Hamrick Software Vuescan

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Increase the quality of your slide and negative scans from VueScan Professional with ColorPerfect! Find out more about how to scan with VueScan. ColorPerfect processes scans with color integrity and gives unprecedented flexibility in creative image editing. To harness the full potential of our Photoshop Plug-in it's important to obtain image data that has been subjected to as little processing as possible (RAW data). The following tutorial gives a step by step explanation on how to achieve this with VueScan Professional. Also watch our video tutorial on creating linear scans with Vuescan.

Details The Vuescan is installed both on real Windows 10 machine and physical machine with Windows XP. All found full texts of emails with Hamrick software and log are enclosed. I use its Vuescan software to scan films with Hewlett Packard Scanjet 4600 scanner. Hamrick Software VueScan 9.7.11 Sample Photos. Value For Money. VueScan Professional is available for $89/99 for a life-time license, which can be used on up to 4 computers, this. By Hamrick Software VueScan (64-bit) is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have color fidelity and color balance. Hamrick Softwares VueScan allows your scanner to perform at a higher level. Compatible with thousands of scanners by all major brands, the software can output your scanned documents in a variety of formats, including PDF, JPEG, and TIFF. It can also create OCR text files from your document to make editable files from your originals.

By Hamrick Software VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have color fidelity and color balance. Its very easy to use,.

Creating linear scans of slides and negatives with VueScan Professional


Hamrick Software's VueScan Professional is very well suited to create linear scans of slides and negatives since the professional version of VueScan features a special RAW output mode. To create suitable scans you first have to select the input tab and to choose either slide or color negative from the media pulldown list.

For both choices a negative is preserved as such in a RAW scan's linear output file. The difference between the two modes in combination with RAW scans is that for color negative mode the three color channels of a scan are being scaled up using suitable factors to ensure that all of these use the same range of values. Since Photoshop actually uses only 15 bit plus 1 value precision instead of the full 16 bit range used in a linear Tiff file that kind of scaling can be beneficial. If you are not using the advanced techniques of exposure control or analog gain detailed further down on this page you should choose color negative as your medium for negative scans. When scanning slides this mode could also be beneficial when scanning film with noticeable color casts. E.g. a daylight scene shot on tungsten film without filtration or vice versa.

Then select the required bit depth which is controlled by the setting 'Bits per pixel'. Set this to '48 bit RGB' which equals 16 bit per channel. The resolution of the scan is also being defined on the input tab. When scanning for archival purposes it is recommended that you use the full physical resolution your scanner is capable of. In the example screen shots a Nikon Super Coolscan LS 8000 is used which is able to scan at 4000 dpi. If your scanner supports multi sampling that may be used to further improve the scan's quality where needed. You can specify this under the 'Number of samples' option which is only visible if this feature is available for your hardware. Using multi sampling on color negatives is generally beneficial since the darkest areas of such transparencies contain a lot of important detail while any dark areas are especially prone to noise. The noise that occurs at random in a single sample scan can be reduced by taking multiple samples because such noise will not occur in the same places between different samples.

Putting out RAW Tiff files

Next select the output tab and deactivate the standard Tiff file output while activating RAW file output. Both modes write Tiff files. The normal Tiff files however are images edited and gamma encoded by VueScan while those of the RAW output mode are of linear gamma and are always equivalent to the light intensities read in by the scanner. That is the scan of a negative always remains a negative in a RAW output file and is therefore ideally suited for later conversion with ColorPerfect's ColorNeg mode or the original ColorNeg plug-in.

It is important that you do create linear Tiff files and not linear DNG files. It is not possible to open a DNG file with Photoshop without going through Adobe Camera RAW which does not allow linear output. The only way to open the unaltered linear data as saved by VueScan with Photoshop is by use of linear Tiff files. Therefore you need to make sure that the option 'RAW DNG format' is left unchecked.

If you have created such linear DNG files with VueScan by accident or in the past that is not a problem. You can convert large numbers of such files to the Tiff format using the freeware command line RAW converter dcraw. Command: dcraw -T -4 -D *.dng

Black and white (grayscale) linear scans

To create linear 16 bit grayscale scans generally follow the instructions of the two paragraphs above but instead of choosing 'Color Negative' for the Media setting on the Input tab choose 'B+W Negative'. Also make sure that the 'RAW file type' setting on the Output tab is set to Auto or '16 bit Gray'. For scanning black and white negatives ignore the following two paragraphs of this page. In particular make sure that the 'Infrared clean' feature on the Filter tab is disabled by setting it to None. The underlying technology does not work for black and white negative film because of its silver halide clusters being opaque to the infrared light source used - just as dust and scratches would be.

