Magenta cast in the shadows

Hey folks,

I bought NLP a couple weeks ago and have been scanning a bunch of C-41 negatives (Portra 400). I’m extremely new to film photography, so I apologize in advance.

My setup is a fairly standard one: light table, Fuji X-T2 with a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 plus extension tubes. I should mention that I’ve developed all the films I’ve scanned with NLP myself at home.

The issue I’m having is this: when I convert a picture with NLP, the shadows almost always tend to have a (sometimes strong) magenta cast. Now, I have no idea if this comes from bad development, if I’m misusing NLP, or if it could be an issue with NLP itself. I’m attaching one RAW image that for me reproduces the issue. I’m on NLP 2.0 and macOS 10.14. To reproduce, I just white balance off the film mask, crop to only the exposed frame, and hit Ctrl-N (with “Frontier” as the scanner simulation).

Here’s the RAW file:

https://filebin.net/ghn98nleidkw5uzx/DSCF6987.RAF?t=riqv0teh

and here’s the converted image I’m looking at:

Thanks in advance!

Hi @whatyouhide!

Honestly, I think the photo you shared looks pretty good! I do see the magenta in the shadows, though, and there are a couple of things you can do to try to fix this.

  1. Make sure you are masking out any light from your light table that isn’t directly illuminating the negative. Direct light from the table can reflect off your camera lens (especially with lens that need to be placed closely to the negative) and this can cause a lot of color balance issues during processing. You can use a piece of thick card-stock paper, and just cut out the appropriate size hole for whatever film mask you are using.
  2. Try using a lower pre-saturation level in NLP. Sometimes the casts are just a result of being overly-vibrant during the conversion.
  3. Use the included color balance tools in NLP - It’s a little bit of an art learning how to use the tools, but well worth it. Here, you could try to remove a bit of magenta from the “darks” in the color sliders.
  4. If all else fails, you can make a positive copy, and then use the HSL tool to lower the saturation of magenta/purple.

Cheers!
-Nate

@whatyouhide

Hiya, if you don’t already have this taken care of by now, I had a similar issue that was a result of my scans. When I was DSLR scanning, the back light I was using was too warm in color. I switched the back light to a white computer background and placed my camera a few inches away to avoid picking up pixels of the screen in my scan. You said you were using a light table, so I’m not sure if yours would be the same issue but I wanted to add a response in case anyone else had the same trouble I did.