Using Negative Lab Pro with Vuescan RAW DNG scans

The process for using Negative Lab Pro with Vuescan RAW DNG scans is very similar to the regular process of working with DSLR scans, but with a few important differences. Read on to learn more.

Preparing your image for conversion

Before beginning, be sure to you have followed the guide to creating RAW DNG files in Vuescan. If you have not followed this guide, your DNG files may not be correctly set to be converted by Negative Lab Pro.

To prepare your file in Lightroom before conversion:

Step 1. Exclude the film border - Like DSLR scans, it is generally preferable to NOT include the film border in the conversion analysis that Negative Lab Pro does. To make sure it does not throw off the conversion, you can either make sure to crop it out prior to conversion OR use the new “Border Buffer” setting to exclude a portion of the film border from the analysis.

Step 2. Don’t Use Lightroom’s White Balance Prior to Conversion - Unlike DLSR scans, you will usually get better color results by NOT white balancing off the film border prior to conversion.

Step 3. Open Negative Lab Pro, and set your “input” to "Vuescan RAW DNG

Adjust the other pre-conversion settings, and then hit convert.


After analyzing the image, it should produce an intial conversion.


NOTE: If all it set up properly, your “camera profile” will be set to “Negative Lab” at this point (or potentially during import).


If instead, the profile remains showing “embedded”, make sure your scanner is on the supported scanner list, that you have followed the instructions on creating RAW DNG files with Vuescan, and that the profiles are correctly set up in Lightroom.

Step 4 - Edit to Taste

At this point, it’s up to you to adjust the tones and colors further to your taste. This can be done using the controls in Negative Lab Pro, which are specially made for working on the original negative.


Alternatively, you can use the “Make Tiff / Jpeg Copy” feature to create a positive copy, on which you can use Lightroom’s regular controls.

Hi Everyone,

Noticing some exposure differences between a linear scan and raw dng.

The top row shows the original Linear Scan (on the left) and then the converted file (on the right) using 1.3.1 which has had no adjustments made to it.I made sure to crop the film border before actually converting.

The second row shows the Raw DNG scan (top left) using Vuescan, and then the converted file (top right) using 1.3.1 which has also no adjustments made to it. Made sure to crop the film border before conversion.

I followed the steps for scanning with Vuescan as they are listed on the forum here and I’m noticing that there is more clipping in the Raw DNG than there is with the linear scan. Is there a reason for that? Should I technically be getting a better scan using a Raw DNG rather than a linear scan?

Hmm… What scanner are you using @noahsmith?

Are you seeing the camera profile in Lightroom change to “Negative Lab” or does it remain as “embedded” or “color”?

You shouldn’t be seeing any clipping on your RAW DNG, so if you are it is possible that something is not set up with the camera profile.

As long as the profile is setting correctly, I wouldn’t be alarmed that is appears different from a linear tiff at first…

@nate im using an Epson V800. The only time I see the “negative lab” profile is on the actual raw dng file. when i create a tif copy of it, the profile goes back to “color”. On my linear scans, the profile is always on “color” regardless of the scan being the original or the tif copy.

@noahsmith - what you are describing with profile changes is the correct behavior. The profiles are DCP profiles that only work on the RAW data (either DSLR scans or the Vuescan RAW DNGs), so on a non-RAW file, there would be no change to the camera profile.

I’m curious in your test above if you used the white balance selector to sample the film base prior to conversion? While I recommend doing that on DSLR scans, I do NOT recommend doing that on scans from traditional scanners like the Epson v800. It’s a matter of taste, but I find that it can lead to some funky, “over-separated” colors.

@nate thanks for the clarification, appreciate it. I didn’t sample the film base prior to conversion, ill give it another shot and post my results.

