Purchase Scanner for Photo Slides & Negatives


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The slides go into a holder that is strictly manual, at least for my system. You advance the slide to the scanning position, scan one, adjust if you need to, then after getting a good scan, slide the tray manually to the next slide. There is a detent to let you know you have it in the right place. Once I got the hang of it, I was doing 4-5 in a minute, including typing in a name for the file and unloading/reloading the tray that held four slides or the tray that held a strip of 4 negatives. If that's too slow, I don't have a suggestion. I could not find a flatbed with high enough resolution when I was looking for a scanner. Maybe they are better now. I still don't know how a flatbed can be faster or better because on a flatbed you would have to somehow align the slide or negatives to be properly aligned, or do an adjustment later with an editor. As for automatic feed, I liked that I could see the scanned and reversed color image right away so that I could tell if the scan parameters worked for that particular image. Also I could enter a meaningful name for the image right away so I didn't have to rename them later. I guess it's all in how you work. If you want to just stack up a pile of slides in some automatic feeder, don't care about the image tweaks, don't care about names, and just want them scanned as fast as possible, the Plustek is not for you. It's designed for a home user just trying to get all of those vacation slides from years gone by into an electronic format without dropping a ton of money or time.

You can go crazy trying to over-analyze. I ended up with the Plustek because of the scan resolution and ability to do both slides and negatives. It worked well for me. Beyond that, I don't have any other advice for you. Sorry.

I will say that I tend to ignore a lot of the negatives at Amazon, unless they overwhelm the positives and are focused on something important to me. A lot of the negative reviews come from people with a financial interest in a different product trying to downgrade the overall rating. I looked at the page you posted of negatives reviews from UK and at least two were about the software and how it worked. They didn't like it and apparently had not bothered to try to learn how it worked. That's just lazy and no reason to downgrade a product. Scanning slides and negatives, particularly negatives, takes some finesse, and the software does it well, if you take the time to learn how it works and how you can adjust an image after scanning.
 

Keskasay

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Does anyone have experience of scanning their old 35mm photographic slides and/or negatives to reasonable quality? I am looking for a fair compromise between professional scans and the lower-quality $160 Kodak Scanza-type devices (these tend not to be supported by Catalina). I don't currently possess a good-quality camera. Thank you.
I use a Canon 8800F (no longer produced) with the VueScan software. VueScan is the key to a better scan. Attached a couple of B&W shots.
 

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trevor25220

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I would personally go with this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008ASJ2Z8/

The 8200i-Se, if the link goes squirrelly. Couple of things to watch for, the unit uses USB2 so depending on your Mac you may need an adapter (more modern MBPs use USB-c, for example).

If you decide to go that way, practice with the software for a bit to see how it works to process the scanning and cleanup. Once you find a good setting that gets you the images you want, you can scan, scan, scan. The settings are more critical if the slides have faded at all, or if the negatives are aged and the color is off a bit.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0074H6NLC/

The basic Plustek 8100 is 31% cheaper than the 8200i SE. The saving appears to be on scratch and dust-removal software features via Infra-Red (see below). If I am scanning fairly-clean originals at 1200 dpi (6" x 4" max. output) do you think the saving would be worthwhile? Scanning a thousand images at the maximum 7,200 dpi would take an age and not be reflected in email-size or 6 x 4-inch prints. Sorry to be pedantic but it's a big purchase for just one job. Thanks again.

