Vuescan Silverfast

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  1. Here is a comparison of ICE on the Coolscan 5000 using Vuescan and Nikonscan. Vuescan had (has?) many built-in film profiles but I didn't find them useful. In this example, I used Kodak 160VC which Vuescan had a profile for. I also scanned the same frame with the various modifiers in Vuescan as compared to one neutral setting in Nikonscan.
  2. In a comment on my Slide Scanning Tutorial Video, a viewer asked me if I had ever used Vuescan's RAW file output instead of having Vuescan save my scans as s.
  1. Vuescan Vs Silverfast 2019
  2. Vuescan Silverfast
  3. Vuescan Vs Silverfast 2020
  4. Silverfast Versus Vuescan

Epson Scan had a slight edge over VueScan in terms of how well it blended its corrections into the surrounding image, although it was close. In terms of blending, SilverFast trailed its rivals a little overall, but the corrections from all three are only really noticeable when viewed 1:1 against a fairly smooth background such as sky or clouds.

Notes on Batch Scanning Film Strips

Since the MF Film Holdersä allow you to scan multiple frames from a single film strip, you can set your scanner software up to scan multiple frames as a single task. This is a real a time, hassle and cost saving feature which means the MF Film Holderäwill pay for itself many times over!!

Each user will have to perfect their own scanning “workflow,” but here are some tips to get you started. If you have questions which are not answered here, please consult your scanner software’s manual/help file.

**Please Note - If terms like dpi & ppi, white point, black point, histograms and curve functions are “foreign terms” to you, you should really read up on scanning basics at the wonderful ScanTips website:

Go directly to tips for:

EpsonScan Twain Software (ships with Epson® scanners)

I recommend this software for novice users because this is the easiest software to set up for batch scanning. I like the fact you can easily create an individual selection marquee for each image on your film strip and then separately adjust the curves, color balance, etc., for each image! Read the EpsonScan’s help file for complete information, but here are the basics to get you started. These steps are based on the Epson® 3200, 4870 and 4990 driver settings although the 2450, 3170 4180, 4490, V500/V600/700/750, etc., software options should be similar. These steps will work either via the EpsonScan Photoshop plug-in or via EpsonScan by itself. If your computer is “speed challenged” or doesn’t have much RAM memory, you may want to scan outside of Photoshop via EpsonScan (with Photoshop closed) so that you can scan directly to a file and thus conserve computer resources for better performance.

  • Start EpsonScan
  • Enter into Professional mode
  • Correctly set your normal parameters in the “Original,” “Destination,” and “Adjustment” sections of the EpsonScan window
  • Set the Preview function to “Normal,” not “Thumbnail”!!! (click on the small arrow to the right of the Preview button to change this)
  • Click on Preview
  • When the preview window opens and displays the preview, click the marquee erase button (top left icon in marquee box of the preview window) until all previous crop boxes are erased
  • Draw a crop box around each frame on your film strip
    • Try not to include blank areas of your film or black portions of the MF Film Holderä within the cropped areas. This will help you adjust your exposure and curve settings later.
    • You can switch between each marquee crop box and make a box active by clicking one time inside an inactive crop box
    • An active crop box will have “marching ants” around it. The active crop box can be modified by grabbing one of its edges and dragging it to a new position
    • Click on the “Zoom” button to magnify the view of the active crop. This will help you to make precise cropping adjustments. Click on the “Preview” icon to zoom back out an thus view all your cropping selections again.
  • You can manually vary the exposure and curve settings for each cropping marquee!
    • Make just one of the selection marquees active
    • Click on the histogram and/or tone correction and/or image adjustment buttons. Make your desired adjustments. Make sure to close the adjustment dialog box by choosing “Close.”
    • Select another marquee and make any desired adjustments
  • When finished individually adjusting each frame, click the “All” button found in the preview window to activate all of the marquees
  • All the marquees should be active now and have “ants” (an outline made of dashes) around them (only one will have “marching ants” though). If you do not have “ants” around all of your selections, the scanner will not batch scan!
  • Click scan to start the process and watch it do your work for you!
  • If you use the EpsonScan by itself, the files will be saved to disk. If you use it as a Photoshop plug-in, the files will be transferred to Photoshop’s working space.
  • You can elect to save these settings (including marquee selections) as a file in “Settings” area. As long as your MF Film Holderä and film strips/frames are placed in the exact same position each time and don’t require exposure adjustments, a set of “saved settings” should work for multiple sets of film strips. If in doubt, start from scratch with each film strip.
    • To save the currently selected settings, type a new name in the Settings list box (if it will let you) and then click the Save button. The option to save a named file appears to have been deleted with newer versions of EpsonScan so you must save the settings file under the generic name EpsonScan offers.
    • To apply a saved setting to scanning, select the name from the list box, and then click the Preview button. The preview image reflects the settings you have selected.
    • To delete a setting from the list, select the name and then click the Delete button.

Silverfast Ai and SE (Click here to visit Silverfast’s website)

“Silverfast SE”doesnot allow you to click the scan button and then scan multiple marquee selections at one time into separate files. At the same time, it will let you choose multiple marquee areas and scan them one after the other which can save you some time. The basic selection and adjustment procedures are the same those listed below for Silverfast Ai, but again, you can't do a true batch scan (Silverfast wants you to upgrade to Ai!).

