Contents Up << >>

Input tab

This tab contains the options that control the inputs to VueScan from scanners, raw scan files and digital camera files.

Input | Task
Input | Source
Input | Files
Input | Mode
Input | Media
Input | Microfilm zoom
Input | Media size
Input | Bits per pixel
Input | Make gray from
Input | Threshold
Input | Batch scan
Input | Batch list
Input | Frame number
Input | Frame offset
Input | Frame spacing
Input | Preview resolution
Input | Preview dpi
Input | Scan resolution
Input | Scan dpi
Input | Auto rotate
Input | Auto flip
Input | Rotation
Input | Auto skew
Input | Skew
Input | Mirror
Input | Auto focus
Input | Focus
Input | Auto scan
Input | Auto save
Input | Auto print
Input | Auto lamp off
Input | Auto eject
Input | Number of samples
Input | Number of passes
Input | Grain dissolver
Input | Frame alignment
Input | Fine mode
Input | Multi exposure
Input | Lock exposure
Input | RGB/Infrared exposure
Input | Red/Green/Blue analog gain
Input | Lock film base color
Input | Lock image color


Input | Task

Use this option to indicate the task you're performing. Choose from "Scan to file", "Copy to printer", "Profile scanner", "Profile printer", "Profile film" and "Make IT8 target".

A brief reminder of how to do each task is displayed in the lower left corner of the window.

Basic Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Source

If you've got more than one scanner on your system, this lets you specify which scanner you want to use.

A special "scan from" source is from a disk file. On the Output tab, VueScan provides a special option to save the raw output of a regular scan to a file. This option lets you read that raw file as though you were scanning it.

If you set this option to "File", then you'll be able to enter a file name in the Input | Files option. The name can be a TIFF file from a previous scan, a JPEG or TIFF file from a digital camera, or a raw file from a digital camera.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when there's more than one scanner.


Input | Files

Specify the name of an image file that VueScan will read when you set the "Source" option to "File". Usually this is a raw scan file you created with VueScan or a file from a digital camera.

Disk files can be scanned just like a normal scanner. The Input | Preview resolution and Input | Scan resolution options work just as you'd expect, so do the preview and crop options.

Disk files can be TIFF, JPEG, or raw files from digital cameras. These files are typically the output of a raw scan, but they can be any valid JPEG, TIFF or raw digital camera file.

You can also use the file dialog (press the '@' button) to select multiple files, or you can separate multiple file names with a semicolon.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when Input | Source is set to "File".


Input | Mode

Use this option to specify the type of scan you want to make. This is automatically sensed on some scanners, but you may need to set it manually on others.

VueScan uses this option for two things:

1) To indirectly indicate whether the scan data comes from reflective media or transmissive media. Input | Media will be automatically set to the most recent setting for the selected mode.

2) To indicate the color space of the scan data (i.e. the color characteristics of the CCD and light that exposed it)

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner has more than one mode and the scanner mode can't be sensed by VueScan.


Input | Media

There are two lists of media, depending on whether you're scanning paper (reflective media) or film (transmissive media).

Reflective media

When scanning paper, Input | Media is used to control whether the final image is color or black/white, continuous tone (photo), or bi-level (line art or text).

When Filter | Descreen is set, a descreen filter will be applied. You can control the strength of the descreen filter with the Filter | Descreen dpi option.

Transmissive media

When scanning film, this option indicates whether you're using positive film (i.e. slides), color negative, or black/white negative film. This option causes the default film type to be changed, but also sets up the scanner for scanning orange-colored media (i.e. color negatives) by exposing the green and blue channels more than the red channel.

If you choose "Image", no film correction is applied, so the cropped file will be comparable to the image on the film. If you select "Negative film" or "Slide film", the cropped image will be comparable to the original scene that was photographed. When you use either film option, the Color tab then lets you choose the film manufacturer, the brand, and film type to enable VueScan to refine the result further.

The difference between "Image" and "Slide film" is subtle. If you take the same picture with Kodachrome and Ektachrome film and then scan them with the "Slide film" setting, VueScan will try to make the resulting scan look the same (i.e. to resemble the original scene). Use the "Image" setting and the resulting scans will look different to reflect the differing color characteristics of Kodachrome and Ektachrome film.

If you then took the same picture with Kodak Gold color negative film and scanned it using the "Negative film" setting, the resulting scan should look close to what you would get from using the "Slide film" setting and scanning the Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides (i.e. all three should look like the original scene).

