Imaging Devices

Plustek OpticFilm 120 Scanner Review (Part 2)

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The device itself is made from high quality plastic attached to metal case. Measuring 210x374x189 mm, the scanner only takes as much space as a small printer. You should leave a wide gap to the front and rear for the plastic film carriers to slide through the scanner.

The scanner's base takes little space

The scanner's base takes little space 

Film holders are very certain. The film holder used magnetism catches to keep the films in fixed position. Film from 5 slides or less is fixed to the frame and negative film from 12 slides or less is sorted into 35mm frame very easy. The carrier is loaded on the front and will fit into the delivery mechanism which will drag it into later. Infrared dust and scratch removal technology is now well established, and is invaluable; however, it does degrade the original film quality and is no substitute for spending time ensuring the medium to be scanned is as clean as possible.

The front panel has 2 buttons, 1 button to cut out the power source, push the holder out and a separate push button. The scanners take no time to warm up when it is switched on and you can start the scanning process as soon as the supported software is ready.


The Pros of the Plustek Opticfilm 120 is its capability of batch scanning and a maximum resolution up to 10600 DPI. Pre-scan Scanner uses the 35mm film holder that can handle 12 frames per 1 minute. The batching scan mode is triggered when you select the 'Job manager' (Job Man) in the film scan setting (select at the top left corner window), and then select the 'overview'. At this point, you can select your scanning frame and close the dialog box. Your preferences will now show on the Job Manager. Every time you double-click an image will allow you to review it in about 35 '. Now images can be sorted and delivered to the improved image as you'd expect, these settings are saved in the SilverFast software for the last continuous scanning process. When you're satisfied with those settings, the batch scan can be invoked, which brings up a dialogue for you to choose where to save the files. 35mm slides were taking about one and a half minutes and negatives with multi exposure 3 minutes to batch scan.

18MB JPEG images taken by Box Camera

18MB JPEG images taken by Box Camera

Some black and white negatives measuring 6 x 8.5cm from a box camera batch scanned at full resolution were taking seven minutes each.  For some reason the software was not inverting the negatives on the scan, but displayed them as positives. This problem occurs only with these black and white negatives on the Windows 8 installation, and all the 35mm negatives scanned came out fine.

Color negative test

Plustek 120's color negative is very detailed.

Plustek 120's color negative is very detailed.

Negatives scan well with colors being reproduced accurately. The 'Negafix' option allows you to select color correction settings from a list of popular film types.

Color Transparency test

Color Transparency test

Color Transparency test

The intensity of the red at the bottom of this image appears a little artificial, and the darker areas could have been a little lighter, overall though it’s not that bad considering only automatic settings were used. When the original slide lacks dynamic range, HDR or multiple-exposure is not advisable.

Skin tone test

Picture with automatic settings displays beautiful skin tone

Picture with automatic settings displays beautiful skin tone

This scan of the bride shows a pleasing skin tone, with good detail retained in the highlights of the white dress and the darker areas of the image with slightly better dynamic range than the previous Plustek scanner tested, particularly in the darker shadows.

Black and white test

Black and white photos from the Plustek 120

Black and white photos from the Plustek 120

A good range of tones are captured  are captured when scanning black and white negatives.


With this scanner Plustek has introduced carrier feed, allowing for batch scanning, to fill a gap in both medium format and batch scanning. If the automatic settings haven't produced the expected results, fine tuning may be achieved with the wide choice of color correcting options. In this section, drum scanners are the main competitors. They use wet mounting to minimize surface imperfections, which is a techniques I am looking forward to check out. Costing around $3,034, it's hard to evaluate given the lack of comparable products. Currently, Reflecta Midformat MF5000 scanner was released in Oct 2011, is the main competitor of Plustek products. Its resolution of 3200 does not match up to the Plustek 120. The Plustek 120 offers medium format scanning, as well as batch scanning, at a high resolution with reliable software delivering excellent results, and considering the features and results available from this scanner it is good value for money.


·         Scanning at high resolution

·         The ability of batch scanning

·         Multi-Exposure feature

·         Supported software is easy to use

·         Multi-format support


·         Slightly expensive

·         No wet mount facility


·         Features 4/5

·         Design 4/5

·         Performance 4/5

·         Value for money 4/5

·         Overall 4/5


·         Optical resolution 5300dpi

·         Digital resolution 10600dpi

·         Static range: 4.01Dmax

·         Color depth: 48bit/pixel

·         Scan methodology: LED/CCD

·         USB: USB 2

·         Package Scanner, SilverFast Ai Studio 8 software and user manual, device charger, Plustek OpticFilm 120 user manual , film holder:  35mm film strips, slides, and 120/220mm film from 6x4.5cm up to 6x12cm in sizes, USB cable.

·         Weight: 5,700 g


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