SilverFast RAW HDR + Negative Lab Pro workflow (new v2.1)

Good news for SilverFast users…

RAW SilverFast scans are now officially supported in Negative Lab Pro (As of Negative Lab Pro v2.1) :clap: :clap: :clap:

The quick guide below will show you how you can use SilverFast to capture your scans as RAW DNG, and then use Negative Lab Pro’s special SilverFast profiles to get amazing colors and tones from your film negative conversions.


Settings for Scanning in Silverfast

The recommended workflow is to scan as 48-bit HDR DNGs. This will enable us to use special, dual-illuminant profiles in Lightroom made just for SilverFast negative conversions, and not have to worry about gamma conversions.

  1. Set SilverFast to scan in “positive” mode (so that it doesn’t invert your negative)
  2. Scan as “48-bit HDR” and save as DNG file(depending on your version, this may be done different ways… at least in SF 8.8, I believe you need to go to preferences and check “HDR raw” )

How to Convert a Silverfast DNG Negative in Negative Lab Pro

  1. Import your SilverFast DNGs scans into Lightroom (if you want to get fancy, you could set up a “watched folder” with Lightroom to auto-import each time you scan.

  2. Select all your photos, and go to file > plugin extras > update vuescan / silverfast dngs

  3. Follow the instructions in the prompts. Afterward, your profile should look like this.
    nlp-silverfast-profile

  4. Use Lightroom’s White Balance selector to sample off the film border (or use the “auto” white balance setting)

  5. Crop to show just the exposed film (or include a little film border and set the “border buffer” setting to ignore that area)

  6. Now, open up Negative Lab Pro

  7. The “source” should automatically be set to “Vuescan/SF DNG” - leave it there. Adjust your other settings as you’d like.

  8. Hit the “CONVERT NEGATIVE” button.

  9. After it processes, it will do the initial conversion, and you can edit from there!


Considerations

  • Silverfast 48bit HDR will not include any iSRD (dust removal) and Lightroom wouldn’t be able to process the IR layer anyway. So if dust removal is important to you, you may be better off creating a TIFF
  • If you want to create a TIFF to take advantage of iSRD, you want to want to have the tiff as untouched as possible, for consistent future editing:
    • Gamma 1.0 (in general preferences)
    • Uncheck ICC Profile Embedding (in the CMS tab)
    • Check iSRD (but nothing else) in Workflow Pilot
    • Once imported to Lightroom, select image and go to “File > Plugin-Extras > Tiff Prep Utility” and select “Linear”.
    • Then use Negative Lab Pro on the new image that is adds to the library.
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I downloaded the NLP v2.1.2, do I still need to install the DCP Profiles of V800 & SF Raw? https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5u3c9gdsjqugeha/AABOhHLfpIeoBu3EzOiygwHQa?dl=0

No, the test profiles from the dropbox folder are now deprecated… if you’re on mac, just run the new installer… if you’re on windows, you just need add the camera profiles folders included with the package (the “Vuescan” camera profiles folder also includes Silverfast now).

Note that you need v2.1.2 for this to work with Silverfast (there was a bug in v2.1.0 that was preventing the correct profile from running silverfast in some instances).

-Nate

This workflow seems to be oriented to color negatives. Would there be any changes to the Silverfast settings for scanning b&w negatives? For instance, would it be better to create a 16 bit .tiff file vs. a 48 bit raw?

For that matter, are there any benefits to converting b&w scanned negatives with NLP vs. just doing the conversion in Silverfast using negafix, which has specific profiles for b&w films? I may need to play with it both ways to see which is easier to achieve superior results.

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