Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The negative scanning project continues ...

Lasersoft Imaging / SilverFast JobManager

Over the past year or so I've been puttering along on a project to scan negatives. I bought a Nikon V ED for this project (LS-50). A few observations:

1. The Nikon software and workflow is really ugly. I think there's some kind of Adobe Photoshop plug-in option for some of their utilities, but the documentation is beyond miserable. I did get good results, but the software wins some kind of anti-usability award.

2. VueScan looks promising -- much better workflow. For a single license fee one can install a copy on a PC and a Mac -- legally! Downside is their test version produces unusuable images (watermarked) -- so time spent testing is utterly wasted. I don't have time to waste that way. I'd prefer an image-count limited test application so time spent testing isn't wasted. Documentation for VueScan isn't too bad.

3. This link is to SilverFast. They seem to have a "professional" solution, but I doubt they license for Mac and PC alike! It's a more expensive and more "polished" competitor to VueScan. I will try their demo package next.

My goal is to figure out a workflow that will allow me to outsource the scanning work to a local student.

If I weren't so worried about negatives getting lost or damaged, taking them to an imaging service would probably be far more cost effective.

This whole thing smells like something that hasn't quite been packaged for the serious non-professional.

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