Just Bought a Pakon NON-Plus Version
Old 09-14-2016   #1
guardado1213
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Just Bought a Pakon NON-Plus Version

So I just bought a Pakon NON-Plus version and wanted to reach out and see what has worked better for Pakon users: Use a virtual box on a newer computer to run the software or find an old laptop/desktop with Windows XP. Both are options as I have a legal copy of Windows XP on a CD and a serial key and work has been kind enough to give me an ancient desktop running Windows XP.

Just curious to see how other users have setup their workflows?

-Juan
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Old 09-14-2016   #2
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I have a pirated copy of VMWare Fusion running on my Mac and it's seamless.
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Old 09-14-2016   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
I have a pirated copy of VMWare Fusion running on my Mac and it's seamless.
Does it have an adverse effect on your Mac? I assume you have to partition a small chunk of your drive for the windows OS. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 09-14-2016   #4
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Originally Posted by guardado1213 View Post
Does it have an adverse effect on your Mac? I assume you have to partition a small chunk of your drive for the windows OS. Thanks for the reply!
No, you don't repartition at all with a virtual machine. The 'hard drive' of the virtual machine is basically one big file on your Mac.

Use Virtualbox (it is free)

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Create a machine and load XP into it. Works great with the Pakon.

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Old 09-14-2016   #5
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Originally Posted by guardado1213 View Post
Does it have an adverse effect on your Mac? I assume you have to partition a small chunk of your drive for the windows OS. Thanks for the reply!
It will take resources of your computer though, make it a bit slower if you computer specs are low. But you should be fine with most current computer. My Laptop is a i7 with 6g and handles virtual machines without a problem. Like Shawn said, use virtualbox, its free and is pretty good.

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Old 09-14-2016   #6
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I use a plus model on my windoze 7 laptop with MS version of VM XP. Was running for 3.5 years on my desktop, same setup but no longer works. Couldn't figure that one out. Obviously, a dedicated xp machine from circa 2004-2006 is ideal (compatible components, some people have not had new machines with xp installed work properly). If your not already a member, I highly recommend joining the facebook kodak/pakon F135 Scanner group.
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Old 09-14-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
I use a plus model on my windoze 7 laptop with MS version of VM XP. Was running for 3.5 years on my desktop, same setup but no longer works. Couldn't figure that one out. Obviously, a dedicated xp machine from circa 2004-2006 is ideal (compatible components, some people have not had new machines with xp installed work properly). If your not already a member, I highly recommend joining the facebook kodak/pakon F135 Scanner group.
I see, yes I have yet to confirm if the USB port of XP Machine are 2.0 so I'm not entirely certain if the Pakon will run on the old desktop...

Yes i have joined the FB group and they have been very helpful, i was just hoping to get a broader consensus of what current Pakon users were doing. This really help though, i think I'll set up a VM box on my Mac and see where it goes from there...
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Old 09-14-2016   #8
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I have both setups, but I prefer using my MacBook Pro plus virtualbox setup.

Reason being that image saving is much faster, and via shared folders I save directly into intended destination.

Also, you can use the tlxclient program to scan 16-base (3000x2000) even on the non-plus version.



Quote:
Originally Posted by guardado1213 View Post
So I just bought a Pakon NON-Plus version and wanted to reach out and see what has worked better for Pakon users: Use a virtual box on a newer computer to run the software or find an old laptop/desktop with Windows XP. Both are options as I have a legal copy of Windows XP on a CD and a serial key and work has been kind enough to give me an ancient desktop running Windows XP.

Just curious to see how other users have setup their workflows?

-Juan
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Old 09-14-2016   #9
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i didn't have any luck trying to run the pakon from virtual xp mode on windows 7 pro. couldn't figure out what the issue was.

so instead i run the pakon from an old dedicated xp netbook and it works fine.

it seems like a lot of folks run virtual xp on macs with no issue. i don't think as many run virtual xp on a newer windows machine, but i haven't really looked much.
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Old 09-14-2016   #10
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Originally Posted by dfatty View Post
i didn't have any luck trying to run the pakon from virtual xp mode on windows 7 pro. couldn't figure out what the issue was.

so instead i run the pakon from an old dedicated xp netbook and it works fine.

