FilmLab beta release 0.1.1 (was: Bugs & Glitches)


Yes, volume key on phone or on wired headphones for shutter release. Many camera apps (including Apple’s) work this way.



I wish I was getting anything! I can’t even get it to stay positive long enough to take an image. I have all of these problems and more.

I’m not complaining, it’s a beta 1, but I just thought I’d mention it.

I’m not using a light table yet, just some make-shift rigs so that doesn’t help either.


First of all, I realize that this is extremely early. Here’s my experience so far: I am using the latest iPad ( not the iPad Pro which I would have purchased had I realized that Film Lab was being developed - nuts!) running 10.3.2. I am using a professional color corrected light box and am “scanning” a masked negative, thus showing only one frame in the roll and no white light from the rest of the light box. The house lights are off. I first tried a 6X7 color neg and it “flashed” back and forth between positive and negative and did not focus - In other words, it never “locked on.” When I touched the iPad screen during the positive cycle, it sounded like the iPad camera took an exposure and the unfocused image froze on the screen. However, it did not save in the camera roll. So I tried the same procedure with a 6X7 b&w neg - same result. Even though I do not seem to be doing as well as others, I have high hopes for this app. Thank you Abe!


@yasha – After you tap the image to get a positive, then hit the square-with-arrow to save the image into camera roll.


The square-with-arrow does not become visible and I think that is because the device/app is not “locking on” and correctly processing. As I mentioned, the image is not even in focus. Thanks. BTW, my iPad just updated to 10.3.3.


I second all of the issues before as well as the inability to upload photos already taken and converting them to positives. Also, I’m unable to capture negatives when they’re masked. Bare negatives I have no problems though.

Some thing to add in the future that I think would be helpful:

1: manual focus
2: DNG capture
3: Post process editing
4: capture as a contact sheet
5: remote shutter with headphones


Keep up the great work!


I downloaded the app and installed it. But when I start the app the screen turns to black and nothing happens. I installed it on my Phone (Oneplus 3T - android 7.1.1), It’s almost like the app doesn’t have acces to the camera.

Also tried it on my Samsung Galaxy tab 3 - android 6.01. On the Galaxy the app started to work. Focusing works. and I even get a converted negative. But when i try to save it it reverse back to the original.

Agfa colour 400 film.


Here are some findings on the beta app v0.1.1

iPhone SE
A3 Vario LED light pad
Film tested:
Kodak Portra 400 135
Kodak Ultramax 400 135
Kodak Colorplus 200 135

Negatives in PrintFile sleeve on light pad

Filmlab screen capture - unable to recognise frames when negatives placed together
I normally lay a complete negative out on the light box and take a contact sheet image with a DSLR. You can see in the image I am using printfile clear sleeves which also helps to keep the negative flat without much loss of quality.
With the images together like this Filmapp cannot recognise the frames, so I have to remove from the sleeves, separate and scan one strip at a time. It would certainly be easier if I could scan as I have the negs in the sleeves.

Single film strip on light pad

With a single strip layer out as the image above things work better and I am able to capture a frame. The app frequently fails to crop the frame correctly as the following images:
App screenshot

App capture output
Sometimes it grabs the frame correctly

The app usually fails to crop the frame correctly: some examples…

I have had some frames that no matter how many times I try the app cannot ever grab the frame correctly. I might expect this if there is a lot of dark area at the edge of the frame, but in the following example it should be easy enough to grab:

And finally, here are the success stories :slight_smile:

In summary, when it works, it’s great fun to use. Can’t wait to see this develop into a usable app as I have lots of negatives to scan and my Plustek scanner in much too slow to use.

Really looking forward to a way of creating contact sheets. For me it would be good to be able to quickly grab each image from a negative so I can import to photos and print a contact sheet from the Mac.

Best of luck with the app development,



Trying out the Android build. Have not been able to get a good capture yet. Running on Samsung S6, Android version 7.0, all up to date through VZW.

Like someone else said in the Android thread, I have seriously low framerate. About 1.5 fps. Pretty much always flips to inverted as soon as the app launches and never flips back (so I don’t have an issue with flickering back and forth). It is just that the fps is so slow I can’t get anything in focus.

