Primefilm XA/Reflecta RPS 10 M
Old 03-30-2015   #1
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Primefilm XA/Reflecta RPS 10 M

There doesn't seem to be much about this scanner (branded Reflecta in Europe, Pacific Imaging elsewhere), so here goes a thread that is dedicated to sharing user experience.

I will start off with a progress report.

I purchased this scanner mid-March, 2015. The first unit I received was defective. Vertical banding in the same position was noticeable on all frames. In addition, I also had trouble with framing alignment. Exchange (through Digit-Photo) was easy.

The second, replacement unit arrived a week later, total turnaround time. I've gone through a few rolls, and had the chance to compare batch scanning using Vuescan Pro, CyberView X (the manufacturer-supplied software), and a demo version of Silverfast 8.

Cyberview is completely automated. It produces decent* results in an easy-to-use, painless fashion. (*except for occasional artifacts, see below).

Silverfast 8 has, to my mind, the best implementation of manual focus. Batch prescanning, however, is inadequate. Silverfast 8 comes with some nice presets for certain emulsions (esp from Kodak and Ilford), but not all of my preferred choices are among them. For scanning at full bit capacity, the Archive Suite version of the software is required.

Due to the cost of the SE Archive Suite, I spent more time with Vuescan, for which I already have a license. Eventually I was able to dial in the manual scan function to my satisfaction. Compared to Silverfast, the process is cumbersome and takes longer, sometimes a lot longer. But in view of the cost for a full version of Silverfast, I expect to stick with Vuescan. My method of scanning black&white follows the common "lock exposure"/scan-as-flat-as-possible-and-do-curves-in-post school. Tutorials are available on the net. Manual focus is just one more step to follow, albeit a time-consuming one. (Silverfast's approach is different, aiming to provide users with a one-stop scanning solution in which all adjustments are done as an integral part of the scan process).

I always scan maximum frame area. For those familiar with the Nikon scanners, this area does not cover the entire 135 film including sprocket holes.

On my second machine, batch scanning has been easy. No hitch. Framing has been accurate, but if the negatives had been shot on a camera body that produces slightly irregular spacing (as some older cameras in need of a CLA are wont to do), that could be a potential cause for trouble, I don't know.

In order to get the framing correct, it is sometimes necessary at the beginning of a roll to manually adjust the framing on the very first frame. With the view window on the top of the scanner and the buttons for micro adjustments to the frame, this is quite easy. When using this function, users have to learn to depress the reverse or advance buttons in a light, gingerly fashion. Too long/hard will result in the scanner advancing or reversing by an entire frame. It's easy to get the feel for it after one or two tries.

Batch-scanning is so easy, and makes scanning a breeze.

Here are some examples. Images made with RPX400 through a ZM C Sonnar lens. Post-processing was done in LR. I prefer crushed blacks, YMMV :

Sheaf by areality4all, on Flickr

Shovel by areality4all, on Flickr

Spigot by areality4all, on Flickr

Tree by areality4all, on Flickr
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Old 03-30-2015   #2
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Further follow-up:

In general, I always start up the scanner by opening CyberView first. Once CyberView has performed its initialization, I close it and move into a third party software. This procedure may be particularly useful for SilverFast, but might also be useful for Vuescan.

Below are two sets of scans that allow some comparisons among results obtained with three different software programs. All were scanned at 2500dpi, rather than max resolution. Each scan was the object of post-processing, with no attempt to achieve the same look. Hence, the images contain a subjective element.

First, CyberView vs. Vuescan vs SilverFast for a frame of a garden scene shot on RPX400 developed in ID-11 1+1.


