Gregory Knipp (2010-02-23) - I’m an amateur photographer currently involved in a project to digitalize a collection of old 35mm slides, 35mm and 120 negatives, as well as color and B&W photos. After my original scanner died, I purchased an Epson V-750 PRO. I was happy to see LaserSoft Imaging’s SilverFast Ai bundled with it since I had used SilverFast before and had obtained very good results with it. I have since upgraded to the Ai Studio version.
Initially when I started using SilverFast, I was just doing basic scans and then doing all of my color corrections in Photoshop Elements 5.0. However, as I continued to learn more about SilverFast’s powerful tool set, I found it easier to use SilverFast for my color corrections. I load up my scanner, do a prescan, and then color-correct each image using 48-bit data. Then I run a final batch scan which outputs the high quality corrected 48-bit images into 24-bit mode. SilverFast’s 48->24 mode option makes this possible and provides the following advantages: (1) outputting color corrected images in 24-bit mode consumes less disk storage space while still providing the quality I need, and (2) since Photoshop Elements has limited 48-bit editing functionality, using SilverFast saves me from having to purchase a separate 48-bit image editor to do post-scan color correction and then manually convert images from 48-bit to 24-bit mode. Note that SilverFast does have the option of outputting color corrected images in 48-bit mode if desired.
I use SilverFast IT8 color calibration targets and a monitor calibration tool (Spyder2) for color management in my workflow and have been very pleased with the results. On the rare occasions that I have had technical issues with SilverFast, I found LaserSoft Imaging’s support folks to be very helpful. Whether a professional, or a perfectionist amateur like myself, I would recommend SilverFast scanning software to anyone who is serious about producing the highest quality scanned images.
Andreas Krämer - I have owned the CanoScan 8600F for a while now, I would like to make a statement about its quality. I purchased the CanoScan 8600F in order to scan my film positives and color negatives. After the first trials it was clear that the quality of the CanoScan 8600F was superb! I am using LaserSoft Imaging's scan software "SilverFast SE Plus ME V. 6.5"; under Windows Vista (32-bit).
It is noticeable that the removal of scratches and defects immediately produces great results without the need to refer to the manual or by trial and error. If desired, all parameters can be set and saved to one's own preferences. Even the most professional demands are met. "ME" stands for Multiple Exposure which reduces the amount of noise and graining in any scan. Though the scanner does produce decent results with the basic software by Canon, but its true potential is unlocked only when SilverFast is used. SilverFast is a definitive MUST for the CanoScan 8600F. MultiExposure sets the high standards for this. The scanning speed is also greatly increased by SilverFast.
In combination with SilverFast SE Plus "ME" the CanoScan 8600F produces excellent quality and increased scanning speed when compared to Canon's ScanGear. The entire scanning process is professionally controllable and does not require any post processing of the scanned images."
Scan quality slides and negatives with SilverFast SE® •••••
Scan quality of documents with SilverFast SE® •••••
Scan quality slides and negatives Canon ScanGear •••
Scan quality of documents with Canon ScanGear ••••
Scanning speed with SilverFast SE® •••••
Scanning speed with Canon ScanGear •••
Jenn P. Zonca - I use SilverFast AI Studio with my CanoScan 8400F scanner. The SilverFast controls allow me to acquire my transparencies and negatives with greater sharpness, contrast and color saturation, much closer to the original image, than the scanner's native software. I wouldn't use any other product than SilverFast!
SilverFast AI Studio's winning combination of Auto Adaptive Contrast Optimization, Multi-Sampling, and the MidPip4 - Advanced Color Cast Removal tools allow me to acquire images that the CanoScan 8400F software cannot handle.
SilverFast AI Studio's NegaFix tool does a much better job of handling color negatives than the native software of the CanoScan 8400F.
SilverFast AI Studio's suite of tools and my CanoScan 8400F allow me to acquire transparency and color negative images that I feel are comparable to a dedicated film scanner and a well-known suite of tools that rhyme with "price".
John McNeill - As an enthusiast photographer and a history buff with an interest in genealogy, I have scanned thousands of images over the past few years. My scanned images have included Civil War era daguerreotypes, family photos and scrap books from 1880 to present, negatives from the 1950s; and 35mm slides from the Vietnam War. I currently use the Canon CanoScan 9550F scanner on Windows XP and XP Pro systems.
Despite many favorably reviews of the CanoScan 9550F, my original scans, using the included ScanGear software, can best be described as average, with mixed results - loss of detail in highlights and shadows, blown out tones, and dull images. Based on the unremarkable results of the original scans, I decided to switch scanning software.
My choice for scanning software was SilverFast Ai IT8; and the results are extraordinary. Highlights and shadows exhibit more subtle details; and the accurate profiles from IT8 calibration result in crisp images with accurate color. In addition, batch mode and automatic frame detection are great time savers.
