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View Full Version : Epson V800-worth upgrading Silverfast 8 to Silverfast Studio?



Smorton
29-May-2016, 16:38
This is probably a very premature question but I thought I would ask anyway.

I received my Epson V800 a few days ago. As you know, it comes with Epson scanning software and SilverFast 8 SE. When you use the SilverFast, it becomes apparent you can upgrade to SilverFast Ai Studio 8 at a lowered price.

I am wondering if this is an upgrade that is worth $77.00 which it appears to cost. I was interested in the Multi-Exposure which it claims improves the dynamic range of the scanner and possibly other features such as the iSRD dust and scratch and SRD dust and scratch removal.

I will be scanning in 5 x 7 inch black and white negatives, 120 color and black and white negatives and I may try 35 mm color and black and white negatives.

Any input appreciated.

Thank you.

Smorton

Oren Grad
29-May-2016, 17:49
You have ample range for B&W negatives (or color negatives, for that matter) with any decent scan software; you don't need the Multi-Exposure feature to get good scans of B&W or color negatives.

Second, you should look for Epson's "Digital ICE" dust-removal feature in Epson Scan; it's Epson's counterpart to iSRD. You don't need to buy SilverFast Ai to get this feature, though one might split hairs about which does a better job.

Finally, you can't use hardware-based (infrared) dust/scratch removal (like Digital ICE or iSRD) with B&W silver negatives anyway, as the device "sees" the image silver as dirt to be cleaned and does nasty things to the scan.

So the story is the same as with the film holders: best to gain some experience and understand the hardware and software you already have before you decide whether you need to invest in any upgrades and, if so, which ones.

Smorton
29-May-2016, 18:07
Thanks for the response. One thing is that I only have the 5 x 7 black and white negatives for a short period of time. I have to learn on the fly. They are very valuable to me and I want the best possible scans I can get.

You basically defer my question rather than answer it and indicate that I need more experience to ask the question. How long do I have to be on the forum to get a direct answer to this question: I am wondering if this is an upgrade that is worth $77.00 which it appears to cost. I was interested in the Multi-Exposure which it claims improves the dynamic range of the scanner and possibly other features such as the iSRD dust and scratch and SRD dust and scratch removal.

Any input highly appreciated.

Smorton

Oren Grad
29-May-2016, 18:26
You basically defer my question rather than answer it and indicate that I need more experience to ask the question. How long do I have to be on the forum to get a direct answer to this question: I am wondering if this is an upgrade that is worth $77.00 which it appears to cost. I was interested in the Multi-Exposure which it claims improves the dynamic range of the scanner and possibly other features such as the iSRD dust and scratch and SRD dust and scratch removal.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. In short: my view is that you don't need enhanced dynamic range for scanning negatives, and you don't need to buy SilverFast Ai to get either hardware- or software-based dust/scratch removal - you already have them in Epson Scan.

If $77 is not a lot of money for you and you are concerned that you might be missing something, no harm in buying it and judging for yourself. If budget is tight, my advice is that you can live without it.

FWIW, I have SilverFast Ai for scanning 35mm and medium format film with my Nikon 9000. I have not upgraded from Epson Scan for my V700 - I see no need.

Hope that helps.

Smorton
29-May-2016, 18:29
That does help.

Thanks.

Smorton

williaty
29-May-2016, 23:28
I just got the V850 and it was only a matter of a couple of hours before I realized I needed to upgrade to Ai Studio 8.8.

I've used EpsonScan, VueScan, and SilverFast for many, many years but I've been out of the film business for the last 5-8 years or so and had to buy a new scanner as I started shooting film again. So I had experience with the various programs and knew what I wanted them to do for me. I know from long practice that it's easier and faster for me to get satisfactory results from Silverfast than from EpsonScan. When I started working with Silverfast SE 8 to try to produce files that Lightroom would handle, it quickly became apparent that SE 8 has a serious limitation with exporting. LaserSoft have chosen not to allow SilverFast SE to export 16bit/ch images from negatives in which the image has been inverted to a positive. My downstream software (Lightroom, ACR, PS) also lacked the ability to invert the image before applying corrections (yes, with a sufficiently detailed workflow I can do it in PS of course) so I HAD to get a positive image out of SilverFast. The only way to do that was to upgrade to SilverFast Ai Studio 8.8 which has the needed export option built right in. Additionally (though it hasn't yet affected me), you must upgrade to Ai Studio to be allowed to create custom film profiles for the NegaFix function, which can be very important if you're shooting color.

In my opinion, if you're scanning negatives, the upgrade to Ai Studio is mandatory and if you're scanning positives it's probably a good idea as well. That's before you even start considering any of the fancy modes that I've never even turned on!

