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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PlustekOpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner
 
4.1

(based on 115 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good resolution (67)
  • Accurate color (52)
  • Good bit depth (52)
  • Easy to set up (42)
  • Excellent software (32)

Cons

  • Slow (21)
  • Poor software (19)
  • Difficult setup (14)
  • Inaccurate color (5)
  • Inaccurate scans (3)

Best Uses

  • Photos and graphics (42)
  • Publishing (6)
  • Digital printing (3)
  • Large format film (3)
  • Web design (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Frequent user (53), Casual user (25), Great graphics (12)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (78), Business (9)
    • Computer Platform:
    • PC (57), Mac (34)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Extremely good scans for the price

I've owned this scanner for a few weeks now. I have scanned hundreds of images consisting of Kodachrome slides, color negatives, and BW negatives as old as 68 years and as new as...Read complete review

I've owned this scanner for a few weeks now. I have scanned hundreds of images consisting of Kodachrome slides, color negatives, and BW negatives as old as 68 years and as new as last week. At 3600dpi, the scans have the resolution of wet process enlargements. At 7200dpi, you can magnify the image and clearly see individual grains in the developed film. Though somewhat slow due to manual feeding (and the obligatory babysitting), it is capable of producing scans that may finally have squeezed the last drop of 35mm film's excellent resolution. This scanner will probably bog down on a less than great computer. My machine is Intel Core i7 quad core at 2GH with 16GB RAM running Win7 64 bit. The only issue I've had with the hardware is that on some VERY dense film (grossly underexposed slides and overexposed negatives), the backlight is a little underpowered to cut through, leaving a noisy scan. The Silverfast software is excellent, but only after you learn how to use it from a third party. I think everyone agrees that the manuals are worthless. Once you've learned to place RGB/CMYK measurement points in strategic locations on the prescan (a process the manual doesn't describe) and fine-tune the RGB histogram, you can get absolutely perfectly color balanced and exposed scans. The infrared scratch and dust detection is amazing, but note that it can't be used on films containing metallic substances, including BW. Get a third party book on Silverfast. I will include a few 3600dpi scans of Kodachrome from 1945-1950 reduced in size by 50% and compressed to JPG format. The newspaper in the slide with cats is from June 27, 1950 and the headline announces the start of the Korean War. The car in the slide with kids is a 1941 Ford and that slide was shot in 1947.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

An Expensive Paperweight!

I'd give this zero stars if I could! After weeks of trying to solve the scanning and software problems I've given up. SilverFast bombs out 9 of 10 time I try Archive scans....Read complete review

I'd give this zero stars if I could! After weeks of trying to solve the scanning and software problems I've given up. SilverFast bombs out 9 of 10 time I try Archive scans. Pre-scans work fine, but as soon as I go for a full scan I land up with overlapping images or only half the slide scanned.Archive quality scans always come out incredibly dark as well and are totally useless for anything other than trash. This scanner is simply one expensive paperweight! Its the first and Last Plustek / SilverFast I'm buying. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Reviewed by 115 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

Slow But great results

By Richard family photo historian

from Florida

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I have recently digitized around 400 slides dating from 1944 to 1973. If the slide was in reasonable condition, i.e. not almost black or all color had faded, the digitized results were great. To a large degree color shifts could be corrected and mid-tones adjusted. Other photo programs (like Photoshop, etc.) can be used AFTER the slide is digitized to make special adjustments. Scratch and dust removal works well, however large major dust spots or wide scratches need additional work. Allow an average of 11 minutes per slide for processing: 1.5 minutes for prescan, up to six minutes for S&D removal and the balance for making adjustments and final processing/saving. Using the guided (semi-automatic) processing helps build a consistence which gives better results. One major difficultly is support. The online videos show great results, BUT getting enough knowledge from them to reproduce their results on your own slides is next to impossible. I could not find a simple source to lookup definitions of some of their (Silverfast software, which comes with the scanner) control names (for example "Tile size" in the S&DR tool). Only by trial and error could I truly understand what was happening.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Unusable most of the time, barely usable some of the time

By Mike33333

from New York, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

This scanner comes with SilverFast. I am a Mac user, with a very new computer and very up to date software on both SilverFast and MacOS.

