with NLP my colors are absolute garbage. Any suggestions? I have a hard time believing it could be the Light table’s fault, but who knows.
Try to shoot against daylight instead of your light table in order to see if this makes a difference.
It could also help if you posted a screenshot of a wonky conversion. Trying to convert an image several times over will make the colours go off.
Something like this…
…needs a reset: Click on UN-CONVERT
Sure thing, I’ll give that a go!
Here is the two separate scanning methods.
(More saturated and truer to life colors is the Epson)
It’s not as bad as I thought it would be…
…but definitely needs some additional adjustments. I propose that you run a series of tests with different pre-saturation levels and scanner emulations. After conversion, try different film settings and play with the sliders.
NLP is a fairly nice converter, it is quick and gets decently close to whatever the target is. Sometimes it’s spot on, and sometimes, it needs an extra push or two.
I also get the impression that I see a kind of yellowish gradient/edge on the righthand side of the image, maybe from some stray light. Try to eliminate all light but the one that serves as a backlight, shield all leaks with cardboard or whatever you have at hand. Darken the room. Maybe try a closer crop.
Sure thing, this was the best result I could get from trying different scanner emulations and tone presets inside of the NLP settings for my Camera scan. The only adjustment I did to the Epson scan was an exposure boost, the Digi scan was manipulated as best as possible with the sliders, the yellow cast in the highlights just wouldn’t go away, without having to convert the conversion to a tiff and then desaturate the yellows in LR. I’m wondering if this could have anything to do with the 16bit capture of the epson scan? To get that richness in all the channels? At the same time, I feel like it shouldn’t be an issue because the gh5 takes 12bit RAW stills. I feel like I’d only see a difference in blocking and banding, which they look identical in that department. I’ll have to test some more!
May I ask which light source you are using? To me, it seems like the light source is the one giving you trouble when digitalising your negative here. I believe the yellow cast have been discussed in here before
Be sure you are using a very high CRI/high TLCI light source. There is a thread on here with examples of how much that affects the results. It can be dramatic.
Also watch this: https://youtu.be/c9Dj5WwX_WY
Does it happen with different films and if so do you get the same yellow color. It looks like the whole image has a yellow cast that is dulling the colors, this should be easy to fix in LR or NLP by adjusting the white balance, but it would be a pain if every single image from every roll of film required this.
I assume the two images posted were crops? what did you actually scan, did it include the sprockets or film edges as stray light can get through these. Also where did you sample for white balance in LR, if you did a sprocket hole it will be off.
I suppose the things I would look at would be:
- Check cameras white balance setting, try different ones, do these make a difference?
- Mask off any stray light from the light table and don’t shoot the sprocket holes.
- If you can, try a different light source which would show any issues with the light table, although I used a crappy light table for ages and it wasn’t bad at all.
- Make sure you take the WB in LR from the film edge.
- Play around with the NLP settings, for me I prefer Linear + Gamma and then I play with the film settings that look best but generally leave the heavy lifting to LR or Capture One using a Tiff. But can’t say I have had anything like yours consistently, sometimes the odd scans get through. I do find that the other drop down settings for linear: “Linear” or “Linear flat” tend to dull the image, but don’t add casts. They look somewhat like your example, without the yellow cast.
- Can you try another camera? you never know.
After that, I’m not sure.
I’ve seen strange orange casts on a cheap Amazon light table — tried that early on when I was building my scanning setup, mostly because I knew it wouldn’t be great but wanted to see the difference for myself so I could understand and explain/teach better, having firsthand experience.
The cheap light tables seem to be ok for B&W scans as long as the brightness is consistent — and of course as regular light tables for viewing, but I would trust the recommendations from Nate and others and just go for a high CRI light source.
I had problems with the orange cast but managed to get rid of them by masking out all areas on the lighttable that where not covered by the film holder (used black gaffer tape). Try to make sure you have no stray light coming from your light source.