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View Poll Results: What is your favorite scanning software?
Vuescan 168 50.76%
Silverfast 67 20.24%
Epson Scan 65 19.64%
Other (please state) 31 9.37%
Voters: 331. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2012   #41
Ron (Netherlands)
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Nikonscan didn't work on my iMac 27" with OSX 10.8.2 so took a chance with vuescan. Not easy to use interface. Btw I'm using a Nikon coolscan 8000. Scan results are a bit mixed. B&W comes out ugly so I always scan as if a color film is inside. Slides are nicely scanned though.
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Old 12-05-2012   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Absolutely false. The scans come out flat, whether you like it or not. That's how the hardware works. No software can change that. Applying adjustments in the scan software does the exact same thing as applying them in photoshop, except Photoshop allows more precise and extensive controls.
Actually, neither answer is absolutely either true or false. Little nuance: while the hardware does what hardware does, you must tell the hardware how to do it. In Nikon's case with their last two Coolscan models, you can adjust channels individually; the engineers did this with the understanding that knowledgeable users have the understanding that different films will scan better with certain channel(s) than other(s).

While "raw data" is "raw" data, the "raw data" is not an absolute in this context since the hardware itself can be adjusted, and the resulting information with one setting "vs" the other will be different from one sampling to the other.

Nikon Scan software and Silverfast (not SE) allow you to adjust each channel individually. While colorspace is already an esoterical concept (specially for the "who cares!"-ists), I can understand how even more obscure and outofthearse-ish this may seem to many.

So, no absolute truths or falsehoods. Details and nuances.
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Old 12-05-2012   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel M.A. View Post
For Coolscan 5000: Silverfast. The IR channel when using VueScan is effectively useless.

I still manage to use the Nikon Scan software with Windoze 7 64-bit.
I only have a Nikon 2000, but the IR channel in Vuescan is quite useable for me. Possibly an update fixed a problem that you've seen before. A moot point as you have software that you're happy with, and I'm not actually trying to persuade you into another.
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Old 12-05-2012   #44
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I'm not going to vote here. I use silverfast, but would never endorse it. The results are probably about as good as you can get, but the user interface is just awful. I was hoping version 8 would be better, but no it was just different. Another steep learning curve.
exactly what I think.

I use silverfast 8 with v700, but man, who invented this interface???
but results are very, very good.
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Old 12-05-2012   #45
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I like Vuescan but the setup for batch scanning is tough.
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Old 12-11-2012   #46
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Having used Silverfast, as well as Vuescan, I have to say that the latter's ability to scan in RAW has won me over. Now, if I only could adapt 35mm slide carrier (minolta multipro) to wet mounting...
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Old 12-11-2012   #47
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Epson Scan works, is relatively intuitive, and fits the scanner quite well. I have Silverfast but never really warmed up to the interface so I went back to Epson's software.
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Old 02-16-2013   #48
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I have Epson Scan, and I've tried the Vuescan demo. The Epson prog give me excellent medium format results, and very good 35mm ones, Vuescan is too much an hassle for marginally better results and give me big probs with redscaled film,so no way I'll ever use it.
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Old 02-16-2013   #49
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I just bought Vuescan. I'm stunned at just how much better it delivers on my Coolscan V-ED than the Nikon Scan I was using before. My only complaint is that it seems to have a hard time finding the edge of my frames on Velvia and Ektar.
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just raw scans
Old 02-26-2013   #50
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just raw scans

I have been using Vuescan for a while, but I never really liked the interface too much. Somehow it always wants to make it's own settings, even after saving settings and re-loading them. It also appeared a bit slow compared to the original scanner software (in my case a Minolta Dimage Multi Pro).

But after my "discovery" of Colorperfect, I now don't really care much about what software I use. Because I always get the best results by doing "raw" or "linear" scans, and then running the Colorperfect filter on the raw file in Photoshop. It really gets me very close to the originals (when comparing to the slides on a light table). So I now actually use the Minolta software that came with the scanner, and set it to 16bit linear scan. The software hardly ever crashes (Vuescan does sometimes), it's quite fast, and just works. I don't have to worry about the software messing up colors etc., since it will be "raw" and Colorperfect can handle the rest from then on.
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Old 03-04-2013   #51
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I have a love - hate relationship with Silverfast.

One one hand it is expensive, the interface is convoluted and the documentation is spotty. I also hate that you need get your liciense keyed for multiple scanners.