This scanner with SilverFast software has been nothing but a headache. Almost every time I go to use it the software either crashes within 10 minutes or it simply won't start. By spending many, many hours with it, I have managed to scan about 200 negatives, always with very inconsistent results. SilverFast customer support is not very helpful and takes many days to hear back once you've filled in a support ticket. The scanner itself may be just fine, it could just be that the software is garbage. But I would highly recommend another scanner and I would highly suggest finding out what software is used by the scanner you plan to buy, and make sure it isn't SilverFast. This has been a total waste of money.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Had to buy separate software to use scanner

By Andy

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I bought the 8200i Ai and found the software that came with it couldn't be used due to a error in the software license key. The software company refused to help me get a valid license key so I had to buy VueScan for an additional $50.  Forums are littered with similar stories about the software included with this product.  Buyer beware.

 
5.0

Works as advertised

By Frank

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

Works as advertised. No issues.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A great scanner for slides, negs and line art.

By Barry

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I have only owned the 8200i Ai for a couple of weeks and are pleased with the results. It is a little tedious as you can only scan one slide at a time and must manually move the slide holder for the next scan. The scanner came packaged with Silverfast software. I have nothing but praise for the software as it gives you complete control over scanning process. It does take a little to learn it but it comes with movies and adequate on line help.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Low tech hubby even able to use this & getting great scans!

By Denise

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

We have a lot of old 35mm family slides as well as our own from earlier travels and decided we needed to get them digitized before losing them completely to deterioration. My husband's family took an epic road trip from MA to Alaska in a VW campervan when the kids were teens and took photos of the trip. There were also tons of photos of his grandparents and parents as young people. It was time to make sure we didn't lose all of these images. This scanner has been incredible! My husband is NOT tech-savvy, but after a little bit of trial and error (but less than we would have thought), he is scanning them with some great color correction and removal of the scratches and defects, thanks for the great Sliverfast program that came with it. To say we are happy with the purchase is an understatement! Thanks B&H!

 
5.0

Pleasing results

By Walter

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

This is the first film scanner I have owned and I am very pleased with the results I have gotten. I use a Mac with Sierra 10.12.3 and the SilverFast 8 software loaded without any problem.  Scanning on the highest resolution takes time but the results are very good.  I highly recommend using the instructional videos on lynda.com especially if you are new to film scanning.  These videos explain everything you need to know in order for your scans to be first rate.

(2 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

good product

By Mabelle

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

It works very well. I have only used it once but I am please with it.

(3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

review

By James

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I have a MAC, it was easy to set up and use, no problems

(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner

By David

from Ex Manhattanite now living in Charlotte

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I'm an amateur photographer and an architect and have accumulated a lot of slides and negatives I shot from the 60's thru the 8o's. I purchased this scanner to archive my slides and negatives. In making the selection I researched what was on the market but ultimately asked the professionals at B&H their opinion. They recommended the OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner. I started using it a few days ago and had a few questions about how to get up and running I again reached out to B&H who provided excellent follow-up advice. I also called the folks at Plustek and they walked me through some setup issues, even remotely accessing my computer to solve my computer software conflicts. I've been using the scanner for a couple of days now and I'm impressed by the ease of use, quality of the scans and the product and would highly recommend this scanner and the folks at B&H.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good scanner for 35 mm negatives but issues with slide scans

By Martin

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I bought this scanner mainly for two reasons: to scan my 35 mm B&W and color films more efficiently and to get the color saturation from color negatives right out of the box. The scanner comes with SilverFast 8 software which can be updated online for free to version 8.8. 
I normally always use the IntelliScan for my negatives which automatically starts the SilverFast software. The program is powerful but a bit cumbersome to get used to first, the very short manual is not helpful. After experimenting for a while, I figured out how the workflow in the software works. Unfortunately the software is not helpful providing most often or commonly good-to-use selections, and just getting the scan resolution right is less easy to find than you might think. I scan my negatives with 3600 ppi which I found sufficient to get an excellent resolution and doesn't take too long to scan either. What I really like is the automatic dust and scratch removal tools - especially with color negatives and slides this works perfectly. Don't use it for B&W negatives since it gets confused with the grain in the negative! A bit annoying is the non-standardized frame of the image after the prescan - it is never right upfront and needs to be manually adjusted before every final scan. 
What does not work at all well is slide scanning - the frame holder moves the slides within the frame just a bit too high that the scan focus is off! Best solution as workaround for this so far is to unmount the slide from its frame and use the negative holder instead where this is not an issue. I am very surprised that Plustek didn't adjust the slide holder for the common slide frame thickness. This definitely costs the scanner one star in my rating, and I would have returned it if I had many slides to scan (instead I use it predominantly for negative scans where it is very good indeed). Some cumbersome and IMO easy to be resolved issues in the software cuts off another star in my rating.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love this scanner

By Rick

from Port Orford, OR

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

Scanner works great, love it. Plustek software easy to use. The SilverFast 8 software not so much, has a rather steep learning curve.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

So Far So Good

By Dot Earth Andy

from Hudson Valley

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I haven't used other scanners before so not much to compare to but it works great for my initial purpose - getting reasonable-resolution scans of decades of black and white and Kodacrhome shots. Will do hi-rez scans of selects. As per other reviews, I'm using VueScan software for scans (I had it already). One frustration: the negative holder has little cross bars between frames that prevent doing true "full frame" scans that include the edge of image plus some black. I may actually cobble something different (haven't had time to sift to see if there's an option without the bars).

