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spkennedy3000
5-Jan-2012, 09:25
The shot of Battersea Power Station I posted on the architecture thread yesterday was a drum scan. As I usually use an Epson v750, having both files enabled me to make a comparison. Unsurprisingly the drum scan has more detail, but there were other differences that were a big surprise to me, and so I have written a blog post about it.

I hope it might be of some interest.

http://www.simonkennedy.net/blog/architectural-photography-2/4x5-flatbed-vs-drum-scan

vinny
5-Jan-2012, 09:45
yup, that's why I own two drum scanners.

Ari
5-Jan-2012, 10:07
Simon, do you wet mount on the v750?

spkennedy3000
5-Jan-2012, 10:19
Hi Ari, no I don't really have time... although I am sure that that would help. I do use vue scan and colorperfect though, those help tremendously with colour and consistency I have found.

Brian Ellis
5-Jan-2012, 12:32
The shot of Battersea Power Station I posted on the architecture thread yesterday was a drum scan. As I usually use an Epson v750, having both files enabled me to make a comparison. Unsurprisingly the drum scan has more detail, but there were other differences that were a big surprise to me, and so I have written a blog post about it.

I hope it might be of some interest.

http://www.simonkennedy.net/blog/architectural-photography-2/4x5-flatbed-vs-drum-scan

I haven't studied the first two images in any detail but with my monitor the Epson scan looks better than the drum scan. On my monitor the drum scan is dull, flat, lacks contrast, lacks saturation. Did you do the same things to it that you mention doing to the scan from the 750?

sully75
5-Jan-2012, 12:33
I'm actually fairly impressed with how well the Epson did in comparison. I can't say it was blown out of the water.

If you want full frame you'll need something like the better-scanning holder where you can mount the negative to glass. Not really a ding on the Epson scanner, just on the holders.

Jeff Dexheimer
5-Jan-2012, 12:49
I think for internet purposes, the epson if fine and I believe a direct internet comparison is not fair, depending what settings you use to edit your images. Personally I like the drum scanned much better. I notice fewer dust flecks, but that could be accomplished by wet mounting the epson.

I have decided, for my purposes, when I post online I am using my flatbed. If/when I do an art show I will have my images drum scanned.

spkennedy3000
5-Jan-2012, 14:43
I haven't studied the first two images in any detail but with my monitor the Epson scan looks better than the drum scan. On my monitor the drum scan is dull, flat, lacks contrast, lacks saturation. Did you do the same things to it that you mention doing to the scan from the 750?

Hi Brian,
No the first image from the drum scan is completely unprocessed in Photoshop, the Epson scan is processed with my usual workflow. Further down is the processed drum scan. All this is explained in the post.

spkennedy3000
5-Jan-2012, 14:45
I think for internet purposes, the epson if fine and I believe a direct internet comparison is not fair, depending what settings you use to edit your images. Personally I like the drum scanned much better. I notice fewer dust flecks, but that could be accomplished by wet mounting the epson.

I have decided, for my purposes, when I post online I am using my flatbed. If/when I do an art show I will have my images drum scanned.


Not sure why the comparison is unfair, but I agree completely with your conclusions.

Roger Cole
5-Jan-2012, 14:51
I'm actually fairly impressed with how well the Epson did in comparison. I can't say it was blown out of the water.

+1. Some of my reaction to the final images can be put down to the fact that, on my monitor, I prefer the color of the final Epson image to the color of the drum scan image, in spite of the clearly superior dynamic range of the drum scan. But in any case, the Epson is actually quite good.

meerkat
5-Jan-2012, 15:00
fwiw, I use an Aztek Premier drum scanner http://www.aztek.com/premier.html (the Aztek is based on the older and defunct Howtek.)

A PMT dum scanner really cannot be compared with an CCD consumer scanner. Grain management and dynamic range capabilities are completely different. The Aztek has 18 optical spot sizes down to 3 microns. And then there's the software which is very different than consumer software such as Epson, Vuescan, and Silverfast.

