Reflecta ProScan 7200 £310
20th Jun 2011 | 10:47
With a top resolution of 3600ppi, is this the scanner for you?
Reflecta ProScan 7200 Review: Overview
At the top end of Reflecta's range of film scanners sits the ProScan 7000, a traditionally designed unit built to produce good quality scans.
Included in the box are USB and mains power cables, discs containing scanning software and a complimentary copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements, as well as the scanner unit itself and a pair of film holders, one for strips of film, the other for mounted transparencies.
A printed manual is welcome, although some explanations of the set up and operation procedures could certainly be clearer. Installation on a Windows PC is simply enough, but is very fiddly and buggy on Mac OSX. It took three attempts to get the supplied CyberViewX application onto our Apple MacBook Pro.
The design of the scanner unit itself is very basic, but in a welcome fashion. No chance of getting confused by a vast array of controls here.
The top of the scanner has a single button that glows blue when the unit is switched on and is used for one-touch scanning.
Once mounted in its holder, film goes in the side of the scanner and a transparent windows allows the user to alight the frame properly.
This is a really nice feature, that while low-tech and simple works very well indeed. Around the back of the scanner are sockets for power and USB and a power switch.
Reflecta ProScan 7200 Review: Features
Despite it's name, the ProScan 7200 actually offers a top resolution of 3600ppi. This is enough to generate a 48MB file from a single 35mm frame, which is equivalent to a 16-megapixel digital camera.
Obviously whether you get the same quality as a 16-megapixel camera depends on other factors too (lens resolution, film and processing choice, etc), but the pixels are certainly there.
In conjunction with the CyberViewX software the ProScan 7200 offers Digital ICE3. This comprises ICE dust and scratch reduction as well as ROC (restoration of colour) and GEM (grain equalization and management).
In contrast to other film scanners you may have seen (including those in Reflecta range) the ProScan 7200 doesn't feature motorized film loading; the plastic film holders must be positioned by hand looking through the transparent window to judge the correct positioning.
There's nothing really wrong with this until you come to batch scanning –scanning all six image on a strip of film in one go.
To do this you must be sitting by the scanner to advance the film manually to the next frame, and although you can use the blue button on top of the unit to trigger the next scan, you still have to OK this on screen.
All this means there is too much user input for this procedure to be classed as batch scanning, in our point of view.
Talking of the film holders, the plastic holders that come with the ProScan 7200 are pretty stiff to open and use when new.
The plastic locking catch on one of them snapped off when started to use it, making it much easier to use but perhaps revealing some build quality issues.
Reflecta ProScan 7200 Review: Performance
All film scanners require some practise use so you can learn how to get the most from them, and the ProScan 7200 is no exception.
Engage the Quality setting from the Scan Mode drop-down menu, up to resolution to 3200ppi and switch off ROC, which does more harm than good on unfaded originals, and scans of positive transparencies are pretty good.
With a DMax of 3.8 such scans have a pretty decent level of detail in highlights and shadows, though the dark areas in films like Fuji Velvia 50 etc are difficult to penetrate.
Sharpness is fair, but comparing the ProScan to a much older Nikon CoolScan V (a legendary film scanner) reveals there is some way to go. Images benefit from some post-scanning sharpening in Photoshop, which works well since the ProScan 7200 doesn't resolve film grain itself.
Black & white negatives scan very well on the ProScan 7200 although, as with all scanners, digital ICE doesn't work with traditional mono films. Colour negatives are much harder to handle since they require more colour balancing than transparencies.
A number of preset film options are included in CyberViewX, but typically these never seem to match the emulsions you are shooting.
The basic editing options make it possible to adjust for white balance and contrast though, and the Photoshop-like variations tool means you can eventually get a good result.
The ProScan 7200 is not the fastest scanner we've ever seen, but it's not the slowest either.
On an Apple MacBook Pro (2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) a basic scan at 3200ppi takes 1min 20sec to complete with no added frills and extras. Drop the resolution to 1800ppi and this falls to around 50sec.
Turning on ICE, GEM or ROC adds to this time, with the CyberViewX software taking some time to apply the processes. A 3200ppi scan with all three options switched on takes 2min 16sec.
Reflecta ProScan 7200 Review: Image samples
Black & White negs
Reflecta ProScan 7200 Review: Verdict
A good performance from the Reflecta ProScan 7200 is let down only by some small build-quality concerns and a lack of batch-scanning facilities.
But for an average street price of around £300, this is a good value scanner that will let you produce good quality scans from your 35mm originals – certainly better than most flatbed scanners with transparency units can produce.
The supplied Cyber ViewX software is basic but, apart from the issues surround Mac installation, stable. The ProScan 7200 is also supported by SilverFast so, if you already have this application, you should be able to use the Reflecta scanner without learning any new software.
The Reflecta ProScan 7200 is excellent value at £300 and produces better results than most flatbed scanners with transparency units.
The ProScan 7200 has some small build quality issues, and the lack of back-scanning facilities is a shortcoming.
Image quality is good, rather than spectacular, and some software sharpening is required post scanning.
That said, as with all scanning processes, the quality of the final result depends heavily on the quality of the original. The ProScan 7200 is no different here.