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Yes I like it

By Pawneepilot

from Reston, VA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I have purchased several slide scanners, but this one (recommended by B&H sales rep) is the best one I've owned. The model 8200ai comes with the full Silver Fast 8 software suite which, when installed and registered, offered a free upgrade to version 8.8. I had some difficulty installing the upgrade (driver problem) and a call to Silver Fast was answered by a real person on the first ring. She was abled to diagnose and fix the problem. The scanner provide beautiful high resolutions scans. The infra-red scan removes virtually all dust and marks - it's truly amazing. I do all my touch up work in Photoshop, so I haven't really tapped the potential of the software, which is also amazing.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

finally found a 35mm scanner that meets my standards

By ready to retire

from Honolulu

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

able to scan at high resolution 35mm slides, BW and color negatives
last time I had a hi res 35mm scanner, it was scuzzy hook-up

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Worth the wait

By older amateur

from Wisconsin

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

Very pleased with the 8200Ai. I have a lot of slides from 70-80's and some family slides back to 40's. The scanner is easy to set up. Software takes awhile to understand, but so far, so good. LOVE the IR scan! It really makes a difference in quality of landscape scanned files. Able to use scanner on B&W slides but the IR gets confused with them. Full scan with IR takes several minutes but worth it to me.

(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Scanner - Powerful Software

By Rich

from Milwaukee, WI

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I waited a long time and read a lot of info before I bought this scanner. It replaces a Canoscan 2700F that used a SCSI wide connection that was a pain to maintain. This scanner works great. I am glad I spent the extra money to get the full Silverfast software. It is worth the extra expense. The infrared dust and scratch removal of the scanner is amazing. I wish I had purchased a high end bed scanner with the Silverfast then I could have batched. The scanner does not batch, no motor to advance the film. I wish I had purchased something that could batch scan but it would be one more thing to go wrong with the scanner. I tested the scanner with Viewscan x64 software and it works well but the Silverfast while difficult and a little overwhelming at first is worth the learning curve. Silverfast has a button under each tool that plays a movie to tell you how the tool works. Its hard to tell how they work with or against each other but the ability to adjust the negatives or slides is endless. I used it with slides, black and white film and color film and as long as you tell the scanner what the film is, it scans beautifully from the start. I had one error where the scanner stopped and I had to restart it but after 70 scans I can tell you it is a great scanner and the software bundle is the key.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

So Far So Good

By Caregiver

from Brampton, On, Canada

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

It has been years since I had similar in size, much slower in scanning, and heavier in weight. We have come a long way: faster, lighter, and much better for the price. I have used the OpticFilim Plustek 8200i Ai Film Scanner for just less than a month with very satisfying results. The bonus is that I can see using it not only to deliver my Kodachrome slides as taken, but also, in some very alternative and creative ways.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Works Well

By BamaRich

from Huntsville, AL

Verified Buyer

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

I have a olde3r OpticFilm scanner without the IR dust and scratch removal software and was very satisfied with the scans produced by it except for all the manual cleanup work that was needed to remove dust and scratches. The 8200i AI works just as well plus the IR dust and removal system works very well and saves me a lot of work after the scan. The Silverfast program supplied with the unit is a pain to install and learn to operate. I was already familiar with it from the old scanner and dreaded having to install a new version. There is always some problem in the install and that requires a lot of research and configuration changes to finally get a successful install. I did find that the VueScan works very well with this scanner and is much easier to install and use.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Works well with a learning curve

By Bluecomet

from Jackson NJ

Comments about Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai Film Scanner:

As most have noted there is a learning curve, particularly with the Silverside software. For basic adjustments following the workflow is fairly easy. Just remember to start by clicking on the red globe in the top left corner. The booklet flow doesn't always match what you see on the screen and I still haven't found that multiple scan feature. Scans are of decent quality and the dust and scratch remover works very well. The slide tray is sturdy enough to last awhile. All in all a good investment. B&H shipped right on schedule although UPS damaged the cardboard box.

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