Is there any way to use Silverfast HDR to digitize film

All about SilverFast HDR and HiRepp (48bit HDR processing)
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Scanner: I haven't used Silverfast since 2002, when I moved abroad and boxed up my old Powermac, but I'm wondering about your software and if there is something you offer to improve HDR images made with a modern digital camera (for digitization of film). I don't want to buy a new scanner since "film is dead" and I have a slide duplication attachment (Contax) attached to a Sony A7R, which provides pretty good digitization. But I know that software for scanning might be appropriate for some of the "downsides" of this approach.
SilverFast Product: HDR Studio

Is there any way to use Silverfast HDR to digitize film

Postby » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:58 pm

... using a modern camera?

I used to use Silverfast HDR with a Nikon scanner, back "before film was dead". Now I'm reluctant to buy a better scanner than I had, only to re-digitize my slides or to hire a scanning service (except for maybe a few of the very best slides), since I have a good digital camera, my old ITF-8 target, and a nice Contax bellows with slide duplicator that seems to produce fairly nice results with the camera I'm using. That said, I've found I can get great detail from old slides using HDR techniques (combining multiple/bracketed exposures), but I can also get awesome dust detail, which is a pain to touch up in Capture One or Lightroom). I haven't yet used the IT-8 target, but might use it to produce an "adjustment recipe" for Capture One and my camera/light source. (Color-wise, I've mainly been happy, anyway).

If I converted each camera RAW file somehow, is there a way to get all that Silverfast scan awesomeness at work to improve my digitization results? If I'm not mistaken, sometime between when I ditched the old tower that drove my (SCSI-connected, circa 1998) film scanner, and now, Silverfast made products for digital cameras. But it seems they were not aimed at film digitization. I think my approach to film digitization could benefit from features I remember in Silverfast, and I do think there might be some renewed interest, as digital cameras get better and better at capturing the data from film. I already think my results come close to what I used to get from scanning (with much less work, in some ways). Is it possible you do or could support RAW output from pro camera bodies for "scanning" film? If not, can you tell me what is inherently wrong with this? I know a drum scan would be better at eliminating film curvature, but I do think a modern digital camera may well be a good replacement for any "lesser" scanner.

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Re: Is there any way to use Silverfast HDR to digitize film

Postby LSI_Ketelhohn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Dear customer,

We are currently not offering RAW camera import because there are already a lot of products to convert such images.
Using a digital camera for digitalizing film is certainly possible but requires a certain setup that requires some considerations. Most people simply rather use a scanner because a dedicated devise is much more easy to use and there are automated devices for this.

Kind regards,
Arne Ketelhohn.

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Scanner: DSLR
SilverFast Product: HDR

Re: Is there any way to use Silverfast HDR to digitize film

Postby linjie » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:16 am

Hello there

I am using my fuji x-pro 2 with a macro lens entirely for my film digitalisation. I had spent a fair amount of time research into DSLR digitising vs commit to buy a film scanner. I eventually decided to give it a go of DSLR scanning after read and saw satisfactory results produced by other users on the internet. You can easily search them on internet. There are quite a bit of coverage on that topic.

My experience so far is on the good side having not used a film/flat bed scanner I can share a few pros of the DSLR scanning method:
1, super fast scanning - I typically scan a roll of 6x7 (10 frames) within 5 mins. (Its irrelevant of the film format you shoot) I heard a high-res film scanner takes about 5-10 mins to scan one frame! so you can do the math.
2, superior image quality, as close to if not better than the best film scanner (i am not talking about drum scanner or Imacon scanners they are completely on a different level). Also due to the ability of manually focus on each frame.
3, small file size - the file size you get is the particular camera sensor size you use. for me this works great as a high-res film scan will result a roughly 5x file size, very sluggish to edit and viewing. a single shot digitising is enough for most of daily tasks. If higher resolution is needed simply move the camera closer to do multiple stitch shots. The resolution really can go as high as the closest focusing distance of the macro lens is capable of.

Now there are some areas are less defined compare to film/flatbed scanners:
1, In particular with colour negative films, the colour cast or rather colour control process is not well established. Using a film scanner, the scanning software has built-in capabilities of decode various film stocks and their characteristics (removing orange mask). By going down the DSLR scanning route this colour control is somewhat lost. Because of the white balance, colour temperature the images were captured, and etc. I am not an expert on the technical side of this, but most people do DSLR scanning all in one way or another eye-balling to correct the colour. So far this is also my biggest frustration. However, after I bought three different negative conversion software namely, ColorPerfect, v**s**n and Silverfast HDR, I have to say Silverfast has the best and consistent results of converting DSLR digitised negatives. I am still new to this program and posting my queries on other post and hopefully will get the answer soon.
2, Black and white negatives are of no concern so far.

I hope Silverfast will make more support on DSLR digitising method of scanning films in the future. Because its getting more and more popular.
If you own already the DSLR digitising kit I would highly recommend give it a go.
Hope this helps


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