VueScan contains sensitometric data for 200 types of negative film and 4 types of slide film. If you've got something different, choose Kodachrome for K14 process slides, and Ektachrome for E6 slides.

Basic Option: This option is always displayed except when Input | Bits per pixel is set to 1.


Input | Microfilm zoom

This option is displayed when scanning microfilm or microfiche. It indicates how much you need to zoom to restore the microfilm/microfiche image to it's original size. Most microfilm uses a zoom value from 8 to 14.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when scanning transparent media and Input | Media is set to "Microfilm".


Input | Media size

This option is used with flatbed scanners to specify the size of the reflective media you're scanning.

If set to "Auto", the full size of the flatbed will be previewed and the location and size of the media automatically determined.

If a specific size is chosen, no preview is necessary when you press the Scan button. This will save a significant amount of time.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when using reflective media (i.e. paper).


Input | Bits per pixel

This option specifies how many bits per pixel are read from the scanner. The more bits that are read, the higher quality the image, but the slower the transfer speed at full resolution. If you specify a value that the scanner isn't capable of, the closest valid option is used instead.

Scanning at 24-bit resolution can add gaps to the final image histogram (compared to 48-bit resolution), but it can also speed up scanning with some scanners and often the end result is virtually indistinguishable from 48-bit scans.

If this option is set to "Auto", the Input | Media option controls the number of bits per pixel and samples per pixel used in a scan.

Advanced Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Make gray from

This option specifies how to make the gray color from the scanner's red, green, blue and infrared sensors.

The default, "Auto", either uses the scanner hardware to convert from the color CCD to gray, or converts in VueScan, mostly from the green channel.

Otherwise, the gray color is taken from either the red, green, blue or infrared channels. Using the red or infrared channel can be useful when scanning older, degraded black/white negatives that are silver based.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when scanning with 8-bit or 16-bit gray.


Input | Threshold

On some scanners, this option is used to control the threshold between black pixels and white pixels, when scanning text or scanning at 1 bit per pixel.

The value of 128 works with most printed text, but if the text is light, you might need to increase this to 200 or more.

A value of zero disables 1 bit per pixel scanning and uses 8 bits per pixel instead (with the Color | Threshold option instead, allowing changing this option without re-scanning).

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when scanning with 1 bit per pixel.


Input | Batch scan

If you set this option to "All", pressing either the Preview or Scan button will preview or scan all the frames in the scanner. By setting it to "List", you can specify a list of frames to preview or scan.

If you set this option to "Auto" and you're using the Crop | Multi crop option, VueScan will automatically detect the list of frames that are visible in the preview.

Note that you can change this to "Off" during a long-running batch scan, this will then stop scanning when the current frame is completed (this is a better way to stop than by pressing the Cancel button button, as this will leave files half-written).

Batch scanning also works when scanning from disk files. In this case, the "All" option refers to all disk files named using a series of numbers (e.g. scan0001.tif, scan0002.tif, etc.). If the "scan0001.tif" file in the series is specified as Input | Files, the Input | Frame number will cause VueScan to reference the file with the same number.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of batch scanning or when you set Crop | Multi crop.


Input | Batch list

You can specify multiple frames by selecting multiple frame numbers, or a range of frames like "1-3", or a combination of both (i.e. "1,3,5-7" causes frames 1,3,5,6,7 to be scanned).

You can also add an additional rotation to any frame or range of frames by putting a letter along with each frame number. Use "N" for no rotation, "L" for left, "F" for flip, "R" for right, and "D" for default rotation. The letters may be in upper or lower case.

For example, adding "3r" to the batch list means scan frame 3 and rotate it 90 degrees to the right, "2L" says to scan frame 2 and rotate it 90 degrees to the left, "1F,2L,4R" says to scan frame 1 flipped, frame 2 rotated to the left, and frame 4 rotated to the right. If no letter is specified (or if "D" is used), then the last rotation setting in the batch list will apply for all subsequent frames.

Using Batch list, you can also preview a group of images in one step, rotate and crop each previewed frame, and then scan all the frames in the batch. The process is:

Basic Option: This option is displayed when Input | Batch scan is set to "List".


Input | Frame number

If you have a film scanner that can move the film holder, you can use this option to select which slide or negative frame you want to scan. This option will only be displayed if your scanner supports it.

There are several advanced uses of Input | Frame number to consider when setting Input | Source to "File" or using the Crop | Multi crop option.

