OpticFilm 7500i SEPlustek’s OpticFilm 7500i SE is a compact, high-resolution, portable (3.5 lb) dedicated film scanner that does a quality job of digitizing and archiving 35mm transparencies and negatives. It has an optical resolution of up to 7200 dots per inch (dpi) at 48 bits, and ships with two hard plastic film holders for either four mounted slides or a six-frame filmstrip.

Powered by USB 2, the scanner is a solidly built, elongated box measuring 4.7×10.7×4.7″. The holders grip and hold the film flat and are manually fed through the 7500i. A clicking sound indicates successful advancement and positioning of the next frame or transparency. Two buttons on the front of the scanner, labeled IntelliScan and QuickScan, provide rapid access to SilverFast’s standalone scanning software or Plustek’s PC-only QuickScan standalone software.

QuickScan is a barebones, straightforward, scanning application that does a surprisingly good job, requiring few image adjustments. By comparison, SilverFast is more sophisticated, bulging with image adjustments and correctional tools. It works as a standalone and as a CS3 plug-in and features multi-exposure, which effectively increases the scan’s dynamic range and provides more effective, dust-and-scratch-removal sequential scanning with the 7500’s built-in fluorescent and infrared light sources. One caveat: SilverFast always opens with the last settings used, which can grossly affect your next file. To get back to the default settings, you must reset them with every launch. Plus I couldn’t find any feature in SilverFast for creating and saving customized presets.

The OpticFilm 7500i SE is a good performer, with scanning times that vary due to some features requiring more processing time. Using a dual Intel processor, a straight scan at 7200 dpi/48 bit took on average two minutes coming into Photoshop as a 363-MB file.—Steve Baczewski

PRICE: $399
FROM: Plustek Inc.

HOT Quality, high-resolution scans
NOT Silverfast’s excessive amount of tools is confusing