Scanning Postive Film / Slide Film - workflow

Hi. I am just starting out trying to scan some slide film. Have had good experiences with negatives and NLP but this is another issue. So…

My slides all look good when held up to light. Limited dynamic range, but what you’d expect from slide film.

I scan a colour target first using a Sony A7R4 in raw to give a white balance

Then I scan each frame. When setting exposure for the frames I try to use the camera suggestion unless I need to change it. The preview image generally looks OK, pulling in detail in the blacks and maintaining highlights.

The final raw files are another issue. They generally skew to the dark side, crushing the detail in the blacks (which is definitely there in the slide). Worse, this does not seem to be recoverable in LR.

I’ve seen a few people suggest using a linear profile instead of Adobe Colour as the base for editing. Would this help? It feels like the slide has too much dynamic range for the camera, but I am sure that can’t be true.

Does anyone have a workflow for getting good slide conversions with a camera?

Try linear profile - I use it for capture and later on adjust RAW if needed.
Also might try to open raw’s with different softwares or computers - just to make sure there is nothing wrong with LR…like some wierd setting is off or something like that.

Also, maybe try to share target + few samples?

*Not 100% sure how it works in LR as I run Capture One.

Thanks. Will give a linear profile a try. Found a site which does them for particular cameras. Is the NLP 2.3 profile linear?

As for examples, this one is quite helpful. I’ve done it here at 2 exposures. When I took the original (the second shot) it looked like it had detail in highlights and shadows but the image in LR had very crushed blacks (though that highlight was recoverable)

The other exposure shows how there is actually a lot of detail in those shadows but the highlights are now totally gone.

Your camera clearly has a modern sensor with a dynamic range that is amongst the highest that you can get, confirmed on the PhotonsToPhotos site, perhaps this slide just has too much dynamic range to capture in a single exposure. Have you tried HDR merging the two separate exposures, I even wonder if your camera’s 4-shot pixel shift mode could help though that has to be done in a separate program of course. I use a humble Fuji X-T2 and for difficult slides I need to use HDR but for one very difficult high-contrast slide I was amazed at how a friend could deal with it in a single exposure on his Nikon D800 so I am surprised that you’re having these issues.

That’s what I thought too. It’s not actually my camera - belongs to a setup in work. Might see if I can work out the HDR mode.

Very easy to try HDR Photo Merge in Lightroom with those 2 exposures, might be all you need. Since it isn’t your camera you may not know that the 4-shot mode on that Sony in theory cancels out the interpolation needed on any Bayer sensor camera. I’ve not seen it demonstrated with respect to slide/negative camera ‘scanning’, might be interesting though probably doesn’t do much to the dynamic range, if anything. Unfortunately you do have to combine the 4 exposures after the event in special Sony software though.