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Adobe Photoshop Family

7 Messages


230 Points

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 1:30 AM


Lightroom and Negatives

There's always a ton of people looking to get Lightroom to do more than it was built for. This is because the database/organization in Lightroom is the best game in town. We all gravitate to it and want to put all our files there. So here's another request from left field that might not be so wild.

I would like to see an Invert button, RGB/LaB curves, RGB Levels, and Linear raw editing in Lightroom. I know I know. It's not the way Lightroom works; Lightroom is for raw cameras, etc,etc.


1. Nobody is making scanners anymore.
2. There are billions of pieces of film that still need to be scanned.
3. 21 megapixels (and up) + a 100mm prime macro lens do a handy-dandy job of copying 35mm film at 4000dpi resolution. (Hass. just came out with a 200mpx camera. It is drum scanner like.)

So . . . . soon (like in 4 or 5 years) this will be the way pros (and LOC, and a handful of major archives) scan film. And the software that will support those raw files? Right now it's Bibble 5. Lightroom doesn't have acceptable chromatic control.

If Lightroom could interpret a RAW file in a Linear fashion (ie: not messing with L and saturation values but keeping them in line), and give us RGB curves and levels, we could very quickly build out neg profiles based on published Gamma curves for various films types. This would quickly make LR the defacto input workflow for both camera scanning and raw tiff files from every scanner out there. It already works perfectly for BW film. What about color negs?

The raw controls that LR has, already, would make it superior to all other scan invert apps. Stacking Recovery or Fill control on top of a perfectly inverted raw color negative scan would be very sweet indeed.

This would also have the effect of making Lightroom the main starting point for any photographic workflow. It would quickly populate through every fine art photo department in the country (yes, cneg film is still a part of the curriculum). A vast new generation of students would be introduced to Lightroom as a required software just like Photoshop. Right now ACR is free. Why pay for Lightroom?

The "raw scan" competition is Bibble5, Silverfast, and Flexcolor. All 3 of these applications don't interact with Photoshop in any meaningful way and Bibble is the only one capable of interpreting raw camera scans.

My two cents,
Walker Blackwell

This conversation has been merged. Please refer the main conversation:

Lightroom/Camera Raw: Ability to invert negative scans to positives (color and black-and-white)


946 Messages


13.8K Points

9 years ago

Funny...I just bought a scanner (new).

I've also shot slides with my camera and a macro lens. Both seem to work.

Wouldn't the DNG profile editor be the way to go for this?



704 Messages


8.5K Points

9 years ago

Yes, scanning to DNG and profiles does at least 90% of what you need.

Canon, Nikon, et al, are definitely still selling scanners. Maybe the low-end scanner biz is ending, but the big players are still actively maintaining the technology.