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Photo Negative Color Conversion

There is a groundswell of photographers moving to film photography, either for the first time, or as a return to days gone by. Many of these photographers utilize a hybrid approach, where they employ digital and film cameras on a single shoot, using the same lenses.

These film photographs are usually sent out to be developed. In many cases the developed rolls are then scanned at home, and processed in Lightroom, Photoshop, and, perhaps, On1 Photo RAW. In the case of print film, the scans have to be converted from negatives to positives. This can be done by using curves to invert the files, but the results are usually poor. There is a Photoshop plugin that does a good job in converting these negatives, but it is the only option out there.

I see an opportunity for On1 Photo RAW to appeal to the film/scanning market segment with a negative conversion tool within Photo RAW. The film negatives are scanned to “negative raw” files, with no color editing by the scanner software, the converted in Photo RAW. Additionally, On1’s experience with film-look plug ins should help in the color adjustments to these converted negative files.

This is a small but growing market segment that is very creative, appealing, and barely addressed by the large software operations.

16 comments on “Photo Negative Color Conversion”

  1. On November 3, 2017 at 10:42 am Nick Zavalishin wrote:

    As a photographer who scans film in all formats up to 8×10″, I would certainly welcome this addition.

  2. On February 26, 2018 at 6:15 am Tim Soderstrom wrote:

    Just adding my $0.02 here. This is THE feature I’ve been looking for in my next photo organizer. Lightroom doesn’t have it but it’s a compelling enough feature that whichever one does is the one I’ll likely switch to. I scan my negatives on a flatbed largely because of this (at least for 35mm and 120 which may end up giving me better quality when “DSLR Scanned”)

    Invert, and more specifically some color-cast correction profiles, would be an instant win for me.

  3. On April 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm Nes G wrote:

    Yes! I vote for this, too. I am trying to find a software program that will catalog photos and video, edit photos, and allow me to invert my 35mm negatives which I will digitize, so that I can work on them, too. So far, this last requirement is the thing I think ON1 needs to implement in order to fulfill my desires.

    1. On April 21, 2018 at 7:39 pm Nes G replied:

      P.S. Those are 35mm black and white negatives that I would like to invert. Please add this feature to your application.

  4. On April 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm Nes G wrote:

    P.S. The 35mm negatives I want to invert are black and white negatives.

  5. On July 20, 2018 at 8:21 am Duane Kupec wrote:

    With the Nikon ES-2 film digitizer finally shipping, I would love to see this feature added. I do not want to photograph my negatives in the Negative Digitizer mode on the D850 because it does not allow you to save files in a RAW format. I would love to be able to just digitize the negatives as RAW files and then be able to convert them in On1 Photo RAW to a positive for editing.

  6. On December 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm Joel Manes wrote:

    This would be a HUGE win for me. This should be available for color as well as B&W.

  7. On December 27, 2018 at 2:49 am Martin Forbes wrote:

    I would also like to be able to take photos of negative print film as RAW files and then be able to convert them in ON1 Photo RAW to a positive for editing.
    www.colorperfect.com has a plug in for Photohop, but I would prefer to use a similar plug-in in ON1.

  8. On February 19, 2019 at 2:37 am Matthias Becker wrote:

    YES! I vote for this too.
    I’ve tried to convert some DSLR-scanned film negatives by fiddeling the curves by hand, but the results are poor.

  9. On May 17, 2019 at 2:28 pm Qun Chen wrote:

    Matter of fact, I simply can’t believe this feature is STILL NOT implemented. Is this a technical or political issue? Would really make this software a great choice. Or, is there any plug in we can use to do the job??? Desperated!

  10. On May 20, 2019 at 2:43 am David Yeomans wrote:

    I would also like to see an easier method for inverting colour negatives to a positive, which have been taken with a DSLR. Or help in achieving a good starting point. The removal of the orange mask can sometimes be problematic, especially if you have many to convert. Inverting curves can be used, but this is messy & the sliders then work in reverse. Something along the lines of the paid plugin Negative Lab Pro, available to Lightroom users.

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