The SilverFast Ai 6.6 Scanner Software from LaserSoft Imaging is an advanced software suite that helps you get the best quality captures from your Nikon LS 9000ED scanner. It is optimized for your particular model, so you can be sure that it will allow you to get the most out of your scanning hardware.
SilverFast Ai features an intuitive user interface that gives you ready access to manual controls. Beginners and professionals alike will be able to use the real-time controls and intelligent automatic adjustment tools to perform optimal scans.
The preview module delivers predictable color reproduction thanks to its ScanPilot system. You can adjust any operation via numerical input, monitoring the results in real-time thanks to the integrated densitometer. You'll be able to use the program as a standalone application, as a Photoshop plug-in, or as a universal TWAIN module. The software operates in full 16 (48) bit mode, allowing you to capture images as uncorrected 48-bit HDR files or as a full 48-bit color-corrected image file, ensuring that you get the maximum dynamic range from your scans.
Kodachrome Scans without Bluecast, Dust and Scratches with SilverFast
By implementing improved Kodachrome routines into SilverFast Version 6.6 it's finally possible to achieve high quality scans of Kodachrome slides with the highest possible dynamic range: color calibrated and free of bluecast, dust, and scratches
Kodachrome ICC Profiles & Scanner Calibration
Anyone working with Kodachrome scans without properly adjusting the scanner to the special film material knows the problem of the nasty bluecast. Some scanner manufacturer's software may have a Kodachrome mode for selection, which usually isn't very helpful, because a device specific calibration is lacking. It needs a color calibration with a Kodachrome target to avoid the bluecast problem completely. Unfortunately Kodak has stopped producing Kodachrome Q60 targets in 1999.
Therefore we have implemented generic Kodachrome ICC-profiles for many supported film scanners in SilverFast 6.6. This is a good starting basis. For really true color results it needs a scanner calibration. For this purpose LaserSoft Imaging offers special Kodachrome targets
Kodachromes with Maximum Dynamic Range
It is a considerable challenge to scan a Kodachrome slide without sacrificing some of the film's inherent dynamic range. This is because Kodachrome's dynamic range reaches up to 3.8D - which is a grayscale range of 6300 shades and equals a contrast range of 1:6300!
Fortunately SilverFast Multi-Exposure can handle the enormous dynamic range with film scanners. This assures reproducing the deepest shades inside Kodachromes successfully
Kodachromes without Dust and Scratches - SRD and iSRD
Because its film material is very different than normal color films, ordinary dust and scratch removal tools (like ICE) fail with Kodachromes. SilverFast uses a combination of advanced dust and scratch removal functions, SRD and iSRD, on several layers and masks in order to guarantee dust and scratch free Kodachrome scans
For the Moments of Your Life
Generate perfect RAW data from your scans! SilverFast 6.6 allows the perfect generation of digital RAW data - the best way to protect your precious memories against destruction, loss, or fading!
The new feature HDRi is the final step for complete HDR scans. The scanner delivers RAW data through SilverFast which contains all readable image information, including that from the infrared channel. This file can then be used for further image optimization; regardless of where and when you choose to work on this file!
SilverFast 6.6 captures this information into a 64-bit color HDRi file or a 32-bit grayscale HDRi file.
This method is a true revolution in terms of optimizing scanner RAW data. All you need to modify your RAW data is the SilverFast HDR software, available separately
Auto Frame Detection
SilverFast's Automatic Frame Detection
Automatic frame detection for photos, slides, negatives and film is a tool to ease and quicken scanning several images with a flatbed scanner. Multiple reflective or transparent originals can be scanned and automatically optimized simultaneously. The automatic frame detection is available for all SilverFast versions from 6.5 on. It is best suited to identify originals which are positioned on the flatbed with or without an image holder. If no image holder is used it is recommended to apply the Auto Frame Alignment feature with Auto Rotation simultaneously for automatically aligning the images in a rectangular order. Manually cropping and aligning images in another editing application is not necessary when combining these two functionalities
Automatic Frame Detection for filmstrip holders
Auto Frame Detection has been considerably improved for SilverFast 6.6. Filmstrips, which weren't really easy to scan before, can now be digitized as separate images smoothly without the need for any extensive post processing. The user chooses the original's format from a menu. This information enables the software to put tight-fitting frames around the separate images. The frame detection works with positive and negative film
Conventional Software-Based Dust and Scratch Removal Tools
Slides and negatives always have small dust particles and tiny scratches on them, even when handled very carefully. There are several software based techniques to remove these defects during the scan process by considering the surrounding image information. However, it is hardly possible for these tools to differentiate between actual scratches and image details that should be preserved. Not all defects will get removed, many details will get lost too, or a very time-consuming manual retouch is necessary. LaserSoft Imaging has developed a solution for this problem
SilverFast's Hardware-Based Dust and Scratch Removal Tool with Infrared Technology (iSRD)
Contrary to conventional techniques, SilverFast's iSRD dust and scratch removal functionality is based on hardware. It uses the scanner's infrared channel for defect detection. Infrared light has a very wide wave-length, which can pass through film emulsion of negatives and slides without resistance, while being reflected by scratches and dust particles.