Peter Gomena
29-May-2016, 23:50
Multi-exposure is a great concept but unless the scanner's registration is perfect for each pass, you will end up with a soft image. The newer scanners may do better than the older one I tried this with a few years ago, but I was not impressed by the quality of the image. I do like Ai Studio 8, however. I find it to be very versatile. I do wish they would update their negative profiles for "Nega-Fix", however. No Fuji Acros profile! C'mon, guys!

Jim Andrada
30-May-2016, 02:17
Another vote in favor of working with what you've got absent some specific issue. I use VueScan and I'm happy with it. But I'll happily use Epson Scan or Silverfast or whatever is handy. I find that even after profiling everything, getting a print to come close enough to what I see on screen is the toughest part of the workflow and a bigger concern than the pluses/minuses of any scanning software.

Smorton
30-May-2016, 09:03
My experience so far:

1. SilverFast's ISRD is much better then Epson's Digital Ice when scanning 35 mm color slides. ISRD may work on black and white, Digital Ice does not. This is based on limited testing.
2. The results from the Epson V800 are better than from the Plustek 35 mm scanner (Plustek 8200i).
3. Color scans from VueScan aren't bad.
4. Based on limited use, I would chose SilverFast over Epson scanning if it were for color. Not certain about black and white.
5. I wish I would have asked if the SilverFast upgrade was worthwhile in the context of 5 x 7 inch black and white scans.
6. I have these negatives for a very short period of time. Days, maybe weeks, not months. I got them because I was on the board of a Historical Society. Once gone I will never have them back. I sent them to a lab and my scans are far superior to the labs and it would cost about $1,500 or more to have them all done at this lab.

The Epson scans of the 5 x 7 in black and white produces a very flat scan. Washed out look. I apparently can't use it like many suggest on You Tube, etc. without any change to the settings.

A forum is a marketplace of ideas. If you don't like the question, why not ignore it.

Thank you.

Smorton

Randy Moe
30-May-2016, 09:51
Don't be mad at us, we can be difficult. :)

If you like your scans much better than the outside source, go ahead and If somebody will pay for SF great, but many nobodies use Epson or Vuescan and are happy.

The important thing is do the best you can, and return the negs. 20 years hence somebody may try again and do better, but your scans will also exist and be used!

A lot of us chase the impossible, do what is possible. Now, before the negatives are lost to time for whatever reason.

Good luck, as you have already self-selected your mission.

Smorton
30-May-2016, 09:58
I am not mad. I am sorry. I got off on the wrong foot here. I would like to apologize to all.

The remarks about my inexperience are right on. I sadly discovered that today after bragging about SilverFast.

I think the problems is that I have this 5 x 7 negatives and feel a lot of pressure to get them scanned in and returned. That needs to be my focus right now. But you are right. Do the best I can and move on.

Again, I am sorry about any abrasiveness that I have displayed. I hope I am not normally like that.

Thanks again.

Smorton

Jim Andrada
30-May-2016, 11:25
Don't feel bad - we're all old and grouchy. A flat scan isn't necessarily a bad scan if it has all the different shades of gray in the negatives, albeit at lower contrast. If the information is there you can do a lot with it in Photoshop or the equivalent (Is there an equivalent???) to make the print look the way you want. I think a lot of folks here don't do much if any processing in the scanning software. I personally look at it as just a way to capture the information that's on the negative. Everything else is left for later.

Smorton
30-May-2016, 11:57
Thanks Jim:

I live in Minnesota, where Grouchy Old Men was filmed. Also the movie Fargo. Yes, we actually talk like that.

What I am doing now is scanning in the 5 x 7's and getting generally a flat image. As you state, that is not all bad. I then open the image in Photoshop CS6. I then adjust it with various tools and if I get an acceptable image I move on to the next negative.

I need to come up with a naming convention. I don't think that will be a problem.

I will keep my original scan and the adjusted one. I may call SeaGate tomorrow and make a low ball bid on buying the place (ha).

I have the latest version of Lightroom. I think I will use it to keep the files organized. Some of the files are big. I am uncertain if Lightroom will be okay with that.

Thanks for the expressions of good will and kindness.

Smorton

Randy Moe
30-May-2016, 12:10
I'm born Mpls, family from Hinckley/Sandstone, via Norway.

Smorton
30-May-2016, 12:17
Randy,

I don't know if you still live in Minnesota but the winters are getting to be way too much.

Smorton

Randy Moe
30-May-2016, 12:24
Chicago since 1967.

We are having mild winters more or less.

I was disappointed by the Chicago blizzard of '67 when I found it was abnormal. Had some years of snow here, about every decade we get buried.

I like snow, ice & fire. We skated entire lakes as kids.

Smorton
30-May-2016, 14:11
Chicago since 1967.

We are having mild winters more or less.

I was disappointed by the Chicago blizzard of '67 when I found it was abnormal. Had some years of snow here, about every decade we get buried.

I like snow, ice & fire. We skated entire lakes as kids.

You gained a little in terms of harsh winters.

