I've been digitizing 40-year-old Kodachrome slides from my Peace Corps days in Africa, using a 55mm Micro-Nikkor (macro) lens, coupled to a Nikon ES-1 Slide Copy Attachment, and even on a D300s body, I can get truly excellent results. I can't wait to continue that work using the pending 36 megapixel Nikon D800 body with an upgraded f/2.8 macro lens (mine is the old 55mm f/3.5 design). I really, REALLY want to be able to camera-scan my many B&W negatives without having to generate huge intermediate TIFF files.
You can respond to this request by emailing me, Jeff Kennedy Thanks, in advance, for taking the time to review and consider my request. I LOVE Lightroom 3, and from what I've seen, I'm going to love LR4 even more. I REALLY appreciate the effort that Adobe takes to solicit input from the photographic user community.
BTW, if the feature I request *can't* be implemented right away, could the LR support team provide detailed, interim instructions as to how to use the "backwards" sliders, and in what sequence? That would be very much appreciated. I'm sure many older LR users have considerable analog image collections that they would like to digitize, and doing so in-camera is both 1) of surprisingly high quality, 2) MUCH faster than using flatbed scanners and 3) of much higher quality and resolution than flatbed scan and MUCH cheaper than professional drum scans.
The only current solution for editing negatives is to invert the curves, export the images, and then re-import into Lightroom. But this isn't possible with RAW files. It would be awesome to be able to select an "Invert" button, and then have all other functions of Lightroom work exactly the same, so that high quality capture of negatives using a macro lens would be possible.
I'm looking at digitizing thousands of color negatives to digital files via a high-rez camera. I would love to have an invert color option within Camera RAW. What better way to preserve old film that with a RAW digital file! Even better with a feature to eliminate the color cast of the film. I think many PS users would embrace it. I could see this being a huge draw for entry level users as well, as many are trying to figure out what to do with old negatives that are deteriorating.
Jack Klaber said: You can use high-rez cameras or scanners, but you are not capturing pictorial information, just patterns of grain and unsharp airy-discs.......In microscopy this is called empty magnification. Here I would call it empty resolution.Jack, I think the primary objective being discussed here is using camera capture to expedite capturing film images (<1 sec. vs minutes). I also agree with Andrew Rodney that the effective resolution of fine grain 35mm negative and slide emulsions is a lot higher than the numbers you stated. My results using camera film capture with a 5D MKII 21 mp camera produce images from 35mm Fujicolor Super G100 color negatives and Kodachrome 64 slides that look near identical in detail sharpness to normal camera images shot with the same lens and camera. Using an even higher megapixel camera would be beneficial especially if capturing larger format film images (645, 4x5, 8x10).
BTW- A similar post was merged here that no longer pulls up doing a search. It might be of interest:
Be advised that up to 4x5 a 4x6k scan is sufficient to capture the effective information in the sheet film. Technical camera's use a bigger diffusion circle (airy disc) and thus, the spatial resolution of sheet film is lower than 135 and 120 film.
8x10 sheets I would preferably scan with a transparency scanner such as f.i. the Epson V850 Pro Scanner. Although it is much more time consuming, I don't believe you have thousands of 8x10 sheets waiting to be digitized. Setting up a professional light table to photograph 8x10's is no sinecure.....
Could you go over this camera procedure again. I guess I could put one of my 5 cameras to use. Like Jack's, my v850 is a good one but I agree it might be a tad slower than your camera procedure. So now I am interested in your speedier concept, rerun it? Earlier, I was sold on my flatbed procedure and my v850 does a fantastic job with transparency, slides, neg's and anything we can throw at it that requires dual light scanning. It has all adapters and include (Jack's) 120, 4x5 and 8x10 formats. The adapters for that scanner will do 12 slides and 12 neg's at a time. Plus, aside from the v850, I have a fully automatic multi-threading slide scanner that zooms through a much larger batch, (while I am restoring the last batch) and I don't have to shuffle the cards. But if there is a faster rate of speed via camera, I heard it before, but I want a rerun if its procedure - if you don't mind going over it once more. Is there an adapter for the camera lens? It must do one at a time but if there is an adapter, then it's an easy change maybe - I'm picturing it like a shuffle of a cards, maybe? As for the camera RAW thing, it can be run through a DNG converter to change it to a TIFF, the diff being 16 bit converted to 8 bit, ready for printing.