In sum, SilverFast Ai IT8 is a great piece of software. Excellent scans and productivity enhancing features coupled with great technical and customer support make it the standard for CanoScan 9950F scanning software. It has enabled the potential of my CanoScan 9950F and has turned a mediocre scanner into a great scanner.
Larry Welliver - The SilverFast software is a must have for all Canon owners. It is easy to use, is loaded with features that significantly improve the quality of your scanned images and you can get the scan right the first time which can save a significant amount of time. The SilverFast software allows you to select eleven different image types and has eight filters, which produce results that the Canon software cannot match.
I purchased the SilverFast software in April, 2006 for a Canon 9950F scanner that is hooked up to a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.4. The software was easy to install, bug free and I have been using it ever since. I scan photos of all types from travel, events and family. These photos are used for brochures, albums, scrapbooks, presentations and videos. I am an extremely satisfied customer.
Roy Sprague - As a newcomer to color negative scanning, I was surprised to find that a technically sophisticated product like SilverFast AI has made digitizing my archive of landscape/nature film images much easier than the basic Windows XP software included with my CanoScan 8600F scanner. The time and effort spent in Photoshop editing and adjusting images produced by the Canon software far exceeds that required to produce superior results with the tools available in SilverFast. Automatic functions like auto-adjust, Color Cast Removal, and Adaptive Color Restoration have greatly simplified processing, and I have found that scans are significantly faster with SilverFast, even when comparing 48-bit SilverFast scans with 24-bit Canon scans. Since I have several hundred images to scan, I am looking forward to automating the process as much as possible with JobManager, which offers professional levels of flexibility and control not available in the Canon software.
SilverFast QuickTime movies and documentation have really helped me to get my project underway with minimum delay. The documentation supplied with the Canon software is very basic as well as brief, and the user can spend a great deal of time experimenting with the package attempting to determine the exact effect of each function and control. This activity is very counterproductive, and it really highlights another strength of SilverFast products: solid support provided by extensive documentation.
To get the best results with Canon (or any other mid-range) scanners, I would recommend use of SilverFast software.
Anthony Peperone - I recently purchased SilverFast Ai Studio and used it to scan a 28-year-old Tri-X 400 negative with a Canon 9550F scanner using Windows XP on my PC.
The result exceeded anything I thought possible. After using other software, I was disappointed and never thought I could match my original darkroom print (lost in Katrina) of the Natchez on the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Then I tried SilverFast. It was like magic. It actually exceeded the quality of my original print. SilverFast is easily superior to any other software on the market today in its ability to bring out the details in reflective and transparent media that others literally leave behind. It's there, but only SilverFast can capture the subtle details. I didn't know what I was actually missing until I started using SilverFast. I am very impressed by the subtle shades in black and white that SilverFast is able to capture and reproduce. After using other software, I didn't think it was possible with my Canon 9950F scanner.
If you want the best quality possible from your Canon scanner, then SilverFast is an absolute MUST.
I am using it on B/W and color transparencies and prints, and getting the superior image quality couldn't be easier. It has all of the advanced professional features that you would want, but the program is designed to "fly" on autopilot. Just go through the prearranged simple steps one by one, and a superior result is guarantied. The prearranged steps also allow for individual preferences, and you can deviate at any time to suit your individual needs. It can be as easy or advanced to suit your needs; but either way, the results achieved with SilverFast will be superior to any other software. Having to spend less time scanning by getting it right the first time while using simple, quicker steps enables you to be much more productive in your work while maintaining the highest quality possible.
Richard Jacobs - I started a project recently, scanning several hundred 25-year old slides of our treking trip to Africa. The old Kodachromes and Ecktachromes show their age. I was not satisfied with the results I was getting on my Canon Scanner, a CanaScan 8600f, and was introduced to SilverFast at George DeWolfe's "Digital Photography Fine Print Workshop." SilverFast provides a vast range of controls that were not previously available to me, allowing solid control over every element of the scanning workflow. The results are dramatically improved. Color cast removal, color balance, sharpness, dust and scratches, batch scans, and similar issues are now easily under my control. And SilverFast is fast, very fast. It's now the only scanning software I use.
I wish I had discovered it sooner!
PBase Forum, Plustek 7200/7200i - ... Hi, I've seen some stunning pictures here scanned with Plustek 7200, but seen very rarely positive comments about this scanner on the net. Consumer dedicated film scanner is dominated by famous brand name (Nikon, Canon, Kminolta etc), but it looks out of my budget. Its brothers, Plustek 7200i comes with iSRD infrared dust removal from SilverFast in reasonable price compare with others maker.
I would like to here from you all about this product, especially its iSRD feature. ... [More Information ➔...]
