Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?

Started Nov 20, 2007 | Discussions
ken henke
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Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
Nov 20, 2007

Just curious as to some users experience with Vuescan and Silverfast. I have a Plustek 7200i film scanner, so I am just learning to use Silverfast SE. I also upgraded to get the multi-exposure feature. Some questions I have:

1. How well does Vuescan dust and scratch function work? Any detail loss? Does it work on Kodachrome slides? If it is indeed an infrared function, it shouldn't be used on silver-based Kodachrome, from what I understand. On E-6 slides how does it compare to Silverfast's SRD function?

2. How well does Vuescan multi-scan function work? Worth the extra scanning time?

3. Overall comparison of the two programs from a quality of output standpoint. I realize this may not be a fair comparison given Silverfast has many features, but I would still welcome any comments. Obviously, the "real time" view of any manipulations in Silverfast may be a huge benefit. And, of course, the cost of Vuescan is certainly a no-brainer.

Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to ken henke, Nov 21, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:

Just curious as to some users experience with Vuescan and Silverfast.
I have a Plustek 7200i film scanner, so I am just learning to use
Silverfast SE. I also upgraded to get the multi-exposure feature.
Some questions I have:

I have exactly the same scanner.

1. How well does Vuescan dust and scratch function work? Any detail
loss? Does it work on Kodachrome slides? If it is indeed an
infrared function, it shouldn't be used on silver-based Kodachrome,
from what I understand. On E-6 slides how does it compare to
Silverfast's SRD function?

You can try the demo. It works pretty well, though I stick to low to medium mostly. Tend to stay on low. I think its better than silverfast, in this dept. It replaces scratches with more skill, IMHO.

Slides, they dont work well with infared removal, or ICE on other scanners. What you need is this, its free.

http://www.polaroid.com/service/software/poladsr/poladsr.html

Works very well on slides, you can run it on its own, or in PS. I use it on its own. With a bit of tweaking, even my oldie slides are nice and mostly clean.

2. How well does Vuescan multi-scan function work? Worth the extra
scanning time?

It works well enough. If you are scanning at 7200 dpi, 10 times plus multiscan, go make some lunch! lol

Serioulsy I use it for mainly 3/4 scans, to wipe out any chance of noise in the scan, it appears to work well enough.

3. Overall comparison of the two programs from a quality of output
standpoint. I realize this may not be a fair comparison given
Silverfast has many features, but I would still welcome any comments.
Obviously, the "real time" view of any manipulations in Silverfast
may be a huge benefit. And, of course, the cost of Vuescan is
certainly a no-brainer.

I mostly get better results with Vuescan. I do have silverfast, and I do use it a bit, but I just feel I get better more accurate results from vuescan. I didnt upgrade to the multiscan, as I was a bit niffed at silverfast for not offering it for free, I spent extra on the scanner to get the AI version. I kinda wasted my time and money.

Silverfast is very comprehensive, but I just prefer vuescan. I see a place for both being honest, though if I had nothing..I would pick vuescan anyday over silverfast. Easier to use, nicer results, and it costs a whole lot less.
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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 21, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Ken Henke wrote:

Just curious as to some users experience with Vuescan and Silverfast.
I have a Plustek 7200i film scanner, so I am just learning to use
Silverfast SE. I also upgraded to get the multi-exposure feature.
Some questions I have:

I have exactly the same scanner.

1. How well does Vuescan dust and scratch function work? Any detail
loss? Does it work on Kodachrome slides? If it is indeed an
infrared function, it shouldn't be used on silver-based Kodachrome,
from what I understand. On E-6 slides how does it compare to
Silverfast's SRD function?

You can try the demo. It works pretty well, though I stick to low to
medium mostly. Tend to stay on low. I think its better than
silverfast, in this dept. It replaces scratches with more skill, IMHO.

Slides, they dont work well with infared removal, or ICE on other
scanners. What you need is this, its free.

http://www.polaroid.com/service/software/poladsr/poladsr.html

Works very well on slides, you can run it on its own, or in PS. I use
it on its own. With a bit of tweaking, even my oldie slides are nice
and mostly clean.

When you refer to slides, are you referring to both Kodachrome and E-6 slides?

2. How well does Vuescan multi-scan function work? Worth the extra
scanning time?

It works well enough. If you are scanning at 7200 dpi, 10 times plus
multiscan, go make some lunch! lol

Serioulsy I use it for mainly 3/4 scans, to wipe out any chance of
noise in the scan, it appears to work well enough.