I know it is a bit old, but L Camera had some good features and was open source. DNG saving, focus control, ISO and Shutter control, etc. Maybe some of that could help out us Android folks.

Thanks Abe!


FWIW, I have better results when I shoot the negative with the Camera app (iPhone 7Plus, 2x camera), then launch FilmLab, touch the flower icon, and pick from Moments.


Tested the same as before, latest iPad with masked negs, one color and one b&w. Neither neg still will not “lock on.” The b&w will go to positive but will not focus. The color neg focuses but the image stays negative. I am still unable to save the images but as I said, it is not “locking on” and cropping.


Good suggestion, I’ll put it on my list of things to look into!


Thanks for sharing these images and for your test report! I agree with all of your feature suggestions.


That’s crazy! And should not be happening. I’m very curious about the cause. I’m working on making a list of problematic Android devices to borrow or buy so I can get these device-specific issues fixed.

Thanks for the pointer to the open source camera project. I’m finding the Android camera APIs to not be very well documented, so working example code is helpful.

Thanks for pointing that out. All my sleeves keep the negs spaced apart, so supporting touching negs isn’t something I’d thought about. I’ll add it to the list!

Thanks for reporting that! I’ll look into it.


I finally had time to spend with the beta for IOS (using an iPhone 7+) and am generally impressed with what has been achieved so far. I am, however, experiencing many of the challenges that other have better explained before me.

Whenever, I test alpha and beta software I also give it to my wife to try [not a technology enthusiast, she just wants it to work]. I tell her what the app is supposed to do and then observe her as she works through it. I also ask her opinions afterwards. Here are some of her paraphrased comments/thoughts. Although the will sound somewhat negative she felt that the app was on its way to being simple, useful and fun to use.

  • She thought that an intro screen explaining/reminding a user how to work the app would be nice [a Help Screen]. She wants this as an option to turn it off once she was acquainted with the app.

  • Identification and focusing a frame was very inconsistent and was probably her biggest frustration. For her this appeared to be more inconsistent when she had both B&W and color negatives on the light table at the same time. Once the app was able to identify and focus on a color frame it was almost always unable to do the same with the B&W negative also on the light table.

  • She didn’t like the flashing back and forth when the app recognized an image and then then couldn’t recognize an image. She also commented about the switching back and forth between positive and negative.

  • She felt that identifying frames and focusing was too sensitive and inconsistent. [I believe a stand over the light table as someone above suggested would help tremendously – especially if she could use a headphone button as a shutter release]

  • The app occasionally crashed and she would power cycle the iPhone. [What she probably should have done was simply double-click the home button and retire the app rather the power cycle]

  • Her biggest “ask” was that she wanted an option to just have all the captured negatives simply dump into the Photo app on the iPhone with sequential numbering. She wanted this to keep the sequence of the negative strip and the order in which she took the images. She also wanted such an option to “stick” until she changed it so she could quickly move between frames.

  • She thought that a user should only be able to snap an image when a specific frame was identified and focused. She didn’t like the fact that she would snap an image by accidentally touching the screen

  • Related to the previous comment she wanted a “nice yellow box” around the identified frame and only by clicking on it would the app take a picture.

  • She didn’t like the inconsistent color balance.

  • She wants to be able to rotate the iPhone

  • She had considerable difficulty with 110 negatives. Undoubtedly due to their smaller size.

Although this all might sound negative she spent a considerable amount of time playing with the app using different negatives. She was obviously enjoying herself.



Joe, this is fantastic. Thanks very much for taking the time to do some usability testing and report the results! It’s always humbling and clarifying to watch somebody try to use your software for the first time.

Besides the bugs she noticed, there are a couple of great feature suggestions here:

Very cool idea.

I’m definitely hearing that.

Thanks again!



This would be a great option and would improve usability.



Pardon my ignorance I just joined are would appreciate some help:
a) Does any of this software work on a IPhone 5S?
b) How can I contribute $?
c) If “A” works above, how can I DOWNLOAD the software?

Many thanks