Reds look like pink -- is it my light source?


Just want to share some of my recent issues with scanning. I have this issue where the reds in the photo appear as pink or as magenta. This can be corrected out in lightroom of course, but is highly annoying. It hasn’t been an issue for other colors, and the rest of my scans look excellent with NLP. Please compare the left NLP file (Frontier, pre-sat 3) and the right Frontier lab scan. Film is Kodak Gold 200, camera used is a Nikon D3400 with a 55mm 3.5.

I’m using a light source with a purported CRI of ~80. I think that might be the issue, but I was wondering if people can chime in to see if that’s the problem before I go running out and buying a new light source.

I have attached the negative file too, so you can take a crack at it. I wonder if I’m doing something wrong, or if it’s the light source. I have checked with an iphone XR too as a backlight per recommendations of the forum, but it causes the same pink issue too.


CRI values of 80 a fairly common for good household lights, but not very good for the lighting in our scenario here.

Depending on where the dips in the spectrum are, any kind of hue shift is possible and your lamp seems to affect red tones. For better results, get something with a CRI of 95 and above. In order to see the difference, you can try to shoot the negative with a sunlit white paper as a backlight…

In a case like this, there are two things I’d try:

  1. Try it with the white balance set to the white balance of the light from the light table. In this case, I was able to get better color with a white balance setting of 6500K, +10 tint. When everything goes right, then the white balance should be helping… but in some cases, it can exacerbate issues with the light. So it is worth a try.
  2. Try adjusting the HSL panel using the selector and dragging in the image to change specific hues. It can work wonders on the negative.

Here’s a quick attempt at the NEF you posted.

I had the white balance set to 6500K, +10. Then after the settings you see in Negative Lab Pro, I used the HSL tool to adjust the specific hues as you see on the right.

BUT… it shouldn’t take that much effort, so I’d look at potentially getting a better light table.


Thanks everyone for the quick replies, yes I realised the problem was solved by having a better light source. Funnily enough, when I converted as a Vuescan DNG, presat Frontier 3, it was a lot less pink than when I used the DSLR setting.

Any reasons why? Just curious.