3. Overall comparison of the two programs from a quality of output
standpoint. I realize this may not be a fair comparison given
Silverfast has many features, but I would still welcome any comments.
Obviously, the "real time" view of any manipulations in Silverfast
may be a huge benefit. And, of course, the cost of Vuescan is
certainly a no-brainer.

I mostly get better results with Vuescan. I do have silverfast, and I
do use it a bit, but I just feel I get better more accurate results
from vuescan. I didnt upgrade to the multiscan, as I was a bit niffed
at silverfast for not offering it for free, I spent extra on the
scanner to get the AI version. I kinda wasted my time and money.

Silverfast is very comprehensive, but I just prefer vuescan. I see a
place for both being honest, though if I had nothing..I would pick
vuescan anyday over silverfast. Easier to use, nicer results, and it
costs a whole lot less.

Yea, the muti-exposure feature now in Silverfast really interested me if it could increase the dynamic range of my scanner. I haven't had the time to test this feature, but will soon. Very curious to see if I wasted $$ upgrading. I had used Vuescan in the past, but was quite pleased. Again, the real time view of changes in Silverfast is a very attractive feature, but it may be a mute point if Vuescan's ease of use and generation of quality scans surpasses Silverfast. Like you indicated, it is possible that some slides, particulary ones with more shadows, may benefit using Silverfast.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to ken henke, Nov 21, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:

When you refer to slides, are you referring to both Kodachrome and
E-6 slides?

Yes scanning kodachrome slides. IR doesnt work so well, it does a bit, but this is true to all scanners. That software works nice on slides, not so well on negatives.

Yea, the muti-exposure feature now in Silverfast really interested me
if it could increase the dynamic range of my scanner. I haven't had
the time to test this feature, but will soon. Very curious to see if
I wasted $$ upgrading. I had used Vuescan in the past, but was quite
pleased. Again, the real time view of changes in Silverfast is a very
attractive feature, but it may be a mute point if Vuescan's ease of
use and generation of quality scans surpasses Silverfast. Like you
indicated, it is possible that some slides, particulary ones with
more shadows, may benefit using Silverfast.

If you notice on silverfast, you have an "HDR" option in the main selection. It makes your scans dark. So you pp them afterwards, pull them up.

For non HDR on silverfast

Pay attention to the highlight areas mostly, tweak the settings to hold that area. You can lift up shadows a bit more later.

Same with Vuescan, most setting needs a tweak to get the best from them, silverfast is more geared to tweaking in that app, VS is more basic, but you can pp after the scan. VS also has a direct to RAW, aka RAW from the scanner CCD. Not tried it yet..so cannot comment.

Wouldnt worry about the DR too much, not had much problem on that front. Slide scanning takes a bit of skill and tweaking to get right. Only scanner I ever tied that didnt have a hard time with high contrast slides so much was Minolta's Eite II. Most do.

Used a fair few scanners, and the Dmax no. seems to mean not that big a difference in the real world.

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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 21, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Ken Henke wrote:

When you refer to slides, are you referring to both Kodachrome and
E-6 slides?

Yes scanning kodachrome slides. IR doesnt work so well, it does a
bit, but this is true to all scanners. That software works nice on
slides, not so well on negatives.

Yea, that makes sense because of the silver in Kodachrome slides.

Yea, the muti-exposure feature now in Silverfast really interested me
if it could increase the dynamic range of my scanner. I haven't had
the time to test this feature, but will soon. Very curious to see if
I wasted $$ upgrading. I had used Vuescan in the past, but was quite
pleased. Again, the real time view of changes in Silverfast is a very
attractive feature, but it may be a mute point if Vuescan's ease of
use and generation of quality scans surpasses Silverfast. Like you
indicated, it is possible that some slides, particulary ones with
more shadows, may benefit using Silverfast.

If you notice on silverfast, you have an "HDR" option in the main
selection. It makes your scans dark. So you pp them afterwards, pull
them up.

For non HDR on silverfast
Pay attention to the highlight areas mostly, tweak the settings to
hold that area. You can lift up shadows a bit more later.

Same with Vuescan, most setting needs a tweak to get the best from
them, silverfast is more geared to tweaking in that app, VS is more
basic, but you can pp after the scan. VS also has a direct to RAW,
aka RAW from the scanner CCD. Not tried it yet..so cannot comment.

Wouldnt worry about the DR too much, not had much problem on that
front. Slide scanning takes a bit of skill and tweaking to get right.
Only scanner I ever tied that didnt have a hard time with high
contrast slides so much was Minolta's Eite II. Most do.

Used a fair few scanners, and the Dmax no. seems to mean not that big
a difference in the real world.

