[LaserSoft Imaging Featured Article] With its SilverFast Archive Suite 8, LaserSoft Imaging offerss an “all-inclusive solution” for image collections. The software package includes SilverFast Ai Studio 8 scanner software that is globally recognised. It also includes imaging software SilverFast HDR Studio 8 with integrated colour management as an ideal complement to the scanner software. SilverFast’s unique features bring out the best in your photos, slides and negatives.
The intelligent automatic frame detection enables you to quickly store the originals as lossless 48bit HDR or 64bit HDRi RAW data. The 64bit HDRi file format even contains the information of the infrared channel, thereby containing all detectable image data. Non-destructive image processing is guaranteed at all times because you can always return to the original file (“Non-Destructive Editing”). Using SilverFast’s Archive Suite 8, whole image collections can be digitized within a short time to secure them effectively against destruction, loss and decay.
Movie link: http://www.silverfast.com/sf/archive-suite-movie
To ensure the best possible image quality, SilverFast’s Archive Suite 8 includes the award-winning SilverFast Multi-Exposure ® functionality. This feature doubles the Dynamic Range of most scanners, allowing the capture of significantly more image detail especially in dark image areas. The scanner hardware becomes as powerful as some High-End drum scanners. SilverFast’s patented Auto IT8 Calibration manages the correct colour values to ensure optimum colours for each scan. As all necessary information is embedded in the RAW data, there is no second calibration required when processing the files using SilverFast HDR Studio 8. Thanks to HiRePP ®, even large image data can be opened very quickly for processing.
SilverFast’s Archive Suite 8 is now available in LaserSoft Imaging’s online store as well as at retailers. Also available is the entry-level version SilverFast Archive Suite SE 8.
More information: http://www.silverfast.com/sf/archive-suite
Multi-Exposure – a development that has revolutionized Digital Imaging
In the world of photography – both digital and analogue – the most important thing is image quality. Technical innovations that enhance image quality are always welcome. For digital cameras this usually means better quality image sensors and better image optimization algorithms. But how do you get the best image quality from already existing photographic material? How do you retrieve the maximum image information out of slides and film negatives to transfer them at the highest possible quality into the digital world?
German company LaserSoft Imaging – pioneer in the field of digital imaging and developer of the world’s most successful scanner software SilverFast – has focused on this issue for decades. SilverFast’s advanced features improve the image quality significantly, while the software still remains easy to operate. With the development of SilverFast Multi-Exposure ® the company has achieved a significant quality increase – an improvement level previously unseen in digital imaging.
To understand how crucial Multi-Exposure is for improving image quality, you have to be aware of the role Dynamic Range plays for scanning. Besides resolution (measured in dpi ““ dots per inch), Dynamic Range is one of the most important factors for digitizing images.
The dynamic range of a scanner, also referred to as density range or contrast range, is a measurement for a scanner’s capability to recognize contrast levels. Colour negatives, slides and black-and-white film consist of multiple film layers, which each respond differently to light. Therefore transparent originals achieve a very high dynamic range when captured, which usually exceeds a scanner’s capabilities. And because the scanner is unable to capture the full Dynamic Range when performing a regular scan, image details are lost, especially in the highlights and darker image areas. The scanned result will show less details than the original.
To capture a higher level of detail, SilverFast Multi-Exposure performs a double scan. Exposure times of both scans are adjusted to capture details in the dark image areas during the first scan, while capturing details in the light areas during the second scan. Then both individual scans are processed to a single final image. This calculation is a very complex task and needs to be exact, otherwise the image will appear blurred.
Car image scanned with Multi-Exposure
Car image scanned without Multi-Exposure
Scanned roof image
Roof image detail scanned with Multi-Exposure
Roof image detail scanned without Multi-Exposure
Independent measurements according to ISO standard 21550:2004 confirm the increased Dynamic Range. This innovative development clearly shows the important role that software plays for the overall outcome of a scan. SilverFast has been awarded with several prizes ““ including the prestigious EDP Award of the European Digital Press ““ for its Multi-Exposure functionality and its ability to increase Dynamic Range.
What is behind this standard and what do the results mean in practice?
The ISO 21550:2004 specification defines methods for measuring and evaluating the Dynamic Range of electronic scanners for digitizing analogue photographic material. The values that result form the measurement are indicated as decade logarithm of the reciprocal of light transmittance. In plain language this means a scanner that is able to achieve a Dynamic Range of 2.0, can implement a contrast ratio of 100:1. Because it is a logarithmic function, an apparently small increase form 2.0 to 3.0 corresponds to an actual tenfold increase in the number of perceptible gray scales to 1000:1. The chart below shows a measurement values according to ISO 21550:2004 for the Plustek OpticFilm 120.
Conclusion: SilverFast Multi-Exposure is able to significantly increase the performance of a scanner via one of the most important image quality characteristics; its Dynamic Range. For achieving the best possible quality, Multi-Expsoure should be a standard for every slide or negative scan to ensure that the maximum available image information is captured.