On the other hand the multiexposure feature delivers a very noticeable boost in image quality over any other scanning software I have used (NikonScan, Vuescan, minolta something...). I'm consistenly impressed by how much more detail I can pull out of the shadows and highlights. Basically it does a bracketed exposure and generates an HDR scan of your negative. I'm going back and rescanning all of my key negatives because of this and it's also the only reason why I am willing to put up with all of the bad points.

Oh, and unlike NikonScan it will run on a current version of OS X.
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Old 03-04-2013   #52
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Been working with VueScan a lot again lately. Learned a whole bunch of new tricks using it for automating scans with odd formats like Minox submini and 24x24 mm. Still my favorite scanning app. :-)
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Old 03-05-2013   #54
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I used to get on well with Epson Scan but my new Imac (10.8.2) won't run it so it looks like Vuescan for me, which is a shame. Epson Scan is so easy.

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Old 03-05-2013   #55
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I voted "other"--my favorite software is what ever Precision Camera uses...
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Old 03-05-2013   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete B View Post
I used to get poor results with vuescan on a V700. Much better with EpsonScan. I've now a Plustek 8100 and Vuescan is superb with it. I guess it depends on what scanner is being used.
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It is interesting. When I had the V700, I never liked its output with VS as much as when I used the Epson 2450. Sold the V700 and kept the 2450. But it ran my Polaroid SprintScan 35E/S, Minolta Scan Dual II, and now the Nikon Coolscan V and 9000 very very well, better than the original software by far.

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Old 03-05-2013   #57
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Old 03-05-2013   #58
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Favourite is a strong word, I pretty much hate using them all, and thus opted for Vuescan by way of pain minimisation and not having to learn another tortorous piece of scanning software..
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Old 03-05-2013   #59
DrTebi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby.monkey View Post
Vuescan. It's capable and it works on Linux - both very important pluses. Having said that, I tend to avoid scanning colour negatives since I find getting the final colours right to be an utter pain in the bum.
To get a grip on the colors of negative scans, there are a couple of things I do:
I scan the image as a tiff, then open Adobe Bridge, right-click on the image and do "Open in CameraRaw". This allows me to adjust the white balance, vibrance and more details which can help with colors. If your scans are consistent (as in consistently wrong color), CameraRaw also as an option to apply previously used settings or save settings.

Another option is ColorPerfect. I have been using it since a couple of month and am quite happy with the results. The user interface is definitely awkward, but making positive raw scans of negatives with my scanner and then sending these through just the default setting of ColorPerfect got me always a great start that only needed small color adjustments.

If you want a free solution however, you should check out Photivo. It's my favorite post-processing software for images. It has countless modules for adjusting color and much more; it also allows to save settings and even batch-process images based on a setting.

I often use all three of the options above... here is my latest set, shot on Ektar 100, which I think turned out quite nice in terms of colors etc:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/drtebi/...579029/detail/
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ColorQuartet
Old 03-15-2013   #60
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ColorQuartet

ColorQuartet 5+ uses some black magic algorithms for colours and tonal rendition. Together with ScanView drumscanner's photomultiplier signal output it's capable of some stunning colours and tonality IMHO. It sets the white and black points not so precise automactically, but the manual fine-tuning algorithm is very intuitive if not one of the most elegant way doing it that I've seen on any scanner software I've tried i.e. SilverFast, Epson, VueScan - almost like the engine works in LAB-space for continous tonality and RGB-space for colours only simultanously - you really feel in control in just few adjustments while in other softwares you oten need to mess with a lot of ajustments to get simple things right to get a very decent flat raw scan from E6 slide. If you get the rest right and with intuitive play around those adjustments CQ just renders the image superbly for a raw-scan that is a joy to work on in PP.

It's good for B&W negatives as well.

Colour negative scanning in CQ is allright, nothing spectacular, but decent if you know your way around in CQ.

So although it's an "obsolete" software it's still overall a very nice software to work with and my current workhorse.
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Old 03-28-2013   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTebi View Post
I have been using Vuescan for a while, but I never really liked the interface too much. Somehow it always wants to make it's own settings, even after saving settings and re-loading them. It also appeared a bit slow compared to the original scanner software (in my case a Minolta Dimage Multi Pro).

