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Author Topic: ScannerProfiling: X-Rite's i1Pro & Eye-OneMatch3 VS SilverFast's v.8 IT8 AutoCal  (Read 7265 times)
sngraphics
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« on: December 18, 2012, 04:52:37 AM »
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I have been using the SilverFast v.8 Demo with my Epson V750 for a little while now and will be purchasing the upgrade.
(Previously used with SF v.6.6)
During emails back and forth they mentioned a coupon code. 25% off the upgrade and their targets when purchased together.
This got me thinking.

Till now I have been profiling my scanner with X-Rite's i1Pro & Eye-One Match 3 and have been pretty satisfied.
But in my correspondence with LaserSoft they state I will get better results with one of their targets and the Auto IT8 Calibration Feature.
I am not a color expert and that is why I am asking for a little help.

What provides a "Better" result?
Profiling your scanner using X-Rite's solution (i1Pro & i1Match) or SilverFast's solution (Auto IT8 & Their Targets)

Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.
I don't have any experience with SilverFast's IT8 auto Calibration and am just looking to get the most accurate scans possible.
Thank you in advance.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 12:10:40 PM »
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I am not a scanner profiling expert since I have not compare too much profiling solution for scanner besides ProfileMaker and Eye-One Match.

But based on my exp., and what I've taught by the a few scanning expert, they have told me even you use the best target on the market, you still won't be able to get a perfect match on a slide scanning.

I have not done any critical archival job but still, I have scan a lot of slides from 135 to 4x5.

I would setup a lightbox next to my workstation to get the best I could. I think scanning is still a man power job rather than putting it to an auto mode. Just my 0.02

aaron
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 10:06:55 PM »
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If you download the PDF file linked in this introductory article http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/scanners/plustek.shtml you will find a considerable amount of material on colour management using the SilverFast AI6.6 Auto-IT8 process with several scanners including the Epson 750. SilverFast 8 produces similar results with the same targets. I also discuss colour management (including Auto IT8 profiling) extensively in my book on SilverFast 8, information for which appears in the links under my name in this post. I cannot give you a comparative analysis using XRite materials because I haven't profiled a scanner using an XRite suite of software and targets. I agree with the previous post that scanner profiling will not give you a definitive result at the push of a button. It takes you much closer than not having a scanner profile, or a wrong scanner profile, but some image editing is usually needed to optimize the scan.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
sngraphics
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 12:18:02 AM »
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you still won't be able to get a perfect match on a slide scanning.

I have not done any critical archival job but still, I have scan a lot of slides from 135 to 4x5.
aaron

I forgot to mention in my original post that almost all the scanning I do here is Reflective.
So when I profile my scanner with Eye-One Match & i1Pro, I am scanning in the "Eye-One Scan Target 1.4" that came with this package.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 07:53:01 AM »
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What provides a "Better" result?
Profiling your scanner using X-Rite's solution (i1Pro & i1Match) or SilverFast's solution (Auto IT8 & Their Targets)

Stay tuned for a new option that will surpass all of those...
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sngraphics
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 10:28:32 AM »
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Stay tuned for a new option that will surpass all of those...

You wouldn't happen to be talking about the update we are waiting for any day now from X-Rite that will be adding scanner profiling to i1Profiler would you?  ;-)
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 12:00:38 PM »
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You wouldn't happen to be talking about the update we are waiting for any day now from X-Rite that will be adding scanner profiling to i1Profiler would you?  ;-)

Those that know can't say, right?
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sngraphics
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2012, 02:13:33 AM »
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If you download the PDF file linked in this introductory article http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/scanners/plustek.shtml you will find a considerable amount of material on colour management using the SilverFast AI6.6 Auto-IT8 process with several scanners including the Epson 750. SilverFast 8 produces similar results with the same targets. I also discuss colour management (including Auto IT8 profiling) extensively in my book on SilverFast 8, information for which appears in the links under my name in this post. I cannot give you a comparative analysis using XRite materials because I haven't profiled a scanner using an XRite suite of software and targets. I agree with the previous post that scanner profiling will not give you a definitive result at the push of a button. It takes you much closer than not having a scanner profile, or a wrong scanner profile, but some image editing is usually needed to optimize the scan.

Thank you for your reply Mark.

And thanks for the link to the PDF.
I have noticed your book at LaserSoft's website while I was looking to upgrade to v.8
I'm not trying to find a push button solution.
I know it takes a little work just to get the scanner profiled and of course there will ALWAYS be image editing involved.
I'm just trying to get the most accurate scan possible to try and cut down on the amount of editing.
That's why I took to the forums.
To get some practical advice before spending money on solutions that might not be better than what I already have been using.

I hope you have a good Christmas!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2012, 05:55:58 AM »
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You are welcome, and a happy holiday season to you too.

I think your approach to try to find out what delivers better results before spending money - and more importantly scads of time on scanning - makes good common sense. I see so far on this forum, at least, there hasn't been a forthright answer to the effect: "I've done both options and here's what I found". I must say I'm a bit surprised about that. Perhaps you are posing the same question in several other forums too - can't do any harm. If some one does pop up with a respectable comparative view of these options, please do revert here and let us know. I for one would be most interested in reading about it.

