Pakon f135 vs f235 vs f335
Old 10-05-2016   #1
2wenty
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Pakon f135 vs f235 vs f335

Hey guys. Since Im going broke having my film lab developed I figured I create my own mini lab.

Just got a Jobo for c41 / e6 processing. Probably have researched at least 15 hours on scanners but no clear choice can be made yet. I have a v600, but its honestly kinda crap.

I really like the way the scans come back from the Noritsu HS1800 but they cost way too much.

I want to be able to scan black and white, e6 and c41.

The next step was something that could feed a whole role and still look decent. In comes the Pakon. While I kinda think the colors look a little weird it seems the best choice for the money as far as I can tell.

Im curious if you guys know what the difference would be between the f135 vs f235 vs f335.

Would they all be the same resolution and the scanning is faster or can I get a better scan out of the f235 or f335?

I can't seem to find very much info on the f235 and f335.

Also Im still thinking about a frontier sp3000.

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2016   #2
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Found it.

Okay, it seems the scan quality is the same with the 135plus (not shown here) as the f235 and f335. The f235 and f335 seem to be more about what kind of film you can scan and speed of scanning.

Still curious if you can do black and white and e6 on the f135/plus? I know there is a way to get the regular f135 to scan a full 2000x3000 resolution also.







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Old 10-05-2016   #3
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I'm biased, but I think the Nikon Coolscan 5000 may be a better option for what you want to do.

F135 - You can get 3000x2000 resolution if you do not use the proprietary PSI software, but I don't think you get automatic color correction. No E6.

F135 Plus - $750 to $800. No E6.

F235 - use halogen light (v. others using LED's) that is reportedly prone to failure. I'd pass on this

F335 - Good luck finding one. 3000x2000, 16 bits/channel, color, E6, B&W. Probably expensive.
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Old 10-05-2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
I'm biased, but I think the Nikon Coolscan 5000 may be a better option for what you want to do.

F135 - You can get 3000x2000 resolution if you do not use the proprietary PSI software, but I don't think you get automatic color correction. No E6.

F135 Plus - $750 to $800. No E6.

F235 - use halogen light (v. others using LED's) that is reportedly prone to failure. I'd pass on this

F335 - Good luck finding one. 3000x2000, 16 bits/channel, color, E6, B&W. Probably expensive.
Agreed. I was looking at the Coolscan V and I guess there is a hack to feed a whole roll of film. Id like to be able to do e6 if possible.

Im really thinking about a frontier sp3000 but they are around $1800-$3000.

As cool as the f135 is Id like to be able to do 120. The v600 isn't too bad at medium format though.

Also if I had the sp3000 I could scan film for other people and just change a low amount. Like $10.

Right now scanning a roll at a lab cost around $20 which is crazy.
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Old 10-05-2016   #5
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There is a hack for the Coolscan 4000 and 5000 to feed the entire roll, but if you want to scan 120, then you'd need the Coolscan 8000 or 9000.

Note: the hack does not work on the Coolscan V because it does not have a gate in the back for the roll to exit.
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Old 10-05-2016   #6
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I'd recommend joining the facebook group, that's the go-to place for Pakon. I believe there is a hack to scan transparencies but I haven't used it.

I've had the Coolscan (all of them at one time or another) and hacked one to do the entire roll...it works, but it's very slow. The Pakon will scan a 36 exposure roll in a little over 5 min.

The Pakon also has some serious color smarts built-in, with the offset of requiring a virtual OS.
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Old 10-05-2016   #7
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For 120, you'd need the 8000 or 9000 if you go Coolscan. I just sold my 8000.
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Old 10-05-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
I'd recommend joining the facebook group, that's the go-to place for Pakon. I believe there is a hack to scan transparencies but I haven't used it.

I've had the Coolscan (all of them at one time or another) and hacked one to do the entire roll...it works, but it's very slow. The Pakon will scan a 36 exposure roll in a little over 5 min.

The Pakon also has some serious color smarts built-in, with the offset of requiring a virtual OS.
Thanks. Debating it. I think if I get the Pakon, Ill get the plus since it will have color correction. Thats $800 and I wont be able to scan 120.

