View Full Version : Batch Scan - Vuescan MF & 35mm Negatives (Color)

5-Jan-2016, 13:38
This is driving me bonkers. Any help appreciated.

My goal:
Develop a workflow for scanning color film, 120 and 35mm (I think I have 4x5 down).
I got really nasty colors from Epson's software (I am happy with b/w though), thus bought Vuescan to use for color.

-Software I am using/own: Epsonscan, Vuescan, ColorPerfect plugin.
-Hardware I own: Epson V700 scanner, betterscanning variable height mounting station, betterscanning dual MF film holder, and the plastic 35mm holder that comes with the v700.
-I only shoot ~10% of all film as color
-I have tons of color to scan, because I put it off for the past 2ish years
-It would be nice to batch scan, but if it is really complicated using Vuescan I am open to other options
-I am not exceptionally good at PS, but decent with Lightroom

How do you approach this?
A) Scan each image separately
B) Scan the entire strips as one large image then crop each negative out later
C) Figured how to use multi-image batch scanning

I just got Vuescan about a week ago and used it to scan some 4x5 Color Negatives (the main reason I got it was to scan color negs and slide film).
I am using betterscanning film holders and for 4x5 stuff dry mounting my negatives.

I looked all over the web, APUG, Vuescan's site, etc. I have been able to sort of batch scan one strip of 120 film. Haven't actually tried scanning it though.

Using 120 film in my holders allows me to have two strips of 3 images on each strip, side by side. So a maximum of 6 images could be scanning at once.
If I type in 2 by 3 in the settings I only get 3 boxes on the left, an "empty space" in the upper right, and a 4th box on the bottom right. Not 6 numbered boxes, as one would expect.

My understanding is that if you hover over a box it tells you a number. And you can click on it to choose that box. You can also use the arrows in the bottom right corner to switch.
You then draw your crop/scan box inside the defined area. Although if it crosses over to another box the program then swaps to you editting that numbered box.

I could not a) get 6 boxes to show up and b) figure out if even possible to move the boxes around much.

Thanks a ton for any help.

5-Jan-2016, 14:29
Vuescan is a disaster when it comes to scanning multiple frames. I own both Vuescan and Colorperfect but I don't have hours to waste scanning to inevitably everything gets done with Epson scan.

5-Jan-2016, 15:23
Hmm, very well. Perhaps I take a different approach to trying to scan multiple frames. I purchased the program and am pleased with the results for the color 4x5s I scanned.
How I handle 120 and 35mm is still the mystery.

And yes, I know there are 100s of options I am sure. I would like to utilize the software I own/have purchased.
It would be nice to avoid some of the pitfalls already experienced by others and learn what "generally" works for most. Of course, everyone will have their own micro ways of doing things, but at least I could judge on a macro level.

Thanks for your input.

6-Jan-2016, 11:01
I can't help you much with Vuescan (haven't used it for a long time), but some thoughts anyway.

For scanning roll film, or sheet film, I used a Howtek 4500 drum scanner. The software is Aztek's Digital Photo Lab (DPL). This software's basic workflow for batch scanning is as follows:

1) Preview scan the whole scanning area (about 11"x11")

2) Select each image to be scanned (these are called "zones") - for example, if I had a roll of 35mm film loaded, I would use the rectangle select tool on the preview area and select all 36 frames. (Another option would be to select the entire area and scan it as one huge image to be parsed later, but the results are not nearly as good, and it takes just as long if not longer).

For VueScan, you can scan the entire area as a RAW scanner output and then edit it in VueScan later, or you can use the "MultiCrop" feature to select multiple frames on one page, as explained here (scroll to the VueScan section): http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/batchscanning.html

3) For each selected image, manually adjust the levels/curves to set the best exposure for scanning that image. This means setting the levels for 36 images in the case of a roll of 35mm. Doesn't have to be perfect, but the closer you get to a good color balance and good exposure/contrast levels, the less color and exposure correction you have to do later, when it's harder to do. Usually I error on the safe side and set the exposure range of the scan to be a little wider than the full histogram, so I don't clip any shadows to black or highlights to white.

I am not sure if you can do this individual-image pre-scan levels settings in VueScan, or if it does it automatically for you or what...

4) Start the batch scan, and the files are created. For a 35mm roll, say 36 .tiff files are created. (For Vuescan, you can set the output type to .tiff, which will give you more editing leeway than .jpg output.) Then I load them into lightroom (or photoshop in the case of large format scans) and edit them from there.

Nigel Smith
6-Jan-2016, 15:48
I reverted back to using the Epson software instead of the supplied Silverfast SE as it's much easier and works fine for my purposes (I'm not after the very best scan possible)

I use the Epson holders, preview using film holder options, select all frames identified, click the auto button then decide if it's been to aggressive on some frames (it can try too hard to ensure there's full black and full white at times) and adjust any of those manually, then reselect all frames and batch scan them to a new folder. I either walk away or wait for the first scan to complete and do any basic PS'ing needed (dust, black & white points, etc) while the next one scans.

7-Jan-2016, 10:02
Thanks for all the advice. I do have a method utilizing Epson scan software that I am content with already.

While I have a method for scanning all types and sizes, I have not been happy with my color negative or positive scans.
Thus, me buying and utilizing Vuescan...to which I am very happy with the results of scanning color negative 4x5 (see here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?127603-January-2016-Portraits&p=1299437&viewfull=1#post1299437)).

Any advice on using Vuescan, specifically for scanning MF (2 strips of 3 frames each) and 35mm (4 strips of 6 frames each) of color negative and color positive?
And maybe I should use Vuescan for only LF one image at a time stuff (which would be a bummer).

Note: I did not have ColorPerfect until I bought Vuescan, so perhaps I can still use Epson software for color neg and pos...I would feel like I "wasted" $80 on Vuescan however.
My initial thought was B/W with Epson software and Color with Vuescan.

7-Jan-2016, 11:20
I use Vuescan with a Nikon LS8000 so my flow will be slightly different then with your V700. I have only been able to get Vuescan to batch 35mm with the dedicated 35mm holder. It will scan 12 frames easily. No real setup required.

I have never been able to get Vuescan to do batch scan with 120/220. I tried messing with the offset and spacing parameters, but it did not work. The Nikon scan software was brilliant at batch scanning MF.

I know, another response that is not helpful, but I feel your pain!

Oh, I should say that other than batch scan, I am happy with using Vuescan fit all media type.

7-Jan-2016, 12:59
No, that is helpful. Thanks for the response. I have not tried 35mm holder yet. Perhaps, unbeknownst to me, Vuescan is actually picking up on the holder and scanner to calculate the frame lines. The betterscanning holder may be throwing it off or perhaps just not made to work very well in this particular instance.

And perhaps, if I want to use Vuescan for color (and MF) I try scanning the full frames as one image using the RAW scanner output.
Because, unless I am just missing something it is not designed to function well with multicrop and the two strips side by side. It throws it off and seems uneditable.