CyberView Terra
by areality4all, on Flickr


SilverFast Terra
by areality4all, on Flickr


Vuescan Terra
by areality4all, on Flickr


Here are some crops from those three scans


CyberView Terra Crop
by areality4all, on Flickr


SilverFast Terra Crop
by areality4all, on Flickr


Vuescan Terra Crop
by areality4all, on Flickr
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Old 03-30-2015   #3
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Here is another set, all processed with auto focus:


CyberView_Impasse
by areality4all, on Flickr


SilverFast_Impasse_AF
by areality4all, on Flickr


Vuescan_Impasse_AF
by areality4all, on Flickr


You can clearly see artifacts on the CyberView scans above. Here is a crop example:

CyberView_Impasse_Crop
by areality4all, on Flickr

I'm not sure why there are these artifacts on the CyberView scans, but I've noticed it a few times. Hence, if you purchase this scanner, I think you absolutely have to budget for Vuescan or SilverFast.
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Old 03-30-2015   #4
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Here are manual focus scans (CyberView cannot focus manually)


SilverFast_Impasse_MF
by areality4all, on Flickr


Vuescan_Impasse_MF
by areality4all, on Flickr
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Old 03-30-2015   #5
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The scans look great.

Question: What is the initial scan resolution that you are using in Vuescan - and - at what output resolution did you save your TIFF files?
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Old 03-30-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar View Post
The scans look great.

Question: What is the initial scan resolution that you are using in Vuescan - and - at what output resolution did you save your TIFF files?
I scanned at 2500dpi for all of the scans above. The scanner will go much higher (4900dpi is reported), but I figured the point would be clear without needing to go through the extra time/disk space, etc.
Output resolution was set for 300dpi.

Vuescan and CyberView scan in full 16bit gray. SilverFast does too, but only if you purchase the expensive Archive Suite. Hence the differences in TIFF file size.

The images uploaded to flickr were converted to jpeg in LR using 100 as the quality setting.
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Old 03-30-2015   #7
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So far, I feel that the results from the scanner, from final image to ease of use, definitely compare favorably to the Nikon Coolscan LS-5000 that I used to own.

So far the only thing I really wish it had was a reel spool on each end of the film path into and out of the machine in order to protect the film roll before and after.
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Old 07-04-2015   #8
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I'm heavily considering picking up this scanner and am glad to have found this thread. I've heard so many conflicting reviews about the batch scanning missing frames with this software vs. that software. A few questions for the OP or any other owners of this scanner.
I mainly scan black and white with the occasional color roll. I'm replacing a v550 which just doesn't scan well for 135 film.

1) I'm under the impression from the B&H website that this comes with a license for Silverfast SE. I've also heard people mention it only comes with a demo. Does it depend on the vendor?

2) Any experience scanning strips of 6? or strips of fewer than 6? Apparently Silverfast has issues with 4 strips but is ok with only 6 strips?

3) How does prescanning work with a full batch scan? I currently have an epson v550 where i do the preview scan, set my white/black points and then do the real scan. Is there an equivalent for this scanner? Would it involve sending the roll through twice? The filmscanner.info review indicates it doesn't matter for this scanner since, "Scanning the image into RAW-format through SilverFast (HDRi), renders this unnecessary."

Is silverfast the only software that does multi-exposure? which is what i assume HDRi means..

4) I also read on filmscanner.info the whole thing about needing to scan at the full "10,000" dpi setting to get the 5000ppi max resolution that the scanner can provide. I've heard people say that you want to scan at max and then downsample as to save on file size. What' the best way to downsample the images in a way to preserve the 5000ppi quality? Is there a way to do this in a batch for a whole roll at the same time?

I'm sure I have other questions somewhere...

Thanks all!
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Old 08-11-2015   #9
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I'm interested in the XA as well. What is the speed like scanning at 2500dpi for a roll of film?
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Old 11-30-2015   #10
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I found this info - thought it was best to share here. Hope this helps people out.

Decided to order one based off of this (5 mins ago). Now I can stop scouring the internet for useless posts from 10 years ago telling me to buy the heart-stoppingly overpriced Nikon scanners.
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Old 12-06-2015   #11
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Please let us know your results!
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Old 12-06-2015   #12
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Quick Update:

So far I hate this thing. I decided to buy VueScan after being unimpressed with the SilverFast SE (that it came with) and similarly unimpressed with the upgrade price of the Studio Ai version of the software that looks honestly pretty necessary for quality results. Vue Scan works pretty well, but the menus are a little hard to navigate and I found the online manual to be also somewhat obtuse. Took me almost a day to get a correct scan out of it.