But after my "discovery" of Colorperfect, I now don't really care much about what software I use. Because I always get the best results by doing "raw" or "linear" scans, and then running the Colorperfect filter on the raw file in Photoshop. It really gets me very close to the originals (when comparing to the slides on a light table). So I now actually use the Minolta software that came with the scanner, and set it to 16bit linear scan. The software hardly ever crashes (Vuescan does sometimes), it's quite fast, and just works. I don't have to worry about the software messing up colors etc., since it will be "raw" and Colorperfect can handle the rest from then on.
I read somewhere that Colorperfect combined with PerfectRaw is the best way to deal with the color cast of a RAW->Tiff file of a color negative scanned with a DSLR&macro lens. What do you think? Have you ever tried that?
I'm doing some research on this and I'm getting more and more convinced that the DSLR scanning could be my budget Plustek 120 for a while (and who knows if for ever...).
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Old 03-29-2013   #62
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Quote:
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I read somewhere that Colorperfect combined with PerfectRaw is the best way to deal with the color cast of a RAW->Tiff file of a color negative scanned with a DSLR&macro lens. What do you think? Have you ever tried that?
I'm doing some research on this and I'm getting more and more convinced that the DSLR scanning could be my budget Plustek 120 for a while (and who knows if for ever...).
Colorperfect is definitely great for converting color negatives to "digital positives." I believe that your approach will work quite well--the people at Colorperfect actually recommend to always make the raw scan in "slide" mode, which would be the same idea when DSLR-scanning an illuminated negative. The Colorperfect interface is a bit weird... but the results are great. I generally just open the file in PS, and after cropping, I run Colorperfect, choose my film, click into the auto-color field and play with the slider if it's not looking right. Sometimes I also click into the "Black" field and lighten/darken the image a bit. After clicking OK I just save the file and edit it then in Photivo (resizing for screen viewing, sharpening, some color cast or exposure adjustments maybe).

I do however have a dedicated film scanner (Minolta Dimage Multi Pro), so I use that. I would be curious to see some of your converted photographed negatives, especially in high resolution. I don't know if it could really be as good as a scan... I also have a very discriminating monitor... an old IBM T221 with 3840x2400 pixels on 22 inches; it's absolutely fantastic to see images on it, but it also really shows any quality differences in images.

Let me know if you have any DSLR-scanned images to see, I would love to check'em out.
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Old 03-29-2013   #63
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Quote:
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Colorperfect is definitely great for converting color negatives to "digital positives." I believe that your approach will work quite well--the people at Colorperfect actually recommend to always make the raw scan in "slide" mode, which would be the same idea when DSLR-scanning an illuminated negative. The Colorperfect interface is a bit weird... but the results are great. I generally just open the file in PS, and after cropping, I run Colorperfect, choose my film, click into the auto-color field and play with the slider if it's not looking right. Sometimes I also click into the "Black" field and lighten/darken the image a bit. After clicking OK I just save the file and edit it then in Photivo (resizing for screen viewing, sharpening, some color cast or exposure adjustments maybe).

I do however have a dedicated film scanner (Minolta Dimage Multi Pro), so I use that. I would be curious to see some of your converted photographed negatives, especially in high resolution. I don't know if it could really be as good as a scan... I also have a very discriminating monitor... an old IBM T221 with 3840x2400 pixels on 22 inches; it's absolutely fantastic to see images on it, but it also really shows any quality differences in images.

Let me know if you have any DSLR-scanned images to see, I would love to check'em out.
I'm at a very early stage of the thing. I have an old Epson 3200 and since the very begining I wasn't happy at all with its results, so it has been sleeping in a cellar in Spain for 7 years now, and meanwhile I've accumulated some thousands 35 and 120 negatives, both B&W and color. Even my girlfriend has gotten used to see the holidays photos in the light table! But lately I'm burning even more film and I feel like waking up all these photos. My first thoght was buying a Plustek 8200 and maybe a V500 for medium format. But when I saw the outcomes from the new Plustek 120, which I cannot afford right now, I thoght that I don't want to be scanning several hundreds of negatives with an inferior quality than the 120. So that's how I arrived to the DSLR solution, or "Sony NEX solution" to be more precise.

I've been reading stuff in forums and webs during some weeks and I think that with this method the weak part of the chain will be the software part. With some good macro lens and negative holder (not more than $150 going with old but good manual focus lenses, if I'm not wrong) I'm pretty sure I can get raw files at least as sharp as the top dedicated film scanners. And now with the Colorperfect software you mentioned I think I'm close to solve the PP/color issue, so I think I will begin buying everything within the next weeks in order to go into action! I'll come back to you guys then with my outcomes and let's see if they stand the T221 final test!
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Old 03-30-2013   #64
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Quote:
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I've been reading stuff in forums and webs during some weeks and I think that with this method the weak part of the chain will be the software part. With some good macro lens and negative holder (not more than $150 going with old but good manual focus lenses, if I'm not wrong) I'm pretty sure I can get raw files at least as sharp as the top dedicated film scanners. And now with the Colorperfect software you mentioned I think I'm close to solve the PP/color issue, so I think I will begin buying everything within the next weeks in order to go into action! I'll come back to you guys then with my outcomes and let's see if they stand the T221 final test!
With the right amount of enthusiasm, you will get great results, I am sure. If you have a Sony NEX, you could probably save some money by buying a good used macro lens, like a manual Pentax or so, and use it with an adapter. You will most likely be manually focusing anyway.

