I recently picked up a new film scanner that I hoped would work nicely to take care of all of my 35mm scanning. I haven’t been happy with my old Epson V500 for a long time, and my solution was to send it out to have it scanned for me. However, that gets expensive fast at the rate I shoot film, so needless to say, when a friend of mine told me about the Pakon F135 I was smitten. The Pakon will scan an entire roll of 35mm in about 3-4 minutes and give good quality files with enough resolution to go up to 8×10 safely I suspect. Any larger than that would likely degrade the resolution too much. The key here is the speed of the scanning.
Here is the link to my buddy Dave’s write-up on the Pakon, which is certainly far better than I could manage.
The trick with the Pakon is that it requires a specific software set-up, which was tough for me (thanks again to Dave for helping me out with this!) to get going. I’m not a technophobe by any means, but I’m not great with working outside the parameters of day-to-day computer issues. Still, the payoff was too good to resist, so I jumped in with both feet.
[NOTE: If anyone is interested in the Pakon scanner, this is where I got mine: http://www.aaaimaging.com/kodak-pakon-f135-film-scanner.html]
So after fiddling with getting Windows XP up and running on my Macbook, and managing to install all the necessary peripherals, I was up and running last night and managed to scan just a single roll.
And…HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER?!?
I am not going to upload 100% scans to pixel-peep. That’s not what this post is about. I’m also not going to dissect the hardware specs or compare it with the other scanners out there. I’ve never used the Nikon Coolscans but I’ve heard great things. They are likely better than the Pakon, but they are also discontinued, at least 10x the price used, take 5-10x as long to scan a roll, and hard to find for sale anywhere. For my purposes, the Pakon F135 is damn good.
I’ll be scanning a lot more in the coming weeks (winter is here after all), and so you’ll be hearing a more detailed write-up on this at some point. But for now, I’ll leave you with a few more images from the first roll I scanned.
All images were taken in March 2012 on my trip to Portugal, with my Leica M6TTL, the Voigtlander Nokton 40/1.4 or Leica Tele-Elmarit-M 90/2.8, on Kodak Portra 160.