I use a Plustek 7200i and have done for a while now. A lot of Dmax figures are to be taken with a pinch of salt real world performance counts for a lot more. Saying that I mostly use it for negative film where this won't be an issue. Kodachrome is tough to scan as it's so contrasty and that applies to a lot of scanners.
Silverfast has improved a lot in recent years it's a bit tricky to get into but it does reward patience. There is a bit of an art to decent scanning it's not fire and forget at all least not in my experience. I'd suggest not applying any sharpening in software for archive scans that's my own strategy. Overall I think they are good scanners and well priced (though I paid a lot less for mine than the newer 7600i)
BTW Silverfast have just added Ektar 100 to the film profiles if anyone is shooting that.
True! Kodachrome is
tough to scan. The trouble is, I have a lot of Kodachrome slides. As a matter of fact, my interest in the digital processing of photos began when I realised that my slides could be scanned to CD. I had about 100 Kodachrome slides scanned by Kodak (Photo CD) even before I bought my first computer, about 15 years ago.
I was so naive at the time, I remember asking a Kodak representative if I would be able to discard my slides after getting them scanned .
Here's an example of a Photo CD scan by Kodak of one of my slides, shot about 45 years ago in Kathmandu.
Not only did the dynamic range of the scene exceed the capability of the Kodachrome 64 film at the time, but the detail captured by the film seems to have exceeded the capability of the Kodak scanner used about 15 years ago.
Here's a crop of the guy on the bottom right of the scene, counting coins in the courtyard of the bank. He looks ugly, eh?
Here's a crop of the same area, from a later scan I performed myself with the Minolta 5400 II.
In all modesty, I have to say, much, much better.
One significant factor I noticed (or deduced) when I started doing my own scans, is the amount of cropping that takes place as a result of the cardboard frame. If the film has not been centred in the frame (and sometimes even if it has been centred), the cropping can affect the composition, as is apparent comparing the Kodak scan of the full scene above with the Minolta Dimage scan below.
Although I haven't done any scanning for 2 or 3 years, I adopted the practice of removing the positive from its frame and replacing it in a plastic frame which has been carefully enlarged by pruning the edges with a Stanley knife so that no part of the image is obscured by the frame. I was not successful in my search for a 35mm slide frame with an opening no smaller than 24mmx36mm.