Thanks...the "real" world experience is more important to me than research papers. Indeed, the highlights are exacting what I am focusing on. In addition, the dust and scratches. Other than that, I will fulliy anticipate further editing in Lightzone, for me. Of course that brings up the classic question, is it better to conduct a majority of the editing in scanning software of editing software? Not sure yet. Any experience on that issue?

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to ken henke, Nov 21, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:
Thanks...the "real" world experience is more important to me than
research papers. Indeed, the highlights are exacting what I am
focusing on. In addition, the dust and scratches. Other than that, I
will fulliy anticipate further editing in Lightzone, for me. Of
course that brings up the classic question, is it better to conduct a
majority of the editing in scanning software of editing software? Not
sure yet. Any experience on that issue?

To be honest, for me..I find it a lot easier to do adjustments, contrast, colour, levels etc, in another application. You can do it, a fair bit in silverfast, but its just a bit awkward IMO. Vuescan is not really meant for major adjustments, its got the basic stuff covered.

If you are worried about pp on scans, you can save as TIFF, thus not do any long term damage to the files, aka compression etc. I dont often scan a 7200dpi, I think 3600 is fine for most stuff. Takes less time also.

As you already have silverfast, do what I do, keep it for some stuff. The odd time it might be better, but over 90% of my scans are done in vuescan, its working pretty well for me. Give it a trial spin, see what you think.

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Paul Stricklin
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast ?
In reply to ken henke, Nov 21, 2007

The nice thing about Vuescan is the ease of adjusting the averaging areas to match the quality of the images you have. The multiple scans do greatly reduce random noise. If you do an initial low res scan of a slide set, the images will help ID the special handling needs for individual slides in a given set. Unless you are one of the special ppls that have a very high keeper ratio, why spend lots of time on images that don't meet your standards.

The nicely researched set of film settings is worth far more than the registration fee of the programs.

Paul Stricklin
--
Club, Event Photographer to pay for the equipment
Nature, Landscape for the joy of life

LPS

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ken henke
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Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 22, 2007

Although I don't have much experience with either program, some of my first tests indicate Silverfast is clearly better.

Silverfast scan

Vuescan

Probably more from a lack of experience, but I don't find setting white and black points very easy in Vuescan. Also, this was a very difficult slide as it was relatively dark.

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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 22, 2007
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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 22, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:

Ummm...for some reason I didn't get the photos embedded. Try the links

Silverfast

http://picasaweb.google.com/laramiecats/Maroon/photo#5135797071536304162

Vuescan

http://picasaweb.google.com/laramiecats/Maroon/photo#5135797097306107954

Hmmm

did you make the correct adjustments in VS? Looks pretty flat to me.
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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 22, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Ken Henke wrote:

Ummm...for some reason I didn't get the photos embedded. Try the links

Silverfast

http://picasaweb.google.com/laramiecats/Maroon/photo#5135797071536304162

Vuescan

http://picasaweb.google.com/laramiecats/Maroon/photo#5135797097306107954

Hmmm

did you make the correct adjustments in VS? Looks pretty flat to me.

Apparently not. I tried the white and black point % slider, but it didn't seem to help enough. And, yes, the main issue is how flat the image is. Any thoughts of what I should have adjusted? Again, it may just be getting used to using Vuescan. The layout is strange.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 22, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:
Apparently not. I tried the white and black point % slider, but it
didn't seem to help enough. And, yes, the main issue is how flat the
image is. Any thoughts of what I should have adjusted? Again, it may
just be getting used to using Vuescan. The layout is strange.

Ok you want to look at curve low, and curve high, maybe brightness as well.

It is a bit different to SF, thats for sure. But you will get used to it.

Oh, and tick pixel colours, that way you can keep an eye on highlight and shadows. Be more concerned with highlight.

See how you get on with that..

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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 23, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Ken Henke wrote:
Apparently not. I tried the white and black point % slider, but it
didn't seem to help enough. And, yes, the main issue is how flat the
image is. Any thoughts of what I should have adjusted? Again, it may
just be getting used to using Vuescan. The layout is strange.

Ok you want to look at curve low, and curve high, maybe brightness as
well.

It is a bit different to SF, thats for sure. But you will get used to
it.

Oh, and tick pixel colours, that way you can keep an eye on highlight
and shadows. Be more concerned with highlight.

See how you get on with that..

Yea, I did try some of the functions. One of the most frustrating aspects of of this, is that the scan shown in Vuescan does not match the scan when I view it in another editing application. Pretty hard to adjust with that situation.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 23, 2007

Ken Henke wrote:
Yea, I did try some of the functions. One of the most frustrating
aspects of of this, is that the scan shown in Vuescan does not match
the scan when I view it in another editing application. Pretty hard
to adjust with that situation.

