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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full marks
The negative reviews almost put me off buying this excellent bit of kit, which would have been a shame because it works well and does exactly what I wanted of fit. I was particularly concerned by the review complaining of its incompatibility with Windows 8 because my photography computer also suffers from that affliction. However, I began installation by visiting the...
Published 20 months ago by Atrabilius

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a lot of rubbish when trying to get it to work with Windows & 64 bit !!
If you have Windows 7 64 bit-don't get near this product. Look at all the reviews......The drivers need updating...go on their website and you can download latest drivers but it makes no difference. There is no phone number for tech support even if you are willing to pay a premium rate. After I eventually found an email address for them, the site states that 'we will...
Published 11 months ago by Graham Jenner


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full marks, 24 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
The negative reviews almost put me off buying this excellent bit of kit, which would have been a shame because it works well and does exactly what I wanted of fit. I was particularly concerned by the review complaining of its incompatibility with Windows 8 because my photography computer also suffers from that affliction. However, I began installation by visiting the maker's website to download the Windows 8 compatible drivers and the programme installed without hitch. It is worth watching the instruction video, because the screen is rather busy at first sight but very simple to use once you know your way around it. I have been sorting out old colour slides and black and white negatives to archive on the computer. This takes about a minute each on average by shortcutting from prescan to final scan and missing out the optional enhancement processes. (The software includes various sophisticated enhancement options, including the removal of multiple spots, which can call for time and thought, but for the simple cases I do a straight scan and then tweak quickly in Photoshop Elements). Quality of image and format are adjustable so one can go for High Art as well as snapshots. Some reviews have said that the software is unstable but I have had only one or two inexplicable lapses that have simply needed a restart of the programme. The actual scanning box is easy to use. Slides click easily and neatly into their holder; negative strips can be a bit more of a fiddle, but if you have clean hands or a glove and dare touch the image part of the strip, you can do without even basic dexterity.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good with Vuescan, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
Good scanner for the money, but don't bother with the software that comes with it (Silverfast). Try Vuescan instead. I've worked with image editors over 10 years and wasn't able to tweak Silverfast to get a scan with the proper colour balance or decent dynamic range. Trying Ed Hamrick's Vuescan software was a revelation. It's a different scanner with that software - much faster and more accurate scans straightaway. You can download a free version ([...] or buy it for about £50 and get a lifetime of free upgrades and install it on as many scanners as you like (if you upgrade scanner in the future, for example).

Contrast that with the rapacious Silverfast policy (pay for every scanner you use, pay for a version that can use an IT8 target, pay for a version that saves in DNG format etc). Anyway, if you look on the Silverfast forum you'll see threads asking about colour casts with this scanner (with slides as well as negatives), and Silverfast blame Plustek and Plustek say it's fine. I've dropped a star because I don't think Silverfast works properly with this scanner, at least not on my computer (Vista).

I've compared the scans I've taken with this scanner to the scans I've got from a lab, and for black and white negatives this scanner was better. I suspect the lab scans would have been better for slides (better dynamic range of the expensive scanners) but I haven't had any scanned there.

It was a tough decision whether to choose the Plustek or the flatbed alternatives (Canon 9000f, Epson V600). I didn't find many comparisons with the flatbeds, but a couple of threads on Flickr suggested a) this scanner produced scans with more detail/higher resolution and b) in this price range and upwards a dedicated film scanner is always going to be better. The dynamic range (Dmax) is slightly higher for this scanner, too. Obviously the flatbeds will scan other formats than 35mm, though. They also have dust removal technology, and they will scan several slides at once. Some reviews on the web have complained about the Plustek only scanning one photo at a time. I don't find it an issue at all.

Size was a nice-to-have factor for me. I've already got a flatbed and ideally didn't want more space being taken up. The Plustek comes with a nice carry case that fits your plugs, leads and film holders in, and is the size of a loaf of bread. You can scan anywhere around the house with a laptop.

If I could have afforded it I would have got the version with IR dust removal, but luckily my slides and negatives are pretty clean so for me that's only been a minor issue.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO useful, 26 Jun. 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (Kilmarnock, Ayrshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
I got this version without the scratch reduction as I most needed it for black and white and the correction on the higher value model is aimed more at colour. beisides i find hunting dust and removing scratches relaxing guess i'm wierd.

That said i have no practical problem with this device at all. in fact it's a revelation. For years now I have been using a nikon coolscan which has a clunky interface, a digital ice package that clogs my memory and crashes evey pc i've tried it on and which runs through a micro scsi card. I should have gotten something better years ago.

