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Professional Photographers Using Linux?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the new-developments-in-a-specific-area dept.

Graphics 724

thesun asks: "I'm a freelance writer and photographer and I'm wondering what Pro Photographers have done in regards to color matching and scanning under Linux, especially when going from slides to digital. I just can't get anything close to a good image when I scan a slide. They're blurry and the colors are so off that doing anything with my thousands of slides is proving to be prohibitively time-consuming. Are other Pros (or talented amateurs) having similar problems? Are there solutions out there I haven't found? (Sorry, I can't dump thousands into a piece of hardware---I'm looking for a way to make the most of my Epson Perfection 2400 with transparency adapter)."

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Photographers are gay (1)

Hot Summer Nights (771962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010945)

So they use Macs, of course.

Slides? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010949)

Where I'm from, only old people use slides.

Re:Slides? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011132)

I guess that means, where you live, all the old folk have vastly higher resolution displays. Doesn't sound like they get too bad a deal out of it.

Re:Slides? (3, Informative)

pivo (11957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011155)

Then you either don't have any professional photographers where you're from or you don't know anything about professional photography. Allmost all professional (commerical) photography is done digitally or on transparencies (a.k.a slides)

fst pirst! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010952)

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)

Re:fst pirst! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010968)

You failed it. However I succeeded in wasting a mod point on you.

Re:fst pirst! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011085)

Maybe next time...

Dear Slashdotters: Help Stop This Spammer (-1, Offtopic)

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Don't use linux (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010954)

Real pro photographers don't use linux.

Re:Don't use linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010967)

sad but true

Well... (4, Insightful)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010955)

I don't know what to tell you, other than my uncle is a professional photographer and he uses a Mac. Says it's a dream.

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010977)

Of course its a dream. He needs to wake up and get in touch with reality just like everybody else!


Re:Well... (0, Offtopic)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011053)

Why is this modded flamebait? Photoshop works excellently under Mac OS X, as do almost all the scanner drivers I've tried.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011078)

I guess this post is flamebait and this one [] is not.

Go figure.

Professional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011183)

My experience is Mac's used to run the Graphics world. Whether this still stands, I don't know. But, usually, professionals have the right tool for the job.

This leads me to why is the poster only interested in Professionals and talented amatures?

It takes all sorts for the community (any community) to work well.

Unix Photography (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010959)

Get a Mac.

Sorry, Your screwed. (5, Informative)

compbrain (625174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010961)

I took some slides for a yearbook production in town, and try as I may: Windoze, Linux, BeOS, anything, they all came out terrible. Using a flatbed scanner with Slide Adapter just doesnt produce great results. Period.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (4, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010999)

Correct. For quality results, you need a real slide scanner. They're much higher resolution and don't use any of the lame tricks that slide-adapters do.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (1)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011152)

Find a place that does professional video/photography where you live and ask them if they can scan the slides for you... if they can't, at least chances are they'll know someone who can... I know where I work we would do it for you for cheap, but you'd have to pay the plane ticket and hotel room in Venezuela to bring them... :)

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011012)

Sorry, You're screwed.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011019)

I have a friend who absolutely loves Linux and uses primarily Linux in his own business. However, he still has three or four workstations running Windows 2000. Why? Photoshop. It's just too much of a hassle to use either Gimp or trying to run PS under WINE. Both are possible, but it just isn't worth it to most people. In terms of scanning I know of a great piece of software called VueScan...the Linux version is freeware. Might want to try that out.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011029)

Yeah, the entire article question is just a troll.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011061)

Buy / borrow / steal a slide scanner. It is the only way to get usable resolution from slides and negatives. You can even use it to get all those cool little details out of your old negatives. Certainly justifiable for a "professional" photographer.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (1)

zunis (830494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011082)

Seconded on the benefits of a slide scanner. Check out the Nikon Coolscan series. Good prices, very high quality. We are scanning a slide collection of 160,000+ slides using those with no problems.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011095)

Either buy a slide scanner, or go to a local photography shop and have them scan them for you. They'll charge you $15 a piece, at least.