Chris Bourne (Design Alliance) - The one thing I simply cannot understand, and this is just a comment, is why Canon produce such a competent scanner and give it such a limited driver. The results from Silver Scan are so vastly superior to anything I could get from the native driver it is like having a different machine!
You can count on another Silver Scan convert here! (http://www.the-design-alliance.com)
John Harvey (2006-10-16) - I've been using Leaf 45 scanners for about the last 5 years. When SilverFast AI became available I was an early user. Since it's start the program has been slowly improving and growing. Nils Heidorn and the head of LaserSoft Imaging, Karl-Heinz Zahorsky, have made this a labor of love since the Leaf 45 and now the 35 are not the hot ticket owned by tens of thousands of photographers. They recognized that these scanners are really exceptional pieces of equipment. Yes, they are slow, but the results are worth the time if you are not in a production situation. We should be thankful that they took this project on.
I just finished scanning a set of old 6x6 black and white negatives for a show. They were so dusty I could not believe I'd ever be able to make prints. I fired up my Leaf45 and used their SRD option which is a software based scratch and dust removal program within the Ai software. It was a bit difficult at first getting the hang of applying the program but I must say the results justified the work. I'm more than ever convinced that if you have a Leaf scanner you should give this software a try. They have reduced the price and I think it is well worth it. Let me ad that I am not in any way involved with LaserSoft Imaging. I'm just glad that they have extended the life of my scanner
Cliff Perrin (2006-10-11) - I have been using scanners in both a professional, and private environment since "affordable" high quality equipment came to the market during the early 1990’s. One of the greatest problems has always been the limitations of OEM scanner drivers in delivering results that truly, visually represent what you are scanning.
SilverFast has certainly come to the rescue with fully-featured, custom produced drivers that give you total mastery over the image at every level of the workflow. They are the yardstick by which all scanner manufacturers' should strive to equal. These products really do work! Don’t take my word for it! Download a free trial – and see the difference!
haydnseek on flickr - I can say that I run the Epson 4490 with SilverFast SE and am blown away by its' capabilities...... [More Information ➔...]
Ed Richards (2006-06-01) - I have been playing with the SilverFast demo for a few days to see if the multi-scanning really works. I have used multi-scanning on Vuescan with a Canon 9950 and the registration is not quite good enough. With the new SilverFast, the registration is usually perfect, even at 16 scans. It is very impressive. One possible bug is that when you start SilverFast it comes up with the last preview. If you are scanning the same negative in more than one session, it is easy to just start the second scan without a new preview. I think if you do the registration does not always work - I have noticed that every few multi-scans I get one with doubled images and I think this is why, but I have not kept notes so I am not sure yet. The cheapest way in is SilverFast SE, then scan to the HDR choice and do the corrections in your editor. Otherwise I think you need to go to AI to get 16/48 bit and corrections in SilverFast.
John Hennessy (2005-05-16) - I have to agree with Kirk that the new multiscan capability of Siverfast AI is a great improvement over the multipass method. I just downloaded it and tried it on a 4x5 Astia image of mine with dewy grass and gossamers in the foreground. With the old multipass, I had to try several times before the blades of grass and gossamers were evidently as sharp as the film. One failed attempt even produced two blades for every one in the film! But multiscaning, with only one try, produced a file much much better than the best multipass. Ironically, it was so much better that I regret having to pay extra for it---it should have been there all along. Maybe AI "Studio" (which is what one needs to upgrade to in order to get the multiscan capability) does other things I have not noticed yet. On the other hand, if multiscan software is a programming breakthrough, then Lasersoft deserves whatever the market will bear. Why upgrading the SE version costs so little is a mystery but no serious photographer should be without the AI version anyway just for the scanner profiling aspect if nothing else. I volunteered for the scan-around testing at http://largeformatphotography.info/scan-comparison/ (and in View Camera) and it will be interesting to see how the Epsons stack up with SilverFast. I believe the Epson 3200 used in tests was used with its own software--which is useless.
Kirk Gittings (2005-05-17) - The new multisampling feature in SF Studio appears in my testing to be a real breakthrough......It would be hard to surpass the noise reduction of SF Studio. My tests also reveal that with SF Studio you get the most noise reduction in RGB files (noise is virtually eliminated completely) even if you are looking for a grayscale image as the final product. So I am scanning 4x5 b&w negs as 48bit RGB files with 16 sampling passes and then converting them to 16 bit grayscale. The exact opposite was true with SFAI 6. You would get much less noise with grayscale scans with SFAI 6.
Domenico Pescosolido - Hi all, I would like to know if there are any important differences between Nikon Scan and SilverFast with scanner Nikon V LS-50, in other words if with SilverFast it's possible to reach better works compared with Nikon Scan software and if it's simply to use compared with Nikon software.
