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Thread: RAW scanning in Silverfast, with with Epson V850

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    RAW scanning in Silverfast, with with Epson V850

    I like using the 16->8 mode when scanning B&W negatives because I can use the negafix to adjust for the specific film I'm using.

    I found it very hard to emulate the results from negafix using what Silverfast refers to as RAW format.

    The advantage of RAW is more flexibility I suppose, but using curves and levels I always and up with awful results, so I've always used 16->8.

    Does anyone has suggestions/advices?

  2. #2

    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    There is no raw format when scanning film, at least in the terms you're probably referring to - like that from a digital camera. Your best bet is to scan flat without clipping either the highlights or shadows using 16 bits per channel then using Curves Adjustment Layers to tone your image to your satisfaction. If your results are "awful" using Curves and Levels, there are plenty of tutorials out there to show you how to use them effectively. Hint: Levels are just Curves with three adjustable points and two hidden fixed points and a lot less flexibility than Curves. Once you master Curves, you'll never look at Levels again. No need to. Also, maybe post a couple of examples of what you're talking about so we can see and give better advice.

  3. #3

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    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatchian View Post
    There is no raw format when scanning film, at least in the terms you're probably referring to - like that from a digital camera. Your best bet is to scan flat without clipping either the highlights or shadows using 16 bits per channel then using Curves Adjustment Layers to tone your image to your satisfaction. If your results are "awful" using Curves and Levels, there are plenty of tutorials out there to show you how to use them effectively. Hint: Levels are just Curves with three adjustable points and two hidden fixed points and a lot less flexibility than Curves. Once you master Curves, you'll never look at Levels again. No need to. Also, maybe post a couple of examples of what you're talking about so we can see and give better advice.
    Do you see any advantage in using RAW format (Silverfast version of RAW). I've been using the 16->8 mode for a while now, and it seems just fine in post-processing.

  4. #4

    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    What is 16-8 mode?

  5. #5

    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    OK, I see that is when SF uses 16 bits internally and then outputs 8 bits. No, you don't want to do that. You want to scan internally at 16 bits and keep it at 16 bits, so whatever setting it takes to let that happen, as I don't have a copy of SF to look at and it's been a long long time since I've set anyone up on that. You also might want to try scanning as 48 bit RGB even though it's black and white. Often times these lower priced scanners, when using a single channel, are not using the best one and it's better to get a neutral RGB scan and then convert to Grayscale or do what I do, just leave it as 16 bit RGB.

  6. #6

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    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    I've been using Silverfast scanning software for nearly 20 years and the best results I've ever obtained are when scanning a raw linear file, then using ColorPerfect to convert in PS.

  7. #7

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    Re: RAW scanning in Silverfast, with with Epson V850

    You have to save files in TIFF format to conserve 16 bits. TIFF, always TIFF !!

  8. #8
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: RAW scanning in Silverstast, with with Epson V850

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatchian View Post
    There is no raw format when scanning film, at least in the terms you're probably referring to - like that from a digital camera. Your best bet is to scan flat without clipping either the highlights or shadows using 16 bits per channel then using Curves Adjustment Layers to tone your image to your satisfaction. If your results are "awful" using Curves and Levels, there are plenty of tutorials out there to show you how to use them effectively. Hint: Levels are just Curves with three adjustable points and two hidden fixed points and a lot less flexibility than Curves. Once you master Curves, you'll never look at Levels again. No need to. Also, maybe post a couple of examples of what you're talking about so we can see and give better advice.
    I'm scanning with a Epson V600 and Epsonscan software. I adjust levels so there is no clipping during the scan. But all other adjustments I do in post processing. Can you explain how to use curves instead of levels during the scan.

  9. #9

    Re: RAW scanning in Silverfast, with with Epson V850

    Alan - I don't know what your level of comfort is with Photoshop. The best way tone your black and white scan is with a series of Adjustment Layers. Curves is almost always the best tool as it allows you to have more control over the tonality of the image than any other tool in Ps. You can orient the Curves dialog so that the shadows are at the lower left and the highlights are at the upper right. That should be the default but not always and old time pre-press guys like them to be the opposite.

    I usually start out with a fairly simple Curve that just sets highlight and shadow points (using the Color Sampler Probes in the Info Palette) and maybe hits a bit of overall tonality. Then I move to more targeted Adjustment Layers, making the adjustment, then immediately filling the mask of the Adjustment Layer with Black, then slowly painting that adjustment back in using an appropriate brush. By painting on the mask, you can not make a mistake, painting in the adjustment with white and painting it back out with black.

    The advantage of Curves over Levels is that you can target any part of the tonal range and use up to 16 adjustment point on the Curve to make fairly complex and effective corrections. You can lighten an area while simultaneously adding contrast exactly how YOU want to and not be severely limited by the three control points of Levels.

    There are many youtube tutes out there about how to use Adjustment Layers, but the basic idea is that with an Adjustment Layer is infinitely undoable and does not permanently apply its adjustment until you finally flatten all the layers of the image. Which, of course, I don't recommend that you do. Generally keep a layered Tiff or .psb file if your files are larger than 4 gb and save off a copy for printing or online distribution. There is very little reason to ever use the native .psd Photoshop format anymore as tiff does everything that .psd will do except make duotone, tritones and quadtones for offset press and tiff doubles the file size limit of .psd from 2 gb to 4 - and lets you save with zip compression on both background and layers if you want which results in longer save times but a smaller file than .psd.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: RAW scanning in Silverfast, with with Epson V850

    I've used Silverfast raw 16bit (4passes) to get the file then use Silverfast HDR Studio to process the file to 16bit TIF or 8bit TIF files with dust removal feature and all the color adjustments on the fly. Processing the raw files is much faster than scanning for raw files. Raw files are huge and slow to scan but will maximize your effort if you don't want to rescan the film in the future. Silverfast Negafix is a big disappointment, and will not accurately emulate the film signature colors and the choices available are limiting. I always have to tweak the colors in Silverfast HDR Studio to get get what I need and it's much more efficient than messing with Photoshop.

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