Scanning Software

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by willscarlett, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. I just got a Plustek OpticFilm 120 which comes with SilverFast Ai scanning software. I've read about many people who have said the software is very buggy. Is there any better scanning software that people would recommend? I use a Mac Pro with Yosemite.
  2. I use VueScan. I have used it on both Mac and PC although I couldn't tell you what OS was running on the Mac--it was a desktop computer. I have been very pleased with it. Lots of options if you want to use them (I typically do) or you can run it in a more or less automated mode if you'd like.
    I've used it on an Epson flatbed scanner for film and slides as well as a dedicated film/slide Nikon scanner.
  3. +1 for Vuescan, on a Nikon Coolscan V in my case. But in your case: Silverfast has a very good reputation, why not test both Vuescan and Silverfast and use the one that's best for you. I'm sceptical with regard to "many people who have said.....". There are too many romours around and not enough facts.
  4. What Jos said. Give Silverfast a try. People reporting software problems on the internet could be complete novices without a clue, or experts - no way to know. So take that always with a healthy dose of scepticism (and that goes for this forum as well ;-).
    I'm also using VueScan, and happy with it. One advantage of it is that you have a single license, and it will then work with whatever scanner you have, while your Silverfast license is tied to a specific scanner. But if you're only using one scanner, that's a bit of a non-issue too.
  5. Many thanks for the replies. The scanner just arrived yesterday, so I've not yet had time to unpack it and test things out. The people complaining about the bugs mainly comes from customer reviews on B&H's website. I'll update soon with more info.
    Thanks again!
  6. Whatever way you go, don't forget the learning-curve you have to go through that any software has.
    Only after having made extensive use thereof it's possible to judge whether or not you really (dis-)like the software. Also IMHO, once used to (and experienced in) a specific one, it gets more difficult to accurately (read: positively) judge another one - hence probably the many comments rejecting one or other ("2nd") software ;-) ...
    All the best with your experiences!
  7. The new version of Silverfast Ai does not have any bugs that I experience and I have been using it for the past 6 months or so. The only problem you might have is if your computer is not powerful enough to process some of the editing functions. Otherwise it's one of the best versions of Silverfast that ever came out. I would think twice before checking into other software and just try it out for a few months to see how you like it.,
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    ALL software has bugs, SilverFast is no more or less different. It's very powerful and has a learning curve but you'd be well served to hang in there and work with it. There is a book on the product by Mark Segal that you may want to get:
  9. I use SF AI Studio 8 for years, upgraded from the free version with my two scanners, running on Mac Pro with Yosemite, and while it's quirky I haven't experienced bugs for problems over the years. To me, it's worth the upgrade since each in-app plugin is built for each brand/model scanner, is better than other software once you see how it fast and good it works, and SF keeps updating it for OS-X and their software with newer scanners.
  10. I have never used Silverfast, so I have no opinion that is worth anything about that.
    However, I have used VueScan for years. It is a fine program, particularly once you have climbed a fairly steep learning curve (a feature apparently shared with most other scanning software, by report).
    It has the particular advantage of supporting many scanners of older generations that have long since been abandoned by their makers/vendors.
    You can try it out for nothing, to see if you like it. ( )
  11. I bought the OpticFilm 120 about a year ago to use with my iMac and always had problems with the Silverfast software. The biggest problem was that often the scanner wouldn't run at all, even though the software was clearly detecting it. After about half an hour of restarting over and over it would finally run. At the suggestion of a Plustek tech support person I detached everything else--my pen tablet, my backup hard drive, my printer--and this got me down to about 10 tries before the thing would fire up. It was like starting an old car on a winter morning. Then software functions gradually began disappearing: the histogram wouldn't show up, the grain reduction wouldn't show up. Sometimes all the functions were greyed out and the scans came out blank. Eventually, after about six months, the software just stopped working. Uninstalling and reinstalling didn't help. So I got Vuescan, which works fine. A little hard to use, but I follow what Ansel Adams said about exposing film: "Just get the information onto the negative." Just get the information into the scan and you can always adjust it into a good print.
  12. Thanks to all for the replies. I still have to set the scanner up, but will report back once I do. Also, I'm coming from using a Nikon CoolScan 9000 and the Nikon scanning software. My CoolScan 9000 broke and can't be fixed :(

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