Epson V700 or Plustek 120 for Medium Format?

Film, Q&A

Epson V700 vs. Plustek 120

Yes, I’m looking to you for advice.

If you had to choose between the Epson V700/V750 or Plustek OpticFilm 120 to scan Medium Format film, which would you choose?

My newly arrived refurbished Epson V700 is defective (but I have been able to coax some scans out of it) so now I’m wondering if I should replace it with a new one or move to something else.  I’m only interested in scanners that are currently in production, so that excludes the various Nikon and Minolta offerings.

Thanks,

—Peter.

34 thoughts on “Epson V700 or Plustek 120 for Medium Format?

  1. Mmmm, I have been weighing this up for a while, I noticed yesterday that Dave Powell @ http://shoottokyo.com/scanning-wars/ is also in the same boat, he has the V750.

    I have the V700 with the http://www.betterscanning.com film holder, i’d describe the arrangement as excellent but not wonderful…..I may be too fussy. I also use Silverfast Ai Studio 8 which I like.

    The OpticFilm 120 is the logical upgrade but I’d really like to try it before I buy it just to be certain. Selfishly I’d love you to get one first 🙂

    1. Oh, you selfish man, you!

      To be honest, I tried scanning some Tri-X tonight, and the V700 did a great job. The Plustek is more expensive (but has a smaller footprint, which is important to me) and probably yields better quality, so…

      1. One needs to be a little selfish sometimes…. 🙂

        I think you’ve made up your mind, haha. Also from memory it ships with Silverfast Ai Studio 8 which is worth having.

        1. (I give, and give, and give… and everybody takes, and takes, and takes….)

          Seriously, I am very pleased with what I’m getting with the V700 (even in its defective state), so I’m not sure the price premium is worth it.

  2. Stay AWAY from the Plustek 120 at present;

    Not only is it HUGELY pricey (like 3x the price of the V750…) but it has also been plagued with focus issues, leading the manufacturer to pull it off the market for a while to “retool” it.

    I am sure the problems will be fixed at some point, but I would wait a while for the “re-reviews” to trickle out. (Stock has also been a huge problem…) It’ll be a dream once all is sorted out…but a pricey one at that!

    I would also echo Jason’s sentiments above: the Betterscanning holder for medium format and ZNR glass inserts are an absolute MUST for either the V700 or the V750.

    Sorry to hear about the problem!

    -M.

        1. It will start scanning and will then it will just freeze mid-scan and flash an error message. Sometimes it will behave this way from the moment I turn it on. I’ve looked online for trouble-shooting tips and nothing seems to help. Earlier today, I spoke with Epson’s support team and they agree it’s defective. You’d think a refurbished unit would be leaving the factory in tip-top condition, but no such luck this time.

    1. I agree, I use both Epson and Plustek they are both good but Silverfast is the more critical aspect for getting the look you want not only for color also b&w.

      1. I use Silverfast, so I’m okay there.

        Now, curiously, you are the only respondent that has used both scanners in question, so back to the question: if you could only choose one, which one would you choose? Thanks Pi,

        Peter.

            1. It was purchased though the company I work for, I have an idea where it came from but probably shouldn’t say. By the way I like you site. Thanks

            1. Go to flickr, search the groups Plustek 120 you will see lots of scans, I always before buying anything look at those groups as you get a realistic view perhaps from ordinary enthusiasts like myself.

  3. Looks like Plustek 120 has the same construction as nikon 9000. A lot of people say Nikon 9000 is better then Epson V750 in theory, althrough the film must be in frames with this construction. And 120 is a big film and it’s not flat. So, scans with nikon 9000 tend to be not sharp. The same people say this problem does not exists with V750.

  4. Peter this a timely post. I’m little way off making this decision though have been thinking about this. The studio where I’m getting some prints done uses a Hasselblad Flextight, though given it’s his business it’s warranted :-)!! However I rang him after seeing this post to see if he had any feedback for you (and others). He has a client who shoots 4×5 and he uses the Epson 750. He’ll use this for test scan’s and has good results from it. However for his large important 4×5 prints he’ll go to a lab and get them done.

    I’m curious as to your findings!!

  5. Hi Peter, take a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/micmojo and at this video about his scanner (talking about a V750 and a Nikon – conclusion is he can’t state a significative difference on the final image). Most of his flickr is out from a V750 (some are scanned via a film-lab on a Frontier). I do own a V700 for a couple of months but still can’t touch that scan quality, although I did not spend enough time to say.

  6. I’ve used the V700 for years and more than happy with it for MF sacns Peter, less so for 35mm I must admit but it’s not bad.

    But if money is not a real consideration and footprint is important then maybe the Plustek is what you want.

  7. I just took a leap and ordered the 750 a few days ago. I shoot 120 and 135 and the last 0-5 % in quality does not (imho) justify the price difference. This was quite an easy decision but if there would have been a “consistent” 10+ % quality difference, I probably would have gone with the Plustek.

  8. Hello Peter,
    My advice is to read this interseting test of this italian guy. He tested various stuff. You can find it here: http://www.addicted2light.com
    Realy interesting is the part where he tests a v700 against a drum scanner against a canon eos5D2. There is a link in his latest article to the article called “best film scanner”.
    I hope this was Kind of a help….
    Bestregards, Alex

  9. A little late to contribute – I know you’ve made your decision! I share Jason’s thought’s on the V700, excellent but not outstanding in some cases, better with 120 than 35mm.

    Software knowledge is pretty crucial, I know that Silverfast is very popular with a ton of parameters that can be accessed, but it struggles on my current (ageing) PC, so I’ve become familiar with VueScan which has really improved results over the Epson OEM software.

    The betterscanning.com height adjustable mounts make a big difference with the V700 too.

    I’d been seriously toying with the Plustek as well. It’ll be great to see how you get on with it. As others have said here, ultimately the deal-breaker was hearing from one of their agents who said that ‘better results might be achieved by shimming the mounts as a range of tolerances existed when testing to ship’.

    For me this just seems unacceptable on a premium product; I can’t work out why they wouldn’t be properly calibrated and signed off before shipping. I think Plustek are to be applauded for producing this scanner; if I could only have more confidence in their quality control I’d be keen to upgrade someday.

  10. Dear Peter,

    I have Plastek 800i AI and Epson V850 Pro. There were no problems with the first, and the second is not worth the money, and its soft programs do not clean black and white negatives from dust and scratches. Although, frankly, it’s up to you …

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