FilmLab beta release 0.1.1 (was: Bugs & Glitches)


First thing I noticed so far is that it is constantly changing between normal and inverted colors… why not always stay inverted and add an option for positiv chrome film.


Very excited to be testing FilmLab…this will be an amazing app.

I am experiencing several issues relating to scanning a negative:
1- as others have mentioned the app has difficulty locking in on the positive image from a negative. It jumps back and forth and rarely locks onto positive mode.

2- about 1 in every three times I attempt a capture with a positive image on the screen, the capture reverts to a negative image once I click capture:

3- similar random issues when capturing an image- the capture will appear but the app won’t allow any further actions and I must close the app and restart. NOTE: there is no X to close the image and the app is unresponsive:

I am using iPhone 7 Plus running iOS11 b4…so not sure if these issues are related to iOS 11


Thanks for starting this thread @flashinyourface. Let’s make this the official thread for discussing issues with the first beta version (aka version 0.1.1 / build 2).

There are a few major bugs in this version, as well as some minor bugs and some improvements that desperately need to be made. Here are a few details on the most common issues:

Color conversion wrong / constantly changing

This version has some bugs and instability in the code that figures out which part of the current scene is film, and which part of the film are individual frames. Every time it updates its understanding of what it’s seeing, it adjusts the colors so that the individual frames are, on average, properly exposed and color balanced (as in a proof sheet). But if it fails to find the film frames, incorrectly uses parts of the image that aren’t film as input, the colors get messed up. So what you’re seeing is FilmLab sometimes getting it right, and sometimes getting it wrong, even though the input isn’t changing much.

I’m have plans to improve this ASAP. Hopefully the next beta build (which should be ready in the next week) will be significantly better.

Capture shows unprocessed negative

If you see a full, unprocessed scene instead of a cropped and corrected positive, it means FilmLab failed to find the film frame matching the place you tapped. This is another symptom of the problem described above.

Colors in captured positive are washed out

There are two reasons for this. First is the frame recognition issue again - if FilmLab doesn’t crop the frame properly it may treat the sprockets hole area as part of the frame, and the bright white light shining through the sprocket holes throws off the exposure. Secondly, currently FIlmLab is doing a very simple JPEG capture using your device’s auto-exposure, which results in underexposed scans with poor dynamic range. Once I get raw capture back up and running, this should get a lot better.

UI buttons disappearing

This comes from the fact that I haven’t written the UI code to deal with device rotation yet. So when you rotate your phone or tablet, buttons like the close button can end up off-screen. Rotating your device should bring them back into view. This will be fixed in the next beta release or two.

Thanks for taking the time to test this build and report bugs, everyone! I think this site is going to be a great resource for discussion, and I’m feeling very motivated to get you all a new and improved build as soon as possible!



First, I’ll say this is very cool. First test was very encouraging. A tough negative, rainy day in Tokyo. Colors, contrast, brightness a bit off, but not far. Looking forward to using this app.

Film Lab App:


Same negative scanned by a mini-lab:


Biggest issue I’m seeing is difficulty in finding the frame. See this both when FilmLab is using the camera and when I have FilmLab process an image in the Camera Roll.


Thanks Abe, this helps a lot. I didn’t realize you had to tap the actual area of the screen you wanted to scan and not just tap the screen anywhere to capture. This caused the majority of my issues.

I do notice that the sensitivity of touching the screen is very high…I am constantly taking unintended images by simply grazing the screen. I am having issues getting a decent image and is likely related to how I am backlighting the negative. Most of my images are extremely grainy…is this just part of the resolution limitation?

Ive tried multiple settings on a lightbox at 3200k and 5600k…if the light is at 100% I cant get FilmLab to see anything except a solid white screen. I had to dim the light to its lowest settings to get these images. First is at 5600k and 2nd at 3200k

My earlier issues were related to not using a lightbox, but a computer screen set to shite. FilmLab read all the pixels in the screen.


It is interesting to see that FilmLab already has a better DR than the mini-lab sacan… if I imagine muliple raw capture this app could really be a game changer!


Hi guys here is my experience so far.
I am using a WGHL Led Light Pad and an iphone 7 plus.

Tried both B&W and color negatives, overall it feels it works better with B&W, less switching between positive and negative.

