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Grimy
24-07-2011, 06:11 PM
I'm using a Plustek OpticFilm 7200 scanner for converting lots of slides (Kodachrome). The bundled software was SilverFast 6.5.
I see an update (or 2) has been released and if I purchase 6.6 I'll get an upgrade (free) to version 8 later in the year.
Has anyone have any recommendations for other scanning software compatible with my scanner (SilverFast does scanner specific software)?
SilverFast seems okay, but wondering if others are using something else that is user-friendly and giving good results.
Thanks.

Nomad
24-07-2011, 06:49 PM
Silverfast is a premium product and priced accordingly. Not sure about the Plustek or with the Nikon or Minolta scanners they are about $400US. This is the Ai version, not the SE which is supplied to many scanners for free. Ai are generally pre-packaged to more expensive scanners and the price is raised to cover it.

There is Vuescan, there is a free downloadable demo with the watermark. Vuescan is certainly not a user friendly software. A definite step back from Silverfast.

I have a Epson and a Nikon scanner. I find that Silverfast and Vuescan give you some advanced features but I find that the manufacture software - Plustek (probably), Nikon and Epson does a v good job already and I just do more edits inside Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or integrated into Apple Aperture or Adobe Lightroom which are more streamlined for photography.

Is there anything specific you are wanting from Silverfast?
Silverfast does have a downloadable demo from memory can you can try it before paying .....

If you are concerned about the colour. No scanner is perfect. Even my Nikon which had a RRP of $2,500NZ when new. If you are really into film photography consider getting the scanner custom calibrated like your monitor and printer. I find my Epson is more warmer and my Nikon more cooler. If the Plustek software cannot do IT8 calibration, Vuescan Pro does (the std version does not). Siverfast Ai also does, not the SE version. There is also a software called Incamera plugin by a company called Pictocolor or something. You buy this IT8 which is a Kodachrome 35mm piece of film, you can also get 120 format or 4x5 or whatever, scan it and use the software to open it up and refer to a reference file so it makes you a ICC file which in Photoshop you can use the "assign profile" command. Some software also allow you to incorporate this at the time of scanning.

Grimy
24-07-2011, 08:56 PM
Hi Nomad,
Thanks for that. I started using the Plustek about 4 years ago with Silverfast 6.5 SE. I'd put it away and since building my new(18 months ago)PC I hadn't got around to seeing if it would work with Windows 7.
Had a go yesterday and Plustek had W7 64-bit drivers, so was all good. What got me wondering about software was an email from Silverfast about the upgrade. I've downloaded the trial of 6.6 SE Plus and it is vey similar (as you would expect) to the earlier version. V8 is due out next month. The SE Plus version has some Kodachrome capabilities, but without the proper calibration that you mention (you can get that for extra$). I'm not a professional by any stretch so probably the SE Plus will do me. I was just interested to see what else was being used.
Cheers.