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I made some duplicates picture (of negatives) with my digital camera using a bellows and a repro-dia.

The image is obviously in a negative format but in RAW.

Is the invertion function exists in Lightroom or I have to buy Photoshop or to find another software who can do this? I tried to invert the curve from the development in Lightroom but it does not work for color negatives, because it is not only the inversion but also the orange filter to correct (which become cyan on the inverted picture).

  • Gimp has an invert command which may work, but you would need to apply it to the JPEG you make from the raw image. – Tom Brossman Jul 19 '13 at 22:51
  • But does Gimp automatically compensate the Orange filter integrated to all negatives? – рüффп Jul 20 '13 at 20:04
  • I'm not sure I understand. I'm not aware of any orange filter but I've never tried converting negatives like this. Upload one of the images & post a link, I'll try inverting it for you. – Tom Brossman Jul 20 '13 at 21:54
  • @TomBrossman The "orange" filter is only present in color negative (all my negs have this filter, fuji reala, superia, and kodak gold). There is absolutely no problem to invert in black and white negatives. – рüффп Jan 18 '14 at 22:18
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If you are using Lightroom 4 or greater, you have access to full RGB curves. These are fully featured curves, just like you might find in Photoshop, so you should be able to apply an inverse color negative reversing curve to the RGB curves, then switch back to the standard tone curve and have the ability to edit your inverted negative with your standard Lightroom technique.

I've provided some more detailed information about using curves to correct a color negative in this answer: Does a filter exist to color-correct color negatives when copying them with a DSLR?

  • I will try this, it looks to give very good results. But it looks there is not a standard process which will work at least for a given film (like the same settings for all Fuji Reala 100) but I have to tweak each picture individually, right? – рüффп Jul 20 '13 at 8:06
  • You can copy the curves, and paste them onto each photo. Or, you can sync settings, but only sync the curves. If you have hundreds or even thousands of photos all with the same film, you can effectively invert them all with a few minutes work. – jrista Jul 20 '13 at 17:52
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I've been trying to do a simple conversion of a black and white negative, and Tone Curves in LightRoom 4 seemed almost impossible to invert. I've known how to do this for years with Photoshop, but this morning found it a complete pain in LightRoom 4 until I figured it out. Google and YouTube were no help

The answer:

Go to Tone Curve.
Below the box with the graph/curve is Point Curve: Select Custom. This allows you to slide the D-max (Black) and D-min (White) points bottom to top and top to bottom.

Note: it doesn't solve the color cast problem for color negs.

  • It does not answer my problem, but it was not explicitely said I was looking a solution for color negative. Anyway your answer can be useful for the ones who wants to invert B&W negatives. – рüффп Jan 18 '14 at 22:24
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I scan my film with a DSLR and invert it by going to "Tone Curves" and then clicking the bottom left point on the curve and drag it to the top, and then click the point in the top-right corner and drag it to the bottom-right. This should give you a rough draft with semi-accurate colors and then you can fix the colors with white balance. Here is an image taken on my film camera and then scanned on a Canon 60D with the 50mm ƒ1.8. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  • I think your picture (link) seem very greenish. I have the same problem: I can't find a good balance of what it should be. Just inverting the curves is a very long with unsuccessful result for me. – рüффп Dec 30 '13 at 22:00
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I know this is an old thread, but things have changed and the previous answers are no longer entirely correct. With the recent updates to Lightroom in 2018, you can now build a profile to invert negatives and in many cases no further processing will be needed. This process yields much better results than inverting with RGB tone curves, and it is much quicker/easier once the initial profiles are created. It is possible to digitize and invert/color correct an entire roll of images in one click with this method.

I have written a detailed guide to creating film inversion profiles for Lightroom. https://www.cuchara.photography/blog/2018/5/one-click-inversion-of-color-film-negatives-in-lightroom

Here's a before-and-after conversion using a profile in Lightroom with no other adjustments to the image.

enter image description here

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