Alternative to Colorperfect for color negative inversion?

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by albireo, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. albireo

    albireo Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Location:
    Europe
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi

    I shoot medium format and scan using an Epson V550 via the most recent version of Vuescan professional. I mostly shoot colour and BW negatives.

    I've been using Colorperfect to invert my negatives. Many have commented on its awkward interface - I guess I managed to get the hang of it, at least for basic usage workflows, so this is not what bothers me.

    The thing is, I can't say I'm completely happy with the results I'm getting. The main problem is that I am not sure Colorperfect is really extracting the best representation of the colours contained in my negatives and I find this problem varies based on the film I'm using. My best results are with Ektar 100. The worst would be with Portra 160 and Fuji NPH 400 pro. With the latter two films, quite frequently I find myself preferring Vuescan's own automatic color inversion to Colorperfect's.

    This leads me to think that maybe modern Portra and Fuji NPH have somehow 'diverged' in terms of colour profiles from the profiles stored in Colorperfect. Also, Colorperfect seems to often include several different profiles for each film. Which is the correct one? Often, none of them feels quite like the 'right one', so I pick at random.

    I should also mention I'm pretty sure I'm following Colorperfect's tutorials and video introductions, so, while I can't exclude I'm an idiot and constantly mess up with the settings, I would say I'm quite confident I'm following the right sequence of steps.

    In any case my question would be: what is currently your favourite inversion workflow? An automatic one would be best, but I would consider a manual workflow, too, should it offer consistent results. I should also mention I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 for my processing, so any macros/tools would have to work on it. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  2. OP
    OP
    albireo

    albireo Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Location:
    Europe
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Quick update - I found that using Vuescan according to the tutorial below

    http://benneh.net/techshit/better-colour-neg-scanning-with-vuescan/

    I can get better results than with Colorperfect, when using medium format Fuji 400H and Portra 160 stock. Results are about the same, or better with Colorperfect, using Ektar 100. Would be interested to know about people's experiences regarding the above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  3. GLS

    GLS Member

    Messages:
    184
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Location:
    England
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I currently use ColorPerfect to do my C41 inversions, but I use a DSLR rather than a scanner to digitise my film, so the way the raw files invert may well be different to those from a scanner (I've never used one so can't comment).

    IMO the plugin is horrendously expensive for what it does, and as you say has an appallingly bad interface/workflow, but I can honestly say it's been a godsend in terms of the results. Before getting it I used to dread having to do C41 inversions, as when doing them manually via RBG curves I ALWAYS got colour casts which needed extensive & tedious correction, and in the case of Ektar no matter what I tried I just couldn't get usable results. Not so with ColorPerfect; now I can get great inversions in seconds with all the C41 films I use (Ektar, Portra 160 & 400, Pro 400H, Pro 160NS). Is it the best solution? Maybe not, but it's the best I have found thus far.

    I haven't encountered any problem with Portra 160 (or 400H for that matter; presumably it's quite similar to NPH 400?), but as I said perhaps DSLR raw files process better. Before doing the inversion on any of my C41 I pre-neutralise the orange mask in raw by using the white balance tool on the film rebate; perhaps this helps?

    In terms of when multiple profiles exist for the same film, I believe some are for push-processed film, or are legacy versions of the inversion profile; these are indicated in brackets after the process name.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.