I’ve just started using Vuescan to drive my Epson and Nikon scanners and so far am very impressed. I initally trialled it as a result of having trouble with highlight detail in some more contrasty negs – whether a result of film or conditions – including some Rollei 80S that I have been using. My intent was to see if I could improve on the Nikonscan rendering of highlights in these situations by using the raw file option and then opeing the dng file in either lightroom or acr.
The answer is a resounding yes. Taken together with the multi-exposure option, which completes two passes of the neg with differing exposure times to increase the dynamic range of the scan and reduce noise, I have seen a real improvement in the quality of scans I’m getting from more difficult negs. Also, for lower contrast negs, not having the software force black and white points and a contrast curve has also improved the situation substantially.
Given the relatively low cost of the software ($80 for the professional version) I would recommend anyone who wants to improve their scanning to at least have a go with the trial version. I’ve also got a copy of Silverfast with the epson, but have not really got to grips with it yet, so I’m not able to offer a meaningful comparison with that software.
The pictures in this post were both shot a couple of days ago on Tmax 100 on Mamiya 7ii and are scanned as low res scans on auto using vuescan in the epson 750 – no post treatment as they are ‘contacts’. Click through to see the original scan. With a raw scan on either the epson or nikon scanners, there is detail in the tree bark on the second image and no areas that are blown out.
Next up – Leica M9.