I think my main gripe is that I can't get this thing to feed frames evenly, nor can I seem to capture whole frames. I'll post results once I get Lightroom to work (which has mysteriously decided to not launch). The other main issue is: though there is batch feed - it is nearly useless. It takes a million years to align your frames sometimes because, in order to do that, you have to stand over top of it, and lightly tap at the forward and back buttons until you get it where you want it. However, just because you have aligned one frame, that does not mean it will accurately grab the frames down the line. So this means you have to preview a whole roll, write down the list of ones that you will have to do manually, and then do so.

Even with all of this, I can't stop it from cutting off the top of my images. I have no idea why, but it seems like there is no way to feed the film in so that it will capture the entire frame.

If anyone has suggestions on how to get this to work better, I'm all ears.
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Old 12-06-2015   #13
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I had the XA for about 3 days and had the exact same experience. The automatic batch feeding is completely useless. Even when I set it up manually, it couldn't stay in alignment with negs from my Hexar AF, which has the most perfectly spaced frames of any camera I've used. I gave up and sent it back to B&H.

I'm spoiled by using Nikon scanners before this, but for around the same price I'd much rather pick up a used Coolscan 4000 and hack an SA-21 to do full roll scanning with no fuss.
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Old 12-06-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Quick Update:

So far I hate this thing. I decided to buy VueScan after being unimpressed with the SilverFast SE (that it came with) and similarly unimpressed with the upgrade price of the Studio Ai version of the software that looks honestly pretty necessary for quality results. Vue Scan works pretty well, but the menus are a little hard to navigate and I found the online manual to be also somewhat obtuse. Took me almost a day to get a correct scan out of it.

I think my main gripe is that I can't get this thing to feed frames evenly, nor can I seem to capture whole frames. I'll post results once I get Lightroom to work (which has mysteriously decided to not launch). The other main issue is: though there is batch feed - it is nearly useless. It takes a million years to align your frames sometimes because, in order to do that, you have to stand over top of it, and lightly tap at the forward and back buttons until you get it where you want it. However, just because you have aligned one frame, that does not mean it will accurately grab the frames down the line. So this means you have to preview a whole roll, write down the list of ones that you will have to do manually, and then do so.

Even with all of this, I can't stop it from cutting off the top of my images. I have no idea why, but it seems like there is no way to feed the film in so that it will capture the entire frame.

If anyone has suggestions on how to get this to work better, I'm all ears.

This is so sad to hear. I thought I had finally found a scanner that would make my life easier, now I read this

Guess it's better to stick to the 8200i then?

I just wish someone would make a batch scanner that actually worked and produced great negatives! Have anyone tested the Optichfilm 120? The problem with this one is probably that it doesn't produce that high quality scans...
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Old 12-07-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Znerken View Post
This is so sad to hear. I thought I had finally found a scanner that would make my life easier, now I read this :bang
Yeah, this is how I felt when I finally found out about the XA - I was relieved to be able to stop looking at things ABOUT scanners. Now I'm back to square one. I'm just not into darkroom work/research be it digital or analog - I'm a shooter.

Anywho, I guess I'm gonna pick up a Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai from B&H since it's only ~$20 than a regular 8200i when I send the XA back in. If that doesn't work I'll just send my scans out to someone I guess. I wish I hadn't bought VueScan - it's a good looking program, but I feel like I'm not gonna end up using it and I really could use the money back.
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Old 12-07-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Yeah, this is how I felt when I finally found out about the XA - I was relieved to be able to stop looking at things ABOUT scanners. Now I'm back to square one. I'm just not into darkroom work/research be it digital or analog - I'm a shooter.

Anywho, I guess I'm gonna pick up a Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai from B&H since it's only ~$20 than a regular 8200i when I send the XA back in. If that doesn't work I'll just send my scans out to someone I guess. I wish I hadn't bought VueScan - it's a good looking program, but I feel like I'm not gonna end up using it and I really could use the money back.

Then you really should put the effort in and start using VueScan. It's great, and once you have dialed everything in you only really click two buttons; preview, then scan.