Check your colour management settings. That can throw it off big time.

If its a major problem, try setting it to either the monitor profile, or sRGB. I assume your monitor is fairly close to what it should be?
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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 23, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Ken Henke wrote:
Yea, I did try some of the functions. One of the most frustrating
aspects of of this, is that the scan shown in Vuescan does not match
the scan when I view it in another editing application. Pretty hard
to adjust with that situation.

Check your colour management settings. That can throw it off big time.

If its a major problem, try setting it to either the monitor profile,
or sRGB. I assume your monitor is fairly close to what it should be?

I do have it set to my monitor profile. Is there any other setting in Vuescan?

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Henry Richardson
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Vuescan scan to RAW file
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Nov 23, 2007

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

If you are worried about pp on scans, you can save as TIFF, thus not
do any long term damage to the files, aka compression etc. I dont
often scan a 7200dpi, I think 3600 is fine for most stuff. Takes less
time also.

I used to do a lot of scanning and I have been a Vuescan user since it was beta 0.7 back in 1998. What I usually do is scan to RAW. That will create a RAW file that you can then go back to later with Vuescan and "re-scan" as many times as you want with different settings. In fact, I have a couple of hundred Vuescan RAW files that I did back in 2004 that I still haven't gotten around to processing. I should get on that. They were all done with something like 8 times multi-sampling on my Minolta Elite. By the way, if you do the scan to RAW file thing make sure you select 64 bit (which includes the infrared channel).

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ken henke
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Re: Vuescan scan to RAW file
In reply to Henry Richardson, Nov 23, 2007

Henry Richardson wrote:

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

If you are worried about pp on scans, you can save as TIFF, thus not
do any long term damage to the files, aka compression etc. I dont
often scan a 7200dpi, I think 3600 is fine for most stuff. Takes less
time also.

I used to do a lot of scanning and I have been a Vuescan user since
it was beta 0.7 back in 1998. What I usually do is scan to RAW.
That will create a RAW file that you can then go back to later with
Vuescan and "re-scan" as many times as you want with different
settings. In fact, I have a couple of hundred Vuescan RAW files that
I did back in 2004 that I still haven't gotten around to
processing. I should get on that. They were all done with
something like 8 times multi-sampling on my Minolta Elite. By the
way, if you do the scan to RAW file thing make sure you select 64 bit
(which includes the infrared channel).

That is a great thought, actually. Clearly, I want to scan in many of my past slides in, but if I focus too much on editing each photo, I may never get it done. Right now I am just focusing on some particulary good slides for enlargements. I still am not getting the scans I want out of Vuescan, so I guess I better question Ed. Scans out of Silverfast do look the same when opened in another editing program, yet, as stated, Vuescan scans look different. Other than some color management issues, the comparison between Silverfast and Vuescan is very very close.

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Henry Richardson
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Re: Vuescan scan to RAW file
In reply to ken henke, Nov 23, 2007

If you scan to RAW it is really fast because you don't have to make any adjustments for each scan. Just do the scan and then move onto the next slide. Later when you have time you can one by one go back to the folder with all the RAW scans and process them.

The Vuescan interface is quite different than what you are generally used to, so it would be worthwhile for you to read the help file and user guide, if you haven't done that already. The early Vuescan was a Windows command line program -- sort of like dcraw. Of course, now it has a huge number of controls so that makes it appear complicated.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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RAW scans
In reply to ken henke, Nov 25, 2007

I have some 400 slides to work thought (tip for others..dont offer to scan old slides for family! lol)

Tried out the RAW, using DNG, and I have to say this looks like the best way to work through big jobs.

You can get stuck into it, without messing about tweaking etc, then come back once you have them all scanned, and tweak away (I use LR by the way)

Also ideal for archive reasons, ala you are not "stuck" with the adjustments you made (or any errors), and can re pp later on.

So with that in mind, I would say Vuescan is worth its asking price just for this feature alone.
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StephaneB
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Re: Vuescan vs. Silverfast test
In reply to ken henke, Nov 25, 2007

Hmmm, pardon me for saying so, but your conclusion is due to your lack of experience.

The VueScan one is actually the better scan , while what you got from SilverFast is a backed finished product.

Silverfast tries, and fails in my opinion, to be a complete thing while VueScan tries to get the most information from your film.

In your Silverfast sample, you have clipping both in the shasows and in the snow. These are lost forever. With VueScan you get a file that needs to be porcessed to do what you want with it. That can be automated in PhotoShop.

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