it seems like a lot of folks run virtual xp on macs with no issue. i don't think as many run virtual xp on a newer windows machine, but i haven't really looked much.
what dedicated xp netbook are you using? Was thinking about just using a dedicated machine. I don't trust VM windows for long term solution.
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Old 09-14-2016   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
what dedicated xp netbook are you using? Was thinking about just using a dedicated machine. I don't trust VM windows for long term solution.
hp 2133 mini upgraded with an ssd drive. the really small screen can get annoying when scanning a lot at one sitting, but it's been a decent compact solution that doesn't take up much space. i recently got a dell d620 for a bigger screen. haven't actually tried it with the pakon yet, but folks on the pakon fb site recommended it and there always seem to be some on *bay.
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Old 09-14-2016   #12
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Originally Posted by anerjee View Post
I have both setups, but I prefer using my MacBook Pro plus virtualbox setup.

Reason being that image saving is much faster, and via shared folders I save directly into intended destination.

Also, you can use the tlxclient program to scan 16-base (3000x2000) even on the non-plus version.
Recently I sold my Nikon 5000 and start to think about the Pakon,
As you said that, any other paricular reason to get the Plus version? I can see huge price difference between the two models.
I am still not sure if the PLus version is worth for extra money.
Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2016   #13
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It's the same hardware and software, no need to pay more.

You need to be ok with a bit of tinkering if you're buying unsupported software. Be prepared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Recently I sold my Nikon 5000 and start to think about the Pakon,
As you said that, any other paricular reason to get the Plus version? I can see huge price difference between the two models.
I am still not sure if the PLus version is worth for extra money.
Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2016   #14
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I dragged down my old HP Pavilion from the attic because I heard running a virtual OS was a pain for quite a few people, especially when you don't have the original CD. Didn't work at all so eventually I went and sorted out the virtual OS and everything worked flawlessly. It's a great scanner that eases the work flow if you scan full length rolls, great colours straight out of the machine. Perhaps a bit too contrasty for my taste but definitely good enough. Make sure you use the TLX software for the full 6mp files. Expect a lot of error messages from time to time though.

I got the non plus version by the way. Supposedly a tad slower but you get the same resolution with the included TLX software.
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Old 09-15-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Recently I sold my Nikon 5000 and start to think about the Pakon,
As you said that, any other paricular reason to get the Plus version? I can see huge price difference between the two models.
I am still not sure if the PLus version is worth for extra money.
Thanks.
I used to own a F135+ and now have a non-plus. If you're happy using the relatively basic interface of the TLXclient software, there's no particular reason to pay the extra for the plus. Make sure you download and read about all the available scripts for TLX on the Facebook page. They make using the software a whole lot better. There are scripts which enable keyboard shortcuts, maximise the screen, enable B&W scanning etc. The essential script is 'TLX: Scan Positive, B&W, 16 Base', which enables 3000 x 2000 mode so the output matches the plus version.

I've noticed my non-plus runs a little slower than the plus...or seems to. I reckon it takes about 8 minutes to scan a full 36 frame roll whereas the F135+ took maybe 6 minutes. Hardly slow either way and not a big deal...unless you're running a minilab and processing 300 rolls a day!

I use VMWare on my Mac for both units. I tried using an old Toshiba laptop with XP installed but it point blank refused to recognise the Pakon. Using the VM is seamless.

Personally, I think the Pakons are essential if you shoot 35mm film and want to digitise it (and can't justify a Frontier/Noritsu).

Someone recently noted on Facebook that the Pakon unit retailed for $15,000 when new. Someone else asked if that was for the entire mini-lab, but apparently that was just the Pakon itself. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but either way you have an amazing, pro scanner on your hands. Excellent purchase. Have fun with it :-)
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Old 09-15-2016   #16
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If you can make it work, running the Pakon through your Mac with a virtual machine is the simplest setup. I could never get it to work, unfortunately. I was using VirtualBox and I would get an error (I forget the code now) at some point during almost every roll -- sometimes I'd get to the 35th frame and it would crash. I picked up an XP desktop for free by asking around and haven't had a single problem since.

