FilmPack contrast tools questions

I tried out FP some time ago with an earlier version of PL (I’m now using PL4). I didn’t buy it because the film types don’t really fit my current style of photography. However, I am more interested in the contrast tools which it offers, which I didn’t really look at in depth when I trialled FP. My question is really: how valuable do FP users find them, more especially if not using the film simulations, and are they more valuable if processing for high quality printing as opposed to website display. Finally, can these tools be replicated by others (either alone or combined) in PL or Nik (maybe Color Efex?).

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I use the FilmPack contrast tools all the time.

I personally find the FP5 elite advanced contrast sliders to be essential to the proper operation of the selective tone sliders in Photolab, any version. It’s simply not the same program without them.

Although I like the idea of using the extra tools that Filmpack gives, I don’t have much use personally for film emulation.

So £109 for the contrast tools and the separate toning for shadows and highlights is way above what I can afford or indeed am willing to pay.

I think you’ll find there’s more than that :

Capture d’écran 2020-11-22 à 14.52.30


None of which are of interest to me personally. I am sure others find them useful.

I frequently use some of the FilmPack film emulations for their color rendering and contrast. I adjust the amounts applied using the Color Rendering palette controls. Regardless of that, I often use the extra contrast sliders FilmPack adds to PhotoLab, especially for landscapes. And very frequently the color filter controls and creative vignette controls. Sometimes split toning. Occasionally add a frame or use the color channel mixer (especially for monochrome conversions).

What I most like to point out about all of these extra tools is that even making small adjustments with them can have a nice impact on a photo. One doesn’t have to take or leave a film emulation, for example - just use one with less than 100% application to change the look of a photo. Or try some of the PhotoLab presets that use the FilmPack features to modify tone and color. These aren’t as varied as the Nik filter sets - but they do give an idea of what is possible.


It seems you’ve answered your own question.

Even though I created FilmPack presets for all the film types and distributed them on this site, I only use them occasionally. However, I use one or more of the other features in FilmPack 5 Elite for almost every image I process and consider Filmpack 5 an essential part of Photolab.

As just a few examples, I use the fine contrast and shadow contrast tools extensively. I also use the Creative Vignetting quite often and would consider Photolab incomplete without it. In fact, the only FilmPack 5 Elite tool I personally never use is the one for light leaks.

Clearly, if nothing in FilmPack is important enough for you to purchase it, then don’t!


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I am very interested in the fine contrast and shadow contrast. Just wish they were in PL as standard etc

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Thanks for the info. Clearly FP offers more than I realised. As an amateur for whom photography is a rather expensive hobby, I’m not sure I can justify the price to myself, but maybe there’ll be some offer for Black Friday… :wink:

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Actually, FilmPack’s features are already built in to PhotoLab. In addition to giving you a standalone version, a license for FilmPack 5 Elite unlocks FilmPack’s features and makes them visible in PhotoLab. The same is true for Viewpoint 3.


There is :smile:. FP5 Essential and Elite editions are both on offer - 50% reduction - for the next 5 days. I’ve just bought a copy - so I have a whole new set of things to learn in the coming weeks and months!

Yes, I took the plunge earlier today and bought FP5 Elite. It was entirely fortuitous that I was wondering about getting this in the very week that the Black Friday deals occur. I’ve started playing with the additional contrast controls but may need to come back to the forum for some tips. I certainly like what I’m seeing so far :grinning:

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Siad in another post only a few days ago that I didn’t think £115 was a good price for what I needed.

Got the DxO offer today, so at £60 I will be having it :slight_smile:

If you use Photolab a lot I believe you will see how useful Filmpack 5 can be.


PL is my start point for all my images (except pano and focus stacking of course!). Definitely wanted the contrast and tone controls though :slight_smile:

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May I ask what you use for that? :thinking:

I’m not Stephen, but - I can recommend Affinity; it does a good job of both these tasks (including with auto in-fill), and it’s reasonably priced.

John M

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John’s answer is correct. I use Affinity for pano and focus stacking.