Pros: Well built, low cost lamp, available software and manuals
Cons: Sometimes a bit difficult to insert slides.(Spring clips are Strong!)
First of all, lets get the numbers straight. There are to the best of my knowledge (3)
model versions of this scanner.
The "Sprintscan 35 (also known as 35ES), Sprintscan 35LE, and Sprintscan PLUS.
The "LE" seems to be the "Low End" scanner of the three. It has a max optical scanning resolution
of 1950 DPI, when compared to its cousins both at 2700 DPI.
Also, the LE's image processing is software based, as opposed hardware
based on the higher end models.
The main difference between the 35 (ES) and the 35 PLUS, is that the PLUS has a
scanning depth of 12 bits per color, as opposed to 10 bits for its cousins.
The ES seems a bit hard to identify, because it either was never marked as
such, or at least some were not. I think the the LE and Plus are clearly marked.
Anyway, the ES has (2) 50 Pin SCSI ports, and the LE and PLUS have one 50 pin, and one
These units go back a while, as evidenced by the SCSI interface they use, but
are still quite usable today, especially the higher end models.
They will work with MAC or PC and all the software and manuals are still (2/06)
downloadable for free on Polaroids web site. (Latest Software, "Insight PRO" works well)
I bought my (ES) used on Ebay for about $25.00 plus shipping, and it came
with bound Hardware and MAC Software Manuals (the unit I purchased was used with
a MAC), SCSI and Power Cables, Negative Carrier, SCSI Terminator plug. ( The plug is not needed on
on the PLUS model).
I installed it on my PC running Windows 98SE, using my existing Adaptec AHA-2940 series
SCSI card. (Needed a special cable...SCSI connectors come in a few types).
No problems with the installation of the scanner or its software.
The unit seems very well built, and uses a readily available miniature fluorescent lamp
for its light source. There is even a spare inside the lid! I don't know how long the
life of the lamp is, but they cost less than five bucks.
In operation (for slide scanning), you insert the slide into the top of the machine (there are metal spring
clips that hold the slide in place). When you select preview or scan from the software it slowly
lowers into the machine, pausing for a brief calibration and then goes all the way down.
The image then appears on the screen and can be edited in almost every way, then saved
to a TIFF or BITMAP file (you have to do your own conversion to JPG if desired).
I think there is a software update...maybe they added JPG as a choice.
From preview to saving, slide scanning takes about a minute.
Negatives are placed in a holder, and slide in from the side of the unit. You must manually,
push the holder in, one frame at a time ( there is a positive detented stop felt at each frame, they "click"
into place. The entire holder then lowers exactly the same way the the slides do, and scan times (per frame)
are exactly the same. One nice feature is that if you position the negative right, you can even scan
those little old Kodak110 negatives.
The images produced (with my ES) are more than acceptable for monitor display, and will
probably print well up to 8x10 when set up properly and the source image is good.
Bottom line, if you're on a budget and don't want to spend hundreds on the latest USB
film scanners, and if you can find one of these little work horses with low miles, its a
good bargain. All you need is the smarts (or friends) to mess with the SCSI if your PC
doesn't already have a card in it. Of course I guess the SCSI isn't
a problem on the MAC since I think they come with it.
Lots of info on Polaroids website...CHECK IT OUT if your looking! -HK-