Silverfast in trouble on the Nikons (PC user)!!!!

All the problems with Nikon film scanners

xander
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Silverfast in trouble on the Nikons (PC user)!!!!

Postby xander » Sat Jan 18, 2003 10:59 am

I'am an experienced (negative/positive) scanner operator, at least this is what my clients tell me. For myself I can only tell I have been scanning so many pos. and negs. with ever improving results, although the learning curve is only slowly rising lately. I don't want to sound arrogant, its only that I scanned thousands of slides and negs.

I have been using four negative scanners through the years, starting with a humble Canoscan 2700F , followed by a Nikon LS2000 (still in the dust on standby) and now I'am working with a LS4000 and LS8000, the 4000 since it was on the market and the LS8000 the last 8 months.


I have been using v**s**n since the Canoscan 2700F. And I have been using Silverfast since the LS2000 was supported.
They are both programs with a steep learning curve, Silverfast with the much better and easier interface compared to v**s**n, but I don't mind the interface, I'll learn it one way or the other.


For myself I prefer slides, much better color reproduction and much better scan results, no grain, smooth scans, very clean, on the Nikons.
MF 6*6 Velvia, Provia, Astia in the studio, and don't forget the Ektachrome's (35mm). Even the very cheap Agfa CT100(35mm) is fine.
If I scan slides I use a callibrated lightpanel and a callibrated system using a spider etc etc. (for printing a spectro) Everything is PC based, running XP prof.

I'am only interested in the final results...............and I'am very picky....
The results are so clear for me............... v**s**n............

This hasn't been the case during the past years, but since version 5.5 Silverfast has come to a standstill compared to the ever improving v**s**n.
I know Lasersoft is hiding behind the ever faulty Nikon Maid module, but this is not fair and not true also.
There are and are and have been an endless line of bugs which have been very slowly adressed.

I don't want to sound to negative towards Silverfast, but I have been disappointed in the recent devellopments of Silverfast.
I have upgraded to version 6 for my LS4000 and LS8000 but to be honest it doesn't adress any of the problems Silverfast has with the Nikons, and really wonder how you can even charge even $45,- for it.

v**s**n, why??

-Fantastic scan results on the LS4000 and LS8000 using any type of slidefilm, Velvia is so much better scanned with v**s**n compared to SF, very little processing.
-Up to version 5.5 for sure!! Much more detail in dark area's of the slides.
-Vuescans infrared clean is every little bit as good as ICE (kept improving)
-Negative scanning although not easy is so much better in final result.
-Even with the calibration (IT8) missing the colors are much more deadon, it sounds nice IT8 calibration, but if the basis is not working what then??
-Support, don't talk about it send Ed H. an Email with your problem, don't be surprised you get an answer straight away. Support Silverfast, just read this forum check the dates on question and answers, there is no support.


I have lost al confidence in Silverfast, at the moment its a far overpaid and under supported product, which could have been so good.

Mr. Zahorsky is there light at the end of the tunnel???

Regards,

Xander Janssen

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Gregory C
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Scanner: Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED
Microtek 5700
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Postby Gregory C » Sat Jan 18, 2003 6:02 pm

I wouldn't count on there being light at the end of the tunnel.

There are bugs in the implementation *and* in the UI of SilverFast Ai v6. Lasersoft takes a very long time to acknowledge and fix the bugs, and to improve the UI. Via many different reports on this forum and in emails to the Lasersoft people, I have documented at least 20 bugs in SF Ai 6. I have at least another 10 bugs remaining to report when I find the time to research, verify and document them.

With my setup using a Nikon 4000ED, all scans whether negative or positive are dark. With negative film, I almost always need to use a Negafix eposure setting of +2.5 or +3 to get realistic brightness. With the slides that I am now scanning, I need to use a Lightness setting of -15 to -20 to get anything close to a realistic brightness. I don't understand this. It may be related to the negafix profiles. It may not be.

My impressions (and they are only impressions) are:

(a) Lasersoft is trying to provide for too many scanners on too many operating systems.

(b) SilverFast was not written very efficiently. If it was written efficiently (object code, modulated, etc), they wouldn't have so much trouble updating it for different scanners as they're released. I'd like to see v**s**n's code some time. I suspect heavy use of modules through the program.

(c) Lasersoft is hoping to continue making a decent income by charging per scanner type rather than per user or even per scanner brand. If the software worked reliably and bugfree, and if Lasersoft supplied decent support, this wouldn't be too much of a problem. However, with the problems I am seeing in SilverFast and Lasersoft at the moment, I might not go with SilverFast when I upgrade my ScanMaker 5700 to a better faster scanner. I would not be able to justify the cost.

(d) Lasersoft is learning from Microsoft. They're trying to add new features to the program before they fix the current bugs and improve the interface. The only problem with this is that very few of the current SilverFast users are going to upgrade to the next version when they've had little or no success using the current version even though it's been released for close to 5 months!

v**s**n's implementation is so much more versatile than SilverFast. With one operation, a RAW file, a jpeg file and a tiff file can all be exported at the same time. With SilverFast, this would require either scanning the film three times using batch or the job manager (which is useless for scanning film on the Nikon scanners), or scanning the film once using Ai to produce RAW files and then scanning the RAW images twice using HDR.

There is a lot more that could be said. Much of it has already been said by others in the forums here.

It will be interesting to see where Lasersoft and SilverFast go from here. For my part, I will definitely not purchase another SilverFast upgrade or product until I've thoroughly tested any available demo. If there is any sign that the current trend of slow or no fixes is happening again, I will ignore Lasersoft altogether and probably go to v**s**n instead. For the amount of money that I have *already* paid to Lasersoft, I could easily purchase one single copy of v**s**n for all of my scanners and a full version of Photoshop to help me 'perfect' the scanned images.

regards
Gregory
(yet another SilverFast user who cares, but caring about the software unfortunately doesn't help it to improve...)

RaF
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Postby RaF » Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:49 pm

I also have big problems with scanning Ektachrome slide. Scans are *very* dark, with no paint in shadows. v**s**n is, in this point, much better.
Can anybody tell me, how to correctly scan slides in SF? How to set exposure (auto/manual, brightness), gamma etc?

Thanks.

LSI_Ingraham
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 2:05 pm

Color results

Postby LSI_Ingraham » Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:54 pm

Dear Mr. Janssen,

I have been investigating the issues that you have mentioned. If it is possible, I would like to see some files exhibiting the color problems that you have found with the Nikon scanners.

Best Regards,

John Ingraham


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