The optichfilm 8200i is great, but as RPS10M it will have a hard time with the negatives, especially with for example tri-x when it's curved. Also, it lacks auto focus, and is extremely time consuming as you have to manually feed the negatives.
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Old 12-07-2015   #17
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Progress report:

Here is a neg processed in LR 2015 CC. It's Fuji Superia 400 shot at 400 and processed by a local(ish) lab. Shot it on an OM10 (bleh) with the manual adapter (double bleh).



I think it looks alright - buuuuuuuuuuut look at the original.



Wow, those scratches are kinda intense and there's a lot of dust. Please note that this is the result after a blower, an anti-static cloth were used on it, and the IR setting was at "heavy" in Vue Scan. I'm honestly pretty disappointed with it at this stage - and I think that the machine itself might be causing the scratches. You can clearly see the misalignment of the frame on the edge/missing top portion of the image as well as how washed out all of it is. All of my negatives looked like this (or worse) from my batch scan.
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Old 12-07-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Znerken View Post
Then you really should put the effort in and start using VueScan. It's great, and once you have dialed everything in you only really click two buttons; preview, then scan.

The optichfilm 8200i is great, but as RPS10M it will have a hard time with the negatives, especially with for example tri-x when it's curved. Also, it lacks auto focus, and is extremely time consuming as you have to manually feed the negatives.

Eesh, that sounds fun. I think I'm going to be primarily shooting black and white once I get my workflow situated - so that's a good heads up.

What's the best solution then? A flatbed?
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Old 12-07-2015   #19
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I own an XA and am mostly happy with it. I use silverfast that came with it and use the 16bit hdr setting, scanning as positive. Then use negfix8 to invert and set the gamma, so you dont have to buy the expensive suite. I have a small batch script for mac that runs through all thr tiffs in a folder and processes them and readies things for lightroom.

Silverfast does get all weird sometimes at starttup, but once it gets past that with a few force closes and powercycles, its great.

I set it up and go to work.

I did have to send back the first unit i had because it had no idea how to feed frames, but this one i have now is good. Maybe by the end of a roll the black line is thicker on one side of the frame than he other, but its never been a deal breaker for me.
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Old 12-07-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Progress report:

Here is a neg processed in LR 2015 CC. It's Fuji Superia 400 shot at 400 and processed by a local(ish) lab. Shot it on an OM10 (bleh) with the manual adapter (double bleh).



I think it looks alright - buuuuuuuuuuut look at the original.



Wow, those scratches are kinda intense and there's a lot of dust. Please note that this is the result after a blower, an anti-static cloth were used on it, and the IR setting was at "heavy" in Vue Scan. I'm honestly pretty disappointed with it at this stage - and I think that the machine itself might be causing the scratches. You can clearly see the misalignment of the frame on the edge/missing top portion of the image as well as how washed out all of it is. All of my negatives looked like this (or worse) from my batch scan.

If you wipe your negatives with the cloth, then you have an explanation for the scratches.. This has nothing to do with the scanner.
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Old 12-07-2015   #21
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Well yeah, but I didn't scrub it or anything. Would it really cause that much of a scratch?
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Old 12-07-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Well yeah, but I didn't scrub it or anything. Would it really cause that much of a scratch?
I would never touch my negatives with anything, just use air. The image you scanned look great, if we ignore the scratches
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Old 12-07-2015   #23
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Alright so this is a different roll - and I think I must be doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what it is.

Here's the output from Lightroom:



Here's what it looks like before I do corrections for exposure and dust cleanup (but after inversion):



But here's what it looks like in the scan program:



So why am I getting dust back in my export? Also, why does the contrast and saturation seem so different? In terms of colour I'd like to be as "true" to the stock as possible (because otherwise I'd just shoot digital). How do I go about doing that?
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Old 12-07-2015   #24
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I would use VueScan, get the RAW scan from it, invert the negative in Photoshop and use Color Perfect to get the colors. Dust will always be present in scanning, it's part of the game.

People want scanning to be easy, but it isn't. It takes time to get the negative the way you want it.