You'll never get a quality slide from a flatbed+adapter.

Re:Sorry, Your screwed. (3, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011172)

Exactly. First rule of professionals; use the right tool. Buying professional class tools will pay for itself quickly, while cobbling together a hack (while cool in itself) wastes a lot of time and sometimes costs more in lost revenues.

Professional class tools are expensive, no doubt about it. There's a reason for it, they're usually worth every penny. If you can't afford it, then you better figure out a way to save up the money. If you don't want to spend the money on professional tools, then you'd better rethink your goals.

Slide projector (0, Offtopic)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010963)

Why not just project them onto a flat surface in a dark room and take a picture with a digital camera?

Re:Slide projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011014)

Because you'll lose resolution, detail, color, and focus? Just a guess ...

Re:Slide projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011015)

Because that's idiotic (read: incredibly low-fidelity).

Re:Slide projector (4, Interesting)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011094)

The parent is not off-topic, but there are problems with processing transparencies this way. It's very difficult to match contrast for a start.

The best thing to do is send your transparencies out to a repro house to scan on a drum scanner. This can be expensive, but it's what professionals do, and they don't do it just so they can put it on their tax return.

Be prepared for some pain in manipulating the scans on Linux; there's a reason so many graphic artists use Macs.

Have you tried VueScan? (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010966)

Back when I was using a film scanner, I was using VueScan with good results - I think you would be fairly pleased, as it gives you a number of advanced options for scanner control. I am pretty sure that it works with flatbed scanners as well.

They do sell a Linux client in addition to OSX and Windows, and the program has been around a long time.

Sorry, link here (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011005)

I included a link but may have forgot to close it - hoy can find VueScan here [] . They also have a trial version so you can see if it works with your scanner.

vuescan under Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011165)

Just for info, I have used vuescan with SuSE 8.x. Vuescan works fine under wine.
Come to think about it, that's the only software I have ever paid money to use under Linux...

Anyway, I used it with a Minolta dual scan III
negative scanner. I was pretty happy with the result. (My only point of comparison was trying to
scan the same negative with a flatbed)


The Linux version is free, actually (0)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011099)

And free is good.

Can I just ask.. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010969)

Would this be a good time to bring up the really crappy GUI in GIMP? that always seems to insight "interesting" discussion.

Digital? (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010971)

Is there a reason you need to keep/have the slides?

I know many people have said that digital camera is never the same as the conventional one, but if you can't get much out of scanned slides anyway, you might as well cut out the middleman (scanner).

Re:Digital? (3, Funny)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011133)

Is there a reason you need to keep/have the slides?

Because reshooting all the pictures he already has on slides would require a lot of travel and/or a time machine?

Re:Digital? (3, Insightful)

darp (181922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011194)

The same reason for which we keep DaVinci's Mona Lisa for example and not a high resolution JPEG instead.

Re:Digital? (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011198)

I've taken some Amazing [] photo's with a digital camra... It's a mater of adjusting to the camra... I personally hate waiting between shooting and development, with my digital camra (6.3M), I can do a 500-picture photo shoot, produce -perfect- 8 1/2" x 11" prints.. and I pay no money other then ink, paper, and electricity for running the printer and recharging the battery...

A lot cheaper, nearly identicle photo's (to all but the most trained photographer)... and no 'wasted shots' since they can all be deleted if they come out wrong...

A professional might like to keep both kinds of camra's around... but as an advanced amatuer I gotta say I love digital photography the most

We do slides at work... (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010979)

... and what we have found works great is slide scanners. You can find a fairly good one for about $1000 but Linux support is unknown.

Re: We do slides at work... (1)

Hank Chinaski (257573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011182)

or you just could rent one. or lend one for free from your universities media center. at least thats what you would do here ...

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010980)

yes, porno in linux.. i film all my bitches in X

No, because professional photographers, (0, Flamebait)

Mordant (138460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010983)

if they're any good, can afford Macs [] . ;>

Re:No, because professional photographers, (1)

Mooncaller (669824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011129)

Moron, The problems the scanner not the controler.

