A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.
22 February 2013
We unpacked a Plustek OpticFilm 120 early this morning at the bunker. It's not a small scanner yet we're tempted to call it compact. And we don't need any temptation to call it attractive. It's a handsome unit.
Although we do confess to some confusion about the rear cover. It's intended to prevent dust from entering the scanner from the rear film holder slot but it also covers the USB port and power connection. So to close it, you have to remove both cables first.
We've left it open throughout our review process as a sort of worse-case test. We'll see if we get any dust in the scanner. (It's already been a couple of weeks and we haven't noticed a problem.)
We won't have a full review finished until the Ides of March at the earliest. You can skip to other stories in the review as they become available using the new story menu at the top right.
But in the meantime, there are a few things we can already point out.
SPECIFICATIONS | Back to Contents
The specifications for the OpticFilm 120, which can handle 35mm and 120/220mm film, are impressive.
Here's the full list from Plustek (in U.S. measurements):
Image Sensor: CCD Light Source: LED Resolution: Maximum Input: 10,600 dpi
Maximum Output: 5,300 dpi
Scan Modes: Color: 48-bit input, 24/48-bit output
Grayscale: 16-bit input, 8/16-bit output
Dynamic Range: 4.01 with SilverFast Multi-Exposure, according to ISO 21550:2004 Infrared: Built-in Scanning Area: 60mm x 120mm (W x L) IT8 Target: Included for color accuracy Power Supply: 24V DC, 0.75 amps Interface: USB 2.0 Net Weight: Approx. 12.57 lbs. Dimensions: 7.4 x 8.3 x 14.7 inches OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Intel-based Mac OS X 10.5/10.6/10.7/10.8
Requirements: 2-GHz processor or faster (Intel on OS X), 2-GB RAM main memory (4-GB recommended), 10-GB free space on hard disk drive, DVD drive or Internet connection List Price: $1,999.99
Worth highlighting among those is that SilverFast bar-coded calibration targets are supplied (making it painless to profile the scanner) and there is indeed infrared scanning for automatic defect removal.
SilverFast Ai Studio 8 is bundled with the scanner, by the way. During the scanner's development, LaserSoft Imaging "significantly contributed to achieve the OpticFilm's superior quality," Plustek said.
SilverFast's multi-exposure feature is how you get a dynamic range of 4.01. And applause for Plustek for citing a number and how it was achieved. It should inspire others, let's just say.
Not mentioned but featured nonetheless is motorized film transport so you don't have to manually advanced the holders. And those holders include patent-pending, adjustable pitch 120 film holders to hold the film flat. You don't have to cut 3-frame 6x7 120 film strips either. And the two-strip 35mm holder is a welcome sight, too.
IN THE BOX | Back to Contents
The rather large retail box contains:
- The Plustek OpticFilm 120 scanner
- A small power adapter
- A white USB cable
- Seven film holders for 35mm film strips (12 frames), 35mm mounted slides (5 slides) and 120/220 film sizes of 6x4.5cm (4 frames), 6x6cm (3 frames), 6x7cm (2 frames), 6x8/6x9cm (2 frames) and 6x12cm (1 frame).
- A 120mm IT8 calibration target
- Two 35mm film strip blanks
- The Scanner User Guide, a SilverFast 8 manual and the SilverFast Setup CD
MORE TO COME | Back to Contents
We'll have more to say about the OpticFilm 120 shortly, so stay tuned. And use the Feedback button to forward any questions you'd like us to address.
Comments | Back to Contents
Hi. Two issues that I would like you to comment on:
1. I am one of many people using 6x17 format (as well as 6x6 & 6x8). If this is a good scanner, it might be worth me scanning that 6x17 in two sections and stitching -- but it is not clear whether the film holders will let this happen.
2. I know that they say 5300 dpi, but other brands talk about large numbers and are not able to resolve anything more than about 2000 dpi. If I am to go with this, then I will want it to resolve at least the 3200 that the imacon can do. So what is the practical resolution?
-- Geoffrey Barton
Thanks, Geoffrey. We'll address both those issues in more detail as we get into the review. Meanwhile, we can tell you that the largest scan area in the holders is 6x12cm. SilverFast is recommending a scan resolution of 2650 for that 6x12cm image, which yields a 189.1-MB file. Not sure what that recommendation is based on, but at the full 10,600 dpi, file size is 2.89-GB. -- Mike