Question:
Is the 8100, 8100 SE and 8100 iAi the same scanner but with different software? I can't make sense of this.
Answer:
Yes, I believe that is correct. I have the 8100 Ai and it comes with Silverfast 8 Ai Studio software, which I think is the top of the range - it's certainly very competent. The other versions of the software (8 and SE) are, I think, less capable. Have a look at the Silverfast website for more info...
By BrianP on 16 February 2015
The AI and SE version both have IR channel for scratch removal which is hardware based. The AI version also has the full version of the Silverfast software.
By monkey in paradise on 14 February 2015
Yes I believe that they are the same scanner, the difference I think is that the iAi scans for infrared which removes hairs etc although I always brush and blow the slide prior to scanning. Once set up it works very well and although it takes around 5 mins per slide to scan at 3600dpi it only takes around 2 mins if you scan at 1800dpi and the quality visually does not appear any different. see less
By iancs on 14 February 2015
8100 does not have infrared for best dust and scratch removal and therefore iSRD feature of SilverFast is not available. Software version is SilverFast SE Plus 8.
8200i SE does have infrared and iSRD feature. Software version is SilverFast SE 8 Plus (same like 8100 but with iSRD).
8200i Ai and 8200i SE do have the same hardware but software and accessory is different. Ai model does also have infrared and iSRD but only Ai model includes top version SilverFast Ai Studio 8 with more functionality like f.e. color calibration feature to improve image quality. It will also include a 35mm IT8 target (for color calibration) but no target to calibrate Kodachrome though which has to be bought separately if necessary. see less
By Ronae on 25 February 2016
I'm curious about this too, I was set on the Ai but the SE seems identical, except for extras on Silverfast & the colour film calibration? ~ & the £120 difference between them!
On Plustek's site 1 difference is listed *'IT8 calibration target included' for the Ai, but there's also a handy comparison chart showing the 'advances' you get with Ai software ~ ie; Ai has'16bit histogram' ~ http://plustek.com/uk/products/opticfilm-series/opticfilm-8200i-se/
*"IT8 is only for scanning slides; profiling of negative film isn't practical as each type of film has a different orange mask colour, meaning a separate IT8 target image and profile would be required for each type of film" see less
By JoM. on 21 March 2015
 
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It is a personal decision. I went with the dust and lint removal in the scanner because the slides and negatives I had were decades old. I didn't want to have to edit every image to de-speckle it in post processing. It seemed reasonable to me to let the scanner do most of the dust/speckle/scratch removal and provide a cleaner image in the first place.

The rest of your post is very confusing. It seems to be a bunch of random comments or quotes from somewhere. If I understand what you are asking, the Silverfast software detects which scanner is attached and configures itself to match. So if you have the higher models, it offers more options. Same software. Different processing modules.

For negatives, the type of film governs how the negative is shaded. There are options to tell the software what type film it is and the correct color reversal is applied to return a true color image. For slides the color is as it is on the slide.
Scanning a thousand images at the maximum 7,200 dpi would take an age and not be reflected in email-size or 6 x 4-inch prints.
But blowing up a 1 inch image by a factor of roughly 25 to make that 6x4 will result in every speckle being magnified that same amount. As I said, it's your call. I chose to let the scanner do the heavy lifting. I still ended up having to do some post processing to clean up the images.

So, it's entirely up to you. The scanning time is the same regardless of the de-speckling or not. So if you get the cheaper unit, the scan time will be the same, but then you will spend hours de-speckling the images in post-processing, or have to live with speckled images.
 

trevor25220

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Good reply. Yes, I was quoting from Q. & A.s on the Amazon listing as Plustek does a poor job of differentiating between the various models' features. Did you use Silverfast for the manual post-processing, or something else like Photoshop? Hopefully just an eraser tool to remove any residual specks and infill with ambient colour.
 
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The Silverfast software removes the lint, dust and speckles as it scans, so you don't really need any post processing for that. What post processing I did was in Photoshop, as I already had a copy, but I wouldn't buy a copy just for that. There are, I am told, other tools to process images for that. You don't "erase" the speckles, you have to replace them with should be there, as best as you can determine it from the pixels around the speckles. Bigger issues, like threads of dust, etc, require more advanced processing. SIlverfast, again, does a great job at that. The software really isn't designed for significant post processing at the pixel level, it does more with color correction, gamma, brightening shadows, and the like. Once you have the image scanned, you can work on the resulting file with whatever tool suits you best. I now have Affinity Photo for what little photo work I do.
 

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