DXO Photo Lab works great with color negative scans

Checking out the current RAWTHERAPEE application, I find that it produces fairly good conversions, even of difficult negatives.

See here http://rawpedia.rawtherapee.com/Film_Negative for the part on how to handle it. Beware: The app’s gui requires some getting used to.

Also tried an other way to do negatives: I edited a DCP profile with Adobe’s Profile Editor and inverted the r, g and b curves in there. All I now have to do is to apply this “negative” profile and do some corrections on the r, g and b tonecurves, they are not inverted in this case. Sliders still behave the other way 'round though.

Again, this method works better on some negatives than on others, it depends on film brand, exposure and contrast (as always…)



I tried using the Adobe DNG Profile Editor (Windows v. 1.0.4) to accomplish the conversion, but there are no separate R, G and B curves to invert. All I have is the RGB tone curve.

Which Profile Editor are you using?

Regards, Joseph

I used Adobe’s DNG Profile Editor (v1.0.0.47 beta for Mac) and inverted the combined RGB curve. I don’t remember which variant (basic, camera or linear) I inverted. You might like to try all variants and save them separately and see if they actually produce something different, something that makes fine adjustments easier.

Note: The inverted profiles don’t seem to work in DPL…

That was my experience as well.:smiley:

Did new negative .dcp profiles and ran a few tests

  • Lightroom inverts the image, no worries here
  • DPL v3 inverts some images or parts thereof. Images taken according to the camera’s proposition generally don’t work. Images that are exposed with +2 EV will be converted. Images exposed to somewhere in between have some parts inverted, others are untouched.

The new profiles have a linear (no gamma) tone curve and it looks like DPL struggles with this.

I have found an easy way to use Photolab with my negative scans (I used a macro lens to photograph the negatives):

  1. use the inverted tone curves to see the negative as positive
  2. find a region to white balance the photo with the pipette
  3. undo the inverted tone curves and save the photo as a white balanced negative
  4. open this photo in darktable negadoctor
  5. press the auto pipette for “color of film material” so that the three sliders for r g b channels are adjusted
  6. leave or adjust minimally the dynamic film slider
  7. adjust brightness with the last scanner slider according to the needed brightness
  8. export the positive as a (jpg) file
  9. open the positive file in photolab with Nik Collections color efex pro and use the filter procontrast
  10. adjust the “reduce color cast” slider between 50 and 100%
  11. adjust the “adjust contrast” and “dynamic contrast” sliders to your need
  12. save the picture
  13. optional: reduce eye redness with photolabs red eye tool

Welcome to the forum @alexjarc

The originating post is fairly old and some apps have added negative conversion features in the last months. This provides some choice of what one uses for converting.

The point here is, that PhotoLab can be used without having to resort to third party apps and to use other file formats than raw.

Thanks for the welcome!

I tried to use Photolab for negative conversion alone but struggled. Can you recommend a procedure?

Read the thread from its beginning, you’ll see how to proceed.

DPL does not do anything automatically, but has all the features necessary for manual conversions. With a little bit of excercise, converting gets pretty straightforward imo.

Nevertheless, manually converting gets tedious if you think of converting thousands of images. For such cases, I can recommend Negative Lab Pro, which is a plugin for Lightroom.

How did you take the pictures with the camera. Where and how were the negatives positioned.


There is a wealth of information in the NLP forum and user guide.

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