The day I got back from Colombia, just after I stumbled out of bed, very jet-lagged, the postman delivered a large box. Inside it was a replacement Plustek Opticfilm 120. Back in October I had discovered that the month-old original was producing a long streak in the infrared channel, contaminating the “iSRD” dust and scratch removal. Plustek tech support identified the cause as dust inside the optics, and said that the scanner needed to be returned for servicing. Unfortunately Plustek do not have formal distribution in Switzerland, so it had to go back to the dealer, under warranty. It took a while, but this wasn’t too noticeable as I was away for over 3 weeks. And eventually I received a completely new scanner, directly from Taiwan.
Apart from this issue, I was satisfied enough with the first copy. But the second seems actually to be better. Looking at film grain, the focussing, which was ok with the old one, is a little better. And the iSRD now works fine, also, so far (touch wood) with no alignment problems (possibly also thanks to improvements in Silverfast v8.2). Multisampling still doesn’t work, due to slight alignment (or possibly blooming) issues. But in any case, I don’t see any improvement in density with slide film. The single sampling DMax seems quite adequate in this case. Possibly it is more effective with negative film - I’ll try again one day.
Anyway, at least this justifies one key argument in favour of the Opticfilm 120 over an old Minolta or Nikon scanner - warranty, dealer and manufacturer support.
I’ve been able to quickly deal with a small backlog of film to scan - editing digital files from Colombia will have to wait.
For now I haven’t got much planned, film photography-wise. My stocks of E100G are almost exhausted. Hopefully they will stretch until the first rolls of Ferrania’s new slide film turn up.