The plustek is USB. driver installation is a breeze and the silverfast program works pretty much faultlessly on my xp and on ,my 7 installation. For Archiveing and web use the higher stratus of dpi scan is totally pointless but as i will be using it to scan for large print, A0 and above, also i've been playing with the 2400 to 7200 resolutions with interest. At 7200 a test shot on 6ft by 3 ft paper laser printed well, you can get better blacks by normal phot print methods but this is stunning. Enlarging from panf and kodak tech pan to push processed hp5 in other word from fine grain fine contrast to high contrast and grain like golfballs .

In the time it would take me to scan one slide on the coolscan i can have half a dozen at high res on the plustek. Granted my coolscan is a very old model but it's still revelationary. Some of the manipulation on the package is fierce and perhaps a bit lacking in subtlety, the undo hot keys are used a lot. but I find myself happily using the histogram, the exoposure , contrast and tolerance slides and I find the colour correction on colour negs and slides to be mostly damn good only needing to be tweaked on really severe cases.

It does not overheat and in the three or four days i've had it I have archived 50 sheets of 35 exposure negs and found a couple worthy of scanning to 7200 and switching to photoshop for final clean up . I dare say the silverfast can handle some of the photshop stuff but i like to stick to what i'm used to and i am used to PS.

The only problem i've had with it is that occasionally..twice so far it's crashed with silverfast not recognising the scanner driver. The only way to solve this has been a total pc shut dwon and reboot. THere is an uprated version of silverfast which I will dl shortly and see if that solves it. This is on my main work pc tho and there is so much in the way of scanner, printer, camra etc drivers on it that the fault myay be more to do with conflict between silverfast and existng legacy issues on my pc. can't say for sure without running hijack and doing a line check on it.

Even with this slight issue it's upped my work rate on my personal stuff by such a degree that I am totally delighted with it. If it holds up to the treatment it's about to get over the nex few months i think i may look hard at the plustek medium format scanner too. I still use my Bronica 6x6 and i am lacking a scanner for it :D.

So far very happy if i find issues i'll update this review and i'll come back after a few moths anyway. never shy of promoting good gear.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a lot of rubbish when trying to get it to work with Windows & 64 bit !!, 19 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
If you have Windows 7 64 bit-don't get near this product. Look at all the reviews......The drivers need updating...go on their website and you can download latest drivers but it makes no difference. There is no phone number for tech support even if you are willing to pay a premium rate. After I eventually found an email address for them, the site states that 'we will contact you by the end of the next working day.' I got an email back from them with very basic support information after 4 working days and still no return phone number or encouragement to email them again if it still doesn't work. The product gets good reviews on various parts on the web so I think it's a compatibility problem between windows 7, 64 bit and the drivers. Anyway, I've spent over 6 hours playing with their grotty drivers. I wish I had never bought the product. Unfortunately I have left it too late to return as I have been in hospital for a while and was looking forward to playing with the new toy as I still cannot drive a car for 6 weeks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent product, 14 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
This is an excellent scanner especially considering the price. Straight out of the box it was simple to activate [I am Mac-based]. The results were terrific. A virtual straight print from the scan [at 2400ppi] of a 40 year old B+W neg was very impressive. I bought one to try out and if suitable will buy more for my A level photgraphy students to use - it is and I will!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to set up and good results, but slow and tedious, 28 Aug. 2014
By 
Androo (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
I bought this mainly to scan negatives, though I do have some old slides.
I found it pretty easy to install the software on my Mac and was able to get scanning pretty much straightaway. You get a holder for negs and a holder for slides, although it doesn't take stereo slides.
The software is pretty archaic and not at all intuitive. There are so many different 'plugins' and sections for different types of correction and improvement that I found it a bit bewildering. In the end I found the best way was to get a basic scan and import the files to Lightroom/Photoshop for further tweaking. Even so, the software has many irritations.
The results I've had have been variable. But I'm pretty sure this is down to poor quality negatives as much as anything. Clearly, you can't expect stunning results from a fairly cheap 35mm compact from twenty years ago.
But they're not bad as long as you don't loo too closely, and certainly good enough. Some require a LOT of tweaking to get to the acceptable stage though.
This all adds to the time it takes to scan things, which I found tedious in the extreme.
1800dpi scans are quick, but have clearly visible scanning lines across them. I use the intermediate 3600dpi setting, which mostly eliminates this. But scanning time varies from 25 seconds to several minutes for each scan. I can't really understand why this is. After each scan, there's some processing time too, which is about 30 seconds on my fast, recent iMac.
So, with the prescan, setting the crop area, the resolution settings, it can take almost ten minutes per scan. Add some post processing to this and you're looking at many hours of fun...
I have wondered a few times if it would have been better to use a scanning service.
The 7200dpi setting produces incredible detail, takes forever, and only proved that my source images are not up to it! if you have really high quality source material though, it might be worth the wait.
The machine itself is neatly made and unobtrusive apart from the whirring sounds it makes.
I regard this process as a necessary evil. I plan to scan everything and sell the machine on. But it will take me FAR longer than I expected.
I am, however, happy with the results.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with it, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
I have owned one of these scanner before - that one worked hard for about 3 years, and then died. Although I expected a machine like this to last longer, I was sufficiently pleased with the results to buy another like it.
The task of scanning 35mm slides is labour intensive with a machine like this (I am told there are other scanners which work faster, but cost much more. I have more time than money, so this model is fine for me) but it is capable of producing good and acceptable prints from slides.
I use the standard Silverfast software, which came with the scanner, then opens the images into Photoshop CS2 for final editing.
It is a bit of a fiddle to get the slider holder to slot into the correct place for each slide. I found that inserting the slide holder into the scanner from left to right helped.in this. But the more you use the scanner, the quicker this is first step becomes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plustek 8100 and VueScan, an excellent combination, 22 Sept. 2014
By 
Chris E (Berkshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
I've just purchased a Plustek 8100 after several attempts to use cheaper alternatives. I've also followed the advice of several reviewers and ignored the Silver fast software and used VueScan instead. I'm very satisfied. The 8100 software installed without problem, it's easy to use and appears to be solidly built and robust. It also has a small footprint (small loaf of bread size) and is easily portable, I use it on both a desktop and a laptop.