Im trying to see what a stand alone sp3000 will cost. That way I can do everything and higher res. Not to mention it'll auto feed 35mm and 120.
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Old 10-05-2016   #9
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$800 is too much. You can probably find them for less, people sell them on the fb group.
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Old 10-05-2016   #10
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$800 is too much. You can probably find them for less, people sell them on the fb group.
Thanks. Im just waiting to get approved into the group.
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Old 10-06-2016   #11
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The non-Plus 135 has colour correction. No idea where that idea came from.
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Old 10-08-2016   #12
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The non-Plus 135 has colour correction. No idea where that idea came from.
Does color correction work with the TLX software doing full res scans (16 bit 2000x3000)?
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Old 10-09-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wenty View Post
Does color correction work with the TLX software doing full res scans (16 bit 2000x3000)?
Yes, it does. The TLX interface is not as idiot-proof as the one on PSI, but for the most part it's easy-peasy.
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Old 10-09-2016   #14
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I had a 135+. Sold it. Regretted it. Now have a non-plus and it outputs exactly the same images using TLX. Wonderful machines once set up. The Facebook group is a huge help.
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Old 10-11-2016   #15
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I had a 135+. Sold it. Regretted it. Now have a non-plus and it outputs exactly the same images using TLX. Wonderful machines once set up. The Facebook group is a huge help.
yup. i've owned both the plus and non-plus, and the output is equivalent. the only difference is the speed (the non-plus takes about 2x the time to scan at 16base in TLX as the plus does in PSI.
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Old 10-11-2016   #16
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Thans for all the help guys. If I go with a 35mm scanner only Im gonna go with the Noritsu LS-600. Im trying to get a Frontier SP3000 for a decent price at the moment. Way better scans, more resolution and 120 capability.
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Old 10-11-2016   #17
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I tried the 600 alongside the Pakon and kept the Pakon. Pakon had better color, better batch adjustments. higher resolution offered no real advantage due to grain. It was a lot bigger and loud. I wanted it to work out but sent it back.
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Old 10-23-2016   #18
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join the FB pakon group. TLX can make the non plus scan 6mp, Kodak color correction included. Also, there is a plugin on the fb site to make true B&W scans in TLX (not the c-41 B&W). Slides can also be done, albeit not the quality of another scanner. However there are tutorials for you 1/2 frame, horizon, widelux and other pano shooters.

PLENTY of good info in the FB group, can't recommend joining enough.
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Old 10-23-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
join the FB pakon group. TLX can make the non plus scan 6mp, Kodak color correction included. Also, there is a plugin on the fb site to make true B&W scans in TLX (not the c-41 B&W). Slides can also be done, albeit not the quality of another scanner. However there are tutorials for you 1/2 frame, horizon, widelux and other pano shooters.

PLENTY of good info in the FB group, can't recommend joining enough.
Thanks. Ive joined. Im holding out with something that has more resolution. 6mp isn't enough.
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Old 10-23-2016   #20
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Following this thread with interest, only just discovered the Facebook group for Pakon peeps. Nice to know.
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Old 11-07-2016   #21
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On the 235, it's pretty easy to change the bulb. Nothing exciting. Halogen is a lot more forgiving for b/w than LED is, and recall that Digital ICE is nerfed with silver film (and Kodachrome, too). Once you jump to the 235 series and up, these become high-volume wonders.

For scanning 35mm film, the LS-8000 and 9000 are more fun than the 5000 because they can do 12 frames at a loading (and do MF). They won't do bigger than 6x9 in one pass, but there is stitching software for 6x12 and 6x17 negatives.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
I'm biased, but I think the Nikon Coolscan 5000 may be a better option for what you want to do.

F135 - You can get 3000x2000 resolution if you do not use the proprietary PSI software, but I don't think you get automatic color correction. No E6.

F135 Plus - $750 to $800. No E6.

F235 - use halogen light (v. others using LED's) that is reportedly prone to failure. I'd pass on this

F335 - Good luck finding one. 3000x2000, 16 bits/channel, color, E6, B&W. Probably expensive.
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Old 11-08-2016   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
On the 235, it's pretty easy to change the bulb. Nothing exciting. Halogen is a lot more forgiving for b/w than LED is, and recall that Digital ICE is nerfed with silver film (and Kodachrome, too). Once you jump to the 235 series and up, these become high-volume wonders.