iSRD utilizes this behavior as follows. The image is scanned two times: one scan is the regular RGB scan and the second is the additional infrared scan that only captures dust and scratches. The calculative dust and scratch removal removes these defects, ensuring that important details are not lost
Further Advantages of SilverFast iSRD over Other Systems
Some manufacturers have developed their own systems to remove dust and scratches, such as FARE and Digital ICE. SilverFast iSRD differs in many cases by more sophisticated functions and additional features:
iSRD supports up-to-date multi-core processors, improving performance on supported systems thanks to multi-threading
Automatic Mode: iSRD works on its own, without requiring you to make manual adjustments. It removes dust and scratches from the complete active scanning frame
Manual Mode: For challenging corrections and optimum results you are able to configure iSRD manually. In detail:
Any corrections and adjustments are shown in a preview windows
The sensibility of defect detection is controllable
The area around defects getting used for corrections is adjustable
Layers and masks can be used to apply varying corrections on different parts of the image
iSRD and SRD are usable in parallel for an optimum of defect removal
By utilization of iSRD & SRD and several layers & masks it is even possible to remove dust and scratches from very challenging film material like Kodachrome or B/W-film reliably. This isn't achievable with similar systems from other manufacturers
Portable Document Format
SilverFast allows you to convert documents into PDF files. This makes it easy to save or send documents or images. If a document is saved as a PDF file it uses less space compared to a "normal" file format.
PDF files keep the appearance of the originals and preserve all of the information. Textures, drawings, 3D graphics, colored graphics, and pictures can be converted into PDF files irrespective of the original format, without any changes in appearance.
PDF is a widespread standard for a secure and dependable interchange of electronic data, which is acknowledged worldwide and which is compatible with PDF/A, PDF/X and PDF/E.
It is not possible to save 1-bit line art scans and 8-bit gray scale scans in PDF format
NegaFix Negative Optimization
SilverFast NegaFix: Scan a Negative - Get a Positive
NegaFix offers a convenient and professional way to convert your negatives into brilliant positives. You can choose a profile fitting to your film from between more than 120 available film profiles, which takes the manufacturer, the exact film type and the film's photoresponse into account.
With additional sliders you can adjust several parameters, including exposure, in realtime. In expert mode you can alter any setting for achieving optimum results. SilverFast NegaFix guarantees complete control when converting negatives to positives
Automatic Color Cast Removal (CCR)
The CCR extension is a tool for eliminating color casts. Even if SilverFast doesn't contain a profile for a special film type, or if the original shows a slight color cast itself, this feature can produce a convincing result. Color casts get automatically removed already during the negative conversion, just activate the CCR checkbox in the NegaFix dialog
Selective Color Correction with Multi-Layers and Multi-Masking
Selective Color Correction supports up to four layers, each having its own independent color correction and masking capability. Now, four objects of the same color can all be designated as separate colors, providing the ability to achieve complex color corrections very easily.
Selective Color Correction is a vital function of color reproduction. The Selective Color Correction feature in SilverFast significantly improves the process without making it more complex. When a color is selected, SilverFast will automatically identify the color and make it active for further adjustments. Corrections can be made using several different options - all very easy, yet very effective. Layers and masks can be added to correct objects that have the same color but need to be handled separately.
Using a special function (Mask Edge Size via the Options panel) gives you control over the amount of fading applied to edges of the mask
Photos, Slides and Negatives Are Naturally Afflicted with Image Defects
Even if photos and slides are handled very carefully, it's hardly possible to avoid contact with tiny dust particles; small scratches aren't uncommon as well. Greater defects on favorite images could be especially annoying. These flaws are often not recognized until scanning, because scanning greatly increases an image's size. LaserSoft Imaging offers a solution to remove these defects during scan process
SilverFast's Software-Based Dust and Scratch Removal Tool (SRD)
The algorithms used in SRD (Smart Removal of Defects) for defect detection can recognize dust and scratches, because their image information differs a lot from the surrounding parts of an image. Detected flaws are removed by calculations that take the surrounding image information into account. The dust and scratch removal has been embedded completely into the workflow of SilverFast Ai, occurring during the scan process. Many options to adjust the SRD tool, along with simultaneous optical checking, offer a reliable technique for removing any defects without destroying image details
Further Details on SilverFast SRD
SRD offers a set of unique tools for freeing any image from defects like dust and scratches.
