Creating perfect photos from your slide and negative scans with ColorPerfect: EPSON Scan, Epson Perfection

Increase the quality of your slide and negative scans from EPSON Scan with ColorPerfect! Find out more about how to scan with your Epson Perfection etc. 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 EPSON Scan.

Creating suitable scans of slides and negatives for ColorPerfect & ColorNeg with EPSON Scan

To create suitable scans of slides and negatives with EPSON Scan first select the Professional Mode from the Mode drop down list at the upper right of the EPSON Scan interface.

 In the Original section choose Film as the Document Type and set the Film Type to be Positive Film. Never choose the Color Negative Film setting as any negative scans are intended to be processed in ColorPerfect's ColorNeg mode later on and thus have to be created in a way preserving the negative. Choose the Positive Film mode for any type of transparency including negatives. Next set up the settings under Destination. Image Type is required to be 48 bit Color. Resolution can basically be anything you like but it is sensible to use the maximum physical resolution your scanner is capable of. If you require a smaller image file it is generally best to sample the resulting image down in Photoshop later using suitable techniques instead of scanning at a low resolution to begin with. As the options we are going to set in the next step are going to deactivate all features under Adjustments the screenshot shown has been shortened somewhat in that area.

To set the required settings click on the Configuration... button to bring up the Configuration window. Here select the Color tab and simply choose No Color Correction. Leave the Configuration window by clicking OK.

ATTENTION: The scans you create via this route will not be linear but will be Gamma encoded. On Windows they will be encoded to a Gamma of 2.2 and on Mac OS X to a Gamma of 1.8. Prior to converting negatives with the original ColorNeg plug-in you will have to reverse this encoding using our auxiliary Plug-in Scantique which comes with the ColorNeg package. This will create a suitable linear image file.

Using our new plug-in ColorPerfect that reversal step using Scantique is no longer necessary. ColorPerfect is able to directly process images with various input encodings. If you'd like to put out sRGB encoded image data from ColorPerfect for example you'd usually set up the start panel the way depicted to the left of the image.  To be able to process a scan with an output encoding that is neither linear nor matches the input encoding you'll have to leave the start panel once to access the options. On the options screen find the setting "Gamma C In/Out", activate it and use the revert button (<<) to get back to the Start panel.

After restarting the plug-in the start panel used will be the one shown to the right. The left of the two Gamma pull down menus specifies the encoding of your scan. When using EPSON Scan that's 2.2 if the scan was created on a Windows computer and 1.8 if it was created using Mac OS X. The right hand side Gamma pull down is the output encoding (Gamma C) which must be set according to the working space you prefer to use. ColorPerfect saves these values so that you will usually have to set them up but once - unless you work with images in multiple color spaces or from different scanners. The configuration described here is stored separately for each of the plug-in's three modes ColorNeg, ColorPos and TouchUp. You'll have to set it up once in any mode you need it.

The first option on EPSON Scan's Color tab "Color Control" which lets you specify a Display Gamma does not create linear scans when set to a Gamma value of 1.0. While the resulting scan is of linear Gamma it will be thoroughly distorted color wise. It is thus best to avoid this route when wanting to create suitable slide and negative scans for processing with ColorPerfect and/or ColorNeg.

Download EPSON Scan for the Epson Perfection, Epson Expression and Epson GT scanner series

There are two EPSON download sites. EPSON Scan for scanners sold in the US can be downloaded here and EPSON Scan for scanners sold in Europe can be downloaded here.

The following models are listed on either site: GT-10000, GT-10000+, GT-15000, GT-20000, GT-2500, GT-30000, Epson Expression: 10000XL - Graphic Arts, 10000XL - Photo, 1600, 1640XL, 1640XL - Graphic Arts, 1680 Artist Scanner, 1680 Professional, 1680 Special Edition, Epson Perfection: 1200S, 1200U, 1200U Photo, 1240U, 1240U Photo, 1250, 1250 Photo, 1260, 1260 Photo, 1640SU, 1640SU Office, 1640SU Photo, 1650, 1650 Photo, 1660 Photo, 1670 Photo, 2400 Photo, 2450 Photo, 2480 Photo, 2580 Photo, 3170 Photo, 3200 Photo, 3200 Pro, 3490 Photo, 3590 Photo, 4180 Photo, 4490 Office, 4490 Photo, 4870 Photo, 4870 Pro, 4990 Photo, 4990 Pro, 610, 640U, V100 Photo, V200 Photo, V30, V300 Photo, V33, V330 Photo, V350 Photo, V370 Photo, V500 Office, V500 Photo, V550 Photo, V600 Photo, V700 Photo, V750 Pro, V800 Photo, V850 Photo.

The following models are exclusively listed on the US site: ActionScanner II Mac, ActionScanner II PC, ActionScanner Mac, ActionScanner PC, ES-1000C, ES-1200C, ES-300C, ES-600C, ES-800C, GT-1500 (WorkForce GT-1500), GT-2500 Plus, GT-S50 (WorkForce Pro GT-S50), GT-S80 (WorkForce Pro GT-S80), Personal Document Station, Personal Document Station Mac, Photo Plus, Epson Expression: 636, 800, 836XL, Epson Perfection: 600, 636, 636U, V750 Pro.

And these models are listed exclusively listed on the European site: F-3200, FILMSCAN 200, GT-12000, GT-1500, GT-2500+, GT-300, GT-4000, GT-5000, GT-5500, GT-6000, GT-6500, GT-7000, GT-7000S, GT-7000U, GT-8000, GT-8500, GT-9000, GT-9500, GT-9600, GT-S50, GT-S80, Epson Perfection: 1200, 1240, 1640, 640, 660, V10.

Slide and negative scans can only be created with models allowing to scan transparancies of course. Such models used for scanning slides and negatives should ideally feature 14 bit precision or more.