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Published by Chris Hunt

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Published by: Chris Hunt on Jan 08, 2013
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The Plustek OpticFilm 8200 Ai slide andfilm scanner is compact in size and weight. And it’s particularly versatile thanks to thecontrol you get with the SilverFast 8 soft- ware that’s included. At the size of a small loaf of bread and only 3.9 pounds, it won’t take up much room on your desk, though itneeds to have about 11 inches of space on the left and right so you can load the film. We’ve come a long way since the late ’80s“desktop” film scanners that were the sizeand shape of a 250-pound Easy Bake Oven.This scanner even comes with a padded travel bag with a strap. Add a laptop and you can take film scanning right to yourclient’s home, so they won’t have to worry about parting with their priceless originals.The film holder and mounted-slideholder are both solid and well designed.The slide holder has a spring mechanism tokeep the media in place, and the strip filmholder has a solid clamping mechanism as well. If you’re new to scanning, I advise you to purchase a box of lint-free cotton gloves to handle the media. Gloves and a can of compressed air will pay big dividends in time saved not having to use dust andscratch filters and Photoshop. Think of thescanner as a camera taking photos of yourmedia. Start with the very best image youcan obtain and go from there.SilverFast Ai Studio 8 scanner software loads easily and has helpful overview videos to get you started. It has a completely new horizontal interface with a controls dock on the left, large preview window, standard toolbar across the top, and vertical special tool bar next to the controls. You can move the controls out of the dock, even onto a second display. A well-designed cockpitgoes a long way with me. Unfortunately, the Mac OS renders the automated Intellis-can and Quickscan buttons on the front of  the scanner useless. A big thumbs up to SilverFast for mak-ing one of the
choices on the scanninginterface the destination for the final scan.Too many times I’ve had to search for where the interface put my scans by default. SilverFast also gives you the up-front choice of the scan’s file format and lets you pre-fill IPTC info on copyright, location, key words, origin, etc. Each con- trol and tool panel has a QuickTime movie
 A new scanner adds portability tophoto restorer’s selling points.
for the road
66 • www.ppmag.comThe SilverFast user interface is easy to navigate,and the scan status is always displayed at thebottom left. I scanned this image at the maxi-mum resolution possible on the Plustek scanner,7,200 ppi, and could have been reproduced wellover 30 inches tall on an archival ink jet printerusing a 300 dpi output. The resulting TIFF filewas more than 160MB.
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 tutorial button for clarification, whichcomes in very handy. There’s also a defaultsetting reset button on every control.For the numbers folks, there’s a nicedensitometer tab with black and whitepoints and numeric values. A good his- togram tab with a graphic allows you topinch in your dark and lightest points andopen up midtones. The Global Correction tab allows you to set a custom white pointin a color wheel format. The Selective ColorCorrection tab allows you to make selectiveadjustments before scanning if you’re scan-ning a discolored or damaged image. I’dmost likely just do that later in Photoshopduring any repair work, but it’s nice toknow I could do it pre-scanning if needed.Selective Color Correction also allows you to reduce any color harshness pre-scan if 
Above is a preview scan screen capture thatshows the dust and scratches on this 35mm colornegative from 1989. To the left you can see howwell the scratch and dust removal filters handledthe damage and debris.
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