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09-19-2021, 08:32 AM   #1
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RESOLVED - Colour negative photo scan in DNG format required

NOTE: I've now sourced some images to work with. Thanks for all the responses

--------

Folks - I'm equipping myself to scan 35mm and 120 film negatives using a DSLR, light table, film holder and either RawTherapee or Darktable.

It will be a few weeks before I have the necessary items, and in the mean-time I'd like to familiarise myself with the software approach to inverting and optimising negatives. Would any of our members be able and willing to supply me with one or two 35mm or 120 colour negatives "scanned" as DNG files, so that I can practice? This is for my personal use only; I would not re-distribute the photo(s) after processing and editing, and would happily commit to deleting once my equipment arrives and I can capture some of my own negatives.

Alternatively, does anyone know of a website with negative film samples in DNG format that I could download? I've searched but can't find anything obvious...

Many thanks in advance!


Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-21-2021 at 10:15 AM.
09-19-2021, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Were it me, I'd wait to practice on your own set up, remembering that battle is the light (quality) path and orange mask(s). I would try and spend some time organizing your future subjects by brand/type/speed/dates and anything you can to eliminate/segregate the variables of the orange you'll soon be battling against, searching out nice blank leader frames and potential neutral gray patches in subjects.
09-19-2021, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnMc Quote
Were it me, I'd wait to practice on your own set up, remembering that battle is the light (quality) path and orange mask(s). I would try and spend some time organizing your future subjects by brand/type/speed/dates and anything you can to eliminate/segregate the variables of the orange you'll soon be battling against, searching out nice blank leader frames and potential neutral gray patches in subjects.
I have to agree with JohnMc. I have experimented a bit with digitizing my color negatives, and I have found that there is not a one size fits all solution! As far as practicing, if you have the camera and macro lens, I would suggest doing a temporary setup to make a few DNG files, and have at it. I could provide you with a DNG from my setup, but the K70 file is 30MB, and the K1 makes 50MB DNGs. I don't think I could attach one here! As far as software, Raw Therapee has a negative processing profile built in. It might be a good place to start.


Good luck! You will find this to be a pleasant way to spend a rainy day!
09-19-2021, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi, Mike. Glad to see you are taking on negatives. The one thing to ensure when scanning your negs is to go a bit "wide" on the scan so you have some of the base colour surrounding your neg. That way the tools in RawTherapee or darktable can easily know how to handle the colour balance with the eye dropper tool. I find the Negadoctor module in darktable excels at this but remember you can always fine tune the white balance in any image editor after the positive conversion. - Jack

09-19-2021, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #5
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A few years ago I posted a thread on that, I did a lot try & error and found my best way of doing this. The results are comparable with the thousands of scans I did with my former Nikon Coolscan V, except the great IR-ICE-function to remove dust & scratches automatically. Maybe this is helpful for you.

My best methodology for film scanning with RAW-camera - PentaxForums.com
09-20-2021, 01:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnMc Quote
Were it me, I'd wait to practice on your own set up, remembering that battle is the light (quality) path and orange mask(s). I would try and spend some time organizing your future subjects by brand/type/speed/dates and anything you can to eliminate/segregate the variables of the orange you'll soon be battling against, searching out nice blank leader frames and potential neutral gray patches in subjects.
QuoteOriginally posted by grog85361 Quote
I have to agree with JohnMc. I have experimented a bit with digitizing my color negatives, and I have found that there is not a one size fits all solution! As far as practicing, if you have the camera and macro lens, I would suggest doing a temporary setup to make a few DNG files, and have at it. I could provide you with a DNG from my setup, but the K70 file is 30MB, and the K1 makes 50MB DNGs. I don't think I could attach one here! As far as software, Raw Therapee has a negative processing profile built in. It might be a good place to start.

Good luck! You will find this to be a pleasant way to spend a rainy day!
I'm just eager to get a head start on the software It'll be a few days before my light table arrives (a Kaiser 2453 Slimlite Plano), and 2 - 3 weeks before my EFH film holder is here...

@grog85361 - if I PM you a link to my Google Drive, would it be possible for you to drop either a K-70 or K-1 DNG file there? I'd really appreciate this, as it would allow me to at least try out RawTherapee and Darktable on a real negative. If that's possible, thanks in advance. If not, no problem

QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Hi, Mike. Glad to see you are taking on negatives. The one thing to ensure when scanning your negs is to go a bit "wide" on the scan so you have some of the base colour surrounding your neg. That way the tools in RawTherapee or darktable can easily know how to handle the colour balance with the eye dropper tool. I find the Negadoctor module in darktable excels at this but remember you can always fine tune the white balance in any image editor after the positive conversion. - Jack
I'm aiming to become self-sufficient with film, Jack. I don't yet own any developing equipment, and have no experience with the procedures. So, I'm starting at the back-end of the workflow and sorting out the scanning aspect. Thanks to another UK member - @Cerebum - I know of a reputable lab that charges very reasonable prices for quality processing, but as with other labs, they're not cheap when it comes to scanning. As such, I'll go for lab processing and do the scanning myself. In time, though, I fully intend to get some developing gear and do the whole thing myself - both for the challenge and to keep costs down

Thanks for the tips re framing the scan. That ties in with what I'd assumed, given the way the tools in RawTherapee and especially Darktable seem to work.

QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
A few years ago I posted a thread on that, I did a lot try & error and found my best way of doing this. The results are comparable with the thousands of scans I did with my former Nikon Coolscan V, except the great IR-ICE-function to remove dust & scratches automatically. Maybe this is helpful for you.

My best methodology for film scanning with RAW-camera - PentaxForums.com
Thanks, Henrico. In fact, I vaguely remembered that thread you posted, as I recall enjoying reading it, even though film wasn't an interest of mine at the time. I'll re-read it!
09-20-2021, 09:18 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Would cr2 files work? If so, you can check the "Play Raw" section on discuss.pixls.us, there are some negatives shared under CC license. For example, here's one: negadoctor challenge - old negative scanned with a DSLR - Play Raw - discuss.pixls.us

09-20-2021, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by syyrmb Quote
Would cr2 files work? If so, you can check the "Play Raw" section on discuss.pixls.us, there are some negatives shared under CC license. For example, here's one: negadoctor challenge - old negative scanned with a DSLR - Play Raw - discuss.pixls.us
Fantastic! That's exactly what I was hoping for! I can now play around in RawTherapee, Darktable and GIMP - even, perhaps, a trial version of Negative Lab Pro!

Thanks so much
09-20-2021, 04:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
@grog85361 - if I PM you a link to my Google Drive, would it be possible for you to drop either a K-70 or K-1 DNG file there? I'd really appreciate this, as it would allow me to at least try out RawTherapee and Darktable on a real negative. If that's possible, thanks in advance. If not, no problem
Sure, we can give it a try. PM me the link!
09-21-2021, 10:23 AM   #10
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UPDATE:

I managed to source some images to work with, provided on the Negative Lab Pro download page. I also downloaded the free trial of Negative Lab Pro plugin for Lightroom, and tried it out alongside Darktable and RawTherapee. In line with everything I've read in the last couple of days, NLP is far superior and much easier to work with. I don't doubt it's possible to get similar results with Darktable and RawTherapee, but they require a lot more work, and it's difficult in either tool to achieve the tones produced in lab scans.

Though I'm no longer a frequent user of Lightroom, I'm impressed enough with NLP that I'll be buying a copy
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