FilmLab beta release 0.2 iOS


Thanks, Abe. Keep up the good work.


iOS Beta 0.2 is now available as a update in TestFlight.

First try: Using an iPhone capture of a good 35mm negative with a very good macro lens (Moment, excellent!). The resolution with the iPhone 7 Plus comes close to what I can do with a “camera-scan.”

Result: FilmLab has no problem converting, it was instantaneous. My capture has no framing, the negative area fills the full image. That wasn’t working before. The conversion is good. Color is off, but fixable. This is a big step forward.

Here’s the source image. Moment Macro on iPhone 7 Plus:

Here’s the converted image, click in the image to see the full res.

And, here’s what the mini-lab did back in 2010. Not the best possible rendering of this image, but a good point of comparison for FilmLab.


I didn’t get any results at all with previous versions, so this is most certainly a huge step forward for me.
Not really useful for posting, but definitely as quick contacts.
Shot with Fuji GA645 and HP5+. Used easiest possible setup: negative on ipad lb loupe and iphone 6s.
Second pic scanned with Epson V600


Point filmLab at the negative strip or image. Maybe the auto-framing doesn’t hit it, maybe the colors look awful. Touch the photo anyway. Then the crop tool. Move the corners to the right framing, filmLab re-does the auto-exposure, auto-color, and inversion. What started as awful comes out OK. (All this filmLab iOS Beta 0.2)

This sample from the thread on testing with images from Wikimedia.

Image of negative of a flower comes out fine. I believe the texture is from the laptop screen.


Quick test from me:
IPhone7plus (ios 10.3.3)
Illford FP4+
Kaiser slimlie plano lightpad

Out of focus here was my fault, too short distance between phone and film, I’ve increased the distance and here you can see better focus results:

My wish list:

  • being able to get better resolution on a single frame, using 2x iphone 7 plus optical zoom (or a macro lens)

  • more manual control over cropping (keep film perforation may be usefull for archive) also auro-crop Behaviour is really hard to understand and predict, from a design pov this is frustrating: I hardly prefer manual approach where I’m requested to do the job instead of a try&fail/try-again&hope approach.
    Or maybe a mixed one where the automation tries its best and I have to confirm or fix&confirm.
    The autoframe feature should be an advanced option to me. It will easily encounter some weakness (frame holders recogniction, dia plastic-frame recogniction, geometric, grids and architecture subjects will often be a problem I guess).
    Maybe we can manually provide some more information to help the software, for example if I can specify somewhere the frame proportion(24x36,6x6,4x5,6x9 etc.), bw/color, positive/negative…I will be more than happy to provide some informations to get a more strong behaviour from the software.

  • advanced exposure options


I have been researching how to get enough resolution to make the camera-phone scans good enough that we wouldn’t want/need real scans.

See my notes in this thread

Top Line: the iPhone 7 Plus 2x lens, by itself, isn’t the answer for higher res. You need an add-on macro lens. My Tokyo street scene above was done with a macro lens on the phone.

Images are shown at screen res in this forum, but you can see the full resolution:

  • Click in the image
  • If there’s only one image in a post, click again. See full res.
  • If more than one image in a post, ctrl-click (Mac) or right-click (Win), open image in new window, and magnify to actual pixels.


@ColSebastianMoran thank you for your (really usefull) experiments and your suggestion.
I understand and agree iP7+‘s 2x optical zoom isn’t the solution because of different focuing distance.
I’m considering purchasing the’moment’ lens but I’ve a couple of issues with it:
-the price
-the 10x zoom factor that requires 2 shots to fully cover a 35mm frame (and postproduction to combine them).

Anyway I agree that your setup is the one that can give better results at the moment (full resolution, flat film surface, perfect fucus, no need of frame detection).
Maybe this also makes many scanning app features (auto frame, perspective correction) somehow less necessary.
Maybe there is a quality 8x macro lens somewhere?


How can i get the install app?


The Moment lens is fab except for it only focuses at one distance and crops the sides of the 35mm frame. It does capture the full height. I’m going to use it and accept the crop. To capture to full-full frame, I’ll use a DSLR on a copy stand for now.

I had the same question. If the nomenclature is consistent, a 7x macro lens would do it. Olloclip advertises theirs as 7x; it’s not too expensive. Anyone gonna try it?

The Zeiss Exolens “Pro” will cover the full frame, but it’s discontinued, unavailable, and hyper-expensive.


I’m a little late to the party on this new version, sorry @abe! That being said, the negative reads as a negative consistently now. Tapping the frame is also consistently grabs a useable photo. So, basics are working!