Steve Lehman, mcse
Camera film capture using a diffused light source provides better definition and lower grain than using a film scanner. This is covered in the LULA article with a picture example using a Plustek 7600i scanner and Canon 5D MKII 21mp camera with Sigma 50mm macro lens.
Yes Todd, I see what I wrote before, as you rerun it. I was only confused for a minute by the way everyone discussed it, as it was like all of you are saying the same thing in different ways. Do you insist that we use your studied system and device? We may in the future, but not for now. Me and my company of partners looked it over with our employees (already, and we all think it's much like what we're doing already but with a different device. We're not dumb-bells, we're a group of software engineers invested in many companies and we happen to have every Adobe Photoshop or Light Room versions, since invented. We admire what you studied and developed and we may use part or all of it, or none of it. Meanwhile, we'll refer back to it as needed. For now, we have lots of devices we use that might be different than yours, proven to process multiple slides, negatives, and much older transparency formats, that cannot be processed by your device, and we do ours very quickly with precision, and it saves us lots money and time. Our demographics is 45+ and they have very old photography. If we changed to a different device or system such as yours, which is different than our own, we'd have to spend time and money on new training. That's our conclusion. Thank you for sharing.
Steve Lehman, mcse
Hello Lightroom team! It would be quite handy for me, if there was an "Invert" command in the Develop module of Lightroom. (especially for B&W images) Please?
With the 7.3 release of Lightroom Classic and addition of profiles, Adobe have almost given
us the ability to invert negatives in Lightroom. We can create inversion and color correction LUTs in Photoshop then bring those into Lightroom as profiles for one-click inversion and color correction in Lightroom! The sliders still work backward, but no more messing with the Tone Curve.
But in all other ways I no longer hold my breath for any implementation of inverting images (besides the curve trick we all use). Why?
After one year Adobe still hasn’t made LR compatible with HEIF / HEIC image format - the format produced by the most used camera on the planet (iPhone).
That should make clear how low on the scale a wish from a group as small as us here is.
If inverting is ever implemented, I’ll be happy. But I’ve stopped waiting a long time ago..
Feature to invert negatives. Can do in desktop but not in mobile app.
To address a few points:
1. I use a self-made negative/slide scanner made out of wood, lighting and a canon 7d. Once I upload to the computer, I transfer to my mobile via network drive;
2. Yes, you are able to use the curve to invert the negative into positive. However it would be great to have a quick button (function) to make the process faster. Imagine, I have over 500 negatives. To do this into all via mobile is not smart.
I have used the process outlined here https://www.iamthejeff.com/post/32/the-best-way-to-color-correct-c-41-negative-film-scans and find it very good. So getting a good result in Photoshop is quite easy. I have used this procedure in Photoshop to create a LUT and then a Camera Raw profile for a few different negative colour film types. The results in Lightroom are reasonable, but with Lr develop adjustments working on the negative, the tone adjustments are reversed and many others cannot be used because they produce wild colour shifts, such as vibrance and saturation. The white balance and auto tone tools are useless too. A bit of manual adjustment of WB works. Here is an example of a DSLR 'scanned' film negative with one of my profiles applied.
And after a bit of adjusting
It would be so much better to have a tool or tool set that could do these steps natively in Lr so that all the develop tools can be used normally on a raw image.
A negative tool has been asked for by users for 7 years now and it is so disappointing that Adobe hasn't even given those users the courtesy of responded to the requests. Not even to say 'No we will not be implementing a negative function'. Just nothing, completely ignored. Like myself, there are many photographers with considerable archives of film negatives who are experimenting with DSLR 'scanning' to digital raw and would dearly love to process them in Lr. It's hardly rocket science, with a good starting point being an invert option coupled with a remove film mask colour cast (not by changing white balance) so that all the Lr develop tools work as normal.
Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Camera Raw/Lightroom: Creating profiles using a Look Table.
With all the help above, there should be some hints of what to do, but I will say again: To invert a negative you can do this in LR or Elements too.
Once you have the negative, click Filer>Adjustments>Invert.