Another thing that I find very interesting is to use a slide projector as a "negative holder" and light-source. A projector for 35mm should be easy to find; it would provide perfect illumination, and even make the setup less painless once you got the distances etc. worked out.

Check out this video for example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnvhBXQrfzQ

Buena suerte, Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2013   #65
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I used to get on well with Epson Scan but my new Imac (10.8.2) won't run it so it looks like Vuescan for me, which is a shame. Epson Scan is so easy.

Michael
I have used EpsonScan on both 10.8.2 and 10.8.3 with no issues.
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Old 04-03-2013   #66
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I just use what comes with the scanner.

I found that I spent more time fiddling with VueScan's settings than actually scanning. Its only feature that I liked was allowing for multiple passes. Otherwise, I felt like I needed some kind of engineering degree to operate it.
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Old 04-07-2013   #67
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I am using KM Scan Dual IV, and so far I get the best results with the supplied utility (I am lucky in this regard to run a legacy Mac so the software works for me). Interestingly, my experience contradicts what pass here for the accepted wisdom: I get better results by working extensively with the scanner software than producing a flat scan and hammering it after with third party software. Despite Photoshop better responsiveness and more exhaustive controls I cannot reproduce, never mind better, the results I get from the scan utility; and this is despite the fact that I have more experience with PS than with the recently acquired scanner and the associated software.

I tried CF Systems ColorNeg and found the results mediocree... besides I really wonder what is their understanding of the perception of colour since the trial version of the modules had bright neon pink and lime green dots grid... it was so distracting that after a few minutes my eyes were tired and the entire colour image started to look flat and monochrome...

Curious to explore all options in the quest to get the best of the negative with my current set up I downloaded Vuescan. It couldn't even recognise the scanner; after a few attempts I gave up. Last, and with disastrous consequences, was my try of Silverfast. Not only it crashed all the time on start, it crashed PS too (I have no recollection of PS crashing for years!). Worst of all, the nasty piece of software wreaked some havoc behind the scenes because after Silverfast I could no longer start the KM scan utility either; it started to crash perpetually too. Ensued a nightmare of restarts and drivers uninstalling-installing a new, all to no avail. Finally, after an entire evening and night wasted I managed to get the scanner working again. All in all, for 10 years of owning a Mac Silverfast was the most damaging piece of software I have ever installed (Adobe Reader, with hijacking the computer and installing a zillion of files everywhere, comes distant second).
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Old 04-08-2013   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.G.I. View Post
[...]

I tried CF Systems ColorNeg and found the results mediocree... besides I really wonder what is their understanding of the perception of colour since the trial version of the modules had bright neon pink and lime green dots grid... it was so distracting that after a few minutes my eyes were tired and the entire colour image started to look flat and monochrome...

[...]
I am surprised that you found the results from ColorNeg mediocre. I must assume you have just mastered the Minolta scan software settings really well. I too have used the Minolta Scanner Software for quite a while, but when I discovered ColorNeg my results got a lot better. What worked better was the overall dynamic range I was able to get from negatives--contrast was often too strong with the Minolta settings, and I often had blown out highlights, lost shadow detail, and an awkward white-balance.

I believe that the whole idea of making "raw scans" works wonders, and ColorNeg is great for converting the raw scans back to a great positive image. It can also be done by hand, but removing the orange mask is tricky.

The Minolta software does produce good results in my opinion, but I do prefer the raw scanning method (which I do with the Minolta software) and ColorNeg conversion for the reasons stated above. My procedure however is more time consuming--raw scan, colorneg, and finally some detail editing with photivo.

Here a recent shot that was scanned and edited that way:

Lake Powell, UT
Camera: Plaubel Makina 670
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
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Old 04-08-2013   #69
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There is not much to master really in the Minolta utility - just a few controls, but I find them very effective (I mean mostly the Exposure sliders and Curves; I don't sharpen there, and don't use "dissolvers", "polishers", and that kind of stuff). But perhaps I should have mentioned at the very beginning that my expectations (of the final result) differ, hence my assessment of the tools might be at odds with the consensus (if there is such). I am little interested in doing photography that is kind of objective measurement of reality, and consequently strive for technical perfection; therefore I do not regard negative as sacrosanct, and deviation from accepted norms of WB/contrast/sharpness/blown-/clogged-whatever are not sacrilege in my view. I am interested in evocative imagery, but usually one don't gets there with production line tools aimed at semi-automated predictable results.

