Interesting, I keep coming back to Silverfast on nearly every scanner I've used so far especially due to the midtones.
I always scanned them as 48->24bit RGB files into ECI-RGB. Apparently the 4870 is not really natively 16bit, the differneces have been marginal at best and the scanning times grow ridiculous.
Also, the whole negafix thing has to be taken with a grain of salt.
What I did on the 4870 e. g. when scanning 11 rolls of Neopan 400 lately was to choose the 6x6 TX 320 profile and then crank up the exposure slider to 0.3-0.6 and adjust for slightly lower contrast and more mids in the adjustments box.
There are other cases where the negafix profiles have proven to be very accurate but those were c41 films like fuji press/superia etc.
Finding the "right" profile depends a LOT where you wanna go with your images.
Due to the wide latitude of BW film you should be able to choose a number of different profiles and get good results nevertheless.
As far as a workflow is concerned:
I have both my monitors calibrated and use an epson RIP on my printer (1270) to assure reproduction is fairly accurate.
In Photoshop, my working space is set up in ECI-RGB, plus individual proofs for the papers I use with the 1270. When working with 16bit files I have prophoto RGB set up as the default working space profile.
When I had still had my 4870 I used ECI-RGB as the output profile, alternatively - when scanning 16bit, I chose prophoto..
Scanning BW, I try to find a profile matching my "expectations" (contrast/latitude/...) and then either open up the advanced mode and crank arround the sliders until it "looks the way I want it to" OR simply adjust the EV slider "exposing" for the shadows.
After that I routinely check if the auto filmmask slider is on the left and usually pull it all the way back before making any further adjustments.
Then I open up the gradiation adjustments box and pull back the contrast to about -6 and bring back the highlights by pulling the highlights slider anywhere near -5 -> -30. Don't ever touch the luminance slider at the bottom (and to a lesser extent the mids slider at the top) unless you know what you're doing as this is the most comfortable way to blow out any mids.
After that I adjust the automatic film mask slider again to see if I'm still missing any mids (e.g. clouds in the sky) and after that SCAN it (which takes ages on the 4870 right?
in PS I usually open up the file, dust stamp/clone and crop out the black borders.
after that, strg/apple+L to push up the highlights a bit/pull down the blacks/shadows.
Usually the mids handle will get you anywhere from about 0.65- 1.30 without any problems, but have an eye on the grain in the shadow areas as they tend to blow out easily due to the low DMAX on the 4870.
I generally don't sharpen the large files, and I NEVER do it for archival use.
FIRST resize to the actual printing/showcasing size/resolution, THEN apply the mask. I use 15-50/0.6-0.8/1-2 mostly.
Another thing about scanning 16bit:
If you really have to do it you won't gain much by working in adobeRGB or sRGB or even ECI-RGB if you WANT TO PRINT as a 16bit file. The only color space I know second to the full LAB "globe" that incorporates the extra data you gain by scanning it 16bit - is ProPhoto RGB. Using it for 8bit pics will result in clipping because of its "size" but having the whole 16bit workflow set up with this profile, the result might be better than the ECI-RGB scan/file/print. I don't notice this on my trusty old 1270, but with a 4000 or 7600 I do.
Anyways, pm me if you have specific questions, or I'll just keep blabbing away
Originally Posted by wdenies
After experimenting with scanning of BW (tmax) shots on my Epson Perfection 4870 Photo scanner, I concluded that:
the Epsonscan software (deliverd with the scanner) gives better results than the Silverscan AI program.
Silverscan makes a mess of the midtones.
Anyone with the same experience or with tips to increase the Silverfast quality?
Silverfast is ok for Colour. (see my gallery)