Silverfast vs Espon vs Vuescan

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chuck_foreman|1, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. In August last year my WINXP PC gave out and I replaced it knowing that my scanner would now be obsolete. I used Vuescan trial software and screen capture to avoid the watermarks until you paid. I figured the cost of the Vuescan was better invested in a new compatible scanner. Did I mention I'm very poor.. and also tightfisted. Later after a suggestion of a way to sidestep the payment, I was able to use the Vuescan software completely. I was disappointed to say the least. All the images were soo soft and lacked crispness and needed a lot of massaging to be presentable. Oh I forgot to mention WinXP emulation via Virtualware and dual-boot options were considered, but as too time intensive at my advanced age.
    Well more than a year has passed and I just bought a used V500. A sigh of relief as this does basically what it's supposed to do and I now blame all bad things on me instead of the scanner.
    I've read a bit about SilverFast and now realize it is a scanning software. I imagined it as something for post-processing. The biggest advantage was cleaning dust...
    I now did a perfunctory romp around the net and see that the V4990 is listed but the V500 is not. I suspect it is compatible as these scanners have the same hardware ..or so I've been told. Many of you have praised Vuescan, but little is said of Silverfast. I was hoping somebody would give some feedback on this... AS best I can tell for circa 49,00 Euro the basic edition can be had. One of the five or six features that "full/er" versions offer is multi-exposure. I assume this is related to supporting multiple negs on a strip ...important to speeding up workflow...

    So anybody want to chime in on this and say if you prefer the included drivers or working with third party options have improved your experience I would like to know!
  2. I've been using an Epson v700. The Epson software does not work with the newer Windows I have, so I tried Silverfast. I couldn't get it to work for me very well. I now use Vuescan without problem. I've been reasonably happy with it.

    Kent in SD
  3. SCL


    I got Silverfast several years ago for my scanner and found it to be a waste of money for me, the instructions were incomprehensible and it didn't seem to work well with my computer and/or scanner. I used Epson software for a while, but it seemed lacking. I then went to Vuescan Pro and have to say it was a terrific deal....lifetime free updates and it works well with my scanners and older computer software (XP). I know it works with Linux also, but I'm not knowledgable enough to facilitate that at this juncture, so have to switch back to XP when scanning.
    jorge likes this.
  4. I use the Epson scanner software that came with my V600. I've never used Vuescan or Silverfast but see them as post processing programs that also scan. Why pay for and learn another post processing software? I scan flat using the Epsonscan software and do all my processing in post. Saves a lot of aggravation.
  5. I second what Alan said. Epson's software gives excellent results and is fairly easy to learn and use effectively. Don't get underwhelmed by flat scans; they give lovely results after a bit of post processing in your favourite image editor.
  6. From previous posts on this subject it appears to me that there are two schools of thought on the subject, one of which just wants to scan to obtain an image that can then worked on in post-processing programs, and another which wants to make adjustments pre-scanning to obtain an image that requires less post-processing. If no pre-scanning adjustments are required, then all three utilities will produce adequate scans. If, like me, one likes to uses the tools that come with the scanning software to obtain a more "finished" image, then I'd opt for Silverfast. I found Vuescan rather clumsy and basic for my purposes, and the Epson software perfectly adequate, but I prefer the interface and workflow of the Silverfast program.

