Scanner Software -- long, referring to Epson


P

P. Taine

I recently purchased the Epson V700, and am, in general quite happy with it.
There are, however some (to my mind) rough edges. I have seen references here
to non-Epson software, such as SilverFast and ViewScan, and wonder if one of
these would answer at least some of my wishes. I am including a list of
questions which I have tried to get answered by Epson, with most resulting in
"that's the way things are". Could some of the experts here comment, in
particular with regard to third party software?

<query>

Questions for Epson

Hardware: V700 Photo
Software: Epson Scan, WinXP Pro

1. Thumbnail creation for 35mm slides. The algorithm sometimes fails, in any
one of several ways, e.g. it mistakes a portrait orientation for a landscape or
vice versa, it mistakes a dark area at one side (either horizontally or
vertically) for the edge of the image. I have found only one way to correct
these errors, and that involves repeating the preview scan with "thumbnails"
un-checked, and then setting the marquee manually. This is a great waste of
time. Given that the definition of a thumbnail is equivalent to the definition
of a marquee, it should be simple to allow the user to request an enlarged
"zoom" for a specific thumbnail, set to include the entire scannable area, as
defined by the aperture in the slide holder. Then, even though the user must
still manually set the final marquee, the excess time needed for a full area
repeat of the preview scan (and the concomitant loss of the remaining, correctly
defined thumbnails) would be avoided.

2. Handling of non-35mm 2 inch by 2 inch slides. I have a number of color
transparencies mounted in 2 inch by 2 inch cardboard slide holders which are not
35mm film. Two of the sizes cannot be scanned using the slide holder, the image
areas being square and having the corners masked by the aperture. My only
recourse is to scan them without a holder. But this places the film in an
intermediate position, not directly on the glass, as is assumed when a hold is
not used, nor as high at the slide holder would place it. Because of this I
have two sub-questions:

2a. Depth of field. What is the depth of field of the scanner when using the
transparency mode?

2b. Film height when using a holder. What is the expected distance between the
glass (below the film) and the film when a holder is used? I have asked this
question a number of times already, and been promised an answer, but I have
never received the promised response. Note that this is also of interest when
scanning negatives which do not fit any of the supplied holders, as it is stated
that the Digital ICE will not work without a holder.

3. Color restoration. The color restoration, for old slides, does a remarkably
good job in most cases, although it almost always requires a bit of hand
adjustment to tone-down a tendency to redden images. However, is some case it
does a terrible job. In particular, images with large areas of blue (such as
sea-scapes or sky-scapes) are always turned to muddy browns, while large areas
of yellows (grain fields and such) are brightened garishly. Is there any way to
select an area (e.g. using a marquee), applying the color restoration algorithm
to that, and then expanding that correction to the entire image? Or must I
chose between complete manual adjusting and noting the values of all the color
channels for the small area and then manually setting them for the image? Again,
this would seem to be a simple addition to the current set of options (as in the
thumbnail selection, previously discussed).

4. Color restoration again. I note that the color restoration "lumps" the upper
and lower values in the channels. This has the unfortunate result of
obliterating detail in the darkest and lightest areas of the images. Is there
any way to control this when it is desirable, or must the results be manually
worked with?

5. Poor interactions between backlight and color restorations. I find that if I
apply both of these adjustments to an image I invariably must manually adjust,
usually the red channel, to obtain a decent image. Can these two features be
taught to play well together?

<\query>

Perhaps I should split this into a number of individual posts, but I really
would like a discussion of them as a group with respect to third party software.

Thank you for any help.
 
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S

Silicon Sam

I recently purchased the Epson V700, and am, in general quite happy with it.
There are, however some (to my mind) rough edges.  I have seen references here
to non-Epson software, such as SilverFast and ViewScan, and wonder if one of
these would answer at least some of my wishes.  I am including a list of
questions which I have tried to get answered by Epson, with most resultingin
"that's the way things are".  Could some of the experts here comment, in
particular with regard to third party software?


Perhaps I should split this into a number of individual posts, but I really
would like a discussion of them as a group with respect to third party software.

Thank you for any help.

Vuescan costs nothing to try it out.... Download it and try it..
 
T

tinnews

Silicon Sam said:
Vuescan costs nothing to try it out.... Download it and try it..

I have a V700 and agree in the main with the OP's comments. I don't
think Vuescan is going to do much for him. That's not a criticism of
Vuescan (I have it and use it occasionally) but as regards automatic
thumbnailing and simple colour correction the Epson software is much
better.
 
P

P. Taine

give irfanview a look for the thumbnails - it will take a folder and
make a thumbnail collection of the images. www.irfanview.com

I'm afraid you mis-interpreted my question, or I stated it badly. I am
referring to the thumbnail images of the slides in the slide holder which the
Epson software detects and displays for further processing (dust removal, color
correction, further cropping, etc.) In fact, I am using IrfanView as my
"driver" (not in the WinDoz sense) of the Epson software, using the
Acquire/Batch scanning command to save the images with generated names.