Don't get me wrong; the Epson is fine for scanning for monitor viewing or small scale prints. But there is a dramatic difference when you start printing very large exhibition prints.

Roger Cole
5-Jan-2012, 15:09
I always chuckle when people say things can't be compared, when we've already been doing just that. Of course they CAN be. ANYTHING can be compared, including the proverbial apples and oranges - both are roughly spherical fruit, the orange is much more acidic etc. ;)

It's no secret that "drum scans are potentially of much better quality" while "flat bed scans are usually much quicker and easier." Whether the difference is worth it depends on many things including the individual scanners, the skill of the operator (more so with the drum scanner,) the intended use of the results and, to a very large extent, simply how picky the photographer happens to be.

Drum scans are better. Flat beds are quicker and easier (and usually cheaper.) Threads like this help to illustrate the degree of those differences in a way that can be useful.

timparkin
5-Jan-2012, 15:14
Personally I think the Epson is a bloody good scanner and it does a lot better job on negatives than it does on transparencies. The main advantage for negatives is the recovery of the shoulder and toe of the film. The bit depth of the scan allows you to stretch out tones more which helps when making larger color corrections as well. Horses for courses as usual - if you can't tell the difference you don't need it :-)

meerkat
5-Jan-2012, 16:00
I always chuckle when people say things can't be compared, when we've already been doing just that. Of course they CAN be. ANYTHING can be compared, including the proverbial apples and oranges - both are roughly spherical fruit, the orange is much more acidic etc. ;)

It's no secret that "drum scans are potentially of much better quality" while "flat bed scans are usually much quicker and easier." Whether the difference is worth it depends on many things including the individual scanners, the skill of the operator (more so with the drum scanner,) the intended use of the results and, to a very large extent, simply how picky the photographer happens to be.

Drum scans are better. Flat beds are quicker and easier (and usually cheaper.) Threads like this help to illustrate the degree of those differences in a way that can be useful.


I suppose I'd rather see comparisons between CCD scanners and comparisons between PMT scanners rather than mixing the two. I also wouldn't compare a consumer Epson flatbed with a Cruse flatbed, etc.. It's sort of like comparing a Subaru WRX STI with a Porsche 997 RS. They're both sports cars but they're in a totally different league and are never compared with each other. Of course they can be compared, but what's the actual point? That for a lot less money you can still have fun in a Subaru?

In this case, I think we all know what a $50k PMT scanner is capable of producing and this is more of a story about the capabilities of the Epson V750 as a much less expensive alternative. With which I agree is okay, but with the caveat that they are indeed different species. It's interesting to do (comparing), and I think it's very informative for those who are wondering about the capabilities and limitations of consumer CCD scanners, and compared what they will be getting when they pay for relatively expensive drum scan.

Roger Cole
5-Jan-2012, 16:48
I suppose I'd rather see comparisons between CCD scanners and comparisons between PMT scanners rather than mixing the two. I also wouldn't compare a consumer Epson flatbed with a Cruse flatbed, etc.. It's sort of like comparing a Subaru WRX STI with a Porsche 997 RS. They're both sports cars but they're in a totally different league and are never compared with each other. Of course they can be compared, but what's the actual point? That for a lot less money you can still have fun in a Subaru?

In this case, I think we all know what a $50k PMT scanner is capable of producing and this is more of a story about the capabilities of the Epson V750 as a much less expensive alternative. With which I agree is okay, but with the caveat that they are indeed different species. It's interesting to do (comparing), and I think it's very informative for those who are wondering about the capabilities and limitations of consumer CCD scanners, and compared what they will be getting when they pay for relatively expensive drum scan.

