Very inaccurate colors I lost all the hope

Hi Folks,

I’ve been shooting film for several years but mainly B&W.
From time to time I go for color negatives e.g. Kodak Portra 400 (120mm) or Kodak Gold 200.

Every time I see those beautiful spring or summer environment via viewfinder I hope for great shots.
Unfortunately there’s a great disappointment when it comes to the images later on.
I’ve invested a bit - purchaised Lightroom Classic (very hard to get nowadays) just to use with NLP and tried scanning some negatives.

I have Epson V550 and I followed very preciesely the guidelines for two methods using:

  • Epson Scan
  • VueScan

But no matter how hard I try I get a failure instead of beauty, pastel colors, accurate skin tones of e.g Portra 400.

There are two different examples
One using Epson scan → no matter what I select for WB it is not accurate:
Negative (jpg coverted from TIFF just to post it)

Sample conversion from NLP

Another example but now using VueScan and RAW dng methof (also converted to JPG).
I haven’t purchaised VueScan, just wanted to check if it makes any difference, so please don’t mind the watermark.

I still remember how the scene looked like, it was a vivid summer scenery but now it is not only low saturated but also miss balanced when it comes to WB.

I’ve tried picking up a gray from the “street” but it’s still off.

I don’t like the images at all.
Adding more “pre saturation” or “contrast” makes it even more tinted.

Honestly speaking after seeing hours of youtube videos where users where getting very good looking images at the very first step - just conversion I feel depressed. I am seriously thinking of selling my color negatives if I cannot get it right.

PS. OUCH I cannot embed more than 1 upload as a new user :frowning:
Thanks for the support

The seconds scans (Using VueScan)

And the sample conversion I got

Assuming it was ok to download your image and give it a go, I thought I’d see what I can come up with. May not be quite what you’re looking for but just an example of how you must play around with the sliders a bit in NLP and even then, it takes a little getting used to. Question, did you crop the border? That’s one thing that’s strongly advised to do so.


Thanks for sharing.

Let’s see if we can help you get some better results!

Just looking at your first example, a few things come to mind:

  1. It looks like you have very harsh lighting. When you have pale skin and some is in full sun light and some is in full shadow, it is much much harder to get good skin tones
  2. Even so, you should see a better result of the bat… some other possible issues could be with the film itself or with the chemical development of the film. If the film is old or had been improperly stored, or if old chemicals were used during development, you can see this sort of faded color results.
  3. There are some other elements of this particular scene that could be making it difficult to get a good conversion off the bat… the best automated conversions usually happen when there is a strong reference for pure black and pure white in the scene, so you may find that other scenes from this same roll did a better job at converting initially. This will be much easier with v3 and roll analysis…

I’ve taken a quick stab at it. It is obviously not ideal to be trying to convert and manipulate an 8-bit JPEG (because it creates posterization), but you should be able to get colors closer to this:

Hi Gents!

First of all I do appreciate your help! A big “kudos” for you.

Nate results (even though appears to have a bit of red tint looks much better).

Would it be too much to ask if you can have a look at the second file as well?

I’m in the middle of another portra roll. I will try to have it developed in different place just to compare the results.

Thanks for the tip about the borders. I was not aware that is it actually a good idea to remove it.

Do you think the result might have been better if a DSLR scan was used?
I’m literally torn in two: to invest even more to buy lightsource and a macro lens or just to give up :frowning:

Ps. V3 is comming any time soon ?


there’s an update from my side:

I’ve gone bold and bought Cinestill CS-LITE and tried very dirty & quck DSLR scanning from my canon and extension tubes.

The results are incomparable to epson scans I got.

Look at the colors and contrast from the very first click of “Convert” button.

I’ll try to scan the full roll in more peaceful environment. But the results I have now are like day vs night for me.

Question: WB color picker seems to play seek&hide with me. Sometimes it is visible sometimes it’s not there. I’ve disabled graphics acceleration as stated in info pop-up box.

Awesome! :raised_hands:

Hmm, that’s a new one!

I also see some of the icons are not coming through correctly in the UI.

Can you tell me what version of Windows and Lightroom you are running?

Lightroom 6.14 (last “non-cloud”) together with Windows7