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Re: filmscanners: Polaroid Insight vs. Silverfast AI vs. Vuescan

If you are happy with Insight, stay with it.  There's no point in punishing yourself by being forced to learn how a new piece of software works.  The ability to remove the orange mask from negatives is something that some software can have problems with.  Insight has been improved and if it does a good job with negatives, stay with it.  A lot of people have had problems with scanning negatives with the software that came with their scanner, so they switched to Vuescan which works well with negatives.  Vuescan is cheap, has a poor user interface (from what I've read here), but there are a lot of users on this list (including Vuescan's creator) who can help you with it.  SilverFast has some more sophisticated color correcting features that I doubt you need from your description of the work you do.  SilverFast is very hard to learn (there's no adequate instruction manual for it, but one has been p! romised), is expensive to maintain as you have to pay for upgrades, and has other disadvantages.  In spite of all of that, I use SilverFast.  If I had it to do all over again, I'd have probably stayed with Insight.  If you were to use SilverFast, make sure you have the version 5.5 upgrade as it gives you something called NegaFix that has film profiles that allow it to do a decent job with negative film.  One of the reasons I use SilverFast is that I like to scan all of my film at one time in the 16-bit mode (gives 48-bit files) using SilverFast Ai.  When I'm all done scanning, I can shut off the scanner and either start processing the raw 48-bit scans with SilverFast HDR, or wait until the next day or the next week to use HDR on the 48-bit files.  I don't believe that Insight or Vuescan can read a 48-bit file on your hard disc and require that you do all color manipulation on the image while actually doing the scan.  (Someone correct me if ! I'm wrong on this.)  It's possible to use Photoshop to color correct a 48-bit image, remove the orange mask from a negative, etc., but I find that it's a lot easier to use scanner software (SilverFast HDR in my case) to do the color corrections.

I hope my comments are useful.  But I think you've probably answered your own question.  Insight is good software and if it does the job for you, it's all you need.

In a message dated 12/3/2001 7:51:06 AM Pacific Standard Time, BobGldstn@aol.com writes:

I have just started using my new Sprintscan 4000.  before I invest a lot of
time in the learning curve, can anyone recommend which scanner software is
best for which users?  Insight and Silversoft are included with the scanner,
and I could easily get Vuescan.

I am an amateur photographer using both slide and negative film.  My
preferences run to very sharp, realistic prints in both B&W and color, and I
might occasionally want to enlarge a portion of a 35mm frame to 8 x 12.  So
far, I have used Insight and had no particular trouble with color fidelity
getting through Photoshp 6 and my Epson 1270 printer. So I am not intending
to spend a lot of time adjusting color.

Bob Goldstein


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