Well there you go, we're in agreement. :)

meerkat
5-Jan-2012, 17:53
Well there you go, we're in agreement. :)

Yeah, I never was in any sort disagreement. Other than saying, "a PMT dum scanner really cannot be compared with an CCD consumer scanner." And "there is a dramatic difference when you start printing very large exhibition prints." :)

And they really can't be compared. And certainly no harm done if they are compared. But you'll always get the Porsche owners telling the Subaru owners that 'There is No Substitute.' http://www.porsche.com/pap/legal-notice/ ;)

Roger Cole
5-Jan-2012, 18:20
And an AWD Subaru owner might say the same thing if he's driving uphill in a foot of snow!

meerkat
5-Jan-2012, 18:36
And an AWD Subaru owner might say the same thing if he's driving uphill in a foot of snow!

But wait! The 997TT is AWD. And so are the C4S models of the 997. :)

The 997 as a snowmobile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Lq3mHgNOI

Jim Andrada
5-Jan-2012, 22:13
Hmm - Porsche as snowmobile. Wish I had a copy of the photo taken at a Porsche club get together in 1966 or 1987 that showed my 356 about 7 feet up the side of a snowbank after I had missed a turn while ice racing in NH. The belly pan was just great for letting you scoot across the snow - until you came to a halt with more compressed snow under the car than you could shake a shovel at. Best way was just to get a dozen or so husky guys and sort of pick the car up and slide it out. I took the altitude prize, but another guy got the distance prize for sliding about 23 feet off the track.

Those were indeed the days.

Jeff Dexheimer
6-Jan-2012, 01:22
Not sure why the comparison is unfair, but I agree completely with your conclusions.

What I mean is that an internet comparison over the internet is not where the drum scan will shine. stubble details are lost. Details are lost due to compression of both files and therefore we are not not looking at the originally intended fles. Comparing the photographers end product is where the comparison should be made. If the end product of the two images is compared the photographer will gain greater insight into which image he prefers. the images we are seeing on screen are not likely to be the end result, therefore we are comparing apples to oranges.

And of course you can compare anything, even apples and oranges.

timparkin
6-Jan-2012, 13:21
I suppose I'd rather see comparisons between CCD scanners and comparisons between PMT scanners rather than mixing the two. ....
In this case, I think we all know what a $50k PMT scanner is capable of producing and this is more of a story about the capabilities of the Epson V750 as a much less expensive alternative. With which I agree is okay, but with the caveat that they are indeed different species. It's interesting to do (comparing), and I think it's very informative for those who are wondering about the capabilities and limitations of consumer CCD scanners, and compared what they will be getting when they pay for relatively expensive drum scan.

That would be fine if Drum Scanners still cost $50,000 but if you wait a bit you can pick one up for the same price as a new Epson V750.. I paid $2,000 dollars for my first one but I didn't mind paying over the odds a bit

Tim

meerkat
6-Jan-2012, 14:59
That would be fine if Drum Scanners still cost $50,000 but if you wait a bit you can pick one up for the same price as a new Epson V750.. I paid $2,000 dollars for my first one but I didn't mind paying over the odds a bit

Tim

That's right and you can still get old Howteks on eBay, etc.. But one issue is software since it runs on older legacy operating systems. Then of course you need to find drums (and replacements when they craze, etc..) and mounting stations. Kami fluid, mylar, and tape isn't cheap either. It all adds up. In addition there's the maintenance, and parts replacement which is so limited now.

If you do have a Howtek, the Lippencots still do some support http://store.aztek.com/servlet/-strse-Scanner-Parts-cln-HOWTEK/Categories and also with software.

I'm not familiar with using Heidelberg's Tango. But there's no more support either. I believe the Aztek is all that's currently manufactured and supported (?)

I worked for several years at a professional studio on an Aztek. Fortunately I still have access to using it for my own production. :)

Daniel Stone
8-Jan-2012, 09:38
Karl Hudson still services and repairs/maintains the heidelberg drum scanners. He's based in Germany, but also has an office in atlanta.

I have a dpl 8000, and made the decision to purchase that scanner because aztek is 50mi from my house, rather than having to fly karl in from germany, plus cost of maintenance. If I was europe based, i'd probably get a heidelberg, simply because of greater availability of surplus machines and ease of servicing vs here in the usa.

Dan