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Epson scan or SilverfastSE

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  • Epson scan or SilverfastSE

    Silver fast came with the scanner so I'm not sure which I should use. Anyone have experience with these programs?
    I'm using it for flatbed scanning original photos.

    Is there a better version of Silverfast?

  • #2
    I have them both and use Epsonscan. A lot of the Silverfast options are replicated (better) in Photoshop. Just use Epsonscan, turn off all automation, and get the best raw scan you can. Then use PS to make adjustments.
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    • #3
      What setting are you using? Since I'm just starting out it would good to know.


      • #4
        It varies from scan to scan, plus I use a calibrating package (Monaco EasyColor2, which should come with your scanner). But I generally scan in 16bit mode. That's about the only constant. Everything else changes depending on what I'm scanning.
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        • #5
          Actually it didn't come with it. Also since I've just started can you give me a few examples of what you scanned and the settings?


          • #6
            You want to resample (change size and/or resolution) as few times as possible, so start by calculating the largest possible printed size the final image will be. Multiply that times 300 (height and width separately). This gives you your total pixels you need wide and tall. Divide that into the actual dimensions of the original, and you get the minimum scan resolution necessary. If I have a tiny original that will eventually end up as an 8x10, I might scan as high as 800ppi (even though there's no additional information past 300ppi, it still saves from the degradation of resampling later on). If the original and the largest possible final print are exactly the same size, scan at 300ppi.

            Actually, I'm oversimplifying, because I'll normally assume that an unforeseen print in the future might be a size larger, so I'll use that for my figure.

            Beyond that, calibrating your scanner beforehand, and setting it to 16bit, that's all you need for your scanner. Everything else can be handled by Photoshop (or your image editor of choice).

            Oh yeah, I always scan in RGB mode, even with black and white originals.

            And another exception is line art, which I'll scan at 1200ppi or more regardless, especially if it's going to be converted to vectors.

            I really think you're worrying too much about the settings part. Learn your image editor and the scanning steps will be more intuitive.
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            • #7
              great. So I don't need 24 or 48 bit scans? And to simplify, scans over 1000dpi are wasted even if I want to take a 3x5 and enlarge to 8x10?

              Should I do levels, curves, etc... during the scan or in PS?


              • #8
                Doug, do I understand your scan reso explanation or have I oversimplified?
                Final print size(8x10) divided by orig. image size(2x2.25)=4x4.5.Multiply largest dimension(4.5)x300=1350 scanning resolution. Thanks
                BTW-what is the size of a 35mm neg in inches???


                • #9

                  Remember, bit depth is expressed per channel, so when I say 16bit it's 16bits each for the red, blue, and green channel (which would be a total of 48bits, and marketers love to refer to it that way, though it's incorrect and misleading).

                  And do all levels, curves, color adjustments, etc. after the scan (and on a copy of the scan file, archive the original).


                  If your final print is going to be 8x10, that would be (8*300)pixels by (10*300)pixels. Divide each of those by the available inches in your original to get your minimum scanning resolution in ppi (pixels per inch). And I used to know the slide dimensions, but suffice it to say you can simply max out your scanner on them, because there's not a desktop scanner on the market that can extract all the information from a slide. (the preceding math formula is for scanning prints, which are inherently lower-rez than slides)


                  There's a lot more details about this topic in the Input/Output/Workflow forum.
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