Greetings all -
Sorry if this is a bit of flogging the horse, but the more I read on using Vuescan, the more confused I get. either it's PC specific or references old versions. Then there's the terminology... Is RAW RAW?, and is DNG DNG? Do you save as TIFF, or DNG and TIFF? Etc. Than there's the "Output Raw save film" checkbox, that actually means 'save negative as a positive file', thing.
I'm helping a friend set up a Coolscan V(LS-50) that he's had sitting around for awhile. Nikon has stopped supporting this device years ago and want to use it with OS 10.6.8, so that leaves out their software. Silverfast is a bit spendy, so Vuescan seems the best option so far. The initial tests with Vuescan Pro have been decent, so have been researching as to how to set it up for best results to create linear RAW files to post with Lightroom4.
He's not technically inclined, so hoping someone can just recommend what settings to use for scanning mostly Kodachromes and B&W negs. If not, hopefully someone can point me in the right direction to get easy to understand info on using the latest version of Vuescan with recent Macs.
Thanks, any help appreciated.
OK, perhaps time to discuss some of what you raise above a bit more specifically. There is questionable semantics in scanning circles about "RAW". Dean is right - in the sense that we do not get output from scanning software similar to the unprocessed data from a digital camera, (which then gets rendered after we process the raw data in a raw converter). Scans emerge as three channel, rendered, pixel based images. The most that they can claim for being "raw" is that provided they are scanned in linear gamma and until the user starts adjusting them, they are unadjusted
scans - unadjusted, not "raw" in the digital camera sense. This is true regardless of whether they wear a DNG jacket or remain as TIFF. It is especially true of negatives that have been converted to positives in the scanning software.
I think you should differentiate between "spendy", as you put it, and "best option", because there are criteria other than cost which enter into the choice of scanner software. There is much more than what Dean says above about the most effective places to perform various kinds of image editing, and I spend a good deal of space in my book on SilverFast 8 explaining all that. More to it than one can deal with in a forum post! That said, I have no problem with Dean's workflow; - only a word of caution that there other ways of approaching this subject, of which his is a workable subset.
For scanning Kodachrome, it is most desirable to have a Kodachrome-specific scanner profile, made from a Kodachrome target. Unfortunately, these have become expensive because they are on the way to extinction. AFAIK, there is no more new stock of Kodachrome film and no labs to process it, so new batches of Kodachrome targets cannot be made. When you buy SilverFast, it comes equipped with pre-made Kodachrome profiles specific to each scanner model the application supports. In the same breath, I'll emphasize - I absolutely won't enter into a SilverFast vs Vuescan slug-fest here or any where else. I own both applications, and my standard advice to newcomers in this field is to demo both and see what suits them best
. There is no question that for the Nikon scanners in particular the price difference is large, hence for most people a considerable decision point - amongst others.