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RE: filmscanners: Silverfast or VueScan

So, if Silverfast will, at some unspecified time in the future deliver some 
limited tone and colour edits on 16-bit images, but these are already easily 
achieved in Photoshop, given that I want to edit high-bit in Phooshop, then 
Vuescan already gives me at least as much as SF (gamma-corrected high-bit).

AFAIK, Vuescan doesn't apply any sharpening to the image if you tell it not to.

My 16-bit files are around 100MB, so my 768MB Photoshop setup doesn't have any 
trouble woth them.  By "area edits" do you mean the things you can do with 
masking and layers?  If so, I have no problem with that either.

It really looks to me as though Silverfast editing beats out Photoshop in two 
areas - "selective USM" which I'd bet can be done with masks and filters, and 
"negative curves".  I have no idea what the latter are - I assume it's more 
than just pulling down the lines in the curves dialogue?  Frankly, both these 
capabilities seen fairly abstruse, and of limited use in most images for most 

the impression I'm left with is that while SF may offer some additional 
capabilities to VS/PS, you pay for it in interface complexity.  I'm one who 
finds VS pretty easy to cope with, frankly.  While I think VS has some way to 
go yet in the area of profiles and colour management, and I'd like to see  
better hansling of black/white points and gamma, I remain unconvinced about the 
innate superiority of Silverfast for the work I do.

Thanks for the explanations.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Lyons [mailto:ilyons@mac.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 6:23 PM
To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Subject: Re: filmscanners: Silverfast or VueScan


> Ian, is it still the case that Silverfast can't deliver high-bit scans to
> Photoshop?  That was the case when I bought it for my SS4000 a year or so ago,
> and it was one of the things that pushed me to Vuescan.

SilverFast can deliver 48bit gamma correct images to Photoshop now and ahas
done since version 5.2ro3. You can't carry out any edits at present, but
that may change shortly :-) "If" it changes you will only see limited colour
and tone edits, but since you can see what they are and to what extent they
impact on the image you're ahead of the game compared to VueScan or just
about any other shipping scanner software currently available.

> I must be one fry short of a Happy Meal, because I still don't understand why
> editing high-bit images in PS is inferior to doing it in the scanner software.
> On your list below, only the scanner specific items (1 and 7) would seem to be
> unattainable with PS.

Whenever possible (and it isn't always) it is better to achieve the best
possible image in the scanner software. You need to appreciate that not
everything you think you know about high-bit in Photoshop is true. Without a
good degree of skill and the plenty of memory in Photoshop it isn't feasible
to edit a 16-bit 500MB file in Photoshop, especially when you need to apply
fixes to specific "areas" of the image. You can do it on low res dupes, but
only with great difficulty on a 500 meg file. So item 4 is in the domain of
the more knowledgeable PS users. Item 5 and the degree to which the USM can
be tweaked in VERY specific areas of the pixel boundaries is MILES ahead of
PS. It's not always a good idea to use it, but it can make a world of
difference to some images to have a slight degree of USM applied in specific
areas at scan time. In FACT Imacon apply the same approach within there
software, but don't go out of there way o tell the users that USM is ON even
when they think it's OFF. Item 6 regarding Negative curves is so far as I
know unique to SilverFast and would require one hell of a lot of effort to
achieve in Photoshop. I think that leaves items 2 and 3 as being easily done
in PS :-0

Why would you want the scanner software to
> apply the sharpening, instead of scanning raw and leaving yourself the option
> of matching the sharpening to the final image size and use?

See above and more importantly NEVER assume that the more common free issue
scanner software  doesn't apply a degree of USM on-the-fly. So far as
applying USM at scan stage - this was once a VERY common thing to do and in
many quarters still is. With care you can add just enough bite to the image
at scan stage without causing artefacts. A word of warning, don't play the
same trick with a digicam image or it will snap your head off.


Ian Lyons



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