Removal of dust and scratches and putting out a suitable alpha channel if desired

If your scanner features a function to remove dust and scratches you can also put out the alpha channel produced by use of the respective infrared light source. To do so you have to set the RAW file type to '64 bit RGBI'. This kind of alpha channel can later be used in retouching an image. If you don't need this kind of data set the RAW file type to '48 bit RGB' instead.

If you want VueScan to remove dust and scratches automatically you can activate the option infrared cleaning which is located on the filter tab. Simply set this to the desired strength. To apply such corrections to RAW scans you additionally have to modify the setting 'RAW output with' on the output tab. The default for this is Scan which means that the RAW data is already being written to file during scanning. While doing so VueScan does not process the RAW data at all so that any settings you made on the filter tab are being ignored. If you specify Save instead of Scan the RAW data is written after the scan finishes and has been processed according to your settings on the filter tab. This mode is a bit slower but is required if you want VueScan to apply infrared cleaning to your linear Tiff files before saving them to disk.

Improving quality using exposure control and/or analog gain

The level of detail captured during scanning is of importance to the final image's quality. For some scanners further options that can be of interest are available on the input tab. This is the case if your scanner hardware supports variable exposure settings. If that is so check the option 'Lock exposure' and create a test scan using an arbitrary color negative. To observe the effect of your settings on the linear Tiff file choose slide from the media pull down list instead of choosing color negative as instructed above. This way VueScan will not scale the individual color channels and you can easily observe the effect of different exposure settings in Photoshop. Increase the exposure in a series of test scans and find the setting for which the data of the red color channel populates half to three fourths of the red channel's histogram in Photoshop.

Some scanners like Nikon's Coolscan models allow different exposure settings for the individual color channels. This is generally referred to as analog gain. With this tool you can reduce or even eliminate a color negative's orange mask at the time of scanning. In a typical color negative scan the red color channel is brightest. The green channel usually is more than 1 exposure value (EV) darker and the blue channel is 1 EV darker still. Canceling out these differences by suitable adjustments increases the level of detail captured. In VueScan analog gain values are not specified in terms of EVs but rather as factors. Start by setting Green to 2.5 and Blue to 4.0 for your test scan. As shown for an exemplary negative these settings should lead to roughly equally distributed data in the individual color channels' histograms. Should this not be the case find the right factors in further test scans. It is important that no clipping occurs at the right of the histograms and that you do leave some room so that no clipping will occur for other negatives either. If a bit of free space in the film holder next to a negative leads to a white area in your scan that is irrelevant of course. Populating somewhere above half of a linear scan's histogram bins is usually sufficient as the right half of the histogram represents just a single EV. Once you have found suitable exposure settings you can usually use the same settings on all negatives with a similar orange mask. A completely unexposed portion of the film base always is the brightest point in any negative scan. Only material with a significantly different mask will require different factors than those determined in these initial tests.

For modern scanners with a true 16 bit A/D converter adjusting the analog gain settings often has little impact on a negative's conversion since there will be enough detail even without doing this. If you don't use analog gain choose color negative from the media pull down list after you finish testing. For older scanners with 14 bit precision per channel or even only 12 bit analog gain adjustments can make a significant difference. If we consider that the blue channel of a negative scan contains the least detail we can observe that its precision can be increased to the level found in an unadjusted scan with 2 more bit per channel precision. Something to note in this context is that often the lamp's brightness can't be increased any further. For the Coolscan scanners the exposure time is being lengthened instead. It is conceivable that for other scanners the signal might be amplified electrically which is unlikely to work equally well. In any event using analog gain will require some tests.

