raw files (.fff) from a Hasselblad-Flextight Scanner are not recognized by rawtherapee

I’ve got from my scan-service scans of several 6x6 B&W negatives as tiff and as .fff raw-files. Since I have to do corrections for both formats (the .tiff are too dark), I would rather do it on the RAW level. As I read here in the forum (post from November 2018), rwatherapee usually processes such files too. But the program does not find these files in the folder in question. Is it because these files are 335 MB per image, or do I have to change something in the preferences? And if so, what?
I just downloaded the program today. Thanks for your help.

Abends & welcome!

Check Preferences | Settings | File Browser.
Is fff ticked?

What OS are you using?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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Hi Claes,

Thanks for your fast reply. The preferences were of course also my first idea. But there is nothing like „File Browser“

My OS Version is 10.14.6 Mojave (Catalina would kill my Aperture Software :wink:

Is there another chance?

Harald from nearby Frankfurt/M., Germany

Ach, du bist ein MacMensch?!?
Guck mal hier:

Claes in Lund, Schweden

I don’t even see the file names.
But I researche a little more. There is a hasselblad plugin for converting fff-files in Photoshop. It might be that there has to be one for rawtherapee as well. If it is so then this should be known here in the forum. Since nobody says anything about it, my problem probably has other reasons. Gruß, Harald :frowning_face:

Which version RT are you using? fff appears to be a valid rawtherapee mime type.

So called “raw” files from a scanner are not like raw files from a digital camera! They are just linear scans. They do not need demosaicing. I would suppose that this is the reason RT does not recognize them.



First idea: rename (a copy of) your .fff to .tiff
Try to open it in rawtherapee.
Will experiment more after breakfast…

Claes in Lund, Schweden

During the years, there has been a lot of noise regarding Hasselblad’s .fff and .3fr files. Easy to find discussions on the Web. Best “solution” – or at least best way to circumvent the problem – seems to be to rename .fff to .tiff

For those wanting to test themselves, here is an official source for .3fr and .fff images: https://www.hasselblad.com/learn/sample-images/

Viel Spaß!
Claes in Lund, Schweden

Hi, Claes,

thank you for being so involved in this. The idea of simply renaming an fff file to tiff seems a little strange to me. It’s like when someone doesn’t eat bananas and you write a sign saying it’s apples.

What I’m going to do now: my scan service, a decade-long provider of high-end scans with Hasselblad Flextight, should have an opinion about this problem. I have a contact person there, to whom I will describe the problem. As soon as I have an answer from there, I will contact you again. Have a nice day …


Claes, thank you for the link with the sample-images. I downloaded one and threw it in the same folder as my flextight-scanner fff files. It immediately showed up in rewtherapee. This means that there are definitely differences between fff-Raws by Hasselblad cameras and fff-Raws by Hasselblad Scanners. That already makes it easier to describe the problem to the people at my scan-service. We’ll talk …


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@Harald Is it possible for you to share one of your fff raw files? From the RawTherapee software perspective, it would be interesting to take a closer look at why they aren’t decoded / recognized.

Maybe use https://filebin.net to share the (large) file.


@Thanatomanic No problem, everything that helps … But: Filebin is currently unavailable. Please retry later. (316.4MB); so either we have to wait, or alternatively you give me an email address and I send you a copy of the image via WeTransfer.

@Thanatomanic Here you will find downloadable scans to play with:

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

FYI: The link on the bottom of that page to the “3F Package” doesn’t work for me. But after some looking around I found that this is the correct link. https://www.knowhowtransfer.com/download/sample-files/3F_Package.zip (~400 MB)

This is the actual solution. The 3F files from the scanner are simply TIFF files, but with a different extension. This can be verified easily by looking at the first few bytes of the files, it tells me “MMx0*” which is the file signature for TIFF (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_signatures).

@heckflosse I’m not sure how this could be implemented in RT…

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Well, fact is: At my scan service I ordered tiffs and I giot tiffs, which were not satisfying for certain reasons. I talked to them and they offered me to make a second try and if I would appreciate they’d send me the raws in addition. This will happen within the next days. But then I remembered that in this first CD-Rom there were also a raw (fff) for each tiff in a seperate folder. So maybe this brought me on a completely wrong track, 'cause these files have a fff ending but are no raw files but tiffs. Don’t ask me why they even put those on the CD-Rom, but I promise to find out. Just give me time. But so far I don’t see much sense in researching these strange files.

Please look at the Flexcolor Scanners Manual (English). On Page 10 they quite literally tell you that 3F is simply a fancy TIFF file. “The 3f file is an extended TIFF-file (…)”. Hasselblad probably doesn’t use the TIFF file extension because they embed proprietary stuff in the metadata, that may get lost when the file is processed in other software.

As for calling these images “raw”. Well, the data in the 3F file consists of 16-bit RGB pixel values. These are not raw sensor output values, which is what you’d normally expect in a photographic raw file (e.g. from a Hasselblad X1D or something).
I cannot find any information on the exact type of CCD-sensor that is used in the Flextight scanner, so some guesswork is involved. But my hunch is that it’s most likely a common Bayer-pattern color filter array sensor. That means tha they demosaic the sensor output internally and provide you with a demosaiced image.

Now for many applications and post-processing such files are perfectly fine. But if you want to do your post-processing in RawTherapee, you won’t have access to some tools, because, well, the image isn’t “raw”.


The idea of simply renaming an fff file to tiff seems a little strange to me.

My favourite Chinese philosopher, Confused [according to Kelly Bundy], states that
Method that Works is Good Method.

It’s like when someone doesn’t eat bananas and you write a sign saying it’s apples.

Well, it sounds as if you do not have any small children:

Young son: I do not like hamburgers!
Clever mother: But these are flattened meat balls.
Young son: Wow, thank you, Mommy. They are delicious!

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Yeah, I just forgot. My son is already getting 30.

But seriously: The background of my concern is that postproduction on raw level is less destructive… Shame on me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the reason to take pics in RAW?


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