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New Medium Format film scanner

Reflecta throws out a lifebelt

in Film , Thursday, June 30, 2011

For those of us still in the Stone Age of film, and slide film at that, there’s a lot to worry about. Dwindling film supplies and variety, processing labs dropping like flies, and especially that day when the film scanner goes bleeeeeep-kerTHUNK. And then it’s Game Over, unless of course you’re willing to sell your soul to Hasselblad for a Flextight. The last (and first, really) wave of affordable, high quality medium format scanners from Nikon, Minolta, Polaroid and Microtek are fast approaching Lights Out. But remarkably, a potential saviour has arisen in the shape of Germany’s Reflecta. Although they’re probably not well known outside of Central Europe, Reflecta is a company with a long history. Typically they’ve made various low to mid-range accessories and devices, including slide projectors (I believe some Leica slide projectors were rebadged Reflectas) and cheap and cheerful 35mm film scanners. However, as the mid to semi-pro market collapsed, Reflecta has been cautiously and quietly edging upwards, acquiring a credibility-enhancing partnership with Silverfast on the way, as well as some encouraging reviews. Although the fact that they have practically no credible competiton must help. And now, well they’ve taken the major step of announcing their first medium format scanner.

And note, unlike any of it’s comparable predecessors it goes up to 6x12. It doesn’t appear to have a dedicated 35mm panoramic holder, but I guess one can be cobbled together.

On paper the specifications look modest. A DMax of 3.6 (I wonder how many people remember what that means) and an optical resolution of 3200dpi. Probably enough, and actually probably closer to the truth than claims of 4800dpi and similar, but not terribly exciting for the marketing men. But then it doesn’t need to be. It has no competition whatsoever, if you discount worn out overpriced eBay fodder.

From pre-release photos it appears to have a mechanism and construction similar to the Microtek / Polaroid 120 scanner, with a moving holder and fixed sensor, which is a pity. Moving sensor systems generally provide a much better platform for multisampling.

It is due to be available in July, but so far no pricing has been announced. I would expect something in the range of €1000, but I suppose it could be higher.

And will it be any good? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. But with the alternative being Nothing, I suppose the bar’s not set too high.

Posted in category "Film" on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 07:41 PM

Older Comments

from Project Hyakumeizan on Tue, July 26, 2011 - 9:38

Good news: it’s time somebody exposed the grossly overpriced offering from Nikon to a little salutary price competition….

from david mantripp on Tue, July 26, 2011 - 11:08

Especially as Nikon don’t sell it anymore…

Actually it seems there’s more to this than meets the eye. There’s a whole raft of very similar sounding scanners about to be released at roughly the same time by various “manufacturers”, some of whom are total unknowns. Seems that what we’re looking at here is a no-name design out of China getting rebadged left, right and centre.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in principle.

from Project Hyakumeizan on Wed, July 27, 2011 - 9:31

Maybe I’ve been a little premature with that Plustek purchase. Although, I read on Sliverfast’s website, we will all get a “free” upgrade to that Version 8 you have flagged up…. Yee, with a qualified haw ....

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