Sliders in Lightroom

Would it be possible to make lightroom sliders behave as usual without having to create a positive TIFF?

That feature would get me completely sold.

Being able to work non destructively all the way until export would be really nice.

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I would lile that too so one more vote

Even if it were possible, it wouldn’t necessarily make things easier because of the way the tone curves have to be changed in order to make the image positive and adjusted for colour.

Changing contrast often introduces colour shifts and they would not go away, no matter if sliders worked as on a positive.

Maybe we could work with a temporary, intermediate tiff, the settings of which could be transformed in a way to create a new set of settings that would give the same result when applied to the converted raw? Looks like less than trivial math but hey, what do we use computers for?

Interesting. I didn’t know it works that way.

Anyway, I am trying to keep only one file as the “diigtal negative” before final output.
The way Negative Lab works, another file is created in order to have it tweaked it in lightroom or photoshop.

Currently I create one master raw negative with vuescan that gets stored in a safe place.

Then I use the master raw negatives to create a positive DNG with vuescan, so I can tweak it in light room.

NLP is adding another file to my lightroom catalog.

Why do you convert in Vuescan and NLP? Which app produces the positives you prefer? Can you post a side by side example for illustration?


I’m working on adding more info to the official guide page, but there are some Lightroom features that still work on the original RAW negative (in fact, they work best against the original RAW negative). For instance, the Details Panel, Texture Control, the HSL Color Panel, the Lens Correction Tool, the Transform Tool, the Photo Merge tool, Spot Removal, and local adjustment filters (like the Gradient Filter and Radial Filter) – all of these are really useful while still working against the RAW negative.

The Lightroom sliders that won’t work as expected are the main tone sliders (like exposure, contrast, etc), and saturation / vibrance. There isn’t really a way around this at the moment, unless Lightroom gave use more control over the ordering of the image processing pipeline. If I could rearrange the order of the pipeline, it would be fairly easy to make those controls work more like you would expect.

In general, though, I believe you will get truer and more natural results if you are able to learn to use Negative Lab Pro’s controls to adjust your image (instead of creating positive tiffs and adjusting in Lightroom). The controls in Negative Lab Pro are meant to more closely mimic the natural processing of your film than the standard controls in Lightroom. For instance, Negative Lab Pro’s brightness control produces a true Gamma curve. And the contrast control adds true “Sigmoidal” contrast. I put in the “tiff copy” feature as a convenience for those who just felt more comfortable using Lightroom’s tools for the heavy lifting, but the primary goal in my mind is still to do the tonal and color adjustments primarily in Negative Lab Pro’s controls.


I’m guessing that most people who have trouble with this are mostly thrown not by Lightroom’s internal functions but simply by the fact that the “Whites” slider adjusts the blacks of the image etc.

This has never bothered me because I spent so much time in a “wet” darkroom that it seems perfectly natural that more enlarger exposure produces a darker print, that the “blackest” parts of the negative represent the highlight areas, and so forth. But it’s bound to be counterintuitive for people whose hair has never smelled like sodium thiosulfate.

I wonder if Lightroom’s localization options would make it possible to simply relabel the controls so they work the way the labels indicate…?

Thank you Nate for you response.
I am having better results from NLP than vuescan, but I still have much to learn.

For now I still have to use vuescan for scanning and dust removal (coolscan 5000). Perhaps you will add dust removal from IR channel someday.

Anyway, I still have to come up with a good workflow, like the best way to scan color negatives for archival purposes (lock exposure on unexposed film?, lock film color?) since coolscan can set analog gain for each color channel.
And then, from that “master negatve”, work with NLP.

So far, it seems that I am getting better results by locking exposure on unexposed film and locking film color for the entire roll.

I don’t use both to convert to positives. Thing is that I am used to work with lightroom controls. But anyway, Nate already gave a reason to dig deeper in NLP.