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  • Which software

    Hi Everyone
    As a new silver surfer I am delighted to find such a useful site. I am inquiring about the best value for money software for reproducing photographs from the late 1800 to the1940s that are scratched and discoloured.
    I have an e50 Agfa flatbed scanner (with 35mm adapter) and a computer with a 900 MHz Athlon processor,30 Gb hard disc and a Geforce 2mx video card.
    The software that came with the scanner is Agfa Scanwise and Corel Office Print 2000.
    I would like to know if there is software more suited to renovating photos than the above mentioned software that is reasonably priced?
    Many thanks in anticipation.

    Harry G

  • #2
    Hi Harry
    Im my oppinon, Adobe Photoshop is the best software available for the things you mentioned, however, it doesn't come cheap.
    Jasc Software Paint Shop Pro does a wonderful job also and is much more reasonably priced, around $100.00 dollars if memory serves. Ulead offers Photo Impact, I do own it but I dont use it enough to really offer you any insight on it. Adobe does offer a scaled down version of photoshop called Photoshop Elements and they just recently released version 2. It leaves out a lot of features that are extremley useful in the art of retouching/restoring photos though. Another option can be found here..

    You can download a free trial of PhotoBrush, if you like it it's only 38 dollars. I havent used it enough to offer an oppinion on this one either.

    Check out the features of PSP at
    and photoimpact at



    • #3
      Harry, welcome to RetouchPRO.

      You will need a photo manipulation program of some sort to fix your cracked and scratched photos. It sounds like you are set with a good scanner and computer.

      Reasonable price can be the sticking point. Many people here use Photoshop which does not qualify as reasonably priced. I tried an evaluation of a program called Picture Window see This Site which I thought was pretty good, and it costs only $50.00 or $90.00 depending on the version (US dollars).

      In some ways I actually liked it better than Photoshop. It seemed that it provided more "mid level" tools. What I mean by that is that many manipulations in Photoshop it seems you can make huge changes with a slight adjustment, or you can make extremely fine adjustments, but something in between is difficult. This is particularly true of color correction. Picture Window provided tools that were more appropriate to photo corrections. If you are a traditional darkroom type they even have a tool that allows color correction by adding CCfilters... (to Photoshop users, their color correction plugin for photoshop is a real lifesaver for fixing a single off color, or small range of colors).

      I hope this helps. I'm sure others will have more suggestions.



      • #4
        Hi Harry:

        Let me add my welcome to RetouchPRO. You're right: There's a wealth of information here. Glad you found us.

        While lower priced alternatives to Photoshop exist that provide varying degrees of restoring functionality, another factor to consider is "training"/"learning" resources. The low cost option here, of course, is tutorials from the internet.

        I just did a search using using using the following keywords (number of hits):

        * "Picture Window" restoration tutorial (16)
        * "photoshop" restoration tutorial (1670)

        Books are not nearly as inexpensive, but definitely can be a valuable resource. Books at
        * Picture Window: 0
        * Photoshop: 460

        I realize there are many other keyword search combinations that may be tried and that a high % of search engine "hits" (or books) are probably irrelevant.

        My point is not to bash Picture Window nor trumpet Photoshop, but to illustrate there is a wide, wide range in supplemental information / training available among the various image editing applications.

        I would encourage you to consider assessing educational resources and costs in addition to program functionality and costs.

        Also: If you decide Photoshop is your preferred application, an alternative to buying a full version of Photoshop 7 now is to get a back level version of Photoshop, for example, PS 5.0, for less than $200. If and when you're ready to upgrade to a newer version of Photoshop, you'll be able to do so at a fraction of buying a full version of Photoshop 7 now.

        Good luck in your search. Hope this helps...



        • #5
          I know there were several people on this site using Paint Shop Pro, and I've seen some pretty impressive work from them. Personally, I know nothing about it, but I think you'll get quite a few hits if you do a search like Danny did. Welcome to the site, and best of luck on the program of your choice. One word of caution...before you buy a program, check out links on the internet for tutorial sites for that particular program. Oh, another thought. Check out some of Wanda Schwind's challenges. She used Adobe PhotoDeluxe exclusively when she first came on the site. She did (and still does) excellent work. Very reasonably priced program too.



          • #6
            There are so many good software programs out there now for image editing. My own recommendation is to look for resources you're comfortable with (websites, books, tutorials, classes) and use the software they use.

            Owning the "best" software will do you no good if you're uncomfortable with the interface and can't find the instruction you need.
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning


            • #7
              You can download a demo of Adobe Photoshop 6 here ...if you like the interface but the price is a bit steep, Adobe Photoshop Elements has a very similar interface and costs far less.
              Last edited by G. Couch; 09-08-2002, 09:34 PM.


              • #8
                Is Photodeluxe still on the market? I'm thinking it was replaced by Elements.
                Learn by teaching
                Take responsibility for learning


                • #9
                  My are correct! I got so used to saying Photodeluxe!


                  • #10
                    You'd better get some sleep Greg. I'm the one who said it! I didn't know Elements replaced it. Good catch.



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