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convert colour negative film to postive


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8 hours ago, Wayne Crofford said:

Does anyone know of any good videos on how to convert colour negative film to postive?

Thanks

Wayne Crofford

Hi Wayne,

the process depends on:

  • Do you need to scan the the Film, or is it already scanned?
  • Use scanner and scanner software, or use digital camera for scan process?
  • Condition of film negatives, and resulting demand for corrections / restoration 
  • Number of images to convert (1, 100, more?)
  • Use case and quality requirements for result (family album, publication web / print / pdf, sell to customer, …)

The process could be a simple 2 minute job for a single image from a high quality film negative, up to hours per individual image multiplied with number of images.

Beginner tutorial?

Focus on scanning process?
Focus on restoration of degraded film originals?
Focus on efficient workflow to process large number of images?

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Hello Wayne

Just do search on "convert colour negative film to postive" You will get lots of videos and methods you can use depending on which software you have or want to use.

Negative lab Pro is very good software for doing conversions and if you have a mix of scan files that have been scanned from various film stocks it maybe worthwhile. If you want to try a free  option there is Darktable which has a negative conversion module which is quiet effective. The tools within Affinty Photo are not very good without a lot of work. I got a good result on my first try in Darktable after not getting anything close in Affinity.

Geoff

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29 minutes ago, GeoffH said:

Hello Wayne

Just do search on "convert colour negative film to postive" You will get lots of videos and methods you can use depending on which software you have or want to use.

Negative lab Pro is very good software for doing conversions and if you have a mix of scan files that have been scanned from various film stocks it maybe worthwhile. If you want to try a free  option there is Darktable which has a negative conversion module which is quiet effective. The tools within Affinty Photo are not very good without a lot of work. I got a good result on my first try in Darktable after not getting anything close in Affinity.

Geoff

I wouldn’t rule out Affinity photo. 
Using levels or curves adjustment you get easy and good results in a minute.

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4 hours ago, Fipo said:

the negative is always the inverse of the color or black gradation.

The problem is that colour negative film always has an orange cast, (the exact colour varies with different brands/type of film,) so just inverting the colour doesn't give good results. A decent film scanner will have software/settings that will automatically remove the cast. If you already have scans where the cast hasn't been removed, there is some software (Photoshop?) that you can dial in the brand/type of film and it will apply the right filter to correct the colour cast. I'm not sure of the best way to do it in AP, but I think it probably can be done!

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There are some plugins that do what you want, but they are unfortunately not working with AP. Negative Lab Pro is for Lightroom and Color Perfect is for Photoshop. The last I did try to install and run as a "third party plug" for AP but did not work. I find that Darktable does a fairly good job for inverting a negative without to much adjustment - nice if you have a lot of negatives.

Inverting in AP to get a good result is much more cumbersome....  Of all the methods I have seen on Youtube I think this gives the best and most consistent result.. But requires some work. 

 

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I think the process is easy. Levels provides all basic functions.

In the example file, i separated 3 steps which can be combined (invert, global gamma, channel specific ranges).

May add an curve or HSL adjustment for fine tuning.

Can be stored as asset or LUT for easy reuse on multiple images (of same film, age, and lighting situation).

For more accurate results, try to find better black / grey / white points.

1698640688_colorfilmnegative.thumb.png.fa06b58fb89af54414013685dcf779e0.png

color film negative.afphoto

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2 hours ago, AdamStanislav said:

Of course, if it is already scanned, just apply my invert.cube LUT.

How can a single LUT handle the different amounts of orange that are present in different film types? Won't additional adjustments be needed?

-- Walt

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

How can a single LUT handle the different amounts of orange that are present in different film types? Won't additional adjustments be needed?

There may be (that is why I asked what kind of film in my first reply). That should be a separate step from converting the negative to a positive, though. The initial conversion from a negative to a positive is mathematically extremely straightforward and computationally fast. The additional adjustments are then much easier to do with the positive than with the original negative.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone. I joined this forum so that I could download NotMyFault's "color film negative.afphoto" workflow. It is a great help. I want to use my DSLR to capture old negatives. Uncertainty about the processing workflow has kept me from getting on with it. But with this workflow I can now see that it will be easy to get good starting points from a series of negatives by using a Batch job (per roll of film) with a macro containing Invert followed by the Levels changes to get rid of the orange cast. I've done only a few test shots, but it looks promising. Export as TIFF, then import to Apple's Photos (probably) for some minor tweaks. I could also do the Invert in-camera (Pentax K50), but only if I'm willing to use only JPEGs. I think it's worth having a DNG, especially since the processing has suddenly become more obvious, and obviously easy. Thanks.

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Just a note:

10 hours ago, John Livesey said:

 But with this workflow I can now see that it will be easy to get good starting points from a series of negatives by using a Batch job (per roll of film) with a macro containing Invert followed by the Levels changes to get rid of the orange cast.

The orange colour in the base of the colour negatives is different for each manufacturer and is probably different for each type of film from a manufacturer. You'll need to tweak the levels for each of the types of film.

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I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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10 hours ago, John Livesey said:

Hi everyone. I joined this forum so that I could download NotMyFault's "color film negative.afphoto" workflow. It is a great help. I want to use my DSLR to capture old negatives. Uncertainty about the processing workflow has kept me from getting on with it. But with this workflow I can now see that it will be easy to get good starting points from a series of negatives by using a Batch job (per roll of film) with a macro containing Invert followed by the Levels changes to get rid of the orange cast. I've done only a few test shots, but it looks promising. Export as TIFF, then import to Apple's Photos (probably) for some minor tweaks. I could also do the Invert in-camera (Pentax K50), but only if I'm willing to use only JPEGs. I think it's worth having a DNG, especially since the processing has suddenly become more obvious, and obviously easy. Thanks.

Thank you John for your nice reply. Post like yours are the best incentive for forum members to contribute.

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  • 4 months later...

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