When scanning from disk files, VueScan will consider a number at the end of the Input | Files as the starting point in a series, and Input | Frame number to reference a file relative to that starting point. So if you have scanned a whole roll of film and have raw files "scan0001.tif" through "scan0030.tif" you may specify "scan0001.tif" as Input | Files, and then use Frame number to work on different scanned files as though they were frames. Frame number 18 would then use the disk file "scan0018.tif" as the source when you press Preview or Scan.

Frame number may also be used if you have set up Crop | Multi crop. Frames are counted from top to bottom, then left to right.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner has hardware that supports this, or when using Crop | Multi crop.


Input | Frame offset

This option sets an offset for the start of the each frame on a film strip on the Nikon LS-30, LS-40, LS-2000, LS-4000, LS-8000, LS-9000 scanners, the Canon FS4000 when the strip film adapter is used, and the SprintScan 120 when the Medium Format adapter is used.

Use this option if there is some leader on the film strip, or if you're scanning panoramic frames and need to scan what would otherwise be the gap between 35mm frames. This option can be either a positive or negative number.

The units for this option are normally millimeters, but this can be changed with the Prefs | Crop units option.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of frame offsets.


Input | Frame spacing

This option sets the spacing between frames for some film scanners that support this in hardware. It is not available for most film scanners or flatbed scanners. This is the distance between the starting positions of two consecutive frames.

The units for this option are normally in millimeters, but this can be changed with the Prefs | Crop units option.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of frame spacing.


Input | Preview resolution

Use this option to specify the resolution the scanner will use when performing the preview scan.

If set to "Auto", a resolution will be chosen that results in a preview with roughly one million pixels. The exact number of pixels depends on the resolutions your scanner is able to produce.

If set to "Custom", the resolution is selected by the Input | Preview dpi option.

You can also select a specific preview resolution from the list.

Lower resolutions may take less time to scan, and will use less memory. The preview resolution needs only to be enough for you to determine appropriate cropping, filter settings, color settings and so on; the result of the final scan is determined by Scan resolution and other settings, not Preview resolution.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of scanning the same paper or film twice.


Input | Preview dpi

If Input | Preview resolution is set to "Custom", the scanner will use a hardware-supported resolution that is greater than, or equal to, this value. VueScan will rescale the image to the requested resolution.

Note that this uses simple rescaling, so if quality is an issue, you should use an external image editor to rescale the image.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when Input | Preview resolution is set to "Custom".


Input | Scan resolution

Use this option to specify the resolution the scanner will use when performing the final scan.

If set to "Auto", a resolution will be chosen based on whether it's a reflective scan or a film scan. The exact number of pixels depends on the resolutions your scanner is able to produce -- the number of pixels is displayed in the status area of the VueScan window.

If set to "Custom", the resolution is selected by the Input | Scan dpi option.

You can also select a specific scan resolution from the list.

Basic Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Scan dpi

If Input | Scan resolution is set to "Custom", the scanner will use a hardware-supported resolution that is greater than or equal to this value. VueScan will rescale the image to the requested resolution.

Note that this uses simple rescaling, so if quality is an issue, you should use an external image editor to rescale the image.

Basic Option: This option is displayed when Input | Scan resolution is set to "Custom".


Input | Auto rotate

VueScan will detect the orientation of text images when the media type is set to Text, Line art or Microfilm. When the image is scanned, this option causes the image to be analyzed and the page is rotated to be upright.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when scanning Text, Line art or Microfilm.


Input | Auto flip

If this option is set, the page orientation is flipped every time an image is saved. This is to allow easier scanning of books and magazines.

Advanced Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Rotation

This option describes the orientation of the images in the Preview and Scan tabs and in TIFF, JPEG, PDF, Index and Raw files. This is relative to the unrotated image that comes from the scanner.

Don't have much memory on your system? Set this option to "None" and rotate the image later with an image viewer - this will make the cropping faster. Using "Right" rotates 90 degrees clockwise, using "Flip" rotates 180 degrees, and using "Left" rotates 90 degrees counterclockwise.

Note that rotation happens after mirroring.

Basic Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Auto skew

Use this option to automatically compute the skew angle for images that aren't quite straight.

Basic Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Skew

Use this option to rotate the image by a small angle to correct for images that aren't quite straight. The angle is specified in degrees, plus or minus two degrees.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when auto skew isn't enabled.


Input | Mirror

This option mirrors images left/right before rotating. This lets you position your film emulsion side up or down.

Advanced Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Auto focus

Set this option to enable a focus before doing a preview or scan (or both). The scanner will focus on the point specified by Crop | Focus X/Y offset. This location is visually represented by an animated cross-hair in the Preview tab after a preview scan is created.