“Silverfast Ai”does let you select multiple marquee areas and then scan them in a batch, so if you use Silverfast SE you may want to consider upgrading (info here). Here is an excellent video tutorial from Vincent Oliver at Photo-i in regard to batch scans with Silverfast:


VueScan is a high quality, third party scanning software program written by Ed Hamrick that now supports the most Epson®scanners. Information about this software and a free trial download can be found at

A few things to keep in mind when using VueScan in combination with the MF Film Holderä :

  • With VueScan, your saved input values tell the scanning software to scan the same specific location each time. Therefore it is imperative that you:
    • Place the film holder on the glass in the same place each time (so make sure you “nest” it snuggly up in the upper right corner of the scanner bed EACH TIME)
  • If you plan to use a standard set of “X offset” and “Y offset” values instead of manually drawing a starting crop box each time, you must orient the film strip itself inside the MF Film Holderä at the exact same starting position/location each time. In this case, I suggest aligning the first film frame at the very top end of the film holding channel area EACH TIME as shown in the image below:
  • If your camera has erratic spacing between image frames (quite common), you will need to compensate for this behavior. My Mamiya has shown that it can occasionally vary the spacing by up to 1.5mm. To get around this, I have made the frame size cropping measurement just a little bit larger than my actual frame size. This has worked out well for me and I just crop the excess space off when editing in Photoshop (better to have too much than not enough!).
  • VueScan is very powerful, but it can be daunting to get setup correctly. Correct scanning exposure across multiple frames when using VueScan may involve extra steps such as border %, buffer %, exposure lock, film base determination, etc. This has to do with the particulars of VueScan and not the MF Film Holderä, so please refer to your VueScan User’s guide, the “comp.periphs.scanners” UseNet newsgroup, or Ed Hamrick for help with these issues.

Nobody can explain batch scanning better than Ed, so if you own this software the first step is to refer to the “VueScan User's Guide” by Ed Hamrick which states:

VueScan normally previews or scans a single frame at a time. If you want to do multiple frames at a time, use the 'Input Batch scan' option.

You can significantly speed up batch scanning on some scanners by setting two options so the preview won't be done when you do a scan. To do this, set the cropping for all the frames, then clear 'Crop Auto position'. In addition, if the 'Input Lock exposure' option is displayed, turn it on and set 'Input RGB exposure' to either '1' or a value greater than one that won't overexpose any of the images.

You can batch scan multiple photos, slides or film strips on a flatbed scanner if you lay them out in a rectangular grid and use the following procedure: (Also see my steps listed below which include some extra steps not listed here that you might forget)

Press the Preview button

Set 'Crop More options' to 'All'

Set 'Crop Crop size' to the size of each image (don't use 'Auto')

Move the crop box to the top left image (hold the shift key)

Set 'Crop X images' to the number of images across

Set 'Crop Y images' to the number of images down

Set 'Crop X spacing' to the distance between the left sides of two images

Set 'Crop Y spacing' to the distance between the tops of two images

Set 'Input Batch scan' to 'All'

Press the Scan button

As an example, here are the inputs I use to scan a four frame film strip from my Mamiya 645 1000S camera. Remember:

  • These input numbers will vary based on image size (e.g. 645 vs. 6x9), number of images per strip (e.g. 6x6 will only have three images), and any variability in the distance between each image on film strip!
  • As stated above, you must place the MF Film Holderä in the same spot on the scanner each time and you must place the film strip in the same starting spot each time.

Individual steps I use for my 645 film strips (which may be different than yours):

·Set all other parameters on all of the tabs besides the “Crop” tab including setting “Batch Scan” to “All” on the “Input” tab!

  • When finished, go to the “Crop” tab
  • On the “Crop” tab, set your crop units to “mm”
  • Press Preview
  • Draw your box around your first film frame
    • Make sure to get this right because all other cropping measurements for the other images are based on this!
    • Hold the “ctrl” key to move the whole box (if necessary)
    • You can also tweak the box position using the X and Y offset arrows!
    • For better previews and/or if you are using auto exposure settings, try not to include any blank areas of the film strip or black areas of the MF Film Holderä
    • When you get the crop box positioned correctly, note the values in the “X offset” and “Y offset” boxes. As long as you position the holder and film strips in the exact same position each time, you can just input (repeat) these settings
  • The following values are then inputted:

'Crop X size' 56.5

Silverfast vs epson scan

'Crop Y size' 43

'Crop X images' 1

'Crop Y images' 4

'Crop X spacing' Not applicable because you are just scanning one column of images

'Crop Y spacing' 50

When you have finally tweaked these settings to your liking, make sure to save them for future use by going File > Save Options and save them under a new and appropriate description. Just load these settings/this profile the next time you want to batch scan a strip of medium format film! (Be warned - if you update to a different version of VueScan, a settings file created in a previous version of VueScan may cause errors and not work with the newer version of VueScan.)

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E-mail Contact: [email protected]

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Vuescan Silverfast

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Vuescan Silverfast


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Silverfast Versus Vuescan

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