    If one is competent at post-processing in programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop, then using Silverfast or Epson programs shouldn't present any sort of challenge; they may appear complicated until one becomes familiar with the interface, but once this is accomplished they're fun to use. If one doesn't understand the use of curves, levels, gamma and tone/colour adjustments at the basic levels required in these programs, how on earth does one cope with Photoshop or Lightroom?
  7. Multi-exposure typically means multiple passes (scans) of the same negative, at different exposure levels, to enhance the dynamic range of the scan - a bit like HDR, though much more subtle.
    I use VueScan - it takes some time to get up to speed with it, and the user interface can be a bit intimidating, but it supports nearly every scanner there is, and can deliver very consistent good results. A detail to be aware of: Silverfast is licensed per scanner - so if you ever get a second scanner, you need a second license of Silverfast.
  8. Like Wouter, I use Vuescan. I've tried others. Still use Vuescan.
  9. I use Vuescan. By the way, I paid for my copy.
  10. Hi Chuck , if as you said that "I'm very poor.. and also tightfisted" I wouldn't worry about Silverfast or Vuescan. I have been using Epson scan software together with Epson V700 for many years, and Epson Scan is perfectly adequate if you use the "Professional Mode" with some basic settings. Like Rick mentioned, I do all the post processing in Lightroom so the requirement for scanning is really limited as long as I get enough resolution and dynamic range.
  11. Thanks for your feedback.. .. I know Vuescan is very popular, but I could not get much satisfaction... @DrBen... You picked up on my hint ;) @bruce...great minds think alike! @wouter..thanks for the clarification on multi-exposures...
  12. The manufacturer's software should give good results provided its compatible with the operating system that your are using. There are lot of scanners out there that don't have current software or drivers. Viewscan fixes all that.
    Rather than look at Viewscan as a tool to extract an image for later post processing, I regard it as scanning software that doesn't require post processing. My aim has been to scan a negative or print and save that image as it comes out of Viewscan. There are a myriad of adjustments in Viewscan, so why apply image adjustments in Viewscan and the in another post processer?
  13. Just one point on view scan though.. while the software is kept up to date, it still needs drivers for each scanner. And if the drivers are not up to date (many now), then it does not matter what software you use.
  14. One big plus for Viewscan is that it ships with a scanners.inf file. This driver file supports approx 4665 scanners. Any other driver is not normally required.
    Go to the Hamrick website and have a look at the list of scanners that it supports.
  15. I had been using a Plustek scanner for 35mm for some years and it had Silverfast software. It was just what came with the scanner and I used it and was comfortable with it. Then I bought a V600 as I added a MF camera and it came with Epson scan which seemed fine to me but I wanted to use Silverfast as I had been using it for such a long time. So I bought Silverfast 8. It does allow you to adjust your image in multiple ways prior to the final scan. I do like that feature myself. The program also has batch scan.
  16. I'm really happy with SilverFast, and have bought the Ai versions for both my Epson V750 and Nikon Coolscan V. But, it's very "Germanic", and can be annoying at times. It's the only way I've been able to get good color rendition scanning Ektar 100, which is the last color negative film that they had "profiled." (They have never profiled the latest generation of the Portra films due to the demise of a vendor.)

    Vuescan's user interface is poorly organized and non-intuitive in my opinion, but very flexible. But the inability to get color management working for the preview window under Mac OS left me with a fundamental annoyance. The saved scan files look nothing like the preview window, completely different color balance and grey scale. Maybe there are some versions where that's fixed.

    I certainly use Vuescan, for multi-page PDF scans and oddball scanners. (But even it doesn't support the HP 4600.)
  17. I started out using Epson Scan software with my first Epson flatbed, a model 3170. Then I moved up a bit and bought what was the top of the line at the time -- the 4990. And I still continued to use Epson Scan. I tried a demo copy of Silverfast and hated it. It was totally non-intuitive and I didn't feel like having to learn it. I also tried VueScan and didn't care for it either. There was a problem I ran into that I couldn't figure out a way around. I think it was being able to set different exposure profiles for each slide or negative that was in the batch. I don't remember specifically anymore. But Epson Scan has done everything I've needed it to do, so in the immortal words of old seeds everywhere: If it ain't broke, why fix it?
    raghu_kuvempunagar likes this.
  18. I don't wish to become the defender of Viewscan.......If you have purchased the professional version and are using the latest release, then all the problems mentioned so far have solutions. I can't comment on the Mac version but certainly on the Windows version. There are adjustments made to the preview scan which will save as seen in the preview.
    First choose one of the 200+ film profiles as a starting point. Then there are 10 preset colour settings to choose from. Read the help files to see what they all do. For a colour negative "white balance" seems to be the most appropriate. I bought Viewscan when the driver for my film scanner wasn't updated past W95
    Good Luck.
    If this is all too hard then choose the basic setting and scan with that.
  19. A poor opinion of Silverfast software here as well. But having said that, I didn't find Vuescan to live up to its reputation either. However, it gave better results than Silverfast with a little tweaking, and has a much more straightforward interface.
  20. I just keep an older laptop loaded with Epson Scan and use my V700 for all my 35mm, 120, and 4x5 scanning. Its been fine for me.

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