Set to "Preview" so that focus will only be done once if the scan is to be created directly after the preview. Otherwise, set to "Always" or to ensure the most accurate focus (as in some cases the heat generated by the preview can cause the media to bend).

If you have locked exposure and turned off auto-cropping (see "Advanced Workflow Suggestions") no preview will be performed. In this case, you must focus at scan time, so either "Scan" or "Both" will ensure focusing.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of auto focus.


Input | Focus

Set this option to a value between -1 and 1 to manually change the device focus. The nominal value for most scanners is 0.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of auto focus and when Input | Auto focus is set to "Manual".


Input | Auto scan

If this option is set to "Preview" or "Scan" and if the scanner can sense when an image is inserted, VueScan will simulate pressing either the Preview button or Scan button when an image is inserted.

This option is reset to "None" if you press the Cancel button

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner can sense inserted media or when the scanner is capable of addressing frames separately.


Input | Auto save

If this option is set to "Preview" or "Scan", VueScan will save files after a preview or scan is completed. If set to "None" files will be saved only after pressing the Save button.

When using a document feeder, scanning text and this option is set to "Blank page removal", only non-blank pages will be saved when the Scan button is pressed.

In most cases, this option should be set to "Scan".

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when TIFF, JPEG, PDF, OCR Text, Index or Raw files are being saved.


Input | Auto print

If this option is set to "Preview" or "Scan", VueScan will print after a preview or scan is completed. If set to "None" scans will be printed only when you choose the "File | Print image" command.

When using a document feeder, scanning text and this option is set to "Blank page removal", only non-blank pages will be printed when the Scan button is pressed.

In most cases, this option should be set to "Scan".

Advanced Option: This option is always displayed.


Input | Auto lamp off

This option controls when the lamp in the scanner is turned on and off. It is only displayed when a scanner that is capable of controlling the lamp independently from the scan is selected.

   Option    Startup    Exit       Auto lamp off
   =======   =======    ====       =============
   None      no action  no action  none
   Always    no action  lamp off   end of scan
   5 minutes lamp on    lamp off   5 minutes
   Exit      lamp on    lamp off   none
When "None" is selected, the lamp is turned on at the start of a scan and is never turned off.

When "Always" is selected, the lamp is turned off at the end of a scan and turned off when VueScan exits.

When "5 minutes" is selected, the lamp is turned on when VueScan starts, turned off when VueScan exits, and turned off 5 minutes after the end of a scan.

When "Exit" is selected, the lamp is turned on when VueScan starts and turned off when VueScan exits.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner's lamp can be controlled.


Input | Auto eject

This option controls when the media is ejected (assuming the scanner is capable of ejecting media). It can be ejected after a preview, or a scan, or when VueScan exits.

The media can be ejected manually with the "Scanner | Eject" command.

When Input | Batch scan is set, ejection will occur after the batch is complete.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner hardware can eject the media.


Input | Number of samples

This option is available for scanners that support multi-sampling. As the scanner head passes over the media it makes multiple exposures for each location. The results for all samples are averaged.

This is a useful feature because any one exposure may be inaccurate, resulting in noise in the output. Noise will appear as one pixel whose color or tone is different than surrounding pixels. By taking multiple samples and averaging the results, the effect of inaccurate exposure is reduced.

This option will slow down scanning because the scanner is doing more. You should experiment with your scanner to see which balance of speed and accuracy is appropriate.

Number of samples is similar to Number of passes. Multi-sampling is preferable as the scanner head is positioned once, which ensures that the same area will be exposed for each sample. Multi-sampling is available only on a limited number of scanners.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of multi-sampling.


Input | Number of passes

This option provides a similar function as the Number of samples option, but does not require the scanner to provide hardware support for multi-sampling. Each pass causes a full scan. After all passes are complete, the results are averaged, and the average is saved.

This is a useful feature because any one exposure may be inaccurate, resulting in noise in the output. Noise will appear as one pixel whose color or tone is different than surrounding pixels. By taking multiple passes and averaging the results, the effect of inaccurate exposure is reduced.

This option will slow down scanning because the scanner is doing more. You should experiment with your scanner to see which balance of speed and accuracy is appropriate.

On multiple passes the scanner head needs to be repositioned precisely at the same location as where it started on the previous pass. Some scanners do not support this operation. Others do, but reposition incorrectly, which will cause a blurred result.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of scanning the same image more than once and when not scanning from a file.


