Scanning Color Negatives

Recently my wife got some old negatives from her house, and I was telling her i will scan it for her since I have a film scanner but i mostly use it for my B&W stuff and slides, never did try to scan negatives before.

So i did a first scan, it looked terrible, there was an orange cast that was quite bad. A bit of googling around revealed that color negative scanning is not an easy job, different kinds of films produced different color cast that are time consuming and difficult to correct.

Some recommend using VueScan, because of its built in film type correction, it did well for certain films but generally need a lot more tweaking. I came across a post by Ben Anderson who recommended VueScan together with ColorPerfect. I read it and tried it worked quite well so below are the steps i am taking since both VueScan and ColorPerfect needed some cash and i don’t really want to buy both so I tried it just using my plain old Epson built in scanning software

I basically scan the color negative in positive mode (or slides) mode. I got an image something like this.

Then i followed Ben’s instructions basically by selecting under “Start” Color Neg and L mode.

And editing the grey point or white point (depending which is easier to find)

Edit the levels and using color balance to remove the rest of the cast.

And this are my results. Not too bad. The reason why you seeing the grid like overlay is due to Color Perfect being a demo version. The paid version removes the grid lines.


I tried scanning Kodak Portra 400 VC striaight out using Color Negative mode on my Epson. The results are actually quite good, needs abit of tweaking though. And a search online generally agrees that if you intend to scan your negatives you should use the Portra range especially Porta UC

Ben Anderson Post on Vue Scan and Color Perfect
Color Perfect