For scanning 35mm film, the LS-8000 and 9000 are more fun than the 5000 because they can do 12 frames at a loading (and do MF). They won't do bigger than 6x9 in one pass, but there is stitching software for 6x12 and 6x17 negatives.

Dante
Thanks for the info. I ended up with a Noritsu LS 600.
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Old 12-09-2016   #23
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Last night, I rebooted my F235 plus after getting it back from my sister and ran some negatives of unknown provenance. The software is just.... genius. Of course, it's also designed to be operated by people with little training.

My brother and I scanned 300 rolls of cut film one summer. The kickers is that you cannot, must not, should not ever put anything in that scanner that ever had a paper handling strip attached to the edge of the negative. Unless that is cleaned off with negative cleaner, it will gum up the works. That was good for a $300 repair at AES.

If I recall, the Solux bulb is pretty much a commodity item, btw. I would not forego the increased resolution (over the straight 135) and massively higher throughput on the fear that you can't find a 50w halogen bulb. That's way easier than replacing a very proprietary LED that's been run for 8,000 hours in a photo lab and then sold as refurbished. LEDs take a lot longer to burn out, but they also degrade over time. The 235 can also handle two frames at a time for very short strips. I've evn gotten it to handle a single frame of Ektachrome, but I wouldn't recommend that.

As to host vs. virtualization, the PSI software can be crashy with XP when XP is running other apps, so I'd stick with a cheapo dedicated machine for $40-50. It's going to be a lot less than buying Parallels and then trying to buy a legit copy of XP or hacking this into the XP emulator in 7 (which I understand has very limited hardware capability.

The only thing that ticks me off is that I've pretty much run out of negatives to scan (plus I own an LS-8000, a FlexTight, and a PS3650...) so maybe it will make an appearance in the classifieds here. If only it could scan Xpan...

Dante
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Old 12-09-2016   #24
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By the way, you can order the bulbs here, and they are $10 apiece. You just need to know the beam spread, but you could buy all 4 for $40 and be totally covered.

https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/soluxbulbs.html
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Old 12-09-2016   #25
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If only it could scan Xpan...

It can.

check the Pakon facebook group for details...
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Old 12-09-2016   #26
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To OP, glad you found a nice solution. I saw an SP3000 listed around $1000 one ebay in LA. I am in Europe so no avail to that.

Nowadays I got roll (and dev) cost down to 10$/roll sending out to a far away lab. Great results but slow transit. I'm still in a student budget phase so 15+ a roll is not very sustainable.

I have a v550 for 120 but no way I scan much 35mm with it, it is too little too late (small real resolution, slowish).

It would be really nice to have an update scanner, with all the electronics development a compact machine couldn't surpass a Frontier or Noritsu? Sadly given the niche status I doubt there will be many advancements, and counting that those are pro machines but with depreciated prices.
The development by quejai looks very promising in this area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
Last night, I rebooted my F235 plus after getting it back from my sister and ran some negatives of unknown provenance. The software is just.... genius. Of course, it's also designed to be operated by people with little training.

My brother and I scanned 300 rolls of cut film one summer. The kickers is that you cannot, must not, should not ever put anything in that scanner that ever had a paper handling strip attached to the edge of the negative. (...)

The only thing that ticks me off is that I've pretty much run out of negatives to scan (plus I own an LS-8000, a FlexTight, and a PS3650...) so maybe it will make an appearance in the classifieds here. If only it could scan Xpan...

Dante
I once had a batch of film scanned by a small store who ran a minilab and a Pakon as a Scanner.
Kodak Ektar is a bit of a crazy film but the Pakon had really accurate scans. Wish I'd known about it before it achieved cult status (200$ then) and from a EU seller.
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Old 01-11-2017   #27
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Thanks for the info. I ended up with a Noritsu LS 600.
Are you happy with the scans from this scanner? How does the workflow look like (using it as a standalone scanner)? How is the software?

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2017   #28
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Are you happy with the scans from this scanner? How does the workflow look like (using it as a standalone scanner)? How is the software?

Thanks!
Its okay. Ive been able to match scans that I was getting from Richards Photo Lab Noritsu 1800.

It takes a little getting used to. Its old technology so its not super streamlined. I would imagine the same could be said for most of these scanners.

My setup is VMware Fusion on my iMac to run Windows 7 and then I use Photoshop CS4 to important from the scanner.

