My colors always suck (Epson GT-X970 + VueScan)

Hi there !

Sorry if I’m posting in the wrong category… I don’t exactly know what is the source of my problem.

I’m scanning my negs using a (Japanese) Epson GT-X970 which is supposed to be the strict equivalent of the Perfection 850, except for the drivers.

However, for some unknown reason, my colors always turn out terrible (strong color casts, weird tonality etc.) with the standard settings and auto WB.

Here is my workflow :

  • I meter with my Minolta Auto Meter IVf
  • Shoot using my Mamiya RB67, generally on Fuji 160/400h
  • Develop at Bic Camera (big electronic store here in Japan)
  • Scan on the GT-X970 with VueScan, NLP recommended settings, to RAW DNG
  • Import into Lightroom, prepare VueScan files, read metadata from files, WB from the border
  • Convert using NLP with default parameters and Auto-Neutral WB

I generally tweak the settings to the best of my ability (I’m not very good at post processing) but am never satisfied with the colors and tonality, especially compared with other people’s results using the same film/camera.

I assume it could be one of several reasons :

  1. NLP installation issue
  2. Bad lighting in the first place
  3. Scanning issue in Vuescan
  4. Bad metering : over or underexposed film
  5. Scanner malfunction
  6. Film processing issue
  7. Nothing is wrong at all and my expectations are just too high

It’s probably unlikely to be a processing issue or a scanner malfunction, and I also don’t think the metering is completely off…

Here are 2 DNG RAW files (sorry for the wetransfer link, not sure how else to upload). They’ve both been taken in the shade, in mid-afternoon. The Fuji 160NS one was during a pretty sunny day, the other one during an overcast day. I’ve rated the Fuji at box speed and the Portra at 320 (1/3 stop over). I’ve metered for the shadows in both.

Thanks in advance for your help :slight_smile: