The Bottom Line
- Easy-to-use software gives great results
- Slide and negative holders are heavy duty
- Carrying case
- SilverFast software included
- Slow scanning
- One frame at a time
- Software is probably much more than most of us need
- Negative / Slide scanner
- Color CCD image sensor, white LED lamp
- 7200 dpi
- 48 bit/pixel color depth
- One slide holder (up to four slides) and one filmstrip holder (up to six negative frames)
- Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and Macs
Guide Review - Plustek OpticFilm 7400 Film / Slide Scanner
But that's not to denigrate this scanner. If you do need to scan slides and negatives, you're much better off with this scanner than with a typical flatbed scanner that includes a separate holder for slides and negatives. Most of those (one example is the Epson Perfection V330 Photo Scanner) are good for scanning photos but their slide and negative holders are flimsy and do a poor job at holding these media. The Plustek's holders are heavier duty and in particular slides fit firmly inside and do not slip out easily, or at all.
That's important because rather than simply laying atop the flatbed, the holder in the Plustek gets fed into the scanner one slide (or negative frame) at a time. That of course means you're going to scan only one at a time and since the scanner makes multiple passes, it's a very time-consuming process (figure on close to a minute just for scanning time).
But that multiple-pass process is the reason that the scans look so good. That, along with the SilverFast software that's included with the scanner, which provides a host of useful scanning functions at a click. For example, you can quickly prescan a slide and then choose to modify it based on skin tones, darkness or contrast, gold tones, and so on. These modifications are instantly visible on the prescan. Other simple fixes allow brightness and color changes, while more sophisticated alterations (histograms and a densimoter, for example) allow users who already understand these tools (or who have slogged through the 450-page PDF manual that comes with SilverFast) to make other kinds of changes.
I found that the simple fixes made scans look excellent in most cases, better than the slides and negatives I have scanned in flatbed scanners, even when I scanned both at 300 dpi. Compared side by side, there's no question that the Plustek does a better job.
It may be more than most users need; but if you are a photographer and have a lot of time to do the work yourself, you'll be pleased with Plustek.