View Full Version : The best software for scanning Kodachrome?
08-23-2009, 04:36 PM
I have a plustek Opticfilm 7200 with Silverfast SE. Terrible scans. Too dark. No way to make adjustments.
I downloaded a trial version of Viewscan. And even though I see no way to adjust exposure with Viewscan, the results were incredibly better than anything I could get from SF. But maybe I'm missing something from SF that you guys can help me with.
My question is: For scanning Kodachrome (only), does VS work better or SF? If SF, what version is best for Kodachrome?
Also, is it worth getting the Pro upgrade of VS?
08-24-2009, 12:48 PM
I hope you read my current posting about my Minolta DS 4 vs. Plustek 7500i SE with VueScan/SF with attached examples: http://www.kodachromeproject.com/forum/showthread.php?t=471
You see I had the same problems with SF scanning slides - no way to adjust scan brightness. Yet I don't think VueScan had an adjustment either except for adjusting color - not brightness.
I don't think you have any other options besides SF or VueScan. Will the kodachrome profile be updated in an updated version of SF that you can get for free? Maybe, who knows. $80 for VueScan seems like your only option at thiis time for your scanner.
08-24-2009, 09:38 PM
VueScan has exposure adjustment if (and only if) your scanner supports it. If the hardware doesn't allow exposure adjustment, VueScan hides the option entirely.
I have just posted some notes from my recent scanning of a whole bunch of Kodachrome on my blog:
My comparison there is between VueScan and Nikon Scan, since my scanner is a Nikon LS-5000. But with that scanner, VueScan definitely offers adjustment of overall exposure as well as independently for red, green, and blue (and infrared) channels.
08-24-2009, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. I've been putting off getting a new scanner, mostly because I can't afford it. But now it seems that the only way to adjust exposure on a scan is if your scanner itself supports it. So does that mean that the scanner adjusts the intensity of the light? If not, how is it actually done?
I should probably try to budget for a new scanner. I think I would get a Nikon if I do. I'm just going to be scanning way to many Kodachrome slides over the next year or so to get buy with what I have now.
I took the same picture into both SF and VS, and this is what I got. Hellashot, it seems to reflect pretty much what you've found in your comparison, doesn't it?
08-24-2009, 10:49 PM
But now it seems that the only way to adjust exposure on a scan is if your scanner itself supports it. So does that mean that the scanner adjusts the intensity of the light? If not, how is it actually done?
At least on the Nikon scanner, the adjustment changes the exposure time, not the light intensity. The software (Nikon Scan) calls it "analog gain", but it really isn't that -- just longer or shorter exposure on each channel.
In Nikon Scan, the adjustment is in easily-understood EV values. And the UI reverses the meaning for negatives, so that it works as you expect: turning it "up" makes the image brighter. VueScan's poor interface isn't in any kind of units that I can decipher, and turning it "up" makes negatives darker, which I guess makes sense to a computer programmer (of which I am one, in real life) but not so much to a photographer. :)
With Kodachrome, I've found that some shots, the ones that have those super-deep shadows we know and love, really need the exposure adjustment in order to get the shadow detail. This is probably far less important with other kinds of film, which might explain why some scanner manufacturers don't bother.
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