FilmLab preview for Mac and Windows

FilmLab is software for digitally converting film negatives to positives. It uses a brand-new image processing engine designed to give photographers the same kind of creative control and analog look they’d get in the darkroom.

This desktop version of FilmLab isn’t finished yet, but we’re releasing early preview builds for people to try it out. Please take it for a spin and let us know what you think!

Current release: 0.5.1. Expires March 30.

New in release 0.5

  • Added more keyboard shortcuts: Cmd/Ctrl P/N for previous/next image, Cmd/Ctrl-F to flip, Cmd/Ctrl-R to rotate. JK to adjust exposure, ASWD to adjust color balance.
  • Main window now supports resizing and works better on small screens
  • Switched to sliders for color balance instead of a 2d field. This takes up a lot less vertical space and in practice is just as fast to use.
  • Improved color accuracy based on lots of testing and refinement, and comparing results to ra-4 prints
  • Fixed issue where black and white exposure range was too dark

Current known issues and bugs

  • May run slow on some machines
  • Nikon D800 files, and some other large files, may fail to open or show up as corrupted
  • Edit metadata isn’t currently saved, so you have to re-edit every time you open an image
  • Files are saved at 1/2 resolution instead of full resolution
  • Paper simulations other than the defaults are currently disabled
  • Some functions still don’t have keyboard shortcuts

How to use FilmLab

  1. Scan some film. FilmLab is designed to work with scene-referred raw images, which haven’t had their contrast or saturation adjusted to look good on screen. If you don’t have any of your own files but still want to take FilmLab for a spin, you can download some samples here.
  2. Drag a folder full of images, or single file, into FilmLab (or use File > Open…)
  3. Edit your image until you’re happy with the result (or if you’re not happy with the result, send us an email at and tell us why!)
  4. Hit the JPG button to save an output file.
  5. Use the arrow buttons (< and > ) to move to the previous/next image in the current folder, or use the >> button to watch the current folder and load on the most recent image. This is useful when using a tethered camera.