It's very hard for software based dust and scratch removal tools to differentiate between actual image flaws and details worth preserving. With SRD the user deploys masks for marking those parts of the image that contain defects. Afterwards the correction takes place here, while unmarked areas won't be changed, preserving image details.
The sensibility of defect detection, the size of flaws to get recognized and the intensity, from which on defects are corrected, are adjustable with sliders
A preview window shows identified defects marked in red. Every adjustment to any option will update the preview window for checking
An additional realtime function is available, helping you to get an optimum alignment
The user can add up to 3 additional layers for correcting scratches that are very difficult to remove, with special adjustments
SRD includes a brush tool for marking defects manually
GANE - Grain- and Noise Elimination
The reduction of grain and noise can be controlled in a "before and after preview" with respect to the final image. This substantially reduces artifacts from noise or film grain.
Grain becomes visible at higher resolutions with high speed film in the scanning process. The SilverFast GANE filter allows you to influence the strength of this function in three easy steps. In addition you can use a slider for fine tuning. Noise elimination will be more relevant for older scanners
Multi-Sampling Eliminates Image Noise Reliably
Image noise does occur quite often during the scanning process, especially in the darker areas of images. The CCD sensors are taking in a very small amount of light here. Therefore the difference between the signal and influences such as dark current, production inaccuracies, and noise of the output amplifier is very small. This leads to "strayed pixels", which are denoted as image noise. SilverFast Multi-Sampling is able to eliminate this image noise by taking advantage of the strayed pixels' random occurrence. As they are never at the exact same spot, they can be eliminated by scanning the same original multiple times and comparing the files digitally. Multi-Sampling takes up to 16 single scans of an original and calculates a final result, which is devoid of noise, but otherwise unaltered.
As it is a software-based function, SilverFast Multi-Sampling works with scanners that do not feature native hardware support for the function
Further Details on Multi-Sampling
4x, 8x or 16x scanning every single picture
With Multi-Sampling image noise is a thing of the past
Multi-Sampling also increases your scanner's dynamic range
Multi-Sampling is compatible with JPEG 2000
SC2G - Selective Color to Grey
Selective Color to Grey is a unique feature that enables the controlled conversion from colors to grey. The direct control converts the primary and secondary colors into shades of grey, giving you the ability to choose from clearly distinguished shades of grey.
The clear differentiation between colors of the original color image can get lost in an automatic conversion process, because the resultant grey shades may be adjacent. In magazines and newspapers this often results in grey images, which do not have very detailed shades. SilverFast's SC2G, Selective Color to Grey, can maintain the grey shade differentiation by controlling the conversion process. For all six colors -- red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow -- the user can control into which shade of grey the color will be converted. A realtime preview of the image is shown, allowing you to quickly achieve the desired result
Enhanced SilverFast Descreening
Five Descreening Options
SilverFast uses descreening in order to remove any screen dots from printed images. The newly developed descreening in SilverFast is able to detect the actual screen of the image automatically. Five different descreening options are now available:
Automatic descreening (intensive)
USM & Descreening
Automatic descreening (retain text)
"Automatic descreening", "Automatic descreening (intensive)" and "Automatic descreening (retain text)" are fully automated and are available without any further dialogues.
When descreening, you are always confronted with the challenge of finding the proper screen. When trying to descreen in Photoshop, you will most likely destroy image details since the available filters and Photoshop's workflow are not designed specifically for a descreening process.
SilverFast's ingenious descreening uses a Fourier transformation to analyze the screen and also have the scanner select the best possible resolution for the required descreening process.
Descreening will generally decrease sharpness. To compensate for the loss of sharpness, SilverFast has an option to apply Unsharp Masking simultaneously
MidPip4 - Advanced Color Cast Removal
Color casts resulting from mixed light conditions can be eliminated. Up to 4 neutral points can be set, and neutral density values can be edited via a special menu.