And I'll just echo the general sentiment above that the non-plus model is the way to go for those who are interested in a Pakon.
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Old 09-15-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfatty View Post
hp 2133 mini upgraded with an ssd drive. the really small screen can get annoying when scanning a lot at one sitting, but it's been a decent compact solution that doesn't take up much space. i recently got a dell d620 for a bigger screen. haven't actually tried it with the pakon yet, but folks on the pakon fb site recommended it and there always seem to be some on *bay.
Thanks for that info
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Old 09-15-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Recently I sold my Nikon 5000 and start to think about the Pakon,
As you said that, any other paricular reason to get the Plus version? I can see huge price difference between the two models.
I am still not sure if the PLus version is worth for extra money.
Thanks.
The difference really is speed. Think *ultra fast* with the plus model and *fast to really fast* for the non plus. And the ease of PSI vs TLX. TLX is clunkier than PSI but both are fully functional for what you want. The price difference today isn't really worth it necessarily. Thought about getting a non plus as a backup. I bought my plus back when they were $250.
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Old 09-15-2016   #19
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Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
what dedicated xp netbook are you using? Was thinking about just using a dedicated machine. I don't trust VM windows for long term solution.
Why?

Long term VM are typically easier to maintain than a dedicated machine. You can take snapshots of the entire image and easily rollback changes in case you have software corruption. Backing up the entire "machine" is as simple as copying one file and you can move the VM to another host computer by simply copying that one file and being up and running again immediately without having to reinstall an OS and all software.

A 10 year old computer running actual XP is going to be much easier to have a software or hardware failure take you down and it will be much longer to get back up and running again.


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Old 09-15-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anerjee View Post
It's the same hardware and software, no need to pay more.
You need to be ok with a bit of tinkering if you're buying unsupported software. Be prepared.
Thank you, I'm totally okay with old software, as long as it exploit full capacity of the machine. IN fact, I am still using Nikon Scan for may remained Nikon Coolscan IV ED

Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
I used to own a F135+ and now have a non-plus. If you're happy using the relatively basic interface of the TLXclient software, there's no particular reason to pay the extra for the plus. Make sure you download and read about all the available scripts for TLX on the Facebook page. They make using the software a whole lot better. There are scripts which enable keyboard shortcuts, maximise the screen, enable B&W scanning etc. The essential script is 'TLX: Scan Positive, B&W, 16 Base', which enables 3000 x 2000 mode so the output matches the plus version.

I've noticed my non-plus runs a little slower than the plus...or seems to. I reckon it takes about 8 minutes to scan a full 36 frame roll whereas the F135+ took maybe 6 minutes. Hardly slow either way and not a big deal...unless you're running a minilab and processing 300 rolls a day!

I use VMWare on my Mac for both units. I tried using an old Toshiba laptop with XP installed but it point blank refused to recognise the Pakon. Using the VM is seamless.

Personally, I think the Pakons are essential if you shoot 35mm film and want to digitise it (and can't justify a Frontier/Noritsu).

Someone recently noted on Facebook that the Pakon unit retailed for $15,000 when new. Someone else asked if that was for the entire mini-lab, but apparently that was just the Pakon itself. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but either way you have an amazing, pro scanner on your hands. Excellent purchase. Have fun with it :-)
Well, it sounds a bit complicated with adding script for TLX; I would ask you for more details if I buy the Pakon. So far I am still using my remained slowish Nikon IV ED

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
The difference really is speed. Think *ultra fast* with the plus model and *fast to really fast* for the non plus. And the ease of PSI vs TLX. TLX is clunkier than PSI but both are fully functional for what you want. The price difference today isn't really worth it necessarily. Thought about getting a non plus as a backup. I bought my plus back when they were $250.
Thank you, I am convinced in the non-plus model now.
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Old 09-16-2016   #21
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Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Well, it sounds a bit complicated with adding script for TLX; I would ask you for more details if I buy the Pakon. So far I am still using my remained slowish Nikon IV ED
I'm not a Windows user, and it's exactly what I thought. Turns out it's not complicated at all. You just install one program...takes 2 minutes, then double click each script to run it. Dead easy
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Old 09-16-2016   #22
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Originally Posted by shawn View Post
Why?

Long term VM are typically easier to maintain than a dedicated machine. You can take snapshots of the entire image and easily rollback changes in case you have software corruption. Backing up the entire "machine" is as simple as copying one file and you can move the VM to another host computer by simply copying that one file and being up and running again immediately without having to reinstall an OS and all software.

A 10 year old computer running actual XP is going to be much easier to have a software or hardware failure take you down and it will be much longer to get back up and running again.