Google is the answer, my brother (5, Informative)

upside (574799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010989)

A 10 second bout of googling [] and I found The Gimp color manager [] which lets you use ICC color profiles. You'll find the relevant profiles on your Epson driver disk.

Re:Google is the answer, my brother (1)

didjit (34494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011026)

Outputting to an ICC color profile is possible with gimp, then, but the main complaint I've heard from pro's is that there isn't a good color management program to color calibrate your monitor with. This is, though I haven't tried it, apparently really easy on a Mac.

Re:Google is the answer, my brother (3, Informative)

upside (574799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011161)

tkgamma [] - a monitor calibration util for XFree86. Of course you need to consider the monitor, scanner and printer when dealing with colour profiles. The site I linked to earlier does have nstructions for scanning negatives with Gimp [] , so it's not specific to printing.

P.S. (3, Insightful)

upside (574799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011072)

May I suggest a new acronym to accompany RTFM? UTFSE [] - for Use The Fine Search Engine.

Re:P.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011208)

I suggest FUG-finely use google. This one sounds even better when you say it out loud, just FUG it.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010990)

have you tried the scanner under windows? I had a canon scanner go bad on me, and it was due to the scanner not the operating system. the images were grainy and streaked.

Hole in Open Source (0)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010996)

Is color management something that the open source community has just not gotten around to yet? I'd be surprised if that were the case...

In any event, I did find this: Scribus [] . I don't know if it's OS or what, couldn't be bothered to look. :-)

Re:Hole in Open Source (2, Informative)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011034)

Ok, maybe I should've done a bit more reading before posting the parent...scribus is apparently open source. I found a few other links too...

  • /cms.html
  • anager.html
  • linuxdtp2.html
  • 9/02/scribus.html

Hope there's something useful in all of that...

Re:Hole in Open Source (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011046)

It's not easy for someone to come out with something that rivals PaintShop pro or Adobe Photoshop. As far as I am concern graphics apps still belong on mac and windoze.

Re:Hole in Open Source (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011100)

Graphics software does seem to be the one area where the commercial business model (not OS commercial, but big bad greedy corporation commercial) seems to be more capable of producing a superior product.

professional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010997)

If you want "professional" results, get a REAL slide scanner. Of course Linux is not going to fix the short-comings of a slide attachment for a cheap USB flat-bed scanner.

Bwahahaha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011001)

You're a "PRO" photographer and you can't afford any real equipment? You do know that /professional/ implies that you actually get paid right?

Re:Bwahahaha (5, Insightful)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011149)

Sadly, you're mistaken about what it means to be a "professional." You are correct in thinking that a "professional" gets paid for their services. You are incorrect in thinking that all professionals are knowledgeable and know what they're doing in return for the pay they are receiving. I have seen wedding photographers who actually arranged and took worse pictures than even I would take - and I would hardly even consider myself an amateur at this point because not all of my pictures turn out well.

The person that wrote this "Ask Slashdot" may just be in the camp of those who get paid for services they're not qualified to perform. Or they may just be getting started. In any case, they did preface the question by mentioning that they were not willing to pay for the high quality stuff that many professional photographers use, so I don't see why you're so up in arms with their lack of desire to use "real" equipment. Just answer the damn question!

Flatbed scanners suck for slides (5, Informative)

StevisF (218566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011002)

I've never gotten good results scanning slides using an adapter on a flat bed scanner. This could be your main problem. There are some lower priced slide scanners these days that produce good results. Canon makes a rather affordable slide scanner. Mid-hundreds, but not thousands. Another suggestion would be trying it under windows and seeing if that produces any better results. I think your hardware is more of a problem than your software though.

Re:Flatbed scanners suck for slides (2, Informative)

melekzek (760668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011205)

i have to agree that flatbed scanners with transparency adapter sucks. Some of the newer flatbed scanners have slide ports build in, you should check one of those. Or look for second-hand film scanners, you can get 2700 dpi film scanner[ er [] ] for less than 50$, which will do a lot better than a transpareny adapter.