P. Taine
 
T

tinnews

give irfanview a look for the thumbnails - it will take a folder and
make a thumbnail collection of the images. www.irfanview.com

That's completely irrelevant to the OP's problem. The thumbnails he's
talking about are the scanner preview thumbnails that you use to
decide if the scanner is 'seeing' the slides correctly and also
enables you to preview the colour correction etc. before the full
resolution scan is done.
 
T

tomm42

I recently purchased the Epson V700, and am, in general quite happy with it.
There are, however some (to my mind) rough edges. I have seen references here
to non-Epson software, such as SilverFast and ViewScan, and wonder if one of
these would answer at least some of my wishes. I am including a list of
questions which I have tried to get answered by Epson, with most resulting in
"that's the way things are". Could some of the experts here comment, in
particular with regard to third party software?

<query>

Questions for Epson

Hardware: V700 Photo
Software: Epson Scan, WinXP Pro

1. Thumbnail creation for 35mm slides. The algorithm sometimes fails, in any
one of several ways, e.g. it mistakes a portrait orientation for a landscape or
vice versa, it mistakes a dark area at one side (either horizontally or
vertically) for the edge of the image. I have found only one way to correct
these errors, and that involves repeating the preview scan with "thumbnails"
un-checked, and then setting the marquee manually. This is a great waste of
time. Given that the definition of a thumbnail is equivalent to the definition
of a marquee, it should be simple to allow the user to request an enlarged
"zoom" for a specific thumbnail, set to include the entire scannable area, as
defined by the aperture in the slide holder. Then, even though the user must
still manually set the final marquee, the excess time needed for a full area
repeat of the preview scan (and the concomitant loss of the remaining, correctly
defined thumbnails) would be avoided.

2. Handling of non-35mm 2 inch by 2 inch slides. I have a number of color
transparencies mounted in 2 inch by 2 inch cardboard slide holders which are not
35mm film. Two of the sizes cannot be scanned using the slide holder, the image
areas being square and having the corners masked by the aperture. My only
recourse is to scan them without a holder. But this places the film in an
intermediate position, not directly on the glass, as is assumed when a hold is
not used, nor as high at the slide holder would place it. Because of this I
have two sub-questions:

2a. Depth of field. What is the depth of field of the scanner when using the
transparency mode?

2b. Film height when using a holder. What is the expected distance between the
glass (below the film) and the film when a holder is used? I have asked this
question a number of times already, and been promised an answer, but I have
never received the promised response. Note that this is also of interest when
scanning negatives which do not fit any of the supplied holders, as it is stated
that the Digital ICE will not work without a holder.

3. Color restoration. The color restoration, for old slides, does a remarkably
good job in most cases, although it almost always requires a bit of hand
adjustment to tone-down a tendency to redden images. However, is some case it
does a terrible job. In particular, images with large areas of blue (such as
sea-scapes or sky-scapes) are always turned to muddy browns, while large areas
of yellows (grain fields and such) are brightened garishly. Is there any way to
select an area (e.g. using a marquee), applying the color restoration algorithm
to that, and then expanding that correction to the entire image? Or must I
chose between complete manual adjusting and noting the values of all the color
channels for the small area and then manually setting them for the image? Again,
this would seem to be a simple addition to the current set of options (as in the
thumbnail selection, previously discussed).

4. Color restoration again. I note that the color restoration "lumps" the upper
and lower values in the channels. This has the unfortunate result of
obliterating detail in the darkest and lightest areas of the images. Is there
any way to control this when it is desirable, or must the results be manually
worked with?

5. Poor interactions between backlight and color restorations. I find that if I
apply both of these adjustments to an image I invariably must manually adjust,
usually the red channel, to obtain a decent image. Can these two features be
taught to play well together?

<\query>

Perhaps I should split this into a number of individual posts, but I really
would like a discussion of them as a group with respect to third party software.

Thank you for any help.


I found the auto set up of the thumbnails to be worthless, for slides
I do a prescan and set the scanning area on the thumbnails by hand,
much faster than doing the auto set and adjusting. I like my outlines
to include the edge of the slides which the auto select didn't, this
is very quick when you get used to it. This also give the opportunity
to fine tune each slide, I mostly use the curves function (save some
presets). I just use the "Professional" section of the Epson
software. If you take time to understand the controls they are decent
(certainly not perfect) for getting very good scans. I have scanned
35mm to 4x5, color and b&w, on mine and have very little complaints.
Oh yes another thing, I put all slides in landscape, so once I set the
outlines on the thumbnails I don't have to change them. Rotate
vertical images after the scan.
The autocolor correct won't correct everything, it is an algorithm
just to correct the basics, can't expect it to handle everything, use
this to get a start then use your image editor to finish. Don't over
set the color correction as that may get your slide into a situation
where you can't correct it. There is going to be hand work with any
restoration project.