Shawn
My VM machine which was rock solid for 3.5 years suddenly was not. After working through every possible issue, it just refused to work. I even sent my pakon off for a full CLA from AES. It now works VM with another machine I have (Toshiba laptop) however I am now leery of VM. I don't mind swapping jump drives with files between machines. I know the pakon was made for XP. A 10 year old machine only running for XP is not an issue. It won't be hooked up to the internet, no other programs will be running. No issues that I foresee. If the hd fails, I replace the hard drive or spend a little bit of cash for a new/used xp one. As much 35 as a I shoot, I need a dedicated machine.
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Old 09-16-2016   #23
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Just a few general points to be aware of ...

Whatever you do, hang on to your XP for use whenever you can use it to run your 'legacy' software in a virtual machine (rather than 'upgrading' to e.g. Windows 7 just because you might have got hold of a copy).

This is because W7 in my experience (and, I would expect, other later versions) detects if its host system is changed (whether by a motherboard change if it's a hard drive installation, or by running its virtual machine under a different virtual machine host) and deems it to be 'non-genuine', wipes your licence key from the registry, and gives you a nice black desktop background. To re-legitimise it, if you need to or can be bothered, you have to go through the PITA of on-line activation and hope that it's accepted .

Once set up, disabling the internet interface (a tick-box in the VirtualBox control panel) will stop subsequent 'infection' or XP programs/bloatware 'phoning home'.
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Old 09-16-2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post

Personally, I think the Pakons are essential if you shoot 35mm film and want to digitise it (and can't justify a Frontier/Noritsu).

Someone recently noted on Facebook that the Pakon unit retailed for $15,000 when new. Someone else asked if that was for the entire mini-lab, but apparently that was just the Pakon itself. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but either way you have an amazing, pro scanner on your hands. Excellent purchase. Have fun with it :-)
+1

I often think that something similar to a Pakon could be manufactured. We have advanced quite a bit in the electronics side for this last decade, right? However I may see there is a lot that added up for those $15K. Or a kind of smallish Frontier type scan adapted for lighter usage. If only the could be cloned for cheap...

2 years ago when they began to be talked about, I recall they were quite affordable until the price rised with the cult status. I have a v550 for MF but no way I am using that for bulk 135. It is too little too slow.

Recently discovered a guy that runs a small minilab and has a Pakon, his rates are fantastic and no problem for EU postage and so I sent up a few rolls to him. Bummer, it broke down as my film arrived and it'll take a week at least to fix.

At least, it is good for casual work. It kind of hurts and adds up, paying high rates for Frontier scans of a casual roll of cheap Fuji c200.
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Old 09-16-2016   #25
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+1

I often think that something similar to a Pakon could be manufactured. We have advanced quite a bit in the electronics side for this last decade, right? However I may see there is a lot that added up for those $15K. Or a kind of smallish Frontier type scan adapted for lighter usage. If only the could be cloned for cheap...

2 years ago when they began to be talked about, I recall they were quite affordable until the price rised with the cult status. I have a v550 for MF but no way I am using that for bulk 135. It is too little too slow.

Recently discovered a guy that runs a small minilab and has a Pakon, his rates are fantastic and no problem for EU postage and so I sent up a few rolls to him. Bummer, it broke down as my film arrived and it'll take a week at least to fix.

At least, it is good for casual work. It kind of hurts and adds up, paying high rates for Frontier scans of a casual roll of cheap Fuji c200.
There is another solution. The Primefilm XA scanner from Pacific Image (the brand it's sold under in the USA, Reflecta elsewhere AFAIK) has replaced my need for a Pakon completely. The ONLY area where the Pakon succeeds is speed, and you can't argue with that. However, my Primefilm XA will scan a full roll of film at MUCH higher resolutions (up to 5000ppi), with autofocus, ICE, multi-exposure, multi-sampling, full color controls, all through Vuescan. The quality is pretty much as good as what I was getting from my Coolscan 5000. Now, a single frame takes a little over 2 minutes, so when batch scanning a whole roll you have a walk away for a while. However, with multi-exposure I get a fantastic range of tones and the resolution pulls pretty much everything I expect out of 35mm. My slide scans have been incredible actually. When I'm treating it like an enlarger and making a fine-art scan, I get 33mp files. Plus they're a little over $300 dollars, so cheaper than a Pakon in some cases. I think there is one even cheaper in the classifieds right now. After using it for a couple months I am frankly shocked that no-one has done a major review of this fantastic machine. All the press seems to go to Plustek, who are making inferior scanners by possibly every metric.
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Old 09-17-2016   #26
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More than just speed with the pakon though. That is key with shooting a lot of 35mm but remember, you get the built in Kodak color profiles. If you shoot negative film, good luck trying to get good colors straight out of the scanner. It is such a convenience to get great, accurate colors without any tweaking in PS or LR. Aside from the speed headache with consumer scanners, there was trying to get accurate color headache. Remember, this is a minilab scanner. Consumer scanners will not have these profiles. One needs a lab scanner such as one from Kodak or Fuji that has accurate profiles baked in. On the FB pakon group, there are numerous side by side comparisons with Noritsu's and Frontiers. Many prefer (I am one of them) the colors from Kodak straight out of their scanner (others profer the frontier or noritsu look, however Kodak is usually more accurate though this may not be what one wants necessarily. That airy pastel wedding look with pushed film is actually a defect of the scanner, you won't get this with a pakon). It is a closed group so one has to join to see the comparisons but one can't argue that Kodak was one of (and maybe still is) the best at color management.

