Photography is one of those hobbies and industries that have dramatically changed in the last 5 years. Most avid amateur photographers, including myself, used to shoot 35mm film. Now many of us only shoot digital. The days of 35mm gave me a stack of negatives, but I knew one day, there would be something to help me archive them into the digital age. plustek, a world leader and provider of imaging solution products, sent us the OpticFilm 7500 AI Slide and Negative scanner. The OpticFilm 7500 AI Slide and Negative scanner is deemed as one of their professional series negative scanners. It might be a bit overkill and over the top for the average consumer, but lets check it out and see what happens.
As an “Average Joe” amateur photographer that is looking for a way to digitize my 35mm negatives, I do know what I like in a product. Through some brief research online, I found that most cheaper negative scanners scan at lower resolutions and have less features than more expensive negative scanners that scan at higher resolutions. I figure if I am going to archive and digitized my negatives, I want to scan them into my computer at the best possible quality.
Features and Specifications
The plustek OpticFilm 7500 AI has an impressive array of talents which include…
- 7200×7200 dpi optical resolution
- SilverFast Ai Studio iSRD+Multi-Exposure Software Bundle
- Intelliscan and QuickScan one touch buttons
- Technology: Color CCD Image Sensor
- Hardware Resolution: 7200×7200 dpi
- Maximum Scanning Area: 24.3 x 35mm
- Scanning Mode: Color: 48-bits input, 24/48-bit-output
- Greyscale: 16-bits input, 8/16-bit output
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power Consumption: 15W (operation) 5W (idle)
- Net Weight: 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs)
- Dimensions (WxDxH) 120 x 272 x 118.5mm ( 4.73” x 10.7” x 4.7”)
In order to operate this beast, you will need to have a Pentium III or higher PC running Win 2K, or XP/Vista. Mac users will need OSX 10.3.9 or higher. Both will require 512MB of RAM and AT LEAST 500 MB of hard drive space. If you’re going to archiveall your negatives, I recommend geting a whole ton more storage.
What’s in the Box
Inside the box, you’ll find the following goodies:
- Film Scanner
- USB Cable
- One mounted slide holder, one filmstrip holder
- Power Adaptor
- 3 Quick guide manuals
- Setup Application CD-Rom
- SilverFast Ai Studio Software
- Padding Carrying bag
Overall, it seems to have everything you’ll need to get the job done. So far, no overkill here. I really don’t know how often the carry bag will be after I scan all my stuff into the digital age.
My first thought when I looked at the plustek box was some confusion. It was obvious from reading the English text on the box and the 3 quick guides that whoever wrote the English text, English was not their first language. The back of the box and the 3 quick guides were convoluted with text as the instructions and the back of the box had 11 different languages available. I can understand the rational for printing multiple languages as this eliminated the need to reprint documentation for different markets.
The actual physical scanner is nothing special. It is about half the size of a regular shoe box, with 3 buttons on the front: Power, Intelliscan and Quick Scan. There are no moving parts except for the slide and negative holders that go into the side of the scanner.
I thought the film and negative holders seem a bit flimsy for a higher end product. When you close the lid on the negative, the negative seems to still move around inside the enclosure.