VueScan or SilverFast for LF scans?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by tedharris, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. I just reinstalled my UMAX PowerLook III scanner in my new dual processor
    Mac running OS10.2.4. My problem is that the UMAX scanning software is a
    royal pain in all circumstances and made more so by the fact that it is not yet
    available for OS 10 … so you gotta reboot and use OS 9.2.2. Options are
    either VueScan or Silver Fast. I have no experience with either and am open
    to all suggestions. Clearly, I would rather not spend $400 plus for SilverFast
    to gain little or nothing. I have worked with the ‘demo’ versions of both and
    they don’t tell me much.

    My general work routine is to scan 6x9, 4x5 and 8x10 chromes and negatives
    sleeved (protection from scratches is more important to me than the ultimate
    scan in this case) on the UMAX to create images for the web and/or low
    quality prints. High quality prints are done by my printer from drum scans that
    they produce.

    While I am most interested in making a software decision I am certainly open
    to all comments and suggestions. Ellis, I hope you are reading this.

    Thanks in advance to all.

  2. I own both, and only use VueScan. Better, cheaper, easier, well supported by an online community, and unlimited upgrades.

    Some might regard Silverfast as superor, since its richer-appearing user interface exposes those options to you more directly. But, in my humble opinion, you should not be doing much "correction" in the scanner software. That is the province of your image editing tool - especially since tools like Photoshop allow you to save the corrections as adjustment layers, along with the raw data, in the same file. Any adjustments you make in Photoshop, you can remove. Any adjustments you make during scanning, you are stuck with. So why bother ?

    The purpose of the scanner, it seems to me, is simply to allow you to extract all the raw content from your target image, utilizing the full capacity of the scanner. I have found VueScan to be the straightest arrow towards that goal.

    Make sure that whichever software you choose, supoorts your model scanner. They are not universal.
  3. I'm a big fan of Vuescan.

    Among other scanners I use it with my Powerlook III for scanning 4x5 and 8x10 colour neg, tranny and B&W, and it does a great job.

    At "work" I have a scanner with both Silverfast and Vusescan and invariably prefer Vusecan.

    It's not always the most intuitive interface to use (getting better), but it gives the user a huge range of control over your scanning - and more options than you at first realise.

    For the price you can't go wrong - great support from Ed Hamrick and also regular (okay ,almost constant!) free upgrades.

    And unlike Silverfast, for one price it will also work on just about any prosumer (film) scanner you may have as well. More often than not doing a better job than the proprietary software.

    I's one of the best deals is imaging software out there
  4. My 2 cents worth - Vuescan does a great job with both of my scanners, an Acer 2740 and an Epson 2450. It is my understanding that Silver Fast requires a seperate license purchase for each scanner.

    I do beleive you can download a trial copy of Silver Fast and of course you can do the same with Vuescan.

    Ed is always improving Vuescan and provides some very nice features IMO for very reasonable price.

    I beleive he is planning to add scanner ICC profile creation in a future release which will make the product even better for $40.

    Don Bryant
  5. I downloaded the demo versions of both VueScan and SilverFast. Silverfast keeps hanging on my system. There is an upgrade for registered users which supposedly fixes this bug, but if I can't verify that it works on my system, I'm not buying it.

    VueScan works just fine, so I paid for it.

    There is one oddity with Photoshop elements. In VueScan, I set the source DPI to 3200, and source size to 35mm. When I go to print the image, Elements comes up with some kind of crazy scaling. So I bought Qimage from, and it does a much better job of printing the image.

    I've also ordered Profile Prism from, but it hasn't arrived yet.
  6. I add my voice to the many Vuescan fans.
  7. Ted, I hear nothing but good things about VueScan, however I own Silverfast Ai6 that I use with an Epson 2450, and have been very pleased. It is too icon rich for my taste, but it has an incredible amount of features including "Negafix" which calibrates to negative color film and is very useful. I will add that with all the functionality the company should have better instructions than they have. But it is a great tool (I like its sharpening tool better than Photoshop 7).

    Hope this helps. By the way an earlier poster was correct when he said that you had to purchase a new copy of Silverfast when you change to a different model of scanner. You might be better starting off with the $40 investment and see if you like it first.


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