Compared to the alternatives I've used (Veho and Jumbl) the results are excellent, and Vuescan is a pleasure to use. It's a complex programme full of functionality, but the default options give very acceptable results, but I've also purchased a copy of the VueScan Bilble by Sascha Steinhoff to learn how to get the most out of it. When I've used it more I'll re-do this review and most likely give it the extra star.

It was a very good price (£177) and delivery by Amazon was quick and it was well packaged
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plustek, 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
After struggling with the installation instructions, I found the unit was faulty. It only scanned 2/3rds of the negative. The online help was excellent. I will think twice about purchasing another!.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: Plustek OpticFilm8100 Film Scanner (Accessory)
I'd seen a mix of reviews with quite a few major criticisms so I was in two minds whether to buy.

In the end, because I had so many slides, I went ahead because it was cheaper in the long run to do my own scanning rather than make use of commercial services, some of which are decidedly poor.

The first criticism is the documentation. Translated directly from the German, with no attempt to get it proof-read by a native English speaker, it's badly written, frequently misleading and woefully inadequate. For example, nowhere does it say that to install software you need to have the scanner plugged in and turned on. All I want to do is scan slides at high resolution but nowhere in the documentation or on-line can I find the best way to do it. After a great deal of trial and error, I've finally made some very good scans using the SilverFast software. Unfortunately, far too many scans, even after repeated attempts, are pretty dreadful. I don't find the software particularly good or easy to use. All I do now is tweak the histogram, and then corrects the scan in Photoshop Camera Raw. Because there is no dust removal facility (a major disadvantage), I remove dust using Photoshop's Spot Healing Brush which enables the cleaning up to be done extremely quickly.

Using Silverfast, scanning a slide at 3600 ppi gives a scan of 4950 x 3212 pixels - not 5400 x 3600 pixels as I would have expected - which is roughly equivalent to a 16MP camera). Scanning at 7200 ppi produces (surprisingly) no observable difference and the process uses so much RAM that you can't do anything else on the computer while you're scanning - and it seems to take forever. Scanning at 3600 ppi is significantly quicker, though occasionally and for no apparent reason, it can take over ten minutes.

The other pieces of software supplied is called Presto! Page Manager. I've yet to work out how it works.

On the front of the scanner, apart from the on/off switch, are two buttons: IntelliScan and Quick Scan. Pressing Intelliscan launches the the SilverFast software; pressing Quick Scan causes something to happen in the background and a few seconds later a small .jpeg is placed is placed on the desktop which is a "negative" copy of the slide. Fat lot of use that is. I've been unable to work out how to use QuickScan properly. Certainly the documentation is useless.

The slide-loader doesn't fit or lock very well - far too loose - so it can take quite a few attempts to get the slide in the right position for scanning.

Would I recommend it? Not sure - the best scans are very good but the software and documentation are only fair and pretty dreadful, respectively, and it seems from other reviewers that Customer Services are a waste of space.

"Twoposts" recommended downloading the trial copy of Vuescan in his comment to J.E. Holley; I've taken his advice. Vuescan is far easier and considerably quicker to use and the results are significantly better. Scanned slides look much more like the original and are noticeably less noisy in dark areas and night shots. However, I would suggest anyone intending to buy should read some independent reviews: there have been comments that the manufacturer is less than helpful when assistance has been requested.

As far as Amazon is concerned, the product was delivered the next day and the packaging can't be faulted. Still, I expect nothing less.
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