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Re: filmscanners: Primefilm 1800i

I saw the Primefilm 1800 demoed at Comdex this year, and although it is
not a top end scanner, to me, they cut corners in areas that were less
important, and kept quality up as a result, and I have recommended it
over the Tamarack 2400 to people on several lists.

The most obvious area where Primefilm 1800 cut corners is the resolution
of the CCD, but they state that right up front.  This is a 1800 dpi
"optical" scan, and nothing will make it better. But as an 1800 dpi
scan, it is a reasonable 1800 dpi scan.  They also cut all motorized
features out of it.  It is a clamshell design, and so YOU are the motor
for the film transport.  You simply lay down the film or slide in the
open scanner bed, in the correct location, and then close the bed down. 
This also saves cost of film carriers, but probably means less flat
film.  It does have one great advantage, if you are the type that likes
to scan an uncut roll of film, or even some frames from a movie film.

The scanner, BTW, is made by the same company that makes Kodak's RF 3600
(I think that's the number?)  I can't comment on the software, since I
have neither worked with it, nor heard enough about it from those who

This scanner is competing with flatbeds, not other film scanners. It
lists for under $200 US.  The literature I have claims it has "ICM
profiles for 4 different film types", so don't expect their software to
be very accommodating, but then again, we all know that most image work
needs to be done in a stand alone software package.  The 1800i version
is gel-blue color for the "i"-mac, the "u" version is beige; both are
USB interfaced.  It obviously runs on both MAc and PC, and apparently
works with WinME (as well as other Win versions). It is a 12 bit per
channel (36 bit) scanner, and uses a cold cathode lamp.  Preview (based
upon spec sheet) is 10 seconds for color, and 35 sec for full scan.

For more info, they have a website at www.scanace.com

For web applications, email, or simple archiving where the images will
not be made larger than 5x7" or even a non-critical 8x10, this scanner
will probably serve people well.  I saw a fairly good size enlargement
(about 20 x 30") at Comdex supposedly taken from one of their scans, and
it was noticeably soft even from viewing distance, but then again, I
expect that might be said about more expensive scanners as well.

For a bit more money, the Acer 2710 might be better value for PC owners
(due to SCSI interfacing issues with the MAC).  I have no idea about
customer support with the Primefilm.  Recent Acer issues are being
discussed openly here.

Hope this helps,


Ian Boag wrote:
> Well I dunno. I thought the dregs of the filmscanner market was the
> Tamarack 2400 aka Jenoptik. I bought one a while ago from an outfit in Aus
> who tried to talk me out of it (I took it on a discounted no-recourse
> basis). It was actually reasonably OK till it sheared a gear in the
> filmholder drive train. Even then it wasn't all that hard to postion the
> film manually.
> Anyway where all this is leading is that the sellers had decided that the
> Primefilm was a better bottom end product that the Tamarack/Jenoptik albeit
> at a slightly higher price and with lower (1800 vs 2400) resolution.
> I have moved on to an HP Photsmart S20 and am now a happy pixie. Scans
> slides, negs and small prints.
> Also FWIW I once had the use of an Olympus ES-10 - not a good way to go -
> there's too much USM in the firmware which makes things go a bit spotty and
> does HORRID things to large non-detail areas like sky ....
> At 00:28 10/07/01 +1000, you wrote:
> >"Richard Schreurs" <schreurs@niob.knaw.nl> wrote:
> >> Is this Primefilm scanner a good tool for my needs? How's the software
> >that
> >> comes with it, and what is the difference between the 1800i and the
> >1800u??
> >
> >From what I've read, the Primefilm isn't worth touching.  You'd be better
> >off
> >with the Acer Scanwit.  For that matter, some of the flatbeds with film
> >adapters
> >may be a better choice than the Primefilm.
> >
> >Rob
> >
> >
> >
> >


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