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on 14 March 2010
This is a lightweight plastic box made in China, powered by a USB lead, with an instruction manual, one rack for four slides and another for six negatives. The CDRom driver didn't start installation automatically, so I had to follow the instructions step by step: right click on My Computer ... update driver etc and the installation was smooth. You have to work out which way to put the rack in, it clicks if inserted correctly. The most awkward for me was to figure out which way to place the slides and the negatives in order not to have inverted images. It would be helpful to have photos with numbers or letters to start with. Press on the left button to prescan a slide, the right to prescan a negative. Brightness and contrast can be tweaked straightaway. Then click the Scan icon to complete scanning. The photos appear on the desktop as "transparency0000, 0001, 0002" and "negative0000, 0001, 0002" etc. Cut and paste in folders, rename the photos. That's it. I choose 3600 dpi which is the highest resolution, my scanned images so far are between 600kb to 1.70mb. All in all, this is an economical product which produces excellent results for amateurs, more than enough if you are not looking for the highest possible quality. I have a few thousands negatives and slides, investing in a secondhand Nikon Coolscan or a Minolta Dimage scanner which I wouldn't be using for long is not an option. Patience is essential to work all this through. I give myself a year!

Amazon's Customer Service is as usual excellent. The USB cable was missing in the first delivery. I returned it the next day. The replacement arrived only three days later, and I don't live in Britain.
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on 9 January 2014
Plustek make some great products, this was not one of them, unless I had a faulty version. Good quality negative/slide scanners are expensive and often based on old technology like SCSI so I have never been able to justify buying one for personal use to eventually digitise all the family photos. I first bought a low end unit about ten years ago but the colour balance was awful ... scan a negative and it would be purple, scan it again and it would be green. So I was very disappointed that this did the same thing, despite the intervening time. You might have better luck, but. That being said, it does do an adequate job on black and white negatives ... unfortunately, most of what I have inherited is not 35 mm, another thing to be aware of if you are buying a scanner to digitise older negatives.
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on 12 May 2010
Easy to use but could have done with better instructions to save time having to play around to discover how it worked. In the end I returned this model as I needed something with better quality reproduction - even the software included with the scanner did not give the desired result so now saving up for the 7600. Excellent delivery and returns service - as I have come to expect from Amazon - though I think this is the first time I have had to return something. Very reassuring glad I bought direct from Amazon.
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on 1 February 2010
Really is good value for money, works straight out of the box.

Images are very good except where there is bright sunlight on skin - then can be blanched.

Bought it to enable speedy transfer of slides to digital and it does just that.
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on 11 January 2010
I read all the previous reviews, then I checked further info. on the web. and I finally decided to purchase the item. It has proved a great addition to the gadgetry attached to my PC. I completed 1400+ 35mm slides on the unit with no failures. One thing to watch is ensure that the setting for DPI is 1800 not 3600 as large volumes of memory can be used.

I also purchased the extra Slide holders advertised on Amazon. They are a better quality than the those supplied with the original scanner, but there are no issues with either set. They work perfecty.

The scanned images are very good and after some "cleaning up" with Photoshop, I am very happy with my purchases and would recommend it to anyone.

Plustek SmartPhoto F50 Compact 1800 DPI Film Scanner
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on 15 November 2009
We own PCs and Macs, and would have preferred a Mac compatible scanner, but there wasn't one in our price range. The PC install was easy, and the defaults easy to set up. The scanner comes with one negative holder and one slide holder (though we've yet to use the slide one) and once you get into a rhythm, you can scan about 2 negatives a minute including the loading and unloading. Once the scan is complete, the program drops off the screen but is still memory resident and waits until you hit the scan button on the front of the scanner. After a day of scanning and still slightly regretting that it wouldn't work on Mac (as that's where we store our photo library) we googled 'Plustek F50 MAC OS X' and Sod's law, there was a Mac version all the time on the Plustek website! We downloaded it and installed it, and had initial problems when it popped up a window stating that the default user on the Mac wasn't in the sudoers file (If you are a Linux or Unix developer, you'll know what that means!) To solve the problem, set yourself up as Admin first, install, then downgrade yourself to back to a standard user. Most people probably won't get that problem, it's just that, for security reasons, our standard user isn't defined with Admin rights. Once installed, we plugged the scanner in, and it immediately insisted on updating the firmware on the scanner. Once that done, it worked perfectly. Once final point, we did try to plug the scanner back into the PC, but the firmware upgrade stopped it working. No doubt there is a later version of the software for Windows, but as we plan to use it on the Mac going forward, we didn't bother. So far we've scanned colour and B&W negatives at 3600 bpi and the results are excellent. There is no built in software to remove scratches, but we plan to clean them up with iPhoto. Overall - four stars, had the Mac software not caused those initial problems, we may have been more generous! Our Windows PC is XP, the Mac is OSX 10.6.2. One tiny tiny gripe - as we are scanning a lot of stuff, a second negative holder would have been a great help, but it's a small issue.
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on 14 December 2009
Having a number of slides to scan before they faded I got this machine after doing some comparisons. As they say, "You get what you pay for". The output is satisfactory, you can manipulate the image a bit at the scanning stage, and it comes bundled with a nice little photo package. But it's not exactly quality workmanship. I don't object that it's light, but am less happy at the way it won't connect to the computer unless the lead is angled just-so, and the fact that inserting the rack of slides is sometimes easy and sometimes not (and, because of the insubstantial feel, I'm scared of pushing too hard so have had to evolve a routine of "take it out, try again, if that doesn't work, try the other side".) If you don't have too many slides to scan then it'll do the job - if you have a lot you might consider something a bit better.
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on 11 January 2010
I bought this product as a gift for my husband. He found it easy to set up, but the software leaves a bit to be desired, requiring a bit of tweaking with the advanced settings to get a good image. A second negative feeder would prove very useful. An easy to use product.
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on 8 March 2010
Plustek SmartPhoto F50 Compact 1800 DPI Film Scanner
I got nowhere with this product and had to return it to Amazon - possibly faulty. There are precise instructions for setting up and loading software, which went fine, but then directions cease. Although the actual operation is simple, you still need a step-by-step idiot's guide - otherwise, if it doesn't work you don't know whether it is faulty or if you are doing something wrong. Mine just kept telling me 'Scan Failed'. The on-line help, as usual, never addresses anything you need to know, and there appears to be no available phone number in the UK. In the end, I'm not sure whether the device was faulty or not - but the communication certainly was.
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on 24 December 2009
feels like an empty shell, but thats an advantage I have used it on new and very old negatives and one set had water damage, though the quality wasnt 100% from water and mildew the pictures came out as good quality. the settings is easy to use and has helpful tips to create better framed photos. Im sure putting the finished negs in to another photo software you will be able to produce substantial quality photos, try it , buy one, the kids will enjoy giving your old pics new life!
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