I think this reason alone is why we will never see a solution such as the pakon again. What we have is what we will get. You can jump up in price and get a noritsu or frontier (and I may just for the medium format capability...or get another Kodak such as the hr500) but even those are legacy. Speed in scanning does not necessarily mean speed in workflow. One needs both scanning speed and accurate output. Not such a big deal with monochrome/bw or color chromes (slide film) but with color negatives, one is just battling with constant headaches in the color management department.

And lastly, the 3000x2000 output of a dedicated scanner is much different than 3000x2000 with a flatbed. Your actually getting real resolution with this. Again, I would refer anyone back to the FB group for numerous/thousands of full rez examples.
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Old 09-17-2016   #27
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
There is another solution. The Primefilm XA scanner from Pacific Image (the brand it's sold under in the USA, Reflecta elsewhere AFAIK) has replaced my need for a Pakon completely. The ONLY area where the Pakon succeeds is speed, and you can't argue with that. However, my Primefilm XA will scan a full roll of film at MUCH higher resolutions (up to 5000ppi), with autofocus, ICE, multi-exposure, multi-sampling, full color controls, all through Vuescan. The quality is pretty much as good as what I was getting from my Coolscan 5000. Now, a single frame takes a little over 2 minutes, so when batch scanning a whole roll you have a walk away for a while. However, with multi-exposure I get a fantastic range of tones and the resolution pulls pretty much everything I expect out of 35mm. My slide scans have been incredible actually. When I'm treating it like an enlarger and making a fine-art scan, I get 33mp files. Plus they're a little over $300 dollars, so cheaper than a Pakon in some cases. I think there is one even cheaper in the classifieds right now. After using it for a couple months I am frankly shocked that no-one has done a major review of this fantastic machine. All the press seems to go to Plustek, who are making inferior scanners by possibly every metric.
For slides and black and white, I am sure this is an excellent solution and one could make a good argument over a pakon for, especially if one primarily shot slides (which some do and looks like you do to). Slides are not pakon's strong suit as they were designed for negative film.
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Old 09-17-2016   #28
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Recently discovered a guy that runs a small minilab and has a Pakon, his rates are fantastic and no problem for EU postage and so I sent up a few rolls to him. Bummer, it broke down as my film arrived and it'll take a week at least to fix.
This brings up a question that has been rattling around in my head ever since I read about these scanners. If i plunk down all this money on a Pakon and it breaks, to whom do i turn to have it repaired?
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Old 09-17-2016   #29
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My VM machine which was rock solid for 3.5 years suddenly was not. After working through every possible issue, it just refused to work. I even sent my pakon off for a full CLA from AES. It now works VM with another machine I have (Toshiba laptop) however I am now leery of VM. I don't mind swapping jump drives with files between machines. I know the pakon was made for XP. A 10 year old machine only running for XP is not an issue. It won't be hooked up to the internet, no other programs will be running. No issues that I foresee. If the hd fails, I replace the hard drive or spend a little bit of cash for a new/used xp one. As much 35 as a I shoot, I need a dedicated machine.
Was it the VM that was messed up? If so just roll back to a working snapshot and you would have been all set. Assuming you had a snapshot of a working system.

Shawn
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Old 09-17-2016   #30
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Was it the VM that was messed up? If so just roll back to a working snapshot and you would have been all set. Assuming you had a snapshot of a working system.

