The Plustek OpticFilm 120 Film Scanner delivers the professional image quality results from 35 mm film strips, slides and 120/220 film from 6 x 4.5 cm up to 6 x 12 cm in sizes. It is designed for professional photographers, advanced amateur photographers, film photo enthusiasts, photography schools and clubs. The OpticFilm 120 satisfies the film scanning requirements of advanced amateurs or professionals that require the ultimate in image quality and an ICC profiled scanning system.
Reviewed by 1 customers
I purchased the Plustek 120 Opticfilm scanner in October 2013 and it has scanned over 3000 images, mostly 6 x 6 cm b/w. Overall, considering the ample cost, I am considerably disappointed, but there is not a better alternative yet. The good: 1) Image sensor and scanner optics seem quite good. The sensor/optics native resolution is 104 line pairs/mm, which exceeds most practical camera lens performance. My unit exceeds the sharpness of nearly all of my film images. 2) Film holders are robust and perform well, hold film flat, and are easy to load and do not scratch films. 3) Scan speed is adequate. Scanner produces images faster than I can label the envelopes and make preliminary adjustments to color/contrast. Dense images slow scan speed greatly. 4) Unit is reasonably quiet in operation. The bad: 1) The scanner firmware and bundled software do not play well together. Frequently, Silverfast (also Vuescan) cannot initialize scanner operation correctly..the scanner rejects the film holder without scanning. This seems to be a scanner glitch. The unit must then be powered off by removing the power plug on the back of the unit, and then restarting. Plustek has had more than two years to correct this problem, but so far, nothing has been done. Very Annoying. I may install a power switch on the front panel... 2) From time to time the scanner goes beserk, utters strange noises, and will not release the film holder. Fix is to remove the holder from the rear of the scanner. For this, 13 inches of clearance is required behind the scanner. (The film holder should never be forced to the front. ) 3) For strips of three 6 x 6 negatives, the film holder opening and spacing does not match my negatives, such that the third image had to be scanned by removing the film strip and then rescanning with the third frame in the first position. I cut the film holders apart, and remade them for my 56.4mm image size, and made them able to accomodate variable frame spaces, of which I have many. Holders are molded polycarbonate, and may be reworked using two-part methacrylate adhesive. I used the Versachem product. 4) Silverfast. Deserves its own review, but firstly is not yet well matched to this hardware. Batch scanning of 120 films requires an overview, and then individual frame prescans, and then individual film scans. I expected, based on experience with other scanners, that a single prescan would suffice to set framing and basic scan parameters. Big time waste. This is supposed to be a scanner for 120 film! Silverfast is overly expensive and complex. It attempts to be the swiss-army-knife of scanner controllers, but most of its corrections are much better applied only after the scan is completed and available for examination at high resolution. I have no use for sharpening and color/contrast/curve characterization/noise reduction until the full-sized scan is available. Most Silverfast features are "fluff" for careful work. I use Vuescan for most scans, much faster for my 3 frame 120 films. 5) Warranty for an item at this price level should be at least 3 years, not one. My scanner went totally unresponsive at 14 months. Repair from Plustek was to have been fixed price: $400. Since I was beyond warranty, and would have had to wait an unknown time for return to service, I opened the unit and found a limit switch had jumped out of position. Held by plastic tabs, not screws. Back in service same day. Several of the internal gears seemed undersized for long service life. Moderately difficult to work on, but doable if patient and careful. Recommendation: buy the extended all-perils warranty. 6) Scanner lacks internal baffles and blackening to reduce stray light. If I open the unit again, just for grins I will add light baffles on the led light source, and paint some internals flat black, which may extend performance in thinest negative image areas.
Makes great scans, but it has a chronic glitch that others have complained about as well -- it often rejects the slide tray and scans anyway. Unplugging the device seems to reset it. Plustek has been unresponsive and obviously has allowed this problem to go uncorrected. It's more of an annoyance than a hindrance. Slide trays are well-designed and sturdy.
There is a pretty big learning curve with this machine. I had to call their help line to address why the film tray was being rejected. Had trouble scanning at max resolution. I like the color rendition that this machine has. Very little color correction is needed. Fairly simple to operate once Plustek figured out what was going on with my unit. Image sharpness of the scans is acceptable but I was hoping for better. The machine needs to be re-booted too often and can slow production. Film trays are very well made and lock down the film well.
The scanner itself is great. When it works it produces great results with both b/w (I've used Ilford Delta 100 Pro) and color (Kodachrome and Velvia 100). Does'nt do a very good job on a dense slides - there is no way to increase the exposure and multiple exposure mode doesn't help much as the higher exposure image is not recorded (it is combined with normal exposure image). Sometimes the scanner's servo looses its position and scan is offset either slightly or completely - just power cyclyng corrects it. The shutoff time can't be modified and that makes batch work difficult - while the first image is processed the scanner may shut off and that's it. Lowering resolution or decreasing processing (like iSRD or ME) can help but that is not practical. Overall its a great product, just needs love, care and attention.