At the least, one thing SilverFast's Auto IT8 has going for it is its real ease of use to produce a profile. The "learning curve" for this process is close to zilch, but any one doing a lot of scanning also wants to be sure it would produce the closest to optimal outcomes of the available options.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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sngraphics
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 05:03:04 AM »
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You are welcome, and a happy holiday season to you too.

I think your approach to try to find out what delivers better results before spending money - and more importantly scads of time on scanning - makes good common sense. I see so far on this forum, at least, there hasn't been a forthright answer to the effect: "I've done both options and here's what I found". I must say I'm a bit surprised about that. Perhaps you are posing the same question in several other forums too - can't do any harm. If some one does pop up with a respectable comparative view of these options, please do revert here and let us know. I for one would be most interested in reading about it.

At the least, one thing SilverFast's Auto IT8 has going for it is its real ease of use to produce a profile. The "learning curve" for this process is close to zilch, but any one doing a lot of scanning also wants to be sure it would produce the closest to optimal outcomes of the available options.

Thank you.
I usually have to do some research before spending here because we are non-profit. Also I hate buying something that turns out not being that useful.

Yes I have posted this same topic in 2 other forums.
At the Large Format Photography Forum one person posted that he has used a few types of software for profiling including Silverfast and X-Rite solutions.
And he found they all work fine. Found the Hutch targets provide better results. But no "I've done both options and here's what I found" there yet.

At Chromix's colorforums.com there is no "I've done both options and here's what I found" yet but they strongly believe in measuring your target independently of the scanner.
eg. measurement device

X-Rite should be releasing (any day) an update to their i1Profiler software to include scanner profiling so we'll what happens there when it comes out.
Probably another topic for this forum!

We also have Onsight's previous post stating "Stay tuned for a new option that will surpass all of those..."
Who knows what that could mean?

If I find someone with an "I've done both options and here's what I found" answer I will most definitely be returning here to post it.
If not, then I may just do this comparison myself!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 07:25:53 AM »
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That's interesting, and looking forward to hearing back if you make a discovery.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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sngraphics
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 01:43:47 AM »
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Those that know can't say, right?


OK.
The i1Profiler 1.4.2 update with scanner profiling is finally out.

If this isn't the "new option that will surpass all of those..." then is it possible to at least let us know after this "new option" has been released.
For those of us who are not on the cutting edge of color info. (or who are a little clueless)
;-)
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 09:39:26 AM »
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SNAGRAPHICS, yes, it's finally out! i1Profiler's scanner profiling solution is simple, easy and surprisingly effective.

I've been calibrating scanners for clients around the world since 1994, and making ICC profiles for them since 1999 and have spent a lot of time comparing various profiling solutions and targets. One observation is that the color gamut of film based targets is pretty small relative to the potential range of the real-world objects being scanned. The original 24 patch Colorchecker seemed promising years ago but it doesn't have a dark enough black patch to characterize the shadows, and it's color patches aren't particularly saturated either. I've tried making my own inkjet targets with little success and was briefly encouraged by XRite's ill-fated Colorchecker DC (digital camera) target. All of this changed when XRite released the ColorChecker SG (Semigloss), otherwise known as the CCSG. This reflective target has a better range of saturated colors with deep blacks and bright whites than any other target I've seen and this translates into better scanner profiles. I've insisted that all of my high end clients with Cruse scanners own their own CCSG targets and re-profile regularly with it. PMP, MP and now i1P profiles made with this target have performed very well for this type of demanding user for years now. It's also makes excellent profiles on Epson scanners. On of the reason's it's taken so long for i1P's scanner module to come out is that I've been really insistent that they release it with a wide variety of supported targets, including the CCSG.

ProfileMakerPro (PMP) and Monaco Profiler (MP) have been my scanner profiling tools of choice for over a decade. There are others that are very good as well but for me it boils down to CCSG support for reflective profiling. Mac OS 10.7 and 10.8 won't run these and other, older scanner profiling applications so i1Profiler is the solution going forward, IMO.  They've made some nice improvements to the engine (that's based on the Monaco Profiler engine) that you'll see with these profiles. I think it's a solid, well built platform that they'll continue to expand upon in the future.

PMP and MP provided a lot of control over the scanner profiling process including the geeky ability to measure your own targets with a spectro and develop customized reference files. i1Profiler doesn't have this ability with this release but I'm plenty happy with the results using the supplied reference files for the supported targets. Colorchecker targets are incredibly consistent and stable over time, and making custom reference files for them has extremely little return for the effort. Making custom targets altogether is a nightmare I'd encourage people to avoid!

As for transmissive targets, I feel like the options are all very similar with no clear winner. The scanning software is so critical here, especially when it comes to the tricky task of scanning C-41 color negatives. I used to be a drum scan operator and C-41 always took such an incredible amount of time to get a scan I felt good about selling...