In particular I have some slides FujiChrome Velvia 50 undexposed of 1/3 with a lot of green and blue tones that I didn't have good succeess with Nikon Scan (too light or too dark and with coulours without the right contrast and lights).
Simon Willison's Weblog - Hey Vicki, speak for yourself. I'm still happily using my ancient Epson Expression 636 scanner with a SCSI card in my PowerMac dual1Ghz G4, using the SilverFast SE driver. I don't have any problems with SCSI at all, other than that to have the OS recognize the scanner, I have to have the scanner powered on at boot time (not a problem since I reboot about once every month or so).
If your scanner software sucks, you really should check out SilverFast SE, it's really cheap, $50, and supports a wide variety of scanners, even old discontinued ones without any current drivers, like my Epson. You can download trial versions from SilverFast.com and if it works OK, you can buy a serial number online to unlock it.
I've been considering upgrading to SilverFast AI, which is their top end software at about $500 IIRC, it has all the pro tools like ICC profiling, I haven't seen such an advanced scanner driver since I used to work on a $250k drum scanner. But I haven't found a scanner I like that is good enough for the software. No, all scanner drivers don't suck, it should be obvious in this case that I've found a driver I like so much that I need to find a good scanner to go with the driver! And I am especially fond of the SilverFast guys because they support legacy hardware so I don't have to buy new equipment.
Tom Carey (2011-08-25) - I tried out the demo version of VueScan and it is inferior to SilverFast 8 in every way, very few photo editing controls available. For my money SilverFast 8 is the best scanner software. (http://oceanplanetimages.smugmug.com/)
Professor Roderick Robertson, Saint Mary's University (2011-09-07) - I just purchased an upgrade to SilverFast 8 for an Epson scanner. It is fantastic! It was like getting a whole new scanner for the price of the upgrade. (http://oceanplanetimages.smugmug.com/)
Sandy Gutt (2013-02-14) - I'm using this PIE medium format scanners for a year now and I'm thrilled with the opportunities I have with SilverFast. The image automatics work almost perfectly, 90% of all images I do not need to optimize any further. And even old photographies with really strong color casts I can get completely restored.
Jeff Dell (2013-05-01) - My slide collection is huge, really huge. Until now I thought, I would never make it to digitize all my slides. But using the Powerslide and latest SilverFast software I can batch scan a complete magazine of slides at once. The results have convinced me, for the first time I have found a really effective way.
Steve Wagner (2013-04-08) - Bought the scanner. Downloaded SilverFast demo. Tried all the tools. Bought SilverFast. And now I am happy and satisfied.
Steve Huff (2010-04-26) - The V700 is a very nice upgrade from the V500 and comes with Epson Scan software as well as SilverFast SE, which I prefer in a HUGE way. If you want to go whole hog and get the best flatbed package you can get then Epson offers the V750 Pro which has coatings on the glass to help improve the quality AND it comes with the upgraded SilverFast AI which is great software and better than the SE version included with the V700. [More Information ➔...]
John R. Spurr (2011-08-24) - My thoughts on using SilverFast SE as my only scanner control program. Recently I had the misfortune of having my Windows XP Professional Computer die when the main board quit. While looking into upgrading with a new board or switch out completely to a New Window 7 Professional it became evident that I would have to make the big switch to a new replacement. I am heavily loaded with XP software so I was concerned about which software would have to be upgraded as well. I have an Epson Photo 3200 and have been extremely happy with the results that I have obtained. I am heavy into retouching and restoration of photos as it is a sizable part of my photo business. I installed all the software packed with the 3200 which consisted of the regular supplied company software and SilverFast SE. When I discovered just what I could do with the software and the amount of control that it offered for black and white films (such as by brand) as well as transparencies and prints, I selected to use it exclusively and never really used the alternative software.
Now I come to the recent mishap. Alas the older version of SFSE did not function with the new computer no matter what I tried. I had a sizable retouching job with a quick turn around needed and had to rely upon the original software to scan the prints. I was very unhappy with not the final results but the way I had to get there. I couldn't just pull up my old standby SFSE and choose the resolution, size of final print and perform all the adjustments to the final output before I even scanned the print. I had to do what I could do with any of those controls and had to set a higher resolution than needed so that I could resize later to get a decent final output. Plus forget about any adjustments to the image and not even have the ability to size for a final output.
After I finally finished I thought back of all the work that I needed to perform just to get prints and still have all the adjustments to perform yet and wondered if I would have tossed out the scanner if I hadn't had SilverFast SE in the beginning..... I owe my sanity and pleasure to what SilverFast SE has offer to me over the years.
So what did I do? Kept the scanner and purchased an upgraded SilverFast SE. Now I am content again.