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Author Topic: My New Plustek Opticfilm 120 Scanner  (Read 1158 times)

aderickson

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My New Plustek Opticfilm 120 Scanner
« on: May 26, 2018, 07:30:08 PM »

After my little rant about the frozen state of technology in scanners it happened that the Plustek OF120 went on sale at Adorama and B&H. That was all it took for me to take a chance and order one. I say "take a chance" because the online reviews have been uneven. Some reviewers report focus issues, extremely long scan times and many complain about the bundled Silverfast software.

I believe this scanner model is the most up-to-date quality medium format film scanner available. Not the best, mind you, but the most up-to-date in term of connectivity and compatibility with modern computers and operating systems. The Epson V850 may rival it but it is a flatbed scanner, not a film scanner. I bought it to scan my 6x6 films produced by my stable of six old Rolleiflex TLR's. These old Rolleis have wonderful lenses and it just about killed me that I wasn't seeing the quality in the scans produced by my venerable old Epson V750.

As to other options the Nikon Coolscan 8000 and 9000 are well spoken of but they are no longer produced, are expensive in nice examples and use old technology connectivity. The Hasselblad Flextight X1 and X5 are still available new at a horrendous price and are deemed the best short of a drum scanner but still use old technology.

So, how did my choice work out? Documentation supplied with the unit was skimpy in the extreme. The drivers and software supplied on disc were obsolete and would not install on Mac High Sierra so it was necessary to go online to the Plustek site for an updated driver and to the Silverfast site for updated software. The Silverfast site required me to register before I could download the update and during installation required the original disc. Fortunately I have used Silverfast for several years with my V750 so I had a clue of how to navigate in the software. There were differences which puzzled me for a while. Thank goodness there is a Flickr group dedicated to this scanner where a kind fellow produced a tutorial.

The full version of Silverfast Ai Studio is included complete with a 6x7 profiling target for IT8 calibration. Calibration went quickly. My initial scans looked very good but I noticed substantial color and tonality differences with scans that had Multiple Exposure switched on vs off. I put my USAF1951 slide in for the big reveal: was it better in resolution than my V750? Yes, it was by a substantial margin. At a scanning setting of 5300 ppi I could resolve the '6-3' group on the USAF1951 slide both in vertical and horizontal which equates to better than 4000 ppi compared to something less than 2400 ppi on my V750. This is clearly visible in the scans. Scanning times at 5300 ppi with iSRD and ME on with a 6x6 transperancy were around 12 minutes on a computer with a 3 Ghz Intel Core i5 with 16 GB.

It's not all perfect. I notice artifacts in the iSRD (dust and scratches) implementation. I'm not sure the Multiple Exposure setting is giving me much. But all in all I find it a worthwhile upgrade from the Epson.

And as far as do I regret not spending an additional $23,896 on a Flextight X5 here are some interesting posts on a comparison between these two scanners:

http://www.snowhenge.net/pblog/article/opticfilm_120_vs._flextight_x5

http://www.snowhenge.net/pblog/article/opticfilm_120_vs._flextight_x5_-_round_2

http://www.snowhenge.net/pblog/article/using_the_flextight_x5_scanner

I feel a lot better about using my Rolleis now.

Allan
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WIFoto

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Re: My New Plustek Opticfilm 120 Scanner
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 07:24:27 PM »

Allan,
Have you run into any issues with focus or keeping the film flat?
Thanks,
Paul
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aderickson

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Re: My New Plustek Opticfilm 120 Scanner
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 08:41:22 PM »

Allan,
Have you run into any issues with focus or keeping the film flat?
Thanks,
Paul

No sir, none at all. The focus appears to be dead on and the filmholders are far superior to the ones supplied with Epsons.

Allan
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David Mantripp

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Re: My New Plustek Opticfilm 120 Scanner
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 05:55:39 AM »



It's not all perfect. I notice artifacts in the iSRD (dust and scratches) implementation. I'm not sure the Multiple Exposure setting is giving me much. But all in all I find it a worthwhile upgrade from the Epson.



Hi Allan, possibly this is due to using iSRD on Automatic.  It sets the detection way too high iMHO, which introduces stair stepping and other edge artefacts.  I'd recommend using "Correct" and setting detection to around 10-11.

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David Mantripp
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