For the glitch where the app seems unresponsive due to not being able to see the buttons, make sure rotation lock is deactivated on your phone, after deactivating it the buttons reappeared after rotating the phone.

Also compared Epson v550 holders and better scanning antinewton glass , there seems to be no difference

When using a roll of film, the app has a hard time selecting a frame and ofter will scan several, it will select one frame if you get the phone really close but focusing distance might be affected.

Finally one annoying thing i’ve noticed is that i can see the phone reflection on the app , on negatives it appears as a dark shadow, i don’t think this is because of the app though

overall i’m happy with the results for a beta , this is definitely easier and faster than using my scanner, can see a lot of potential for it.




I had same issue…key is to scan in a dark room


I just tried out a few large format (4x5) black and white negatives this morning.

Note: I was experimenting a bit when I shot and developed these negatives, these are both overexposed and over developed, I’ve added a photo of the light table with the negative to show the density.

Here are a couple of things I learned while “scanning” them with the app:

  1. I have to scan the negatives with the emulsion side facing up because the app does flip the scanned image (except a few times it didn’t, but I’m guessing that was a glitch)

  2. Since all these negatives are taken in portrait mode I’ve put them in portrait mode on the light table, I have to use the app and the phone in landscape mode otherwise it didn’t detect the frames

  3. The scans seem to be very overexposed. Yes my negatives are overexposed and dense (see note above), but it’s almost like the app didn’t try to compensate for that. It could also just be that the app just tries to get the exposure based on the film frame to get them black.

  4. This is amazing! I can’t scan any of my large format negatives with my Epson V600 because it doesn’t support large format and I’m too lazy to scan them in chunks and then stitch the scans together.

I’m so looking forward to what the next updates will bring!

Note: These scans are straight out of the app, I’ve decided not adjust the exposure or to rotate them as that would result in quality loss when re-saving a JPEG file.


I see the reflections on my scans, even in a completely dark room. To prevent these reflections I scan the emulsion side of the film and then flip the image horizontally. The reflections probably appear because my phone isn’t black.


OK … I was stoked to try out the beta and was happy with the first scan but honestly after that, it was extremely flaky. I totally understand that its the first version and it will improve immensely. My purpose for this is to show what is happening on my end to 1. see if I am doing something wrong or 2. to pass on info from a beta user.

  • I kept on getting flickering from neg to positive depending how I was holding the phone/camera.
  • when I would get a positive image and take a pic/scan, it would be a negative image.
  • then I would get a positive image and take a pic/scan, it would then be a positive BUT it would only be a 3rd of the image or show up with 2 full neg images … was not consistent.
  • the app shut down several time.

I cut out a mask and it seemed to help some but was still inconsistent.
Is there a distance the phone/camera should be to get the best focus?
Having a platform or base to hold the phone/camera would be nice to keep it level & straight.

Looking forward to getting more images!


First time having a chance to try out the app. I pulled out some 35mm color film negatives from 10+ years ago to start with. And this is just to document the attempt for Abe’s use.

I’m using iPhone 7plus, the available-on-Amazon A4 sized light pad, and the Lomography DigitalLiza holder.

As others have said, the app is jumping between colors. I figured out that it’s better to be further away from the negatives … there’s more consistent color that way. Since the DigitalLiza shows the sprocket holes, overall exposure is off. The app did crop mostly accurately … but, it’s not sharp at all.



Thanks for sharing all these examples, everyone! And I appreciate your positive comments. It’s all very motivating to keep making FilmLab better.


One thing I’ve done, which helped with both with reflection and with not having a completely dark room, is to take some stiff black felt from the hardware store and make a little hood or box with a cutout for the phone camera. You can either attach it to your phone with removable tape or place it on the lightbox and then shoot through the top of it. It’s not the most sophisticated solution (I’m sure better ones will be developed down the road), but I found that it eliminated reflections.


That was my back up solution if it still showed reflections :grin:

But I am planning on creating a smartphone holder that I can put on the lightbox. Like a box where I can put my smartphone on, with the sides open so that I can still move the film underneath it. This way the phone will always be level and steady.

@abe I do have a feature request. It would be really helpful if there is a way to remotely scan the film, like using the volume keys on wired headphones as a shutter button. This way there won’t be any camera shake which will probably improve the scans.


two really good points!