I'm in the process of selecting a new scanner, and the thought has occurred to me that it might make sense for me to consider a used (pre-owned!) drum scanner as an alternate to the current flatbed offerings.
I shoot 4x5, 8x10 and also will use rollfilm on my 4x5 at times. The problems come from my use of the rollfilm. My current scanner (Epson 2450) is woefully inadequate for 6x9, and only marginally satisfactory for 4x5 film. There are issues of sharpness, and also issues of dmax and noise that are a real problem for me to accept.
I know that the newer Epson 4870 is better in both respects, and the new Microtek i900 will probably also be better, and also allow me to scan 8x10 in addition to the smaller formats. However, they are both based on CCD's and will still have some of the inherent noise and dmax issues.
The problem is that I am somewhat of a perfectionist, and I look into the print shadows, and am not happy with what I see. My thinking is that I may be better suited getting a pre-owned tabletop drum scanner for a few thousand dollars, than continuing down the path of CCD scanning.
I'm familiar with the nature of drum scanners, and am the kind of person who is willing to spend the effort on wet-mounting, and the learning curve, etc. to do this right.
Of the many, many, tabletop drum scanners out there, what is a good product to consider for a drum scanner novice? One that may have parts available, and service, if necessary.
Here's my current limitations. I use a PC computer, and I intend to scan 6x9, 6x17, 4x5, and 8x10. Mostly chromes, some color negs, and also some B+W negatives. I would need a scanner that has the software and either some sort of documentation/education information, or a ready and willing source for information on how to get the most out of the scanner. I'd like information on reputable sources for pre-owned scanners and equipment also.
Please Note: if you feel that going the drum scanner route is a mistake, please tell me why, and what you think is a suitable alternate for a person who tends to be a bit of a perfectionist. I appreciate any discussions pro or con, as I am in the fact-finding stage right now.