A couple of tips for you:
Flatbed will never be good enough for 35mm.
You should always scan to get a flat as negative as possible, then do adjustments in Lightroom/Photoshop
Dust and scratches is part of the game
Get a rocket blower
Use VueScan or silverfast
Use ColorPerfect


Have you tested the auto feeding feature by the way?
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Old 12-08-2015   #25
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I just contacted filmscanner.info, and asked them how they found batch scanning with the scanner. They said it worked very good, and they had no problem with making the scanner scan the whole frame. Clearly there are some user errors which makes people talk very negatively about this scanner online, or there are some defective scanners.
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Old 12-10-2015   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Znerken View Post
I just contacted filmscanner.info, and asked them how they found batch scanning with the scanner. They said it worked very good, and they had no problem with making the scanner scan the whole frame. Clearly there are some user errors which makes people talk very negatively about this scanner online, or there are some defective scanners.
I won't be able to test this further until Sunday, because I am away from the scanner, but towards the end of my scanning run I became suspicious that there is something wrong with the scanner (or what I'm doing). I noticed that the angle of the bottom edge of every frame had (almost or exactly) the same angle to it. This showed up no matter how many frames I scanned or how long/short the film strip was. I think I need to get in touch with PIE/Reflecta - they might be able to help me figure out what's up.

As for what filmscanner.info says about the whole frame - I can kinda see that being possible, but I'm skeptical. I was able to get a whisper of both the left and right edges of a frame - but it took quite a bit of doing to actually get it that way, and in the end there was no black space around the frame. I feel like filmscanner.info might have slightly different standards as to what "the whole frame" means. The batch/auto feed might work fine, but it seems the frames need to be perfectly spaced. It's not strictly an issue because I'd probably be only scanning previews to make a "contact sheet" thing and I guess I only need it to work for the few frames I actually scan from a roll.
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Old 12-10-2015   #27
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I'm scanning on my Optichfilm tonight. It works great, but it's damn slow. Looking forward to receiving the RPS10M






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Old 12-13-2015   #28
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See, those look fine to me. Is that the natural edge of each frame, or a black border?
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Old 12-13-2015   #29
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See, those look fine to me. Is that the natural edge of each frame, or a black border?
No, it's added afterwards.
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Old 12-13-2015   #30
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Ah okay, I'm trying to get the literal full frame (with the natural border). Is that possible with the Optichfilm scanner?
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Old 12-14-2015   #31
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UPDATE: I have confirmed with Pacific Imaging tech support that my copy of the PrimeFilm XA is defective.

They noted that the scanners should be shipping with firmware version 1.07 as of 12/14/2015. To check this:
  1. Turn the scanner on while it's plugged into the computer
  2. Boot up CyberViewX
  3. In CyberViewX, navigate to Help>About

Stats should be:

Quote:
Product name: CyberViewX v5.16
Model name: MF Scanner
Hardware version: 72
Firmware version: 1.07
Software version: 5.16
If your stats don't match that, go to the support and download page of www.scanace.com. Select the scanner (after selecting Linear CCD) and download the "Firmware update" (PFXA.bin).

Go back to your CyberViewX window and navigate to Help>Firmware Update. Select the file you downloaded from the file you downloaded it to. CyberView will then shut off and the scanner will start the update process. Wait for it to stop making noises and for a solid (not flashing) green light on the scanner - the scanner should now be updated. Open CyberView and check your "About" again. Hopefully this will have worked and you can restart scanning.

If that doesn't work . . . well . . . either call tech support, or go jump in a lake, 'cause I ain't got no more answers for you, buddy.
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Old 12-14-2015   #32
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Ah okay, I'm trying to get the literal full frame (with the natural border). Is that possible with the Optichfilm scanner?
That would not be so smart. That would be like capturing more than you intend to have in the frame, just so you could crop afterwards. You lose megapixels.
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Old 12-14-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
UPDATE: I have confirmed with Pacific Imaging tech support that my copy of the PrimeFilm XA is defective.

They noted that the scanners should be shipping with firmware version 1.07 as of 12/14/2015. To check this:
  1. Turn the scanner on while it's plugged into the computer
  2. Boot up CyberViewX
  3. In CyberViewX, navigate to Help>About

Stats should be:



If your stats don't match that, go to the support and download page of www.scanace.com. Select the scanner (after selecting Linear CCD) and download the "Firmware update" (PFXA.bin).