The quick answer is (0, Redundant)

mihalis (28146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011004)


Repeated execution ... (0, Offtopic)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011016)

... doing anything with my thousands of slides is proving to be prohibitively time-consuming.

I sense Windows-centric thinking (correct me if I'm wrong). Scripting is utterly essential to Unix (and therefore Linux) ... if you just need to apply the same correction to each file, why not whip up a little shell script to do it all for you? Doing it once or a thousand times isn't any different unless it requires some kind of mouse gestures (and then again, even those can be automated, just not as cleanly).

Re:Repeated execution ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011110)

It's called Photoshop droplets.

Re:Repeated execution ... (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011115)

From what I gather from the article the foremost problem at the moment for him is that they won't scan properly. I don't think a shell script will take care of that. Then of course he has to scan each one by hand. Then he can worry about doing a batch job on them. Of course if he fixes the problems with the scanner he may not even need to.

Professional photographers use photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011018)

Which isn't available for linux. I have yet to see one pro use gimp. Hopefully the linux desktop will stabalize and pick up enough ground for adobe to create a linux version of photoshop... or the gimp to somehow become as good as photoshop.

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011021)

We do watch videos taken at the movies...

why not look at pictures of pictures?

Hrm...another way for Linux to improve... (0, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011024)

Of course when I say Linux, I actually mean GNU/Linux + OSS designed for Linux. The world just says "Linux" and so will I -- kiss my ass.

Linux is an adaptable and growing lump of putty and every time someone asks a question such as the one I'm responding to, someone else comes up with an answer that either already exists or another project is born... or both. I think beyond all else, that's one of the coolest things about Linux -- it's the community, not the OS.

It was pointed out that people stayed away from BSD variants for reasons that were not technical. Otherwise, BSD and variants would have been light-years ahead of Linux and essentially, there would be no Linux today if it weren't for people wanting a free Unix to build on while staying away from BSD. So now the focus is on Linux... it's the focus that matters, not whether it's Linux or not.

In any case, there's sufficient momentum and I'm hopful you get the answer you seek.

I use Windows & Digital Camras but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011033)

I have to say, Digital Photography has saved me a -lot- of those hassles...

I do use Windows, but RAW data files, going straight into Photoshop and playing with images there saves me a whole lotta hassle with scanning, then just up the Pixles/Inch count as I resize the image, and I can print out a professional quality 6"x4" or 8 1/2"x11" photo with a 6.3 Megapixel camra

Flatbed film scanning... (5, Interesting)

jridley (9305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011039) a joke. If you want any kind of decent results, you need a REAL film scanner. Check eBay.
I wound up buying a Nikon LS30 for the several negatives images in my collection.

The specs on a real film scanner as opposed to a flatbed are night and day. When a film scanner says it does X resolution, it's real. When a flatbed says it, it's probably some kind of interpolated crap marketing hype.

The ratio of black to white on the scanned image is also vastly larger with a film scanner - this makes a big difference, particularly with slides. You're going to lose a lot of data if you don't have as wide a bit lattitude as you can get.

In short, you're going to put a lot of time into scanning those slides. Don't sell short the value of your time. It's stupid to spend 500 to 1000 or more hours of your life using a piece of junk. Better off just not doing it until you have access to the proper equipment.

Ask around. There may be people who can lend you a proper scanner. I've lent mine to several friends, since it's not like I use it all the time; I'm now completely digital. My scanner sits in its box for 6 months to a year at a time. It's possible you could find someone similar who might let you borrow it for a few months.

Re:Flatbed film scanning... (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011071)

Sorry, that's several THOUSAND negatives. I think I scanned about 4000 negatives, and so far about 1000 slides (lots more to go, they're not fun to scan in an LS30).

Hardware the problem, not software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011041)

Get a real slide scanner.

Flatbed scanners are next to usless for this, if you want good quality. Spend 500-1000 or don't waste your time.