This powerful tool can be used by just clicking onto the affected area. For fine tuning, double-clicking onto the tool brings up an Expert-dialog with edit fields showing the "before and after" RGB or CMY values. These values can then be changed as desired. This allows very subtle cast corrections to be achieved
SilverFast Auto Adjust
SilverFast's Intelligent Auto Adjust
SilverFast has a highly adjustable image auto-adjust function. Depending on the actual scene, the image auto adjust ensures that the image is correctly optimized regarding highlight, shadow, and mid-tone. Another consideration is whether a color cast has to be removed or not.
In a picture with a sunset the reddish color cast from the long-wave sunlight is preserved, while highlights, shadows, and mid-tone are optimized. This is accomplished in SilverFast by Image Type presets. Just select the appropriate Image Type (e.g. "Evening") and SilverFast takes care of the proper optimization.
You can always fine tune those settings by using the gradation controls and the histogram. You can even create your own Image Type under "user defined"
What is JobManager?
SilverFast JobManager is a built-in function that supports batch scanning. Every user knows about the time and cost consuming procedure to scan a whole row of images (such as an entire film strip) where you have to perform the optimization image by image. The time required for the hardware to make preview scans, fine scans, and save files is dead and wasted time for the user. For the modern and fast processing photographer this can be a real disaster. Thanks to JobManager, the efficiency in the workflow is increased drastically. The user can process transparent and reflective artwork and even mix slides and negatives. They can be processed in one pass. The user just gives an instruction list (a collection of settings, parameters and manipulations) from which images, image files, or image folders can be processed automatically
Process unlimited number of images/files in batch
Save, load and change jobs
Apply changes with one click to unlimited number of files
Process multiple jobs to/from different directories
SilverFast Unsharp Masking (USM)
What Is Unsharp Masking and What Can You Use It For?
The Unsharp masking technique (USM) originates from traditional lithography. The sharpness impression of photos is increased by contrast rise of small brightness changes. Sharpened pictures appear more detailed, since the human perception is aligned to the recognition of edges and lines. This principle of Unsharp Masking can be transferred to the digital treatment of images
The SilverFast Unsharp Masking (USM)
Conventional sharpening functions often increase the detail contrast in general, and therefore also strengthen any image interference of the original. The image begins to appear very bumpy and unnatural. In contrast SilverFast USM carefully raises the contrast at edges and lines without losing any details
Automatic Unsharp Masking
The SilverFast scanner software has a sophisticated, automatic sharpening function (adjustable in five steps), which leads to good results for the most scans. As a function of the scanner, output resolution and desired sharpness decree how SilverFast USM computes the sharpened image
The Automatic USM for SilverFast HDR and DC Is Now Aligned to the Scanner
SilverFast saves scanner related information along with the image data. This allows an advanced automatic Unsharp Masking for later post-processing with SilverFast HDR, which takes the specific scanner details into account and is able to produce brilliant, pin sharp images. This innovation is a special advantage when working with the SilverFast Archive Suite
Manual Unsharp Masking
Of course this SilverFast feature can be operated completely manually also. If desired, you can adjust any setting by yourself. First, select scaling, output frame, and output resolution for your needs. Second, start a preview scan of a small image section, which will be shown unsharpened as well as sharpened with the current settings. Using different controls you can adjust sharpness parameters in real time, including intensity of the sharpness effect, threshold value, and pixel radius. Advanced users can access still further adjustment possibilities if they activate the expert mode
Unsharp Masking PLUS
The dialogue and preview windows of USM PLUS are freely scalable and can therefore be increased in size. This allows a better image control and a very good impression of the final sharpening effects before scanning
Adaptive Color Restoration
SilverFast ACR is part of the Selective Color Correction dialog. A checkbox will enable this function to bring back faded out colors or normalize over-saturated colors. A slider will give additional individual control to increase or decrease color saturation.
Adaptive Color Restoration nicely brings back the faded out colors or weak colors with an automatic function. The function's strength can be controlled with a slider. Too much saturation can be normalized or decreased.
ACR can also be used in conjunction with the Selective Color Correction. Any setting that has been chosen can now be influenced with the ACR function (e.g. if you have chosen your corrections but want more or less saturation), just use the ACR slider. The relation, between the color as defined by your Selective Color Corrections setting, will be kept
In the Box
LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai 6.6 Scanner Software
90-Day B&H Used Warranty
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Operating System: Windows XP, 2000, Vista (32-bit), 7 (Windows 7, Vista SP1 (32-bit), XP SP3, or 2000 SP4 recommended); Mac OS X 10.3.9, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 Memory: 1GB (2GB recommended) Hard Drive: 2GB Hardware: Nikon LS 9000ED scanner