Tom
 
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P

P. Taine

Ideal is supposed to be 3 mm but often is not, so that is why the ability to
adjust is important. Epson provide some snap in tabs that will give you two
other height options (2.5 mm and 3.5 mm if I remember right).

Doug

Thank you for that datum. I would like to be able to "shim" odd sized negatives
(I must have at least a dozen sizes!) so that I can claim to be using a holder,
and engage the DI tech.

Somewhere I saw a suggestion that the magnetized flexible material that signs
are printed on, to "stick" to vehicles, is about the right thickness, and that
one can create holders from that, with a upper and lower layer that will be held
together by the magnetism. I thought I might try that, but needed to know the
requisite thickness.

Any one who has tried this already, please comment.

P. Taine
 
P

P. Taine

I found the auto set up of the thumbnails to be worthless, for slides
I do a prescan and set the scanning area on the thumbnails by hand,
much faster than doing the auto set and adjusting. I like my outlines
to include the edge of the slides which the auto select didn't, this
is very quick when you get used to it. This also give the opportunity
to fine tune each slide, I mostly use the curves function (save some
presets). I just use the "Professional" section of the Epson
software. If you take time to understand the controls they are decent
(certainly not perfect) for getting very good scans. I have scanned
35mm to 4x5, color and b&w, on mine and have very little complaints.
Oh yes another thing, I put all slides in landscape, so once I set the
outlines on the thumbnails I don't have to change them. Rotate
vertical images after the scan.
The autocolor correct won't correct everything, it is an algorithm
just to correct the basics, can't expect it to handle everything, use
this to get a start then use your image editor to finish. Don't over
set the color correction as that may get your slide into a situation
where you can't correct it. There is going to be hand work with any
restoration project.

Tom

Thank you for your comments, and I will certainly keep them in mind for final
scans. At the moment I'm doing "index scans", just to see what I have, and then
will go back and do (I hope) better scans of slides I want to print or do other
things with -- with probably around 13 or 14 thousand slides I need all the help
I can get at this stage!

My latest "discovery" is that the color correction seems to do better on
Kodachrome than on Fuji Velvia (I'm working from earliest - 1953 - to latter
slides and have just hit Velvia). Is there any software that doesn't cost more
than my back account, that will handle different films differently?

P. Taine
 
T

tomm42

Thank you for your comments, and I will certainly keep them in mind for final
scans. At the moment I'm doing "index scans", just to see what I have, and then
will go back and do (I hope) better scans of slides I want to print or do other
things with -- with probably around 13 or 14 thousand slides I need all the help
I can get at this stage!

My latest "discovery" is that the color correction seems to do better on
Kodachrome than on Fuji Velvia (I'm working from earliest - 1953 - to latter
slides and have just hit Velvia). Is there any software that doesn't cost more
than my back account, that will handle different films differently?

P. Taine


You certainly havea job ahead. My best advice is to edit rigorously,
what means something to you, your family or your public. After several
attempts to look at my past work I am getting ruthless with the
editing,but I am mostly in my large format stuff, been ignoring 35mm.
I have probably scanned 5000 images with the V700, most 35s were
clinical images destined for PowerPoint, but I have done many of my
own, and the grain structure is well maintained, not magnified as my
older Minolta tends to do. Just enlarged a 35 TriX neg to 16x20 and
the image held together. I am loosing some 40 year old Agfachromes so
I maybe trying the color restore soon.

Good Luck

Tom
 
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P

P. Taine

You certainly havea job ahead. My best advice is to edit rigorously,
what means something to you, your family or your public. After several
attempts to look at my past work I am getting ruthless with the
editing,but I am mostly in my large format stuff, been ignoring 35mm.
I have probably scanned 5000 images with the V700, most 35s were
clinical images destined for PowerPoint, but I have done many of my
own, and the grain structure is well maintained, not magnified as my
older Minolta tends to do. Just enlarged a 35 TriX neg to 16x20 and
the image held together. I am loosing some 40 year old Agfachromes so
I maybe trying the color restore soon.

Good Luck

Tom

Thanks for the encouragement. I've got a bit over 10,000 slides scanned by now,
probably 5000 or so to go, but then there are heaps of old negatives (even a few
glass ones) to work on. I even have a half-dozen of the old Kodak Disk
Negatives, and have to figure out how to get the film at a correct height, given
that it is mounted on a plastic hub.

I guess it is good to be old and retired, but there certainly is a lot of work
to do!

P. Taine
 

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