• SilverFast - Quality Scanner and Digital Imaging Software made in Germany since 1986
Increases the Dynamic Range of your Scanner significantly

SilverFast Multi-Exposure®

1. What is Multi-Exposure and what can you use it for?

Multi-Exposure is one of the most popular SilverFast features. Experience here how your slide and negative scans can benefit from it.

Significantly more details especially in dark areas of the image using Multi-Exposure

Patented Technology

Multi-Exposure is a technique for increasing a scanner's Dynamic Range developed by LaserSoft Imaging. (Karl-Heinz Zahorsky, EP: 1744278, US 8,693,808)

What is the Dynamic Range?

The Dynamic Range of a scanner, also referred to as density range or contrast range, is a measurement for a scanner’s capability to recognize contrast levels. Contrary to reflective originals like photo transparent originals (black & white film), color negatives and slides consist of multiple film layers, which respond to light differently. Therefore, transparent originals achieve a high Dynamic Range when captured, which usually exceeds a scanner’s capabilities. As a consequence, especially in the very light and shadow image areas, image details get lost when scanning.

The Dynamic Range of each stage (capture, scanning, editing and storage) plays a crucial role in the quality of the final output. Generally, technologies with greater Dynamic Range produce better results.

How does Multi-Exposure increase the Dynamic Range?

SilverFast Multi-Exposure records an original’s maximum Dynamic Range by performing a double scan with an increased exposure time of the second scan. This procedure captures the light image area’s details in the first pass and the shadow details in the second. Afterwards an algorithm calculates the final scan, which now contains any detail, from each single scan.

Video: Multi-Exposure

Watch our Video to learn more about SilverFast's patented Multi-Exposure functionality

Watch Video

2. Example images

The “Ansel Adams” solution for scanners

If Ansel Adams had been a software developer there is a probable chance he would have developed the SilverFast Multi-Exposure function for LaserSoft Imaging. Being the greatest master of Dynamic Range in photography, he was the first to systematically measure the sensitivity of all the equipment involved. Following his example LaserSoft Imaging researched to consider the high Dynamic Range of slides and negatives during the scan process.

Exposing an original twice with different exposure times can reduce image noise and record more image details in the light and shadow image areas at the same time. This is especially noticeable among sharp highlights and distinct textures.

Multi-Exposure was used to considerably reduce image noise in the example image on the left. In the image above Multi-Exposure managed to capture a lot more image details in the shadow areas. These differences would be especially stark when printing in large format.

Video: Multi-Exposure in preview scan

Watch our Video to learn how to use SilverFast Multi-Exposure for the preview scan. In this example you can see very clearly how Multi-Exposure can eliminate image noise.

Watch Video

3. Technical details and charts

The increase of Dynamic Range with Multi-Exposure is not only describable with words and pictures but also measurable with objective data.

For explanation: The density (density range = Dynamic Range) is specified as the decade logarithm of the light transmission’s reciprocal. That is, a Dynamic Range of 2.0, 3.0 or 4.0, respectively, means the scanner is able to implement a contrast ratio of 100:1, 1000:1 or 10,000:1, respectively. Therefore, an apparently slight Dynamic Range increase in the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II example from just 3.17 to 3.98 actually means that the 9000F Mark II with Multi-Exposure is capable of perceiving a contrast ratio of not just 1.479:1, but of 9.550:1. Using Multi-Exposure, the 9000F Mark II can distinguish more than 6x as many grayscales.

This kind of Dynamic Range is usually only achieved with drum scanners, which can cost up to many times the price of a flatbed or film scanner.

4. Requirements and usage

SilverFast Multi-Exposure cannot be used for every scan activity.

There are some requirements:

  • Unfortunately not every scanner can support Multi-Exposure. Some models do not allow variation in exposure time for technical reasons. To find out if your scanner supports Multi-Exposure, please have a look at our compatibility list below.

  • Multi-Exposure is a feature of SilverFast scanner software SilverFast SE Plus and SilverFast Ai Studio. Thus, it’s also part of our Archive Suite software packages. If you already own a different SilverFast edition, but are wanting to use Multi-Exposure, we offer the possibility to receive an upgrade at a reduced rate.

  • The original to be scanned has to be transparent like slides or negatives. This technique is not usable for reflective originals like photos; however, due to the lesser Dynamic Range of such samples it is not necessary.

Hints for using Multi-Exposure:

  • For best results please ensure that the original cannot be moved out of place during the double scan: Use a film holder or fix the slide with tape, if you want to be absolutely safe. This is necessary to prevent the slide from slipping as a result of vibrations which may occur during scanning.

  • Besides our other SilverFast Kodachrome features Multi-Exposure is well suited for scanning Kodachrome slides, which are very hard to digitize due to their very high Dynamic Range.

  • Multi-Exposure fits perfectly into the new SilverFast HDRi workflow. HDRi scanner RAW data captured with Multi-Exposure contain any image detail. Therefore, the SilverFast Archive Suite is best suited for fast archiving and later post-processing.

Which scanners are supported?

