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Archive 2012 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I have an Epson Perfection V700 and its bundled software. I have an i7 machine with lots of RAM and lots of storage and I am running Win7 64bit.

My goal is to scan family photographs and slides for archiving and sharing. Most of the slides are Kodachrome, but not all. The photos vary in size and quality and some are quite old. Some are colora nd others are black and white or even sepia.

I looked into Silverfast but wonder which version would suit my needs the best. I also wonder if the Epson Scanner Software might be adequate.

I am just starting this project and want to make the correct decisions at the front end rather than have to regroup somewhere down the road.

Any advice?


Dec 28, 2012 at 12:52 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

kodachrome is a 3D film in that the surface is not necessarily smooth. This causes the ICE system to treat the changes in thickness as scratches or dust and try to correct them but if you leave ICE off then real scratches and dust are ignored. The result is that you may have more work to do manually.

Decide what you want the scans for, and decide how or whether you need to match the scans to the originals for subsequent rescanning.
e.g. make large, high quality scan first up and never need to rescan, but allow 130MB or so per slide for tiff files.

or, make smaller and nastier scans for small prints or on screen display and then rescan those that you want to print larger. But can you now quickly find the slide that corresponds to that scan ? Do you need a naming or numbering system for both the scans and the slides to help you do that ?

or, review the slides carefully and only scan what needs to be scanned.

Budget at least 10 minutes per slide to scan it with the right settings, enhance the scan a bit, put the slide away and move on to the next. If you work appreciably quicker then you'll probably need to come back and rescan or re-edit if it turns out to be a significant slide.

Now that you know how much effort is involved you can decide which software to use.

- Alan

Dec 28, 2012 at 03:01 AM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

Alan, thank you.

Dec 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

One of the most comprehensive and succinct approaches to scanning that I have ever read.

Thanks for the tips.

Dec 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I've used the Epson software, Silverfast, and Vuescan, mostly for b&w 4x5 negatives but some color negatives, prints, and slides. The Epson software is pretty good. It doesn't give you quite the same degree of control as the other two but learning how to use that control and then actually using it takes a good bit of time (especially Silverfast). It sounds like you have a lot of photographs to scan and that you won't be exhibiting them or making large (i.e. 8x10 or larger) prints from them. So I'd guess that the Epson software will do fine for your purposes.

Dec 28, 2012 at 01:20 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I do have a lot of photographs to scan along with boxes and trays of slides. I will explore the Epson software some more and see what happens from there.

Dec 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New to Scanning - Need Advice


The Epson is a great scanner, even the Epson software can produce great results provided, that you turn all the AUTO off.

Vuescan and Silverfast are both better softwares but will all of them, they are only as good as the person sitting in the chair in front of the screen.

Scan your images flatter rather then contrasty as you can always add contrast later in your image application. Use 16bit (48-bit across all channels) to get the most detail/graduation in your files.

Have fun and enjoy !!!


Dec 31, 2012 at 03:38 AM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I have the Epson. I quick scan multiple proof sheets on holders. I wet scan the heros with Kami liquid and Mylar right from the platen. That way I get a flat, clean negative (with any scratches filled in). I don't use/need special slow de-noising/dust software. I save the scan as a TIFF, open in ACR Tweek and store as a, smaller, DNG.

Dec 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

As Hound suggests, separating the Heroes from the Zeros beforehand will cut time/effort significantly. Go through each box/tray of slides and triage the contenders. Depending on who was doing the shooting, there may be quite a few no-hopers that can be skipped (depending on the subject, of course.)

Try scanning some of the darkest and brightest slides and see how well the scanner copes with deep shadows and thin highlights. You may find that altering the gamma / contrast / exposure / etc. will allow the hardware to 'see' more dynamic range. You may wind up with an elevated blackpoint and/or depressed whitepoint that will need re-setting in PP.

Along similar lines, grouping the transparencies by emulsion and exposure ('light' or 'dark') may also make sense.

AFAIK, it's Kodachrome's silver content that messes up the hardware IR-based scratch repair. If the lowest level of correction produces artifacts (look for crazy patterns in the shadows) you'll need to find a software fix.

Allocate plenty of time! Even with a flatbed's ability to scan multiple slides at once, this process can be painfully tedious....

Dec 31, 2012 at 08:35 PM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I did over 900 slides recently and am awaiting 4,000 negatives. I scanned some at home with an Epson, but decided to go to scancafe for convenience. They only scan negative strips not individuals. They allow you to reject 20%. Each scan costs .27.

My slides I did domestically. It is more expensive and quicker. The slides were my dad's slides and I felt a little queezy sending them to India. The quality was okay. The exposure and color was close. However, I felt I had to send each keeper through photoshop. The gamma was off. The shadow and highlights needed work and it is quicker and easier in photoshop for me. Lightroom was okay, but photoshop better.

Some of the sliders were over 70 years old. They held up well. Colors muted but not shifted. The newer slides were colorful. There was issues with underexposed slides and grain.

For snapshots and web pages, wallpaper, screensavers, the quality was fine. For the rare treasure, I still have the negatives and will send quite a bit of time to restore.

The negatives-- I sent them to India on October 3. I can view the preliminary results, good enough for web, but I am awaiting the disks still. They put one person in charge of each order. The more you send the longer it is. I think the Christmas crunch on scans and freight might have made it slower.

Other hint, when I started I used a light table and loop and also a quicky scanner. It costs 70 dollars or so. It would scan quicker just to speed up the selection process with the negatives.

Highest quality, longest time, do it yourself. For my hundreds of hours and starting and stopping the project bothered me. YMMV

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:40 PM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · New to Scanning - Need Advice

I have the V700 and find that batch scanning with the Epson software set to auto contrast and minimal sharpening works well. The software can scan and save in the background allowing you to open and work on files as they are being scanned and stored.

I know some of the other software is 'better' but to be honest, master the Epson stuff and it will give comparable results in most cases.

One tip...make sure you get the height adjusters right.....you have three options. Adjusters off....set on low...and set on high. It is worth experimenting!!

Also....I open the scans in ACR...use that to do the main adjustments...and save the settings as a pre-set. Usually with the first preset I do subsequent scans need only minor tweaking. So that is two tips!! Just for luck......do your best to clean the negs of dust first....saves lots of time later!!

Jan 04, 2013 at 02:18 AM

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