UPDATE 12/2/2019 - With the updates to v2.1, the directions have changed slightly to reflect the new dual-illuminant profiles and dng compatibility utility. As such, I’ve also removed some of the questions and responses in the comments, as they would have been misleading given the new directions.
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. After import, set your “profile” in Lightroom to "Negative Lab v2.1"
If you do not see this as an option, this means that you need to run the “Update Vuescan DNG” utility which will make the selected images compatible with the correct profiles. To run this option, select all the Vuescan DNG images from your import, and go to “File > Plugin-Extras > Update Vuescan/Silverfast RAW DNGs” then follow instructions. If it works, you should see the profiles change to “Negative Lab Pro v2.1”
Step 2. Exclude the film border or use “Border Buffer” - 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 3. Use Lightroom’s White Balance tool Prior to Conversion - As of Negative Lab Pro v2.1, it is recommended to use the wb tool in Lightroom prior to conversion. Try and use the wb picker tool to select a blank area of the film border. If you don’t have any film border to select from, you can also use Lightroom’s “Auto” wb setting (in some cases, this may produce better results).
Step 4. Open Negative Lab Pro, and set your “input” to "Vuescan/SF RAW DNG
Adjust the other pre-conversion settings, and then hit convert.
After analyzing the image, it should produce an intial conversion.
Step 5 - 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.