Up until now, I have
concentrated this series of tutorials on scanning a single slide or
negative. As implied above it was for a perfectly good reason, I
couldn’t find an approach that consistently produced results.
Typically, I could get a series of four slides scanned into Photoshop or
out to file as requested, but the next series ended up as a single
image. Finally and after much experimentation, I drew up a sequence of
steps that worked every time, but proof that it worked on other scanner
models was required, and eventually obtained. The following methodology
has been tried and found to be successful on the Polaroid
SS4000/120, MicroTek ArtixScan 4000, Nikon LS2000 and LS30 film
At the risk of repeating
myself, again, the screen grabs used for this tutorial are all based on
the Mac version of SilverFast Ai 5. Other than a few colours and squared
edges to dialogs both platforms are pretty much identical. I have
personally tried the methodology on the Polaroid
SS4000/120 and Nikon LS30 film
scanners using both the Mac and PC platforms, and have been assured by
other testers that it works on the other two scanners named above.
SilverFast AI Scanner Set-up
As it turns out configuring
SilverFast to batch scan isn't really that difficult, but there are a
few quirks and thus you must follow the steps outlined below to the
letter, step-by-step-by-step. If you follow the steps in the order
given, all should be okay, but deviate or try to outsmart the system and
who knows? Again I assume that you are using Photoshop 5 or 6 and are
familiar with the SilverFast interface, although use of screen grabs
should make things a bit easier to follow.
Step 1 - In the beginning!
Silly as this statement may
appear, we must first load the "film carrier" with your slides
or a negative strip, why silly? Well SilverFast will batch scan the
blank film slots along with those containing film, there's no point
wasting time scanning blanks.
With SilverFast NOT
open - yes I did write NOT
open, insert the film carrier into the scanner. Now you can open
Make sure that all the
correction tools are cleared, the toolbar should look like the
following. If not, press the "ALT" key on the keyboard and at the same time click the
Tools Palette set to default "Off"
Actually, a far better
option would be make high-bit scans and process them at your leisure
later on using SilverFast HDR,
but that's a decision you can make. I described how to make high-bit
scans and use HDR in Part 2 of the tutorials, so I won't repeat it here.
Step 2 - Prescan or overview
Depending upon your personal
preference you can either pre-scan the first frame or do a complete
overview of all frames in the carrier.
Personally I prefer to save
time and simply choose the Prescan option. This brings the first
slide/negative up on the main preview window. However, many users feel
more at ease with the "comfy blanket" wrapped up under their
arm, so who am I to argue :-)
To obtain an overview of the
images simply press the
The following dialog appears and after pressing the "Refresh
Overview" button you should have a series of X images on show.
of images in film carrier
and you should be returned to the main SilverFast screen.