So to make a long story short, I recommend the ColorCheckerSG target and i1Profiler for reflective scanner profiling - it's really straightforward and the results are fantastic. As it's been said before here, scanner profiling is not a magic bullet - it's one piece to a much larger workflow pie. Color correction and color management go hand in hand with any scanning workflow and there are many aspects other to identify and take time to master (lighting, polarization, scanner metamerism, etc).
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 09:56:25 AM »
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.......As for transmissive targets, I feel like the options are all very similar with no clear winner. The scanning software is so critical here, especially when it comes to the tricky task of scanning C-41 color negatives. I used to be a drum scan operator and C-41 always took such an incredible amount of time to get a scan I felt good about selling...

So to make a long story short, I recommend the ColorCheckerSG target and i1Profiler for reflective scanner profiling - it's really straightforward and the results are fantastic. As it's been said before here, scanner profiling is not a magic bullet - it's one piece to a much larger workflow pie. Color correction and color management go hand in hand with any scanning workflow ...........

Scott, for people scanning film, transmissive profiling is what matters. When you say the options are all very similar, what options do you have in mind and in what critical respects do you think they are all very similar?

As for color negatives, AFAIK from much previous research and inquiry, there is no such thing as "icc-profiling" them; rather one uses various inversion algorithms that neutralize the "orange" mask, image contrast and saturation (mainly) - these algorithms are either bundled with the software (SilverFast and Vuescan both do so), or one can develop them oneself in Photoshop, as I have illustrated in my book on scanning workflows. You are correct that profiling is not a one-stop shop for deriving top quality images from scans. Good colour management and editing practices are important.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 10:10:14 AM »
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Scott, by any chance did you try to take a picture of CCSG on film, and use it as a target for trasmissive scanner profiling or it's just a bad idea?

BTW - the profile created for a digital camera is really nice looking:
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 10:13:51 AM »
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Scott, for people scanning film, transmissive profiling is what matters.

Naturally :-]

When you say the options are all very similar, what options do you have in mind and in what critical respects do you think they are all very similar?

I feel like the film based targets are all relatively similar. Film based reflective targets are kinda silly, but they are perfectly appropriate for transmissive scanning, since film is what we're actually scanning.  

As for color negatives, AFAIK from much previous research and inquiry, there is no such thing as "icc-profiling" them.

Naturally :-]

...rather one uses various inversion algorithms that neutralize the "orange" mask, image contrast and saturation (mainly) - these algorithms are either bundled with the software (SilverFast and Vuescan both do so), or one can develop them oneself in Photoshop, as I have illustrated in my book on scanning workflows. You are correct that profiling is not a one-stop shop for deriving top quality images from scans. Good colour management and editing practices are important.

Right. Different applications perform the orange mask removal differently, and some do it much better than others! Flexscan and Nikon Scan are two of my favorites here. What we are saying is in perfect concert with each other.
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 10:17:32 AM »
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Scott, by any chance did you try to take a picture of CCSG on film, and use it as a target for trasmissive scanner profiling or it's just a bad idea?

Probably just a bad idea. :-] The existing methods of creating transmissive targets are sufficient. The CCSG is designed to address the unique challenges of reflective scanning.

BTW - the profile created for a digital camera is really nice looking:

Lots of warm reflective light bouncing around in that shot! You can see how the CCPassport has evolved from the CCSG for the purposes of camera profiling...
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 10:30:56 AM »
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Scott, we may be in "perfect concert" but perhaps singing past each other in one respect - perhaps you didn't get quite exactly what I was asking about. In your comment about transmissive targets where you say the options are all similar with no clear winner - I think there are people who may take issue with this; though I may not be one of them. As we both know, there are several makers of these targets, and there are targets for different films. In the case of Kodachrome, for example, LaserSoft Imaging is running down on their Kodachrome target availability and there will be no more from anyone anywhere as the film and its processing are gone. In fact, as you know, there never were many options for Kodachrome targets. Turning to targets for other positive transparency films, as you know there are more options, the most prominent ones being the various IT8 editions, of which several from LaserSoft Imaging, but also very prominent and well reputed are the targets from Don Hutchison. And there are several others. So my question really, given the generality of your statement, was to learn whether underlying this statement you have tested all these various transmissive targets and still find there to be no clear winner, because if that's the case, it's a quite significant and useful finding.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 12:28:21 PM »
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I used to feel good about using the Hutchison HCT targets. XRite is still making targets for an OEM relationship. Perhaps a fresh review and comparison of the targets *currently available* and *recently manufactured* is in order my I'm not likely to be the one to do this. Mark, you're probably in a better position to do so - would love to hear your thoughts if you do!
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 01:30:00 PM »
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I would need to acquire some expensive new XRite software etc. and my time is really tight over the medium term, so I won't be doing this soon; but one should never say never, and if I do, yes indeed, I would publish the results. I've been using SilverFast's Auto IT8 calibration/profiling and their associated targets/reference files. The FOGRA Institute of Germany has tested these materials and their publicly available reports are positive. My results have been on the whole satisfactory, understanding that good profiling is very important but not a stand-alone quality optimizer.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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