Light source suggestions


Suggest using some negative holder that positions the negative away from the light panel. You want the negative in focus, the light panel out of focus. An inch or so might work, but separation may be difficult with the iPhone (tiny lens ==> lots of depth of field).


Flicker is a big problem. Many fluorescents and LEDs flicker. Our eyes don’t see it, but the camera does. iPhone tries for short exposures when it can. My test shot with iPhone using a bright source was 1/500th. Flicker as 1/120th vs shutter at 1/500, could affect exposure.


@mccmark Strange that checkered pattern. I have similar Tikteck panel on order. Will report on how it works.


@jorismak on sensor range: Color negatives take in much more dynamic range in the scene, but render this in fewer stops in the negative. Shooting color negatives with my DSLR never fills out the histogram.

Color positives (slides) are a different matter. Take in limited dynamic range in the scene, but render this with very high contrast in the slide. Slides may have density Dmax=4, which is 10^4 or 13+ stops in range. I think multi-shot capture will be relevant for slides, but not necessary for negatives. Ditto for accurate exposure.


What about the kindle paperwhite screen? I’m on holiday and can not test, but it does not seem to have visible pixels. Also is matte so it should not give reflections issue.


I’ve tried the iPad as a backlight before this app and I got the pixels showing through from the screen lighting it myself.

I’ve also tried white paper, backlit white paper, vellum, a proper backlight for viewing film and anything I can think of with bad results. I cant get the app to do much yet to see if it corrects for the above mentioned issues like paper grain or screen leds being obvious etc.

I think the best result I got (in the past) was using, of all things, the Lomography film scanner’s main body with the backlight on it and just shooting w the reg camera off the neg and cropping it down. Hoping FL can streamline this process.

I have a very nice scanner and prefer to use it but the idea of popping off some scans here in FilmLab in a few minutes for a roll just is much more preferable when I’m posting to social media etc and not trying to do print quality.


I discovered this flickering of LEDs myself a few years back when doing electronics work. I found out (love learning stuff!) that most LEDs flicker, and some like LED lights in a chain for holiday decorations etc do so because they are rapidly pulsing the limited power from bulb to bulb to make a small battery run a lot of lights. And since its so fast, our eyes don’t notice it.

I was doing some light painting one night and the “continuous” lights were blips as I painted. Thought it was a bug but discovered its just the PWM (or similar) used to power the lights. I don’t know if screens are the same reasoning. But it’s quite interesting since we as humans look at this screen in front of us, see a white solid background and don’t really even give it another thought until its truth is revealed. Interesting to me.


Uh oh…I hope mine doesn’t flicker. I just bought one from amazon. The Tiktek TR02.

I’ll report back here how it works if I remember to :slight_smile:


I just tested the Tiktek A4 (which appears to also be labeled the “TR02”). No flicker problem, very steady.

FWIW, to check a lamp or light panel for flicker, get the “Flicker Tester” app for iPhone.

Tikteck A4 has 4% flicker. LED bulbs in my ceiling fixture have 100%.


The iPhone captures with a rolling shutter. Note photos of aircraft propeller or other fast-rotating subjects.

Theoretically, a flickering light source would produce dark/light bands. I can see this in a photo of the lamp itself, but not in a FlimLab scan.


For the last year I have been using a Vario A3 Light Pad that I bought from eBay
It is very slim (6mm) and has adjustable brightness.

I have been using it to capture contact sheet images with my DSLR. This works great as I can grab a single large image, invert and correct colours in Vuescan or Affinity (photoshop equivalent) then print A4 and put in my negative folder with the negs.
If you don’t want to create full size (6x7) contact sheets like me then an A4 similar light box will do the job just as well.

I have found the light quality to be great with no flickering or unevenness. There is no banding or visible LEDs.

Good luck finding your own method and workflow!


Proof sheets feature


I am using this usb powered backlight which seems to be suitable.

LED Copy Board, M.Way A2/A3/A4 Super Thin LED


Is there any consensus on which light tables that are recommended?

There has been some discussion in this thread of Kaiser, Huion, M.Way and others, but I have yet to see any firm recommendations.



The Tikteck panel is excellent. I have A4 which is way larger than needed; I don’t see other sizes on Amazon. What I like:

  • powered by USB. I use a wall charger or a battery pack.
  • flicker free
  • plenty bright enough (it’s intended for tracing
  • very uniform light


The Tikteck looks good, but unfortunately it only seems to be available on Amazon US and not in Europe.


i bought it via the US amazon. The price (including Shipping) was 25 euros to the Netherlands.


I just bought an Artograph brand LED light box on EBay for $49 delivered. It is 10" x 12" sized. I wanted a big enough size to be able to lay printfile negative sleeves on it and capture a whole roll of negs with film lab to help me keep track of my library of negatives. This way I can label the filmlab scan file the page number of that printfile sleeve and make it easier to find a particular negative. I also plan to use filmlab as a first scan to see what is even good enough to bother with high res scans on my Epson scanner and for easy social media posting. The light box is set to be delivered today so I will report back if my plans will work with it. Most light boxes for sale seem to be aimed at artists that want to do tracings. The one I bought is no exception but I hope this one will work fine.


Import dues and VAT in Sweden makes it fairly pricey to buy from the US, so I ended up with a Huion A4 from Amazon UK.


I’ve purchased KAISER slimlite plano and tested it, read about it in my post here:


thanks, just buy it.