Developer(s)Hamrick Software (Ed Hamrick; David Hamrick)
Initial release1998; 23 years ago
Stable release
Operating systemWindows XP or later,[2]
Mac OS X Panther or later,
Ubuntu Linux 8.10 or later
Red Hat Linux 9 or later[3]
PlatformIA-32 and x86-64
SizeWindows: 6 MB
Mac OS: 9 MB
Linux: 6 MB[3]
TypeImage scanner and optical character recognition

VueScan is a computer program for image scanning, especially of photographs, including negatives.[4] It supports optical character recognition (OCR) of text documents.[5][6] The software can be downloaded and used free of charge, but adds a watermark on scans until a license is purchased.


VueScan is intended to work with a large number of image scanners (over 6000 in January 2020), excluding specialised professional scanners such as drum scanners, on many computer operating systems (OS), even if drivers for the scanner are not available for the OS. These scanners are supplied with device drivers and software to operate them, included in their price. A 2014 review considered that the reasons to purchase VueScan are to allow older scanners not supported by drivers for newer operating systems to be used in more up-to-date systems, and for better scanning and processing of photographs (prints; also slides and negatives when supported by scanners) than is afforded by manufacturers' software.[7] The review did not report any advantages to Vuescan's processing of documents compared to other software. When compared to SilverFast, a similar program, the reviewer considered the two programs to be comparable, with support for some specific scanners better in one or the other. Vuescan supports more scanners, with a single purchase giving access to the full range of both film and flatbed scanners, and costs less.

The Vuescan program can be used with its own drivers, or with drivers supplied by the scanner manufacturer, if supported by the operating system. Vuescan drivers can also be used without the Vuescan program by applications software that supports scanning directly, such as Adobe Photoshop, again enabling the use of scanners without current manufacturers' drivers.[8]

In 2019 when Apple Inc. released macOS Catalina, they removed support for running 32-bit programs, including 32-bit drivers for scanning equipment. In response, Hamrick released VueScan 9.7, effectively saving thousands of scanners from being rendered obsolete.[9]


VueScan enables the user to modify and fine-tune the scanning parameters. The program uses its own independent method to interface with scanner hardware, and can support many older scanners under computer operating systems for which drivers are not available, allowing old scanners to be used with newer platforms that do not otherwise support them.[10]

VueScan works with more than 2,400 different supported scanners and digital cameras on Windows, 2,100 on Mac OS X and 1,900 on Linux.[11]

VueScan is supplied as one downloadable file for each operating system, which supports the full range of scanners. Without the purchase of a license the program runs in fully functional demonstration mode, identical to Professional mode, except that watermarks are superimposed on saved and printed images. Purchase of a license removes the watermark, with a standard license also providing updates for one year, and a professional license with some additional features.

As distributed VueScan supports optical character recognition of English documents; 32 additional language packages are available on its Web site.[12]

In September 2011, VueScan co-developer Ed Hamrick said that he was selling US$3 million per year of VueScan licenses.[13]

See also[edit]

  • Image Capture — alternative scanner software bundled free with Mac OS X
  • Scanner Access Now Easy (SANE) — open-source scanner API for Unix, Windows, OS/2


  1. ^'VueScan Downloads'. Hamrick Software. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  2. ^'VueScan Release Notes - Windows Notes'. Hamrick Software.
  3. ^ ab'Softpedia Global Page for VueScan Downloads'. Softpedia. SoftNews NET SRL. 26 May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  4. ^Wayne Fulton (2010). 'VueScan - Film Scanner software'. Scantips.com. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  5. ^'VueScan'. Download.com. CBS Interactive. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  6. ^Fulton, Wayne. 'VueScan'. A few scanning tips. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  7. ^Stone, M. David (23 October 2014). 'VueScan 9 review (rating 4/5)'. PC Mag. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  8. ^'VueScan now scans directly to Photoshop'. Itproportal.com. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  9. ^'VueScan 9.7 Prevents Thousands Of Scanners From Becoming Defunct'. ephotozine.com. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  10. ^Stone, M. David (16 August 2005). 'VueScan 8.0 Professional'. PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  11. ^'Supported Scanners'. Release Notes. Hamrick Software. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  12. ^'Adding OCR Languages'. VueScan. Hamrick Software. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  13. ^'VueScan is NOT struggling'. Retrieved 15 April 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • The VueScan Bible: Everything You Need to Know for Perfect Scanning; Sascha Steinhoff; 176 pages; 2011; ISBN978-1933952697.

Hamrick Software Vuescan Review

External links[edit]

Hamrick Software Vuescan Review

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