Although I have preferred NLP in the past, I have recently converted 3 rolls of negatives and my opinions have changed. During these last 3 rolls I made the point to make direct comparisons between Silverfast and NLP each with varying settings. And I consistently was getting better results with Silverfast than I was with NLP. NLP gave me weird smooth waxy skin tones… And the colors were consistently better with Silverfast. This was particularly the case when NLP was set to “noritsu” or “frontier” import settings. I got better results with NLP with basically no import presets. That said the color and textures were still inferior or at the very best, “almost as good” in my subjective opinion, and that coupled with the fact that I was losing dust removal by using NLP… I ended up just using Silverfast.
That said Silverfast as a software is very annoying until you get used to its quirks. And there is basically no useful documentation on how to use it. The Silverfast HDR studio is basically identical to the scanning software so no improvement there either… but being able to apply dust correction and color correction on a master file anytime after scanning is a great convenience. Once you get used to it though, I find it easier to get basic color conversions done with Silverfast than LR and NLP. NLP’s interface also runs laggy on my set up. Adjusting any sliders is a very laggy and annoying experience in NLP for me. Using the color picker tool is highly annoying in NLP as well as the thing magnifies to such a degree it is hard to see where your sample is coming from…
A note though, default Silverfast settings aren’t a one click one solution sort of thing… For my uses it took poking around at all the different negafix presets to find one that gave a good starting point. For example I ended up using Royal Gold 400 for my Kodak Gold 200 negatives… that said Neither is NLP a one click solution. So you’ll likely want to keep LR around for final editing regardless. Perhaps there is some combination of settings in NLP that would give me comparable results… but in my opinion it was just easier and way faster using Silverfast.
Also a note… I scan using silverfast’s 64bit HDRi files and thus I do not need to do any color correction during the scanning, which makes it easy because at scan time you have no settings except dpi to even change, it is all done afterwards. I also am still stuck on Silverfast 8.8 and have not upgraded to 9. The price is ridiculous for what I can tell is the exact same product. Silverfast is highly annoying for its price and the fact you need to buy upgrade licenses and buy a new license for each scanner you may use… It was for those reasons I initially didn’t want to support the company and tried to make the switch to NLP. But unfortunately for now, I get definitively better results with less tweaking and with way more time saved, using Silverfast.