Consider the growing analog film photographers

Today analog photographers can use DxO PhotoLab. The features for analog photographers could be made much more user friendly.

  • invertion of a nagtive changes many of the sliders
  • noise reduction, dust removal
  • white balance with help of a piece of the orange color

Please enhance DxO PhotoLab to better support analog film

Hi Ulrichschiegg,
How do you think to achieve this? In my time, 50 years ago, analogue photography meant having your data (shot) on a roll of film for which you needed chemicals and water to get an image of what you have shot. Did I miss a development in the analogue world, i hope so, otherwise I don’t your wish could be achieved.
Hope to learn soon more about this topic.
Regards, Rob

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I think he meant “digital reproductions of analogue negative film”. I do that in Capture One and created styles for various film types, which are easier to apply than always moving a couple of sliders the “wrong way” (opposite of what one needs usually to enhance shadows or limit highlights). I think this is a good use for “presets”. Try to create some presets and use them as a starting point. Not sure if you need a “film pack” license for that stuff.

@ulrichschiegg , if negative conversion is your thing, you can check out the following threads/posts. Scroll through the threads to discover more.


Why don’t you think what’s needed from a raw converter regarding analog film in the digital age? Using a raw converter for chemical film development is maybe a step too far into the future.

Hi Platypus, I know your threads. I wrote “Today analog photographers can use DxO PhotoLab”. I just think that it could be made a lot easier if DXO PhotoLab would implement negative conversion (but also for positives) for ease of use.

Yes, true. It could help, specially in combination with noise and dust reduction.

I bought a Plustek negative scanner from B&H. It comes with a negative scanner, but I far prefer VueScan.

You can configure VueScan any way you want, for how to process your negatives or slides (in my case, negatives). There are several models of scanners, and you can even use an Epson Perfection flat bed scanner (the way I used to do it). The Plustek makes life much easier for strips of negatives.

You can do a lot of programming in the scanner, but my thought was just to bring the basic negative or slide into the computer, and do the rest with PhotoLab.

I don’t remember the names, but there are lots of YouTube videos about this.

Software does come with the Plustek for scanning, but I found VueScan very easy to use, and you can get help if needed from VueScan. Whatever you use is fine - once the image is imported onto your computer, PhotoLab will take over.

Negative Conversion - you select that in your settings, based on whether you are scanning negatives or slides.

Just an idea - it works great for me, but I’m no expert at this. It does a lot more too, but my goal was just to get the negatives/slides into my computer for PhotoLab to work with them.

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Thank you for the feedback. I also have a scanner, but compared to usining your camera the process is very slow and not as flexible.

As of now, the easiest way to convert negatives with good results is Negative Lab Pro, a plugin for Lightroom.

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I have used Lightroom and, now, PL7 to digitize film - both slides and negatives - in colour and B&W.

I invert and adjust each of the colour tone curves and pick on the orange mask for white balance. All this is saved as a preset. However, I still have to tweak the settings depending on the actual film.

Over all, the resulting quality is very good but it is very time consuming because of DXO’s policies regarding PL.

My biggest complaint is that DXO expect one to buy viewpoint just to be able to flip the photo. Well, I refuse to do that. There are plenty of free tools that can do that job.

This flip step can be incorporated into the export function.

Anyway, I usually have to clean up the photo later in Photoshop and that handles the flip.

I looked at Negative Lab Pro and I think it is good for someone who shoots film on a regular basis. I haven’t shot film for close to ten years. What I am doing is digitizing old family photos and NLP is less useful to me.

So, since I use my camera for 35mm slides and negatives, a “Process Negative” setting in PL would be very welcome - where the controls respond as if you were processing a positive.

If you don’t use LR that is not really an option. What NegativeLabPro and also FilmLab do, whould be really easy to implement in PL, I assume.

That’s why I started the thread / feature request.

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“So, since I use my camera for 35mm slides and negatives, a “Process Negative” setting in PL would be very welcome - where the controls respond as if you were processing a positive.”

Hi Allan, I share your view.

Negative Lab Pro is currently depending on Lightroom APIs. Without these, things get a bit more complicated.

Nevertheless, I deem DxO capable of creating a technically decent negative conversion. Manual conversion is anything between easy and hard, depending on the negative’s characteristics, but with a few smart algorithms or machine learning, and in combination with FilmPack emulations, DxO could come up with what would be the best negative converter app out there, at least for some time.

Couldn’t you copy your negative from the back instead of photographing through the film base? Just asking.

According to best practice recommendations in this forum, one would want to capture the emulsion side which requires the flip. If one is relaxed about not getting the best of the best, capturing through the film base can work, but results might vary depending on how clear or hazy the film base is. Some of the ill effects could be remedied by applying some micro-contrast or DxO ClearView Plus, but why knowingly introduce an issue that needs to be remedied with more or less success?


For best results you have to capture the film emulsion and focus on the grain. This gives a clearer image as you are not capturing the film stock, however, this necessitates flipping the image afterwards.

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@platypus @Allan

You are right - somehow I was on the wrong ‘track’ ( :man_with_probing_cane: ).


If anything I just copy slides and don’t care about the film base … I’ve always used “high speed” footage, which is grainy anyway and intended for projection only, but not for reproduction.

Thank you, for the link to the forum. On capturing the “emulsion side” or the “film base side”, there seems to be a lot of discussion in the net. Is there any practical test on the topic, other than statement on reflection …

If you look through your negatives, you might find film bases that look transparent and others that are closer to translucent. Also, some fiilm bases are fairly thick, others are really thin. Under such premises, there seems to be no reason to doubt that capturing the emulsion side makes sense. Other than that, I have scanned film in both ways, mostly in cases where the emulsion side is hard to discern and the differences are minor in this case, but all of it depends on what you scan.

There’s one point though, that one needs to consider. None of my apps log the flipping of an image. Unless the object is clear about its orientation, it can be hard to tell at any later moment if the image has been flipped or not.

I have, at times, also changed the “orientation” tag with ExifTool. Lightroom will handle these files correctly, while PhotoLab leaves orientation as is … in DPL5 and before.

0x0112	Orientation	int16u	IFD0	
1 = Horizontal (normal)
2 = Mirror horizontal
3 = Rotate 180
4 = Mirror vertical
5 = Mirror horizontal and rotate 270 CW
6 = Rotate 90 CW
7 = Mirror horizontal and rotate 90 CW
8 = Rotate 270 CW

Source: EXIF Tags

Camera scans with and without edited tags (ses file names) in DPL5 (left) and DPL6 (right)

Note: Orientation of RGB scans (horizontal flip) and scans with uniWB (vertical flip)

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