Creating perfect photos from your slide and negative scans with ColorPerfect: SilverFast 8 SE, SilverFast 8 Ai

Increase the quality of your slide and negative scans from SilverFast 8 SE or Ai with ColorPerfect! Find out more about how to scan with SilverFast 8. ColorPerfect processes scans with color integrity and gives unprecedented flexibility in creative image editing. To harness the full potential of our Photoshop Plug-in it's important to obtain image data that has been subjected to as little processing as possible (RAW data). The following tutorial gives a step by step explanation on how to achieve this with SilverFast 8 SE and SilverFast 8 Ai.

Creating linear scans of your slides and negatives with SilverFast 8 SE or Ai

Lasersoft Imaging has recently released SilverFast 8 as the successor to their popular scanning software SilverFast 6.x. Version no. 7 seems to have been skipped for marketing reasons. Not all changes in the new version have been welcomed warmly by our users though. SilverFast 8 complicates the workflow of creating linear scans while using dust and scratch removal techniques (SRD or iSRD).

Creating linear scans with SilverFast 8 SE or Ai without using SRD or iSRD

 

If you don't intend to use the dust and scratch removal features SRD or iSRD - for example because your scanner does not support iSRD in the first place or because you are scanning black and white negatives - the workflow to create linear scans remains similar to what applied to previous versions of SilverFast. All you need to do is scan your slides and negatives in the mode intended for positive film and select "16 Bit HDR" for grayscale scans and "48 Bit HDR" for color scans.

If your scanner features an infrared light source and you'd like to get the respective data as a surplus alpha channel to use in your own dust and scratch removal techniques in Photoshop or elsewhere simply select "64 Bit HDRi" when scanning color films. It should be noted that using "32 Bit HDRi" usually does not make much sense for monochrome film because the clusters of silver halides that typically occur in such photographic material tend to be opaque to the infrared light source just as dust and scratches would be. Therefore the resulting alpha channel likely won't be very useful.

Creating linear scans with SilverFast 8 Ai while using SRD or iSRD

If you wish to use either of the dust and scratch removal features you'll find that unlike in SilverFast 6.x and earlier you may no longer use these features while creating HDR scans in SilverFast 8.

For Silverfast 8 SE that means that there is no useful way to create linear scans while using the dust and scratch removal techniques at all. That is so because the "48 Bit" mode we'll use in the following doesn't exist there. You are limited to the above workflow. You might want to try to get a downgrade to version 6.x, explore Vuescan, or upgrade to SilverFast 8 Ai.

 

If you are using Silverfast 8 Ai you can carefully set up a workflow that will let the normal "48 Bit" scanning mode produce linear scans. There are numerous things in the software with the potential to ruin your scans' color for good and you'll need to set up and limit the workflow in the following way:

From the menu choose Edit => Preferences. On the preferences' general tab set the "Gamma gradation" option to 1.0. On the CMS tab turn all color management options off. That means setting everything that has a "none" option to that option. Set the output to RGB and turn off ICC profile embedding by unchecking the respective box. The rendering intent selected is without consequence now. On the WorkflowPilot tab be sure not to check anything but SRD or iSRD and maybe Multi-Exposure as discussed below. USM might be fine, too but we prefer to sharpen selectively in Photoshop. Everything else can impair your scan color wise. The result would no longer be RAW and trying to process such scans with ColorPerfect might lead to weird and incorrectible distortions.

You can test whether you have your settings right by scanning the same image with dust and scratch removal techniques in "48 Bit" mode and without in "48 Bit HDR" mode. When processing the two scans of the same image with ColorPerfect using all auto settings the result should be identical.

Where did the multi sampling settings go in SilverFast 8?

Another change in SilverFast 8 is that Lasersoft Imaging decided not to include the scanners' multi sampling settings as a feature anymore. Instead there is the multi exposure feature (ME) which can be paired with either of the above workflows. It seems not to introduce any ill effects when used for negative scans so you might want to explore it further.

We determined these instructions with a demo version of Silverfast 8. If you are a regular user of SilverFast 8 and feel that there should be anything else on this page please let us know.

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