Shawn
Tried that. Think it was a combination of things. Still doesn't play nice on that other machine.
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Old 09-17-2016   #31
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This brings up a question that has been rattling around in my head ever since I read about these scanners. If i plunk down all this money on a Pakon and it breaks, to whom do i turn to have it repaired?

AES in North Carolina will fix them. Relatively cheap to fix (cheaper than a new/used unit).
Quick communication, quick turnaround.

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Old 09-18-2016   #32
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More than just speed with the pakon though. That is key with shooting a lot of 35mm but remember, you get the built in Kodak color profiles. If you shoot negative film, good luck trying to get good colors straight out of the scanner. It is such a convenience to get great, accurate colors without any tweaking in PS or LR. Aside from the speed headache with consumer scanners, there was trying to get accurate color headache. Remember, this is a minilab scanner. Consumer scanners will not have these profiles. One needs a lab scanner such as one from Kodak or Fuji that has accurate profiles baked in. On the FB pakon group, there are numerous side by side comparisons with Noritsu's and Frontiers. Many prefer (I am one of them) the colors from Kodak straight out of their scanner (others profer the frontier or noritsu look, however Kodak is usually more accurate though this may not be what one wants necessarily. That airy pastel wedding look with pushed film is actually a defect of the scanner, you won't get this with a pakon). It is a closed group so one has to join to see the comparisons but one can't argue that Kodak was one of (and maybe still is) the best at color management.

I think this reason alone is why we will never see a solution such as the pakon again. What we have is what we will get. You can jump up in price and get a noritsu or frontier (and I may just for the medium format capability...or get another Kodak such as the hr500) but even those are legacy. Speed in scanning does not necessarily mean speed in workflow. One needs both scanning speed and accurate output. Not such a big deal with monochrome/bw or color chromes (slide film) but with color negatives, one is just battling with constant headaches in the color management department.

And lastly, the 3000x2000 output of a dedicated scanner is much different than 3000x2000 with a flatbed. Your actually getting real resolution with this. Again, I would refer anyone back to the FB group for numerous/thousands of full rez examples.
It may be possible to do some reverse engineering/porting of the profiles in software and adapt it to new hardware. That's something that Kodak or Fuji could do as an initiative. OTOH, In software there are fantastic things done by small teams of "modders" in videogames, so it may take not that much time for a few people working on it.

Completely agree about the true 3000x2000 output. My epson V550 doesn't get real resolution in there. It holds its own for 6x9 but it also makes me think how much that huge neg is losing, given what it does not do with 135. Then, for negs it can be a PITA to get good color; Portra does fine though.

I didn't have details about what issue that particular Pakon had, yesterday he told me it was good to go again and tomorrow he's posting back the negs and scans on CD... I want to see how it'll have scanned Superia and Ektar.

I have to admit that I enjoy the frontier-noritsu look (slightly airy) and it is rather appropriate for my Mediterranean environment. Probably due to mere overexposure (what a pun) I ended liking it. I stumbled upon a weeding pro blog that had a Frontier and the airiness is down to density adjustment.

Neither my V550 can do an overly airy look, it has difficulty in the shadows/highlights, and aggressive settings-curves show its pitfalls. I think that shows what these (Noritsu-Frontier) scanners can do, even underexposed film looks airy!
I don't think it's anymore that time, but when minilabs were put out of service, it may have been a fantasic time to get such scanners rather cheap.
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Old 09-23-2016   #33
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So i got he Pakon Running on my desktop using Virtual Box. Using the TLX client Demo, i can get pretty nice scans and there is the added benefit of being able to scan my Xpan negs! So far I'm quite pleased with the quality of image the scanner produces and i love the fact that i can feed the whole roll of film and just walk away for a few minutes while its scans. I have yet to try B&W but i have a roll from my Xpan shot on TMAX 100 that i am going to run later tonight...
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Old 09-23-2016   #34
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So i got he Pakon Running on my desktop using Virtual Box. Using the TLX client Demo, i can get pretty nice scans and there is the added benefit of being able to scan my Xpan negs! So far I'm quite pleased with the quality of image the scanner produces and i love the fact that i can feed the whole roll of film and just walk away for a few minutes while its scans. I have yet to try B&W but i have a roll from my Xpan shot on TMAX 100 that i am going to run later tonight...
I've scanned various B&W films as well as color negatives without any major issues, but TMAX 100 is the only film my Pakon just won't scan.
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Old 09-23-2016   #35
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More than just speed with the pakon though. That is key with shooting a lot of 35mm but remember, you get the built in Kodak color profiles. If you shoot negative film, good luck trying to get good colors straight out of the scanner. It is such a convenience to get great, accurate colors without any tweaking in PS or LR. Aside from the speed headache with consumer scanners, there was trying to get accurate color headache. Remember, this is a minilab scanner. Consumer scanners will not have these profiles. One needs a lab scanner such as one from Kodak or Fuji that has accurate profiles baked in. On the FB pakon group, there are numerous side by side comparisons with Noritsu's and Frontiers. Many prefer (I am one of them) the colors from Kodak straight out of their scanner (others profer the frontier or noritsu look, however Kodak is usually more accurate though this may not be what one wants necessarily. That airy pastel wedding look with pushed film is actually a defect of the scanner, you won't get this with a pakon). It is a closed group so one has to join to see the comparisons but one can't argue that Kodak was one of (and maybe still is) the best at color management.

