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Old 11-06-2007, 09:44 AM   #1
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Thanks.

I've noticed that there's a book about Silverfast on Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...473833-5885406

but there's no reference to which version it describes. The viewable pages on Amazon don't talk about Silverfast so it's difficult to tell whether it might be worth buying.
Just revisited this old threat (via Google). Guess I should have bought that book about Silverfast. With used copies at a minimum of £90 (around $175) it would have been a better investment that putting my money in the Building Society.

   
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:31 AM   #2
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Just revisited this old threat (via Google). Guess I should have bought that book about Silverfast. With used copies at a minimum of £90 (around $175) it would have been a better investment that putting my money in the Building Society.

Which could be taken as quite the indictment of Silverfast. Is it really SO difficult people are willing to spend that much on a 3rd party book about an old version?<G>

   
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:20 AM   #3
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Well, they seem to have solved the problem of the badly written manual. They just don't seem to provide a manual any more.

So it's now a case of using the online help or buying a book.

   
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
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Well, they seem to have solved the problem of the badly written manual. They just don't seem to provide a manual any more.

So it's now a case of using the online help or buying a book.
I didn't know they ever offered even a badly written manual. I can attest to the online forum help being useful a few years ago. They responded when I couldn't get something working right, and the rest only took about 2-3 months of trial and error to come up with something that basically works<G>

It's not been the most delightful program I've ever worked with without a manual to help out. But I can't say it's worth another $150 or so to buy a manual for it. Maybe if my job depended upon it and I couldn't settle for post-processing beyond the scan itself. I'm grateful I don't have to make the scan perfect--I tend to flat scan to allow room for PS to do what it does better.

   
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:14 AM   #5
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I tend to flat scan to allow room for PS to do what it does better.
Me too. I'm generally scanning for fine art printing and it seems much better to do a flat scan and apply adjustment layers in PS.

Maybe understanding some of the finer points of SF would give better results in some difficult situations but life's too short...

I have upgraded to the latest version of SF. The biggest improvement I've noticed so far is that calibration is much more automated -- which should encourage me to do it more often the once a year.

   
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:42 AM   #6
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Mike: Maybe understanding some of the finer points of SF would give better results in some difficult situations but life's too short...
The most difficult scanning I tend to do is with ruby red or deep blue slides. Silverfast at least allows me to fairly easily restore some of the color to the channels, making it easier later in PS to get it right.

But I'm not scanning for fine art printing so I don't know what special problems you encounter that Silverfast might work well with. As my PS skills increased, and my need to scan was reduced by working through this mountain of family photos, I have begun to question whether I'll ever again need Silverfast.

I do realise that scanners continue to improve and scans I've made could be better if made again in the future on a newer scanner, but hanging on to virtually thousands of slides/negatives/prints that most definitely are not fine art quality isn't gonna happen<G>

   
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:06 AM   #7
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Well, I suspect most of your problems are similar to mine though I don't have to deal with dust, scratches or mould. Most of the problems also concern certain colours -- some blues being the worst.

The other problems I have are:

The range of intensities in watercolors from dark saturated colours to pale washes that are barely visible. It's difficult to get the pale washes to show against the paper colour without blocking out the dark colours.

Textures (such as oil paintings) that reflect light and produce speckled scans.

I work with one artist who uses pastels over watercolour wshes and she won't let me scan her work as the results are drradful. She has them photographed by a professional photographer and even he has great problem getting good reproductions. You can see some of the here. (Scroll down the gallery -- the last but one picture currently is Snowy, our donkey.)

   
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:20 AM   #8
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Mike: You can see some of the here. (Scroll down the gallery -- the last but one picture currently is Snowy, our donkey.)
Maybe. I'm letting it run, but this is the slowest loading site I've ever been on, including all flash sites and slower than Adobe's site, even. I don't know what she's done, but she needs to redo it. Page elements alone, no pictures, and it's a good 5 minutes loading a single page. I'm on dialup, but that isn't usually a complete killer.

I have read enough about photographing fine art that I know reproducing it with film or digital media is a major headache. I'm fortunate in that color only has to be plausible, not accurate. Most of the photos don't have the color they started with by now, and no one can go stand in the spot again, so I have a lot of leeway.

I do get to photograph fingerprints any CSI would be thrilled to see, and insect parts. Both of those tend to be the kiss of death to any detail below. But of course, one of the gifts of age is not having to preserve all the details, kind of like our memories. <BG>

The pictures are loading a bit faster than the page elements. I haven't reached the donkey yet, but I can see the kind of work you're trying to reproduce. Well, not those difficult pastels -- no dynamic range from most devices to capture that well. How are the reproductions being printed?

I don't know about color, of course, but this woman's site shows texture very nicely without competing with the subject itself.

Finally your donkey! What a silly fellow. He's completely endearing. But unless her customers all have T1 lines, I suggest she find some way of cutting down the load time on the page elements. That part was excruciating to wait through for any reward in images, and I'll not explore her site just because of that.

   
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:31 AM   #9
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Finally your donkey! What a silly fellow. He's completely endearing. But unless her customers all have T1 lines, I suggest she find some way of cutting down the load time on the page elements. That part was excruciating to wait through for any reward in images, and I'll not explore her site just because of that.
I'll let her know about that -- or, rather, I'll tell her partner who designed the site. Her site was much better, I think, before he redid it recently.

   
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