This will reverse the negative to a positive. Your positive should respond to any other adjustments in Photoshop (later on that). Likewise, refer to my answer above and to Todd Shane's answer too. Both of us utilize the Epson v850 scanner. This scanner gives positives in crisp color and not much needs to be adjusted and all of them will be right-side-up and frontward (label in front). It takes 12 at a time which is a little work but worth our time.
Also, I use a 50 slide scanner (3X more expensive) which takes twice as long to scan all 50 but is easier, all 50 slides are negatives, then I invert them to positives. It's become a routine with a quick zap of the color or fade adjustments, takes less than 2 seconds in a routine. The 50 slide scanner has a "fog" on each slide as it doesn't scan the best but this can be eliminated and sharpness comes back to a crisp positive with a few quick clicks. The 50 slide scanner has its faults as it can break down some after 2 years. It can be fixed for 1/3 of its sale price which is still a little expensive. I am using my old 50 slide scanner for the 5th year as I am getting it refurbished (one time) this year to use for another 3 to 5 years. We use it for customers at work and its been used for 2000 slides at a time, maybe 3 times now, otherwise, small batches. Over that scanner, I will recommend the Espon v850 for the best in scans.
This might be why Adobe has not responded to you. Elements and LR and Photoshop have always had Filter>Adjustments>Invert for negatives to positives. When you get used to Photoshop, you will see that the adjustments of the image is fast and easy. Have a good eye for it so that when its enough quit your adjustments, otherwise, it could run ya stir crazy, don't need to be that perfect.
Remember all slides are set for a 2X3 foot screens (in the old days) which were in 3000 resolution for the big screen. Their size will convert to a 4X6 or 5X7 easily. I scan my photos at only 1000 so they will fit onto a disc better. The positives converted to a 4X6 at 300 dpi, as follows: Slides at actual size (1.34" X 0,83") at 1000 dpi, are the SAME SIZE as 4x6 at 300 dpi - they are exactly equal. Your Photoshop does batch conversions for this. Look in elements under File>ProcessMutilplePhotos. In that dialog box, you can convert to 4X6 size AND to 300 dpi size at the same time, AND keep at TIFF (RAW) for photo prints, OR convert from TIFF to JPEG if you want a slide show. For a slide show, be sure to make them 4X6 size JPEG (at 300 dpi) so the screen will show them big enough. AND, don't use a slide show software which only sets them to a show and nothing else. Instead, just put them info a folder, and in Windows Media Player select the folder and it'll run your photos as a show on screen. Also, your TV might have a USB port which will run the photos automatically the same way, no slide show software needed and you don't need Windows media player. The TV has all you need to run it from a flash drive on the TV.
I have the experience since I have done this for my customers a lot.
I hope all of this has helped some of you.
Steve Lehman, mcse
I'm fully aware of what Photoshop and Elements can do regarding inverting a negative image, but I use Lightroom Classic to process my RAW images and I'm certainly not interested in buying a dedicated scanner. For my purpose I have a scanner, my DSLR a macro lens and a slide copying attachment, a combination that does a great job.
Lightroom does not have an invert function and that is what has been asked for here for more than half of Lr's life. Sure, there are workarounds that can invert a negative image, like inverting the tone curve or applying a profile, but all suffer from the same problem - reversed or unuseable tone adjustments. These methods are just trying to overcome Lr's basic deficiency, no proper invert tool. There are certainly no tools to properly deal with colour negative film 'scanned' into a RAW image.
Here is a 1:1 comparison of a RAW 'scanned' film negative processed in Lr and the same image processed in Photoshop. On the left is the image processed in Lr using a profile I created (in Photoshop and Camera Raw) and applying some manual develop adjustments. On the right is the same RAW image after opening from Lr into Photoshop, applying the same profile in Camera Raw, saving the result back to Lr as a PSD, then applying White Balance and Auto Tone adjustments. It might be difficult to see clearly in the small image here, but the quality of the two images is chalk and cheese, especially in the shadows, where the PSD image has blocked up almost everything to black. The PSD image is actually quite awful.
So for me, neither Photoshop nor Elements offer a satisfactory solution. The solution is obvious and I would think, not very difficult. Adobe just chooses to remain deaf and silent on the request, and that's very disappointing.
