Top positive review
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Plustek film scanner 8200i SE
on 25 November 2012
I previously used a Primefilm PF3600 and changed to the Plustek 8200i SE simply to upgrade the technology. The objective was to digitise monochrome film and Kodak slides from 40 years ago, many of which had dust marks and scratch damage. The SilverFast software was a major decision maker. The new scanner came with good packaging and included a nice case to keep the scanner free of air borne contamination when not in use. The film holders for slides and film were satisfactory and simple to use. The software disc loaded straight away and contained excellent explanatory videos for each of the scanner's attributes. A wonderfully precise German voice accompanied each short video. The operation is logical and the scanner is very simple to use. The scanning mechanism is much quieter than the one in the PF3600 which sounds like an MRI scanner.
Scanning speed at 3600 dpi is much the same as the Primefilm machine, at about four minutes per frame. If 1800 dpi is selected then the scan is shorter. Clearly the greater the definition required, the slower the scan and the bigger the TIFF files. At 7200 dpi files can be 150 MB, but a Kodak colour slide might amount to 50 MB. The SilverFast software offers Scratch and Dust Removal (SDR) and a clever iSDR option using an infra red scan. I have found both these options need careful use. The SDR defaults to a figure of 100 on its sensitivity control and at this level it can give strange results, detecting for example, the whites of eyes as faults. It is wise to try lower settings with both SRD and iSRD until satisfactory results are obtained.
Overall the scanner does a professional job but needs a bit of common sense in the settings. Its not difficult, and greatly reduces the work required in Aperture or Photoshop. I am pleased with the product and Amazon delivered it to me within a couple of days.