Input | Grain dissolver

This option is only displayed when using the Minolta Scan Elite 5400. It causes a translucent material to be inserted in the light path, which makes the light source more diffuse. It can slightly reduce the appearance of film grain at the cost of longer scan times. By default, this option is turned off.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner has a grain dissolver.


Input | Frame alignment

This option is only displayed when using a Nikon LS-30, LS-40, LS-50, LS-2000, LS-4000 or LS-5000 with the strip film adapter. It causes VueScan to align the start of the frames by scanning the area between the first and second frames on the strip and then finding the initial 2 mm of clear leader. By default, this option is turned on.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner has a strip film adapter inserted.


Input | Fine mode

This option is used to improve the scan quality on some Nikon and HP scanners.

When using the Nikon CoolScan 5000 (LS-5000), CoolScan 8000 (LS-8000) or CoolScan 9000 (LS-9000), this option causes only one CCD line to be used, which makes scans take longer but sometimes improves the scan quality of very dark media.

When using some HP printer/scanners/copiers, this option disables in-scanner JPEG compression of scans, which makes scans take longer but sometimes improves the scan quality by eliminating subtle JPEG artifacts.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed with some Nikon and HP scanners..


Input | Multi exposure

This option provides a way to get additional detail from the darker parts of the scanned image. It is available on scanners that are able to increase the CCD exposure time.

A first pass is performed as usual with the normal RGB exposure. This will be an appropriate exposure for the image as a whole. Then a second pass is performed with a longer exposure, which can reveal additional detail in dark areas not captured in the first pass. VueScan then merges the results of the two by choosing from either the first or second exposure pass.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner can control the CCD exposure time.


Input | Lock exposure

Set this option to lock the CCD exposure values to auto-exposure values computed for the most recent preview or scan, or as adjusted manually with the Input | RGB exposure option.

This option can save time when scanning a batch of images with similar characteristics, e.g. a roll of film.

If you turn on this option and also clear Crop | Auto offset and Crop | Auto rotate, then the Scan button will not perform a preview scan. This can save time when batch scanning.

Note that locking the CCD exposure values doesn't lock the brightness of the final images - it only locks the brightness of the raw scan files. To lock the brightness of the final images, use the Input | Lock image color option.

See the "Advanced workflow suggestions" section of this User's Guide for more information.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner can control the CCD exposure time.


Input | RGB/Infrared exposure

On scanners that are able to vary the CCD exposure time, this option lets you multiply the exposure time by a user-specified value. This can be useful when scanning very dark slides with bright highlights and you want to get more detail from the dark areas.

There's seldom any reason to increase these values from those computed by the auto exposure.

If the CCD is over-exposed when scanning color negative film, then the film base color gets messed up and the dark areas of the image (the bright parts of the negative) will lose detail.

Note that these exposure values do not directly control the brightness of the final image - this is controlled by options in the Color tab. These exposure values control the brightness of the raw scan file only.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner can control the CCD exposure time and the Input | Lock exposure option is on. The infrared CCD exposure time is only displayed if the hardware is also capable of infrared scanning.


Input | Red/Green/Blue analog gain

On Nikon scanners, this option multiplies Input | RGB exposure by the per-color analog gain. You can change the analog gain options to change the ratio of the CCD exposure times for the red, green and blue channels.

Note that "analog gain" is Nikon's term for CCD exposure time. It doesn't actually vary the analog gain within the scanner.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when the scanner is capable of separately controlling analog gain.


Input | Lock film base color

This option locks the color of the film substrate to values calculated at the most recent preview or scan. These values are displayed in the "Color | Film base color" fields when this option is set.

Negative film has an orange tone that needs to be compensated for to produce the positive image. You can see this orange color by looking at an unexposed (clear) area of developed negative film.

For a given film type and roll of film (all of which is developed under the same conditions), this correction will be the same for all frames, so only needs to be set once.

This option is only available after Input | Lock exposure is set, and then after a preview or scan.

This option can save time when scanning a batch of images with similar characteristics, e.g. a roll of film.

See the "Advanced workflow suggestions" section of this User's Guide for more information.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when using the Advanced Workflow Procedure in this User's Guide.


Input | Lock image color

This option locks the black and white point used in the most recent preview or scan. This is useful after scanning the first image of a series and you want to make the lighting consistent in future scans (especially when scanning panoramas). This option is only displayed if you first set the Input | Lock exposure option and the Input | Lock film base color option.

See the "Advanced workflow suggestions" section of this User's Guide for more information.

Advanced Option: This option is displayed when using the Advanced Workflow Procedure in this User's Guide.