Its blurry and the color is off because it is not designed to slide scans properly, don't believe marketing.

Epson has software (1)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011044)

Epson has some scanner software on their site. Makes it loads faster and better quality then the normal drivers anyways Still sucks here

Photographers using linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011045)

The unfortunate consequence of film scanning is that it does require specialized hardware and software. Pro graphic houses still use drum scanners with photo multiplier tubes rather than ccd based flat bed scanners for critical work.
For now I suggest you either use a service or get a copy of silverfast for your scanner.

Pro photographer? Using Linux? (4, Insightful)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011048)

Until GIMP receives more power (features, interface) under the hood, or Adobe or Jasc start porting their products, professional photographers CAN'T use Linux. Whatever Linuxies may claim, those of us generating 2000+ images per month can't make any sacrifices in our workflow. Die-hard Linux users are well advised to use a little Wine [] with their photo processing...

As for scanning - I agree with the above - Vuescan is great on Macs.

Re:Pro photographer? Using Linux? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011166)

I use linux for organizing my photographs, being a amature who spends most of his time taking photographs, and organizing my photographs (somewhere in the 40,000 pictures range) i can say that there is no reasonable software for my mac to organize them in a useable way, kimdaba and digikam work 10 times better than iphoto ever will. I do use photoshop cs for editing though, on my mac.

Reinvent the wheel (2, Informative)

medazinol (540033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011057)

Sorry but reality is that Photoshop is not available on Linux (yet) so trying to use GIMP to do this is not the best route to take. Your best bet is to get a Mac and Photoshop and have most of the benefits of LInux (UNIX underpinnings) and the ability to run popular commercial software. P.S. Some Macs are not that expensive. I downgraded to a 20" iMac G5 from a dual CPU G5 and I don't miss the extra speed, saved a bunch as well.

Pro Photographers (4, Insightful)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011058)

There's a famous quote that gets thrown around quite a bit:
"Linux is free only if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski

If you are truly a pro photographer than you time is worth a lot more than the purchase price of a decent iMac [] You charge for your time, it's your most valuable resource. Why waste it trying to do things the hard way?
Why use the wrong tool for the job?
Linux (and other free unices) have their time and place, but as a professional photography scanning and retouching system it's just not ready yet.
Does the GIMP even use ICC profiles?

Sorry (2, Funny)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011063)

Linux doesn't come close to comparing with windows or a mac in photo utilities. It's a shame too.

Gimp is nice, and making progress but it's still lightyears behind photoshop.

As far as hardware, reference They will point you in the right direction for scanning in your slides.

(yells from back row...) "Get a Macintosh!" (-1, Redundant)

Locus Mote (307298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011064)

Know why Macs have a reputation as great graphics machines? Because great machines are great for graphics and Macs are just plain great. Sure, they're like little portable supercomputers, but just because they're great at everything doesn't mean you couldn't use them for just Photography. You see... they have built in color management. And since you are a professional photography, I think you should consider actually investing money in your business, which means buying a real (non-flatbed) slide scanner and a good graphics machine!

"Professional"? (1)

cinderful (586168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011074)

There is no Photoshop for Linux, so, no. No professional photographers use Linux.

I would say you're going to have a hard time getting a pro-sumer scanner to output professional image quality.

Most pros are either digital, digital+film or use scanning services (who can afford a expensive drum-scanner)

VueScan, Monaco EZColor, Canon FS4000US (1)

trekkerj (694379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011075)

I use VueScan,, which is available for preview. I actually use the Windows version, but it is available for Linux. I also use the Canon CanoScan FS4000US slidescanner with my transparencies.

VueScan has built-in calibration, which I use with Monaco EZColor 2.5, which is now part of x-rite The color I get from slides is amazing, so I'd highly recommend you check VueScan out. Color management can have a bit of a learning curve, but Monaco EZColor is the easiest (and least expensive) I have found.

I do weddings and freelance PJ.

Are you jocking? (1)

paladin7 (628497) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011079)

Without ICM support you can forget about using Linux for any professional work. But..... there is a MacOs...