I think this reason alone is why we will never see a solution such as the pakon again. What we have is what we will get. You can jump up in price and get a noritsu or frontier (and I may just for the medium format capability...or get another Kodak such as the hr500) but even those are legacy. Speed in scanning does not necessarily mean speed in workflow. One needs both scanning speed and accurate output. Not such a big deal with monochrome/bw or color chromes (slide film) but with color negatives, one is just battling with constant headaches in the color management department.

And lastly, the 3000x2000 output of a dedicated scanner is much different than 3000x2000 with a flatbed. Your actually getting real resolution with this. Again, I would refer anyone back to the FB group for numerous/thousands of full rez examples.
The Primefilm XA is not a flatbed, it is a dedicated film scanner. I have compared scans of negative film from the Frontier and the XA, and the XA quite clearly has more detail and less noise at the pixel level, and you also get visually greater color depth. It basically matches the Coolscan 5000 IMO, and if you've spent any amount of time with the coolscan you will know the difference between a lab scanner and a pro desktop scanner. They are slower but the quality difference is beyond subtle. The Pakon does ok with getting a better starting point SooS for color but my Primefilm also has great color profiles. I've had to do very little tweaking to get them where I want. Plus the primefilm is now half the cost of the Pakon.
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Old 09-23-2016   #36
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If only there was a way to get film edges with the Pakon. Then I wouldn't be as interested in selling mine haha. That's the biggest bug for me.
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Panoramic scans possible?
Old 09-24-2016   #37
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Panoramic scans possible?

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The Primefilm XA is not a flatbed, it is a dedicated film scanner. I have compared scans of negative film from the Frontier and the XA, and the XA quite clearly has more detail and less noise at the pixel level, and you also get visually greater color depth. It basically matches the Coolscan 5000 IMO, and if you've spent any amount of time with the coolscan you will know the difference between a lab scanner and a pro desktop scanner. They are slower but the quality difference is beyond subtle. The Pakon does ok with getting a better starting point SooS for color but my Primefilm also has great color profiles. I've had to do very little tweaking to get them where I want. Plus the primefilm is now half the cost of the Pakon.
SaveKodak, Can the Primefilm XA scan panoramic negs from Xpan or widelux?
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Old 09-24-2016   #38
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I've scanned various B&W films as well as color negatives without any major issues, but TMAX 100 is the only film my Pakon just won't scan.
Oh thats too bad. I ran my Xpan roll yesterday and they seemed to come out alright...
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Old 09-26-2016   #39
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SaveKodak, Can the Primefilm XA scan panoramic negs from Xpan or widelux?
No, you would need to scan them in two bites and then stitch. That would be time consuming, but OTOH, you would have a really high quality file after you did the stitch.
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Old 09-30-2016   #40
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I've had a Pakon 135 plus scanner for a while and it has been heaven-sent! What has been said above is true: It's not only about scanning speed, but where it is worth every penny is in the amount of time (and stress, especially for those perfectionists) that it saves you dealing with trying to get accurate colors. Apparently it has good profiles for older Kodak C41 film (older Portras, Ektar, Gold, etc.) and some Fuji and Agfa. Black and white also scans very well, but I do reduce all contrast by default (to -40) because otherwise BW pictures are always too contrasty.

That being said, I've always had problems scanning Portra 400 (I think this was because this particular film was released after the Pakon scanners were already sort of considered obsolete). How do you guys deal with this? Are there any extra film profiles that one can download somewhere or do you do your corrections manually?
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