@noahsmith - cool, if you left the white balance at 6500, then looks like you had the setup right! The colors and tones of the converted sample you shared look pretty close i think, but maybe a tad oversaturated in the greens, and a bit of a cyan cast… I’d be interested to know your pre-conversion and post-conversion settings. If you are using the film color corrector, could quickly correct that cyan cast. For the over-separated green, could try un-converting and lowering your pre-saturation setting.

Hey Nathan,

ich have the same Problem like him (Link). All my Vuescan Raw DNG Negative Scans are too dark when i open it in Lightroom or Photoshop etc… No Problems with Tiffs.

Hi @omnion,

The link you provided appears to show positive slide scans… are you having this issue with slide scans, or negative scans? What scanner model are you using? Is it on the list of supported scanner models for use with Negative Lab Pro?.

Hey Nathan,

i use the Canonscan 9950f and have the Problem with Negative Scans. Two months ago i send you some vuescan raw/dng pictures for calibration. You said that these pictures are looking a quite dark, but shouldn’t necessarily effect the calibration.

You give me some Tips. 1) Uncheck “lock exposure” 2) Change you crop area to just include the film image area 3) Check “lock exposure” - you should see the RGB exposure value increase. You can then reposition your crop to whatever you’d like

But unfortunately it´s the same “error”.

best regards

@omnion - ah, I see what you mean (by the way, you can drag and drop images directly into your posts in this forum!)

Here is what is going on:

When you scan a RAW DNG in Vuescan, most of the Vuescan settings will NOT be applied to the RAW DNG (since the RAW DNG is just the underlying original data) - even though Vuescan will update the preview you see in Vuescan

The only setting that effects the actual output brightness of a RAW DNG from Vuescan is the value that is set when you “lock exposure” (you can also manually update this with the value to the right after locking). This value changes the actual CCD exposure of your scanner (in most cases, by increasing exposure time).

If you make other adjustments to brightness (for instance, in the “color” tab), you will see the effect of those settings in your preview BUT it will not actually cause any change to your RAW DNG output.

Does that make sense?

And by the way, the file you sent converts well in Negative Lab Pro v1.3, even though it was a bit underexposed. Here it is prior to conversion (Note that I increased the exposure setting in Lightroom by +1.0 prior to conversion - not ideal to do but works in a pinch).


And here it is after conversion with Negative Lab Pro, and very minimal adjustments (of course you could adjust it to your tastes!)


1 Like

BTW, no WB correction done in the example above.
As I understand the process of convertion of DNG file from Vuescan can be summarized as follows:

1)Convert. Press apply.
2) Select WB tool and apply it on the unexposed area
3) Run NLP and carry on with your custom color/ light correction

@Matroskin13 no, not exactly… I’m working on the documentation now but it is basically as follows:

  1. Import the RAW DNGs into Lightroom
  2. Crop out the border (or plan to use the “border-buffer” setting in NLP to ignore any border area)
  3. Open Negative Lab Pro
  4. Set the “Input” in Negative Lab Pro to “Vuescan RAW DNG”
  5. Adjust your other pre-conversion settings, then hit “Convert”
  6. Continue editing the conversion in Negative Lab Pro as you normally would.

With Vuescan RAW DNGs, in most cases it will give you the most natural results if you keep the WB at the original 6500K. (This is different than the recommendation for DSLR scanning, where it is essential that you do white balance off the film mask prior to conversion).

1 Like

Nate, where do i set the WB at 6500k? In Vuescan or in LR?

In Lightroom.

It should actually default to 6500k in Lightroom, so you shouldn’t need to change anything.

1 Like

@noahsmith - just to follow up on this:

  1. It looks like there was an issue in the way Lightroom was interpreting the Vuescan DNGs that effected some scans more than others… that will be fixed in the profiles included with Negative Lab Pro v2.0.

  2. Beyond that issue, I am seeing a problem with the Epson V800 and Epson V850 scans specifically. They are all coming out significantly more pinkish/magenta than they should in the RAW version, as your original images show. Working to see if I can find a way to resolve this.


1 Like