Frame detection is off for cropping, but it is generally somewhere in the ballpark. However, when I go to manually edit the crop, finding the crop handles/crop lines is a little difficult:

I am filling the frame with the negative, so I’m not sure why there is so much whitespace around the outside.

If I drag the handles too far, this happens:

And I can no longer grab the handles and move them.

This definitely came a long way from the last version I looked at, though. Excited for some manual controls on exposure, and export of DNG’s (unless I’m missing that somewhere)


I have a very difficult time with the crop tool trying to drag the corners. also it’s so small and hard to see that I am sure I am cropping out places I shouldn’t be. no way to punch and zoom to set my crop?


Agreed on both of these points. I’ll be improving the crop tool soon :slightly_smiling_face:


FWIW, TurboScan app has a really nice interface for adjusting the corner points. It’s an app for scanning docs, point it at a page and get a PDF. Has the same framing challenge as FilmLab, and does it very nicely.


Hey guys,
Here a short first test of my setup:

iPhone 6s
iOS 10.3.3
JUST Normlicht Fluorescent Lighttable
Kodak Ektar 100 Medium Format Film

The app now stays in the negative conversion mode, no more switching back and forth. Interestingly it does show flickering with the new build. 0.1.2 doesn’t produce these effects under the same circumstances. It doesn’t seem to have an impact on the final capture though.

The new UI is nice and switches without issues from landscape to portrait orientation of the phone.
The manual crop tool is such a help already. Now I don’t have to switch to another app after capturing a frame to clean up the crop.
I can even go back into it and keep adjusting the frame.

Colors seem almost identical, just in the upper left of the double exposure it seems it picked up more diverse colors.
On the second image I don’t understand why it forced such a strong color shift.

Resolution wise I can already see visible improvement of detail. Can’t wait for future builds to make full use of (multiple) raw capture.

I will keep trying over the next days and add to my first review.

Thanks a lot for the good work @abe !



Latest iPad, color correct professional lightbox with masked VPS 120 negative.

I am able with great difficulty to manually crop. Image converts to positive with poor color but probably correctable. I still cannot save images and the images are not in sharp focus. Curious about the sharpness, not using the app but using the iPad camera, I shot the neg and it was sharp.

Best regards,


Yasha, try using film lab to convert the sharp image of the negative.

FilmLab… Tap the “flower” symbol… Pick from any one of your photos. FilmLab should convert it if it’s a shot of a color negative.


just picked up some more film and wanted to add a few things I noticed.

Here again my setup:

iPhone 6s
iOS 10.3.3
FilmLab App v 0.2
JUST Normlicht Fluorescent Lighttable

When I open the app and load some already shot image with the flower button, hit the crop button and then turn my phone, it basically breaks the orientation mode of the app. So lets say I have the phone in portrait mode, i hit crop and then turn my phone to landscape and exit the crop mode using the crop button or the arrow button it goes back to the live camera feed but now everything is 90 degrees turned and there is a red square where normally the content would be. I checked, it even happens when I hold the phone in landscape with the home button on the left and turning the phone 180 degrees. Only now the live feed is obviously 180 degrees turned. I checked, it seems to be a reversible bug. So lets say I started with the home button on the left, turned it so it’s on the right and now everything is basically upside down in the live camera. When I do it again, home button on the right, turning so it’s on the left and exiting, everything is back to normal.

I’ve attached a picture of the UI clitch that happens when you turn the phone 90 degrees.

I hope I could make myself clear a little bit… can’t wait for iOS 11 so I can just screen record what’s happening…
Just wanted to hold off for a bit until most apps are compatible with it. How is Film Lab doing in that regard by the way?


Also some small things. I was trying to get a good mastershot of three film strips. I shot 2 images each 3x3 frames and 1 image 4x3 frames.
That way i could evaluate the auto whitebalance colors over a larger sample.
When I crop the three images and have the phone in landscape mode, the long panoramic image hides on the right under the diffused icon bar where the crop and export buttons are as well. It obviously doesn’t happen in portrait mode.


Question for @abe – Does having the unexposed film in the selected crop affect the auto elements of filmLab? (i.e. auto WB, exposure, color) Or should we be eliminating the unexposed film areas to get good color?


What I noticed, it seems like it needs a bit of it to judge the filmbase and to be able to correctly balance this out. Too much how ever definitely gives strong color casts. I guess at a certain point it interprets it as part of the image. Probably some kind of weighted center averaging calculation.
This should play into all three of the three mentioned criteria @ColSebastianMoran as they are kind of intertwined.