Comparing your two images, I can see what the real problem is. You should not be saving in PSD. Save it in PDF and you will have a choice of JPEG compression or an uncompressed like TIFF OR the best of both, an adjusted compression in between. PDF in Adobe is flexible and you won't be using Acrobat or Reader.
There's no skin of my nose, if you are quite perturbed with Adobe's software and with Adobe, go ahead and search for something you can live with. No software is perfect as you want it to be.
However, I think you have not looked over all the choices you have in Photoshop. For one thing, you have not told me you run Elements or Photoshop, as you keep mentioning only LR which doesn't invert negatives, and we got that message clear now. But if you used Element with it, and it is cheaper than LR, and like the rest of us professionals use several of Adobe products, you might have what you want.
And if PDF doesn't do the job for ya, try another format. There are lots of uncompressed container formats. I don't suppose you got into those yet? Those will contain your image in an compressed format yet the image placed inside will be uncompressed while the container format is compressed. It does save space while you retain the full image too. Nifty huh? We use those mostly for videos but they can be used for any (large) image file, and negatives tend to use lots of space, especially when inverted. Study container formats: test on Friday.
If this doesn't do it for ya, then wallow in your anger longer, and find another photo editor, maybe. You can always save your image in another brand of software in PSD again, and try to open it in LR but don't expect it to be perfect. And I think "perfect" is what you're trying to get, so hard. Sure the shadows show but there might be a remedy if you're patient.
I'd really like an option to convert the colors from my self taken negative paper b&w pictures to positive. Now I need to use some other apps for it before using Lightroom and the quality drops dramatically. This phase is essential for that kind of photographing and I'd really appreciate the feature.
I shoot my negs in JPG as I don't believe the dynamic range of the backlit neg requires shooting RAW. More about that at my blog post here: https://shotonfilm.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/35mm-camera-scanning/
1) Lack of a true Invert function that inverts the raw data BEFORE any of the controls are applied.
You can use and inverted LR Tone Curve and get used to using the controls backwards.
A better option suggested by John R. Ellis is to use Edit in PS and then invert it in PS and save back as a TIFF. When doing this it works much better if you first adjust the LR WB using a custom camera profile as outlined below. You can temporarily invert the Tone Curve (create a preset to save it) and then follow the below instructions to set the WB. When the WB is properly set make sure to return the Tone Curve to its normal 'Linear setting before using Edit in PS.
2) Insufficient WB Temperature control range, which is currently limited to 2000.
The orange mask in many color negative film emulsions is lower than this setting. Further, the Adobe camera profiles are dual-illuminant (6,500K + 2850K). Whenthe Lightroom WB Temp setting is below ~4,000 the 2,850 (Tungsten) table isused for color correction, which does not work well with most color negatives.
Fortunately The Adobe DNG Profile Editor (DPE) can be used to extend the camera profile's Temp and Tint ranges for use with color negative film camera raw files (i.e. captured using a camera). I suggest creating four versions of the Adobe Standard camera profile with Temp and Tint settings -25 +25, -50 +50, -75 +75,and -100 +100. You'll need to export one of the camera raw files to DNG file format with it set to Adobe Standard profile. Open the DNG in DPE and in the Color Matrices tab change the Temp and Tint settings and then go to File>Export and rename the profile so you can identify it by filename. Example: 5D MKII Adobe Standard WB -25 +25. Then process the remaining three settings the same way. Save them to them below folder location and when done restart LR to load the new profiles. You'll need to do this for each camera model you use to capture the color negative film images.
Windows—C: \ Users \ [your username] \ AppData \ Roaming \ Adobe \ CameraRaw \ CameraProfiles \
Mac—Macintosh HD / Users / [your username] / Library / Application Support / Adobe / CameraRaw / CameraProfiles /
Use the Custom WB Camera Profile that requires a WBTemp setting no lower than 5,000 to correct the WB. You may also want to create and try custom WB camera profiles using one of the lower contrastprofiles such as Adobe neutral and the higher contrast and color saturation Adobe Color. They all are based on the same Adobe Standard profile, but with different contrast and color saturation, which may be helpful.