No, *professional* photographers CAN'T use Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011091)

I am afraid that pro photographers can not use Linux because the right tools are NOT there.

1. The Gimp is NOT as good as Photoshop. Meaning 16bit per pixel support, usability problems, crop+rotate (in one keystroke) doesn't exist etc. And no, CinePaint is NOT good for photographers, it is a video app.

2. No pro tools for scanners/printers. CUPS does not support all features of the printers and besides, there is no real integration between Gimp and CUPS.

3. Sane doesn't provide 16bit support scanning for all models either, neither it has support for negative film profiles. And please again, don't even think use that joke, VueScan , the guy is breaking compatibility with his supposedly supported scanners every week. And he also doesn't have support for most film profiles. Where's my SilverFast???

I can't use anything except Windows or Mac OS X for the time being. Even with digital photography, TheGimp just lacks a lot of things, and some other things that it does have, they are implemented BADLY.

Slide scanner alternative (2, Informative)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011098)

I have NEVER seen the cheesy slide attachments that come with flatbed scanners work well. There is a way to get passable results without spending a ton of money.

Project your slides onto good screen with an overhead projector and take pictures with a digital camera. You'll want to disable the flash for this. Are the results as good as a dedicated slide scanner? No. Will it look better than what comes out of your scanner attachment? Absolutely.

Re:Slide scanner alternative (2, Insightful)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011209)

Project your slides onto good screen with an overhead projector

That's either a joke or a typo. Surely you mean "project your slides onto good screen with a _slide_ projector.

slide adaptor is your problem (4, Informative)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011107)

The focus and color problems you're having are not related to your choice of operating system or software, but with your scanner. If you can't get the slide adaptor to hold the slide so it's in focus, there's no chance of getting good scans regardless of the software you choose.

Like many folks here have said, you'll have a much better time using a real slide scanner. There's a good number of such devices supported by SANE - see .html [] . You should be able to find some of the older ones are more affordable used (check eBay) and even though they're not cutting edge will still generate much better results than an adaptor on a flatbed.

Failing that, rent or borrow a good slide scanner, or have a service bureau scan your slides on their equipment.

linux? ouch... (0, Troll)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011111)

Ive been a professional graphic designer and digital photographer for about 12 years now. i have enough trouble working cross platform from PC to Mac (Mac is pretty much is the design standard, espcially with the movie studios).

I cant imagine how much extra work you have to do every day dealing with Linux.

Photoshop (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011123)

Whenever you say ANYTHING good about PS here, and suggest that GIMP is not quite ready, boy oh boy, get ready for a flame war. But the truth is the truth. PS is the standard for a reason. And, sooner or later, Adobe will port PS to Linux, and GIMP will die out, except for the extreamists. PS is a fine tool.

A more general question (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011126)

If one was going to buy a scanner to use with linux which is the best choice in terms of driver support.

Professional? Spend money. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011135)

If you are a pro, by definition you are making the bulk of your income taking photos.. pass on the bill for the new scanner to your next few clients :)

I want to ride 500 miles through the desert (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011140)

All I have is a rusted-out Schwinn bicycle. I'm too cheap to buy one of those newfangled "automobiles" or "motorcycles."

There must be a way to make a shitty bicycle do what I want. I'm willing to put any amount of time into this project but not any real money; that's because my time isn't worth anything. Tell me how to do it!

Inexpensive Hardware (1)

what_the_frell (690581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011151)

I use a Nikon Coolscan IV, which is specifically a negative scanner, and I get GREAT results, every time. The Nikon Coolscan V [] is even better, and reasonably priced [] , cheap enough for anyone who's an amateur photographer to consider for purchase. Of course, the best alternative in my opinion is to invest in a decent digital SLR that's got a 6.1 megapixel or better resolution.

Monitor calibration? (1)

mattkime (8466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011157)

The first step to seriously using a computer for photography is to calibrate your monitor. Is this possible under linux?

After that we can start worrying about scanner and digital camera drivers...

