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on 11 April 2009
I took delivery expecting a decent scan, as it was sold as a 5Megapixel image. Main problem I have is the overexposure that cannot be corrected as it has an auto white balance. Considering how long this type of machine has been on the market I would have thought this could have been overcome. You can forget bring your faded slides back top life. This will not improve them. Only the best pictures will come out correctly. Wedding shots are a nightmare as the black and white contrast is impossible to balance out correctly. I would have second thoughts about buying this product, but I still give it 2 stars as a poor digital record is better than none at all.
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on 30 November 2009
Bought this hoping to archive my old B&W and slide photos. The scanner is easy to use, it is pretty obvious where everything goes. The quality is another matter though.

Scanned at the highest resolution TIF format, and the images created are about 16mb, which you would expect to be good quality. Not so! Even on a 15" monitor they look fuzzy, and A4 prints are terrible. If you look at the image at 100%, it is all pixellated. I compared the scans to pictures taken on my old phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera, and the phone images are way better than this.

The original images cannot be blamed here as I have previously printed them at A4 and A3 size and they have been clear and crisp. Some of the slides were taken on a Nikon SLR with 25ASA film and good lighting.

Very disappointed with this. Unless you are only going to use it for scanning the odd family photo to the web, its a waste of money. Will be taking it back for a refund ASAP.
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on 31 December 2008
I bought this from Maplin as I had some gift vouchers and it was on sale. I'll be returning it as soon as I can. The adverts make it look like it does everything autoumatically but you have to manualy push and pull the frame to line up the image, using the live view of the negative then press the scan button then move the frame to the next photo. Fair enough, you think not a big hassle. The annoying bit is that after you scan the picures (you can hold up to 16 in the scanner memory) you then have to transfer them, this is fairly fast but you then can't scan again without rebooting your computer. I've tried everything to get round this but only a reboot works.

The other issue I has was some of my negatives wouldn't sit in the frame as the sprocket holes were out of sync (happens when it slips in the camera. I managed to scan 4 strips of 4 negatives in 2 hours, not exactly 1-touch.
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on 12 January 2009
This is a basic scanner, which with a little bit of work will produce decent but not professional results.

The instructions are sketchy, and for the software installation I found them misleading and ended up calling their helpline - standard rate and very helpful.

The scanning process involves inserting the negatives or slides into carriers; pushing the carrier manually through the scanner, when sometimes some quite fine ajustment is needed to line up the shot; taking a snapshot of the picture, then transferring the picture to the PC, which process includes "development" for negatives.

The Arcsoft software is not particularly user friendly, not providing any indication of the progress of transfers, and freezing if you try to use the viewer mode before exiting from the capture and transfer mode.

The instructions give little help in choosing the quality options. I found that choosing normal quality resulted in 1mb files, High, 2mb and Highest 10mb, approximately, High seeming to offer a good compromise. I find that a 36 shot film takes about 30 minutes overall to convert.

Overall basic, fiddly and flawed (and cheap), but you can get decent results with some experimentation and patience.
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on 8 January 2009
I bought one of these from Maplin and was very disappointed with the results and even more so with the complete lack of support from the manufacturers and software suppliers. The software does not operate as implied by the poor manual and the quality of the scans from slides is very low, almost all being over exposed to the extent that they cannot be corrected by photo editing software. Negatives are not too bad although low in contrast.
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on 23 July 2010
Will keep this to get an idea what's on a negative, or slide, so I can then get it properly scanned if needed, or maybe to do a lot of work on the image afterwards to make it acceptable.
First time I tried a negative it actually automatically changed it into 'positive', as I believe it should. After that it would simply scan as a negative, save it as same, and I would use Paintshop Pro to covert to a positive. Not sure if it is the unit or the Arcsoft software at fault there, but it didn't really upset me, because it was so easy to fix. However I soon realised that the washed out look down the left side of the photo was not on the original, easily proved by putting it in upside down.
With a slide it is even worse, it manifests itself as a darkness down the left side, giving the blue sky has a purple bruise towards the left edge. The reason is obvious when looking at Live View with nothing inserted, the light projected through the slide or negative is not even across the surface, being darker at the left.
I returned the first one I bought and the second one is just the same, and I have seen someone else comment on it online, so it must be an inherent design flaw. In 2010 you think you could expect better. How could someone bring this to market like it is? How could big name retailers accept it? No-one would sell a television with such a flawed picture.
I await a reasonably priced slide/negative scanner that gives good results. In the meantime I'll use this as an aid, not much more. I might even try taking it apart to see if I can improve the uniformity of the light source. I'll try and add a sample pic to the product pic above.
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on 28 January 2010
I was given this slide scanner, which makes it embarrassing for me to say that it's rubbish. There is obviously something seriously wrong with the software as the quality of the scans is abysmal. I found that for a brief instant as the slide came into view the picture was satisfactory, but almost instantly after that the centre of the picture would be blanched out completely and other parts darkened.I don't want to have to correct the scan of over 3000 slides! Curiously, a friend's HP laptop gave acceptable results, but still not good - I would rate those at 60% good. I lament the passing of my unrepairable 35mm scanner, a type I no longer see on sale any more and which gave extremely good results.
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on 24 January 2010
I recently bought the Toshiba Journe Scanner for scanning the actual photographs and that was a complete waste of money as anyone who has one will know. I don't have exactly the same opinion of the Ion Scan 2 PC I have to say. I have a lot of negatives that I want to look at again and this did a far better job than the Journe inasmuch as the image was crisp with no marks on them, however, the colour quality is what lets it down as they are washed out, but, not a dead loss. As for time consuming, no it's not, very easy to set up and I can scan a strip pf six negatives in less than two minutes. I have no idea what the reviewer who scanned 16 negatives in two hours was up to? Anyway, if you are in no hurry to scan old negatives in then wait until a better machine comes on the market, but, this one will do me for the moment. I don't have slides so I can't comment on how this machine copes with them.
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on 15 January 2010
I go along with other reviewers. the problem is the Black and White compensation. if a slide has too much of either {and many slides are like this} then the copy ALWAYS comes out over exposed. There is no adjustment on the scanner to aleviate this problem. The result is a lot of tedious work for very poor results. I will be looking for a better scanner to re do my slides at some future point.
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on 23 July 2012
I admit this isn't the best film scanner in the world but it does the job. The quality partly depends on the condition of the film, in fact I scanned some negatives from 20 years ago and the scans came out very good. I have seen that one reviewer mentions about poor exposure, I have a tip. If your computer is running Windows Vista or 7, download the Windows Live Essentials from Microsoft's website as it includes a program called 'Windows Live Photo Gallery' (don't worry if you have this program installed already). Live Photo Gallery is so much easier to use and comes with more advanced tools than the scanner's image software. I recommend Windows Live Photo Gallery to those who wish to enhance the colour, exposure, sharpness and most importantly, removing film scratches. Overall not a bad product hence I give it 4 stars.

Note: people using versions of Windows prior to Vista (e.g. Windows XP), you will have to find a different program as Windows Live Photo Gallery is designed only for Windows Vista or later.
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