“Worth the Price of Admission” Slide Scanning

Nikon Scan Software

Vuescan

David (Sack)

I just want to be sure that you have my greatest thanks for tipping me off to Vuescan. In follow up to your kind suggestion at my blog, I trialed the software and then purchased it. It is twice as fast as the Nikon software. What a great find. I had heard of the software but was hesitant to try it. Your help on this is beyond words. It is as they would say in the USA, “Better than sliced bread.” Thanks again. I will blog post my thanks to you as well in the coming days. http://www.saturn-films.co.uk/

As the saying goes, I am sometimes slow to learn and then “lightbulb!!”

orchardparkway.wordpress.com Donna made a comment on April 14 on about slide scanning. I followed up a prior post with a new illustrated description of my setup. I have been a long time reader of photo.net and have read descriptions of scanning and woes of matching software and hardware. Nikon film scanners have been discontinued. Nikon has stopped supporting their scan software. And with the new advent of Mac OS X Lion, the old software doesn’t work because it’s a Power PC conversion program. In a nutshell, my scanner shouldn’t work with my Mac. Well, it does work. I’ve been afraid to change anything. Everytime you mess around, it’s days and days of agony until you have an efficient workflow established again. If you have read this far then you know that scanning film/slides is about getting the orginal image digitized so that it matches reasonably on the computer screen. This opens a whole big “can of worms.” You’re matching aging film media with software tranlators, photoediting programs, and LCD monitors. Depending on your OCD personality, this can truly be a great big headache.

I have heard of third party scan software like Silverfast and Vuescan, but because Nikon Scan software works so far, I have been deathly afraid to change what works. I also read at: Photo.net

The photo enthusiasts have a forum for digital darkroom and have been trading tips on scanning. The problems they discuss have kept me reticent to try anything new if what I have is working. Gee, did I say that already?

Parenthetically, for years, I have gone to bed mulling a computer problem that seems in unsolvable. I wake in the morning with new ideas that often work. Now science is saying that we continue to process problems while asleep. Imagine that!

The big experiment: I downloaded a free copy of the software at: hamrick.com

It’s a free trial with watermarks until you buy the software. I scanned in a Macbeth color chart. I can honestly say it worked in a few minutes. I use a Nikon Coolscan 5000 with an SF210 batch feeder. This is important because I’m about half way done scanning/editing more than 100, 000 slides, about 3070 rolls. Nuts! You bet!

The software even recognizes the batch feeder. The color scan is accurate enough compared to the original … so far. And it’s fast!! I’m now scanning at about a slide a minute with the software set to ignore dust and scratches. My old computer was between 3-5 minutes a scan. My Macbook Pro is scanning at less than 1 minute right now. At this rate there is a chance that my slide scanning project will actually be complete in this decade maybe even this year. So thanks again to David and to Donna. Their suggestions and comments have made a real difference for me.

The examples here are of slides that would challenge the software and scanner. You can see the sunset is a matter of taste. And fog is always hard. Depending on the settings there is still work in Photoshop to make final editing decisions.

Nikon Scan

Vuescan, not quite, but acceptable

Nikon Scan

Vuescan, different look

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