Plustek OpticFilm 135i film scanner review: hardware heaven, software hell

Poor software lets down what otherwise would have been faultless hardware

Plustek OpticFilm 135i on a wooden surface
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Plustek OpticFilm 135i is probably the best hardware that Plustek makes – taking the high-quality scans from its 8200i series and making the process more automated for speed and simplicity. Unusually though, the 135i doesn’t come bundled with the usual SilverFast software, and its replacement – Plustek QuickScan Plus – is too problematic to recommend. It’s only saving grace – a separate purchase of VueScan or SilverFast can unlock just how incredible this scanner can be.


  • +

    High-quality 7200dpi scans

  • +

    Infrared dust and scratch removal

  • +

    Automated scanning

  • +

    Excellent film holders


  • -

    Lousy software

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    USB-A connection

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    Sound can get irritating

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Film photography continues its comeback, with a whole new generation of photographers enamored with the tones and textures that you can only get with film. No matter how much those Lightroom presets claim otherwise, there is something special about film that can’t be recreated.

Plustek's scanners for different types of film have been hugely popular in the film photography community, and Plustek contributed several scanners to our guide to the best film scanners. Plustek’s OpticFilm 8200i SE is my favorite 35mm scanner – and the OpticFilm 8100 is one of the most affordable ways to get high-quality scans of your negatives.

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Image Sensor CCD
Light Source LED
Max Resolution 7200 dpi
Scan Modes Color: 48-bit input, 24/48-bit output Grayscale: 16-bit input, 8/16-bit output
Dynamic Range 3.4
Compatible with35mm film strip and mounted slide
Scanning Area (W x L)35 mm x 226 mm (1.37" x 8.9")
Scanning SpeedApprox. 52 secs at 600 dpi (IR enabled), Approx. 360 secs at 3600 dpi (IR enabled), Approx. 25 mins at 7200dpi (IR enabled)
Dimensions (W x D x H)175 mm x 259.2 mm x 104.3 mm (6.9" x 10.2" x 4.1")
Weight1.56 Kgs (3.49 Lbs)
Hardware Requirements Windows PC & Mac, Intel i5 CPU or faster, 4GB RAM (8GB RAM recommended), 20GB free space on hard disk drive, CD/ DVD drive or internet connection
Bundled SoftwarePlustek QuickScan Plus
Epson Perfection V600

If your main goal is to scan lots of negatives quickly then the Epson Perfection V600 is a great scanner for this purpose. Being a flatbed scanner means it is large and heavy, but the V600 can scan strips of up to 12 frames in one go, other formats like 120mm film, as well as documents. However, the quality isn’t quite as high as what Plustek’s range is capable of.

Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE

The Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE is probably the best scanner you can buy for high-quality 35mm scans. It comes bundled with SilverFast which can be tricky to use but produces excellent results. The major downside is that the scanner is limited to 35mm or mounted slides in strips of 6 only, and requires a lot of manual labor, so isn’t fast for bulk film scanning, but for film enthusiasts and pros – the results are worth it.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.