Happy Scanning.

Smorton

sanking
30-May-2016, 17:23
What I am doing now is scanning in the 5 x 7's and getting generally a flat image. As you state, that is not all bad. I then open the image in Photoshop CS6. I then adjust it with various tools and if I get an acceptable image I move on to the next negative.

Smorton


Check out this link for a very good tutorial on scanning B&W film with Epson Scan.

http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/scanning/index.php

The goal in scanning is not to get an image that is perfect, but to capture as much useful information as possible so that you can make a perfect file in Photoshop. Ken's tutorial shows you how to set the end points so that you won't lose valuable tonal information in the shadows and highlights.

Sandy

tgtaylor
30-May-2016, 19:41
If

the goal in scanning (a negative) is not to get an image that is perfect, but to capture as much useful information (in the negative) as possible so that you can make a perfect file in Photoshop, then it necessarily follows that the negative is the "perfect file" and doesn't require "Photoshop."

To ask the obvious: Why are you scanning?

Thomas

Smorton
30-May-2016, 20:16
Check out this link for a very good tutorial on scanning B&W film with Epson Scan.

http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/scanning/index.php

The goal in scanning is not to get an image that is perfect, but to capture as much useful information as possible so that you can make a perfect file in Photoshop. Ken's tutorial shows you how to set the end points so that you won't lose valuable tonal information in the shadows and highlights.

Sandy

Many thanks

Smorton

richardman
30-May-2016, 21:48
In my experience, if you are going to scan color negs, e.g. Portra, then the full version of Silverfast beats anything else, including Vuescan and Epson Scan.

Smorton
31-May-2016, 06:28
In my experience, if you are going to scan color negs, e.g. Portra, then the full version of Silverfast beats anything else, including Vuescan and Epson Scan.

I have many 5 x 7 inch black and white negatives to scan and I don't know if Silverfast would help there. I am actually having fairly good luck with Epson and Vuescan. I did scan in several 35 mm negatives and was very impressed with Silverfast. I got to get these 5 x 7's done asap as they are on loan for a very short time. Will be interesting to learn about Silverfast.

Might I ask what kind of scanner you use?

Thanks

Smorton

Taija71A
31-May-2016, 11:40
...Then it necessarily follows that the negative is the "perfect file" and doesn't require "Photoshop"...

Very rarely... Is the Negative ever a "Perfect File".
Long before the invention of Adobe Photoshop... I think that AA perhaps had the 'Correct' idea?

"The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways."
“You don't take a photograph, you make it.”

~~ Ansel Adams. ~~

Jim Andrada
31-May-2016, 13:06
Well, sometimes the negative isn't quite perfect. Even contact printers occasionally resort to some modifications although if I were contact printing it's probably fair to say that I'd make sure the negs were more almost perfect.

RHITMrB
31-May-2016, 15:32
The biggest problem with Silverfast SE, in my opinion, is that it doesn't allow you to scan in 16 bit per channel mode. I think Silverfast's pricing model is ridiculous, but unfortunately, if you want 16 bits per channel, you can't avoid upgrading to Ai.

williaty
31-May-2016, 21:02
That's incorrect.

SilverFast SE will allow you to scan in 16bit/ch and export to TIFF or DNG. The serious limitation is that you can't scan a negative and have it use NegaFix to invert and color/tone correct the negative into a positive while in 16bit/ch mode. You have to upgrade to SilverFast Ai Studio to be able to output 16bit/ch from a negative that's been properly inverted to a positive.

I brought that up in post #6

RHITMrB
1-Jun-2016, 08:08
That's incorrect.

SilverFast SE will allow you to scan in 16bit/ch and export to TIFF or DNG. The serious limitation is that you can't scan a negative and have it use NegaFix to invert and color/tone correct the negative into a positive while in 16bit/ch mode. You have to upgrade to SilverFast Ai Studio to be able to output 16bit/ch from a negative that's been properly inverted to a positive.

I brought that up in post #6

You're right - it looks like this changed since I had to buy Silverfast 6 Ai! :D This makes the limitation on only NegaFix even stranger, in my opinion...

David Lobato
1-Jun-2016, 08:49
The goal in scanning is not to get an image that is perfect, but to capture as much useful information as possible so that you can make a perfect file in Photoshop. Ken's tutorial shows you how to set the end points so that you won't lose valuable tonal information in the shadows and highlights.

Sandy

In traditional wet printing the paper imparts its inherent S-curve to the negative's S-curve for the tonality we are familiar with in B&W prints. A scanner can output a linear scale of tones in the negative, which makes it look flat and dull. But that's okay, we're not done yet. Photoshop, or other software tools, imparts an S-curve to the negative in a similar way print paper does, and completes the image process cycle for the right tonality we want. I don't trust my scanners to arrange the negative's tones as well as with Photoshop, or Aperture, or Lightroom.