Go back to your CyberViewX window and navigate to Help>Firmware Update. Select the file you downloaded from the file you downloaded it to. CyberView will then shut off and the scanner will start the update process. Wait for it to stop making noises and for a solid (not flashing) green light on the scanner - the scanner should now be updated. Open CyberView and check your "About" again. Hopefully this will have worked and you can restart scanning.

If that doesn't work . . . well . . . either call tech support, or go jump in a lake, 'cause I ain't got no more answers for you, buddy.

So did that make any difference?
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Old 12-15-2015   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Znerken View Post
That would not be so smart. That would be like capturing more than you intend to have in the frame, just so you could crop afterwards. You lose megapixels.
Well, no, I wouldn't be cropping. The point is to leave it with the rough edges.

In regards to your other question, it did not help me personally because my particular machine was off mechanically. It would have helped if it was off because of the firmware (according to the tech I spoke to).
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Old 12-15-2015   #35
Tijmendal
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There's extremely little information out there on the scanner. I'd like to see it in action, but there's nothing on Youtube.

How fast does this scanner scan a roll? I'm also really curious about scanning (unmounted) slide film with it. Got any examples of that perhaps?
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Old 12-15-2015   #36
DrMcCoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tijmendal View Post
There's extremely little information out there on the scanner. I'd like to see it in action, but there's nothing on Youtube.

How fast does this scanner scan a roll? I'm also really curious about scanning (unmounted) slide film with it. Got any examples of that perhaps?

Scan settings and program will determine the time it takes to scan a roll.

http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaRPS10M.html

I noticed VueScan was taking longer to scan than the reported times here - I was so focused on trying to figure out my frame alignment issue that I neglected to time it.

It's possible scanning was taking longer than it was supposed to because of the mechanical defect in my scanner - I'll report if that changes once my replacement is in.
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Old 12-15-2015   #37
Znerken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Scan settings and program will determine the time it takes to scan a roll.

http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaRPS10M.html

I noticed VueScan was taking longer to scan than the reported times here - I was so focused on trying to figure out my frame alignment issue that I neglected to time it.

It's possible scanning was taking longer than it was supposed to because of the mechanical defect in my scanner - I'll report if that changes once my replacement is in.

Could you ellaborate what kind of mechanical defect you were having? I understand that the alignment of the lens was wrong, so it didn't scan the whole negative?
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Old 12-16-2015   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Znerken View Post
Could you ellaborate what kind of mechanical defect you were having? I understand that the alignment of the lens was wrong, so it didn't scan the whole negative?
Well, I didn't ask for details from the tech - but what I gleaned seems like an issue with the alignment of the scanning lens(?) and the frame alignment apparatus. She said that if you have a frame aligned correctly (so, confirmed with a preview scan), and then batch feed the rest, the whole roll should go through without alignment issues. I was having alignment problems with the long edge being cut off (and angled) as well as one short edge gaining more emulsion surface area as the batch scan went on. This is what I'm drawing my conclusions from.

Also, something I forgot to mention in my testing - I don't know if doing a whole roll is actually a good idea even if the scanner is working correctly. I tested a precut strip of 4 vs a roll of film. The precut had less dust, and NO scratches/gouges in the emulsion. I think that there's no real good way to feed long strips of film into the machine since it has to hang off of both sides at some point.

At this point, if the scan from my replacement doesn't prove super appealing, I might try the DSLR scanning thing that everyone is talking about nowadays. It would give my DSLR some good use (at the very least) and cut down on bulky equipment. I just have yet to see an actual decent scan from that method.
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Old 12-24-2015   #39
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Alright. I think this thing might just be a piece of crap. I received my second one as a replacement from B&H and I'm still having the same issues with the batch scan and the frame being rotated.

Unless anyone has some tips that would really turn this thing around I think I'm gonna send this back for the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai.
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Old 12-30-2015   #40
Jhausler
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Frame rotation I set in Silverfast.

What batch scan issues are you having on this one? On mine, the top of the frame is usually cut off and the bottom is white. It's maybe a mm or 2, so i don't bother caring. Left to right it's usually pretty good as long as the camera spaced the frames well.

It sounds like you should just go with the 8200i. This scanner is giving you too many problems.
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