Not preserving highlights in Black and White conversions

Hello everyone.

I’ve been using NLP for a while now with my Epson V700, scanning DNG’s in Silverfast 9. I’ve noticed a recurring problem, where the highlights get blown out despite there being detail in the negative.

This is a crop of a sample image taken recently, converted with NLP:

The highlights on the branches are very blown out, but looking at a scan of the negative there is definitely detail.

For good measure I converted the same DNG file in photoshop and here said highlights stay intact.

I’ve tried fiddling around with the settings, scanning at 1.8 gamma in SF and tried bringing the exposure down in NLP but no luck yet. Maybe I’m just a dummy missing something, I’d be very happy if someone has an idea! :slight_smile:

Here is a sample of the negative before conversion:

And what it looks like flipping the image in Photoshop:


The default tone profile (LAB-Standard) adds a fair bit of contrast and pushes the blackpoint/whitepoint right up to clipping.

If you want to start with a flatter, more neutral tone profile, try changing the profile to one of the “Linear” or “Cinematic” tone profiles. The flattest tone profile would be “Linear + Flat.”

Also, you can specifically adjust end points using the “BlackClip” and “WhiteClip” settings. For instance, if you want lots of room, you can set them both to “-15”.

You can learn more here:

Hello Nate,

Thank you for confirming my dummy theory and solving my issue. No idea how I looked over that!

Kind regards!