But all this is more about mindset, and I shouldn't hijack the thread. Suffice to say that I have no favourite scanning software: from the extremely limited choices only the Minolta Scan utility works (knock on wood!) in my set up.
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Old 05-23-2013   #70
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Scan Wizard Pro by Microtek. Epson is ok, also. I liked Nikon's when I still had my Coolscan, liked the multisample and I believe Digital Ice.

Looked at Silverfast 8Ai via you-tube, it seems like it might be ok.

Looking at Artixscan M2 ($$$) or Plustek 8200ai ($$) for down the road. I'd hope the Microtek M2 would finally have consistant quality control, they SEEM to want to stay in the game. With the Plustek at half the price, it tempts. Then I read one or two bad reviews, and wonder why I want to play this game.
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Old 05-25-2013   #71
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I voted "other". If there had been an option to vote "none" I would have chosen that. We can argue forever which software & technique produces the best scan, however from a usability point of view, especially for batch scans, they are all awfull.

I have a V750. Epson Scan looks and behaves like something from the early '90's. Vuescan: life is too short. I have never ever managed to get it to reliably and consistently batch scan. Silverfast: probably the best of a bad bunch. Had it not been bundled with the scanner I doubt I would have paid that much for a piece of software that is tied to one piece of hardware. As for their upgrage policy...

These days I use a Nikon DSLR, a macro lens, a slide holder and a light source. Much better, much, much faster and no clunky software

John
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Old 05-29-2013   #72
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I used to be a Silverfast user. After Apple moved to Lion, Silverfast was rendered incompatible. Even after all the updates it continued to be unstable, so I switched to Vuescan, which I continue to use after moving back to Windows from OS X. I don't like it, but at least it doesn't crash every minute.
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Old 10-02-2013   #73
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I get the best results using Silverfast with my V700. However i find the EpsonScan workflow aswell as speed alot better. Unfortunately i get a lot less sharpness with EpsonScan. (I do not use any sharpening within either Scansoftware.) Id love to use EpsonScan so maybe someone has an idea as of what i am doing wrong.
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Whatever comes with the scanner
Old 10-02-2013   #74
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Whatever comes with the scanner

I've tried Vuescan and Silverfast but always found that whatever software the scanner manufacturer supplies is easier and quicker to get good results (includes HP, Epson and Minolta).
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Old 10-03-2013   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45tim View Post
Unfortunately i get a lot less sharpness with EpsonScan. (I do not use any sharpening within either Scansoftware.)
I updated EpsonScan to the latest Version and now get sharp scans
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Old 10-03-2013   #76
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I have Epson Scan, Vue scan and a version of Silverfast that came with my Epson. Of the three I prefer Silverfast, but it's so expensive to add a license to my 2nd scanner. I bought Vuescan that now works on both... Vuescan was a little tricky at first, but I have made it work.
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Old 10-03-2013   #77
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But after my "discovery" of Colorperfect, I now don't really care much about what software I use. Because I always get the best results by doing "raw" or "linear" scans, and then running the Colorperfect filter on the raw file in Photoshop. It really gets me very close to the originals (when comparing to the slides on a light table).
This is interesting.

My main goal is to get my slides to match what they look like on a slide table...which I usually have a small portable one set up next to my scanner and monitor to make adjustments on the fly. I usually do RAW scan then adjust in Lightroom. I go back and fourth with tweaking a lot, and it can be tedious. In the end I'm not even sure that I nailed it. It's amazing how just a bit of white balance adjustment can change the colors, particularly skin tone.
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Old 10-03-2013   #78
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Originally Posted by gnuyork View Post

This is interesting.

My main goal is to get my slides to match what they look like on a slide table...which I usually have a small portable one set up next to my scanner and monitor to make adjustments on the fly. I usually do RAW scan then adjust in Lightroom. I go back and fourth with tweaking a lot, and it can be tedious. In the end I'm not even sure that I nailed it. It's amazing how just a bit of white balance adjustment can change the colors, particularly skin tone.
You could set a white background, or draw a white box on your monitor, and use that instead of the lightbox. That way you cancel out color balance differences between the monitor and the lightbox.
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Old 10-03-2013   #79
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Vuescan is affordable and transferable, unlike silver fast which has a slightly questionable Pricing structure. Vue scan also works on 64 bit machines, unlike Nikon scan.
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Old 10-04-2013   #80
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Vuescan, which allows me to do RAW scans on Minolta Multipro.
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