Flatbed scanners are great for scanning pictures, sheet fed scanners are great for scanning documents and film scanners are great for scanning negatives. Plustek is hoping the OpticFilm 7200 is great for scanning negatives and slides.
- 48-bit scanning
- 7200 dpi
- USB High Speed 2.0 connection
- Carrying bag
- Illuminated Slide Viewer
Getting the Plustek OpticFilm 7200 set up the first time may take a little while. The scanner comes with 5 pieces of software and each one serves its own purpose. LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6 is the main scanning program. You will use this the most. NewSoft Presto! PageManager is photo management software. It also supports OCR and full-text indexing. NewSoft Presto! ImageFolio is the image editing software. You will use this software for touchups and other editing tasks. NewSoft Presto! Mr. Photo is a greeting card program. You can use this software to create postcards, calendars, greeting cards and other things. Last, but not least, is QuickScan utility. This makes it so you can use the quickscan button on the front of the scanner.
The only software that is actually required is LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6, QuickScan utility and the scanner drivers. You can save about 10 minutes of setup time by not installing all the software.
The scanners design is very simple and easy to use. There are three buttons on the front of the scanner. The lowest one is the power button. Obviously this turns the scanner on and off. Next up is the quickscan button. This activates the quickscan utility which will scan your negative or slide according to the settings you defined in the software. One more up is the inteliScan button. This activates the LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6 software. With this activated, you can configure the scan to meet the specific needs of your film or slide. One of the nice features of the LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6 software is when you scan negatives you can specify the type of film you used and it will adjust to the best scan settings for you.
On top of the scanner is a small square. Conveniently, it is just the right size for a single slide. When the scanner is turned on this square lights up and can be used as a viewer for slides and negatives. It actually uses the light from the scanning blub to light up so during the scanning process the light will move and the viewer cannot be used.
The back of the scanner is plain except for the power and usb plugs.
The scanner also comes with a vey handy carying case which has enough room for the scanner and all the accessories.
The OpticFilm 7200 comes with two trays. One for the negatives and one for the slides. The slide tray will hold 4 slides and the negative tray will hold 6 frames. I personally have found that negatives are usually cut in pieces with 4 frames each. So unless you cut them again you will probably never get 6 frames in the tray. The negative tray also does not have any tabs for holding the negatives in place, so it is possible for them to slide around or get misaligned. You will need to make sure the frames are in the right spot before scanning by holding the tray up to the light and sliding them around until they are set. Be very careful when adjusting your negatives because they are very easy to scratch.
The trays slide into the body of the scanner from the side. You can enter from either side. As you slide the trays into the scanner you will notices that there are notches that will hold the tray in certian spots. This will help you align the tray so you don’t cut the picture off. You can only scan one slide or frame at a time, so if you have a lot to do it could take a while.
This little scanner may not seem like much, but it can really perform. We took pictures of some color charts and had them developed into slides and negatives for the tests. The scanner was able to scan them very quickly and with surprising results.
Since the scanner has the ability to scan at 7200 dpi and 48 bit color we wanted to put those abilities to the test. To make a scan at those resolutions it took a little while. The total time to scan and save the file to disk was 2 min 5 sec for the negative and the slide. As you can see from the pictures, the negative produced a much better picture. You can play with the settings a little to try and fix that.
The quickscan button, as mentioned above, performs scans according to the settings that are set in the quickscan application. This saves you time by not requiring you to manually change the settings each time you scan. If you have lots of the same kind of slides or negatives to scan, this would be a great benefit. The actual scan time is the same, but you can save several seconds by only having to press one button to start the scan.
You will notice some scratching on the negative scan. This is the danger of using negatives because they are so easy to scratch. The more you use them, the quicker they will get damaged.
Here are a couple of comparison scans showing the difference between a CanoScan 5000f and the OpticFilm 7200. These scans were done at 600 DPI.
I was actually impressed with the quality and speed of the scanning. My old scanner would take about 30 min to do the same kind of scan that this one did in 2 min. You can pick one up for about $200 and I can truly recommend it for those that have a lot of negatives or slides to scan.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|