The SilverFast Multi-Exposure feature is supported by the following scanners:

  • FS 120
  • MultiMag SlideScan 4000 / 4000b
  • MultiMag SlideScan 6000
  • MultiMag SlideScan 7000
  • CanoScan 5600F
  • CanoScan 8400F
  • CanoScan 8600F
  • CanoScan 8800F
  • CanoScan 9000F
  • CanoScan 9000F Mark II
  • CanoScan 9900F
  • CanoScan 9950F
  • DS-G20000
  • ES-10000G
  • ES-11000G
  • ES-2200
  • ES-8500
  • Expression 10000XL
  • Expression 11000XL
  • Expression 12000XL
  • Expression 13000XL
  • Expression 1640XL
  • Expression 1680 / 1680 Pro
  • Expression 836XL / GT-12000 / ES-8000
  • GT-9300UF
  • GT-9700F
  • GT-9800F
  • GT-F600
  • GT-F670
  • GT-F700
  • GT-F720
  • GT-F730
  • GT-F740
  • GT-X700
  • GT-X750
  • GT-X770
  • GT-X800
  • GT-X820
  • GT-X830
  • GT-X900
  • GT-X970
  • GT-X980
  • Perfection 1640SU / GT-8700F
  • Perfection 1650 / 1650 Photo / GT-8200U
  • Perfection 1660 / 1660 Photo / GT-8300U
  • Perfection 2400 / 2400 Photo
  • Perfection 2450 Photo
  • Perfection 3200 Photo/Pro
  • Perfection 4180 Photo
  • Perfection 4490 Photo
  • Perfection 4870 Photo
  • Perfection 4990 Photo
  • Perfection V200 Photo
  • Perfection V300 Photo
  • Perfection V330 Photo
  • Perfection V350 Photo
  • Perfection V370 Photo
  • Perfection V500 Photo
  • Perfection V550 Photo
  • Perfection V600 Photo
  • Perfection V700 Photo
  • Perfection V750 Pro
  • Perfection V800 Photo
  • Perfection V850 Pro
  • PhotoPC F-3200
  • Scanjet G4050
  • Scando icoss 7
  • Scando icoss 9
  • Scando X 6
  • Scando X 6 AF
  • Scando X 8
  • SilverScan 3600 ICE [INTERNAL!]
  • SilverScan 7200 Pro
  • ArtixScan 1100
  • ArtixScan 120tf
  • ArtixScan 2500/2500f
  • ArtixScan 3200 XL
  • ArtixScan F1
  • ArtixScan F2
  • ArtixScan M1
  • ScanMaker 9800 XL Plus
  • ScanMaker E900 [INTERNAL!]
  • ScanMaker i800 Plus
  • DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 (not Elite 5400 II)
  • DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II
  • DiMAGE Scan Multi Pro
  • LS 4000ED / Super Coolscan 4000 ED
  • LS 40ED / Coolscan IV ED
  • LS 5000ED / Super Coolscan 5000 ED
  • LS 50ED / Coolscan V ED
  • LS 8000ED / Super Coolscan 8000 ED
  • LS 9000ED / Super Coolscan 9000 ED
  • PowerFilm
  • PowerSlide 3650
  • PowerSlide 5000
  • PowerSlide X
  • PrimeFilm 120 / 120 Pro
  • PrimeFilm 1800u
  • PrimeFilm 3650 Pro3
  • PrimeFilm 3650u
  • PrimeFilm 7200
  • PrimeFilm 7250 Pro3
  • PrimeFilm 7250u
  • PrimeFilm X
  • PrimeFilm XA
  • PrimeFilm XA Plus
  • PrimeFilm XAs
  • PrimeFilm XE
  • PrimeFilm XEs
  • Scan 3000
  • Scan 5000
  • Scan 6000
  • Scan 7000
  • Optic Lab H 850
  • OpticFilm 120
  • OpticFilm 120 Pro
  • OpticFilm 135i
  • OpticFilm 7200i
  • OpticFilm 7300
  • OpticFilm 7400
  • OpticFilm 7500i
  • OpticFilm 7600i
  • OpticFilm 8100
  • OpticFilm 8200i
  • OpticFilm 8300i
  • SprintScan 120
  • CrystalScan 3600
  • CrystalScan 7200
  • DigitDia 4000
  • DigitDia 5000
  • DigitDia 6000
  • DigitDia 7000
  • DigitDia 8000 [INTERNAL!]
  • MF 5000
  • PF 135
  • ProScan 10T
  • ProScan 4000
  • ProScan 7200
  • RPS 10M
  • RPS 7200

Supported Scanners

The listed scanners have been tested and support SilverFast Multi-Exposure. More scanners will be added to the list by and by.

Report 1: Epson, Nikon

Test Study: SilverFast Multi-Exposure and Scanner Dynamic Range for Epson and Nikon Scanners by Image Engineering, Germany

Report 2: Canon

Test Study: SilverFast Multi-Exposure and Scanner Dynamic Range for Canon CanoScan 8600F by Image Engineering, Germany