Re:Monitor calibration? (1)

upside (574799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011204)

Repeating myself here, but check this utility out or just do some quick googling []

Don't do it yourself (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011179)

I work at a commercial photo studio and when we have to have scans of 35mm slides we do it one of two ways: Mount it in a rig we made and then scan it with a 4x5 scanning back, or send it out. I'd recommend ditching the flatbed scanning and just send them out.

You can probably find a place to do it for around a $1 per slide unless you really need repro quality. You get the images back on a CD and you have none of the hassle and time spent scanning dozens of slides. Of course, if you need to scan hundreds of slides pretty soon it will make sense to invest in a good 35mm film scanner.

Monitor profiling? (1)

Dr.Knackerator (755466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011185)

Well, unless you can profile your monitor (an box that attaches to the screen and a piece of s/w that reads colour patches and builds the profile) then you are pretty much out of luck. and that is nothing compared to making sure you have a correct printer profile and the software to convert images between the two device dependant colour spaces. heavy maths involved there btw. as for blurry, flatbeds can be a bit blurry straight from the scanner, you'll need to apply some unsharp mask to punch out the detail. there are probably plenty of websites that deal with the exact settings for the scanner you have. other than that id say use Vuescan its a great scanner program.

Nope, not really.... (4, Informative)

adturner (6453) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011191)

If you want your entire workflow calibrated for WYSIWYG color output, I don't think you'll find it. About a year ago I bought a Canon 10D and wanted:

1) Linux based RAW to TIFF converter
2) Linux monitor calibration
3) ICC support for printing

I was able to find a free tool to do the RAW conversion, but I was disappointed with the output. Color's were washed out because it didn't understand colorspaces and there were no controls for adjusting exposure (one of the big selling points of using RAW).

I was unable to find any Spyder (hardware to calibrate your monitor) which worked with Linux. If you have *really* good eyes, you might be able to do it via software, but I found the results were completely inconsistant for generating prints.

There was some limited ICC printer support in Gimp, but Gimp is no Photoshop. Don't get me wrong, Gimp is a great tool and is of commerical quality, but PS is *much* more advanced and has a much larger user community around it providing free and commerical plugins as well as help on retouching photos.

Basically, if you're only interested in posting on the web in sRGB @ 72dpi, then Linux is probably good enough for your needs. People who are viewing the images won't have their monitors properly calibrated anyways, so it won't really matter. But once you want photo quality output, your best platform is still a Mac (I ended up getting a G5 1.8 and Cinema HD LCD) with Windows a close second.

Canon FS4000 & Vuescan (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011196)

I bought a Canon FS4000 and run it over SCSI with Vuescan under linux. So far I'm very pleased with digitizing slides. Vuescan is a dream, except I'd like to optimize his backend code... (Gimp displays the picture in a second, vuescan can take 15-30 seconds). The Infra Red dust removal works well. So far, I've been having more difficultly with negatives: they come out blue, and once you fix that the colours don't look as good as photos.

Any hints about that?

Color Management on Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011200)

I am a professional photographer and have been using Linux on the PPC for the last 5.5 years but only for everything else except my digital imaging. I have a separate work station just for my digital imaging. Linux does not have anything yet that can compare or equivalent to the OS X in color management. I have read though there are some color managing solutions for Linux but it is really not supported all that well as I can remember. Apple still has the best color management so far for professional imaging. In my professional option I would love to see the same color management in OS X incorporated into Linux since I am really on that just as much as OS X if not more. I think it will still be some time before the professional community will migrate over to Linux for color management. All your photographers, printers, print shops and the like ALL use the Mac or M$.

As for scanning, the main issue will be is your hardware supported with the proper drivers and if so, can you use all the capabilities of your hardware.

For true color management to be made, you need to color balance your monitor settings using an external device connected to your computer and will communicate to the OS. As far as I know, even the expensive Xrite systems do not yet run on Linux. If you don't have these then I would think the best thing is to take a color bar chart and get the closest in matching by eye and making the color adjustments with x-windows.

Good luck
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