Notes on Batch Scanning Film Strips


Since the MF Film Holdersä  allow you to scan multiple frames from a single film strip, you can set your scanner software up to scan multiple frames as a single taskThis is a real a time, hassle and cost saving feature which means the MF Film Holderä  will pay for itself many times over!!


Each user will have to perfect their own scanning “workflow,” but here are some tips to get you started.  If you have questions which are not answered here, please consult your scanner software’s manual/help file.


**Please Note - If terms like dpi & ppi, white point, black point, histograms and curve functions are “foreign terms” to you, you should really read up on scanning basics at the wonderful ScanTips website



Go directly to tips for:

EpsonScan Twain Software

Silverfast Ai and SE



EpsonScan Twain Software (ships with Epson® scanners)


I recommend this software for novice users because this is the easiest software to set up for batch scanning.  I like the fact you can easily create an individual selection marquee for each image on your film strip and then separately adjust the curves, color balance, etc., for each image!  Read the EpsonScan’s help file for complete information, but here are the basics to get you started.  These steps are based on the Epson®  3200, 4870 and 4990 driver settings although the 2450, 3170 4180, 4490, V500/V600/700/750, etc., software options should be similar.  These steps will work either via the EpsonScan Photoshop plug-in or via EpsonScan by itself.  If your computer is “speed challenged” or doesn’t have much RAM memory, you may want to scan outside of Photoshop via EpsonScan (with Photoshop closed) so that you can scan directly to a file and thus conserve computer resources for better performance.



Silverfast Ai and SE (Click here to visit Silverfast’s website)


Silverfast SE does not allow you to click the scan button and then scan multiple marquee selections at one time into separate files.  At the same time, it will let you choose multiple marquee areas and scan them one after the other which can save you some time.  The basic selection and adjustment procedures are the same those listed below for Silverfast Ai, but again, you can't do a true batch scan (Silverfast wants you to upgrade to Ai!).


Silverfast Ai does let you select multiple marquee areas and then scan them in a batch, so if you use Silverfast SE you may want to consider upgrading (info here).  Here is an excellent video tutorial from Vincent Oliver at Photo-i in regard to batch scans with Silverfast:


Photo-i's Video About Setting Up a Batch Scan




VueScan is a high quality, third party scanning software program written by Ed Hamrick that now supports the most Epson® scanners.  Information about this software and a free trial download can be found at


A few things to keep in mind when using VueScan in combination with the MF Film Holderä :






Nobody can explain batch scanning better than Ed, so if you own this software the first step is to refer to the “VueScan User's Guide” by Ed Hamrick which states:


VueScan normally previews or scans a single frame at a time. If you want to do multiple frames at a time, use the "Input|Batch scan" option.


You can significantly speed up batch scanning on some scanners by setting two options so the preview won't be done when you do a scan. To do this, set the cropping for all the frames, then clear "Crop|Auto position". In addition, if the "Input|Lock exposure" option is displayed, turn it on and set "Input|RGB exposure" to either "1" or a value greater than one that won't overexpose any of the images.


You can batch scan multiple photos, slides or film strips on a flatbed scanner if you lay them out in a rectangular grid and use the following procedure: (Also see my steps listed below which include some extra steps not listed here that you might forget)


Press the Preview button

Set "Crop|More options" to "All"

Set "Crop|Crop size" to the size of each image (don't use "Auto")

Move the crop box to the top left image (hold the shift key)

Set "Crop|X images" to the number of images across

Set "Crop|Y images" to the number of images down

Set "Crop|X spacing" to the distance between the left sides of two images

Set "Crop|Y spacing" to the distance between the tops of two images

Set "Input|Batch scan" to "All"

Press the Scan button


As an example, here are the inputs I use to scan a four frame film strip from my Mamiya 645 1000S camera.  Remember:


Individual steps I use for my 645 film strips (which may be different than yours):

·         Set all other parameters on all of the tabs besides the “Crop” tab including setting “Batch Scan” to “All” on the “Input” tab!

"Crop|X size" 56.5

"Crop|Y size" 43

"Crop|X images" 1

"Crop|Y images" 4

"Crop|X spacing" Not applicable because you are just scanning one column of images

"Crop|Y spacing" 50


When you have finally tweaked these settings to your liking, make sure to save them for future use by going File > Save Options and save them under a new and appropriate description.  Just load these settings/this profile the next time you want to batch scan a strip of medium format film!  (Be warned - if you update to a different version of VueScan, a settings file created in a previous version of VueScan may cause errors and not work with the newer version of VueScan.)



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