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01-26-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
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Plustek scanners

Please can people provide their experiences of using Plustek scanners. I am thinking of getting hold of one, but am deterred by a previous experience of a V300 which I intensely disliked, as I found it very slow and the results were terrible in terms of dust, colour and resolution. Is a Plustek 7500i going to be much better? I only do 35mm.

I understand that the Plustek scanners come with SilverFast software which includes profiles for common negative films: is this accurate?

01-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote
Please can people provide their experiences of using Plustek scanners. I am thinking of getting hold of one, but am deterred by a previous experience of a V300 which I intensely disliked, as I found it very slow and the results were terrible in terms of dust, colour and resolution. Is a Plustek 7500i going to be much better? I only do 35mm.

I understand that the Plustek scanners come with SilverFast software which includes profiles for common negative films: is this accurate?
This is a good web site for scanner reviews. I recently bought a Pacific Image PrimeFilm 7250u (Reflecta CrystalScan 7200 in Germany) that I’m happy with, especially after buying the SilverFast SE s/w.

Detailed test reports and experience reports about film scanners slide scanners: market overview, application in practice


Phil
01-26-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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The biggest problem with a Plustek is that the holder does not advance automatically so every-time you have to wait for a scan of ONE neg to be finished and then push the holder and then wait for....you get the picture.
If you get one and use VueScan, scan at max resolution 7200dpi :ugh: put output at half that which is closer to the real resolution of the scanner.
I know there is not a lot of choice for 35mm dedicated scanner.
At least for MF the V700 is closer to a Nikon than in 35mm where the gap is a lot larger.


Cheers,

Luc
01-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Thanks, I would like a Nikon, but the price is more than my poor photos/skills are worth and would be better spent on tuition! I hesitate even parting with the money a Plustek costs, but with the general paucity of offerings on the market, I feel I'd better snap one up in case Plustek cease making them!

01-27-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote
Thanks, I would like a Nikon, but the price is more than my poor photos/skills are worth and would be better spent on tuition! I hesitate even parting with the money a Plustek costs, but with the general paucity of offerings on the market, I feel I'd better snap one up in case Plustek cease making them!
Nikon pricing is way out of line at this point.

Have you considered a used Minolta film scanner? They are quite good at a price point under $700.
01-27-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nikon pricing is way out of line at this point.

Have you considered a used Minolta film scanner? They are quite good at a price point under $700.

Yes I just sold a DualScan IV to a forum member a couple of months ago.
Lately there was a 5400 on RFF for $650 that did not stayed long.

I think I read very vague rumours that Fuji might be looking at offering a dedicated film scanner but at this stage it is probably a 5 years long shots if anything.

Cheers,

Luc
01-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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I scan on a Plustek 7400. It's a pretty good scanner, but, as mentioned, it doesn't advance automatically, so it can get SLOW. Especially if I get distracted between frames. Anyways, here's one of my pictures scanned on it.

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01-27-2011, 08:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbenac Quote
Lately there was a 5400 on RFF for $650 that did not stayed long
It was still available last night.


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01-27-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It was still available last night.


Steve

Well that is a really great scanner and somebody should take it. I am just happy that I paid less for mine a couple of years ago...

Cheers,

Luc
01-27-2011, 09:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
I scan on a Plustek 7400. It's a pretty good scanner, but, as mentioned, it doesn't advance automatically, so it can get SLOW. Especially if I get distracted between frames. Anyways, here's one of my pictures scanned on it.

I had a Plustek 7500 and I think that the DR does not hold up to the Minoltas and Nikons.

Cheers,

Luc
01-28-2011, 06:17 AM   #11
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This is veering a little off topic, but I think I will just get the Plustek and try it out.

How much dynamic range do you want...as I understand it, colour film is really only good for about 4 stops, and B&W for about 7 stops. And then I am really not fussed about seeing all the tones in an image, I quite like high contrast black and white which means the top and tail of the curve disappear. 2^7 equates to 10^2, so these scanners boasting 10^3 have about 3 stops more range than I need.

My concern with a scanner is primarily resolution and treatment of grain. The V300 was awful in this respect. What no one really talks about is MTF curves for a scanner. Do they slope down, like the MTF for a lens or film, or is the contrast a square function which just drops off at the res limit around 3200 dpi, (which equates to 65lpmm), in the case of the Plusteks? My V300 couldn't muster more than about 20lp/mm (ie 50% contrast at 10lp/mm) which is why I got rid of it.

I almost see kit prices in terms of "stops", so you move in doubles of the previous level, ie a V300 is GBP 70, a Plustek is around GBP 170, a Minolta Dimage is around GBP 400 and then an old Imacon is around GBP 1000 (all used). I think a modern Imacon X1 is about GBP 10k, which is only going to happen if I am dreaming, and its just going to be cheaper to mail negatives to a lab with an Imacon rather than purchase one. If I end up shooting film for longer (which I really hope to have time for, as I enjoy it for the craft work) I will want to shoot Acros on a tripod and start producing some high resolution work, getting up to the 100lp/mm barrier. This will require a scanner resolution of 100lp/mm*25.4mm/inch*2dpi/lp=5000dpi. Thats conservative too, as apparently Acros and TMAX 100 will reach 150-200lp/mm. Ie an Imacon is going to be required, which is capable of 6000dpi. I am sure Nikons were good, but it strikes me that an Imacon offers higher resolution, and Hasselblad still sells them and therefore can offer service and software.

Anyway, I am not really interested in the scanner in terms of printing from the scan, as I can wet print at home where the resolution is just limited by the diffraction limit of my 50/2.8 N Nikkor lens, which is something like 200lp/mm at f8. The purpose of a scanner for me is to be able to share photos with family, where they look at them on a screen via a Picasa link, and then the image is rescaled to something like 1600*1000 anyway. I just dont like being given the "film is really grainy" comments thanks to a poor scanner which can't scan a relatively low res with reasonable contrast.

Going back to my MTF comment above, if MTF drops linearly from 100% at 0lp/mm to 0% at 65lp/mm, than at 20lp/mm its got something like 70% contrast, which is better than a typical consumer zoom, particularly once crop factors are taken into account. 20lp/mm is good enough for scans being shared via the web for me. I think I will just try the Plustek and report back.
01-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #12
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Why not spend about the same and get an Epson V700? It'll give you all the quality you need and more, can batch scan, is very quick, and has other uses besides.
01-29-2011, 03:30 PM   #13
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The thing which interests me about the Plusteks is that they come with this Silverfast software, which includes bespoke curves for different varieties of colour negative film. I am also interested in the IQ: I have seen a comparison on the site "gofour3" linked to, and the Plustek 7600i seemed a smidgin better. But admitedly slower. In any case, the boss has put her foot down and vetoed the purchase: I am restricted from buying anything other than baby kit on ebay for a while.
01-31-2011, 03:56 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear that! For future reference, I use Silverfast Ai - capable though ugly and counterintuitive software - and I never use the built-in neg presets. Too much clipping for my tastes. I always scan as positive and set white and black points for each channel manually. Once inverted in PS, this is a good start.
01-31-2011, 09:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote

...as I understand it, colour film is really only good for about 4 stops, and B&W for about 7 stops.
Where did you hear that? If we could get all that's on a negative, that would be something. But get a one-degree spotmeter and meter a scene. Note the EV range and where. Look at the negative with a loupe for detail.

Last edited by tuco; 01-31-2011 at 09:10 AM.
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