Sometimes I wish I would of gone with the Fuji Frontier but thats a lot more. I think they are about $1800 right now.

The quality of the scans are good. The files from the LS 600 really highlight the grain (there is a grain suppression setting) and have their own color to them which I don't know if I like or not. They have an old feel to them.

It is fast though. The details in the files is pretty good. I scan everything on the highest setting which is around 24 megapixels. The Pakon seems cool but only scans around 6MP if I recall correctly. Which is not big enough for me.

So far for the money I like it. Just keep in mind its old tech so going to require a little bit of patience.
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Old 01-15-2017   #29
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Sometimes I wish I would of gone with the Fuji Frontier but thats a lot more. I think they are about $1800 right now.

The quality of the scans are good. The files from the LS 600 really highlight the grain (there is a grain suppression setting) and have their own color to them which I don't know if I like or not. They have an old feel to them.
Isn't it? I have only a couple rolls scanned on a Noritsu and they seem to be warmer and have a more prominent grain than the Frontier. The Frontier seems to have cooler-greener shadows and a softer look to it.
135 I send out nowadays and have it scanned on Frontier. I decided to include a couple rolls of 120 in one batch and could only be scanned on the Noritsu; Sharper than my v550 thankfully, but the 400 C41 seemed quite grainy even for 6x9, maybe slightly oversharpened.
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Old 01-15-2017   #30
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Thanks for the feedback 2wenty and Prest_400!

There are a few comparison shots Fuji vs. Noritsu on the net and they look virtually the same to me (it doesn't say which models, software, etc.)...
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Old 01-15-2017   #31
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Thanks for the feedback 2wenty and Prest_400!

There are a few comparison shots Fuji vs. Noritsu on the net and they look virtually the same to me (it doesn't say which models, software, etc.)...
The Noritsu 1800 is a lot more of a high end scanner than the LS 600. They are still making it today. Even in the 1800 the grain is still accentuated. I dont mind it, but I need to find a happy medium with the suppression setting. It just sucks because you have to rescan the roll (or strip) every time to get a new scan if you didn't like the settings on the previous scan, so it can be quite time consuming.

I was taking my time at the very beginning but now I just bang through it and want to get it over as quick as possible.

Either way I love it. I was paying $25+ a roll at the lab before and now it cost me $1 to do it myself. The really nice thing is, now I have control over my exposures. I used to get really frustrated with the lab because they just average exposures. I would bracket, back light and shoot moody stuff and it would never come out right. All the bracketed shots would be the same exposure. Now I have control to make it how I like.
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Old 01-18-2017   #32
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The Noritsu 1800 is a lot more of a high end scanner than the LS 600. They are still making it today. Even in the 1800 the grain is still accentuated. I dont mind it, but I need to find a happy medium with the suppression setting. It just sucks because you have to rescan the roll (or strip) every time to get a new scan if you didn't like the settings on the previous scan, so it can be quite time consuming.

I was taking my time at the very beginning but now I just bang through it and want to get it over as quick as possible.

Either way I love it. I was paying $25+ a roll at the lab before and now it cost me $1 to do it myself. The really nice thing is, now I have control over my exposures. I used to get really frustrated with the lab because they just average exposures. I would bracket, back light and shoot moody stuff and it would never come out right. All the bracketed shots would be the same exposure. Now I have control to make it how I like.
The exposure part of scanning is very important and the interpretation factor that comes down to the scanner operator. It also happened to me, when eg. photographing late light and sunset and scans coming way too light and washed out. Moody stuff also happens to be difficult with lifted shadows.
I liked chrome film because of is rawness but C41 has its strengths.

A bit of a funny thing for me - I am still living on a student budget and $15 per 35mm roll ads up quick. I discovered a lab in Russia who had great prices for Dev+Scan and use both Fuji and Noritsu. Normal 3600x2400 35mm scans for about $8 and quite happy so far.
The thing that it takes 2 weeks for film to arrive, but it's more like a month usually. Not a perfect solution, but I have affordable Frontier scans for casual 35mm and becomes a time machine.

I like the look of Frontier scans, because they seem to be gentle and even if sometimes incorrectly cooler shadows, it looks nice and doesn't accentuate grain.

Indeed a good scanning solution improving on Nikon's and Minolta legacy would be fantastic. Looking forward to quejai's concept because of its possibilities.
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